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We have a few fears about staying in hotels, usually centered around someone breaking into our room and the hotel overcharging us for WiFi, but now we have "shootout" to add to the list.
A gunman walked into the lobby of the Omni Hotel Downtown Austinand killed a 60-year-old cab driver, before being shot to death by police offers. The incident happened at around 5am on Sunday morning, after 911 received a call from the hotel with a report of a man walking around the lobby carrying a gun. Police arrived on the scene to find a man carrying a rifle and a body on the ground. When the suspect pointed the gun at police, they returned gunfire, killing him near the hotel's restaurant.
The gunman was later identified as Michael Holt, who rented a desk from a start-up incubator called Capital Factory, which has operations inside the Omni Hotel's building. This shooting comes nearly a week after another deranged gunman killed 27 tourists in Tunisia.
We suspect the restaurant will be out of service at the Omni Hotel for at least a few days while the crime scene continues to be investigated but you'd never know that from the Omni Hotel's website which makes no note of the incident or of any closures. Omni Hotel's Facebook page has also remained silent on the matter. We reached out to an Omni rep but have not heard back with a comment on the shooting.
Tomorrow, the hotel is hosting Trailer Food Tuesdays and according to that group's Facebook page, the event is still on. We found rooms at the hotel tomorrow night starting from $269.
[Photo: Omni Hotels]
There are a few more dollars ready to stay in your wallet for drinks on that buddy getaway weekend, as one hotel chain is stepping up and chipping in to help transport your golfing goodies.
Omni Hotels and Resorts recently announced that they will pick up the extra baggage fee for your golf bag. It’s for Select Guest loyalty members, so be sure to sign-up beforehand. Basically you just check your bag at the airport, hold onto the airline baggage receipt, and then show at check-in. They will reimburse you for the traveling cost of the golf bag—simple as that.
The first NFL football kickoff might be a few months away, but with the draft and other goings on now is as good of a time as any to train for the upcoming season.
Dallas Cowboys fans—and those who don’t hate America’s Team—should make their way to Omni Dallas Hotel for a little preseason workout. Just note that things might be a little different than those looking to hit the traditional gridiron, as these workouts are probably best for those looking to score a spot on the cheerleading squad.
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Wine glasses: not pictured
The Coachella Valley, home to dates, intense heat, plastic surgery, and (related) a lot of ladies who lunch. But one brave hotel is stepping up a gear, offering ladies not lunch, but afternoon golf and – to help your aim – booze.
Omni Rancho Las Palmas is starting a Women, Wine & Nine program, in which ladies can come in for a glass or two of wine and nine holes at the Rancho Las Palmas Country Club, every Thursday between 4.30pm and 7pm.
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¡Feliz año nuevo! We're getting ready to close out 2014 with our year-end awards, happening later today but before we go, here's one last Hotel News Briefs for the year. Enjoy! We'll be back with a full slate of news on Friday. Well, maybe Monday if we haven't recovered from the hangover then.
LA RESERVE PARIS HOTEL TO OPEN ON JANUARY 19: In just a few short weeks, French hotelier and vintner Michel Reybier will open a companion hotel of sorts for the existing La Reserve Paris Apartments. The 40-room hotel La Réserve Paris Hotel will open in a Haussmannian mansion off of Champs-Elysées at 42 Avenue Gabriel. The large rooms and even larger suites, all designed by Jacques Garcia, will pay homage to the Belle Époque era with "muted lighting, antique furniture, lush fabrics and regal colors." There will also be a spa onsite with three treatment rooms, a gym and a 52-foot indoor pool. Rooms at the hotel on January 19 start at 1,100 Euros a night for a deluxe room, shown above. Not that flush? Consider the Generator Paris instead, opening on February 1.
Across the pond, in Manchester, they are building Hotel Football, exactly what it sounds like--a hotel devoted to the national pastime of football. Now, in Dallas, they are building the American version of Hotel Football--The Omni Frisco Hotel, which is being built in partnership with the Dallas Cowboys.
The Omni will have 300 guest rooms, meeting space, ballroom, several restaurants and bars, and a rooftop pool deck. It will be adjacent to the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters and Frisco's Multi-Use Event Center, which are already under construction (That's it on the far right in the photo above.)
No word on whether the rooms will be decked out in Cowboy gear but we can probably expect an "Ultimate Fan" suite, or two.
While the Cowboys won't be playing at their headquarters on game day, they will be using the spot as their training facility. The headquarters will also the team's administrative offices, coaches' offices and the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. Ding, ding, ding!
The Omni Frisco, which will be the fifth Omni Hotel for the Dallas/Fort Worth-area, will break ground later this spring and should open in early 2017. Let's hope the Cowboys make it to the Super Bowl that year. No pressure, though.
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As the UK preps for their own football-themed hotel in Manchester (boringly called, ), The Omni Hotel at CNN Center in Atlanta is proudly showing off their devotion to the American kind of football--with their new National College Football Championship Suite, henceforth known as the NCFC suite.
The suite "opened" the other but really, it's just a regular suite at the hotel that's been gussied up with memorabilia entirely devoted to the reigning champions--the Florida State Seminoles. Inside are various team photographs, a Charlie Ward jersey and FSU-branded throw pillows, blankets towels. Heck, there's even a bleacher seat inside (from the 1993 championship game signed by Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden.) But of course, since the suite will change every time a new champion is crowned, die-hard Florida State fans will need to drive hard to book it. Er, rush fast to book it.
The NCFC suite is part of the Omni's new partnership with the College Football Hall of Fame and the Chick-fil-A Fan Experience which opened recently next to the hotel.
A stay in the suite for the die-hard Seminole football fan can be had by booking the Ultimate Fan Package which costs $4,500 and includes a two-night stay in the suite, roundtrip airport transportation, a football themed tailgate party for you and 20 guests and a private breakfast for 20 served on the College Football Hall of Fame’s indoor football field. Touchdown! (Sorry, we couldn't resist.)
Couples' massages. Romantic or creepy?
There are plenty of hotels which offer exclusive rental of the spa, of course, but none quite like this experience at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia.
The Puerta Privada deal not only nets you out of hours access to the Joya Spa (along with two other couples), but makes an evening out of it.
Step one: Knock on the (closed) door of the Moroccan-inspired spa, and whisper the night’s password, speakeasy-style.
Step two: Follow your butler (butler!) to your spa suite (suite!) which comes with a terrace, private pool (pool!) and view of Camelback Mountain.
HotelChatter Cocktail Week / Hotel Cocktail Week / Hotel Cocktails Hotel Bars / Omni Hotels / Dorchester Collection / London Hotels / UK Hotels / San Diego Hotels / New Hampshire Hotels / California Hotels / New York Hotels / Ganesvoort Hotels / Caribbean Hotels / → All Tags
As Week 2 of HotelChatter Cocktail Week(s) wraps up, here's our second run-down of some of the things we see going on in the world of hotel bars and bevvies. What do you see goin’ on out there? Let us know in the comments below!
Roll Out the Barrel(aging) –
One trend that is growing stronger this year is in-house barrel-aged and private label spirits. We're envisioning cask-aged moonshine made in a mad scientist-type laboratory.
Jeff Josenhans at THE US GRANT in San Diego is producing an in-house barrel-aged Chartreuse with Wayne Geiselman, who has a PH D in Food Science. Using complex-sounding reverse engineering, food scientist Wayne created a proprietary blend of 25 local, organic ingredients including Southern California wildflower honey. Jeff then took this botanical blend and an un-aged bourbon to use as the spirit base (as opposed to traditional European brandy), and is now aging this noble experiment in 100% New Allier French Oak (never done before in the cocktail world). Six-month, 1-year, and 2-year-old bottlings will be ready to open on October 15. If you want to stay over for the big unveiling, you're looking at rates starting at $239.
The Dorchester has revived the historical recipe for Old Tom Gin to create a newer, bolder blend exclusive to the hotel. The City of London Distillery has the weight of distilling the gin under the watchful eye of the hotel’s bar manager and expert alchemist, Giuliano Morandin. This is the second time Giuliano has re-introduced Old Tom Gin to the UK drinks market, the first being in 2006 after a 30-year absence. To celebrate the re-launch, Giuliano has created the Old Tom Cobbler cocktail, made with coriander, fresh lemongrass, elderflower and, not surprisingly, Old Tom. A 700ml bottle of The Dorchester Old Tom Gin is priced at £65 ($109) and is available at The Bar at The Dorchester or by visiting shop.dorchestercollection.com. Signature cocktails including the Old Tom Cobbler start at £16 ($27). Stays start at £505 ($838).
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It's no secret that we love drinking in hotels here at HotelChatter. In fact, hotels might be our favorite "local." So all this week and next, we'll be pouring out some drinks for you during our second Hotel Cocktail Week(s) -- newly-expanded because there’s just so many drinks to share. We'll be posting quirky cocktails, boozy trends, unique menus and even recipes so you can recreate your favorite hotel drink at home. We expect everyone will be getting a bit tipsy over the next couple of weeks! But don't forget to tip your bartenders, in this case, us.
The Bloody Mary is a gregarious cocktail: it’s ready to party any time of the day and most people like it. Eggs, bacon and a Bloody Mary – yes. Burger and cheese? Prime rib and a baked potato? Yes and yes. Here, we thought we’d tell you about some of the goings-on in the Bloody Mary world so that you’re up-to-date when you fondly order your next one.
Omni Mount Washington’s Bretton Woods Bourbon Bloody Mary
Things are getting spicy at Omni Mount Washington Resort in New Hampshire with this twist on the classic Bloody Mary. Only available for a limited time due to a limited number of barrels used to make the resort’s signature Woodford Reserve bourbon, the cocktail also contains tomato juice, garden-fresh local tomatoes, cherry peppers, celery, olives and pickled cucumber creating a unique, veggie-bevvie with a smoky flavor.
1.5 oz Mount Washington Resort’s Signature Woodford Reserve Bourbon
8 large local grown red tomatoes
2 t grated Horseradish
1 pinch red pepper flakes
2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 lime wedges
2 T Cajun seasoning
1 cherry pepper
1, 2” celery stalk
1 Queen Olive
1 house-made cucumber pickle spear
Blend all ingredients together and garnish with the cucumber pickle spear. Drink it down.
Cost for the Bloody Mary: $13
Cost to stay the night, not including all of the Bloody Marys you drank: $369
Hotel Pools / Rancho Mirage Hotels / Family-Friendly Hotels / Hotel Amenities / Omni Hotels / Palm Springs Hotels / → All Tags
When we were writing about Palm Springs all last week, we were trying to stick to hotels in Palm Springs itself. But as well as the 10 in town that we already mentioned, there’s another desert pool that deserves a mention: that of the Omni Rancho Las Palmas in Rancho Mirage.
We say pool – but actually, it’s a waterpark. Yes, a hotel with its own waterpark. Splashtopia Water Playground is 2 acres of family-friendliness, with a sandy beach, 100-foot waterslides, a 450ft ‘lazy river’ (traversable by inner tube), a ‘cliffside’ Jacuzzi, water play zones with sprinklers and fountains, as well as an adults-only pool, Azure. As if that wasn’t enough, they also have ‘dive-in movies’ every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, featuring animated family-friendly films, like Frozen and Despicable Me 2.
We've been loving the growing trend of 24-hour hotel stays and when we discovered that it even made its way to Las Vegas at The Palms, we listed it as one of our 5 new things to try. No more racing around at 11:45am to gather all our crap together, in fear that security guards would be waiting for us at 12:01pm.
But alas, VegasChatter reports that The Palms has suspended the program after a mere three months.
We reached out to a Palms representative for updates and were told that, after a three-month run, the 24-hour checkout policy has been suspended as they assess the results.
Hopefully, the results are good and the service will come back into play.
That said, when one door closes, another door opens and this time, that hotel door is open until 5pm at the Omni Dallas. The hotel has a new "Sleep In On Sunday” package that lets guests check out at 5pm on Sunday. The offer also gives them $20 credit towards either the hotel's Mokara spa; at Collections, the totally awesome retail store or at the hotel's restaurants and coffee shops.
Rates for the package start at $219 a night. Use code PKGSUN to book.
[Photo: Omni Dallas]