Tag: Openthread

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Was Travelodge Right To Ditch Its Hotel Bibles?

August 18, 2014 at 9:34 AM | by | Comments (0)

A Bible in your bedside drawer has always been one of those comforting mediocre hotel room givens, like toiletries of dubious provenance and chocolates – if you’re lucky enough to get them – that taste of cardboard. But could this be coming to an end?

Travelodge is currently coming under fire in the UK for removing Bibles from all its hotel rooms, “because of diversity reasons” and “‘in order not to discriminate against any religion”. Predictably, there’s a firestorm of people on Twitter vowing to switch allegiance to Premier Inn, and the Church of England declaring that: “It seems both tragic and bizarre that hotels would remove the word of God for the sake of ergonomic design, economic incentive or a spurious definition of the word ‘diversity’.”

In actual fact, the story isn’t as extreme as it sounds at first – the Bibles, which were always provided free of charge by the Gideon Society, haven’t been burned or chucked out – Travelodge says they are being “retained” and will be doled out by reception on request. What’s more, in surely the most telling part of this story, Travelodge says this decision was taken in 2007, and the hotels have been steadily implementing it since then, without receiving any complaints until the Daily Mail got wind of it last week.

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Which One of the Four Seasons Do You Heart The Most?

July 29, 2014 at 11:56 AM | by | Comments (7)

Bathrobes at the Four Seasons Los Angeles.

We've talked about our favorite and least-favorite W Hotels, Kimpton Hotels, Sofitel Hotels, Andaz Hotels and the Le Meridiens.

Today, we're taking stock of the changing seasons...Four Seasons Hotels, that is.

With Four Seasons making expansion a top priority in the next years--the Four Seasons Orlando will open this weekend while Four Seasons Dubai is now taking reservations for December--it's a good time to take stock of what Four Seasons has done right, and where they still need some improvement. In other words, what to do and not to do with future Four Seasons Hotels.

Is it more "extraordinary experiences"? More beer massages? More locally inspired workouts? You tell us!

List your favorite and least favorite Four Seasons Hotels in comments below! Or holler at us on Twitter!

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Which Le Méridien Hotel Tickles Your Fancy The Most?

March 12, 2014 at 5:32 PM | by | Comments (2)

The Le Mérdien Bora Bora

Now that we've all finished Andazming, it's time to focus on the cultural hotel brand that is Le Méridien Hotels.

This art-centric Starwood Hotel has been coming out of its shell in recent months, picking up a few new properties here and there. And they aren't stopping. Last week, Le Méridien announced they will be opening 11 new hotels over the next 12 months, which will triple its portfolio in the Americas since the French-born brand was acquired by Starwood in 2005.

Here's where Le Méridien will plant their flag over the next year: Tampa (inside a century-old Federal Courthouse); Bangladesh; Chicago-Oakbrook Center; Bangkok; Charlotte; Gujarat, India; Mahabaleshwar, India; Indianapolis; New Orleans (formerly a W, will undergo a $29 mil renovation); Thimphu, Bhutan and Qingdao, China.

All of these hotels will feature the Le Méridien Hub, a lobby/social gathering space and the UNLOCK ART program along with the new Master Barista program.

But where is your favorite Le Méridien hotel today? Clearly, some Le Méridiens are better than others but we want to know which ones. So help us out by sharing your experiences with us. And SPG-ers, we know you know the dirt so don't hold back!

Sound off on Le Meridien hotels in Le Comments below!

[Photo: Le Meridien Bora Bora/Facebook]

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Should a Hotel Guest Be Banned for Talking About His 'Trouser Snake?'

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Old Common Road, Black Dam, Basingstoke, United Kingdom, RG21 3PR
February 21, 2014 at 4:48 PM | by | Comments (0)

Hotel Blackslists are real, this we know. But what gets you on a hotel's naughty list can vary.

Most of the time it's for doing something illegal--drugs, prostitution, soliciting and failing to pay your bill. Sometimes, it can be for disruptive behavior--loud parties, drunkenness, damaging the room and walking around naked. And other times, it can be simply because the hotel didn't want you back. (Or rather, didn't want you there in the first place, which once happened to us a few years ago.)

But for this one guest in the U.K., the reason for blacklisting was very clear--he joked about his "trouser snake."

HC Alumnus JuliaB tweeted us a write-up of the indecent incident in a newspaper and it is beyond hilarious.

The full monty went down at the Hilton Baskingstoke Hotel in Hampshire when a guest made a naughty remark on an online comment form, telling staff "he had a large snake in my trousers." The guest said the reception staff laughed about it when he checked out. But then a few days later, he received a note from the hotel manager that said they would no longer accept future bookings from him since having to read his comment made the staff uncomfortable.

So we have to ask--was blacklisting this guest an unjust decision?

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Where is Your Favorite Place to Have an Andazm?

February 13, 2014 at 1:34 PM | by | Comments (5)

We've talked about our favorite and least-favorite W Hotels, the best Kimpton Hotels and the Sofitel Hotels we're most thankful for but now, on the eve of Love Day (which is what our three-year-old calls February 14), it's time to talk about our favorite place to have an Andazm.* For those not in the know, we're talking about Andaz Hotels.

Andaz has been on an expansion binge recently, opening in Amsterdam, Napa, Maui and Costa Rica. On the horizon are Andaz Tokyo, opening this summer and Andaz Mayakoba, opening in 2015.

The HotelChatter team has been in just about every Andaz out there, (except for Peninsula Papagayo which just opened in late December), and the general consensus is that Andaz Hotels are awesome. What's not to love? Personalized check-in, free wine hours, complimentary minibar snacks and free WiFi. Each Andaz also has its own distinct design, ensuring that no two Andazes are exactly alike.

Keep reading to see this editor's personal fave Andaz Hotel!

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Wouldn’t a Simple Price Adjustment Save the Minibar?

January 2, 2014 at 11:02 AM | by | Comments (8)

For the first time since its introduction decades ago, we saw the consumer push back against the minibar in 2013. Chalk it up to nostalgia, but a small part of us was surprised to see such a staple of the hotel industry begin to crumble. But nostalgia is all the minibar could hold onto, because the logical part of our brain was not surprised at all.

When the news first broke, we told you how we thought the hotel industry had gone about minibars all wrong with its decision making, jacking up the prices, installing electronic sensors that botched up billing (over a $2 can of soda, no less), and charging a fee to convert it to fridge space when guests decided they’d rather bring their own snacks as an alternative.

That said, explained, and accepted, it is hard to feel bad for hotels. What did they think was going to happen? Did they really think guests would flock to the fridge for $5 candy bars? An all-out focus on profit margins turned what could have been a useful, convenient amenity into a useless, don’t-even-look-at-that-thing waste of space.

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2013's Most Provocative OpenThread: Can an Unfriendly Waiter Ruin Your Stay?

December 31, 2013 at 9:11 AM | by | Comment (1)

It's that time of year again: the 2013 HotelChatter Awards! Today and tomorrow, we'll be showcasing the best (and worst) of hotels over the past year. But we couldn't do it without you! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or shoot us an email. And the Award goes to...

OpenThreads are our way of handing over the microphone to you dear readers. We put forth a topic, a dilemma, a question, a preference, or an opinion and you let us know how you really feel.

Past provocative OpenThread discussions have usually involved something found inside the guest rooms (toiletry dispensers, bibles, tipping the housekeeper, etc. but this year's thread involved the waiters and waitresses working downstairs in the hotel restaurant.

Here's how it all went down for ASchecter in a Brooklyn hotel:

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Will You Wake Up Christmas Morning in a Hotel? Tell Us About It!

December 23, 2013 at 9:30 AM | by | Comments (7)

Despite being in the travel industry and finding ourselves on the road much of the year, the holidays are the one period of time where we can guarantee a few nights at home in our own bed. In all honesty, this contributor has never woken up on Christmas morning in a hotel room, so the idea of it seems very foreign in some way. Hotels are our home away from home, but there's never been a substitute for waking up in our own bed on Christmas morning.

Sitting here, we wonder what it would be like to rise on the 25th in a hotel. What would we do? How would we spend our morning?

If we were in a suite at the Goring, things would be pretty merry given the pile of presents that looks like a Christmas tree. And lots of hotels do their best to create a festive atmosphere for those traveling during the holidays, including giant macaron Christmas trees and other holiday decorations.

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Who Should You Tip at Hotels This Holiday Season?

December 11, 2013 at 3:10 PM | by | Comments (0)

When staying at a hotel, it's common to tip the folks who work there for various services, such as the housekeepers, the bellhops and the concierges. But a credit card education website is now saying (randomly) not to forget the front desk workers this holiday season.

CreditDonkey.com has compiled a list of all the other people in your life that you need to leave a tip for including hotel, motel and resort desk clerks. CreditDonkey claims these employees make an annual wage of $21,960 in their gig and deserve a tip between $5 and $10 before you check-out, especially if you they've helped you out other than just checking you in and handing you a room key.

We have to agree with this sort of tip, not just for the holidays, but always (again, if they go above and beyond their duties.) So now, who else should we tip at hotels over the holidays? And we're talking about a few days at a hotel over Christmas, not just a one-night stand sometime the week before. Let us know who should go on the NICE list in comments below!

Of course, tipping the housekeepers, the bellhops, the concierges and the front desk can add up (not to mention the pressure to tip is high these days. Read the comments on this story for some advice). Perhaps consider some other gifts aside from cash that will be sure to delight. Otherwise, make sure you've got your dollar bills and fivers in place before checking out.

[Photo: Flickr]

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Thanks to a Lost Stuffed Giraffe, Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island Earns Customers For Life

December 4, 2013 at 10:41 AM | by | Comments (2)

We've all had horror stories when it comes to staying in a hotel, especially if we just happened to forget something in the room. While some might think that their article is lost forever, that's not always the case. Here's a story in great customer service by a hotel, restoring our faith in not only hotel staff far and wide, but humankind on a whole. Prepare to have your heart warmed.

The whole situation went down when the Hurn family decided to spend their vacation at Florida's Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island. Upon returning home after a few days soaking up the sun, living in luxury and scoring some rest and relaxation, their 8-year old son realized he had left his stuffed toy giraffe, Joshie, back at the resort.

Like any good father would do to buy some time, Chris Hurn told his son that the toy needed some "extra vacation time and would be home soon". He then called the hotel with the hopes that Joshie was sitting in a lost-and-found box somewhere in the backroom. To much surprise, Ritz-Carlton's staff informed him that Joshie was safe and sound and offered to send the plush animal home free of charge.

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Is This Really The World's Sexiest Hotel Room?

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 33 Roland Gardens, London, United Kingdom, SW7 3PF
December 3, 2013 at 11:23 PM | by | Comments (2)

Mr. and Mrs. Smith (of the boutique hotel guide, not the Brangelina movie) recently celebrated their ten-year anniversary by handing out their Smith Awards at a packed out event on London’s Brick Lane. Among the various categories was “Sexiest Hotel Room”, an award that was taken home by one of the first high-style, design-led hotels of the city: Blakes London, specifically for its Corfu Suite.

Watching the count down from 10 to runner up had us wondering whether we agreed with the result. Was this the sexiest hotel room? What would be our pick, and why? And what would you, dear reader, think?

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Which Sofitel Hotel Are You Most Thankful For?

November 27, 2013 at 2:44 PM | by | Comments (5)

The other week, we asked you dear readers to comment on your best Kimpton Hotel stay. At the request of a loyal HotelChatter fan, we're doing the same thing Sofitel Hotels.

There are about 120 Sofitel Hotels, in about 40 countries, so that's a lot of Sofitels to get talking about. But with all major hotel brands, not all the individual hotels are created equal. We've had some great experiences at Sofitels in Asia and Europe and then just so-so ones here in America. Meanwhile, Sofitel is also expanding their So brand which is more design-conscious and art-centric while at the same time remaining luxurious. So Sofitel is a mixed bag indeed.

Now in the spirit of Thanksgiving, tell us which Sofitel Hotel you're most thankful for in comments below!

[Photo: JasonD For HotelChatter]