Tag: Hotel Video ToursView All Tags
While hanging out in Park City this week, we spent a few nights right in the heart of town at the The Sky Lodge and got the chance to luxuriate in one of their freestanding waterfall bathtubs...and you know how we love a good bathtub.
Learning all about the Dwayne Wade Fantasy Camp on Friday got us thinking about the mega-playground that is the Fontainebleau, and reminded us that we took a tour of the guest rooms a little while back to share with you.
In case you're still looking for a Memorial Day weekend getaway, rooms like this are still available for $434.25 a night, thanks to a stay four nights, get the fourth night free promotion. (Standard rooms are $336.75 a night.)
On Friday, we told you about the friendly service we encountered at the Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort. But, as we all know, personality is not everything. Looks are what we notice first.
And while Frenchman's Reef looks pretty on the outside, especially in the late afternoon light, the interior could need some work. The hotel knows it, and has just closed part of its property for a $48 million-dollar renovation.
Even better, you can still stay at the resort during the work and not be bothered by construction noise, since the beachfront boutique part of the property--the Morning Star Beach Club--along with the already-renovated Sea Cliff Tower of the main building will stay open.
Rooms in the Sea Cliff tower have great views of the ocean, and the rooms at Morning Star are right on the beach, where you can hear the waves crashing from bed, even if you close your shutters.
Here's a look at the nip/tucks taking place at Frenchman's Reef, and a sneak peek of what you can expect when the rooms re-open on October 1.
HotelChatter Reviews / Hotel Video Tours / Palm Springs Hotels / Renaissance Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Voyage Prive / → All Tags
Yes, we're back in PS. Is there ever any reason not to be? Not when its hotels keep knocking out such awesome deals. The latest we scored: $195 ($226 inc tax) for three nights at the Renaissance Palm Springs, thanks to Voyage Prive. Seeing as rooms are running at $199 a night at the moment – and it’s one of the few hotels in Palms Springs not to have a resort fee, it was an offer we couldn’t refuse.
We had a hellish journey getting in – nine hours for what should have been a four-hour drive from Vegas, thanks to a car that broke down three times en route. The final breakdown, as we were waiting for the tow truck, we called the hotel to warn them that we’d be arriving late. The woman on the phone was sympathetic, told us about a nearby carpark where we could leave our dead car for free rather than paying the $10 hotel charge, and wished us well on our journey. That got us in a good mood for the hotel.
In the end, thanks to the tow truck getting lost and it being past midnight, we dumped the car in the hotel carpark instead, and came in to be told by the lady at check in that she was waiving the parking charge since our car was unusable. Then, when we asked for a nice view, she told us that since we’d had a crappy day, she would upgrade us to a room overlooking the pool. Yes, you could call it an upgrade – we went upstairs to room 4339 and realised that she'd given us a “resort suite” – basically a junior suite with a pool view (standard junior suites look over the mountains).
All this week, HotelChatter contributor Eric Rosen lets us tag along as he explores the wild, far reaches of Australia, visiting some of the most untouched landscapes down under, and bringing you inside looks at some of the continent’s most distinctive hotel experiences.
Since I first read about the Southern Ocean Lodge opening in March 2008 and took a look at the gorgeous settings and fabulous rooms, it’s been at the top of my all-time list of fantasy, must-visit hotels.
Just a couple weeks ago, my wish came true when I was asked to visit on assignment for several travel publications. I flew from Adelaide to Kangaroo Island (about a 20-minute hop) and drove across the island via Seal Bay to the southern coast where the Hanson Bay reserve meets Flinders Chase National Park. There I found the 21-suite lodge perched dramatically along the cliffs among native bushland, and facing the Southern Ocean stretching across to Antarctica.
Hotel Video Tours / HotelChatter Reviews / Photo Gallery / W Hotels / San Francisco Hotels / SOMA hotels / Room Renovations / → All Tags
Long established as one of our least favorite W hotels in the world, this month we returned to W SF to check out the new room designs slash renovations. While this particular W is never going to be able to hide the fact that it was first built to be a Radisson, then switched to a W at the eleventh hour, back in 1999, the latest interior renovations definitely raise the W SF up a couple notches in our book.
The renovations are Asian-femme -- white and pastel-y with plenty of soft touches. No doubt the W brand's glory days began with the launch of W Montreal and ended after the opening of W Hong Kong. Earlier W's like the one in SF and later W's, like the one in Boston, have never met the standards of the 2005 - 2008 era.
Ok, so we know that if we get excited about a hotel before we stay there, it’s going to have a job to live up to expectations. And we know that the very first time we visited San Diego, we saw the Manchester Grand Hyatt plonked right on the water and said “next time, we’re staying there.” Actually, it took our fifth visit to San Diego to stay there, so the expectation was even higher.
So the fact that we were disappointed by our stay once we finally got there is to be expected. But then, when you’re faced with hideosities like this patterned luggage rack that even grandma would think was too twee, or the terrible, cheap pictures on the wall (see the gallery), it’s hard not to be disappointed. And combined with a room that’s just dull, dull dull, it’s even harder.
We snagged a room on Hotwire for $106, when booking through the hotel would have set us back $240. What a bargain, we thought, as we walked through from the self park to the lobby with its sky high roof, murals on the walls and scent of the high life heavy in the air.
And then we got to the front desk, told the guy how excited we were to be there and he just stared at us and said “credit card and ID please”. And when we handed them over, he said in a rather condescending tone, “Ah, you booked on Hotwire.” Squashed.
Killer View / Viva Vegas / Sweet Suites / Autograph Collection Hotels / Hotel Video Tours / → All Tags
Balcony + prettiness = possibly the definition of a killer view
The ultimate room with a view, anyone? Much has been made of the balconies and awesome views on display from the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas since it opened in December (we declared the Terrace Studio we stayed in in January “jaw-dropping”, after all). But much as our collective jaws have dropped every time we’ve set foot in a Cosmo room, or one of the restaurants, or even the pool deck, with its cabanas dangling over the Strip, it wasn’t until we stayed in a Wraparound Terrace Suite that we realized just how, well, sweet the views are.
Whereas the normal rooms have 110 sq ft balconies (and very nice they are too, to be fair), the Wraparounds come with a 480 sq ft terrace wrapping its way (see what they did there?) around the suite. Two sides, one corner. So if, as we did, you nab one looking north, over the Bellagio fountains, this - is what you get.
The view from our first room, 525
As you may have noticed, we’ve been on a very pleasant mission the last few weeks of bulking up our portfolio of Palm Springs hotel stays. We’ve always preferred boutique in PS, but this past weekend we (ok our budget) opted for some chain resorts. Thus it was that $79 thrown in Hotwire's direction found us driving up the palm-lined pathway to the Westin Mission Hills Resort last Friday night. Here’s what we found.
The carpark was a slight walk away from reception, but the charming valet team allowed us to leave our car up front as we checked in: gold star. We walked through a series of beautiful archways with sculptures and fountains to reception: gold star. Reception itself was stylish: gold star.
And then we were checked in by a lady who couldn’t have seemed less interested in us if she’d tried (no attempt at charm, no rundown of the resort fee, no enquiries as to our room preferences – but she was kinda intimidating so we didn’t dare voice our own). A gold star disappeared. Worse still, when it came to navigating to our room, we realised we were in the building beside the carpark. Another gold star disintegrated.
And the room itself – 525 – made us break out the negative gold stars. For a start, it was clearly one of the worst rooms on the property: ground floor, gloomy lighting and a view consisting of the carpark and, behind it, the main highway. There was a lengthy notice about the importance of safety and security on property left prominently in front of the TV, which put the wind up us, seeing as we were a) female and b) traveling alone. Oh, and it stank like it hadn’t been aired in a couple months. We returned to reception to see if they could do better.
Hotel Boats / Hotel Video Tours / Palm Springs Hotels / JW Marriott Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Priceline / → All Tags
We've heard of water features in the lobby, but this takes the biscuit… a full on harbor with boats available for guests. Amazing! In fact, as heavyweight Vegas connoisseurs, we thought we'd seen all the ostentatious look-at-me posing a hotel could do - but then, this weekend, we checked into the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Desert.
Yes, we probably should have guessed something special was on the cards from the flock of flamingos in the palm tree lined drive on arrival. And we'd seen the huge waterway with vaporetto-style boats on the website. But nothing prepared us for the vision that was the boat dock in the lobby.
Yup, there's a mini harbor as part of the massive lobby, with a bar looking over it. And the boats are at your disposal! Hotel guests can catch a free ride between 3-6pm every day or, come the evening, you'll be chauffeured to the restaurant of your choice. It's kind of like how we imagined the Venetian in Vegas would be, until we realized those gondolas are only for paying customers and your $16 scores you a boring little five minute trip on a ride to nowhere. These boats have a purpose, and that purpose is awesomeness.
Hotel Video Tours / Hotel Coffee / In-Room Coffee Makers / Phoenix Hotels / Hotel Amenities / Casino Hotels / Caesars Entertainment Hotels / → All Tags
Aint nothing like a cup of coffee in the morning before you put your face on, which is why we were delighted to find a coffee maker in our room at Harrah’s Ak-Chin in Phoenix this week. Just one problem – it’s placed in the bathroom, and that’s every bit as gross as using the phone on the can, no?
Hygiene matters and torturously slow (albeit free) WiFi aside, we’re extremely pleasantly surprised by our room here. Having slept our way through most of the Harrah’s properties in Vegas, Tunica and New Orleans, we assume most standard casino rooms will be pretty grim, but this is actually pretty damn nice. Take a look.
HotelChatter Reviews / Hotel Video Tours / Palm Springs Hotels / Boutique Hotels / Palm Springs Hotel Reviews / Starwood Hotels / → All Tags
You know where we’d rather be on this chilly, depressing Wednesday? In Palm Springs, that’s where. Specifically, at The Parker Palm Springs. Yes, it’s been a while since we tantalized you by telling you our stay at the Parker beat our night at the Colony Palms, so in a bid to liven up your hump day, we’re giving you the lowdown on the Parker.
We scored an awesome deal (well, actually, our mom scored it, since it was her Christmas present to us): rooms over our dates started at $189, but with the Spa Junkie package we got a room and $200 spa credit for $199 (though with tax and resort fee it came to $261 a night). Here’s what it got us.