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Hotels around the world are going crazy for the 2012 Summer Olympics from specialty cocktails to outrageous Olympics-inspired packages. Here are five U.S. hotels that are going for gold in the sport of attracting Olympics watchers. We'll have even more next week!
· The London NYC: There are several ways to get in the Olympics mood at The London. The hotel's London Bar is serving specialty cocktails such as the vodka-based Ultimate Olympics and the Olympics Wakaya Ginger mocktail. The afternoon tea time even feature a new Japanese Sencha Green Tea selection known to be rich in anti-oxidants and to promote wellness of the mind and body. Room service is churning out some super food smoothies and a wellness fruit plate. Rates at the midtown hotel start around $379 a night next weekend.
· The Eventi Hotel, New York City: This Chelsea hotel is hosting their own Opening Ceremonies tomorrow with a bunch of Olympics-inspired games and events like Beer Olympics (beer slides, KEG STANDS, quarters, BEER PONG and arm wrestling), horseshoes, croquet, tug of war, free arcade games, fake commentaries of your favorite sports from Upright Citizens Brigade, neighborhood scavenger hunts and even sprinklers to cool off under. The party starts tomorrow at 7pm. Head to the Facebook page for more info.
Calling all synchronized swimmers! Or anyone that wants to don some waterproof make-up and try your luck at the elaborate aquatic moves. The Standardin Miami is getting into the Olympic spirit with a few events to mark the opening of the London Summer Games.
Tonight is the night to test your skills at staying afloat with the hotel hosting an evening by the infinity-pool with The Dolphinettes. The appropriately name group is a Miami based synchronized swimming team that will be featured in a demonstration, then teaching brave guests the ins-and-outs of the intricate aquatic sport.
On the one hand, you have one of the city's most traditional hotels, housed in a nearly two centuries' old former hospital on the Knightsbridge side of Hyde Park Corner, with white-glove butler service and more Regency period pieces than you could shake a stick at. On the other hand, there's plenty of modern in-room technology (laptops and mac minis) and the hotel has seen more than its fair share of celebrity antics (rapper party anyone?).
With the Games now less than a month away, The Lanesborough is getting on the Olympic bandwagon with a signature drink in their Library Bar: the Gold Medal Martini, complete with gold leaf rim. Having a martini while curled up in one of the leather wing chairs by the fire (it is British summer after all) in this intimate, clubby space might be just the way to escape the madness that is set to take over the city this summer.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that when the Olympics come into town, the hotel rates skyrocket. But with the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympics happening in London later this month, we're having a tough time deciphering what's up, what's down and what's still available.
Reports from last week put London hotels as slashing room rates as much as £160 a night, due to lower than expected bookings. Today, there's a report out saying that prices are up as much as 400 percent.
Complicating that, is the fact that room rates fluctuate throughout the Olympics based on the popular events going on and where they are located. So getting a deal really depends on what your schedules (and budgets) are like. (But don't forget, you can always book a room on HotelTonight.)
Nevertheless, we thought we would check in with some of our most-talked about London hotels to see what they are offering*:
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Remember when we learned about Andaz Liverpool Street's plans to launch a World Food Marathon menu next month to coincide with the Olympics? Well, it turns out The Goring (aka Kate Middleton's hotel of choice) is preparing a 'global menu' of its own—except you'll find this menu in the bathroom, not the dining room.
The NY Daily News reports that a bath menu wil be available this summer, in order to let guests take "a trip around the world" through different bathroom scents.
But wait, it gets better. The toiletry company that The Goring has tapped for the bath menu program is none other than Molton Brown, one of our personal favorites. We'll take two of everything, please!
While we've been busy tracking the new hotels opening in London for the Olympics, we've completely forgot about what the existing hotels will be doing when the Games are in town. However, The Berkeley has commandeered our attention with their latest Olympic-inspired offerings--synchronized swimming lessons.
The hotel has partnered up with Aquabatix, an award-winning synchronized swimming team who will host a weekly master class during July and August in the hotel's open-air pool. The lessons will be available both to hotel guests and the general public.
Learning key movements of the sport, such as the “egg beater kick” and “sculling,” those enjoying the fun and athletic class will be able to perform a complete routine following the 90-minute lesson. The session is completed with a choreographed routine set to accompanying music and attendees are special given Berkeley swimming caps to take home.
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They sure do things different in England. As the country's capital preps for the 2012 Olympics this summer, Andaz Liverpool Street has come up with a cool way to celebrate all—or, at least, some—of the nations that will be calling on the city over the coming months.
Their idea? A World Food Marathon, in which each of Andaz's restaurants will concoct a different "international" dish every day from July 2 to July 27, leading up to the Olympics Opening Ceremony. That's 26 distinct dishes, each inspired by a different staff member's native country.
Interestingly, the total number of nationalities represented by the hotel's staff actually numbered 40, but they had to narrow it down to 26 to represent the number of miles in a marathon. For the dishes that made the final cut, each staff member worked together with the chef to make sure the recipe was accurately recreated.
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Well, how about that. Construction hasn't even finished on London's 95-story iceberg-inspired tower, The Shard, which will house the Shangri-La Hotel—and already we've gotten a sneak peek at the building's killer views from a daredevil who climbed a ladder to the top.
Urban explorer Bradley Garrett, who literally has a PhD in 'breaking into places,' was out on one of his nocturnal raid missions and decided to share some photos he took from the 76th (and currently highest) floor of the tower. He even got to touch the red light at the top of the crane—an accomplishment he calls "incredibly exhilarating."
As far as we're concerned, he's overshot things a bit, as the hotel itself is only set to occupy floors 34 to 52. But if this is what it's like just twenty stories above, then we remain confident that views from the actual rooms will be pretty frickin' awesome. No word yet on hotel rates, but they're likely to cost significantly more than what Dr. Garrett paid.
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For several months now we've heard that hotel rooms for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London were sold-out or going for ridiculously expensive rates. But according to the BBC, there may be room in town after all.
It turns out that about 8,000 hotel rooms, ranging from budget options to five-star, are no longer needed by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and have been put back on the market for the rest of the general public. Whee!
We hit up the Visit London site to look for hotel rooms during the first week of the games (July 27-August 3) and we found quite a few options available, although at predictably high prices. Two-star and three-star hotels were averaging about £260 a night while we found four-star hotels like the Hotel Indigo Paddington for £578 a night and the newly relaunched St. Ermin's Hotel for £467 a night. That's close to a $1,000 a night or about $7G if you plan on staying the whole week.
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The Olympics site in Stratford, London
Remember when we told you about the ongoing crackdown on scalpers hawking non-legit Olympics tickets? Well, the local po-po (or, would that be bo-bo, since we're talking U.K. bobbies?) are going after delinquents selling fake hotel rooms, too.
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Paris may have lost the 2005 Olympics bid to London, but the City of Light and Louis Vuitton is hoping to hand their 'cross-the-Chunnel metropolitan peers their comeuppance by stealing away tourists come summertime. According to a recently published report by express.co.uk, Pair-ee is being touted the " 'cheaper, safer and more attractive" alternative city from which to watch the 2012 Games.
We've brought you news about the forthcoming opening of The Belgraves, capsule accommodations inside the Trocadero, and other newbies on the London hotel map, and today go-to publication The Guardian brings our attention to two more soon-to-be players on the scene.