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The other week, we were chatting to a friend of ours that we knew was traveling in Costa Rica. She sent us a few snaps of the hotel she was staying at, including the pretty killer view from a room above. Being who we are, we asked the most important question: which hotel?
The response? “It’s this place called Andaz, which I think may be related to Hyatt? But it’s not at all like a Hyatt.” We nearly fell off our chair: we were talking to someone inside Andaz Peninsula Papagayo that very minute, a hotel we duly obsessed over when it opened, based on the renderings and descriptions of native Costa Rican architect Ronald Zurcher having "imagined a gathering of animals and used the shapes of cocoons and shells for the hotel's facilities...to stimulate the senses of guests in new and refreshing way".
Having laughed at us and called us a hotel freak (guilty), she sent us some more photos our way, which we of course had to share. The more we saw, the more we liked it, it was all so good… until it wasn’t, and Andaz broke our heart a little bit. Here’s why.
G Rough behind Pasquino
When in Rome… well, you know what to do.
But contrary to what tourist tradition might have you believe, Romans don’t toss coins in the Trevi Fountain, or idle away hours squatting on the Spanish Steps. They don’t really do Piazza Navona, either. Instead, they head for a little square just behind Piazza Navona: Piazza di Pasquino.
When the G-Rough opened in Rome on 23 March, much was made of its modern style – a completely new departure for the city, neither traditional nor modern. Nobody mentioned its location, other than the fact that it’s central. But it turns out that the G-Rough has one of the most fascinating locations in the Eternal City.
Killer View / Venice Hotels / JW Marriott Hotels / Marriott International / Hotel Scams / Hotel Scandals / → All Tags
This view is not what it seems
It seems like only yesterday that we were freaking out over the amazing renderings of the JW Marriott Venice, which, at that point, was soon to open on its own private island in the Venetian lagoon. The major freak-out point? Those dreamy views from the rooftop pool, overlooking St Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Palace.
And then, a couple of weeks ago, we were in Venice, saw where the JW Marriott is located, and got a hold on the view situation. And you know what?
It is, let’s say generously, a rather free interpretation of the actual view.
Um, yes. Do we really need to say anything more? Ok, we'll say just a little bit more about this stunning view of Coit Tower and the San Francisco Bay from the Hilton San Francisco Financial District.
This is the view from one of the Premium Bay View Rooms which are located on the 20th through 25th floors. There are city views on these floors as well that are just as interesting, especially since the hotel overlooks Chinatown ,but really, it's all about the bay here. Fingers crossed for a clear and sunny day!
All rooms at the Hilton SF FD feature 32" flat screen TVs, a long desk for working and tea and coffee makers. Best of all, you don't need Zuckerberg dollars to stay here as we found a bay view room for this weekend for just $239 a night.
Welcome to a new occasional series, Hidden Gems, in which we’ll be profiling hotels you’ve never heard of – but should have. We’re talking small places without the budget for PR and marketing, and which may not have been done up by a famous interior designer, but with incredible USPs like immense history, the best homemade food, or unforgettable views. Let’s start with Classique in Lazise on Italy’s Lake Garda, which we stumbled on – literally – last year while taking a lakefront stroll, and have been dreaming of a return ever since. Two weeks ago, we finally made it!
This is the kind of room with a view that you dream of. Classique sits on the pedestrianised waterfront of Lazise, arguably the prettiest town on beautiful Lake Garda. Here, from your room – through the floor-to-ceiling windows, or from the little balcony – you can watch the sun set over the lake, behind the famous peninsula of Sirmione (a place so beautiful that the Roman poet Catullus wrote about it), go to sleep to the sound of the ducks and swans (Lazise has three ‘pet’ swans), and awake to the glassy lake waters turning pink in the light of the dawn. It is a view like no other.
The 100-room creek side hotel is located near Uptown Sedona and positions its rooms to face Bear Wallow Canyon and its infamous Mitten Ridge. But the best views might come from the courtyard that splits the property in half and extends outward from the lobby and its adjoining restaurant and patio, continuing on and fanning out as it approaches the creek.
A grassy sitting area occupies the middle ground while the pool and hot tub give you a front row seat to take in the creekside trees (which were still a few weeks away from blooming during our visit) and mountain views. It is especially nice during Kimpton's free wine hour.
Hotel Pets / Hotel Animals / Hotel Rooftops / Bauer Hotels / Venice Hotels / Killer View / → All Tags
If you stay at the Bauer Il Palazzo, one of the four Bauer hotels (owned by a local family) in Venice, you’ll have breakfast at Settimo Cielo, a seventh floor rooftop terrace with sweeping, weep-inducing views of La Serenissima taking in everything from St Mark’s Square, the Doge’s Palace and the Riva degli Schiavoni to the Grand Canal, the Santa Maria della Salute church on Dorsoduro, the island of Giudecca, the islands of the forthcoming St Regis and JW Marriott, and the Lido, stretching out in the distance.
Snapshot / Hotel Rooftops / Hotel Rooftop Pools / Hotel Pools / Killer View / NH Hotels / Buenos Aires Hotels / → All Tags
Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires. You can see it from the ground, a little dirty, a little noisy from the traffic, and sometimes even a little alarming, thanks to the anti-Falklands/pro-Malvinas encampment in there. You can hold onto your bag like there’s no tomorrow, and take a photo of the Casa Rosada through the metal barriers that may or may not be up.
Or you can see it from on high, in your swimsuit.
View from the far side of the lake of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
We've highlighted the natural beauty of the Fairmont Banff Springs in the past, but its lesser-known sister property, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, is no slouch when it comes to killer views herself.
A few years ago, we dreamed about what it might be like to stay there, and now we have experienced it first hand. We'll dive in a little deeper next week, but it doesn't take a genius to figure out what attracts people to this property. It is positioned next to Lake Louise, which is fed by several glaciers that trickle down from the surrounding jagged peaks of the Canadian Rockies.
Snapshot / Hotel Rooftops / Hotel Rooftop Terraces / Killer View / Montevideo Hotels / Uruguay Hotels / Boutique Hotels / → All Tags
Ignore the Simpsons-style clouds, and have a look at the architecture. Pretty nice, right? Even nicer when you consider where this is: the Ciudad Vieja of Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay.
There aren’t many hotels in the Ciudad Vieja, and there are even fewer with rooftop terraces. But this is the view from the Alma Historica Boutique Hotel, which opened a month ago in a historical mansion on Plaza Zabala, the tranquil, second square of the old town.
It’s cold in Bosnia Herzegovina at the moment, really cold. In Mostar on New Year’s Eve, when we snapped this photo, there was a wind chill of 17 farenheit. Which made it difficult to get out into the Old Town and see the famous, and tragic, Mostar Bridge, a UNESCO World Heritage area.
Luckily, from our room at Villa Anri, we could sit inside and see the bridge – the reason we were in Mostar in the first place – from the comfort of our room.
It's that time of year again: the 2014 HotelChatter Awards! Today and tomorrow, we'll be showcasing the best (and worst) of hotels over the past year. But we couldn't do it without you! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or shoot us an email. And the Award goes to...
Andaz Tokyo was on our list of major hotel openings this year, so we felt like a kid in a candy shop when we walked into the giant Toranomon Hills development the day after the ribbon was cut back in June.
Zooming up to the 51st floor, the Japanese capital stretches out in front of you, both its urban density and the green core of the Imperial Palace, providing mesmerizing views both during the day (above) and at night (below) – worthy of our Best Killer View award.