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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it (fittingly) a giant beach ball on the roof of this beachside Holiday Inn?
Nope, none of them. It’s a military radar thingy.
Taking working with the military to a whole new level beyond giving servicemen and women discounts, the Fort Walton Beach Holiday Inn in, you’ve guessed it, Florida, has joined forces with the military to create a beach resort-military base combo. Why hasn’t Vegas thought of this before?
According to the Miami Herald, in a story that made us triple check it wasn’t April 1 today (until the hotel confirmed the news on its Facebook page):
The combination resort hotel and military test site opened in late May in an unusual partnership between the military and private business in a time of tighter military budgets. In exchange for allowing the Innisfree Hotel company to build the 152-room resort on Air Force land, the military was able to construct a rooftop station that receives radar signals and a secure conference room for classified meetings. The dome hiding the military equipment is painted red, white, blue and yellow like a beach ball.
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Reviews look solid, particularly for St Petersburg Tchaikovskogo: free soft drinks in the mini bar, a “master of Thai massage” and excellent customer service (by no means a given in Russia) are what people are focusing on.
A room tonight will set you back 6800RUB ($199), though they drop in July to 4900RUB ($143). That’s up on the 4000RUB lead-in price on opening, though still great value for Russia.
It's been a longtime coming but EVEN Hotels, the new wellness-oriented brand from InterContinental Hotel Group, has finally opened its very first location in Norwalk, Conn.
We've spent a lot of time talking about what's inside the EVEN Hotel concept such as the in-room training zones, the Cork & Kale restaurant, the extensive fitness centers and the knowledgeable-about-exercise-staffers, but today, we're actually looking inside the EVEN Hotel concept.
Below are photos of the property from the exterior to the guest rooms (with so much exercise equipment), to the lobby and the restaurant. Have a look around, then put on your most serious judging face and score this performance in comments below.
Wanna get fit for the night at this EVEN Hotel? Rates for tomorrow start at just $108 for a wellness king room.
[Photos: EVEN Hotels]
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Hotel Indigo is heading back to where it all began.
Ten years ago, the very first Hotel Indigo opened in Atlanta. Today, the hyper-local, on-trend design hotel has 55 hotels in 11 countries. But it can't get enough of A-town. The city's third Indigo, Hotel Indigo Downtown Atlanta, will open in the fall of 2015 at 230 Peachtree St. NE.
The hotel will takeover eight floors of a building first developed 50 years ago by architect John C. Portman. In a full circle move, his real estate development firm, Portman Holdings, now owns the building. And it looks like Hotel Indigo will capitalize on all the changes in the area:
“Downtown Atlanta is experiencing a surge in growth and development, and we look forward to connecting guests to the newly revitalized neighborhood,” said Mary Winslow, director, Americas Brand Management, Hotel Indigo. “The hotel will be located in the center of downtown and very close to the new Atlanta Streetcar line, making it easy to step out and explore. We are very pleased to be part of a new project in our hometown, and we’re excited about helping guests discover something new about the neighborhood every time they visit.”
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Oh happy day! Spring is (almost) in the air -- summer’s waiting in the wings -- and Hotel Indigo is popping up all over Europe, just in time for peak travel season.
With two new openings this month, in Rome and St. Petersburg, one next month in Madrid, and at least three others “coming soon” (Lisbon and two more in the UK), we’ve got a lot of ground to cover. So let’s get started with Hotel Indigo Rome - St. George and Hotel Indigo St. Petersburg - Tchaikovskogo ). We'll follow up on the others as they progress.
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We've talked about Even Hotels and their quest to help guests live a healthy lifestyle while on the road. Besides cool in-room training areas, healthier mini-bar snacks and improved exercise options, both on-property and off, the healthy hotels have now partnered with some fitness experts.
The IHG group have called upon Athletic-Minded Traveler, a San Diego-based company that specializes in making it easy for road-warriors to get their sweat on. AMT is working closely with EVEN Hotels to incorporate innovative hotel wellness solution concepts, fitness strategies, facility designs and decor, equipment recommendations and healthy food and beverage guidance. AMT will even help Even train their staffers. (Remember, all employees at Even Hotels are expected to be knowledgeable in wellness living.)
We've been nearly starving for more info on Even Hotels, the new wellness hotel brand from InterContinental Hotel Group, and their development plans and today, we finally got a nibble.
Even has already announced two locations in New York City but those won't actually be the first Even hotels to open. Instead, Even will open in Rockville, Maryland and Norwalk, Connecticut as early as next year. (The NYC hotel will open in 2015.) Here are the specs on each property, which will be both IHG owned and operated:
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Crowne Plaza may not scream luxury in the West, but IHG is hoping that Crowne Plaza in China will find a new crop of loyal, monied guests. The 520-room Crowne Plaza Resort Xishuangbanna straddles the Mekong River, surrounded by Xishuangbanna's lush forests. The hotel's overarching theme is that of a Dai palace--the Dai are one of China's 55 ethnic minority groups--and while we wouldn't say it's subtle, neither is it over-the-top...unless you count the two 1,600 sqm. Presidential Villas and the hotel's very own temple.
Most travelers come to Yunnan for its stunning nature, but given all the offerings at the hotel, we could see it being tough to leave the grounds. There are six food and beverage venues, an enormous outdoor pool and, should you find yourself down south for work, MICE spaces galore. Take advantage of the free kids' club by dropping off your offspring and heading out for an elephant trek. Rates for a superior room start at around $140 a night.
Back in March, we were psyched to hear that InterContinental Hotel Group would be making major changes to their loyalty program, starting with a name change from Priority Rewards to IHG Rewards Club. But best of all, the program would start offering free WiFi to all members by July 2014.
Starting today, the program has officially made the name change and right now, elite members of the program will get free WIFi at any IHG hotel. IHG Rewards Club will also give members the ability to fast track their elite status by staying in three or more of IHG's hotel brands. Additionally, reward nights will count towards earning elite status and platinum elite members "extra" nights will roll over to next year so they can keep that coveted status.
This is all extremely good news for current IHG members and we wouldn't be surprised if it attracted a whole new crop of members either. Also not hurting is that IHG has over 4,600 hotels in nearly 100 countries and territories. Then again, we recently took a chance on Holiday Inn Express and we're not sure it was worth the double points we got for the stay. We'll stick with Hotel Indigo and InterContinental flagships in the future.
For more on the program changes and what each level of status gets you, go here.
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UPDATE: Ok, the NYC hotel will be the flagship for the brand. But it won't be the first one to open. Where that first hotel will be is still a mystery.
It's been over a year now since we first heard about the new "wellness" brand from InterContinental Hotel Group, Even Hotels. Since then, the brand has announced not one, but two hotels for New York City. Yet despite an intial belief that one of these Evens would be the flagship for the brand, we've since been told otherwise by folks at IHG. Strike that. This will be a flagship hotel but it won't be the first to open.
So where could this new
flagship first Even hotel open? San Francisco? Los Angeles? Chicago? Miami? The first two would make sense for a fitness and health-oriented brand but Chicago's hotel scene is on fire, with so many new hotels and brands heading there. And who doesn't love Miami? Or maybe Even will stay close to home, IHG's home that is, somewhere in the Atlanta area. We've been digging and digging and so far, nothing has come up. If you happen to have a line in on Even's development plans, feel free to tip us off!
Meanwhile, construction has not even begun on the planned first Even Hotel for NYC which is expected to open in
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Manhattan is still the place to be for hip new hotel brands. Yesterday, we mentioned how Commune Hotels would be opening not one, but two new Tommie Hotels in the Big Apple. Today, we learn that InterContinental Hotel Group's upcoming Even Hotels brand has signed an agreement to open a second hotel in NYC--this time at 321 West 35th Street.
The hotel will be an entirely new build and will feature 150 guestrooms over 25 guest room floors. The rest of the hotel will feature flexible public workspaces, dining and social areas and since this hotel brand is all about health, fitness and wellness, a state-of-the-art,t hree-zone gym. Plus the entire place will be outfitted with free WiFi. The hotel is expected to open in 2015 as will the other Even Hotel on 44th Street. The very first Even Hotel will open sometime in 2014. That location is still TBD.
Keep reading for more hotel opening news!
Chicago can now brag about being one of the few cities around the world to play host to three Hotel Indigos. These bragging rights can't officially start until the hotel opens after the winter thaw in 2014, though.
The Windy City will welcome the new hipster hotel that will take over the former Atlantic Bank Building along Chicago's most famous street, Michigan Avenue. The 101-year old building will be transformed into a 156-room hotel that, in true Hotel Indigo fashion, pays great attention to design while incorporating pieces of local flair. We would be surprised if being across from Millennium Park doesn't play a major role in design; the 'bean' is too cool not to.
This is no normal $30 million renovation since four additional floors will be added to the building creating a new, happening rooftop bar, and a restaurant managed by celebrity chef David Burke. With the bar on the top, the restaurant will take over the former bank vaults in the basement to provide a private dining experience. Just think of those killer views while enjoying a cocktail!