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There's no doubt that Chicago has become quite the hotbed for new hotel action in the past few years. From trendy boutique hotels with a definite artsy edge to names that are synonymous with luxury. Fortunately, we got to lay our very own eyes on a new property that fits into the latter category; the Langham Chicago.
Langham opened in July in a 'soft opening' that elicited lots of "oohs" and "ahhs", including our own when we got a glimpse of what's inside the former IBM building along the Chicago River. To the untrained eye, many people wouldn't take note of the building itself, but design junkies will know the building to be the last of famed architect, Mies van der Rohe. It should also be known that the inside pays as much homage to the designer and his building and we couldn't be more wowed.
Full of little details from hanging Czech glass globes in the lobby, designed by London-based Richmond Group, hand-picked art pieces and the subtle tech-y nod to the building's former glory in Travelle, the upscale restaurant on the lobby level; it would be hard to check-in to this hotel and be underwhelmed. Each of the 316 rooms are so well thought out featuring high-end furniture, plush fabrics and sleek marble, in even the basic of rooms.
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Does the first international venture of Ace Hotels deliver? A HotelChatter Review
We didn’t waste any time waiting to check out what Ace Hotels was cooking up in London’s Shoreditch neighborhood, showing up earlier this week on the very first day guests were allowed through its doors. Over four years after Ace New York made its debut, how did its British – and first international - sibling stack up? Read on to find out.
Check-In: we walked to the hotel from Liverpool Street Station, which is an easy ten-minute stroll. Part of the façade is still covered by scaffolding, but most has come out from underneath, showing the basics of what was there before, with key changes being a darker coat of paint and alterations to the ground and top floors.
A number of guests were being checked in by the enthusiastic staff, who seemed psyched to finally have real-life customers coming through the door. We liked the laid-back attitude, which included being addressed by our first name. Each of the guests on the first night received a voucher for another night’s stay once all the hotel’s facilities are fully operational; we’re not sure how long that will continue for, but it’s a nice touch.
The Chateau Marmont is nearly synonymous with celeb-sightings but today, we're not gonna talk about Lindsay, or Gaga, or Depp or Belushi or even the man pulling the strings behind the curtain, Andre Balazs.
No, today is all about admiring the hotel's historic look.
Here are few snapshots taken the other week when we popped in for a delicious breakfast. While there were overeager fans waiting outside, the courtyard was peaceful and serene and blissfully, paparazzi and celeb-stalker free. (Note to dieters with special requests, aka, most of LA: they do carry almond milk and cold-pressed juices.)
The hotel, which was built as an apartment building in the late 1920s, was designed to look like an "infamous" royal residence in France's Loire Valley. Yet according to Balazs (ok, we have to mention him once!), who spoke about the hotel for the Sunset Strip documentary, the stock market crash scared away any potential tenants. Ultimately, the owners ended up furnishing the place with antiques from estate sales in the Hollywood Hills and turning it into hotel. And the rest is history.
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It finally happened. At 2pm on September 1st, the highly anticipated Andaz Maui at Wailea finally opened for business, after being delayed from their original August 15th debut date.
We were front and center for the emotional blessing ceremony led by the respected Kahuna Nui, Kapono'ai Molitau. The kahuna told us he's particular about the places he'll perform his chants, and felt the Andaz's space was very special.
Indeed, there's history here. The hotel was once a Renaissance Hotel that was beloved by long-time vacationers. After sitting empty for many years, the Hyatt group came in and decided to turn it into one of the hottest hotel brands today.
The Andaz Maui is the 10th of its kind to open, and there are more on the way. But right now let's focus on this gallery of first looks at this resort that's made a huge effort to embody the spirit of Hawaiian aloha.
Plus, we'll tell you which is the Best Room to Book, after the jump.
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There's a new show on TV. It's called The Vineyard, on ABC Family, and it's a bit like if The Hills moved to an island off the east coast; to Martha's Vineyard, to be exact. Don't watch the show unless you enjoy following the drama of Blake Lively lookalikes with junior high problems, but the show is at least good for its scenery. The camera seems especially infatuated with the Edgartown Harbor Lighthouse and the sprawling Cape Cod cottage behind. That, dear readers, is no cottage but the largest hotel on Martha's Vineyard, the Harbor View Hotel which boasts its own collection of cottages and one of the only large, heated outdoor swimming pools on the island.
Originally opened in 1891, the Harbor View and its famous expansive front porch has had plenty of time to become a summer tradition for families. Of course if you're not the Obamas, the Clintons or one of the many millionaire or billionaire estate owners on Martha's Vineyard, the Harbor View is the affordable way to enjoy a large property complete with a daily list of activities and amenities (s'mores! veranda yoga! harbor cruises!).
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The Hotel d’Angleterre in Copenhagen, part of Leading Hotels of the World, re-opened its doors in May after two years of renos. After being cosseted behind scaffolding during the reno, it felt like we were unwrapping a present when we walked in. What struck us immediately was the hotel’s chic elegance that is so often the trademark of Parisian hotels. The fact that Copenhagen’s hottest hotel bar is found here, and it’s a champagne bar to boot, only added to the feeling that we must be in Paris. And – oh wait – the hotel’s name IS Angleterre, which is French for England....
A tad disoriented? Pay no mind; let yourself appreciate the fact that you’re in Copenhagen, surrounded by lush purple flowers and furniture, modern art and beautiful people, in a lovely hotel that offers warm and friendly service.
Hotel d’Angleterre currently has 35 rooms and suites, with 55 more in the works. The rooms really are a hotel lover’s dream, whether you’re a technophile or a custom comfort nut: There is Bang & Olufsen A/V equipment in each room; beds are the Swedish luxury brand, Dux; the custom hotel scent is by Danish brand, Laura Bonné (whose cosmeceuticals are also used in the spa), and the high-tech Swiss Geberit douche toilets have more buttons on their remotes than do the TVs. The rooms even have butler cupboards -- leave your shoes to be shined and they’ll magically disappear and reappear again without any human interaction whatsoever, so continue to dance naked in your room if that’s your thing. Plenty of pics below!
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What came first, the chicken or the egg? In this case, we turn the question toward the Bedford Post Inn and ask what came first, the restaurant or the hotel?
The answer is the restaurant, as the Bedford Post Inn opened in 2008 when actor Richard Gere and partners swept in and saved the historic 18th century buildings from demolition. Still, it had been an inn (named the The Boot and Spur) in the early 20th century, after exhausting pastoral pursuits. The celebrity backing, exquisite food, and membership in Relais & Chateaux put it on the map, but it's the addition of the eight rooms that truly makes the Bedford Post Inn a destination.
The Four Seasons Las Vegas located atop the Mandalay Bay Hotel (floors 35-39) finished its much-needed room renovations back in December and we're happy to report, they look incredible. And maybe more importantly, they look true to the website photos.
Here's how the rooms at the Four Seasons Las Vegas used to look. Eeek! You can see more from the rooms here, if you dare.
And here's a pic from the Four Seasons website of a renovated standard room.
And now, here's our pic of a one-bedroom suite with a strip view that we toured last week.
Hardly any difference. In fact, we think our picture looks better.
The renovations went for an Art Deco vibe but has a cool contemporary feel with eye-catching artwork and furniture. Nearly every piece in the rooms from the dressers to the mirrors, the floor lamps and even the wallpaper carry a detailed pattern or intricate finish. And of course, all the modern technological conveniences we've come to expect from hotel rooms are included, such as giant flat-screen TVs, TVs in the bathrooms mirrors and the all-important deskside plug panel where you can hook up your gadgets. For those of you concerned about the toiletries (and we know you are) the Four Seasons Las Vegas uses Ecro toiletries.
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On a good day, the Bedford Post Inn is a straight 45 minutes' drive north of Midtown Manhattan. On a bad day, well, we'll just say the extra wait in traffic will be well worth it.
Up here, in the heart of Westchester County, it's horse country. The Bedford Post Inn is something of an oasis, a restaurant/yoga studio/hotel in buildings from the 1700s. It's partially owned by Richard Gere and a member of the Relais & Chateaux "fellowship" of independent luxury hotels and restaurants.
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During our recent trip to Copenhagen we stopped in at, what looked to be, a Moroccan palace but in reality turned out to be the swanky Nimb Hotel.
Nimb is located in Tivoli Gardens (don’t be fooled – Tivoli is swarming with great restaurants and bars, not just kids and candy floss). From the outside the hotel looks like it’s a theme park ride: You expect cars with little kids and unhappy parents will emerge from within and the faint strains of “It’s A Small Palace After All” can be heard. However, once you enter the sanctity of the lobby, you find that it is, indeed, a theme park of sorts – one made for design-loving hotel geeks.
When Nimb Hotel first opened in 1909 it wasn’t a hotel at all, but a building that first housed a bazaar and a restaurant. In 2008 it was decided that a hotel should be created and Nimb Hotel was born.
There are plenty of pics for you in the photo gallery!
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What's It Like Inside a Nordic "Palace"? A HotelChatter Review
If you've not been to the Nordic city of Copenhagen , we gotta tell ya, their hotel scene is hopping with some real beauts! We've just returned and we're eager to share our hotel observations with you. First up is our take on the Palace Hotel Copenhagen. (Stay tuned for other Copenhagen Hotel Scene stories in the coming weeks!)
The 169-room Palace Hotel Copenhagen (formerly a Le Méridien and now owned by Scandic Hotels and part of the Preferred Hotel Group) originally opened in 1910 by a butcher who had a dream to own an “international” hotel. Anders Jensen hired young architect Anton Rosen to design the hotel, both inside and out, from the furniture to buttons on uniforms. Rosen’s Art Nouveau aesthetic still carries on today because subsequent designers hired to update and modernize the hotel from top-to-bottom in 2008 were insightful enough to ensure that the Palace Hotel nodded “hey” to its roots.
So let’s get to it. Plenty of pics below!
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The island of Martha's Vineyard certainly has a reputation. One, it's known as a playground of the rich and preppy. Two, MV is a favorite vacation destination for presidents, specifically Clinton and Obama (and, in the past, the Kennedys). Because of this reputation combined with the history of the island, it's believed that the island doesn't offer much in the way of affordably luxurious, amenity-rich accommodations. Not true! The Mansion House is proof that the island has more than tiny B&Bs with giant price tags.
Mansion House is at the center of the town of Vineyard Haven, which boasts most of the year-round population on the island. This means there's plenty shopping, dining and sights within easy walking and biking distance. We recommend a stroll down to nosh on lobster rolls and clams at The Net Result, and a visit to Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, where President Obama shops with Sasha and Malia.
Since the Mansion House offers year-round accommodation in 48 rooms, rates vary greatly, usually from $99 to $309 as a start.