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Paris is crazy expensive, especially when you get into the five-star hotel world, but who doesn't want a hit of that kind of luxe?
Here's how to get your glam on at one of the most iconic hotels in all of hoteldom without having to spend the night: the Four Seasons George V in Paris where rooms start at 1,000 Euros a night. Your bank account will thank us.
1. Cocktails at Le Bar: Fresh off a renovation, Le Bar is the cheapest, er, easiest way to take in the ambiance of the George V. We recommend the George Fizz champagne cocktail for 28 EUR ($38) because hello, it's champagne. Mixed with fresh strawberries, raspberries and orange juice, as well as guava juice, we thought it had more than enough vitamins and phyto-nutrients to cancel out the alcohol.
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Now that the word is out regarding the sale of the Mondrian Soho to the Buddha-Bar Hotel Collection owner, Gerard Guez, we thought you might like to have a peek at the fairly-new Buddha-Bar Hotel Paris (opened as a Preferred Boutique Hotel in June 2013) to get an idea of what all the brouhaha is about regarding these properties in Paris, Prague and Budapest.
The 56-room Buddha-Bar Hotel Paris is located right in the fashion heart of the 8th arrondissement (and is often used in fashion shoots), just off Faubourg Saint-Honoré but, when you enter, you feel as if you’re not in Kansas (or Paris) anymore. All looks standard-issue Paris on the outside of the 1734 building, but step inside to face the 120 red-glass lanterns hanging at the entrance, and you imagine that you’ve been thrown into the movie classic, “Shanghai Express.”
With just a hint of opium-den design, the hotel and its rooms are full of mahogany wood, red or black lacquered doors and tabletops, golden brown or yellow walls and carpets, and grey or red sofas and chairs. Greeting you in the lobby, besides the Buddha-like black cat, is the Chinese Dragon woven into the carpet – a motif you’ll find throughout the hotel – as the official protector of travelers to this, and other, foreign lands.
Have a look at the photo gallery!
With summer almost officially under way, hoteliers are getting their (rubber) ducks in a row in preparing their outdoor spaces for the influx of party-hungry crowds, both guests and locals alike. Terrace seating areas are primped, outdoor lighting and special effects are recharged, and bars with summer drinks and menus await our arrival.
As a kickoff to a wonderful summer season that most of us have already started, we have compiled a photo gallery of hotels' outdoor living spaces representing a range of designs and scenic settings. For this gallery we did not focus on rooftop bars or pools, as those have, like, totally been done before.
[Photos in gallery courtesy of the hotels featured]
Two things can be said about present day hotel interiors that cannot be refuted--they are sometimes colorful and they are sometimes colorless. For as many hotels that we have seen with lobbies, guest rooms, and restaurants that feature bold, bright, and busy settings, we come across almost as many that go for the classic simplicity of a predominantly white palette.
The consensus is that white offers a sense of calm, order and cleanliness. That might be true in a hotel setting when there is no one in it. Further, whoever says that white signifies innocence probably doesn't spend much time in hotels. We're just saying.
Without getting too nitty gritty on whether white is or is not a color – we leave that discussion to Bill Nye the Science Guy — we have compiled a photo gallery of some great hotel interiors that have seriously lightened up. As you will see in this gallery there are many shades of "white" (for further study refer to your handy Pantone color deck) and infinitely many ways that designers capitalize on this eternal non-color in their hotel designs.
If you happen to be reading HotelChatter.com from a hotel -- and how great if you are -- take a look around. There's a very good chance you will see one of the most popular and re-invented lounge chairs ever -- the wingback chair. Maybe you are sitting in one now and if so, it's pretty comfy isn't it?
The wingback chair has been around since the 17th century yet seems to have found a permanent home in modern hospitality. What a difference 300 years can make, as there are about as many different versions on the market to entice us.
It is a design that has always been intended for comfort first. This chair generally features a high back that you can fully rest your head against, and projecting side sections that offer a subtle sense of security, especially at the top (hence the term "wings.") This goes a long way in a great big hotel lobby -- designers love it and guests love it. Win win.
This photo gallery celebrates the chair that has won the hearts of hoteliers, their designers, and perhaps more often than we realize, our derriere. Have a seat and take a look at our first round of images. Trust us, we've got more.
Design Thursdays / Snapshot / Photo Gallery / Hotel Design / Boutique Hotels / Hotel Renovations / Canada Hotels / Toronto Hotels / → All Tags
The Drake Hotel was one of, if not THE, first boutique hotel in Toronto when it opened. When we heard that dot-comer Jeff Stober was opening The Drake west of Queen West, we thought it impossible for the hotel to survive in the then downtrodden boonies. We were wrong, so wrong—not only did The Drake persevere but it quickly became a hotspot for locals who lined up to get into its basement band venue and kickass lounge. Now, ten years on, we set out to discover whether The Drake Hotel still had true cachet.
We walked in on a wintry Saturday afternoon and the place was overflowing with bohos and hipsters alike, most waiting for a table in the recently-reno’ed (and enlarged but still full to capacity) restaurant and lounge. If you ever wondered what the Canadian design aesthetic is, you need to come here. There’s lots of natural wood, industrial lighting, earth tones, forest motifs and—to take it one step further—The Drake has a kitschy camp feel that reminds us of every camping trip we ever took as kids, sans mosquitoes.
The rooms carry on that mid-century modern campground feel but with modern ModCons. You can see inside the rooms in the photo gallery, but there are a few things that deserve an extra shout-out. First, let’s hear it for “Hairy Chest Man.” This particular doll for adults with leather studded collar is handmade and you can find a different doll in every room. Next, the “pleasure menu”: The Drake purports to be the first hotel in the world to carry one and while we can’t vouch for that, we can say that it is probably the most extensive menu of its kind that we’ve had the “pleasure” of seeing (yuck yuck). We also loved the owl light and the toiletries by Malin + Goetz.
Oh God, yes. Earlier this morning, we confirmed the existence of the Andaz Munich which will have 274 rooms when it opens in 2017 (note to self: we better start practicing some tantric sex right now.) Located in the a cultural district of Munich known as Schwabinger Tor, the Andaz will feature an all-day dining restaurant, a lounge and rooftop bar, a spa, a pool and all that we've come to love about Andaz--free WiFi, complimentary mini-bar snacks, personalized check-in and lots of cool design and art.
While the renderings we discovered over the weekend, mysteriously disappeared, Andaz has now provided us with a bunch to fantasize about. It's only of the exterior but we'll just imagine what's on the inside. Enjoy!
[Renderings via Andaz Hotels]
Next up in our Toronto tour is the 18-room hotel, The Beverley, found on hipster hangout, Queen West. After some initial confusion as to whether to head up or down the stairs (go up to check-in and down to go to the popular restaurant and lounge), we met up with GM Scott Newnham who showed us around this tasteful minimalist boutique property.
The hotel’s motto is, “Everything you need and nothing you don’t,” and we think this is a pretty accurate depiction of what the hotel’s all about. Cool, white minimalism takes over the rooms — with a happy shock of vivid color coming from the bathrooms — and what’s there is luxurious: Frette linens; local spa Body Blitz toiletries; fluffy cotton robes; and flat-screen TVs mounted on the ceiling or wall.
Have a look at the photo gallery below to see for yourself!
We popped in to 12-room boutique Hotel Ocho during our recent excursion to T.O. We found an industrial-style crash pad with Danish minimalism and shabby chic décor thrown in for good measure.
The hotel opened in May 2011 in an area underserviced by the big-name brands. Next to Chinatown and in the trendy Queen West area (you can rent a bike right outside the hotel to get around), it attracts the creative class with its basement restaurant and lounge offering martini and wine nights. The hotel’s reception is also in the basement level, although you might just miss it if you're not aware, since check-in is located behind the stairs leading up to the second level (as you can see, there’s some quirk here too!).
Once you hit the rooms—on the top two floors of the four-storey building (and yes, there is an elevator)—you’ll have a choice of a Standard Room, Superior Room or Deluxe Room. All have wood-plank ceilings, flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. We had a peek at a Superior Room and it also had a little desk, an open bathroom concept and walk-in shower, and La Source toiletries. The Standard Room also had the open concept bathroom and was... cozy.
The hotel showcases local artists and rotates the work about every two months, giving the hotel a lot of character. See for yourself in the Photo Gallery below!
While times, they are a-changing, the vast majority of airport hotels are still conservatively-designed chain hotels. The Grand Hotel Winnipeg Airport, part of Preferred Hotel Group, could be the next generation of stylin’ airport boutique hotels that have it all goin’ on.
To prove our point here are 10 things that we loved:
1. It brings back the golden age of flying – We’ve all heard tales of a time when one wore their Sunday best to fly and martinis were copious. We’ll never get those days back, but with The Grand’s design scheme we can still pretend. Colours in the hotel are tarmac grey paired with sky and Robin’s egg blues. The addition of whites makes the hotel feel crisp and laundered. It feels like optimism, all shiny and new.
2. Artwork – The hotel doesn’t bill itself as an art hotel, but it should. All of the artwork in the hotel—the rotating images behind reception, in the rooms and throughout the public areas—are photographs taken by the hotel's owner, Keith Levit.
3. The Room – Spacious and well-thought out, full of flat spaces and cubby holes for our stuff. We had a Deluxe Runway View room (620 sq ft) and—calling all location scouts—it looked directly out onto the apron and runways.
4. Local food done really well – Fresh ingredients including the kitchen’s homegrown micro greens made for a great dinner, and you should see that walk-in wine cellar!
Not ones to apologize for noticing and appreciating the minutiae of a hotel because we do sweat the small stuff, some small but important deets are below:
The grand but totally comfortable, sink-back-into-an-armchair Vista lounge at Montage Deer Valley
Still can’t decide where to stay in Park City? Maybe one of these photos from the top hotels will change your mind.
[All Photos: Nina Kokotas Hahn]
So we've already shown you inside a guest room at the Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, as well as 14 other cool things to see but today, we're taking you on a tour of the historic United Artists Theater first built in 1927 as the flagship theater for the United Artists movie studio.
The theater has been immaculately preserved throughout its long history (mostly thanks to pastor Gene Scott and his congregation who occupied the theater for about 20 years) and basically all that Ace Hotels needed to do was install some new carpeting and do some touch-ups here and there. (They're also working on building a new box office as the old one could barely hold one person.)
The theater's revitalized glory will be unveiled on February 14th when the hotel hosts their first event, The Spiritualized, which is already sold-out. But until then, guests at the Ace Hotel (like we were last night) aren't able to even peek into the theater. So we decided to give you a good, in-depth glimpse of it now. 3, 2, 1, action!