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Last month, the 500-room Radisson Blu Mall of America became the second Radisson Blu to open in the US (after Radisson Blu Aqua Chicago). But one thing that sets this place apart from Chicago (and all other subsequent Rad Blus) is that it directly connects to the Mall of America, with its 530 shops, 5 major department stores, multiple food courts, indoor theme park, and 14-screen movie theater. If they want, hotel guests can even arrange for a personal shopper and bag pick-up to maximize the experience. Rates from $174/night.
For more mall hotel awesome-ness in Hong Kong, Dubai, and Houston, read on!
Hotel Sales / Hotel News / London Hotels / InterContinental Hotels / Constellation Hotels / → All Tags
The InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) sold the luxurious, 447-room InterContinental London Park Lane to an affiliate of Constellation Hotels last week for about $460 million, building upon a fire sale that's been going on for the past decade. Since 2003, IHG has sold 191 hotels, at a rate of about 19 hotels a year, for a $6.1 billion profit.
They made a pretty penny on the Park Lane property, too, flipping it for 62% more than its December 2012 book value, by selling it to a Middle Eastern private investment group, and continuing a trend of Middle Eastern investment in London.
Recently, Qatar purchased Harrods department store and helped to finance the construction of the Shard skyscraper.
IHG says the profits will be used for "general corporate purposes," which we figure will include champagne parties, backstage passes, and pillow fights involving supermodels. Seriously though, we see big numbers thrown around all the time, so we're always more focused on the practical questions, like, will anything change as far as the consumer is concerned?
Celebrity Scoop / Ellen DeGeneres / Australia Hotels / Sydney Hotels / Melbourne Hotels / InterContinental Hotels / Hyatt Hotels / → All Tags
If you haven't heard Ellen DeGeneres and wife, Portia de Rossi, headed Down Under, to Portia's motherland. It was a trip hugely publicized on Ellen's show and by Qantas Airways, one of the sponsors.
We got the scoop on which Aussie hotels got the chance to show one of TV's funniest females their hottest digs on their visit to both Sydney and Melbourne. It seems like the couple likes to stay in the lap of luxury and we can't blame them.
First stop was Sydney, and after getting their respective passports stamped, the pair headed to the historic InterContinental Sydney perched over Circular Quay with views of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Let's hope they had time to check out that awesome pool on the 31st floor overlooking the harbor; it couldn't get more 'Sydneysider' than that!
Hotel Bathrooms / Bathroom Tuesdays / London Hotels / InterContinental Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
We love a good hotel bathtub, especially when it has a view. During a recent visit to the Londonís InterContinental Park Lane, we spotted a worthy entry for our Bathroom Tuesdays in the hotelís lofty London Suite.
With its soaring two-story windows, this suite Ė and its bathroom Ė takes full advantage of the hotelís vantage point on Hamilton Place, overlooking Hyde Park Corner and the gardens behind Buckingham Palace. Time it right, and you can watch the mounted Horse Guards pass underneath Wellington Arch right from the tub. More of a shower person? Not to worry, youíre covered too.
We admit, we're borderline gym addicts. We love the muscle machines, the calisthenics classes, the inflatable balls, and hardwood floor studios. And judging from a poll we took last spring, it seems quite a few of you agree.
Which is why, when we were staying with a friend recently in Warsaw, we were glad to be saving money on hotels (for once), but we sorely missed having a nice clean gym to work off all the kielbasa and pierogies. Enter InterContinental Warsaw to the rescue!
For fun, we decided to try out the hotel's fitness center, which, we were delighted to learn upon arrival, sits on the 43rd floor , offering amazing views of the city.
Before heading straight to the gym, though (we were on vacation, what's the rush?), we slipped into a robe and slippers and made a beeline for the indoor pool, which we eventually nicknamed 'the pool in the sky.' Surrounded on three sides by floor to ceiling windows, it was easily one of the nicest hotel pools we've seen in a while. We snapped the above photo of Warsaw's Palace of Culture and Science (or "Palac Kultury i Nauki", if Polish is your thing) standing at the edge of the pool, wary of seeming too touristy, but then again, with a view like that, who cares?
Hotel News / Sweet Suites / London Hotels / UK Hotels / InterContinental Hotels / Royal Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
London's Goring Hotel may have recently received a seal of approval with its Royal Warrant (gosh, we're still having a hard time with that name), but the InterContinental London Park Lane has its own special royal nod of recognition, too.
Sitting on the site of Queen Elizabeth IIís former childhood residence on Piccadilly, the hotel has just unveiled its Royal Suite, with queenly design elements tastefully scattered throughout, and a view over the Royal Parks, no doubt filled with Royal Squirrels. Heh.
Like most things royal, this suite is a bit complicated. We'll explain. But first, how about some photo gawking?
Ice Hotels / InterContinental hotels / Montreal Hotels / Snow Village / Snow Village Montreal / Winter Hotels / → All Tags
Not that you want to hear about cold weather and snow during what seems like the coldest week ever (Ed note: don't be too sure!), there's something cool (pun intended) happening north of the border: Today marks the official opening of Montreal's Snow Village!
Built in the city's Parc Jean Drapeau, the Snow Village is North America's first and only entire village made of snow and ice. Now going on its second year, the architects and sculptors used the Big Apple as inspiration for this year's layout and design behind the attached Ice Hotel. It's like Montreal's very-own (snowy) version of Central Park and we're not above making snow angels.
Guess we'll need to explain that Ice Hotel if you've not heard us talk about it before.
New Year's Eve Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / InterContinental Hotels / Bangkok Hotels / London Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Sydney Hotels / Shangri-La Hotels / Four Seasons Hotels / → All Tags
Listen, we dodged that whole Doomsday thang (though we are Girl and Boy Scouts of preparedness, nonetheless), so letís try and celebrate some good times, shall we?) Weíve clued you in on some Choice New Yearís Eve parties being held at hotels across the world. So, we hope you've decided (for once) to relax, relate, and release and get your party on!
But do you know which hotels to book if you want front-and-center views of fireworks and the action come midnight, whether you feel like going out, or prefer to stay in?
We've asked our HotelChatter editors and contributors to pick their favorite spots to trip the lights fantastic! Here are their around-the-world faves:
Jet Lag / Hotel Packages / Hotel Amenities / InterContinental Hotels / London Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Berlin Hotels / Swissotels / → All Tags
No doubt many of you are traipsing around the world this holiday season, visiting friends and family. But unforch, the downside of jetsetting is the inevitable jetlag setting in. Weíve read and written about nearly every cure out there and damn near tried them all. Many are bunk, but these hotelsí jet-lag packages, spa treatments, amenities have actually worked on us, so weíre passing the info along so you can recover more quickly.
London: The Flotation Bed therapies (75 minutes/$185) at the InterContinental London Park Laneís spa have been a godsend after a transatlantic flight thatís too long to consider a hop, but too short to get Ambien-ed out. Businessmen swear by the day spaís quick and efficient capsule-like bed where youíre wrapped in a foil blanket.
The dry, weightless flotation device almost immediately eases the strain of being cooped on an airplane seat for hours. Thereís a variety additions for the floats a less intense 45-minute Exotic Frangipani and Coconut Milk therapy, but for hardcore refreshing the Musclease Aromas Spa Ocean Float involves a scented pressure point facial massage and scalp treatment, which relaxes the tensest of muscles. We were knocked out in minutes and awoke feeling as if we could bike around Hyde Park, just outside the hotel, without breaking a sweat. And we did.
Formerly a Hyatt Regency, the rebranded InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort is tucked away in the yacht marinas of Hope Island on the Gold Coast. Along with close proximity of the famous beaches of Surfers Paradise or the tranquil hinterland, the 5-star resort features lagoon, garden and golf course views for its guests.
Housed in a vintage-styled 1940s Queenslander home, you will feel as though you have stepped back in time and into a plantation style mansion. You can take your pick of any one of the 243 rooms styled in colonial decor and featuring polished hardwood floors. If you prefer a private balcony, the homestead rooms are the ones to nab as they offer views of the marina or golf course.
Hotel Art / Historic Hotels / Miami Hotel Mambo / Miami Hotels / InterContinental Hotels / For the sake of Hotel Art / Sweet Suites / → All Tags
If you've been keeping up with your Miami hotel mambo, you'll know there's plenty of cool stuff happening at the freshly-renovated InterContinental Miami. In addition to some nifty touchscreen coffee tables in the lobby, plus a giant 19-story digital canvas on the hotel's exterior, we also discovered this gem in one of the rooms.
Adorning one of Venus Williams' two special-designed presidential suites, is this historic newspaper clipping sourced from the local archives. This article has been blown up to thirty times its original size, framed, and placed on a wall in the suite's living room, and details 18 ways to pronounce the city's name.
Take a look above to browse the list of funny-sounding options. "My-ah-my," "Mee-ammi," and, our personal favorite, "My-amma." We wonder which pronunciation Venus is partial to?
Chicago woke up to some sad news this morning, with the Tribune reporting that, during the night, 23-year-old Nicholas Wieme fell down and got trapped in the smoke chute of the†InterContinental Chicago. Apparently, after he'd fallen, Wieme was still able to text his girlfriend and ask for help, but by the time firefighters got him out of the chute, it was already too late.
A WGN reporter explained:
"The 23 year old man's girlfriend told fire officlals he went up to the rooftop to take pictures at around 1am. That area is not open to the public, and it's not clear how he gained access, or wound up trapped in the shoot about 22 feet down."
It sounds like the rescue team did literally everything they could--the Tribune reports that 125 firefighters and paramedics showed up at the scene, though once the situation had been properly evaluated, it was clear that removing Wieme was not going to be an easy task.