Tag: HotelChatter Flashback

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All Those Hidden Hotel Fees are Adding Up

August 27, 2014 at 12:04 PM | by | ()

Every so often, the mainstream media gets fired up about hidden hotel fees. This usually happens when it's revealed how much hotels are making off these miscellaneous yet maddening fees. This year it will be about $2.25 billion, according to a new NYU report.

Us, being both regular hotel guests and hotel trend watchers, have become somewhat accustomed, but no less outraged, to the random fees that pop up during a hotel stay.

Back in 2010 we detailed 10 Most Ridiculous Hotel Fees, included the heinous WiFi charges, the confusing room service charges and the annoying resort fees.

The next year, we followed that up with 5 Hotels That Are Acting Like Airlines with Extra Fees and made it clear we did not like the fees for making a reservation over the phone, nor the early check-in fee and certainly not the baggage storage fee.

Just last year, we uncovered more hidden fees, including the fee for the bottled water on the night stand, the towel at the pool and the safe in the closet. And soon after that, we were blindsided by a random newspaper charge. #GRR. Most recently, we uncovered another sinister type of fee creeping around London, the minimum spend fee during peak hours at the bar.

But hotels want to make money, so fees for things you would expect to be free have long been how they do business. The only way to avoid these fees is to assume that everything you use inside your hotel room, save for the water, towels, and toiletries, will cost extra. Study the little notes placed around the room by the hotel, whether it be the mini-bar menu, or the note about WiFi placed on the desk, to see if there is a charge and how much it will be.

And of course, if a fee pops up unexpectedly on your bill, head right down to the front desk to dispute it. Just make sure you know how to effectively complain to them.

[Photo: Cynthia Drescher/HotelChatter]

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That Time That Snoop Dogg Once 'Worked' at The Holiday Inn

August 15, 2014 at 12:09 PM | by | ()

Earlier this week, we learned that Snoop Dogg got young and wild and free with some staffers at a UK Holiday Inn Express in Cornwall. But not only did he hang with the staffers, he actually stayed in the hotel as a guest. (With a late check-out of 3pm.)

Now, we'd like to take you back to the days of 2003 when Snoop once worked at a Holiday Inn. Ok, so it was just in a music video for the song "Holidae In" with Chingy and Ludacris. But still, nice to see Snoop is true to what what he raps about.

Just don't light too much of that sticky icky in the hotel room though.

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HotelChatter Flashback: When Sandy Did a Number on NYC's Hotels

October 29, 2013 at 5:02 PM | by | ()

Last year at this time, the Northeast was being wholloped by Hurricane Sandy. Today, we're taking a look at how all this affected the hotel scene. And we're still shaking our heads.

In New York City, the storm's devastation caused a a surge in hotel cancellations as well as unexpected and extended hotel stays. Yet thanks to the widespread power outages, especially in lower Manhattan, many hotels had to close down for a brief time. Hotels that weren't even open yet were affected too. The powerful winds snapped a crane on the building that will eventually house the Park Hyatt New York.

Once the storm had officially passed, we compiled a Post-Sandy Guide to New York Hotel Rooms where we listed the hotels that were open, had working electricity and most importantly, had rooms available. Sadly, rates were pretty jacked up.

All hell broke loose again when the city officially cancelled the New York City Marathon. But just before the cancellation, hotels were asking stranded hotel guests to leave so that they could accommodate the Marathon guests who had existing reservations. Then after the cancellation, marathon runners who had booked their pricey hotel rooms months in advance didn't even need them anymore. It was a bona fide hotel disaster. Here, two marathon runners vented to HotelChatter about the whole scenario.

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HotelChatter Flashback: Hotel Erwin's Mural In Progress

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1697 Pacific Ave. [map], Venice, CA, United States, 90291
October 21, 2013 at 3:28 PM | by | ()

It's time for a walk down memory lane with a HotelChatter flashback!

We've chronicled the births (and deaths) of a lot of hotels in our 10 years of reporting on the hotel scene. (Yes, 10 years. We know. We can't even.) But in looking through the archives, we found this snapshot of the grafitti mural by tattoo artist, Norm, going up at the funky fresh Hotel Erwin in Venice Beach, Calif., during its first days open.

Kinda cool considering that the mural today is so much a part of the identity of the Erwin. Why, it's all over their Facebook page. Just so you can see, here's what the finished piece looks like today.

And interestingly, the Ink & Stay package that Erwin offered when they initially opened back in 2009 is still available. If you've booked it, we wanna know what sort of tatt you got so send us your story!

[Photos: HotelChatter and Hotel Erwin]

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HotelChatter Flashback: How to Be Doing It in Hotel Rooms

August 29, 2013 at 5:00 PM | by | ()

It's time for a walk down memory lane with a HotelChatter flashback!

It's been just about five years since we released our The HotelChatter Guide to Great Hotel Sex, designed to help you make the most out of your hotel room during sexytime. And you know what? These tips are still going strong. Here are some that particularly, er, stick out for us:

1. There is nothing -- nothing -- more distracting than a headboard banging against a wall during sex. It's loud in your room, and it pisses off other guests -- thereby increasing the chances of a staffer knocking on the door and interrupting your exploits because of a neighboring guest's complaint. Headboards fastened securely to the walls like at Thompson LES (above) serve to best minimize (extra) noise.

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Whatever Happened to Denizen Hotels?

August 5, 2013 at 4:15 PM | by | ()

It's time for a walk down memory lane with a HotelChatter flashback!

Do you remember what you were doing on March 9, 2009? No, because you have a life. But in the annals of HotelChatter, that was the day that Hilton Hotels unveiled their Denizen Hotels brand.

What we didn't know then is that the story of Denizen would end, not with a glamorous hotel opening in an urban market somewhere, but rather in federal court with Hilton being forced to pay Starwood Hotels $75 million for stealing ideas from their rival hotel company, largely through Hilton's hiring of Ross Klein, the so-called godfather of Starwood's W Hotels. Hilton also had to agree to "certain business restrictions" as well as agree not to buy or franchise any Starwood Lifestyle Brand hotel that Starwood operates nor hire anyone from Starwood for two years.

But guess what? The two years are up! And we've heard whispers that Denizen is being resurrected, although with a completely different name and look. Even though we hated Denizen when it was first introduced we can't wait to see what the new incarnation will look like.

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HotelChatter Flashback: Remember When We Feared Ian Schrager Leaving GPH?

Where: 2 Lexington Avenue [map], New York, NY, United States, 10010
July 12, 2013 at 12:02 PM | by | ()

It's time for a walk down memory lane with a HotelChatter flashback!

On this day way back in 2010, we read the news that hotelier Ian Schrager and his commercial landlords had defaulted on a $140 million loan for the Gramercy Park Hotel. This was kind of a common occurrence back then as hotels were still trying to recover from the economic collapse of 2008 and 2009.

Yet with GPH in 2010, one investor was not interested in assuming the loan for the hotel because it was hard to get Schrager to agree to stay. And we couldn't have imagined GPH without Schrager...back then.

Today, we're totally ok with the fact that GPH no longer has Ian Schrager roaming the lobby. (He left less than six months after this.) No doubt that's because his Public Chicago, which opened in 2012, has kept us very entertained. Now, we're just wondering when he will open more of them. Oh and we can't forget about his hand in Marriott's Edition Hotels. We'll see the fruits of his labor again with the London Edition, opening this October.

As for the Gramercy Park Hotel, it's still a great spot and nearly all of Ian's handiwork remains. The hotel also has new restaurants from hotshot restauranteur Danny Meyer. Plus, you can probably even get into the Rose Bar these days! Rates start at $395 a night at the end of July.

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HotelChatter Flashback: What the Hotel WiFi Options Were Like in 2004

June 20, 2013 at 5:28 PM | by | ()

It's time for a walk down memory lane with a HotelChatter flashback!

Way back in 2004, HotelChatter put together its first ever WiFi Report. Check out who made the first annual Best and Worst Hotel WiFi lists.

· Kimpton Hotels (still doing it free for their InTouch members)
· Omni Hotels (still doing it free for their Omni Select Guest members)
· Marriott's Residence Inn (still free!)
· Best Western (still free!)
· Holiday Inn/Holiday Inn Express (still free!)

· Marriott Hotels (free in lobbies, most charge in-room, except if you are an elite member of their loyalty program)
· Fairmont Hotels (free for members of their President's Club)
· Hilton Hotels (free in lobbies, most charge in-room except if you are an elite member of their loyalty program)
· Hyatt Hotels (still charges for WiFi except if you are an elite member of their loyalty program)
· Any other hotel that charges for WiFi in the lobby (plenty of hotels still do this, particularly if you aren't a hotel guest.

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HotelChatter Flashback: Remember When Joie de Vivre Only Existed in California?

June 7, 2013 at 3:35 PM | by | ()

It's time for a walk down memory lane with a HotelChatter Flashback!

Three years ago today, we heard the news that Chip Conley's indie boutique hotel chain, Joie de Vivre Hotels, would be expanding outside of California for the very first time, thanks to a new partnership with investor, John Pritzker, heir to the Hyatt Hotels chain and his Geolo Capital private equity firm. This was a big deal back then as JDV was strictly a California-based hotel company.

Fast forward to today and Joie de Vivre is now a part of the bigger Commune Hotels which is also made up of the too-cool lifestyle hotel brand, Thompson Hotels, and the just-announced new hotel brand, Tommie Hotels.

JDV has still made good on its 2010 promise to expand opening hotels in Chicago, Scottsdale (above) and even Hawaii, although California still makes up a good deal of its heart and soul. We're not sure if JDV will ever break out into Seattle, Miami or New York as it will probably leave that up to Commune but you never know...

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HotelChatter Flashback: Remember When Prince Played The Hollywood Roosevelt?

May 23, 2013 at 6:48 PM | by | ()

It's time for a walk down memory lane with a HotelChatter Flashback!

On this day back in 2007, we were chattering about the staggering $3 million paycheck plus room and board for the artist once again known as Prince and his seven-week residency at the Hollywood Roosevelt.

The concerts took place only on Friday nights in the hotel's Blossom Room and had a starting time of 11pm. The shows typically didn't finish until 4 in the morning, although the hotel did serve food at 2am. While the shows gave the hotel some amazing press and real rock star cred, getting tickets to the show was a nightmare for people who weren't celebrities or rock stars themselves. Not to mention the ticket price was $312 for standing room only.

Yet, this was done in the days before social media took over our lives so we can't help but wonder how this would have gone down using Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest, etc. Think Prince would be up for a reunion show?

[Photo: HotelChatter]