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Old Town Tallinn in Estonia feels like it should be on top of a wedding cake, the old city walls, church steeples, narrow cobblestone streets, and pastel colors putting forth a true Medievil vibe. Aside from aesthetics, the main draw of the city is the deep and relatively recent history – Estonia gained its independence from Soviet power less than 25 years ago, in 1991.
Men and women in their late 20s and early 30s can share stories of the communistic culture they experienced as children, including long lines at food markets and loss of property, all of which took place under the careful watch of the KGB. Estonians were forced to vacate or share their households with Soviets depending upon their income.
There are many hotels located within the Old Town walls to choose from, but if you want a true taste of KGB history during your visit, consider the Sokos Hotel Viru just outside Old Town. Opened in 1972, it's the largest hotel in Estonia with over 500 rooms, and during Soviet occupation, the KGB had an office on the top floor (the 23rd floor, which did not have a button on the elevator).
They always denied their presence, but they bugged the guests, literally.
Britain’s first - and only - female Prime Minister, Baroness Margaret Thatcher, passed away earlier today, aged 87, following a stroke.
As tributes from the United Kingdom and around the world are coming in, both CNN and BBC are reporting Baroness Thatcher passed away at The Ritz London, the classic hotel on Piccadilly we recently discussed. She had been staying here “since being discharged from hospital at the end of last year” according to the BBC, having suffered poor health for a number of years, and retired from public speaking since 2002.
An enormously influential figure in both British and worldwide politics, Thatcher was Conservative Prime Minister between 1979 and 1990. We couldn’t possibly do justice to her legacy and accomplishments here, so we’ll point to the BBC obituary for those wanting to read more.
[Photos:Daily Mirror/The Ritz London]
Now that his time as Mexico's President has come to an end, Felipe Calderon has begun a year-long fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School in Boston. We're sure he's freezing his tail off, no doubt in need of an early spring break. Where do you think his in-class daydreams are taking him?
We're guessing back to Cabo, which he chose as the site of the 2012 G20 Summit last summer. Obama posted up at the Esperanza Resort, but where did Mr. Calderon decide to rest his head? We figure the host president had his fair share of open doors when it came to where he would make camp for the conference, an assumption that makes his selection all the more telling. His choice? The Imperial Suite at the Fiesta Americana Grand.
The two-bedroom suite is housed in a private building and features an ocean-front pool, sunken outdoor Jacuzzi, fire pit, and floor-to-ceiling glass windows that allow the scenery and Sea of Cortez to pour into the master bedroom. Check out the photos of the room and the resort in the gallery below. The Imperial Suite is one of those rooms you have to call to book, but $5,000/night is the approximate starting point.
Political Hotels / POTUS Hotels / Hotel Packages / Washington D.C. Hotels / Presidential Suites / Barack Obama / Sweet Suites / → All Tags
Next week, as the world watches President Obama during the US Presidential Inauguration, eyes will be on you, too if you book The Madison Hotel’s "Inaugural Town and Country Package". Why, you may ask? Well as part of this $47K five-night extravaganza, you get your very own Social Media Butler. That’s right--someone will post your comings-and-goings during the inauguration festivities in real-time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. So if you’ve ever fantasized about being a celebrity for a day (or five in this case), this is your chance.
As part of the package you get four nights in one of The Madison’s Presidential Suites (sweet!), a private presidential inauguration tour for you and 22 of your closest friends (with you in person, that is – you can have hundreds visit virtually), a $5,000 shopping spree at Brooks Brothers, and a personal car and driver at your beck and call during your stay.
In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy and subsequent NRA backlash, two of the country's biggest hotel chains are now getting some, er, not-so-hot press for the discounts they offer to NRA members.
The defendants, Best Western (a.k.a. "The World's Biggest Hotel Family") and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, have for years offered special rates and rewards to gun owners. According to Avaaz.org, an international activist group, it just ain't okay for "mainstream companies" to "be in bed with the NRA."
Hotel Openings / Capella Hotels / Washington DC Hotels / Political Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
On January 20 at noon, Barack Obama will take the Oath of Office in Washington DC to mark the beginning of his second term as POTUS. While the Ritz-Carlton is going all out with its $100,000 inauguration package, its nearby sibling will be getting some fresh competition in the form of Capella Georgetown, which we were told would open in January as well.
When we see specials that tout room for $1 or anything in that realm, we react with a twinge of excitement followed by a healthy dose of skepticism. We know these things do happen (see the smidgen of folks who got in on Public Chicago’s $1 deal), but, well, we’re just getting a little tired of breaking our necks for a slim-to-none chance to score a room.
So, when we saw that San Diego’s historic US Grant Hotel (where Michelle Obama recently stayed), the Gaslamp institution we featured in our Presidential Suites story, was offering $1.02 suites in celebration of their 102 birthday, we had to know “what’s the catch?”
Fantasy Friday / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Washington D.C. Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Presidential Suites / Inauguration Hotels / POTUS Hotels / Political Hotels / → All Tags
This package is for all of you political animals out there or for those of you who may have just a wee crush on President Obama. And trust us, that goes for males and females; we hear all the sighs of jealousy when it comes to photos of him and FLOTUS.
So, it's just at the right daydreamy Friday moment that we're thinking about Ritz-Carlton, Washington's full backstage pass, so to speak, to some of the Inauguration events happening in D.C.
We hope you’re ready, ‘cause this package has lots of perks:
Romney's suite at left; Obama's suite at right
Well, aren't we all glad that is over? You know what we're talking aboutElection 2012. While some channels ignored where the candidates were hunkered down until their eventual victory/concession speeches, NBC's Brian Williams informed us of their whereabouts quite a bit.
Four years ago, Obama celebrated at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Here's where both Barack and Romney were for 2012:
Political Hotels / Hotel Trysts / Hotel Sex / POTUS Hotels / Eliot Spitzer / Washington D.C. Hotels / → All Tags
If you’re like us, you are completely addicted to Shonda Rhimes’ heart-stopping political drama, “Scandal”, which takes place in Washington, D.C. The gripping series is about a president torn in more ways than we can count (watch and see!).
We figure on this Election Day, if you have to wait in line to vote for the next president, and while we all wait for the results, we'll entertain you with a few famous D.C. hotels that have been the location of a juicy scandal or two.
The hit television show's fictitious president Fitzgerald Grant seems to prefer his dalliances and dirt to occur in the White House and sometimes even in broad daylight! We think Rhimes should take some clues to these real-life political dramas and give us some hotel highlights to look forward to on Thursday nights!
Political Hotels / Barack Obama / Mitt Romney / POTUS Hotels / Boca Raton Hotels / Florida Hotels / → All Tags
Time for a touch of levity, we think, and this one we couldn't resist. A video by Funny or Die detailing what life might look like inside the Boca Raton hotel rooms of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney while they're on the campaign trail.
We cracked up at the Michelle Obama bits and gigglesnorted at Ann Romney's choice of bedside reading material.
Sigh. If only politics were always this funny!
Republican Senator Rob Portman, whose family owns Lebanon, Ohio's 200-year old Golden Lamb Inn, recently gave a tour of the state's oldest (and some say haunted due to three deaths) hotel to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney during a stop along his campaign trail.
According to a local news source, there was a bit of gentle teasing on the Inn's rates.
“He calls it The Golden Lamb. But I think when you look at the prices, you'll determine it's the golden fleece,” Romney quipped. “Careful,” Portman responded, with a smile. Romney clarified, “Actually it's modest, it's a modest price point. I mean this is like $130 a night... for history!”
While walking around the Inn, which 12 presidents (including George W. Bush and John Quincy Adams) have visited, Sen. Portman's wife said “This is great. We can't wait to have a Mitt Romney room.”
There's a funny about a binder full of presidents, right? Right?