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We already gave you a brief look at the rooms inside the first ever AC Hotel by Marriott in the U.S. and we had you salivating over the croissants flown in from France (well, the frozen dough was), but now it's time to take you all around the AC Hotel by Marriott New Orleans.
We like to let the pictures do most of the talking but here's what you need to know:
The History: The AC was built out of two historic buildings--The Cotton Exchange and The Security Homestead Association--although the buildings have been used as hotel for quite some time. The hotel, which is one block from Canal and two from Bourbon Street, suffered some severe damage after Hurricane Katrina, but it was kept mostly to the first two floors.
The layout of the lobby has changed a bit structurally, and of course, everything inside is brand-new but the hotel retains a historic set-up especially on the guest room floors which have smaller hallways and many twists and turns.
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The new Frangipane Spa at the Queen's Garden Resort on Saba
If you remember the killer views we showed you last winter that make the Queen's Garden Resort on Saba, the Caribbean island's most luxurious property, you might recall the unfinished building in some of the photos. The work-in-progress was a spa, which was finished earlier this month, just in time for the upcoming Caribbean season.
Called the Frangipani Spa, it features two open air treatment rooms, Finnish sauna, Turkish steam bath, herbal facial aroma pots, waterfall shower, and an outdoor Jacuzzi. Like the hotel, it overlooks Saba's capital, "The Bottom," as well as the mountainside and ocean.
The photos below show a simplistic charm and a hut-like environment, the beige of the wood dominating as a background and allowing the bright Caribbean-colored accents to burst out. So as not to lose sight of the views, the hotel decided to completely leave out one side of the building - a decision we think will turn out to be a really good one. The treatments will use products from SXM Nectar on nearby St. Maarten.
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Just over a year ago, we dished on the details behind The Brando, Marlon Brando's posthumous hotel on Tetiaroa, a 12-islet atoll 30 miles northeast of Tahiti. Photos and guest-experience insight were limited at the time, but now that the hotel officially opened this summer - on July 1st, the 10th anniversary of Brando's death - it's time to take an inside look.
We guess we'll start with the bad news: This is one hotel that none of us will ever see the inside of. Rates start at $3,800/night for a one-bedroom villa (2 guests), and there is a three-night minimum stay. From here on out, we can consider this an eye-candy post, but just for fun, here's what's included in your daily rate at the Brando:
Accommodations; all meals in all dining venues; bottled water, soft drinks, beer, and select wines, Champagne, and spirits; 24-hour dining in the privacy of your villa; 1 excursion per person per day from a select list of options; 1 spa treatment (50 minutes) per day; Internet access; 1 bicycle per guest; access to an outrigger canoe, kayak, paddleboard, and snorkeling equipment.
To anyone who has ever traveled with a friend, a family member, or a colleague and needed to book a double, or twin-bedded, hotel room--and has been less than happy with it--we feel your pain.
Although things are slowly starting to improve in the design of guest rooms for buddies and other "non-couples," after a very lengthy search we conclude there is practically a bottomless pit of dull and uninteresting twin hotel rooms out there.
NEVER FEAR. We've searched high and low to find cool hotel rooms that were actually conceived and designed for individuals traveling together. And we've created a photo gallery with the fruits of our internet search labor. Indeed, we searched very high and very low as these types of rooms are few and far between. There really needs to be more great double rooms. Hear that, hoteliers? And not just for friends and colleagues. Why we even know some hopelessy devoted couples who like to sleep in separate beds. It's something to think about.
The property has 40 bedrooms, three restaurants (all open to the public), a private cinema and a retro-styled gym with a vintage boxing ring and aerial yoga classes. Soho House is also located on a back street in the West Loop neighborhood behind the hottest restaurant precinct in town. (Since you can clearly work off whatever you ate the night before, there's no reason not to take a few steps to some of the eateries found on Randolph Street.)
Take a look around a "Medium" room at the Soho House Chicago
Photo Gallery / Palm Springs Hotels / Desert Hot Springs Hotels / Hotel Architecture / John Lautner / John Lautner Hotels / → All Tags
Last time we heard about Hotel Lautner, it was surrendering to the Coachella Valley heat and closing down for the summer. Now, it’s open again (actually, it opened a little early for Labor Day), and with a special September deal: $199 (plus tax) per night, with no midweek minimum stay (though there’s the standard two night minimum on weekends).
You might think this looks relatively expensive for a Palm Springs hotel, since we told you before how low prices can go there. Is a two night minimum and a $200+ room really worth it?
Yes. 100 percent worth it. A million times over. And not just because it has a kitchen so you can save on eating out. Pictures speak louder than words, so here are some photos from our stay back in 2012, when it was newly open.
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When we went down for dinner at ME Madrid Reina Victoria’s restaurant, Ana La Santa, at 9:45 p.m. while staying at the hotel, we were the only people in the restaurant. By the time we left at around 11 p.m., it was packed to the gills.
We headed up to the hotel’s super-swanky rooftop bar, The Roof: besides seeing one other forlorn-looking North American couple, it was empty. So we headed back down to the Ana La Santa Bar for cocktails and were surrounded by locals all just getting their after-dinner espressos as we reached the midnight hour.
By the time we hit the hay at around 1:30 a.m. the streets just outside the hotel were reaching a fever pitch. When we went back to the lobby at around 4:30 a.m. to check out, the loungey lobby was packed.
This is ME Madrid. (See the pics below!)
Photo Gallery / Hotel Review / Bordeaux Hotels / France Hotels / MGallery Hotels / Accor Hotels / → All Tags
The 83-room contemporary chic Hotel Burdigala is found in Bordeaux’s Mériadeck district. About a block from the tram and across the street from a well-disguised mall, the hotel is apart from the action but close enough to it.
Part of Accor's MGallery collection, this hotel is billed as a five-star, but we would place it more at a solid four-star rating. This is not meant to deter you, though, as the hotel certainly has style and is at a budget-conscious price point.
Have a look at the pics in the gallery!
Photo Gallery / Mama Shelter / Boutique Hotels / Hotel Design / Bordeaux Hotels / France Hotels / Free WiFi / Philippe Starck / → All Tags
Last week we gave you a peek at the hip Seeko’o Hotel in Bordeaux and now it’s Mama Shelter’s turn. If you know other Mama Shelters, then you know that the hipness tap stayed on during the making of this little gem.
Located right in the heart of things at Place Saint Christoly, this 97-room hotel opened in October of 2013. Like all of the Mama Shelters the concept is simple: Give the people what they need and charge ‘em extra for the stuff that they might want. That, plus a Philippe Starck design concept that’s stark (or Starck! yuk-yuk) white minimalism in the rooms and wild and wacky design in the public areas.
(Plenty of pics in the photo gallery!)
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We spent some time in Bordeaux this summer and we have one question: When did Bordeaux get to be so hip? To prove this point, we give you the 45-room Seeko’o Hotel, in the up-and-coming Chartrons district.
Formerly a wine shipping area, this warehouse neighborhood had fallen into a state of decrepitude before the current mayor thought that enough was enough and government and businesses started investing in the buildings. Now you’ll find trendy shops, galleries and restaurants all along the river in these cool reno’ed warehouses.
Across the street from one of the quays is the Seeko’o Hotel – a modern vision in white – angular and austere. “Seeko’o” is the Inuit word for “iceberg” and it’s a fitting name. King Kong Architecture designed the building and clad the outside in white Corian. Standing taller than the buildings surrounding it, it doesn’t feel obtrusive but, rather, takes command of its space.
(Since pictures speak a thousand words, be sure to have a look at the pics in the photo gallery!)
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We’ve all had those days while traveling overseas when you can’t quite get the gumption to leave your cozy hotel world and explore the greater world outside. We recently had one of those days while staying at the celeb hangout, Fouquet’s Barrière in Paris (a Luxury Hotels of the World property), and have put together a list of things to do if agoraphobia hits you too.
1) Food glorious food: Fouquet’s has five restaurants and three bars, not too shabby considering the hotel has only 81 rooms. Our favorite places to hang out were at Le Bar Marta, with its black and white 1930s Hollywood glam design and La Petite Maison de Nicole because, heck, if it’s good enough for Jay-Z and Beyoncé, it’s good enough for us. The food at La Petite Maison is best-described as gourmet southern France comfort food. That means Macaroni with Truffles and Provençal Ratatouille. If you go on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday evening you can groove with one of the resident DJs.
2) Shop at the front desk: There is no reason you can’t still shop if you don’t leave the hotel. If you’d like to buy the monogrammed robe you can certainly do that, but you’ll also find five proprietary perfumes, yo-yos, aprons, pencil sets and Panama hats. Some products are on display throughout the lobby, some in your room, and some are found at the front desk.
Three more tips below!
Hotels are adding keys, as in piano keys, into their design repertoire, and there seems to be no end in sight.
We’re seeing more of them as a carefully placed, often dominating feature in lobbies, bars, ballrooms, and specialty suites. As hoteliers and interior designers seek to create a unique identity for a brand or even an independent, the style or placement of a piano can and usually does, set the tone, so to speak.
We thought it might be fun to take a collective look at some examples of how hotels use pianos to show their true colors, their sense of style, or simply to show off. In some hotels it is clearly the piano itself that makes the design statement—these will be obvious— and in other cases it is the overall setting that brings it all together.
We threw in a couple of “extras,” one which is a temporary piano display in a hotel that we could not resist, and the other which is more of a suggestion on our part, for matching a piano that we found, to a hotel that is not yet open.
Here’s our gallery of hotels and their pianos, quite possibly the first of its kind. Not the last, the way things are going.
[Photos by the hotels mentioned; Blue Dog Steinway piano by RodriguesSteinway; Ferrari Grand Rossa piano by Ressino]