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Our recent reminiscing about a French Riviera killer view, combined with the – quite literally – cold reality of winter in large parts of North America and Europe, has us dreaming of long summer days, bright blue skies, fragrant air, and a lot of lazy pool-side lounging, Côte d’Azur-style.
Join us for a few minutes of escapism as we look at 8 Côte d’Azur hotel pools that will make you seriously wish summer was here – and that you’ve won the lottery to fund a few weeks of leisurely living in the Mediterranean sun.
1. Cap Estel: a small hotel (just 28 rooms and suites) between Monaco and Cap Ferrat on its own private peninsula, with right at the tip a gorgeous pool for swimming while surrounded by the sea on three sides.
While times, they are a-changing, the vast majority of airport hotels are still conservatively-designed chain hotels. The Grand Hotel Winnipeg Airport, part of Preferred Hotel Group, could be the next generation of stylin’ airport boutique hotels that have it all goin’ on.
To prove our point here are 10 things that we loved:
1. It brings back the golden age of flying – We’ve all heard tales of a time when one wore their Sunday best to fly and martinis were copious. We’ll never get those days back, but with The Grand’s design scheme we can still pretend. Colours in the hotel are tarmac grey paired with sky and Robin’s egg blues. The addition of whites makes the hotel feel crisp and laundered. It feels like optimism, all shiny and new.
2. Artwork – The hotel doesn’t bill itself as an art hotel, but it should. All of the artwork in the hotel—the rotating images behind reception, in the rooms and throughout the public areas—are photographs taken by the hotel's owner, Keith Levit.
3. The Room – Spacious and well-thought out, full of flat spaces and cubby holes for our stuff. We had a Deluxe Runway View room (620 sq ft) and—calling all location scouts—it looked directly out onto the apron and runways.
4. Local food done really well – Fresh ingredients including the kitchen’s homegrown micro greens made for a great dinner, and you should see that walk-in wine cellar!
Not ones to apologize for noticing and appreciating the minutiae of a hotel because we do sweat the small stuff, some small but important deets are below:
We recently took a couple of days to check out what’s going on in the Toronto hotel scene and, diggin’ what Trump has been doing lately (their Trump Attaché service and Trump Wellness Program, for instance), here’s an insider’s guide on the treats to be found at Trump Toronto.
1. Glam ‘n glitz: No surprise that the design aesthetic is pure glam, and we had heard going in that “champagne and caviar” was the theme. We have to admit that we were more than a little skeptical; it sounded very “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous with Robin Leach.” But, you know, it works. Dramatic blacks and whites are softened by greys and purples. There’s lots of crystal thrown in for good measure and displays are voluptuous with flowers. Our favorite “caviar dream” piece is the pure black Louis XIV chairs found in STOCK Restaurant and Bar.
2. Trump-toiletries: They lean towards the masculine (consider where you are) in what we would describe as a woody citrus, but what was surprising was the bounty! In addition to the regulars—shampoo, conditioner, soap, shower gel and lotion—there was a salt scrub, bath salts and a body balm, all in easy-to-take-home sizes.
3. House-made chocolates: ’Nuff said.
4. Room reaction: They’re huuuge, some of the largest in T.O., and the one-bedroom suite we were in had a fireplace, wet bar, and two bathrooms. If we had some of The Donald’s cash, we’d redo our home to look this this. Have a look at the photo gallery for the full reveal!
Hotel Openings / 2014 Hotel Openings List / Hotel News / Hotel Reopenings / Canada Hotels / Lists / → All Tags
Drake Devonshire Inn, opening this summer.
When we released our Master List of Worldwide Hotel Openings in 2014, our Canadian hotel section was sparse. Sorry. BUT, news has been coming in from our neighbo(u)r to the north about 2014 hotel openings so we've been able to expand on that section. We'll add this to the Master List soon (sorry again) but here's a dedicated look at what's in store for Canada. Looks like we need to make a trip up there soon, eh?
· JAG Hotel: Spring
· ALT Hotel Montreal Griffintown: Spring
· Fairmont Le Château Frontenac (reopening): June
The rest of the country below!
Valentine's Day is a mere three weeks away and hotels--from luxury to boutique--are nearly tripping over themselves in attempt to win your money for the night with "romantic" themed packages. Yet no matter the hotel, the location or the star-rating, we keep seeing the same amenities in these Love Your Lover packages...over and over.
If you're about to book a hotel for Valentine's Day, here are 5 Predictable Amenites The Hotel Will Offer.
1. Chocolate. Whether it's a box of fancy chocolates or chocolate-covered strawberries, hotels will have this sweet stuff on hand. Just don't eat them in the bed. That could get...interesting. (And what will housekeeping think?)
2. Bubbly. Luxury hotels will have actual champagne from France while the rest may have bubbles from Napa. Either way, you'll be swigging some of this when you check-in. Bur remember, one glass, only!
Yesterday, we took you inside a guest room at the just-opened Ace Hotel in Dowtown Los Angeles. Today, we're showing you 14 Things we liked about the hotel, most of them are outside of the guest rooms. We especially like #1, #7, #11 and #13. What about you?
1. Hot Doorman: Definitely a good first impression.
2. Photo Booth Near the Check-In Desk: Your room not ready yet? Amuse yourselves in the photo booth for a while.
It might take you a few days to peruse our Master List of Worldwide Hotel Openings, especially since we keep updating it, so allow us to give you some "cliff notes". Here are 5 Hotel Openings That We're Really Excited For in 2014.
1. ANDAZ TOKYO: Andaz is one of our favorite hotel brands out there, thanks to their cool, design-forward hotels, their friendly staff, their free WiFi and their complimentary mini-bar snacks and drinks. (Seriously, that last amenity alone will make us love you forever.) So we're crazy excited for the Andaz to open in urban wonderland of Tokyo this summer. The hotel will be located in Toranomon, a business and embassy district, inside one of the tallest high-rises in the city. There will be 164 rooms, a pastry shop and café at street level, an all-day restaurant on the 51st floor, a spa and fitness center with an indoor pool on the 37th floor and a penthouse bar on the 52nd floor with killer views of the city.
Once again, we've scoured the
globe internet to bring together the The Master List of Worldwide Hotel Openings for the new year.
As we predicted last year, 2014 is going to be a busy, busy, busy year for hotels. The NYC area alone is expecting at least 19 new hotels, one of which will be the tallest hotel in North America (more on that later today.) Miami Beach will see at least seven new hotel openings while Chicago is expecting five. Out in Vegas, all eyes will be on the SLS which should open in the fall, consisting of not just hotel rooms and trendy nightlife options but a casino as well.
Internationally, as it has been for the past few years, China, India and the Middle East are getting a ton of new hotels (mostly from Starwood who cannot get enough of those areas) but we were also excited to see Australia and New Zealand getting a few new hotels as well as Japan which will welcome the Andaz Tokyo and the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto which will open next month.
As always, our list is merely a starting point. Throughout the year, the hotels below will either open when they say they will or, and this is more likely, get pushed back a few weeks or months. (In some dire cases, a few years.) But it's not all delays. Some new hotels surprise us out of the blue.
Still, we've done our part, now it's time for you to do yours. Tip us off to more hotel openings in comments below!
Everyone knows that your New Year's Resolutions don't actually start until Monday so if you're a hotel and you are still wondering what you can change about yourself in 2014, we've got a few resolutions for you to choose from. We know, we're too kind! But also, we'll be checking on you to make sure you're sticking to these. No need to thank us for our kindness! We do it out of the goodness of our heart. XOXOXO.
1. Free WiFi at Luxury Hotels: The budget and boutique brands have done an excellent job with making WiFi a part of the hotel experience. Luxury hotels, however, are still nickel and diming their guests for this amenity and it's clearly a money grab.
2. Real Savings in All Those Packaged "Deals": We'll talk more about this tomorrow but hotel packages are going to need to start offering actual dollar bill savings in their deals. We won't be swayed by a complimentary cocktail anymore.
3. Reasonable Minibar Prices: We touched on this topic this morning but the promise of a $3 beer has us hoping that hotels really make a change when it comes to the minibar.
It's that time of year again: the 2013 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...
You may have noticed that Lists are kind of a big deal on the internet. Apparently, humans are only able to
linger on a web page process information if it comes in a list format anchored by giant photos. And the more inane the topic, the more people will want to read it.
Admittedly, we love lists here at HotelChatter because there are so many you can write about the hotel experience. Yet we like to keep our lists relevant for hotel guests and filled with actual useful tips. So it's no surprise here that Master List of Worldwide Hotel Openings was the most popular HotelChatter list of 2013. (Stay tuned for 2014's list coming soon!)
Following that was the entertaining 10 Things Everyone Does in a Hotel Room But Won't Admit list. (Ok, that one wasn't so much informative but we bet it made you feel good knowing you weren't the only one who walks around naked in your hotel room while eating a $4 Snickers bar.) Other top lists of the year were 13 Things You Wish Didn't Happen in Hotel Rooms (But They Do), 5 Wedding Elopement Packages For Low-Key Couples, Some Helpful Advice: What NOT To Do in a Hotel, and 5 Hotel Booking Sites You Should Know About and Use. (See? Keeping it useful.)
We'll be rolling out some more lists in 2014 but don't worry, we won't be turning HotelChatter into a site full of nothing but random lists. After all, that wouldn't go well. Would it?
True, sometimes you need to pack three friends and all your gear into a budget hotel to make ski trips feasible. With gear rentals, lift tickets, and apres beer prices by no means on the cheap end of the scale, cutting costs on lodging is often the only option. But, if you've been saving your pennies and plan on treating yourself right, here are five things you should look for in a hotel that will make your trip that much more pleasant:
Slope-Side Hot Tub/Heated Pool
File this one under "OBVIOUS" and "OF COURSE."
One of the most inconvenient aspects of skiing is lugging around all the gear. Hotel rooms are small enough already - no reason to clog up your corners with boots and poles. Look for a hotel that has a ski shop on-site or a ski concierge, an in-house, full-service team that stores your skis overnight, usually on the ground level right where you come off the slopes. Some hotels that are not located slope-side will partner with local shops to provide guests with ski storage, so be sure to inquire before booking. Last thing you want after a day on the mountain is to be stuffing your skis into an elevator.
We've already told you about one big rock star touch at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Fla.--the free WiFi. But during a recent stay in this sprawling casino hotel just outside of Fort Lauderdale, we discovered a few more rock star amenities that got us amped up.
Of course, these room items shouldn't come as a surprise from a Hard Rock Hotel, where the entire guest experience revolves around music. Yet after a few not-so-good experiences at the Hard Rock in Vegas, the Seminole Hard Rock has restored our faith in the entire rock n' roll hotel concept. And best of all, none of these rock star touches involve loud music or wild parties. Well, not if you don't want them to.
Keep reading to see how the room is a-rocking at the Seminole Hard Rock