Tag: HotelChatter 2011 Awards

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HotelChatter 2011 Awards Epilogue

December 30, 2011 at 4:10 PM | by | Comments (0)

Thanks for joining us on the last workday of 2011 for our 2011 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 2012!

As always, there are at least six ways you can contribute:

· Become a HotelChatter member and submit stories, releasing your inner travel writer
· Become a HotelChatter member to comment on stories and review hotels
· Send us snapshots of your favorite and least favorite hotels
· Shoot us an email tip.
· Follow us via various social mediums.
Now for your viewing enjoyment, here is our complete list of winners. We will be back in full effect on Monday to kick-off a brand new year of stories.

·Best Hotel Opening: Public Chicago
·Worst Hotel Hype: W Paris Opera
·2011 Must-Have Hotel Amenity: Personal WiFi Hotspots
·Worst Hotel Hell: Poop in the Sink in Palm Springs
·Best Killer View: Las Vegas as Seen from Caesars Palace
·Worst Anti-View: Up Against A Wall In Baltimore
·Best Celeb Performance: Ashton Kutcher Wrecks His Marriage at the Hard Rock
·Most Provocative OpenThread: Toiletry Dispensers—Eco-Friendly Or Unsanitary
·Best Hotel Renovation: The Hotel Bel-Air
·Best New Hotel Service: Public Express
·Hotelier of the Year: The Public Antics of Ian Schrager
·Best Video: Designated Room Number Rememberers at Andaz Wall Street
·People's Choice Award: Cosmopolitan Las Vegas
·Best Hotel Scene: Chicago is Having a Hotel Renaissance

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Best Hotel Scene of 2011: Chicago Is Having a Bit of a Hotel Renaissance

December 30, 2011 at 3:35 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's what you've been waiting all year for--The 2011 HotelChatter Awards! We'll be bringing you the best and worst of the year all day today and part of tomorrow. Agree or disagree with our picks? Air your thoughts in the comments below.

This year marked the introduction of not one but three major hotel brands to the good ol' US of A. And the midwestern city they all chose as a launching pad? Why, Chicago! Where else?

After Radisson Blu Aqua Chicago and Public Chicago opened literally within a month of each other, we then got sideblinded by the news that, when it debuts in 2013, Virgin Hotels' first location will be Chicago (specifically, in the North Loop, next to The Wit and Trump Chicago). We wondered for a minute whether this had been Virgin's plan all along, or if they simply got wind of the burgeoning hotel scene going on in Chicago right now, and decided to forgo the coastal cities like New York and LA.

Either way, we see this as the city to watch in 2012, and we can hardly wait for 2013 to come so we can get inside the world's first Virgin Hotel. Until then, however, there will be plenty going on in this city—we're looking at you, Waldorf-Astoria and JDV!—to keep us distracted.

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People's Choice Award: Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 3708 Las Vegas Blvd S [map], Las Vegas, NV, United States, 89109-4312
December 30, 2011 at 3:00 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's what you've been waiting all year for--The 2011 HotelChatter Awards! We'll be bringing you the best and worst of the year all day today and part of tomorrow. Agree or disagree with our picks? Air your thoughts in the comments below.

Despite a slew of juicy celebrity scoops and noteworthy hotel openings, it seems the one story line you guys just couldn't get enough of this year was in Las Vegas, at The Cosmopolitan. Might that have something to do with a particular bathroom incident that took place last spring in the lobby? Maaaaybe so. But, after three consecutive apologies from the hotel's PR team, we're willing to focus on The Cosmo's other, more appealing qualities—least of all, the fact that it still remains one of the prettiest hotels on the Vegas strip.

And we don't feel at all bad about sharing some of the Cosmo's glory with another crowd-pleaser from this year: New York's Mondrian Soho, which opened to a dizzying array of A-listers during Fashion Week in February.

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Hotelier of The Year: The Public Antics of Ian Schrager

December 30, 2011 at 2:30 PM | by | Comment (1)

It's what you've been waiting all year for--The 2011 HotelChatter Awards! We'll be bringing you the best and worst of the year all day today and part of tomorrow. Agree or disagree with our picks? Air your thoughts in comments below.

Incredibly, in the history of HotelChatter Awards*, we have never given the Hotelier of the Year Award to Ian Schrager. But he's finally earned the honor in 2011 and that's all thanks to his well-executed vision for Public Hotels.

Sure, this year wasn't entirely perfect for Ian, thanks to a pesky lawsuit from the owners of the Waikiki Edition, now the Modern Honolulu, who claimed that Schrager has essentially bailed on the development in order to focus on Public. (You can read his official statement on the "frivolous" lawsuit here.)

He also gave up control of the Gramercy Park Hotel late last year which was pretty shocking, given how much fanfare went into the hotel's opening, the parade of celebrity guests who spent the night and how could we forget, the discriminating door policy for the Rose Bar.

But not only did we like what Public turned out to be, we liked how Ian took this new hotel brand public, if you will.

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Best Video of 2011: The Designated Room Number Rememberers at Andaz Wall Street

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 75 Wall Street [map], New York, NY, United States, 10005
December 30, 2011 at 2:00 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's what you've been waiting all year for--The 2011 HotelChatter Awards! We'll be bringing you the best and worst of the year all day today and part of tomorrow. Agree or disagree with our picks? Air your thoughts in the comments below.

This year, we tried something a little different with our video tours, opting for more face time with hotel concierges and other staff members—in addition to the usual room inspections, bathroom tours, and otherwise. And we guess you could say we had some fun along the way...

Possibly the most entertaining of the interviews was with Assistant Front of House Manager at Andaz Wall Street, Michael Stevens. Michael opened up to us about a "lively" wedding group that had passed through earlier that weekend, and who took up 50 rooms, then got so drunk they all forgot their room numbers! But as nightmarish as it sounds, Michael's team apparently handled the situation with tact and aplomb—and lived to tell about it the following day.

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Best New Hotel Service of 2011: Public Express

December 30, 2011 at 1:35 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's what you've been waiting all year for--The 2011 HotelChatter Awards! We'll be bringing you the best and worst of the year all day today and part of tomorrow. Agree or disagree with our picks? Air your thoughts in comments below.

We already gave Public Chicago an award for Best Hotel Opening this year but when we combed through all the new services that hotels introduced this year--like cookies and lullaby, BMW bikes at Fairmont Hotels or the OCD coin-washing at the Westin St. Francis--we couldn't stop thinking about the "game-changing" room service option, called Public Express.

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Best Hotel Renovation of 2011: The Hotel Bel-Air

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 701 Stone Canyon Road [map], Los Angeles, CA, United States, 90007
December 30, 2011 at 12:30 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's what you've been waiting all year for--The 2011 HotelChatter Awards! We'll be bringing you the best and worst of the year all day today and part of tomorrow. Agree or disagree with our picks? Air your thoughts in comments below.

Good things come to those who wait and the reopening of the Hotel Bel-Air in October, which shuttered its doors back in 2009 to undergo an extreme hotel makeover, was something out of wildest geekiest hotel fantasies.

And best of all, we got to share our first-hand reactions to the new rooms, the high-tech amenities, the sleek new bar, the wondrous new La Prairie Spa and Wolfgang Puck himself, with all of you during our first-ever HotelChatter live-blog.

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Most Provocative OpenThread of 2011: Toiletry Dispensers—Eco-Friendly Or Unsanitary?

December 30, 2011 at 10:31 AM | by | Comments (3)

It's what you've been waiting all year for--The 2011 HotelChatter Awards! We'll be bringing you the best and worst of the year all day today and part of tomorrow. Agree or disagree with our picks? Air your thoughts in the comments below.

In August, we decided to resurrect an ever-popular topic of discussion—Toiletry Dispensers—and boy, were you guys full of ideas. This thread easily proved to be the most fruitful of the entire year, and why wouldn't it? What's a hotel bathroom without all its free soaps, gels, shampoos and creams?

But what we (and the hotels themselves) still haven't quite figured out is how to strike a balance between the eco-friendliness of dispensers and the luxury of individually packaged toiletries.

Many, many hotels—especially, smaller, more independent brands or sister brands—have gone over to the dark environmental side, installing dispensers in each and every shower (Aloft, Ace, Element, Viceroy and James, to name a few). As we see it, the conversation boils down to a question of sustainability: are hotels places to go and simply indulge, heedless of whatever environmental impact your stay might have? Or should we all be contributing to the evolution of greener, waste-efficient—and, of course, beautiful—hotels?

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Best Celeb Performance of 2011: Ashton Kutcher Wrecks His Marriage at the Hard Rock

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 207 5th Ave [map], San Diego, CA, United States, 92101-6908
December 30, 2011 at 9:07 AM | by | Comments (0)

It's what you've been waiting all year for--The 2011 HotelChatter Awards! We'll be bringing you the best and worst of the year all day today and part of tomorrow. Agree or disagree with our picks? Air your thoughts in the comments below.

In a way, it was over before it even began. Celebrity power couple Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore were suddenly thrown into the center of a media whirlwind when it was discovered that Ashton had shacked up with a girl at the Hard Rock San Diego—and what's worse, her "friend" was actually wiling to corroborate the entire story. Ruh roh.

After the story was leaked by this gossip blog, all sorts of details were swirling around—the confiscated cellphones, the "gaggle" of girls, the pre-sex "waiting room" (we picture them all lined up like Gaga fans at a CD signing)—but this email set the record straight. And then we found out exactly how long 'hard rock'-ing lasted. Because we were all dying to know...

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Worst Anti-View: Up Against A Wall In Baltimore

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  Site Where: 2 N Charles St [map], Baltimore, MD, United States, 21201-3707
December 29, 2011 at 3:25 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's what you've been waiting all year for--The 2011 HotelChatter Awards! We'll be bringing you the best and worst of the year all day today and part of tomorrow. Agree or disagree with our picks? Air your thoughts in the comments below.

We're not sure about you, but the first thing we always do when checking into a new hotel room is head for the window, throw open the curtains and take in the view. City views. Sunrise views. Views of the country. It really doesn't matter as long as we're high enough up that cars below turn into little dots on the ground.

And then sometimes, you get stuck with an anti-view like this one. After a prior positive experience getting a free upgrade at the Hotel Monaco Baltimore, we were suddenly confronted with this vista of cinder block, exhaust vents, and medieval-style window slits a mere 20 feet from her window.

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Best Killer View of 2011: Las Vegas as Seen from Caesars Palace

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 3570 Las Vegas Boulevard [map], Las Vegas, NV, United States, 89109
December 29, 2011 at 2:03 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's what you've been waiting all year for--The 2011 HotelChatter Awards! We'll be bringing you the best and worst of the year all day today and part of tomorrow. Agree or disagree with our picks? Air your thoughts in comments below.

Las Vegas is well-known for its terrible anti-views but we were left stunned by this view from the bedroom inside a Senator's Suite at the Augustus Tower Caesars Palace back in September.

Not only was it a clear sunny day but we actually had prime view of the Bellagio fountains and the new hot casino on the strip, The Cosmo. (As opposed to looking out at a forlorn rooftop which is what we usually get in Vegas. Of course, premium views come at premium prices.

The 1,500-sq.ft. one-bedroom suite, which comes with a living room, a dining table for six, three bathrooms and a king bed with a TV dresser at the foot of it starts around $2,600 a night. Don't forget to add in $14.99 a day for WiFi.

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Worst Hotel Hell of 2011: Poop in the Sink in Palm Springs

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 401 E. Amado Road [map], Palm Springs, CA, United States, 92262
December 29, 2011 at 12:40 PM | by | Comments (2)

It's what you've been waiting all year for--The 2011 HotelChatter Awards! We'll be bringing you the best and worst of the year all day today and part of tomorrow. Agree or disagree with our picks? Air your thoughts in comments below.

We've seen a lot of nasty stuff in our years of covering hotel stays but the sewage explosion that happened in a guest bathroom of the Spa Resort Casino in Palm Springs was by far one of the worst accounts we've heard, this year at least.

What was supposed to be a relaxing getaway turned into a shitty weekend, literally. Our afflicted hotel maven writes:

Saturday morn we ventured to downtown, which was the next street over. After a mere two hours of window shopping, we headed back to our room to get ready for the pool. However, as we entered our room, it smelled like a fart - you know the kind like rotten eggs that lingers? I though maybe my boyfriend forgot to flush and he was blaming me!

I took a peek in our bathroom and HOLY SHIT - LITERALLY. Our sink had diarrhea--a sewage explosion. It went off in our sink and showered our bathroom with, well, shit and other foulness.

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