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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!
Renovations and openings are always fun to follow when it comes to the hotel industry, but it's the hotel news in regards to policies, trends, offerings and services that have the lasting impact beyond basic eye candy. This summer, we've seen some surprising changes begin to take place, the culmination of a few years of consumer feedback brewing behind the scenes.
The industry was shocked when properties in New York announced they would discontinue room service, and the idea of doing away with overpriced mini bars has been met with mixed emotions. We’ve also seen hotels begin to entertain the idea of 24-hour stays, allowing guests a full day’s access to the room from the time they check in.
Like packing before a trip, dismantling your suitcase upon arrival at the hotel is a mixed bag of emotions. On one hand, it's exciting. On the other, it's a pain in the ass and delays the start of your vacation. Which is exactly why it's becoming less common. When we dished about how the hotel rooms of the future might change, the usefulness of a closet was one of the first things called into question.
But what would you say if we told you someone could take care of it for you? That someone unpacking and re-packing your bags was a perk of the hotel? This isn't a mainstream concept (yet?), but we do find it offered at upscale hotels from time to time. We must admit: it seems foreign to us. Do luxury travelers really let someone else unpack and pack their bags?
Hotel News / Hotel Trends / United Kingdom Hotels / Scotland Hotels / Gleneagles / Teen Rooms / → All Tags
While Marriott Hotels is hiring their own teen concierges, one hotel in Scotland is offering hotel rooms, especially for teens.
As everyone can probably remember, traveling with your family as a teenager was an interesting experience. If you're anything like this contributor, you loved traveling and all the things that came along with a parentally-funded vacation, except maybe having to bunk up with them in the same room for a couple days. By the time you're 13, sharing a bed with your 8-year-old sister has long lost whatever shine it could have possibly once had.
Well, the Glenagles Hotel in Scotland is wondering if it just might have found the solution to appease such troubled teens with their new concept of "teen rooms" -- rooms designed to accommodate a teenager traveling with this family.
The hotel said that they have launched the teen rooms in response to the steady stream of teen-oriented families that frequent the hotel. The room are "separate but near" the parent's room and are hooked up with the latest teen technology, including Playstations, iPod docks, etc. As you can see in the photo below, they don't look like anything flashy, just a simple "attic-like" space for the teens to crawl into.
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What's the likelihood that you haven't heard the word "cronut" like every day it seems for the past two months? We have and finally had to figure out just what in fresh hell did it mean. Every reference seemed to accompany photos of people waiting in extraordinary lines forming at dawn (with some folks sleeping on the ground) waiting for…something. Well, that something is apparently the newest pastry sensation to hit this side of the Atlantic. The "cronut" is a cross between a donut and a croissant and was invented by New York pastry shop owner Dominique Ansel.
Sugar freaks went wild over the things and soon Ansel found himself with a cult following, so he quickly trademarked the name and began serving just 300 of the delicacies a day to the masses. Hence the crazy lines for a treat that changes flavor each month. Coming up in August? It's a toss up between coconut and passion fruit. Mr. Ansel hasn't made up his mind, yet.
Naturally copycats came out the woodwork, but found they couldn't exactly use the word "cronut". But that didn't stop them from capitalizing on the concept. Now there's "doughssants" at the West Town Bakery in Chicago's Acme Hotel. Chris Teixeira, owner of the bakery and former pastry chef de partie at Sixteen at Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago, began making his pastries just a few weeks ago with a few flavors, chocolate-raspberry, blueberry-lavender and coffee-cream cheese and he has plans to roll out more blends. They cost just $3.50 each, compared to the $5 New York cronut.
But like everything else, eventually a bit of a pastry war started, with other chefs challenging the cronut creator! So who's got the best baked good now?
Hotel News / Hotel Trends / New Jersey Hotels / Jersey Shore Hotels / Cape May Hotels / Bed and Breakfasts / → All Tags
A few weeks ago, we visited the southern-most beach town of the Jersey Shore, Cape May, located at Exit Zero of the Garden State Parkway. Unfortunately, the words “Jersey Shore” have been heavily tainted in recent years, so we must first ask that you get all that bad imagery out of your head.
Cape May is far from the obnoxious Jersey boardwalk scene you’ve seen on television. It boasts great seafood, raw bars, wineries, campgrounds, beach bars, and the second-highest concentration of Victorian buildings behind only San Francisco – most of which house bed and breakfasts.
During our visit, we spent the night at the Blue Rose Inn, one of the newest B & Bs in town. We chose them not only because they recently opened at the beginning of the summer season, but because they are putting a new spin on the B & B concept, one we think other future inn owners might want to consider.
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What’s Out: Chocolates on your pillow
What’s In: Over the top, fun and experiential turn-down services
Everyone loves coming back to their room after a nice dinner out to find that little chocolate sitting on their pillow, right? If you like that, though, you’re going to love this. Some hotels are going out of their way to make sure that you have really sweet dreams with these OTT nighty-night rituals.
Hotel Vermont offers a special “bedtime menu” that includes such delights as a selection of Vermont flannel pyjamas to snuggle up in on a brisk night, local Lunaroma aromatherapy products from which you can choose, a Vermont teddy bear (your choice of six) to sleep with or take home, a selection of bedtime stories for the little ones, a locally-inspired Hot Toddy selection, and 10-15 minute in-room meditation sessions via TV or download.
In Fairmont Gold rooms at Boston’s Fairmont Battery Wharf, you get a message in a bottle with top things to do in Boston during that particular time of the year.
Four Points by Sheraton Los Angeles International Airport is more than an ordinary airport hotel. It’s known by some to be the original beer hotel and has an enormous beer selection featuring over 100 beers, a poolside bar dedicated solely to local beers, monthly beer appreciation nights and it even has a Beer Advisory Board and a Director of Brewer Relations. If all of that beer surrounding you has made you thirsty for more, you can order a Beer Club Package that includes stocking the in-room mini fridge with your choice of three of your favorite beers and a nightly beer turndown with souvenir glass.
Three more hotels with bedtime treats follow!
Hotel Ads / Westin Hotels / Hotel Trickery / Hotel Marketing / Hotel Trends / Hotel News / → All Tags
And we thought the mere possibility of hotels using our internet connections to advertise was scary. It could be way more offensive than that. Imagine waking up in the morning to brush your teeth and an ad greets you from that bathroom mirror? According to Arthur Frommer Online, that's what happened to one guest at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in downtown Los Angeles. Frommer editor Jason Cochran writes;
L.A. is currently hosting E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, a huge trade conference in which all the major gaming systems jockey for attention. Apparently Microsoft's XBox thought it would pay Starwood Hotels' Westin to make sure its ads couldn't possibly be missed by its guests — and Westin agreed to sell mirror space to advertisers.
Is this a frontier too far for a hotel chain? I'd say yes. Perhaps the hotels have forgotten that we already pay them for rooms. This week standard rooms at the Westin Bonaventure are going for $350.
We have to agree, especially when you're paying upwards of $300 for a room. It actually feels criminal.
Over the past few years, we've seen a variety of attempts by charities to grab the loose change from people's pockets--the most common example being the option to round up to the nearest dollar and donate the difference at the grocery store checkout. But this trend is also spreading to the travel industry.
Airlines have gotten on board, both on-site and in the booking process. Jaunted reported in April that UNICEF's "Change for Good" charity campaign would ask travelers for their excess change at the end of a flight, and you can now also "round up" when purchasing a ticket on certain airlines.
So naturally, we can't help but wonder if hotels will get on board too. We've seen some hotels here and there donating a portion of the room rate to a specific charity cause but that only happens if a guest books a specific package that mentions the donation. And the donation is usually only offered for a short period of time. Yet what if hotels began taking a small percentage of the room rate--all the time, on every booking, no matter what--and gave that to charity?
Hotel Trends / Hotel Spas / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Orlando Hotels / New York Hotels / Hilton Hotels / Capri Hotels / Italy Hotels / Shangri-La Hotels / Thailand Hotels / San Diego Hotels / → All Tags
We've started a series of what’s trending in hotels these days: What’s Out, What’s In. Do we like what we see? Think it's a dud? You be the judge!
What's Out: Farm-to-table concepts at restaurants
What's In: Farm-to-table concepts at spas
With “natural” and “local” now part of the modern lexicon for restaurants, hotels have decided that it’s not just your tummy that should get all that organic goodness. We present to you... (drumroll please) farm-to-face.
A Relais & Chateaux Resort, the Hotel Caesar Augustus is perched on a cliff on the languid isle of Capri. In this idyllic setting you can find an equally idyllic spa garden. The goods from the garden - infusions made with the oils from basil, sage, rosemary, and marjoram as well as lemons and oranges - can be used in various massage treatments they offer at the hotel. The truly wonderful thing is that the massages can take place in the midst of all of those blooming orange and lemon blossoms.
The Guerlain Spa at the Waldorf Astoria New York is launching a “Milk, Honey and Herb” Mani and Pedi using its own “Top of the Waldorf Rooftop Honey” from six beehives installed on the 20th floor roof. The unguents and creams also include herbs grown from the hotel’s newly-installed rooftop garden and, while you’re waxing poetic about the treatment, you can sip on the hotel’s signature Wax Poetic cocktail featuring the house-made honey.
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The sun is shining, the water’s warm and a girl needs a chi-chi bag that’ll be able to keep up with her stylin’ swimsuit. These three hotels make it easy for you to do just that and here’s how to get your hands on 'em.
If you’re a Starwood SPG member, this is your lucky day. Starwood has partnered with kate spade new york to come up with a line of beach totes inspired by four categories in the SPG Members' Favorite Resorts List: Best Spa Indulgence, Most Romantic Retreat, Best Island Paradise, and Best Golf Getaway. Each tote has its own punchy phrase, matched with its own punchy color, that represents each category. The bags are available at kate spade new york boutiques or online for $199. You can also enter the “Off We Go” contest until June 6 to win a trip to a Starwood resort along with a choice collection of kate spade goodies.
Hotel Trends / Hotel Workouts / Hotel Gyms / Dorchester Collection / London Hotels / Europe Hotels / Raffles Hotels / Westin Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Starwood / San Diego Hotels / California Hotels / Swissotels / → All Tags
We've started a series of what’s trending in hotels these days: What’s Out, What’s In. Do we like what we see? Think it's a dud? You be the judge!
What's Out: Trekking to the hotel gym
What's In: In-room workouts that rival a personal training session
The hotel gym. We know people use ‘em, but sometimes it’s hard to find that last bit of energy needed to drag yourself out of your room after a busy day of sightseeing or making deals. Or maybe you’re just jet-lagged and are up at 3 a.m. thinking, “Man – I could really go for a workout right now.” At these hotels, the gym comes to you.
Dorchester Collection’s new contemporary hotel 45 Park Lane in London offers you an exclusive in-room workout with fitness guru and trainer to the stars, Matt Roberts, through a bespoke and full-body in-room video program. The hotel committed to get fit during the London Olympics and got Matt to create five workouts, each video focusing on a different area of the body using the furniture at hand. (We’re not suggesting they’re copying us here at HC, but sort of like our Sweat-Worthy Hotel Room Exercises series we brought you about a month or so ago.)
When you leave you’ll also get a freebie Matt at 45 Park Lane Fitness Pack which includes step-by-step training techniques for beginners through pros, a healthy eating plan, and “in the know” tips from the trainer -- things only Matt Roberts and Naomi Campbell knew till now.
At Raffles Praslin Seychelles space is your friend if you want to have an in-room workout. In the privacy of your own 410 sq ft (minimum) villa, with a vast outdoor terrace looking out over the ocean, you can do as many Sun Salutations as you want without bumping into the furniture. All villas already include a yoga mat and, at your mere request, the resort will deliver a fitness kit consisting of a dumbbell set, skipping rope, stability ball, resistance band and a selection of exercise DVDs. If that’s not enough to get you going you can arrange for an in-room personal trainer to take you through your paces with a customized exercise program.
And don't forget, HotelChatter's Sweat-Worthy Workouts: Can't afford to hire a personal trainer to come to your room? Or more likely, are you staying in a property that doesn't have a gym or in-room fitness videos? We've got you covered with our five sweat-worthy workouts, all of which you can do in your hotel room. Watch the videos for instructions on the different body parts to work out. You're very welcome!
Two more fitness-crazed hotels below!