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There are plenty of hotels out there that are finally "getting it" when it comes to the luxury hotel experience. When we are paying up to several hundred dollars per night (and sometimes over a couple of thousand on occasion), there are certain touches that are expected and then there are little things that are just plain thoughtful on the part of the property, ultimately making for an especially memorable stay. As frequent travelers we really appreciate all of those little details. Plus, it's nice to feel like we really got our money's worth. Here's a look at a few luxury hotels going out of their way to throw in complimentary extras that make us like them even more:
We told you about this a while ago when it was first announced and frankly it's a really nice little upgrade. Even those sitting pretty in the upper crust may not ever step foot in a car with this level of prestige, even if they can afford to own one (some people are much too practical). C'mon. We don't care what your income level is, can you really tell us you don't want to roll up to the hotel in a Maserati? Don't lie.
We all know that ordering gourmet fare directly to your hotel room door comes with a cost. One that some of us will gladly pay for, especially if it truly is on par with fine dining and we get to enjoy a small feast in our pajamas. Plus, there is something fun and a little reckless about not caring one iota how much the apple pie à la mode will wind up costing when you go to check out. Itís either a vacation or going on the company card anyway, right?
In most cases this might be true, but allow us to suggest paying a bit more attention the next time you peruse the all-day dining pages. Because while the average luxury traveler has no qualms about spending $30 on a cheeseburger (à la carte of course), we have found a few room service items that will have every one of you thinking twice before ordering. Although, if you are in the mood to splurge, some of these might just be worth every penny.
Let's be honest, luxury hotels are pretty great. You are well taken care of, always addressed with a professional, caring attitude and usually, there is some fantastic food involved.
After experiencing the level of service and amenities that five-star brands like Ritz-Carlton and the Four Seasons have set the bar on, one can become rather, well, jaded. Perhaps even, dare we say, expectant of certain details we have grown used to having while traveling.
So here's a look at what may come as a
shock disappointment to everyone out there that has grown far too accustomed to the lavish life. Just a few things that (whether you want to admit it or not), you will be sorely upset about should you accidentally book less-than-stellar accommodations.
Hotels, How Do We Love Thee? Help Us Count the Ways
This recent story on CNN was a bit like preaching to choir for us. Of course hotels are way better than our apartments/homes/friends' couches. If they weren't, we wouldn't be staying in them.
While we agreed with the author's list of things she loves about hotels, we've got even more to add. Here are 5 more reasons why we love hotels better than our everyday existence. Hopefully, this list will get your mind off this one.
· 1. Design. We can't afford fancy artwork and we swore we wouldn't buy new couches until our toddlers grow up and stop spilling milk on them. But in hotels, we can admire all kinds of interesting art and design from the lobby to the guestroom to the restaurant and bar. And it only costs us a couple hundred bucks versus a couple thousand.
· 2. Spas. If there's a spa on site at a hotel, it's going to be hard for us to say no. We'll try our best not to walk around the lobby with our robe on though.
· 3. Fast Internet. It doesn't happen often but a few times this year we have stayed at hotels with crazy fast internet speeds. So we can catch up on "Breaking Bad" while emailing and uploading photos without frustration or guilt.
Hotel Hell / Hotel Woes / Lists / → All Tags
It's not always fresh towels, room service and chocolates on the pillows at hotels. No, there's a darker side of hotels you don't want to think about when you hand over your credit card at the front desk. But in the spirit of all things spooky this month, here's our list of 13 Things You Wish Didnít Happen in Hotel Rooms (But They Do) .
1. Sex: No surprise here. People have been trysting in hotel rooms since hotels were invented. Business men, business women, politicians, actors, athletes, marrieds, not marrieds, married but not to each other, prostitutes, gigolos, gay, straight, bondage enthusiasts, bronies, furries, plushies. Really, everyone is having sex in hotel rooms. Everyone. Oh and let's not forget about sex with yourself. That's what all those on-demand movies are for. The best you can hope for is that housekeeping manages to clean up anything, um, left behind.
2. Drugs: Not only are people taking booze from the minibar but they are also smoking, snorting and yes, even shooting drugs all over the hotel room. Heck, some people even use hotel rooms as meth labs. And it doesnít matter the class of hotel. We wouldnít be surprised to hear that more people do heroin in a luxury hotel where rooms cost $600 a night rather than a motel by the highway.
3. Guns: You often hear of passengers getting stopped at TSA for attempting to bring guns on board but there arenít any metal detectors in hotels (that we know of anyways) so guests and their visitors are free to roam the lobby and the hallways carrying their firearms, unbeknownst to the rest of us. And as we learned from Walter White in season 4 of Breaking Bad, black market gun dealers sometimes make their transactions in hotel rooms. For ďdefenseĒ purpose. Right.
4. Smoking: We understand that some folks need to light up and donít want to have to go all the way downstairs to do it. But please, keep the smoking to a smoking room. Thereís nothing worse than walking into a supposedly non-smoking room that smells as if someone has been chain-smoking in there for a month.
5. Murder: Itís bad enough when someone kicks the bucket in a hotel room due to natural causes, but itís way worse when someone is stabbed, shot or suffocated in a hotel room. Sadly, this happens regularly at hotels. We just hope whichever unfortunate hotel employee who found the body got some extra vacation time and a nice bonus.
Still brave enough to plow through the rest of the list? Keep reading after the jump. It gets better. Ok, not really.
On Sunday, it will be more than ok to have a few cups of coffee in honor of International Coffee Day. In fact, you're more likely to drink coffee than have sex, according to a new global survey done by Le Meridien Hotels.
The survey revealed that more than half of the global respondents preferred coffee to sex as the ideal wake-up call. Slightly more than half said they could go longer without sex than without coffee. (Um, yes, that's us raising our hands here.) As far as hotel coffee habits, 73 percent of respondents said they would give up TV and internet in a hotel for the perfect cup of coffee. Sixty-three percent said they would give up alcohol over coffee while staying in a hotel. (Hmmm....) And 53 percent said that if they were going to post a picture of a beverage while traveling, it would probably be coffee.
Le Meridien is concerned about your hotel coffee habits because they just launched their new Master Baristas program, which will put a "dedicated coffee expert" in every Le Meridien hotel by the end of the year. We'll drink to that!
Meanwhile, here are some of our favorite Hotel Coffee stories from the past:
For some of you, checking out of a hotel may merely involve packing your suitcase, ordering up an Uber ride to the airport and then slipping out the front door without anyone noticing, except perhaps the doorman who will tell you to "stay with us again next time."
Other folks might take a little longer to get ready for check-out, often staying past the designated check-out hour only finally exiting after housekeeping (and sometimes, security) have told them that it's time to go.
But no matter what kind of checker-outer you are, here are 5 Things You Should Do Before You Check-Out.
1. Do a sweep of the room. Lift the blankets, look under the bed, pull out the drawers, check the bathroom (even in the shower) and peep in the closets (don't forget the safe too!) Our experience has been if you leave it behind, you will likely never see it again.
2. Grab your chargers. While you may sweep the room for obvious belongings--toiletries, clothing, jewelry, books--don't forget to check the outlets for all your chargers whether it be for a phone, tablet or computer. Fortunately, more and more hotels are putting outlets above desks and next to the nightstand so we no longer have to unplug a random floor lamp in the corner just to charge our phone. And having more visible outlets will mean we're less likely of leaving behind our chargers.
After we dished on what Donald Trump had to say about his upcoming Trump International Hotel in Washington DC, we started thinking about all the other things The Donald has said about his hotels (which btw, are largely run by his daughter, Ivanka and his sons Donald Jr. and Eric.) And as you can imagine, there are a lot of choice quotes. Surprisingly, they aren't all about being "the biggest" or "the bestest.
So here are 10 Ballsy Things Donald Trump Has Said About His Hotels (and randomly, Christina Aguilera):
1. The Donald to his eight-months pregnant daughter Ivanka on Tuesday about working on the new Trump Washington DC hotel:
"You better do a good job or you're fired!"
2. At the same event, The Donald said the new hotel would be:
"one of the finest hotels anywhere in the world."
3. The Donald in a press release last week about The BLT Prime restaurant coming to the Trump Miami and the overall renovation of the resort:
"Itís going to be better than ever.Ē
"Itís going to be better than ever.Ē
It's Monday, a perfect day to get our latest batch of hotel rants out of our system. While we talk regularly of things in hotels that annoy us like resort fees, WiFi charges, fugly carpeting, anti-views and dirty rooms, here are some random odds and ends in hotels that have us exasperated. We know, we know, this is #firstworldproblems all the way. But we suspect you have a few of your own to contribute. So get ranting in comments below!
1. When the shampoo and conditioner toiletries are placed on the sink, instead of in the shower. So we have to step out of the shower, soaking wet and slipping on the floor, grab the bottles and hop back in the shower (or tub.)
2. Phones with short cords. We're not even sure why a hotel room has a phone with cords anymore these days but even worse is when the cord is super short so that the entire thing falls to the ground if you pick up the phone while standing up. Ouch!
3. No full-length mirrors. If college kids can buy $10 mirrors to put on the back of their dorm room doors, hotels can find a way to work in a full-length mirror somewhere.
We can hardly believe it's been six and a half months since we put out our Master List of Worldwide Hotel Openings, our attempt to list all the noteworthy hotels expected to open in 2013. Our dedicated staff of hotel contributors have been doing what we can to update the list throughout the year, but as you know, this stuff changes all the time. Some hotels open early (rare but it does happen), some hotels get delayed (almost always happen) and some hotels just don't open at all.
Today, we're going to give you an update on the major hotels that have opened or have been delayed in New York, Miami, Las Vegas, Chicago, California and Hawaii. Tomorrow, we'll take on the international section. It's gonna be a long night.
Hotel Openings / Hotel News / Hotel Hype / Hotel Opening Rates / Lists / Edition Hotels / Hyatt Hotels / Thompson Hotels / → All Tags
Hot days on the beach and cool dips in the ocean. Joy riding on sailboats. Crab fests washed down with cold beers. Feeling the breeze in your hair from the top of the ferris wheel. Chomping on salt water taffy. Enjoying chocolate-covered frozen bananas as you watch the world go by. Yup, summer is in full swing right now. But we're already looking forward to the chilly sweater season, thanks to these new hotels expected to open in October.
Here are 5 hotels that have us looking forward to October even in the middle of summer. Which one is your favorite? Let us know in comments below!
· THOMPSON CHICAGO: Set to open on October 1, the old Sutton Place Hotel promises rooms starting at 320-sq.ft., city views, REN spa amenities, 24-hour room service and a fully stocked minibar with Dean & Deluca snacks. We found rates on opening night for $263 a night for a 21-day advance purchase rate.
· HARD ROCK PALM SPRINGS: The latest rock star resort will open on October 5 out of the old Hotel Zoso. The place has been completely redone to include 160 rooms, including a VIP rock star suite along with a Rock Spa, a Body Rock fitness centers, a Rock Shop gift store, a few restaurants and a rocking pool scene. We found rates on opening night for $262 a night.
We have to say that we've never seen so much world-wide hotel construction in the last two years. It's exciting business, but it means increased competition for already-established properties. In order to stay in business they have to up their A game and that usually comes in the form of renovations.
But a slap of paint ain't gonna cut it. And not even discounting your hotel is enough. There are plenty of high-end budget hotels out there.
So in the spirit of lending a helping hand, here are 7 Signs Your Hotel Needs an Upgrade. Trust us, in order to run with the big dogs of the hospitality world, pay attention to innovations being made.
Read on for the worst offenders.