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Finally, there's some good news for the W Austin which recently had to deal with not one but two separate incidents involving falling glass from their hotel, the latter which actually forced closure of the hotel for 11 days.
The New York Times has just written a rare glowing review of the hotel with the reporter not even mentioning the shattered glass which injured guests by the pool or the recent closure but rather highlighting the hotel's four bars:
Austin doesn’t have many good hotel bars, so the four on the ground floor of the W are welcome additions. The rooms flow into one another and feature circulating waiters and scattered chairs and sofas (and two fireplaces) that make them comfortable spots for hanging out. There are thousands of vinyl records you can have played on a stereo.
Was it Obama's address on the finance world last week, or the impending release of Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps that got the New York Times to finally check into Andaz Wall Street for a review in this Sunday's paper? Whatever the reason, the Gray Lady was not disappointed. Despite calling it somewhat corporate, there was plenty for the Times to like about the city's first Andaz ...
Highlights: The paper loves that Andaz listened to everyone's complaints about boutique hotels and avoided the pitfalls—first and foremost, "you won’t have problems turning on the lights." The review notes that the hotel is close to tourist sites, and on the business side, "if you’re closing a million-dollar deal nearby, this is the spot."
Let this week’s Check In, Check Out review in The New York Times be a lesson to any hotel outside of New York City: Do not mess with a New Yorker’s breakfast bagel. Or, if you do, make sure you’re damn well apologetic about it.
The Grey Lady visits nearby Philly for this review of the Hotel Palomar Philadelphia, almost six months after it opened last October. Things start to sound ominous when we learn that the reviewer’s “smoked salmon breakfast arrived without smoked salmon” in the first paragraph. But it’s the same mix-up that ends up earning the Kimpton property extra points for service.
The staff was so eager to make amends that I came away with a better impression of the hotel than if nothing had gone wrong.” (In case you’re wondering, the smoked salmon on a bagel costs $11.)
And from that point on, it’s always sunny at the Palomar Philadelphia…
Not because it was reviewed by the New York Times this weekend. Oh, no. Forget highbrow journalism. It’s the pole that will reel them in.
This month, the W Hoboken is offering S-Factor workout classes as part of a Girls’ Night Out promotion. S-Factor, in case you don’t know, is a blend of striptease, ballet, and yoga, and all the rage with celebs like Kate Hudson.
Even if you binge on Cabernet Sauvignon and gorge too much on rich Camembert and Brie while in Paris, you won't have to abandon your resolution to get fit in '10. You can kick-start your plan at the Hôtel Gabriel Paris Marais, the City of Light's first detox hotel.
Don't worry, staying here won't be like an episode of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. Instead, the 40-room hotel takes a less invasive method of purging the toxins in your life—whether they be from stress, bad diet, sleeplessness or lack of exercise. The hotel focuses on creating a relaxing zen den where you can get some shut-eye.
The first “Check In, Check Out” review for 2010 sees the New York Times jumping up and down about the “radical experiment in reimagining the hotel” going on at Boston’s The Inn at St. Botolph The radical part? Offering “stylish, well-located rooms”! What a game-changer! Quick, someone call Fox News!
OK, not yet. Keep reading the Times review and you’ll find that not everything is rosy at the Inn at St. Botolph (we can’t help but think of Botox every time we hear that, by the way).
It’s not every day that you find an affordable hotel right in the center of one of Europe’s most popular destinations. That’s why The New York Times decided to check in and check out Barcelona’s new Hotel Denit.
The hotel, whose name means “at night” in Catalan, is located right in the city’s historical heart, the Gothic Quarter, mere steps from La Rambla and Plaça Catalunya, as well as the city’s Contemporary Art Museum. Not to worry about the noise level from the surrounding bars and clubs, though, because the hotel is set off down a quiet brick alley, ensuring both peace and privacy.
As for the rooms, “chic” these days seems to be a code word for “white on white,” and the Hotel Denit is no exception. The Times called it “spar and functional, not unlike a massage therapy room,” but notes touches like a flat-screen TV, an iPod docking station, and windows that actually open. The rest of the furniture looks Spartan to us, though, especially the mismatched lamps, the tiny desk with a canvas chair, and the open wardrobe-closet-armoire thingy.
Though they might still be part of the British Commonwealth, Canadians definitely have an independent streak, especially when it comes to their American neighbors to the south. And hockey.
Don’t mess with them on hockey. Perhaps that’s why Vancouver’s Loden Hotel left the Kor Hotel Group, er, we mean Viceroy. Of course, this unexpected turn of events should not be surprising for a hotel that has shown its rebellious streak since a bumpy start (opening a full year late!) since it launched last October as the first new hotel in Vancouver in six years.
Even so, The New York Times found plenty to love, eh?
Oh, how worldly you are, NYT! For its latest Check In, Check Out review, the paper headed to Poland. Specifically to Andel’s Hotel Lodz in the country’s third-largest city, Lodz. The hotel was apparently “still a bit unsteady” a few months ago—it opened in May—but is getting its footing fast. The red-brick building was once a weaving mill but is now home to business hotel for the booming city. The lobby, says the Times, is “improbably grand.”
Highlights: Loft-high ceilings in the guest room showed off the building’s original exposed brick and ironwork, while modern touches included a glass-top desk and flat-screen TV. The reviewer was able to order a full meal from the hotel’s bar menu despite arriving after 11 p.m. and the food was “above room-service average.” At first the waiter forgot the beer ordered but it was on the house when it did appear soon after. There’s a modern spa and a glass-domed rooftop pool with great views.
If you were in New York at all over the weekend, you would have noticed the throngs of European tourists enjoying our thoroughly American holiday that is Black Friday—we mean Thanksgiving. To return the favor and send American tourists back their way, The New York Times profiles a European hotel—Hotel Astoria 7 in San Sebastián, Spain—in its latest Check In, Check Out review.
The first thing we learn from the Gray Lady is that while San Sebastián “may best be known for stars of the gastronomic variety,” it is also a cinematic center, and the Astoria7 is happy to indulge in this theme. A handwritten sign above the reception desk even reads, “Which star will stay with you tonight?” (If we answer, will room service send them up?)
Highlights: The hotel is just one block from the main bus terminal and close to central bars and shops. The Times enjoyed a double standard room with “a dash of 1950s-style Modernist panache” (mock-Danish midcentury modern furniture and fabric accents that “recalled the set of Mad Men. The cafeteria downstairs does “an excellent Spanish-style buffet breakfast (toast with tomato, hams of various incarnations, yogurts, fresh fruits, eggs on request)”— free with the room—while room service was cheap (16 euros) and “arrived in 14 minutes, hot and perfectly prepared.”
After some incredulity over how many Boston hotels have Copley in their names, the New York Times this weekend reviewed the revamped, historic Copley Square Hotel. “Until this year, C-Square was a historic but faded enterprise: not the kind of place to earn cool points with your teenager on a college visiting tour,” the Times writes.
But after $18 million in renovations, the hotel is once again ready for prime time — just as, ahem, some of us have been telling you all year.
Highlights: The bathroom’s wall featured “unusual reading material: the poem ‘Paul Revere’s Ride,’ by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, in cursive.” “Super-speedy” room service that arrived in less than 10 minutes (though unfortunately, fairly “tasteless”). “If your kid is graduating from Boston University, if you want to shop the Back Bay or if you’re just exploring for a few days, it would be hard to find a more central and convenient spot,” writes the NYT.
HotelChatter's video from Encore Las Vegas, taken in January 2009.
It’s always fun to read someone else’s first take of a place that you’ve covered, well, quite intimately. Like the Encore in Vegas, Steve Wynn’s almost one-year-old 2,034-room luxe tower, which this past weekend (finally!) got the official New York Times treatment.
“If Steve Wynn’s last two Sin City resorts — Wynn Las Vegas in 2005 and the Bellagio in 1998 — were about bringing a whiff of Park Avenue to the Strip, the Encore is about the hotelier’s loosening his pearls and swinging a little,” writes the Times’ Brooks Barnes. And though the Times says the hotel is intended for the “younger and hipper” crowd, our own observations last January was of a clientele, um, “older than dirt.”