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Luxurious tipis/teepees like these should help you forget that the bathrooms are next door.
Here’s a summer glamping opportunity you can feel good about--a Wild West safari that contributes to the preservation of our nation's wild Mustangs. The Mustang Monument Eco-Resort and Preserve offers an up-close and personal experience of these beautiful wild animals along with some pretty cool accommodations to retire to.
This is a true wildlife sanctuary created by Madeleine Pickens--as in the former Mrs.T Boone Pickens-- who founded the Saving America's Mustangs Foundation. The Mustang Monument is spread across 900 square miles south of Wells, Nevada, where the views are pretty much the same in all directions. All desert, all the time. This is an all-inclusive luxury eco-resort offering two types of accommodations, the "Luxury Tipi" and the "Cottage."
Nope, it's not a Snickers bar or a can of Coke. It's actually hand sanitizer.
The Hotel Sorella, a 255-room luxury hotel in Houston, discovered that the 25-count box of single-use, b4 antibacterial hand sanitizer disposable gel outsells nearly every other item in the minibar. The only two things people take more are, funnily enough, vodka and water.
The $6 product is obviously a good thing to grab for when guests leave the hotel room and hit the city streets (Just so you know, there is soap in the bathrooms too. Lol.) But the hotel says it's actually the bigger purpose of the b4 sanitizer that gets people to buy. b4 donates half the profits from the sales to children-focused charities of The Midway Foundation. And that's one minibar purchase we can't feel guilty about.
Rates at Hotel Sorella start at $169 next weekend for a traditional king room.
[Photo: Hotel Sorella]
Even though common sense tells us that"green initiatives," such as not washing towels and sheets every day, should make things cheaper in the long run, we haven't exactly been seeing hotel rates drop just because a property puts a card on our pillow and a key-activated power switch on the wall.
Sometimes it seems like hotels regard these features as things they might even be able to charge more for, as if they were some must-have amenity that directly enhances our stay.
And we guess part of that makes sense, since big projects, such as installing wind turbines on the roof, are the equivalent of a renovation for hotels and come with an upfront cost. We'd be silly to think part of that cost wouldn't be passed on to the consumer.
Hotels Doing Good / Orange County Hotels / Dana Point Hotels / Elephant Parade Hotels / Elephant Parade / → All Tags
You hardly need another good reason to visit Dana Point, Calif. as it's one of the most scenic spots in the country, populated with great resorts. But you will need to hurry up and plan your visit if you're hoping to catch the final weeks of the area's Elephant Parade which ends on November 17.
The Elephant Parade is a huge public art exhibition that showcases colorfully decorated, life-size baby elephant sculptures created by local and international artists (and some celebrities too.) It's totally free to see as the elephants are placed in high-pedestrian traffic areas and frequently visited spots around Dana Point, including the Harbor, local beaches, public parks and several resorts. Check out which elephants can be found where in Dana Point right here.
You can also scope out the elephants from your hotel room, so long as you're staying at one of the sponsoring resorts which are St. Regis Monarch Beach, The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, Marriott Laguna Cliffs Resort and Spa (where the grand auction will be held), and DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Doheny Beach. We're partial to the ellies out in front at the St. Regis but the Ritz-Carlton does boast a cute elephant done by Holly Branson, Sir Richard's daughter.
If you see an elephant that really catches your eye, then you can bid on it during the Grand Auction at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott on November 17th. A portion of the sale proceeds will go to the Asian Elephant Foundation. The Elephant Parade itself started in 2006 as a way to raise awareness, and money for the Asian Elephant whose population has shrunk over 90 percent. Today, about 3,500 Asian elephants remain, compared to 35,000 in 1960 and only about 1,500 elephants live in the wild.
[Photo: St. Regis Monarch Beach/Facebook]
With the holiday season just a month or so away (sorry to be the bearer of bad news), Shangri-La is giving members of its Golden Circle rewards program the opportunity to help out two Hong Kong based charities, Oxfam Hong Kong (which aids poverty and disaster relief) and MedArt (which brings care to those in long-term confinement, such as prisons, psychiatric institutions, hospices, homes for the elderly, etc).
For every 1,000 points given by a member, Golden Circle will donate $20 to one of the charities on the member’s behalf. The minimum donation starts at 2,000 points and can be increased by increments of 1,000 up until a maximum of 10,000, equivalent to a $200 cash donation. Members may donate by visiting the “Redeem Points” section on Golden Circle's website.
The donated points are forfeited from your account in exchange for the donation made by Golden Circle. How much these points are actually worth varies. For example, at a Shangri-La "collection A" hotel, a standard room is worth 1,000 points/night. At the highest tier of hotels, "collection G," a standard room is worth 20,000 points. So, a guest who donates 2,000 points sacrifices a two-night stay and the hotel donates $40 to charity.
We like when a hotel does good deeds and that was the case last week when the retail space at New York City's Paramount Hotel was converted into a funky pop-up shop to benefit the Global Citizen Festival on September 28th.
Superstar musicians Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Kings of Leon and John Mayer will play a free concert this weekend at Central Park to a crowd supporting the Global Poverty Project.
For those unfamiliar with the organization which is in its second year of giving such concerts, GPP has partnered with Cotton On Foundation to create a venue called the Global Citizen Pop Up Store at Free & The Brave.
Their limited-edition products--from cool vintage-style t-shirts (so affordable) designed by celebrity supporters of the cause, concert photography by Danny Clinch, and signed artist memorabilia
Their limited-edition products--from cool vintage-style t-shirts (so affordable) designed by celebrity supporters of the cause, concert photography by Danny Clinch, and signed artist memorabiliawill be sold in Paramount's dedicated (but temporary shop) until October 16th. All proceeds will go to to the charity, which supports communities in Uganda.
Their focus? The Zero Poverty 2030 campaign, which seeks one million citizens to call on world leaders to continue efforts to end extreme poverty by the year 2030.
Deals: you want 'em, and surprisingly, everyone has 'em. Take a look at some of the latest hotel deals going around the internet today from booking sites, social media sites, flash sale sites and more. Don't forget to scroll down to see the HotelChatter-approved deal either. Who knows? You might just find what you're looking for. (But don't forget to tell us about your stay!)
DEALS, DEALS, DEALS*
· COCONUT WAIKIKI HOTEL: Do the opposite of the mountain thing and instead book a room at the Coconut Waikiki Hotel in Hawaii. The JDV hotel is offering a bunch of discounts that increase if you stay longer. So stay two nights and get 10 percent off the Best Available Rate. But stay four nights and the discount goes up to 18 percent off the rate. The hotel also throws in complimentary coconut water, a sunburn survival kit and a behind-the-scenes neighborhood guide for all stays. Go here to book. Rates start at $289 on weekends.
· BUTTERMILK FALLS INN + SPA: This Hudson Valley hotel is offering a Summer Sojourn package that includes two nights in a deluxe inn room, daily country breakfast, a $50 spa credit towards any 60-minute or longer spa treatment and lunch for two prepared by the Inn's chef. Rates start at $480 for a two night stay (regular rate: $680.) The deal is only good for Sunday-Thursday stays and does not include taxes or fees. It's available until July 31 so call (845) 795-1310 to book.
· FOUR SEASONS, PEAK TO PEAK: Like to pamper yourself after a few days of roughingt? This summer the Four Seasons Hotels of Jackson Hole, Vail and Whistler are offering a Peak to Peak Summer Passport Package that will save guests up to 40 percent off on lodging if they book at all three hotels on their summer adventure quest. (The breakdown is (15% of nightly room rate at the second resort, and 25% at the third). If you book before October 27, Four Season will throw in a complimentary backpack filled with a customized selection of outdoor and adventure gear, including GoPro Cameras and mountain biking gear. To book, call one of the hotels directly. The package is good through October 27 but only at the three mountain resorts listed above. Just so you have an idea of what you're getting into, the Four Seasons Vail starts at $825 a night. Maybe that should be your last stop.
Over the past few years, we've seen a variety of attempts by charities to grab the loose change from people's pockets--the most common example being the option to round up to the nearest dollar and donate the difference at the grocery store checkout. But this trend is also spreading to the travel industry.
Airlines have gotten on board, both on-site and in the booking process. Jaunted reported in April that UNICEF's "Change for Good" charity campaign would ask travelers for their excess change at the end of a flight, and you can now also "round up" when purchasing a ticket on certain airlines.
So naturally, we can't help but wonder if hotels will get on board too. We've seen some hotels here and there donating a portion of the room rate to a specific charity cause but that only happens if a guest books a specific package that mentions the donation. And the donation is usually only offered for a short period of time. Yet what if hotels began taking a small percentage of the room rate--all the time, on every booking, no matter what--and gave that to charity?
Hotel Toys / Hotel Swag / Hotel Lobbies / Hotels Doing Good / Singapore Hotels / Historic Hotels / → All Tags
You know those people who can't walk by a pet store without coo-ing over the adorable puppies in the window? Or, say, walk around a mall without popping their head in every darn shoe store? Well, that's pretty much us when it comes to cute teddy bears, and we totally fell for this little guy on a recent spin through the lobby at Singapore's Fullerton Hotel.
Dubbed the "Fullerton Bellhop Bear," he is one of four collectible stuffed animals being offered by the iconic hotel.
The complete Fullerton Bear collection includes: The Fullerton Postmaster Bear (referencing the hotel's history as a former post office), The Fullerton Bellhop Bear (pictured), The Fullerton Bay Ship Captain and The Fulleron Panda Plush Bear.
And just in case you're rolling your eyes right now at the frivolity of this post, keep in mind that the sale from each bear goes towards supporting two charities chosen by the hotel: Mainly I Love Kids (MILK), and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF- Singapore). The fundraising initiative started last year with just the Postmaster Bear, but due to its popularity, the hotel debuted the other 3 bears this past April.
Last week, we had a general manager living in a bubble to promote his hotel. This week, a hotel manager has abseiled off the side of building to support a charity.
Sally Beck, who works as manager of the Lancaster London, joined 100 thrill-seeking volunteers today in plunging down the side of the hotel, which is one of London's tallest hotels. Of course, they were all safely strapped in and wearing helmets but still, that's quite a big commitment to make.
Yet the experience is worth it as all funds will go towards Springboard's “Kickstart Programme”, which supports young school and college leavers with their first step onto the career ladder.
A brave soul who abseiled off the hotel last year.
Want to glimpse the gorgeous views of London from the Lancaster without hurling yourself off the building? Rates this summer start at $200 a night.
Are you a general manager about to engage in a wacky stuff either to promote your hotel or to help out a charity? We wanna hear about it! So send us all the crazy details here.
[Photos: Lancaster London/Smile Photography]
Hotels Doing Good / 50 Cent / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Charity / Celebrity Scoop / Hotel Minibars / → All Tags
We know how hard it can be getting out of bed sometimes. We normally use our iPhone alarm to jolt us awake (followed by a big cup of strong black tea), but we're aware there are other more soothing ways to get the job done. Like...a wake-up call from Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson when you stay at The Strand in New York City.
Sound crazy? Here's a little background: 50 Cent, along with entrepreneur Chris Clarke, founded a line of all-natural energy drinks known as SK Energy Shots back in 2011 (actually, the product name was originally Street King, but in 2012 it got abbreviated to the less confrontational "SK".) Better yet, the SK Energy brand has a philanthropic mission, with every energy shot sold providing a meal to a hungry child through the United Nations World Food Programme.
Now, the Strand has partnered with SK to offer the energy shots in all 176 guest rooms. But to really help raise awareness, the hotel is offering the option of a (pre-recorded, duh) wake-up call from Mr. P-I-M-P himself. No further details have been released, though we're wondering, if it happens to be your birthday, do you get your name called out in a special rendition of In Da Club?
As it's now been over three weeks since Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast, you could be easily fooled into thinking everything is pretty much back to normal. And, in some ways, that would be true: power is back to Manhattan, the subways are running between boroughs again, and NYC & Co has declared that 98% of the city's hotels have all re-opened.
But there is still plenty of work to be done. Many homes in places like Red Hook, Far Rockaway, Staten Island and parts of New Jersey were demolished or declared uninhabitable by FEMA, and volunteers from the Red Cross have been working around the clock to bring relief to those still left struggling to cope with the storm's aftermath.
For obvious reasons, hotels have played a major role in this post-Sandy relief effort by organizing charity drives, housing relief workers, and giving shelter to homeless Sandy victims. The Daily Mail is reporting that the Red Cross has spent $181,000 alone on rooms at the Soho Grand.
Now, here are a few ways you, the philanthropic hotel guest, can pitch in too: