Tag: HotelChatter 2009 Awards

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HotelChatter 2009 Awards Epilogue

December 31, 2009 at 2:46 PM | by | Comments (0)

Thanks for joining us on the last day of 2009 for our 2009 HotelChatter Year-End Awards. A big, big shout-out to all the Hotel Mavens out there who have contributed to our site with their reviews, photos and comments this year. We couldn't have done it all without you. Keep it up in 2010!

As always, there are at least four ways to contribute:

·Become a HotelChatter member and submit stories, releasing your inner travel writer.
·Become a HotelChatter member, comment on stories, and review hotels.
·Send us snapshots of your favorite and least favorite hotels.
·Shoot us an email tip.

Now for your viewing enjoyment, here is our complete list of winners. We will be back in full effect on Monday to kick-off the new year of stories.

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Best Hotel Scene: Long Live Las Vegas

December 31, 2009 at 2:12 PM | by | Comments (0)

The Strip has seen from the Mandarin Bar at the Mandarin Oriental

It's what you've been waiting all year for--The 2009 HotelChatter Awards! We'll be bringing you the best and worst of the year (and the decade) all day today and part of tomorrow. Agree or disagree with our picks? Air your thoughts in comments below.

The year started off bleak for Las Vegas--at least from a tourism industry perspective. But for travelers, it was awesome! The room rates on the Strip dropped to unbelievable prices, even on the weekends, and we couldn't create a hotel deals list without including Vegas on it somewhere.

If you found your travel budget slashed in any way and that big trip to NYC or Hollywood or even Europe was just too expensive, you knew you could still get a great deal in Vegas as not only room rates were dropping but hotels were throwing in dining credits, spa discounts, show tickets and even gambling credits. It was practically a free for all in Sin City.

Of course, it didn't last and things began to level out again by the summer but room rates in Vegas are still much, much lower than they were at the start of 2008. And resort credits are still very much alive.

However, we're loving Vegas for a whole new reason in 2010 (and it's not because of our new baby sibling, VegasChatter.com, although that helps!)

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People's Choice Award: The Standard New York

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 848 Washington Street [map], New York, ny, United States, 10014
December 31, 2009 at 1:41 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's what you've been waiting all year for--The 2009 HotelChatter Awards! We'll be bringing you the best and worst of the year (and the decade) all day today and part of tomorrow. Agree or disagree with our picks? Air your thoughts in comments below.

After reading the last award for Hotelier of the Year, it's no surprise that this year's People's Choice Award is The Standard NYC.

Whether it was the man candy opening the doors, admiring the stunning room views, looking at the boldfaced names that graced the Boom Boom Room or catching up on the latest in the "Who Got Naked at The Standard?" saga, you guys just couldn't get enough of this hotel, as it was the most viewed hotel page of 2009.

We stayed here right around when it first opened and here are some of our initial thoughts on the place.

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Hotelier of The Year: Andre Balazs Brought 'SexyBack'

December 31, 2009 at 1:23 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's what you've been waiting all year for--The 2009 HotelChatter Awards! We'll be bringing you the best and worst of the year (and the decade) all day today and part of tomorrow. Agree or disagree with our picks? Air your thoughts in comments below.

This year, we spent a lot of one-on-one time with hoteliers in our Pitch Your Hotel series. And we fully intend to traipse the world again filming these hoteliers, general managers and other executives in 2010.

But there's one hotelier we met who, even though we didn't get him on camera, that tops the rest-- Andre Balazs.

It was a rainy day early this June and we were stalking the Standard NYC's Standard Grill restaurant when we noticed AB himself walking around outside. So after some more stalking and some phone calls, we were able to get a first-hand tour of the restaurant from AB, who told us all about his visions for both the restaurant and the hotel.

Now, we know what you might be thinking--that we only picked Andre Balazs because he's so good-looking or something silly and superficial like that. But you see, 2009 was a big year for AB.

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The Worst Hotel Stories of The Decade

December 31, 2009 at 12:35 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's what you've been waiting all year for--The 2009 HotelChatter Awards! We'll be bringing you the best and worst of the year (and the decade) all day today and part of tomorrow. Agree or disagree with our picks? Air your thoughts in comments below.

Yes, we're doing a Decade List. By now, you're probably sick of them but hey, ours is all about hotels--not just Britney Spears, George Bush and the iPhone.

And now, it's time for the Worst of the Decade. It's always easy to dwell on the negative and in these heady days of blogging, Twittering and Facebooking, everyone's a hotel critic. But these stories stood out as the worst for us. Don't forget to add your own "Worsts" in comments below.

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The Best Hotel Stories of The Decade

December 31, 2009 at 11:46 AM | by | Comments (0)

It's what you've been waiting all year for--The 2009 HotelChatter Awards! We'll be bringing you the best and worst of the year (and the decade) all day today and part of tomorrow. Agree or disagree with our picks? Air your thoughts in comments below.

Yes, we're doing a Decade List. By now, you're probably sick of them but hey, ours is all about hotels--not just Britney Spears, George Bush and the iPhone.

First, let's start with the Best of the Decade. This decade was very important to us because well, HotelChatter was born during the 'Aughts. But it was also a monumental decade for the hotel world. See what made the list of our memorable moments. Don't forget to add your own "Bests" in comments below.

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Best Hotel Video Tour: Inside Encore Las Vegas

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 3131 Las Vegas Blvd S [map], Las Vegas, NV, United States, 89109
December 31, 2009 at 9:53 AM | by | Comments (0)

It's what you've been waiting all year for--The 2009 HotelChatter Awards! We'll be bringing you the best and worst of the year (and the decade) all day today and part of tomorrow. Agree or disagree with our picks? Air your thoughts in comments below.

Each year our video library grows and each year it becomes harder to pick the best one of the year. We've gone all over the world to shoot these videos, from Vienna to New Mexico to London, Paris, Montreal, Kuala Lumpur, Cartagena, Sydney, Hong Kong and Dublin.

In fact, we've filmed over 75 videos in 2009 and put them all right here for your viewing pleasure.

But interestingly, the most watched video of the year was found in Las Vegas at the Encore Las Vegas, which opened in January. Then again, Las Vegas was a great destination for hotel deals this year. We even spent two nights at the Encore this September for just $99 a night (mid-week.) In the boom years of '05, '06 and even '07 that was unheard of.

We'll have more on Vegas later but for now, check-out the runner-ups.

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Best New Hotel Service: Kimpton's 'Forgot It? We've Got It!'

December 30, 2009 at 3:58 PM | by | Comment (1)

It's what you've been waiting all year for--The 2009 HotelChatter Awards! We'll be bringing you the best and worst of the year (and the decade) all day today and part of tomorrow. Agree or disagree with our picks? Air your thoughts in comments below.

At the core of every hotel philosophy is to give the guest whatever they want and during the boom years, hotels were trying to outdo each other with over-the-top services to please you. Hence the introduction of engagement/proposals concierges, bath butlers and the Andaz Reader in Residence.

But the financial woes of 2009 put a damper on the crazy services hotels were offering. Indeed, many hotels began to scale back on the basics like newspapers at your door and chocolates on the pillow to save operating costs.

Yet at Kimpton Hotels in the United States, they still offer the basics and a little more with their "Forgot it? We've Got it!" menu. What we like about this service (which we admit is probably not brand new in 2009) is that all the usual suspects are on the list, like toothbrush and toothpaste but so are some other toiletries and products that we often leave behind on our travels like a straightening iron, make-up mirrors, TSA-approved plastic bags, contact lens solution, mouthwash and tweezers.

Yes, some are only available for a small fee but it beats trying to find a Duane Reade or Walgreens at 11pm at night.

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Most Provocative OpenThread: Tipping The Housekeeper

December 30, 2009 at 2:59 PM | by | Comments (3)

It's what you've been waiting all year for--The 2009 HotelChatter Awards! We'll be bringing you the best and worst of the year (and the decade) all day today and part of tomorrow. Agree or disagree with our picks? Air your thoughts in comments below.

THE MOST PROVOCATIVE OPENTHREAD: TIPPING YOUR HOUSEKEEPER

More than ever in 2009, we opened up the doors of conversation to you dear readers to tell us what you want, don't want, like or don't like during your hotel stays. We're so grateful that every time we put forth a question, you were ready to tell us honestly what you think.

And nothing got more people hot and bothered than the Honestly, Do You Tip Your Housekeeper OpenThread. So we decided to give it a new award especially: The Most Provocative OpenThread.

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Best Hotel Renovation: The W Chicago City Center

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 172 W. Adams St. [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60603
December 30, 2009 at 2:33 PM | by | Comments (3)

It's what you've been waiting all year for--The 2009 HotelChatter Awards! We'll be bringing you the best and worst of the year (and the decade) all day today and part of tomorrow. Agree or disagree with our picks? Air your thoughts in comments below.

W Hotels started the decade all fresh and clean and they were THE HOTELS to stay at. But as we began to enter the tail end of the decade, some Ws were looking a little worse for wear.

Fortunately, W Hotels realized this as well and began to start pumping some money into their older hotels--like the W Chicago City Center which received a $35 million makeover that gussied up the guestrooms and the Living Room.

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Best Celebrity Performance at a Hotel: David Hasselhoff

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 45 St Martin's Lane, London, United Kingdom, WC2N 4HX
December 30, 2009 at 1:37 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's what you've been waiting all year for--The 2009 HotelChatter Awards! We'll be bringing you the best and worst of the year (and the decade) all day today and part of tomorrow. Agree or disagree with our picks? Air your thoughts in comments below.

BEST CELEBRITY PERFORMANCE: DAVID HASSELHOFF

This year was really tough to choose a best celebrity performance. If you weren't sure how we evaluated the winners for this award, it's largely done based on the frequency with which a celebrity visits hotels. It's also based on the crazy behavior a celebrity exhibits while staying at hotels. Like Britney Spears in 2006 and 2007. Ah, those were the golden years.

But last year's winner, Eliot Spitzer, was based on a single hotel stay--with a prostitute in DC--because it caused such a firestorm that gripped the nation for most of 2008.

So you could say that this year's winner could be Tiger Woods given his penchant for women who work in hospitality. But we doubt Tiger will be hooking up with ladies in hotels anymore. We could also choose Dennis Rodman, but that would be rewarding bad behavior to women, wouldn't it?

We briefly considered Amy Winehouse who spent early 2009 terrorizing the folks in hotels on St. Lucia. And Miss Lindsay Lohan is making quite a comeback these days--as far as her hotel sightings. We think she's one to watch in 2010.

But when it comes to a spectacular celebrity performance, there is only one clear winner--David Hasselhoff.

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Worst Anti-View: A Parking Garage, Courtesy of The Hard Rock's Paradise Tower

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 4455 Paradise Rd [map], Las Vegas, NV, United States, 89169
December 30, 2009 at 1:02 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's what you've been waiting all year for--The 2009 HotelChatter Awards! We'll be bringing you the best and worst of the year (and the decade) all day today and part of tomorrow. Agree or disagree with our picks? Air your thoughts in comments below.

WORST ANTI-VIEW: THE HARD ROCK'S PARADISE TOWER

Hmmm, that doesn't look like paradise does it? But this is the view from room 30521 at the Hard Rock's Paradise Tower in Las Vegas. Our tipster tells us it was supposed to be a "mountain/ city view" but instead he got a nice birds-eye view of the employee parking garage.

When we stayed there in August, we had a corner room with a so-so view of distant Strip but there was so much construction going on around the Hard Rock that we couldn't really focus on the positive. We guess we should be happy we didn't have a view of someone fornicating in the pool. Then again, that would be more interesting!

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