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Google Glass Hotels / Google Glass / House Hotels / Istanbul Hotels / Killer View / Hotel Views / → All Tags
That view from the Penthouse
Focus on the positive. Focus on the positive. Focus on the positive. Ok… It’s great that a hotel is trying something new. We're all about hotel technology.
Time for the negative. By “trying something new” we mean posting a video of your hotel experience via Google Glass.
House Hotels, possibly our favorite chain in Istanbul, is pimping its newest property, Vault Karaköy, by way of this video. Not sure why they’ve picked on this one to endure the Glass treatment – possibly because Karaköy is Istanbul’s trendiest nabe – but for us, at least, it’s not conquering our Glass misgivings.
On the plus side, the hotel – which opened in March in an old bank facing the Galata Bridge – looks stunning, and the staff look suitably bashful in the face of Google Glass (0:18). So let’s focus on what’s to love: an old-style cage elevator (0:21), a whopping breakfast buffet (0:34), some lovely (original?) tiling (0:39) and a bathroom with a seriously OMG view (1:11).
Killer View / Panama Hotels / Westin Hotels / Hotel Views / Hotel Bathrooms / Hotel Balconies / Starwood Hotels / → All Tags
You're checking into your hotel. You're tired from the trip, yet excited to be somewhere new, yet disoriented by the unfamiliar scenery—often all at once. Without your wits about you, how are you supposed to determine which side of the building to request to get the best room view? Well, in the case of Westin Playa Bonita, let us point you in the right direction: between two options (Rainforest view and Ocean view), always, always pick the Ocean view.
We were lucky enough to get given a room with an Ocean view right off the bat. And sure enough, one of the first things we did upon entering our room was rush over to our balcony, slide open the door, and gush for a good five minutes (to ourselves) about how amazing the view was.
Facing south, the Ocean view side of the building looks straight at the Pacific. From here, you can see islands in the distance, watch the sun rise and set, and even spot ships queuing up to cross the Panama Canal.
What Is This / Hotel Furniture / Hotel Views / Omni Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Windows / Hotel Safety / → All Tags
We like to keep it fun but informative here at HotelChatter so our newest series, What is This? is devoted to odd-looking items in hotel rooms that upon first glance look as if they serve only a decorative purpose. But everything happens for a reason, right? And we're here to tell you what these things really do.
It took us a while to figure out what the heck this miniature doodad was, though several factors in the room (a malfunctioning safe, for one) distracted us from the mystery at hand. And anyway, the Omni Berkshire Place is a pretty classy joint, so we weren't about to throw a tantrum when we had delicious cocktails and pink-accented bathrooms to enjoy.
But it turns out it's not so much what this thing does than what it stops from happening.
Too cryptic? Click below to see what we mean.
It’s been a while since we wrote about it, and it was our first visit, so we were hyper excited to get a Groupon for afternoon tea there.
The tea itself was pretty unimpressive, but what was awesome was the view – which, presumably, the Verta shares. We were overlooking Wandsworth Bridge, opposite Chelsea Harbour, and although we couldn’t see all the way east to the Houses of Parliament, it was a gorgeous setting.
The highlight? When helicopters came in to land, just to the left of the tea room. It happened a few times during our tea, and it didn’t get boring once.
Once upon a time, The Surrey touted itself as the only rooftop bar on the Upper East Side (excluding the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is, after all, a museum. And therefore doesn't qualify). But since early June, a rooftop bar on top of the Hotel Wales has laid waste to that claim, creating some much-needed competition for the upscale 'hood.
The above shot of Carnegie View, as the bar is officially known, illustrates exactly what we like so much about uptown hotel rooftops: no overbearing skyscrapers, awesome sunsets, and views of the famed Central Park reservoir. And maybe, if we're lucky, a shot of wheatgrass?
Don't worry, nobody else knows what the numbers mean either
Ever noticed that giant weird screen of numbers above the Best Buy store in Union Square? It's a clock. Yeah, we were a little surprised too. And for the past year, any W Union Square room with a park-facing view has been confronted with lies, lies, lies, because the clock, which has notoriously confused passersby for years, was consistently telling the wrong time.
Check out this picture we took from room 2112, a south-facing "Mega" room (Mega ranks third in a total of six categories) which looks directly at the rapidly-flashing numbers. Not that any hotel guest would ever complain (it's not the W's job to launch into questionable public art initiatives—or is it?). But surely it's better to have a weird confusing clock-thing that works as opposed to one that doesn't?
Hotel Rooftops / Hotel Bars / Hotel Drinking / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Hype / Hotel Views / → All Tags
Last week, we did our best to present the best of New York City's hotel rooftop bars (and some non-rooftop spaces as well). But this being New York, there were inevitably a few we couldn't quite get to. And, we don't want anyone—are you listening, Alan Philips?—feeling left out. So, without further ado, here is our supplement to the Top Ten Hotel Rooftop Bars in New York City, part deux.
From Guess the Breakfast to Guess the View. That’s right, we can’t get enough of our Guess the Hotel game this week. All of our savvy readers with the right answers inspire us to keep trying to stump everyone. Today’s installment, however, has a big fat hint built right into the photo. But if the Empire State Building reflection ain’t enough, we’ll give you a few more clues and then you it’s over to you.
- This is a new hotel in Manhattan (well, duh.)
- A room here tomorrow night is in the $300 range.
- One of the budget brands from a big hotel chain also has a new hotel just a few doors down.
- The hotel’s restaurant is not open yet but it has the same name as a popular restaurant in Miami.
Think you know what it is? Over to you—put in your guesses in the comments below.
Often in New York City hotels, views are non-existent, or they’re of the poor suckers in the apartment building across the street. So when we get a chance to gaze out across the city—or even New Jersey!—we are much happier campers. Which is why we were thrilled to see these photos of the view from the InterContinental Times Square, opening in July 2010.
When we last checked in on the hotel’s progress, there were just renderings of the tower. We’ve got nothing against renderings, but you can't beat seeing a building in living color—or even in muted grays like in these shots taken on an overcast day in Manhattan. The photos come courtesy of InterContinental’s Facebook page—which we applaud. Hotels and chains using Facebook and Twitter to give us sneak peeks at upcoming properties or new promotions is definitely a trend we support.
You know how they charge a bit more for the rooms with a good view? There's one way to solve this dilemma and get no complaints about it, although it's a pretty hi-tech solution: build a rotating hotel. That's exactly what they're planning in Croatia where some spinning accommodation will be built on Šolta Island, near the city of Split.
But don't worry, it's not turning at a rate likely to make you dizzy. The design has it rotating 1.3 times per day, barely fast enough to notice at all, and at the right pace so that if you stay a few days, you'll get a different view at all times of day. It will be just a three-storey hotel and there will be a central hub including the reception, stairs and elevator that won't rotate, so you won't have to look for the front door in a different place each time.
It might seem like a no-brainer that people prefer staying in a hotel room on the highest floor possible to get a killer view, especially when trapped amongst skyscrapers in a big city.
And if you're the competitive type, staying on a high floor makes you feel as if you have an advantage over the other guests. "Oh you're on 18? Too bad, I'm on 32. Boo-ya!" You know how some people think.
Yet there are guests who may roll VIP-style but actually prefer a lower floor to the penthouse suite on the top floor (see: Richard Gere in Pretty Woman) It's true, not everyone wants to stay way up there. Do you?
Last week, while in San Francisco, we didn't stay at the SOMA Marriott in SF. However, we did hit up the 37th floor, also known as "The View Lounge", for a quick drink before leaving the city. While many locals may tell you the best view of the city is from the Top of the Mark, or the Bank of America building, the truth of the matter is San Francisco's greatest vista is from atop the Marriott.
The Tie Fighter style windows allow you to sit and astonishingly quaff in the sweeping views in every direction. That means you can have a drink on one side of the bar an stare down the Bay Bridge, or head to the other side of the bar and glimpse the Golden Gate. Sunsets are incredible as the light disappears from all sides of the bar as the city lights. Furthermore, drinks are not that expensive.
The SOMA Marriott itself is a conference hotel full of ho-hum rooms and the usual Marriott Flagship wireless policies. However The View Lounge is well worth the price of a drink.