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Can W Paris Opéra live up to the hype? A HotelChatter Review
After winning our hotly-contested Worst Hotel Hype award all the way back in 2011 for not just missing its July 1 opening date, but failing to open that year altogether, W Paris Opéra flung open its doors late February 2012 in the end. Countless fashionistas click-clacked their Manolos through the stone-tiled entrance and swooshed up the elevator to spend the night in this former Parisian bank, but we only coveted it from afar. None of that matters anymore now, because 2013 goes down as the year we finally did sleep with W Paris Opéra. Read on to find out how it was.
Check-In: we arrived after midnight in a taxi from Gare du Nord train station, wanting to get to sleep as soon as possible. We were happily surprised by the complete lack of attitude our cynical side was expecting from the staff; the guys checking us in were unfailingly friendly, offering to walk us to our room and show us around. We foolishly declined, thinking we’d find our own way. That turned out to be a bad idea once we got to our room.
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Does Hotel Verneuil Offer Affordable Parisian Charm? A HotelChatter Review
We teased you last week with a shot of the cozy living room at Hotel Verneuil Paris, looking ahead at that most French of holidays, Bastille Day, this past weekend. Today we have the full review of this intimate, 26-room Left Bank hotel, to see whether it should be on your list of affordable Parisian hotels – a list that can never be too long on good options, right?
Check-In: we walked to the hotel from the metro at Rue du Bac, which is minutes away, as are a number of other public transport options (more on location later). Being such a small hotel, check-in happens in the reception area just to the left of entrance, while comfortably sat at a vast wooden desk. There is someone available 24 hours a day, also to let you into the hotel after hours, so you can leave the traditional heavy key behind when you leave the hotel. There is a tiny lift, but it only starts from the first floor, so people with reduced mobility will want to consider this and potentially opt for the room on the ground floor (but as always we’d recommend discussing your needs directly with the hotel).
We first stayed at Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas in late 2009 when it first opened. Back then, we said the service was "some of the best we've ever experienced." And after a recent trip to the non-gaming hotel, the same holds true.
The service was impeccable (shout out to Henry!), especially for a town like Vegas where there are thousands upon thousands of hotel rooms and not every staffer can fake their excitement at having you stay at their hotel. But the Mandarin Oriental employees are willing to make this the best hotel stay in Vegas. And now we're not so sure we can stay anywhere else.
We could go on for a while about all the reasons to stay here but let's keep it to the reasons why you won't want to leave. And they are:
· Killer Strip Views: Being adjacent to CityCenter, the hotel offers some spectacular views of the "new" Vegas. But don't worry, we could still spy the Eiffel Tower from our room on the 11th floor. And of course, the hotel has blackout shades.
· The Amenities: The rooms at Mandarin Oriental are still filled up with tons of amenities like the Technology Box with various cables and wires (sorry, no iPhone 5 chargers) to the Shanghai Tang toiletries in the bathroom and the Dean & DeLuca minibar items. Don't forget about the flat-iron, the loofah sponge, the bath salts, the yoga mats, the high-tech bedside control panels and the bottles of water on the nightstand. (Those are included in the $25 resort fee. So is the internet.)
· The Pillows: Each bed at the Mandarin Oriental comes equipped with two big pillows that were nearly the length of our own bodies. We hugged that pillow each night we
passed out came home and didn't let go until morning. As another married friend put it, "It's like sleeping with someone...without the guilt."
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What's It Like Inside a Nordic "Palace"? A HotelChatter Review
If you've not been to the Nordic city of Copenhagen , we gotta tell ya, their hotel scene is hopping with some real beauts! We've just returned and we're eager to share our hotel observations with you. First up is our take on the Palace Hotel Copenhagen. (Stay tuned for other Copenhagen Hotel Scene stories in the coming weeks!)
The 169-room Palace Hotel Copenhagen (formerly a Le Méridien and now owned by Scandic Hotels and part of the Preferred Hotel Group) originally opened in 1910 by a butcher who had a dream to own an “international” hotel. Anders Jensen hired young architect Anton Rosen to design the hotel, both inside and out, from the furniture to buttons on uniforms. Rosen’s Art Nouveau aesthetic still carries on today because subsequent designers hired to update and modernize the hotel from top-to-bottom in 2008 were insightful enough to ensure that the Palace Hotel nodded “hey” to its roots.
So let’s get to it. Plenty of pics below!
Is The Olive Hotel Spicy Enough For You? A HotelChatter Review
Nearly a year ago to the day we wrote about a new boutique hotel coming to Puerto Rico and we were super excited. It had been a while since the popular island introduced a new development, so it was most welcome. Since then, the Olive Hotel has remained one of those hidden secrets, which we can appreciate. Still, people ought to know more about this sexy spot that was recently visited by brunette bombshell Roselyn Sanchez, who just launched a television series produced by Eva Longoria and starring Judy Reyes, Ana Ortiz and Susan Lucci, called 'Devious Maids'. Oh, and we stopped by, too.
Lobby Layout: Upon walking in the Olive, you get the feeling you’ve just stepped into someone’s living room. And in a way you have. The small, but heavily decorated space is filled with treasures from the owners travels. We were looking right, left, up and down at the paintings and unusual artifacts. It also happens that the Olive has a sister hotel, the budget-friendly Hostería del Mar, where you can find more of the owners eclectic collection.
Checking In: Check-in was swift and accompanied by a glass of wine (hola!), which we weren’t mad at. We were handled an old-fashioned tasseled key and led via elevator up to our room.
Room Reaction: When we first mentioned the opening of this hotel and showed the first images, we thought the rooms would be huge. Well, our room was a mite smaller than what we expected. In fact, it was called a petit chambre . One could touch the shower wall from the bed, and the sink was outside of the toilet. Definitely the European style the website described, still, the open-design did take us off guard at first.
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Is The Gem really a gem or a stone? A HotelChatter Review
After a bit of confusion on whether the Jade and the GEM Hotels were one and the same, it is clear they are not, especially when we made a last minute (we're talking 1:00 am) booking on HotelTonight.
We were able to score the 39-room GEM Hotel Midtown West, which we were excited about because we'd been curious about this brand, which has three properties in the city--Chelsea, SoHo, and this area.
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The other day we showed you our favorite shots from our favorite hotel at our favorite island in the South China Sea: Bagus Place Resort.
Comprised of seven hand-built villas, or "chalets" as the folks at Bagus like to call them, the resort is a true island paradise, with white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and dense forest cutting you off from any hint of civilization—at night, we could even hear the ooh-ooh-aah-aah of monkeys scurrying around in the treetops outside our room!
Checking In: Check-in is quite an experience here, as it entails taking a private boat from the Tioman Island airport (a tiny little strip of tarmac built on the northern part of the island). After a rollicking 15-minute cruise along the coast—which we mostly spent staring out at the island's gorgeous scenery—we finally pulled up to the Bagus Place jetty.
As we made our way slowly down the insanely-long wooden jetty (where a welcome cocktail awaited us), we took in all the sights, and thought to ourselves, "Oh, this is gonna be good…"
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Is The Jade Worth Your Green? A HotelChatter Review
The other week, after a budget hotel gone wrong in Hell's Kitchen, we fled downtown to the Jade Hotel on W. 13th and Sixth Avenue. And thanks to HotelTonight, we paid just $260 for the night. But if we had to, we would pay more and here's why.
For starters, the Jade has an incredible location. It's close to all things in the West Village and it's just a few blocks away from the happenings of Union Square. But it's also one block away from a subway stop that will quickly take you out to the LES or Brooklyn. You can even go to Jersey on the PATH train. Second, the rooms are petite but heavenly with thoughtful touches like an intricate cabinet that hides the TV, a mirrored armoire instead of a closet and a working rotary phone. Most importantly, they are quiet, which was our number one request.
If only the internet had worked in the morning, we may never have left the spot.
Read on for the full review!
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A 45 minute flight from Singapore or Kuala Lumpur, Tioman Island is considered one of Malaysia's most beautiful islands. It is mostly covered by dense forest, with a range of different types of resorts dotted along the coast. By far the most charming of these is Bagus Place Resort, a sustainably-built eco-resort with seven private "chalets," or small villas.
Pictured above is Bagus Place's private jetty. At 162 paces from end to end (we counted), it's the longest on the island.
Click below for more photos!
The other week we were pretty proud of ourselves for nabbing a brand-new hotel room in NYC at the Holiday Inn Express, Manhattan West Side (aka Hell's Kitchen) for under $200 a night, especially when room rates in New York were hovering around the $350 mark. Today, we're having a bit of buyer's remorse. While the rate was a good deal, the experience was marred by a few problems.
Here's what you should know:
· Loyalty Perks. Being a Priority Rewards Club member, we were given two bottles of water at check-in.
· Outlets. The room had a ton of outlets everywhere.
· Extra Toiletries. Housekeeping will deliver up any toiletries that you may have forgotten like a toothbrush and toothpaste. This was extremely convenient at ten o'clock at night.
· Friendly Staff. The hotel employees were extremely friendly and helpful, even when things didn't go as planned (See below.)
Check out that balcony. Would a soak in that tub not immediately make you feel so much better about your day? Such is your option at the spa at the Regent Phuket Cape Panwa, specifically in one of the signature couple’s treatment rooms. Being the first new Regent hotel to open in a number of years, we swung by recently when we were in the area to check out how the renaissance of the group (now continued with a second opening in Bali) is coming along.
We arrived in the midst of a pretty impressive (and seasonal) thunderstorm, with sheets of rain cascading down like nobody’s business – when it rains in Thailand, it RAINS. Luckily those thunderstorms also tend to clear out in no time, chased away by the strength of the sun. Set in the far less developed south eastern part of Phuket, the hotel consists of 105 rooms – a combination of Pavilions, Suites, and Pool Villas – scattered on a hillside tumbling down to the Andaman Sea.
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So Worth It? A HotelChatter Review
After giving you a peek at the hotel couture the Sofitel So Bangkok serves up with their uniforms, now we can reveal the full details of the property, and we have to say, this Sofitel is a doozy. Allow us to break it down for you:
Lobby Layout: The main lobby is located on the ninth floor and after being a bit confused how everything worked, we finally walked into a large room with a giant wooden slab reception desk and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Lumphini Park. With plenty of cozy seating, the lobby doubled as the bar featuring bespoke cocktails in a super chic lounge setting.
Check-in: Keeping up with current trend of having a seat while checking-in, we settled into one of the plush sofas and sipped our welcome drink of lemongrass and cucumber while handing over our passport and credit card for incidentals. The process was speedy and efficient and still warm and welcoming.