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If there’s one thing that’ll get us on a plane to Athens, it’s a designated selfie spot. We jest, of course – but the idea of a designated selfie spot was so
horrifying compelling that during an afternoon in Athens last week, we had to go and see it for ourselves.
The selfie spot is at the Grande Bretagne in Syntagma Square (Athens' main square), though to our relief, when we asked at the concierge desk where to find it, they had absolutely no idea what we were talking about. To save you the mortification of trying to explain the concept of a selfie spot to an Athenian - right there in the cradle of democracy, literature, philosophy and everything else that selfies run in the face of - just head to the rooftop bar and restaurant.
The selfie spot, it has to be said, is incredible in the flesh. Of course, an Acropolis view in Athens is no big deal - the majority of hotels have them from rooftop terraces, if not from the rooms themselves. But most Acropolis views are not like this (the only one that comes close, we reckon, is the Hilton, which is a little further out of the city center). The Grande Bretagne not only dominates the skyline around it, meaning you’re looking straight at the Parthenon, but glance to your left and you’re looking straight at the Greek Parliament, with the Evzones soldiers trooping around the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier every hour.
Hotel Selfies / Selfies / Hotel Social Media / Hotel Packages / Luxury Hotels / Paris Hotels / Mandarin Oriental Hotels / → All Tags
If you thought a designated selfie spot was as vain as things get, think again. Not to be outdone by the Athenians, the Parisians, those undisputed global masters of the pout, have come up with a “selfie package”. This has to be at somewhere millennial or ironic, right? Mama Shelter? Citizen M? Pas du tout! It’s at the Mandarin Oriental. Le selfie 'as well and truly landed.
The Selfie in Paris package nets you a room with breakfast, plus three hours in a private car – with driver and in-car WiFi. The hotel will also provide you with a list of the finest selfie backdrops in Paris, including “lesser known vantage points”, “romantic backdrops” and “other imaginative city sites that provide the perfect backdrop for self expression”.
Secretly thinking this sounds great but outwardly embarrassed about booking a package that’s all about vanity? Here’s your excuse. Any photos you upload on your journey from October to January that are taken at approved MO Selfie Spots, posted on social media and tagged appropriately (full details here) will be entered into a monthly competition to win a one night stay at the Mandarin Oriental.
So really, the Selfie in Paris package is just the cheapest way of staying, right?
Hotel Selfies / Selfies / Hotel Social Media / Athens Hotels / Luxury Collection Hotels / Greece Hotels / Hotel Rooftops / → All Tags
Selfies. You either love them or you hate them but no matter how you feel about them, you are taking them. Just admit it. You’re taking them in the car, at the club, at concerts, at sporting events, at the playground, the beach, the rooftop bar, and even from your bed. Especially from your bed.
But at the Hotel Grand Bretagne in Athens, you’re gonna want to get out of your bed for that selfie because the hotel has a designated “Selfie Spot" on the GB Roof Garden Restaurant. The spot marked with a selfie icon is actually the best spot on the terrace to take a selfie so that you can show off your newly acquired Grecian glow with a precise view of the Acropolis in the background. For Millennials, we'll put it in terms that you can understand--The Acropolis will photobomb your selfie.
The hotel is a Luxury Collection Hotel from Starwood in Syntagma Square but rates aren't crazy out of control. We found a prepaid rate for next weekend for 278 Euros. That's for a classic room with two beds. A king bed with butler service was also available for 303 Euros. Fortunately, you can get your selfie on without booking a room as the GB Roof Garden Restaurant is open for lunch and breakfast. Now, let me take a selfie.
[Photo: SPG Greece]
These days, it's not uncommon for guests to check a hotel's social media profile in addition to visiting the hotel's website before actually booking a room. And since we frequent both hotel websites and hotel social media pages daily (sometimes hourly), here are 3 things we like to see a hotel talking about to all their "friends" and "followers":
3. Recent Postings and Interactions: There's nothing worse than clicking over to a hotel's Facebook or Twitter pages, which are advertised on the hotel's website, only to find that the last time someone updated the page was in 2012. Also a bummer? When a hotel does scheduled updates of the same old, regurgitated line: "Need a hotel in [Insert city]? Give us a call or visit our website to book!"
2. Reviews and Recent Posts: Most hotels have a "Reviews" section on their Facebook page. This is a good place to check out the recent guest reviews. Typically, these tend to be pretty positive but we also like to comb them for interesting anecdotes, observations and perhaps, most importantly, reactions or comments from the hotels themselves. Same goes for the "Recent Posts" sections which have posts from the hotel's followers.
Keep reading for the #1 thing to look for in a hotel's social media profile!
And even though we'd normally stay away from the humidity of Orlando in August, we find ourselves practically crossing the days off on the calendar. Here are five reasons why we're hoping the Four Seasons Orlando will make all our dreams come true.
1. The Adult Pool. The adult pool (separated from the family pool) will have cabanas, cocktail servers and specialty services like "sunglass cleanings." We hope massages are on that list too. #serenitynow
2. Firework Chandeliers in the Lobby. Night time is ruled by fireworks at Disney World but we're loving this cool chandelier of "fireworks" above the lobby's grand staircase.
Last week, CitizenM Hotels dissed Holiday Inn on the internet by "selling" an old front desk on Craigslist as part of an April Fool's Day joke. Today, they've done it again--by parking a stretch-limo out in front of the Trump International Hotel near Central Park with a sign on the side of the car that says,
"Luxury is free WiFi and XL beds, not a stupidly long car."
The limo also drove by a few other NYC hotels like the Grand Hyatt and The Plaza as CitizenM said to "to make our point and also annoy the doormen."
We kinda love CitizenM for calling out these hotels are their WiFi policies and for annoying the doormen with a ridiculous limo but hello, Citizen M! Rates at your Times Square property aren't exactly affordable either, with one reader telling us rates were over $300 a night after your grand "reopening." For teeny rooms. At least at the Trump, we get some more space.
So keep on fighting the good fight but also maybe consider lowering those room rates a touch.
UPDATE: The Trump Hotel actually has free WiFi so this kind of didn't work out right.
[Photo: CitizenM Times Square/Facebook]
We haven't participated in April Fool's Day in a while, but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy the fun that other folks put out there. Here's a round-up of some of the hotel hoaxes floating around the internet today. While we still think the hotel rooms for left-handed people (circa 2007) was the best Hotel April Fool's Day joke, this new batch is pretty fool-worthy as well.
1. ROOFTOP CHECK-IN AT RADISSON BLU AQUA IN CHICAGO
2. THE MICROSOFT HOTEL IN BELLEVUE, WASH.
The Microsoft Hotel will offer 250 technology enabled guest rooms. Each room will include a voice activated (siri-like) interface You will be able to interact with the room by making commands for common tasks such as turning the lights on, powering the TV on, flushing the toilet, and turning the shower on and off. Tasks such as waiting for an elevator will be a thing of the past as the hotel includes a smartphone app that will enable guests to call the elevator from wherever they are in the building.
Hotel Weddings / Wedding Hotels / Hotel Social Media / W Hotels / Social Media Concierges / Wedding Social Media / Hotel News / → All Tags
We thought yesterday's rental of a resort in the Florida Keys for a 12-13-14 was insane, namely because it costs nearly $200,000 but the W Hotels of New York City are on another level of cray.
They are now offering the services of a W Social Media Wedding Concierge whose job will be to document your entire wedding across all social media platforms including using a special wedding hashtag. The service costs $3,000 but you have to be hosting your wedding at one of the W Hotels in NYC to get access to the concierge.
The W Social Media Concierge will also help guests of the wedding post their own photos to social media.
Good God, what is this world coming to? Simply posting a picture of the happy couple on Facebook saying "Congrats!" is no longer enough?
And for what it's worth, uploading photos, Tweets, Instagrams, Vines, and Pinterest boards and creating hashtags is still completely free. So maybe take that three grand and extend the hours of the open bar while putting your college-aged cousin to work. #justsaying
TL; DR this is how we really feel:
New York got snowed in again last night (and so did 48 other states) but this morning the doorman at The Algonquin in NYC was hard at work, squeegee-ing the street in front of the entrance. (Now that's a squeegee Giuliani would approve of!) Here's a description from the hotel's Facebook page about how the hotel dealt with the storm:
Well the most recent snow storm was a combination of heavy snow, rain and wind. The Algonquin engineering team stayed atop the mess through the course of the storm to be sure that passage on West 44th Street was safe. Doorman Jermaine Clark wanted to make certain that the entire area was safe for guests and is seen using the squeegee on the street to clear any remaining slush and debris. You really have to appreciate that sort of dedication, so typical of the spirit found at The Algonquin.
Meanwhile, downtown at The Ace Hotel, the doorman put their new parkas to work:
Ay, yi, yi. We hope warmer weather comes in soon!
Twitter Reservations / Loews Hotels / Hotel Social Media / Hotel Deals / Hotel Hashtags / → All Tags
Loews Hotels is trying something new with their Twitter pages--allowing guests to book their stays directly through Twitter.
Many hotels have long been offering reservations through Facebook for a few years now but Twitter has never really been done before. Here's how Loews is pioneering this new social reservations tool:
Simply use the hashtag #BookLoews in a tweet to @Loews_Hotels that says where you want to stay and you'll be connected by a Loews Travel Planner to start a Twitter conversation. Once you're ready to book your stay, the Travel Planner will tweet you a link to a secure chat conversation to take your credit card and billing info in a secure, PCI-compliant digital environment. Other than that, you never have to leave Twitter to book your hotel room. This is the future, kids! (One thing to note: The Loews Orlando hotels are not bookable through Twitter.)
We've all been known to do strange things in hotel room, some of which we will admit freely to doing and some which we would never tell a soul. But if you stay at the Ace Hotel they might just tweet about it. Here's what we saw on their Twitter stream last night:
If only we could all whistle like whoever's in Ace NY room 595, whistling the Game of Thrones theme song like a boss. #wehearyou— Ace Hotel (@acehotel) September 27, 2013
So it's a somewhat complimentary tweet--whistling like a boss. But they included the room number! Fortunately for this Thrones
geek fan, there isn't a real way to track down his or her identity using the room number. Most hotel will ask for a name to accompany the room number before they connect you. Then again, we didn't try. Either way, we'll think twice before singing Broadway tunes during our next stay at The Ace.
Hotels love over-sharing whether it be on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Mind you, they only share the "positive" stuff but whatevs, we're suckers for it. Here's what we found to be kinda cool on the interwebs this week:
1. CitizenM's Dolly
Feeling lonely on your next stay at CitizenM Hotels? This doll may cheer you up. Or not.
2. W is for Wintour
Bow down. Anna Wintour graced the W London with her perfectly-dressed presence during London Fashion Week.