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Today we start a new weekly series of what’s trending in hotels these days: What’s Out, What’s In. Do we like what we see? Think it's a dud? You be the judge!
What’s Out: Generic flower aromas
What’s In: Bespoke signature scents
Hotels are getting personal with their smelly goods. More and more they’re looking to give you a local scent experience as soon as you walk in the door or when you’re executing your nightly ablutions. Capitalizing on the strength of olfactory memories, they’re partnering with local scent companies to choose unique aromas that embody the spirit of the hotel and give it a sense of place.
Here are just a few examples:
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Not to state the obvious, but it’s winter and you’re in need of some TLC to bring you out of your dark-day doldrums. We get it. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the most authentic local spa treatments to kick-start your spring recovery.
Fairmont Mayakoba -- Riviera Maya, Mexico Well the world didn’t end on December 21, 2012 as the Mayans predicted, but don’t give up on them yet. They still got game. In a private canopy overlooking the mangrove forest, guests of the Willow Stream Spa can enjoy treatments that utilize Mayan ingredients such as Conchera, fossil stone and wood from the local Zapote tree. For a bliss-out treatment, try the Mayan Clay Purification which incorporates local Mayan clay and involves a massage using sage oil and Mexican obsidian stones.
Four more blissful, all-natural spa treatments after the jump!
There's a new spot for stylish digs in Turkey's happenin' metropolis with the new Marti Istanbul Hotel. After a soft opening in the middle of last year, the hotel is ready to show travelers what makes them tick in their entirety with every space open and ready to wow guests behind every corner.
Tucked away in the heart of Istanbul, the Marti showcases the local Taksim culture. Considered the cultural and commercial area of the city, the sleek 11-story property is located within walking distance of dozens of galleries, boutiques, restaurants and bars.
Each of the 270 rooms are designed by famed Turkish eye-for-style, Zeynep Fadillioglu, and play with both Ottoman design and contemporary design. Cast in either a purple or blue hue, the rooms create a comfy living space for those that prefer a calming feel. Meanwhile, suites feature a hammam-style marble basin surrounded by richly textured mosaics to really get the true Turkish experience.
The bulk of Shangri-La’s proliferating hotel portfolio might be in China (54 locations and counting), but this year will see two major openings in Europe, tripling the group’s presence on the continent, which currently is limited to Paris. A lot of the attention is going to the much-hyped Shangri-La at the Shard, but if all goes as planned, Istanbul will beat London to the punch with the arrival of the Shangri-La Bosphorus in May .
Right on the edge of the Bosphorus strait, on the European side of the city, the hotel is housed in a former tobacco factory and warehouse from the 1930s. How do you fit 186 of the city’s most spacious guest rooms and all the luxury facilities of a Shangri-La hotel into an historic seven-story building while protecting its landmark facade? You go underground, digging a hole seven stories deep (or six, depending on where you look on the hotel’s website; we hope they’re not still figuring that one out).
The new Hilton will be close to this museum
Something’s going on in Turkey these days, with hotels announcing openings every month (or so it seems...). Now, Hilton Worldwide has announced that a new Hilton will be opening in Istanbul in 2013 around the the late summer/early fall period.
The Hilton Istanbul Bomonti Hotel & Conference Center is, right now, set to be the largest hotel in this bustling city with 829 rooms. 829! That’s a lot of heads on beds for a city that’s not Vegas.
Still, Hilton is strategically opening up properties in the area. The Hilton Istanbul Bomonti will be their sixth hotel in Turkey, with the most recent hotel opening being their first ever dual branded property –- the Hilton Bursa Hotel & Convention Center and Hampton by Hilton Bursa.
No, it’s not, and more than that, it’s a treatment that challenges your sense of personal space.
But let’s start at the beginning. During our recent trip to Istanbul this year, it seemed that it would almost be a crime to not have a Turkish hamam in Turkey. So we headed to the Amrita Spa at the five-star Swissotel The Bosphorus hotel.
With a health club and indoor pool attached, we knew that this spa was a good choice because it was filled with locals as well as tourists. There was already a good vibe at the check-in counter, where you could see a dimly-lit pool within the inner sanctum of the spa. With our escort, we walked deeper inside until we reached the changing room with all its many amenities: showers, sauna, private rooms, etc. Once we were wrapped in our towels for modesty’s sake and ushered into the hamam, our coverings were removed and modesty was now forever damned. This was the exact point when the hamam experience became interesting.
There are some pretty swanky hotels found across this great big world, and Swissôtel Living in Istanbul is definitely one of them.
Swissôtel chose to launch their new extended stay concept hotel in cosmopolitan Istanbul, whose vibrant history is engraved in its culture. But as important as its traditions still are, Istanbul is definitely not a city stuck in the past, as evidenced by the makeover of this former residence and office rental building. Before the company took over the management of the property, located right beside its five-star Swissôtel The Bosphorus, the place was badly in need of a reno. After a top-to-bottom gut a la Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, it opened as the über-modern and luxe Swissôtel Living.
Hotel Rooftops / Hotel Bars / Pod Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Chicago Hotes / Portland Hotels / London Hotels / San Diego Hotels / Affinia Hotels / Swissotels / Istanbul Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / Luxury Collection Hotels / Marriott Hotels / → All Tags
We hate to see rooftop season go, and with fall officially beginning tomorrow, places will start closing up shop soon. Which is why we've asked our HotelChatter editors and contributors to pick their favorite hotel rooftops around the US and Europe in case you haven't visited one yet. Ever the optimists, we'll say there are a few weeks of prime rooftop hopping left before annoying things like rain, wind chill factor, and snow block us from the outdoor lounging we love so much.
Use this guide to get your pre-Fall affairs in order!
Pod 39, New York City
Word's gotten out about midtown's newest hotel rooftop bar, located on the 17th floor of the Pod 39. And why not? Enclosed by a series of majestic terra cotta columns and slender brick archways, the al fresco space feels more like a re-discovered Greek temple than the regular old Manhattan standby. But, it's a bar alright. Cocktails like the delicious Weathervane (rye whiskey, grapefruit juice, campari, ginger, and a sprig of fresh rosemary, $12) make a great accompaniment to up-close views of the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building and neighboring Queens. (ASchechter, Assistant Editor)
See the rest of the picks after the jump!
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Has the experience of a really good shoe shine ever stayed with you...even after you've left the hotel?
Well, that's the kind of impact Ritz-Carlton is hoping to make with their brand new video series, "The Art of the Craft," which offers portraits of individual employees toiling away in their natural hotel habitats: sommeliers, chefs de cuisine, shoe shiners. They're all here, representing different corners of the vast Ritz-Carlton empire, and all managing to make whatever it is they do (work) look like the total opposite of work.
We just watched two clips from the new series, and have to admit—if nothing else, the sommelier made us want to have a drink, and the shoe shiner made us want to get our shoes shined. Mission accomplished?
Over on Jaunted, you can get our inside looks at some of the world’s best airline lounges, so we thought we’d do something similar here and start talking about some of the hotel lounges we’ve frequented lately for our series on Hotel Club Lounges. Today, HotelChatter contributor Eric Rosen takes us along with him to the Club Lounge at the Ritz-Carlton Istanbul.
Though the regular service at an upscale property like the Ritz-Carlton Istanbul is often impeccable, getting a Club Level room here confers a host of added benefits and perks. The hotel has dedicated Club Level floors on the 11, 12 and 14 stories, but guests staying in rooms on other floors can also obtain club access for a premium fee added onto the room rate (about 65 euros per day, from what we can tell from the online reservations system).
Last week, HotelChatter Special Contributor Eric Rosen explored the historic back alleys of Istanbul and checked out the Edition Istanbul, a mysterious property which we've only heard about from afar. It's also currently the only Edition Hotel in the world.
The 78 rooms at the Edition Istanbul were designed by Gabellini Shepherd Architects in two different palettes: a soothing milky “Soaped Oak,” and the richer, more masculine “Dark Rosewood,” which is what this room on the 7th floor was.
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A Viceroy will be in these parts soon.
Fresh after adding Cassa New York to their collection and seeing the departure of president Nicholas Clayton to Jumeirah Hotels, Viceroy Hotel Group has just announced the Viceroy Istanbul will open in 2013, a year earlier than we expected.
The hotel will be a part of the rising Nef Bebeköy Development.
Spread across ten separate buildings and over 16 acres of land, offering 58 guest accommodations, Viceroy Istanbul will boast spectacular panoramic views of the Bosphorus, the strait that forms part of the boundary between Europe and Asia, and direct access to a tranquil outdoor garden and forest area. The property will offer guests and residence luxury services including a casual and signature restaurant, banquet and meeting facilities, an outdoor art gallery, and a state-of-the-art full service fitness center and spa.