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The newly-opened EVEN Hotel in Norwalk, Connecticut
The development of the EVEN Hotels brand has been an interesting thing to watch as it attempts to appeal to travelers, presumably of the business variety, who want to stay in shape while on the road. And it's introduced some ideas and concepts that are sure to keep even casually health-conscious people thinking fitness, including "in-room training zones" and an in-house restaurant concept that makes it easy to make good decisions.
Obviously, the idea is to attract active guests. Which is why we're curious to hear your thoughts on the brand's latest guest service offering: Waterproof wristbands that act as the room key and a form of cashless currency.
According to a press release, the wristbands will reflect the "new, wellness-oriented hotel brand's efforts to appeal to particularly active guests." They cost $8, but can be kept and reused on a future stay. The wristbands can even be customized with a company logo.
Hmmm... guess that takes the "presumably" out of the above statement about EVEN Hotels going after business travelers. It's convenience for repeat guests that is for sale here, and there's probably a small underlying assumption that active guests are likely to rock an athletic-type wristband.
Legislation that was passed at the end of July will officially go into effect this weekend in Portland, Oregon, legalizing short-term home rentals. As AirBnb has come under attack from the hotel industry and city governments across the country, Portland has decided to legally address how residents can use their house as a source of income.
Emphasis on the world "house," as the law includes individual houses, duplexes, and accessory dwelling units but excludes condos and apartments, even if the unit is owned. The reason for this, according to Oregon Live, is that "under the city's interpretation of the state building code, [apartment and condo buildings] would have to meet similar safety requirements as commercial hotels. Few apartment and condo buildings would live up to that standard." The law also does not include the renting out of the entire home - only a portion of it, such as a bedroom or two.
The law requires that the renter file for a permit from the city, which will cost $180 per year. The owners of the property must live on-site for at least nine months a year, limit the length of stays to less than 30 days, and agree to 1) inform their neighbors of their rental contracts and 2) allow for safety inspections by the city. The owners of the home get to keep the profits of their rentals, minus an 11.5% occupancy tax that is collected and paid to the city by the rental agency (AirBnb, for example).
Well, another year, another HotelChatter Cocktail Week comes to a close, except that this year we had so much to share it became Cocktail Weeks, as in two. And since you’ve shown such an unquenchable thirst for all things cocktail, we’re going to keep sharing the cocktail love by including at least one cocktail story a week so that you can keep that “spirit” alive. (We just keep coming up with this stuff.)
As a farewell ode to official Cocktail Week, here’s a roundup with links so that you can catch what you may have missed.
Hotel Cocktail Week / Hotel Cocktails / Hotel Bars / Hotel Trends / New York Hotels / Atlantic City Hotels / Boutique Hotels / → All Tags
It's no secret that we love drinking in hotels here at HotelChatter. In fact, hotels might be our favorite "local." So all this week and next, we'll be pouring out some drinks for you during our second Hotel Cocktail Week(s) -- newly-expanded because there’s just so many drinks to share. We'll be posting quirky cocktails, boozy trends, unique menus and even recipes so you can recreate your favorite hotel drink at home. We expect everyone will be getting a bit tipsy over the next couple of weeks! But don't forget to tip your bartenders, in this case, us.
Tea-infused cocktails have been very “in” the past couple of years, and they still are, but now there’s something for all us coffee lovers to enjoy apart from the after-dinner Spanish Coffee: iced coffee cocktails. So kick start your day or night with one of these caffeine-spiked cocktails when your energy starts to wane.
The New York Palace’s team at their French pastry shop, Pomme Palais, teamed up with illy’s Master Barista, Giorgio Milos, to create a cold brew using illy’s single origin Mono Arabica Coffee from Brazil. In honor of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the hotel combined this exclusive cold brew with cachaça to create an idyllic summer cocktail that couldn’t be simpler to make.
The Brewzilian at Trouble’s Trust and Tavern on 51 at The New York Palace
4 oz cold brew
3 oz coconut water
1 oz cachaça
1/2 oz coconut syrup
Combine cold brew, coconut water, cachaça and coconut syrup in a shaker and pour over ice. Garnish with fresh coconut.
Cost to drink: $19
Cost to sleep it off: $493
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As Week 1 of HotelChatter Cocktail Week(s) wraps up, here's a run-down of some of the nifty things we see going on in the world of hotel bars and bevvies. What do you see goin’ on out there? Let us know in the comments below!
There’s so Much More to Syrup Than Maple –
If you’re into cocktails there’s a pretty good chance you’ve made your own simple syrup but these hotels are going beyond the norm and creating some pretty exotic specialty syrups.
At Fifteen Beacon’s Mooo (a Preferred Hotel) they make all of their syrup’s in-house, but we particularly liked the sound of the House made Celery Lemongrass Syrup that they use in their Celery 75 cocktail, made with Berkshire Greylock gin, Prosecco, strawberry, and the syrup, of course.
Cost to imbibe: $14
Cost to stay at the hotel 'cause you've imbibed: Starts at $479
And here’s an exotic beauty from the W Bangkok: the Chor Muang cocktail. You have absolutely no hope of making this drink at home since it’s made with Butterfly Pea Flower House Made Syrup – a flower that has become so rare that it’s difficult to find it in Thai markets. This elusive ingredient, however, makes it popular with guests who want something authentically Thai, and with locals who want the same. Other ingredients in this cocktail include Butterfly Flower-infused raspberry vodka, lime juice, and it’s garnished with – here we go – a 24-carat gold dust-dipped Butterfly Flower.
Cost to imbibe: THB $275 ($9)
Cost to stay at the hotel 'cause you've imbibed: Starts at THB 4,788 ($150)
Yesterday, we highlighted a new budget hotel that proves unique design doesn't have to come with a high price tag. One of the most impressive aspects of the room was the bed, which featured a "raised" end, shown in the photo above.
When we talked about how hotel rooms might change in the future, one of the topics of discussion was space, most simply how to create more of it. Whether or not you unpack, the decision about where to put your suitcase is always an interesting one, solutions ranging from jamming it into a small closet or leaving it on the floor so you trip on it in the middle of the night.
Upon seeing the photo above of the new room design at Prizeotel, our first thought was about how useful it would be if we could put things under the bed, if we could just slide our bag under it. Maybe this is the classic "build vertical" solution to space saving: Create a horizontal storage space under the bed just like the one in the photo. It would certainly be an accessible way to keep things out of sight.
Then, the belief that closets should be removed from hotel rooms would start to sound more feasible.
Is that our Facebook page you keep looking at?
Last week, we let you know that hotels want to text us. If that seemed a little intrusive to you, then look away now.
We've heard a few times recently that hotels are Googling you and checking out your social media profiles before your stay. Hmmm....on the one hand, we don't think that's too bad. The hotel is just trying to get a good idea of who we are, what we like and what we look like. Not every hotel can have a dedicated personal assistant so this is a good way to fill in that hole.
On the other hand,
most of the time sometimes we like the anonymity of hotels that provide. Sure, the front desk will always know our name and our address after we check-in as well as our room number but at least they won't know where we work, went to school, who our friends are or that we spent an hour watching One Direction videos on YouTube yesterday. (Um, for "research.")
Then again, this is the world we live in today--where anyone can find out a reasonable amount about your life with a few quick clicks. So if you're wary of hotels
stalking looking you up, then be careful about what you put out there.
What do you think--should hotels be researching who you are before your stay or should they just aim to be "pleasantly surprised" by you? Sound off in comments below!
Hotel News / Hotel Trends / Boutique Hotels / Ian Schrager / LE Miami / Trade Shows / Luxury Hotels / Design Hotels / Ace Hotels / → All Tags
"Traditional luxury belongs to the past." This is the epiphany that led Serge Dive and Sarah Ball (both of travel media company Beyond Luxury) to launch a trade show that would shake up the luxury travel market. Their vision for LE Miami was that it would be ‘more than just a trade show;’ an annual forum that would "literally define the contemporary travel industry ... your year-round source for the contemporary travel evolution."
The show's inaugural event took place over four days in June. In between the awards, the parties and the meetings, a couple of key events stood out: the "Ministry of Ideas," which featured speakers including Seth Godin and Ian Schrager talking on the theme 'Be Creative, Create', "and the Leadership Lab a conversation between 11 key influencers, including Claus Sendlinger of Design Hotels; Grupo Habita's Carlos Couturier, Priya Paul of Park Hotels and Ace Hotel president Brad Wilson, that discussed the topics bringing about the shift in luxury and the heightened influence of the "creative class. The results were recorded and you can now read the full report here.
Hotels have always used different methods for naming their properties--perhaps they were inspired by the view out the window, or wanted to convey a feeling the hotel will give guests or they want to use something practical like the hotel's address. And of course, some naming methods aren't very inspiring or practical. Hotels often take the last name of the owner and slap it on the building (Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, etc.)
But in the past decade, boutique and budget hotels have gone much the same way of nightclubs and restaurants by using only one word to name their property. Ace, Andaz, Edition, Aloft, Element, Public, Tune, Mondrian, Indigo, Even, etc. And now we're noticing another new trend amongst boutique hotels--manly names. Case in point:
· The Roger in NYC, complete with a bow tie logo and shaving essentials in the toiletry kits.
· The Godfrey (opening in Chicago next year)
· The William (opening in NYC soon)
· The Archer (opening in NYC early next year)
· The Marlton in NYC
̭ The Alexander in Indianapolis
· Tomie Hotels (the new spin-off brand to Thompson Hotels)
Know of more manly hotel names that are en vogue for hotels? Contribute them in comments below!
One thing we've noticed over the past few years of travel is how the hotel bathroom is becoming more and more like a mini-spa at certain locations, going beyond the white bar of soap and terse wash rags to offer plush amenities, such as spa benches in the shower and fancy designer toiletries.
And it's not just about soap and cream. Bathrobes, flowers, candles, rainshowers, jacuzzi tubs, televisons... we've seen the whole deal, and guess what? We like it! Hell, we even know that it is possible to create a steam room/shower combination, so the sky is the limit. In our mind, a "personal spa" is a great way for hotels without spas to gain some ground on those that have in-house spa facilities.
Obviously, we don't expect this type of treatment from Motel 6, but would it be wrong to suggest that most mid-range to luxury hotels should focus on making the bathroom more than just a place to brush your teeth? Even business travelers would probably appreciate it after a long day of meetings, no?
If you're feeling a little, um, gross after last week's Hotel Cocktail Week, we've got just the remedy for you--juicing..
Yes, juicing is the latest health craze and these Los Angeles hotels are already on top of it. Here's where you can cleanse out your system from last night's binge.
· Greens 2 – Kale, spinach, romaine, Parsley, Cucumber, Celery, Apple and Lemon
· Roots 3 – Beet, apple, lemon and ginger
· Roots 4 – Carrot, Apple and ginger
· Citrus 4 – Cucumber, Pineapple, Lemon, Coconut water, and Aloe vera
· Watermelon Mint
· 8 oz Almond Vanilla milk
MONDRIAN WEST HOLLYWOOD: The chic Sunset hotel has introduced a new Grab N Go menu with freshly squeezed juices on it like the Caribbean Zinger, made with carrot, orange, lemon and ginger. The menu is also serving smoothies like the Singapore Burst made with fresh whole berries, banana, almond nut milk, and a little agave nectar. Juices cost $9 while smoothies are $12 and can be ordered from the new lobby bar or from room service.
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As the grand finale to cocktail week here's a round-up of some of the nifty things we see going on in the world of hotel bars and bevvies. What do you see goin’ on out there? Let us know!
A salad in every sip: Complementing the trend we told you about in our What’s Out, What’s In column where the drink IS the meal, we’re finding that crafty mixologists are making our drinks a wee bit healthier and sneaking veggies into them to make sure that we’re getting all of our daily recommended vitamins.
Splashes at Surf and Sand Resort in Laguna Beach has a VegGin’ on the Rocks made with Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin, agave nectar (which is said to have a low glycemic index, BTW, which means your blood sugar won’t spike), lime juice, and baby arugula–-all muddled together and topped with house made soda water. You can really taste the goodness.
The Fairmont Chicago’s Green Goose Cocktail features a trio of super foods: kale, celery and granny smith apples. The juiced greens are mixed with Grey Goose, fresh lime juice, chartreuse, and simple syrup for a nutrient-filled flavor explosion.
The appropriately-named Salad Cocktail from the Shangri-La Hotel Toronto is a heart-healthy concoction of juiced celery, spinach, beet, apple and pear combined with 1.5 oz of gin. To top it off, it’s garnished with sherry vinaigrette soaked raspberries and sous vide beets and crisp romaine leaves. We’re getting into the realm of “drink as dinner” with this one.
At Caesars Entertainment Resorts and Casinos in Atlantic City you can find the savoury Red Pepper Margarita–-a mix of red pepper juice, jalapeno rings, five-spice simple syrup and tequila with a smoked salt rimmed glass. Next trend below!