Tag: HotelChatter QuestionsView All Tags
Today's question is from reader Tom, who writes:
First trip to Lisbon and we will be there for only a couple of days (end of June to beginning of July). We want a nice place to stay, but not expensive. We are in our early 50’s, not partiers but would like to see as much as possible. Like to visit historic areas, walking distance to things, shops, restaurants, beach. Want to get a taste and come back another time for a longer stay. No rental car, so would like things in walking distance or local metro transportation. What are your recommendations?
Some friends of ours just got back from a trip to Lisbon. We asked where you should stay. There was one answer: “Not the Sofitel!!” Another friend, however, loves Sofitel, and loves the Sofitel Lisbon. Awkward! Onwards.
Today's HC question comes from Doug S. who's looking for some seriously cool in-room technology. He writes:
Just wondering if there is a luxury hotel with high end audio for the audiophile with wanderlust? If so, could you send me what must be a short list?
Indeed, it is a short list. While most new hotels have the capability for guests to plug their smartphone, computer or tablet into the TV for a better audio experience, not all hotels have high-end audio systems. But here are a few hotels that make sound a priority.
There are many things we want to know about the Virgin Hotel Chicago, set to open this summer as the first-ever Virgin Hotel from Sir Richard Branson's Virgin empire.
For starters, we really want to know what the guest rooms are going to look like. We're also curious about the food and beverage options. Lastly, we want a concrete opening date other than "Summer 2014."
While we are going crazy guessing over the answers to some of these questions, another person is wondering about the spa offerings, specifically if there will be a hair salon. The dear reader writes:
Hello, I am a Chicago based hair.makeupartist.photographer. I am inquiring to know if the new Virgin hotel to open in the summer will have a hair salon/spa within it. I'm sure it will include spa amenities [sic] but will it offer hair salon services as well? Tried to find info online but could not. Here is an international ad I did several years back with Richard himself.* Thank you for any insite [sic] into this.
Well, we asked and got this succinct answer from a Virgin Hotels' rep: No hair salon but yes spa.
Also, not opening at the Virgin Chicago anymore? The Virgin Clubhouse. Fortunately, the rooftop bar and lounge is still on. We're hoping to have more details on this mysterious Virgin in the coming months. But if you've got any inside scoop right now, let us know!
* Keep reading to see the picture!
We not only answer questions by mail, we're checking our Facebook page too! That's where we found this latest question from one Polly P.
Which Chicago hotel is putting in cabaret music?? Anyone know??
After doing a quick internet search, we suggested The Drake Hotel which has regular live music in their Palm Court. When we followed up with Polly she told us that the Drake has had music for a long time and that this was a hotel looking for a NEW cabaret music offering. She mentioned that she thought it might be The Godfrey which is opening in February to which we replied, The Virgin which is opening this summer. Or possibly, Public. Polly thinks it could even be the new Langham Hotel. But maybe it's The Kinzie aka the Amalfi, which is rebranding in February.
Really, it's a bit of a shot in the dark/wild goose chase. Literally, any hotel could be looking for a cabaret act. But if you've got a lead on which new or new-ish hotel is looking for a cabaret music act, let us know, old friend. Or else, just put which Chicago hotels you wish had cabaret music in comments below!
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London is an expensive place to stay the night, that’s nothing new. Moreover, despite the influx of new hotels we’ve seen this year, a post-Olympics slump seems to have been avoided with particularly strong occupancy levels (i.e. the percentage of rooms filled with guests) after the summer’s events. That means it won’t get any easier finding a pleasantly priced hotel room in the city anytime soon.
So what to do if you want something sweet but easy on the wallet?
To help here's five London hotels that offer a bit of style without requiring a second mortgage or limitless credit card to enjoy them.
Earlier this summer, we polled all of you on your check-in rituals, meaning the very first things you do after closing the door behind you in a new hotel room. Your answers were awesome (and eye-opening), spanning everything from scoping out the minibar to crashing for a power nap.
Well, we decided to similarly poll the contributors of our brother site, Jaunted.com to see how the frequent flyers think and discovered that, though everyone loves to have a nice bed in a new city, even seasoned hotel sleepers such as ourselves like to stick to our rituals.
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Just the other day, we were reading a story about British Olympic tennis champion Andy Murray, who bragged about getting to stay in "a lot of different hotels" during his seven-year career. Lucky him. Now Murray's in New York City for this year's US Open tournament (which got underway yesterday), and he's saying he's after a quieter hotel, to help him focus when he's not on the courts.
Which got us thinking: where do people go in New York when they need extra quiet? Well, the first answer might be, "not New York." But we know there's more to it than that. Indeed, plenty of Manhattan hotels are in the business of making you completely forget you're in Manhattan at all.
The trick is where to find 'em...
Long Island is a big place. It's a place Manhattanites love to trash talk in the winter but can't wait to visit come summer. It's an endless stretch of land that sprouts from Queens, and its tip runs all the way out to eastern Connecticut. None of which should necessarily imply that finding a decent, cheap hotel there during the summer would be difficult. Except, it is.
For starters, most places require a two- or three-night minimum for any stay from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day, making a one-night getaway that much more difficult.
Plus, for whatever reason, most of the major hotel brands have completely overlooked Long Island as a viable place to establish a hotel. Add to that the fact that New Yorkers are planning freaks, so most have already booked their Hamptons hotel months (if not years) in advance, rendering the few decent hotels all sold out.
So, we ask, with good reason: where to turn?
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UPDATE 4.16.12: It looks like Steven Kamali Hospitality will be running the joint now!
A few days ago we received an email from a reader who was curious about a seemingly new hotel going up on Madison Avenue in New York City:
"I was walking by the Roger Hotel today and noticed their window displays read, 'Be ready in just a moment' and 'We clean up well.' I tried to go inside and see what was going on but they wouldn't let me! Have you or anyone on your team heard anything? I love the neighborhood and would be very excited to hear of a new hotel for me and my friends!"
What cute signs! And what a great way to build buzz before the doors have even opened! We certainly would've been asking all the same questions if it had been us walking by, but looks like we were beat to the punch! Of course, we're still happy to help. So without further ado, we present The Roger Hotel...
A reader from France recently asked us for family-friendly Chicago hotel recommendations for their upcoming summer visit. Here’s what they wrote:
“What would be your recommendation for a family of 4 (with 2 tweens) for a long weekend in Chicago this summer? Would Public be a good choice?”
While Public is incredible in its own right, it’s definitely adult-posh and not necessarily what comes to mind when we call up our favorite family-friendly Chicago hotels. That said, here’s our top picks for the cool fams, especially those adding tweens and a taste for design to the mix:
Not a week goes by where we don't field a question about a hotel room in New York City. (Hello, people! We are knowledgeable about other cities too!) Nevertheless, New York is still a popular place to be and hotels are taking advantage of that this fall.
Last week we were on a mission to find a nice hotel room for $200 a night for October 16-19 and boy was it tough. When Hotwire is showing you rates of $259 and up, you know things are not looking good. Fortunately, we were able to find our friends a room for $199 for the first night at the Roosevelt and about $239 for the following nights. Of course, that's before taxes but that was about as good as it was gonna get.
This week we were tasked with a bigger budget for a midtown hotel room between $400 and $450 a night from November 16-23.
If you're one of those people whose Halloween costume was planned way back in June, then you're probably eager to book your NYC hotel stay waaay ahead of time. In which case, we thought we'd do you a favor and scout some low rates for the month ahead. By then, September madness will have petered out, and rates will have dropped back down to more reasonable (relatively speaking) numbers.
Now, since the infamous Village Halloween Parade (happening on Monday October 31) starts on Sixth Avenue in the West Village, our first thought was to simply find some deals nearby. Not as easy as you might think! Four Points Sheraton Soho, Hampton Inn Soho and Courtyard By Marriott Soho all failed to impress. So we took matters into our own hands and explored some other neighborhoods.