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There are many reasons why we are pretty excited about the upcoming opening of The Peninsula Paris. It will be the first European venture of the luxury group, and if the renovation efforts over in Hong Kong are anything to go by, accommodations should come with a technology and amenity overload.
Its arrival will see it go head to head with fellow Asians and relative newcomers Shangri-La and Mandarin Oriental, as well as all sorts of longstanding competition that is upping its game. First shots last year showed a monumental building (the former Hotel Majestic) on one of the city’s fancy avenues, proudly displaying giant Peninsula advertisements, yet shrouded under construction covers.
Just over twelve months on, unfortunately much of the hotel is still under wraps, with only a sliver of the back being visible. While opening is still set as a Q4 2013, the subject to change that comes right after has us wondering whether we will still be stepping inside Peninsula Paris this year.
Mad Men Hotels / Hotel Cocktails / Hotel Bars / Manhattan Hotels / Don Draper / Mad Men / Peninsula Hotels / James Hotels / Kimpton Hotels / Andaz Hotels / → All Tags
It's no secret that Mad Men has inspired a nationwide renaissance of classic, American-inspired cocktails (heck, AMC even dedicated an entire webpage to cocktails featured on the show). In honor of the two-hour season premier this Sunday, we've gone ahead and compiled a list of the top Manhattan hotel bars serving Mad Men-inspired drinks. Whom you invite back up to your hotel room afterward is entirely up to you.
One of our favorite chi-chi hideouts in New York is The Peninsula, whose second-floor Gotham Lounge offers seven different martinis. Alternatively, show off your insider knowledge and ask for the Ning Sling ($24, pictured), which consists of Absolut Mandarin, Soho Lychee liqueur, lychee and passion fruit juices, and fresh mint leaves—the drink is so exclusive, it isn't even listed on the menu.
Five more cocktails after the jump!
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Nobody does a holiday better than a hotel but the Peninsula Chicago has really gone out of its way for Easter again this year.
The luxury hotel on North Michigan Ave has decorated a MINI Cooper with bunny ears, a pink nose and whiskers and a poofy tail. The bunny mobile will ride around Chi-town with Peter Cottontail and the Peninsula mascot Peter Bear passing out candy and toy Peninsula bears (dressed up in their Easter finest) to kids throughout the city. So parents, if a car pulls up with a bunny and a bear looking to give your kid some candy, it's actually ok to let them.
Back inside the hotel, the Lobby restaurant and The Children's Lounge will feature children's activities and of course, an Easter egg hunt. Looking for a last minute room at the hotel this weekend? Rates start at $350 a night.
Hotel High Teas / Shangri-La Hotels / Langham Hotels / Fairmonth Hotels / Mandarin Oriental Hotels / Peninsula Hotels / Cape Town Hotels / → All Tags
Tea is a big thing. Really big, especially at hotels. Just last week, Shangri-La Sydney announced the introduction of a very special tea blend that is exclusive to their property and will brighten up even the perkiest of high tea services. The hand-picked single origin 100% pure Dilmah Ceylon tea is available in all 563 rooms and can be sipped in any of the restaurants including their new signature high-tea service. The special tea bags will also be found in all Shangri-La properties around the world.
The folks at the Shangri-La aren't the only tea connoisseurs. There are plenty of other exclusive brews at hotels around the world. Here's a sampling of what you can sample while staying or playing at these properties:
· The Langham: As the creators of the original English high-tea service, you could have imagine they would stake claim to one variety. In fact, the pink-hued hotels have four different house blends to tempt guests' taste-buds. The aptly named Langham Blend, Silk Road Blend, English Flower Blend and Palm Court Exotic Blend are all offered on their own or accompanying some freshly baked scones.
We sure hope last week's Four Seasons jewelry thief wasn't lurking around the Peninsula Bev Hills last night!
The Peninsula Beverly Hills must have been a hectic scene last night as hand-delivered suits and mysterious orange sacks began arriving at the hotel and immediately whisked up to VIP suites. "The bling is here!" the hotel announced on Facebook, as we pictured everyone from Jennifer Aniston to Catherine Zeta-Jones checking into five-star hotels all over Hollywood to get themselves dolled up for the big awards ceremony.
While we can't say for sure which stars were actually at the Peninsula, we guarantee a few of them were pretty big names. After all, what regular person would have multiple bags of expensive jewelry dragged up to their hotel suite on Oscars night? One starry-eyed Facebook commenter wrote: "I can only imagine what's inside!" One thing's for sure: nothing we'd be able to afford in a million gazillion years.
Hotel Openings / Lists / Peninsula Hotels / Nobu Hotels / Andaz Hotels / Shangri-La Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
As longtime hotel nerds, we're always excited when a new hotel opens. In fact, to ensure we don't miss an opening we compiled the Master Openings List of hotels expected to open in 2013. Not just in the U.S. or Europe, but around the world.
Out of this beast of a list, which we are constantly updating as we hear of new openings (and as we re-learn world geography apparently) we admittedly have a few favorites. Five to be exact. So here are 5 Hotel Openings We're Excited For in 2013. We hoped to get you every starting room rate, but alas, not all of the properties are taking reservations yet. But once they do, we'll let you know how much you're gonna pay!
Got an opening you're most excited about? Drop it in comments below!
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We know this will come as a surprise, but there are lots of ways to spend extra cash for extra amenities at hotels worldwide. Sometimes it's not so much - like the $9 upgrade at the Radisson Blu Chicago we broke the news on last year - and others, as you'll see below, are completely designed for people impervious to price.
The matter of money may be a matter of perspective, but one thing we can all agree on is that spontaneity at the counter can certainly spice up your stay. And most of the time you will benefit from wheeling and dealing on-site - we find you're more likely to get a better deal in the moment than with the set prices online, so be sure to bring your poker face to the round table.
Here, we've put together a list of some upgrades that we feel are good examples of what's happening out there on a whole. Our advice? Do your research, for sure, but have fun with it. Sometimes, a simple upgrade is a great way to turn a typical stay into a memorable one.
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We have been spending so much time on cocktail culture (well, it has been a rough few months), we figured we should be a little more balanced with our beverage coverage.
We started a bit by paying some attention to another one of our favorite pasttimes--afternoon tea. That can mean a simple cuppa for some of you--a jolt of caffeine to carry you through the day, or for more leisurely sorts, a more elaborate weekend high-tea filled with all sorts of yummy delights. We want to focus on that one--so much more fun, yes?
Now that chillier climates prevail in many parts of the country, the call for afternoon tea is in full demand and these hotels put out what we think are mighty fine spreads. We’ve seen quite a few people duck in to a hotel around the 4’o clock hour and chill over a demitasse of Darjeeling, a curried-chicken finger sandwich, and a jam-filled tart. We heartily approve.
Just remember, pinkie's up!
Chicago Hotels / Christmas Hotels / Peninsula Hotels / Hotel Ice Skating Rinks / Hotel News / Hotel Amenities / Hotel Lobbies / → All Tags
’Tis the season to believe in magically appearing hotel amenities that pop up where you least expect them. For example, a new 2,100-square-foot ice skating rink that's going up this month on top of The Peninsula Chicago. The rink, which will be built on the rooftop (pictured above), is scheduled to debut within the next week.
Believe it, friends, believe.
A source at The Peninsula shared that the new rink will offer hot cocoa and German-inspired snacks and treats, like mulled wine, cider, warm nuts and pretzels. The only downside? The ice rink will only be available exclusively to hotel guests. Which may cause a few temper tantrums, but we think it's a smart move to allow guests a joyous skating experience, minus the crowds (if you’ve been to Chicago’s Millennium Park skate rink, then you know what we mean).
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Oktoberfest began this past Saturday in Munich and will continue through October 7th. The traditional 16-day Bavarian festival, which was first celebrated 200 years ago to commemorate a royal wedding, is now feted all over the world. We’d like to do our part and give you a few places in the U.S. where you can get your beer and brat on if you can't get to Germany. Lederhosen is totally optional, but highly recommended.
The Standard, Downtown LA and New York
The good news is that these hotel’s biergartens stay open year-round. The better news is that the LA hotel is offering a Oktoberfest lunch special between 12-5pm every day. For $15 you get a tasting of three beers on tap (Bittburger Pilsner, Licher Heffeweisen, and Kostritzer Black Lager) and a choice of a sausage, salad, pretzel or strudel. Meanwhile at the High Line outpost, which becomes glass-enclosed during the cooler months, they’ve revitalized the Stammtisch. This lets guests pay an hourly rate for a table and get unlimited beer brought to them. Call 212-645-4100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a reservation.
Dupont Hotel, Washington, DC
Now through September 30th, the Bar Dupont’s patio, across from D.C.’s famous Dupont Circle, becomes a boisterous biergarten with live polka music, four Oktoberfest-style brews on draft from a Hefeweizen to a special Sam Adams Octoberfest brew, and a menu serving German festival fare. Mugs, steins, and pitchers are be available for all levels of drinking as well as sizes of sausage from brat to knock to kielbasa, depending on your appetite. Oompah music, polka bands and other entertainment will be provided on certain days throughout Oktoberfest
A Grand Deluxe Harbour View Suite
Six months or so later, the first phase, covering all rooms in the Peninsula Tower, is complete. We love the warm colors and the artwork on the wall in the Harbour View room; inspired by Chinese ink paintings, these are three-dimensional branches, leaves, and blossoms made of laser-cut bronze-lacquered stainless steel. Flora and fauna inspired details show up throughout, with a Grand Deluxe Suite having a similar design woven into the carpet.
Changes in décor may be the first thing you notice, but in-room technology is where the hotel has gotten serious with its upgrades.
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Developed by LUXE City Guides, the weekly PenCities focuses on the latest dining, entertainment, shopping, design, nightlife, spa, and wellness options in each of the nine Peninsula locations (Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, New York, Chicago, Beverly Hills, Tokyo, Bangkok, Manila, and soon number ten, Paris).
One of the recommendations for Beijing has the apt title “Ancient and Modern, Ming meets Bling” (for Temple Restaurant); the hotel’s architecture is influenced by traditional Chinese design, but inside, you’ll find gigaspeed internet. We can tell you from visiting Beijing earlier this year that you encounter these contrasts between old and new everywhere.