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It’s been almost a year since we first learned of Graduate Hotels, and since then the chain has been busy doing their thing—showing everyone how to relive the glory days of college but in hotel form.
The latest property just opened up in Madison, Wisconsin, and with it comes 72 rooms. The new Graduate Madison takes over for the former Campus Inn, and we can only imagine that brings quite an upgrade. Campus visitors take note, as this place is only a couple blocks from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s campus.
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21c Museum Hotels will have some good company when their Nashville property opens as several hot brands like Ace, Virgin and Thompson are expected to populate the Music City. But when it comes to the hotel scene of Durham, North Carolina, we think the forthcoming 21c Museum Hotel in downtown will have the artsy boutique hotel game on lock.
Designed by Deborah Berke Partners, the 125-room hotel will have all the hallmarks of a 21c Museum hotel. That means it's part boutique hotel and part contemporary art museum, with a chef-driven restaurant thrown in too.
The art museum will be open and free to all visitors, not just hotel guests and will feature "curated exhibitions, interactive site specific installations and a full roster of cultural programming." Elsewhere at the hotel will be a lounge, a fitness center and a spa. As for the signature 21c Museum penguin, the Durham penguin will be rocking a bright fuchsia color.
Kimpton can't get enough of Southern hospitality. Fresh off opening The Brice Hotel in Savannah, the friendly boutique hotel chain is now taking over a historic office building in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
The R.J. Reynolds Building, the longtime headquarters for the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, was built in 1929 by Shreve & Lamb, the same architects who designed the Empire State Building. The lobby is decorated with ornate murals, gold leaf millwork in the ceilings, and nickel and brass elevators throughout. You can see some photos of the building's Art Deco interior design here.
The building has been vacant since 2009 but now PMC Property Group will turn the office space into 175 hotel rooms, 36 suites, a hotel fitness center, and a 120-seat restaurant and bar, along with plenty of meeting and event space. Of course, the developers and Kimpton will do what they can to preserve the building's original design but we're gonna guess they won't be bringing back the museum of tobacco that once graced the tobacco building's ground floor. Heck, Kimpton probably won't even allow smoking in the guest rooms. Ain't that funny?
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If you’re not only a hotel geek but kinda a science geek too, you probably already know that March 14 is Pi Day (because the mathematical constant π, or Pi, which is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, is approximately equal to 3.14, but with 1.2 trillion digits after it).
If you didn’t know that, you might want to know this: Some hotels are using this as an excuse to bring out their best pies for the occasion. And who doesn’t like a nice pie?
The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC is offering a scrumptious-looking Apple Pi Tartlet (that's it above) that’s made with 3 Pi (9.42) Granny Smith apples. The tartlet is topped with decorative apples made of white chocolate—can you stand it?
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A tragic story emerged this week about the death of an 11-year-old boy due to carbon monoxide poisoning in his Best Western Plus hotel room. Unfortunately, it was made even more tragic when authorities revealed that the same exact room had been responsible for killing another two guests—also from carbon monoxide poisoning—back in April.
(TIME magazine's 'Hotel Horror' headline was pretty spot on, if you ask us.)
Tests confirmed an "elevated level of carbon monoxide in the room," and the hotel has been shut down for the time being—but the question that keeps circling in our head is: could we be susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning in our hotel room, too? How would we even know if the levels were high? After all, carbon monoxide is deadlier than other gases because it can't be seen or smelled.
So, to ease our anxiety, we've done a little research that ought to help us (and you) sleep peacefully next time you check into a hotel room. Here are five facts about carbon monoxide poisoning all hotel guests should know:
Hotel Amenities / Hotel Packages / Hotel Deals / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Charlotte Hotels / North Carolina Hotels / → All Tags
Not long ago we reported on the Capella Georgetown which has no check-in or check-out hours. The concept has even made its way all the way to Australia and its Art Series hotels where Serena Williams tweeted about the hotel's policy of not kicking you out if there isn't a guest scheduled for your room. We thought this kind of perk would be limited to small, quirky hotels, but imagine our surprise when we received a news bit letting us know that The Ritz-Carlton Charlotte (apparently a favorite of Lenny Kravitz!) is now offering a guaranteed 24-hour stay for guests who check in on Saturdays.
That's right, with the new "Stay and Play 24" package, the hotel will accept check-ins at any hour on Saturday and allow departure a full 24 hours later – even if that means a Sunday evening check-out. For guests who check-in early on Saturday, check-out will be after 24 hours have passed or at noon on Sunday – whichever is later and offers more convenience for the guest. Let's hear it for a lovely leisurely weekend!
And, to top it off, the "Stay and Play 24" includes a $100 food and beverage credit that can be redeemed in the hotel's Bar Cocoa, lobby lounge, room service, or the Urban Sip restaurant. We're told that Bar Cocoa has a banging Sunday Brunch, so keep that in mind.
The "Stay and Play 24" package costs $379 a night and regular Saturday rates are $299 a night, so we're thinking with the $100 F&B credit and extra hours, this is a pretty decent deal.
[Photo: Ritz-Carlton Hotels]
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Forget, for a minute, the glowing reviews of Michelle Obama's and Bill Clinton's speeches at the DNC. It turns out another thing reporters' minds were the rotten hotels they were assigned for the event, which took place this past week in Charlotte, NC. But cramped rooms and bad service were the least of it—we're talking drug dealers, prostitutes, and bed bugs.
The bed bugs in particular were an issue, as the Washington Times reported that several of the DNC media-hosting hotels have dealt with bedbug infestation complaints in the past year.
The scene was enough to make radio talk show host David Webb comment:
"It comes down to organizing a good event, and frankly, that says something about how they do things here."
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It's been almost two months since Hilton's contemporary Home2 Suites brand launched in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and the second hotel just opened March 10 in Layton, Utah. So we figured it was a good time to check in to see what people have been saying about the stylish all-suite hotels, which comes with free WiFi, iPhone and iPad iHome docking stations and a complimentary continental breakfast.
We checked in on TripAdvisor to see what the buzz is. But there's only one TripAdvisor review, likely because the hotels aren't in major cities.
Cooking classes at hotels? So yesterday! The latest spin on hotel restaurants educating guests is happening at North Carolina's Sanderling Resort and Spa: artisanal butchering workshops.
Oh, yes. Vegetarians look away now. The resort is offering guests to "meet their meat", under the guidance of German Master Butcher Frank Meusel and executive chef Joshua Hollinger. The classes will show guests how to break down cuts of a whole animal and prepare primal cuts.