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In his bid for presidency, Donald Trump made some derogatory remarks (to say the least) about illegal immigrants in America, leading Univision and NBC Universal to drop Trump and his "Miss Universe" which he partially owns. Trump was also recently dropped by Macys department store who announced that due to his remarks they would no longer be producing or selling his clothing line.
Now, we can't help but wonder if Trump Hotels will be on the receiving end of a ban themselves?
Snapshot / OpenThread / Ace Hotels / Midtown Hotels / NoMad Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Free WiFi / → All Tags
It’s a class or a convention of some kind, right?
This was the scene that greeted us when we went into the Ace New York last Saturday and took this (really crappy, sorry) photo. Not a seat to be had in the lobby, whether at the official computer tables or in the chairs. Surely, we thought, there had to be some kind of event going on?
No, they said in the Breslin as we shamefully had lunch, mortified that we only had a smartphone. No, they confirmed today when we called to make entirely sure. There are events going on all the time at the Ace (many of which are open to the public) but that’s normal. “We have free WiFi and we’re open to the public,” we were told. Come in this afternoon and it’ll be even busier.
Fortune magazine published a piece last month about resorts with the highest extra fees tacked onto the base room rates – and two topped out at $107 per night. According to ResortFeeCheckercom, those are Provident Luxury Suites Fisher Island and Fisher Island Hotel & Resort, both in Miami and whose daily rates – not including fees -- run well over $500 in July. (We touched on these astronomical resort fees back in March.)p>
The London Edition, one of our best hotel stays ever.
Size matters. But for this editor, when it comes to hotel rooms, smaller is actually far better.
Last year, I paid for a standard room at the London Edition which just barely breaks 250-sq.ft. (22-sq.m.) Despite not having much of a view and despite it being the tail-end of a dreary winter, I fell in love with my room and all of its convenient amenities. The dark wood paneling, the sumptuous beds, the fur throws (yes, I even liked these) the bacon jam in the minibar, and the room service breakfast I ordered the night before through the door tag and which arrived promptly the next morning
Last month, I was invited to stay at the New York Edition on opening night. When I checked-in, I actually asked for a "basic" room. I was told there wasn't any available but I would be able to stay in the Deluxe Loft rooms. These rooms have incredible views of the Empire State Building and you best believe I Instagrammed the heck out of that view.
But when I toured the rest of the hotel and saw the standard rooms, my heart skipped a beat. Even though the color palette of this Edition is much lighter than London, it looked just like the cozy little room I stayed in last year, complete with a fur throw.
I already knew I had a preference for smaller hotel rooms before this moment but it was then that it hit me how strong the feeling was. I would rather pass up a killer view of the Empire State Building for a closer view of the TV.
The other week we were outraged to see that the not-yet-open 1 Hotel Central Park was (mistakenly) advertising a $70 breakfast. The price was actually an error as breakfast is only $35 (phew!) but it did get us wondering how much we, and you, would be willing to spend on breakfast just so you wouldn't have to leave the hotel in search of food.
Now today, we have a different question--how much would you be willing to spend to go inside a hotel and have a drink?
Private pool at Rumah Surga
Sometimes being a hotel fan feels like it’s all about what’s new and pricey, where has the best pillow menu or tanning butler. But as I realized this past couple of weeks, sometimes a cheaper experience can be a much more real experience.
I was in Bali and had 10 days scheduled in Ubud. Initially I had fantasies of trying out all these kinds of fancy new places. Then I remembered I couldn’t afford even one night in most of those hotels. So I booked a villa instead: Villa Rumah Surga. It was $58 a night instead of the $250+ most of the decent hotels were, and I wasn’t expecting great shakes. But great shakes is what I got.
When planning a trip to New York later this year, naturally we focused on which new hotels to stay at. Given how long we had to wait for 1 Hotels to open in South Beach, and how impressed we were with the result, we headed over to 1 Hotel Central Park to see what it would take to spend the night.
The answer? From $350-$400 a night and up for an Alcove Queen room. What stopped us dead in our tracks though was the price for breakfast in Jonathan Waxman’s restaurant: $70 per person. We then saw the headline “American breakfast for 2”, so perhaps it was $35 instead? But clicking through, adding two guests did push up our total by a $140. Wowza.
UPDATE 5.22.15: The hotel has told us the $70 price was a mistake. (See comment below.) Breakfast at Jonathan Waxman's restaurant is $35 per person. Phew!
Last week, I spent a night in a five star hotel in Singapore – one of its top ones, no less. The room was, obviously, beautiful. The pools (plural) were to die for. I arrived late and went straight to sleep. I woke up, swam, had breakfast, and turned on my computer. And found my computer wouldn’t connect to the WiFi.
I have a Mac, and this sometimes happens. So I did what normally works – left it a few minutes, restarted it, adjusted the settings. Several times. And it still didn’t work.
I knew it wasn’t a problem with the WiFi, because my phone was connected. So after a few more restarts and a bit more fiddling, I called the front desk. This has happened about four times in the past, and each time connecting me to the IT dept has solved it by manually assigning the IP address. In fact, the first time this happened – at the Allegro Chicago – the IT guy said that they often have this issue with foreign-‘born’ Macs. It was not a big deal.
A woman answered and I explained the problem, asking to be connected to someone in IT. “Maybe it’s a problem with our WiFi,” she said. “I don’t think so,” I said, “Because my phone is connected. This has happened before, and it was a Mac issue. I just need to assign a manual IP. Is it possible for someone from the IT dept to walk me through this?”
“Have you tried turning it off and on again?” she replied.
OpenThread / Hotel Amenities / Hotel Toiletries / Hotel Gifts / Hotel Theft / Hotel Shame / Hotel Behavior / → All Tags
(Some of) the toiletries in question
Last week, I stayed in an extremely exclusive hotel in Italy – one of the old-school, iconic ones. It was beautiful – totally over the top, ridiculous décor, old masters in the bar, and hushed, reverent service. The bathroom was an explosion of marble, with large-sized toiletries – Acqua di Parma, should you care to know – by the bath, the shower, and the sink.
Naturally, when it came to check out, I did my usual whipround, collecting notepaper and envelopes, one of the notepads and pens, and most of the toiletries. That’s par for the course, right? It keeps your cupboards fully stocked and helps keep fond memories of the hotel going. Everyone wins.
I checked out, went for a wander, and came back half an hour later. I asked the concierge – who were in charge of the keys – to order me a taxi. He did so, but not before the other concierge had asked him quietly, “Il luogo è apposto?” Is the place ok? “Si, tutt’apposto,” said the other, and gave a slightly embarrassed smile.
And obviously I immediately assumed that the only possible thing they could be talking about in such a covert way was me and the fact that I had filched the stationery and the shampoo, and that they were wondering whether to confront me over it.
Breakfast dress code at the Bauer Il Palazzo, Venice
It’s time for another OpenThread! Last week we discussed the pleasures of hanging out in hotels. Today, it’s time for some detail about said hanging out. Largely, do you abide by dress codes?
I’ll start off. Being English, and having enjoyed my seminal hotel moments in Europe, I am a stickler for dress codes. In real life, I’m a dress down kinda girl. But when I visit hotels, I’d rather be over than underdressed.
The W London Lounge
Last week, I found myself in central London with a colleague, with an hour to spare between meetings. It was lunchtime. We both had work to do. We’d been out and about all morning.
We were near Covent Garden. My colleague suggested a restaurant. I mooted the Lounge at the W London. I won.
But when we got there, he was shocked. It was so fancy! All the staff were so beautiful! Everyone around us was so… rich looking! “Do you have to be Scandinavian to work here?” he asked me. He called his wife to marvel at the “eurotrash” and the “too beautiful” people surrounding us. He brought it up in the meeting we went to afterwards. The other meetingees were equally baffled and entranced by the idea of going to this insane, snazzy, eurotrashy hotel, when we could have gone to Starbucks.
OpenThread / Hotel WiFi / Marriott International / AHLA / Hotel News / Personal Hotspots / → All Tags
Before the holidays, we explained that as hotels begin to make Wifi more available and, most importantly, free, they are simultaneously policing the use of personal hotspots on their properties.
Team Hotspot Blockers as represented by Marriott: Cybersecurity. They're concerned that unauthorized access points will make it easy to hack into a hotel operator's network and threaten guest privacy. In addition, too many hotspots could clog up the network, reducing both personal and hotel Wifi performance and speed. And the resulting bad WiFi service could translate into bad reviews.