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It’s almost our favorite time of the year, where we get to laze by the pool, sipping on umbrella-topped cocktails. But really, that seems so 1990s, right? Today's bartenders are getting super creative with their libations. We’re already hearing about yummy mixes that have us begging Mother Nature to hurry up with summer already.
It looks like the West Coast has a jump on these tasty treats, so we'll just lust over the pics until they make the rounds Stateside.
From boozy shakes and sorbets, and other goodies, it looks like poolside fun has an alcoholic accent like never before.
Here are some we’re looking forward to trying:
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We've started a 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: Windsurfing and jet skis
What’s In: Stand up paddle boarding (SUP)
As synchronized swimming fell out of favor after the 1950s and windsurfing mania waned in the 1990s, another wet trend has emerged: Paddle boarding. And with so many hotels getting in on the action and upping the game (yoga paddle boarding, anyone?), we think it may just be here for awhile.
For the luxury crowd, Raffles Praslin Seychelles offers complimentary stand up paddle boarding so guests can take in the stunning Indian Ocean scenery. If your main goal is to simply enjoy the Seychelles' waters aboveboard and not below, the resort also launched hourly lessons for new users, with an expert teaching you the proper way to stand on the board, keep balance and paddle (what -- all at the same time??).
Another luxe resort, the Paresa Resort in Phuket, Thailand offers straight-up SUP, but then raises the challenge level by combining stand up paddle boarding with yoga. Their “Yoga on the Ocean” program begins at sunrise or sunset when you paddle your board out on the indigo Andaman Sea and enjoy a yoga class floating on your watery yoga mat.
We’ve talked about our favorite dishes to order from room service (FTR—grilled cheese rocks the casbah every time), but we’re recognizing that more and more in-room dining offerings are the vision of the world’s top chefs who have restaurants inside the hotels we’re patronizing.
The room service option may even be a second choice if you aren’t able to score a reservation in the chef's signature restaurant, but are in town and dying to get a taste of, say, Bobby Flay's latest creation.
So the next time you peruse your hotel’s room service menu, think about if you should go for the everyday cheeseburger or the yellowfin tuna tartare, whose recipe is courtesy of Gordon Ramsay, Daniel Boulud, or Matsuhisa Nobu's vision.
Here are a five hotels HC thinks has exceptional room service menus, which include choices from celebrity chefs.
Almost two years after The Sahara, a Vegas hotel-casino owned by Sam Nazarian,
fell apart at the seams shuttered, sbe officially broke ground yesterday to re-adapt the site into the long-awaited SLS Las Vegas. But don't start booking those flights to LAS just yet.
The press release declares a Fall 2014 opening, though our pals at VegasChatter wonder if that might be a little unrealistic, considering how much work has to be done to turn the place into an "entertainment-driven resort and casino" (and how much money has to be spent—a reported $415 million is being pumped into the project).
The cupcake craze, we are convinced, will never end. And nor should it! It's the perfect bit of dessert in easy-to-eat packaging. But this one we've heard about? Goes in the Fantasy Friday file, for sure. This one costs $750 and no matter our lust, we'd be afraid to touch it. Called Decadence D’Or, it's served at Sweet Surrender at the Palazzo Hotel and Casino Las Vegas and everything about it screams excess. Especially the ingredients, which cost more than some people pay in rent and car payments in a month.
It’s made with a chocolate cake laced with ganache filling created from a special Valhrona chocolate called Porcelana, rich French A.O.C butter, and Tahitian Gold Vanilla Caviar (which apparently is a big deal that takes over a year to harvest). Then edible gold flakes are hand-applied to the frosting and topped with a hand-blown sugar fleur-de-lis filled with Louis XIII Cognac (which costs $2K a bottle!). How is it served? No paper cup here, pshaw. You'll receive it on curved cracked-gold plate and bowl. Mercy!
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The original Delano Hotel in Miami.
Another day, another hotel to cross off the Master List of Worldwide Hotel Openings
Today, it's the Delano Las Vegas which was set to open in Mandalay Bay's THEhotel by December 2013. But now VegasInc.com reports the opening will most likely happen in the first quarter of 2014. The hotel's own website is actually saying "January 14" but we know better than to trust that. However, once the renovations are complete, the Delano will stick around for at least ten years. In case you need a refresher, here's what Delano has in store for Vegas:
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After missing a hopeful December opening date, the first-ever hotel from master sushi chef Nobu Matsuhisa is still set to open sometime in February. But exactly when in February? We headed over to the Nobu Hotels website to find out.
The site actually redirects you to the Caesars website where it's currently showing rooms open on February 4 for $269 a night. That's for a Nobu Deluxe King, the starting room category, and the pricing is pretty similar to what VegasChatter reported back in September. The hotel is completely sold-out for its opening weekend but after that rooms dip down to $249 a night. Most weekends through March are about $299 a night.
Planning on splitting the room with friends? A deluxe room with two queen beds goes for $289 while luxury king rooms are $299 a night weekdays.
Keep reading for the sweet suite options at the Nobu Hotel!
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It seems cliche, but it happens every year -- people get straight up dumped around the holidays.
And what happens? You grit your teeth through Santa's hearty laughter, thinking about all the fun you should have been having. Soon you're kiss-less at the strike of midnight on New Year's Eve, and when you wake from this misery, Valentine's Day is looming around the corner. Crap.
Well, we feel your pain (seriously, we were tossed recently, too). And so do hotels, so they're offering what we refer to as "Lonely-Hearts Packages" (many dressed up as "Guys Getaways").
Here's a rundown of some ideas to pitch to your good buddies. Remember to play up how much your heart hurts and give them the proper guilt trip to come along and get you back in the game. You would do it for them!
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We know this will come as a surprise, but there are lots of ways to spend extra cash for extra amenities at hotels worldwide. Sometimes it's not so much - like the $9 upgrade at the Radisson Blu Chicago we broke the news on last year - and others, as you'll see below, are completely designed for people impervious to price.
The matter of money may be a matter of perspective, but one thing we can all agree on is that spontaneity at the counter can certainly spice up your stay. And most of the time you will benefit from wheeling and dealing on-site - we find you're more likely to get a better deal in the moment than with the set prices online, so be sure to bring your poker face to the round table.
Here, we've put together a list of some upgrades that we feel are good examples of what's happening out there on a whole. Our advice? Do your research, for sure, but have fun with it. Sometimes, a simple upgrade is a great way to turn a typical stay into a memorable one.
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Craving “Swans a Swimming” this holiday season? Well you’re in luck, as we’ve found eight Embassy Suites Hotels that feature mated pairs of Royal Swans swimming year-round in their atrium lobbies.
Real live swans? Yes! At first glance, their serenity is surprising—after all, they’re being kept in captivity. Yet these swans are happily coupled up and swimming to-and-fro in their lobby ponds without a care in the world. In fact, most of the day, they’re sleeping. With all that peace, elegance, and togetherness (they mate for life)--perhaps married couples should take notes!
We take a sweet look at the animal love stories:
In case you hadn't realized, the final moments of 2012 are just a month away. We know there will be parties-a-plenty, but if you wanted to finish the year baller-style, Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas is offering a $60,000 Presidential New Year’s Eve package.
Yes, it's time for some Fantasy Friday dreaming!
You and your special someone will get three nights in one of the hotel’s Presidential Suites (there's two: the Mandarin and the Emperor Suite), with limousine transfer to and from McCarran airport. A complimentary visit to the salon will ensure you look the part for a six-course gala dinner on New Year’s Eve, personally prepared by Chef Pierre Gagnaire at restaurant Twist. After the lavish meal, where you’ll get to meet Pierre himself, a bottle of champagne and table will be waiting at Mandarin Bar to ring in 2013. The next day starts with a hangover brunch at MOzen, followed by a couple’s treatment in the spa.
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If you can resist this pumpkin-pie loaded shake--there's something wrong with you. Period.
Yes, some parts of the country have experienced their first bouts of snowfall, it’s still considered autumn per the calendar, and many hotel restaurant bars have a host of seasonal drinks created just for this time of year.
And damn, with all that's happened in the last few weeks (natural disasters, elections, secrets, lies, and...Donald Trump causing a stir) don’t you feel like--well, you could USE a drink? And a good, creative one at that?
We want to pay homage to the mixologists, or whatever the like to call themselves these days that have put in work to present some serious dranks (yep, we said it right, fact checkers) for the fall season. Thanksgiving is next week (AY!), today starts the unofficial weekend...let's toast it up !
Holsteins Shakes and Buns at the Cosmpolitan Las Vegas: This throwback restaurant gets major props for its Pumpkin Pie Bamboozled Shake, an alcohol-infused treat made with Sapling liquor, pumpkin pie filling, graham crumble, cinnamon syrup and pepita brittle. You can handle the Thanksgiving trip sipping a few of these.