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Midtown Manhattan has never been a particularly cool place to stay in New York, although we have to admit that the onslaught of new hotels that have opened in the area these past few years is a god-send. Whether you want to stay in Herald Square for work convenience or proximity to Macy's or even Penn Station, there are now options that won't make you weep all over your key card. Case in point: Hyatt Herald Square.
A word of warning, however. The rooms here are small. Like, small with the tiniest 's' you can picture. The King Room we stayed in recently was less than 200 square feet.
That said, we applaud the designers' efforts to make the space workable. There are pieces of furniture that do double-duty and secret compartments where you can stash your stuff (and hopefully not forget it's there). It was clear that each item had been thought through and the overall look was minimal and functional. In fact, it reminded us of a stripped-back, teensy tiny homage to the rooms at Andaz Hotels.
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Hello Thursday! Time for a quick roundup of news from around the world, because hotels never sleep. We’ve got Shanghai, Mumbai, Uruguay, and a few places in between. Onwards!
Rocco Forte Shanghai: Following the first small steps on the road to significant expansion taken in Jeddah, here is the confirmation that Shanghai (above) will follow in 2018. The first Rocco Forte hotel in China is also the first in Asia Pacific altogether, and part of the “Longhua International Aviation Service Centre, a new urban complex in Shanghai’s Xuhui Riverside area known as West Bund”. There is no official name yet, but it will be on the top 15 floors of a high-rise at 280 rooms and suites.
More than 50 years after her death, Marilyn Monroe is still a beauty icon. So much so that Hyatt Resorts around the country in locations like Maui, Monterey and Orlando are partnering with Marilyn Monroe Spas and adding the themed spas to select properties. Along with treatment rooms, the spas have “glamour rooms,” a social space where gals can have their makeup and hair done in a fun, lively atmosphere.
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Every month, we tell you which hotel openings you need to know about (and which, inevitably, miss their deadlines). While we have a healthy list of arrivals around the world, there are a few places that are either consistently popular or having a bit of a hotel moment, so “new hotels for…” gives you a rundown of the openings you will want to know about for a particular destination. Never one to shy away from doing things big, Singapore keeps building, building, building like there is no tomorrow: offices, apartment buildings, and of course, hotels. Marina Bay Sands landed a few years ago like a three-pillared spaceship ready for endless rooftop pool selfies, and Karl Lagerfeld brought a few design touches and one of his inimitable pearls of wisdom to Sofitel So just last year. Yet more is to come – here are six new hotels coming to the Lion City over the next few years:
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When Hyatt Centric was announced in January of this year, we presumed that this was just Hyatt Hotels' way of grabbing the attention of the millennial traveler. But after touring the Hyatt Centric South Beach, the second Hyatt Centric to open (the first opened in Chicago the other month), we realize the hotel goes deeper than just trendy design, free WiFi and social hours.
It's actually kind of the perfect hotel for the new and emerging yuccie or Young Urban Creative, introduced this week by Mashable. Yup, we're gonna need a new tag for these guests.
Keep reading for an all-around tour of the Hyatt Centric South Beach
Glenn Hanlon has been bartending in paradise at the Hyatt Regency Maui on Kaanapali Beach for 10 years – five of those stationed at the coolest bar along the famous Kaanapali Beach path: GrottoBar. Hidden between waterfalls in a cavern-like setting, it’s a day-drinker’s paradise offering a reprieve from the sun and an array of fruity frozen cocktails among choices like beer and wine.
We recently bellied up to the bar and spoke to Glenn about his ideal bartending gig and his thoughts on booze, hangover cures and how many drinks it takes to drown out the sound of a waterfall.
It’s time to head back to Hallmark for a card, as Father’s Day is right around the corner—June 21 if you need to set a reminder. This might be the year to skip the tie and socks and upgrade the offering to dear old dad thanks to the folks over at Park Hyatt.
This year Park Hyatt is teaming up with Bono—you know, the one from U2—to launch a book called Sons + Fathers. The book is full of sweet stories shared between fathers and sons, including moments from celebrities and other famous fathers, like Paul McCartney, Bono, and President Bill Clinton. There's even a little anecdote from Jay Pritzker, the late founder of the Park Hyatt brand, and his son, Tom, who now heads up the luxury brand. (We’re thinking that some of these might put your own family movements to shame, but we’re sure they’ll be worth a read regardless.)
And as part of the book release, a special edition of the book will be available in the guestrooms and suites of 34 Park Hyatt hotels around the world, including the newest additions Park Hyatt Vienna and Park Hyatt New York.
Now even if Dad doesn’t care for lyrics, sketches, and poems at least he’ll be spending his day surrounding by Park Hyatt luxury. He might not seem like much of one to indulge in a spa treatment, gazillion thread-count sheets, or a room service breakfast—but we doubt he’s going to complain about it!
[Photo: Sons + Fathers]
At 45,000-sq.ft., it’s the largest on Kauai and each treatment suite opens up into its own tropical garden. So while you are being massaged, polished and scrubbed, the birds are chirping, the breeze is blowing and you actually know you are in Hawaii, unlike some staid, common spa treatment rooms where you can’t tell if you're in Hawaii or North Dakota.
There are some really Happy Feet over at the Hyatt Regency Maui! Who knew penguins liked the beach but this Kaanapali Beach resort has seven warm climate African Black Footed Penguins: Mai, Tai, Oreo, Nahu, Buddah, Zen and Momi.
Guests are invited to witness the morning feedings every day at 9:30 am where the penguins swallow their fish breakfasts head first so they go down smoothly (no gills getting caught that way). On our recent visit it was a blast to start our mornings watching them playfully zoom through the water to get their meal.
Six of the penguins were hatched on property, and range in age from seven to 11 years old. In captivity, they can live between the ages of 15 through 30. The resort’s oldest penguin, Oreo, is 29 years old, but still in tip top shape, able to catch fish in mid air at feeding time.
Following the feedings there’s a free wildlife tour throughout the property starting at 10:00 am on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. In addition to the penguins, there are cranes, swans, flamingos and parrots.
Look for Roger, the blue and gold macaw who is actually a female and quite the character. She waves, hangs upside down and appears to dance. Rumor has it she loves women, especially blondes (she seemed smitten with my blond daughter so perhaps it’s true) and can say her name, pretty bird, hello and bye bye. Roger also has some pals -- Luna, R2-D2, Popeye and Shrek.
So if you’re looking for a vacation with the bonus of an onsite zoo, you’ll find it at the Hyatt Regency Maui. It left us with happy feet indeed.
Rooms in June start at about $319.
[Photos: LindaM / Hyatt Regency Maui]
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Every month, we tell you which hotel openings you need to know about (and which, inevitably, miss their deadlines). While we have a healthy list of arrivals around the world, there are a few places that are either consistently popular or having a bit of a hotel moment, so “new hotels for…” gives you a rundown of the openings you will want to know about for a particular destination.
And where better to start than Bangkok? Our archives are full of stories from the Thai capital, well worth visiting in its own right and for its fantastic choice of hotels – which are often great value. The next five years will see some big names throw their hat in the ring in the city’s very competitive hotel game. Here are six new hotels you should watch out for:
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Wednesday isn’t exactly the best day of the week, and at this point that GEICO camel isn’t really bringing us the laughs like he once was. Thankfully there’s Hyatt—or more specifically Hyatt Place—as they are here to rescue us from the terribleness that is Wednesday with a chance to score a free two-night stay. Things started last week—on Wednesday—and continue on for the next five weeks, as they’re celebrating their There’s A Place For You campaign. Basically Hyatt Place is encouraging you and your buddies to follow them over on Instagram—@HyattPlace—and from there you check out all the goodness that is the hotel brand.
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As the rumors continue to swirl about the troubled Baha Mar in The Bahamas (Travel Weekly is reporting it is unlikely the resort will open this year), we've discovered a silver lining. It is a very small one but it's something.
A guest, we'll call him Mr. Mister, booked a room at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar directly, using Hyatt Gold Passport Points, and wrote into HotelChatter about the "excellent customer service" he received from Hyatt, who contacted him when the opening date was missed. Hyatt also has a direct 800-number for Baha Mar guests who are affected. Here's how the experience went for Mr. Mister and what he was offered instead of his original stay:
I booked directly with Hyatt using points right before they increased the value of this hotel (still pre-opening).
The offer is apparently already being discussed on the internet, but there were three possibilities:
1) Be rebooked sometime in the future at the Hyatt Baha Mar (booking September and beyond) and cover change fees up to $300 per person
2) Book myself at Atlantis on my dime (and without my Hyatt Diamond benefits, including free breakfast) and get a free enough points to stay at a similar Hyatt in the future for the same number of nights (including Baha Mar or any Hyatt)
3) Receive a refund for my Hyatt Baha Mar stay (in my case, my points back) plus points for an equivalent number of nights at any similar Hyatt in the future plus a refund of change fees
I chose option 3--my points back to re-use elsewhere plus the compensation points (four more nights worth in my case), plus a change fee refund ($200 on American), primarily since our airline flights were almost all on points (only my ticket was paid/refunded/changed). So, I came out +4 Hyatt nights for sometime in the future anywhere.