Tag: HotelChatter Guides

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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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What You Should Know About The Mykonos Hotel Scene

Where: Mykonos, Greece
June 28, 2013 at 9:33 AM | by | ()

It seems like there are endless resorts and properties on Mykonos, such as the three we wrote about yesterday, tucked in their own private setting between towns and overlooking bays in various parts of the island. In that sense, you can't really go wrong in terms of the scenery -- for the most part, killer views are standard at every hotel on Mykonos.

That said, the island breaks down in a number of different areas known for different personalities. The location you choose depends on your priorities. If you're into nightlife, for example, you'll want to stay in or around Mykonos Town. If it's a quiet beach resort you're after, Kalafati might be a better fit. Below, we've highlighted a few of the main spots along with a sampling of hotels to help kick off your research. Call it an entry-level guide, if you will.

Also, a few things to note about hotels on Mykonos. Most have strict cancellation policies and a minimum stay requirement of a couple nights, especially during the busy summer months, so be sure to read the fine print. Some will also provide free airport pick-ups, but only if you ask when making a reservation. Got your own Mykonos tips to share? Feel free to drop them in comments below!

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A Quick Reference Guide to Boutique Hotel Loyalty Programs

April 25, 2013 at 3:29 PM | by | ()

Hotel loyalty programs are a complex world to navigate. There are so many to choose from with different levels of membership and so many different qualifying night stays. Not to mention so many of them are paired up with credit cards that offer even more ways to earn points for future stays.

We've looked at the programs of the big hotel brands before (admittedly, it's due for a major update) and we constantly keep you updated with the latest news here but today, we're looking at the smaller boutique hotel chains and what their programs offer.

Hyatt Gold Passport: Andaz Hotels are part of Hyatt's Gold Passport Rewards program. It's free to join, you earn five points per eligible stay and you can redeem free nights without blackout dates. After five eligible stays or 15 eligible nights, you can reach Platinum status which gets you automatic upgrades, 2pm late check outs and free in-room internet. Diamond membership requires 25 eligible stays or 50 eligible nights and gets you even more perks like 4pm checkouts and welcome point bonuses. Like most hotel loyalty programs, Hyatt has a ton of promotions throughout the year. Be sure to sign up for these to maximize your point earnings.

IHG Priority Club: Hotel Indigo is part of IHG's Priority Club which will be called IHG Rewards Club come July. Hotel Indigos already offer free WiFi, but once you hit the loyalty program's elite level you can get free WiFi at any IHG property throughout the world. The earning points structure varies from brand to brand within the company but Hotel Indigo stays will net you 10 points per every US dollar spent.

Joy of Life Club: JDV Hotels' Joy of Life loyalty program is free to enter and automatically gives members free WiFi as well as room upgrades if available (although most JDV properties already have free WiFi). You can also earn one point per $1 US dollar at participating JDV hotels and two points per $1 at participating JDV spas. We love the membership level monikers too: Joy Seeker (0-2,499 points), Joy Enthusiast (2,499-9,999 points), and Joy Aficionado (10,000+ points). Getting to the Enthusiast or Aficionado level will get you early check-ins and late check-outs and invites to JDV's JoyFest celebrations. But if you can get to the Aficionado level, then you can earn double points. For what it's worth, the participating hotels do not include sister hotel brand, Thompson Hotels.

InTouch: Like the Joy of Life Club, Kimpton's InTouch is free to join and automatically grants its guest free WiFi in the rooms, as well a chance to "raid the minibar" up to $10 ($15 in NYC) during every stay and a $30 in-room spa credit. It takes seven stays or 20 nights to earn a free reward night and if you complete 15 stays or 45 nights you can join the InnerCircle level which gets you upgrades, your fave snacks on arrival, a treat from the hotel chef, a complimentary night at new hotels and the CEO's email. That is for real!

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HotelChatter's 2013 Caribbean Hotel Guide

February 14, 2013 at 11:20 AM | by | ()

The weather outside is still frightful (is that snow on the ground we see?) which is why we found it necessary to drop our annual Caribbean Hotel Guide for you today. Whether you want to explore islands wearing nothing but a bathing suit and flip-flops or if you'd rather sip fruity drinks by the beach all week long, we've got the right hotel for you. We found a few places that both parents and kiddies can enjoy! So take a break from whatever you're doing right now and read on through our 2013 Caribbean Hotel Guide. Reggae music is optional but could greatly enhance the experience.

SYBARITES: If you're vacation requirements involve a villa, these are the places for you.

LOVERS: Where you want to go and be all hugged up with your boo.

ESCAPISTS: Wanna forget the world for a while? Yeah, we do too so follow us here.

THE FAMILY BROOD: Where to take the kids, but also where mom and dad can have fun too.

TYPE As: These places won't force you to ditch the iPhone or the laptop but you'll be able to relax on your own terms.

ADVENTURISTS: Can't stand laying by the pool all day? These resorts are more than just bum around spots.

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The Official Post-Sandy Guide To New York Hotel Rooms

November 1, 2012 at 1:33 PM | by | ()

UPDATE 11/3/12, 12:46pm: As of Saturday morning, power has been restored to most of Manhattan. Many hotels that avoided flooding or physical damage, but had to remain closed due to loss of power, have now re-opened. So, hurray! Consequently, we recommend calling hotels directly as rooms start to become available again, and the insane Sandy-prompted hotel crisis of the past week begins to dissipate.

We'll just go ahead and say it: New York City is in a sorry state right now, hotel wise.

The thousands who were left stranded by Hurricane Sandy have filled up every conceivable nook and cranny of the city, with many travelers even resorting to hotels with no power just so they could have a bed to sleep on.

The good news is: partial subway service has resumed and all major NYC airports (LGA, JFK, EWR) have reopened. Slowly but surely, things are starting to move again. But things are not back to normal by a long stretch. A quick look at this photo a friend posted, showing Brooklyn folks lined up for a bus into Manhattan, makes that painfully clear.

Another major issue is hotel rooms. They're all booked up. We just got off the phone with one reservation center operator, who told us she's "never seen anything like this," as she scrolled through page after page of sold out hotels on her computer.

At one point, our spirits were momentarily lifted when she found a room at the Hampton Inn 35th St. But we immediately lost interest when we heard the price: $1000 per night. For a standard room! Clearly, things are pretty upside down right now, negates what we thought the other day about room rates being fair, and lets us know there's not a lot of help to be had if you don't have deep pockets.

To help out, we've created a handy dandy Post-Sandy Guide to New York Hotels. Take a look below at which hotels are open, which ones have power, and how to get in touch. We'll be adding to this page throughout the week as we see improvement in both room availability and ground transportation. We're also looking for post-Sandy hotel photos, which you can email to us here.

Know something we don't, or care to contribute? Simply drop a comment below, and we'll make the necessary changes.

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HotelChatter's 2012 Caribbean Hotel Guide

February 15, 2012 at 12:20 PM | by | ()

Looks like winter has finally settled in and made itself comfy in many areas of the country, just in time for those who shun the snow to start planning an escape. When the weather gets too tough to bear, the pinnacle of hot weather destinations is the Caribbean islands for its silky sands, see-your-toes clear water and relaxed vibe.

Whether your goal is to just sip rum on a hammock or take a trek through a mysterious rainforest, there’s an island and resort to fit your personality. So now without further adieu, we present HotelChatter's 2012 Caribbean Hotel Guide*

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HotelChatter's 2011 Hotel WiFi Report

April 26, 2011 at 10:45 AM | by | ()

**A HotelChatter Exclusive**

Chances are, you are probably reading our seventh annual WiFi Report right now on your iPad. Or your iPhone. Or your Blackberry, Droid, Kindle or Galaxy Tablet, if anyone actually uses those.

Much like cellphones have practically put land lines out of business, mobile devices are fast changing the way we sign onto the web when we’re on the go. And that includes when we're staying in hotels.

While the hardware we carry into hotel rooms is changing seemingly from one month to the next, our demands free and reliable WiFi have not wavered a bit. And as more and more of us start to travel with cellphones, laptops and tablets, the call for free WiFi is more urgent than ever.

Yet hotels around the world, especially those luxury ones, are still charging daily rates of $10 or more for WiFi. Worse, some are even double-dinging us for our mobile devices.

This leaves guests the choice of navigating the always, ever-changing WiFi fees at mid and high-end hotels, or spending the night at budget places just for the internet.

So you better know the lay of the free hotel WiFi land before you book your room. After all, the one thing we can do as loyal, frequent hotel guests is vote "free WiFi" with our credit cards.

Once again, we’ve broken down the Hotel WiFi landscape into Best Hotels, Worst Hotels and the best and worst from the International Hotel Scene. We’ve also added a couple of new sections; picking out the Best and Worst cities for free hotel WiFi, tips on getting secondary devices on for free when the hotel wants you to pay per device, and where to stay in stylin' and free WiFin', to name a few.

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Places To Get Your Glamp On: Four Rivers Floating Lodge, Cambodia

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Tatai, Cambodia
February 11, 2011 at 10:31 AM | by | ()

All this week, we’ll be trekking across the globe with HotelChatter contributor Eric Rosen as he tells us about the most exciting new glamping experiences out there. From the savannahs of Africa to the shores of Western Australia to the peaks of Patagonia, this is a full-fledged, five-star adventure to the most thrilling and luxurious camping resorts in the world.

So far this week, we’ve been to the savannahs of Africa, the Western Australia beach, the mountains of Patagonia and the Dubai desert. For the final installment of this edition of our Glamping Series we travel to the jungly hinterlands of the Cambodia-Thailand border…and the watery wonder that is the Four Rivers Floating Lodge.

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Places to Get your Glamp On: The Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Dubai Conservation Reserve, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
February 10, 2011 at 10:31 AM | by | ()

All this week, we’ll be trekking across the globe with HotelChatter contributor Eric Rosen as he tells us about the most exciting new glamping experiences out there. From the savannahs of Africa to the shores of Western Australia to the peaks of Patagonia, this is a full-fledged, five-star adventure to the most thrilling and luxurious camping resorts in the world.

Today we’re upping the “glam” in glamping, and taking you to a tented desert resort in broad and barren sands of Dubai that has us dreaming of camel caravans and verdant oases. It’s called the Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, and word has it that it’s one of LA-based fashion designer Catherine Malandrino’s favorite places on earth. That’s good enough for us.

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Places To Get Your Glamp On: Patagonia Camp, Chile

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Camino Milodon Porteno KM 74, Patagonia, Chile
February 9, 2011 at 4:16 PM | by | ()

All this week, we’ll be trekking across the globe with HotelChatter contributor Eric Rosen as he tells us about the most exciting new glamping experiences out there. From the savannahs of Africa to the shores of Western Australia to the peaks of Patagonia, this is a full-fledged, five-star adventure to the most thrilling and luxurious camping resorts in the world.

Patagonia. That mysterious and exotic land at the end of the earth. Even the name conjures up the sense of adventure. Few places on earth boast natural settings that are more pristine and awe-inspiring. So naturally, this is one of the natural habitats for glamping.

Today, we’re going to take you to the shores of Lake Toro, near the famous gnarled spires of the Torres del Paine National Park in Chilean Patagonia to visit a luxury experience like no other: Patagonia Camp.

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Places to Get Your Glamp On: Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef, Australia

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Exmouth, WA, Australia
February 8, 2011 at 12:06 PM | by | ()

All this week, we’ll be trekking across the globe with HotelChatter contributor Eric Rosen as he tells us about the most exciting new glamping experiences out there. From the savannahs of Africa to the shores of Western Australia to the peaks of Patagonia, this is a full-fledged, five-star adventure to the most thrilling and luxurious camping resorts in the world.

With some of the most pristine, unspoiled wilderness in the world, not to mention the legacies of Steve Irwin and, um, Crocodile Dundee, is it any surprise that Australia is home to some of the most exciting, exclusive glamping experiences in the world? Today's is about as far from civilization as you can get, and comes with whale sharks. It's called Sal Salis, and it's located in a remote corner of Western Australia that is unlike any other place on earth.

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Places to Get Your Glamp On: Sanctuary Zebra Plains Walking Safari Camp, Zambia

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: South Luangwa, Zambia
February 7, 2011 at 3:54 PM | by | ()

Last year, we told you about the hottest (and hautest) new trend in travel: glamping. That’s right, glamorous camping- that most ridiculous, and ridiculously awesome, of adventures that let travelers experience the glories of nature in five-star luxury settings (and sometimes with Campfire Butlers).

This week, we’re going to give you a little glamping update, as HotelChatter contributor Eric Rosen tells us about some of the most exciting new experiences out there. So pack your limited edition hiking boots and your diamond-infused sunscreen, because we’re going glamping!

Let's start our global perambulation in the birthplace of both mankind and the luxury camping trend itself - Africa - and the newest adventure from one of our favorite safari outfitters, Sanctuary Retreats. On June 1, they're opening Sanctuary Zebra Plains Walking Safari Camp, a first-of-its-kind walking safari in the pristine wilderness of South Luangwa, Zambia. Guests will spend their days doing things like wandering along riverbanks, observing elephants at their toilette, and then canoeing over to an island where they’ll get to spy on game such as buffalo, zebras and hippos, before returning for sunset cocktails, canapés and then dinner on the Luangwa River. It's designed to be part of a larger safari experience, with a recommended three day stay. Here's the lowdown.

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