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Legislation that was passed at the end of July will officially go into effect this weekend in Portland, Oregon, legalizing short-term home rentals. As AirBnb has come under attack from the hotel industry and city governments across the country, Portland has decided to legally address how residents can use their house as a source of income.
Emphasis on the world "house," as the law includes individual houses, duplexes, and accessory dwelling units but excludes condos and apartments, even if the unit is owned. The reason for this, according to Oregon Live, is that "under the city's interpretation of the state building code, [apartment and condo buildings] would have to meet similar safety requirements as commercial hotels. Few apartment and condo buildings would live up to that standard." The law also does not include the renting out of the entire home - only a portion of it, such as a bedroom or two.
The law requires that the renter file for a permit from the city, which will cost $180 per year. The owners of the property must live on-site for at least nine months a year, limit the length of stays to less than 30 days, and agree to 1) inform their neighbors of their rental contracts and 2) allow for safety inspections by the city. The owners of the home get to keep the profits of their rentals, minus an 11.5% occupancy tax that is collected and paid to the city by the rental agency (AirBnb, for example).
One of Portland’s most revered landmarks, and one of its prettiest buildings, has now been re-branded as Sentinel Hotel (No "THE" needed.)
Formerly the Governor Hotel, Sentinel retains its predecessor’s legacy and provides a great example of repositioning a historic property into a 21st century hotel.
The hotel takes its new name affectionately from a design detail that is repeated along the roof parapet. The consensus is that these robot-looking, terra cotta carvings represent sentinels--protectors or guardians--looking out over the city.
The building, robot sculptures and all, opened in 1909 as the Seward Hotel and in 1932, was renamed the Governor Hotel. Following a rather sizeable stint as a carpet store post WWII, the "Governor" was re-elected, so to speak, as a luxury hotel in 1992. This incorporated a circa 1923 building next door, which is now a National Landmark and provides the beauteous historic backdrop for the hotel’s main public areas and event spaces.
Provenance Hotels purchased the Governor in April 2012 in partnership with Woodbine Development Corporation. Together, they dropped $6 million on renovations for the hotel that included the guest rooms, four floors of meeting space and the lobby along with new F&B--Jake's Restaurant and the Jackknife bar.
We love hotel renovations nearly just as much as we love new hotels. But what we really love about hotel renovations is seeing the transformation that happens when an old, tired and lackluster room gets a modern makeover and transforms into new, spiffed-up, stylish guest room. Or put more simply, we love comparing the Before and After.
Portland's Hotel Lucia opened in 2002 and has just undergone its very first renovation. "The original design was done so well and so well maintained," they tell us, "that is far outlived the normal shelf life for a hotel design".
Hmmm. We think that paint color and sofa outlived their shelf lives too.
Watch the old make way for the new after the jump.
The world is officially in "Countdown to Christmas" mode and now, so are we. Every day until Christmas we'll be featuring a hotel that's in a holiday mood--whether it be with gigantic gingerbread houses, over-the-top Christmas decorations, thrilling lighting displays and best of all, Santa appearances. But of course, any hotel can assemble a fake tree, put on some lights and declare themselves "festive." Which is why we're looking at hotels that are really going ALL OUT. Know of a hotel that's super excited for Christmas? Let us know!
As everybody must know, Kimpton Hotels' host a much-loved Wine Hour every evening from 5 - 6 p.m., and if the Hotel Vintage Plaza in Portland's wine hour is as popular as those we've experienced, they must have a few (hundred) empty bottles knocking around. In the spirit of recycling and of Christmas, the hotel has put those empties to good use and decorated their tree with them -- and it looks so much classier than the wine bottle "decor" of our college days.
The hotel still has rooms open next week over Christmas from December 24-26 for about $128 a night. Plus, you know, free recycling services.
Photo: Facebook/Kimpton InTouch
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Deals: you want 'em, and surprisingly, everyone has 'em. Take a look at some of the latest hotel deals going around the internet today from booking sites, social media sites, flash sale sites and more. Don't forget to scroll down to see the HotelChatter-approved deal either. Who knows? You might just find what you're looking for. (But don't forget to tell us about your stay!)
DEALS, DEALS, DEALS*
· Alpine Cool Savings with Swissotels: All 31 Swissotels worldwide are offering a 20 percent discount when guests stay two nights or more. The summer offer also gives guests a signature summer cocktail and 15 percent off from the Swissotel online shop, www.swissotelathome.com. The deal is good for stays from May 31 to September 30. But you can start booking your travel on May 16. Go here to get the discount.
· Stay Cool at The Four Seasons Dallas: Here's one way to beat the Texan heat and save a little bit of money on your hotel stay too. The Four Seasons Dallas Big Chill package gives guests a special "mercury rate" on the second night of their stay which will be that day's recorded Fahrenheit high temperature. The deal is good for weekend stays from May 31 to August 25 and just FYI, the high temps in Dallas in July and August are about 96 degrees. June is slightly "cooler" at 92 degrees. But the hotel says last year during a similar promotion, rates were as cool as 76 degrees some days. First-night rates start around $305 a night. Go here to book but be sure to check the weather for your intended stay too. The deal is also good for the Austin and Houston properties as well.
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If you're staying at the RiverPlace Hotel in Portland this week, and are looking for General Manager Ryan Kunzer, you won't find him anywhere in the hotel. Which isn't to say he's not working.
He'll be working, alright, but instead of a traditional office, Kunzer has temporarily stationed himself inside a bubble tent in the middle of Pioneer Square.
Starting yesterday, Kunzer will spend three nights working and sleeping inside the 24-geodesic dome as a way to promote the hotel's renovated guest rooms, which are fresh from a $2.5 million makeover.
As a way to introduce the new look to locals and potential guests, RiverPlace has re-created a guest room inside the tent for all to see (literally). Kind of a genius PR stunt, if you ask us. No pedestrian who stumbles upon a pop-up bubble hotel in the middle of a public square would ever be able to pass by and not want to peek inside.
Hopefully, the reviews will be positive...
Rates from $284/night.
[Photo: RiverPlace Hotel]
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SMAK Bar's Bloody Mary at Hotel Madeline
We've started a series of what’s trending in hotels these days: What’s Out, What’s In. Do we like what we see? Think it's a dud? You be the judge!
What’s Out: Drinks Then Dinner
What’s In: Dinner in Your Drinks
These days hotel bars are getting all fancy with their cocktails. Prize mixologists are like rock stars in the bevvie world. It’s a given now that the best hotel bars make their own syrups and infuse their own spirits, so what’s next? Well, some bartenders are thinking that it may be time to bring back the liquid lunch, although some of these drinks aren’t only liquid...
Lantern’s Keep (love the name!) at the Iroquois Hotel New York is an intimate cocktail salon located inside the historic Theater District hotel. Here's the kicker--you can only enter the dimly-lit watering hole if the lantern outside the bar is glowing. If you’re there at night and have one-too-many of the Stay Up Late cocktails, you might just want to show up the next day for the Golden Breakfast, made up of gin, lime, cucumber slices, Worcester sauce, hot sauce and the final ingredient--an egg yolk.
Here's the latest happening in the luxury hotel world as told by Just Luxe's own Lena Katz. Got a question about luxury hotels, the travel biz, and where to stay? Send it in and we'll have Lena answer it.
We’re huge fans of the IFC sketch comedy show "Portlandia", for so many reasons: It taught us interpretive canoe dancing is totally a real thing and reminds us that the dream of the 90s is alive!! (btw, that’s the theme song’s catchphrase.)
Downtown Portland's Hotel deLuxe, which was featured in the recent episode “Squiggleman,” just announced a "Pilgrimage to Portlandia" package that incorporates goodies seen in past episodes. The Art Deco hotel is a 130-room artsy urban haven from the Provenance Hotels group.
Here are some perks you'll receive with their themed package:
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According to the Mayan Long-Count Calendar time is no longer measured after December 21, meaning that the world might just end on this day since there is no December 22nd. Just about 13 years ago, have heard this all before with Y2K, but that was before HotelChatter and now we can present some of best packages for spending your last day as a mortal.
Spending your last few days on earth might be better spent in the lap of luxury and some of these hotel packages are doozies. Geographically and historically speaking, it makes sense count down the last hours in Mexico and Central America, but we have also found a few that a bit closer to home. And just think, if December 22nd does happen, you get to brag about your digs on your vacation.
Hotel Rooftops / Hotel Bars / Pod Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Chicago Hotes / Portland Hotels / London Hotels / San Diego Hotels / Affinia Hotels / Swissotels / Istanbul Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / Luxury Collection Hotels / Marriott Hotels / → All Tags
We hate to see rooftop season go, and with fall officially beginning tomorrow, places will start closing up shop soon. Which is why we've asked our HotelChatter editors and contributors to pick their favorite hotel rooftops around the US and Europe in case you haven't visited one yet. Ever the optimists, we'll say there are a few weeks of prime rooftop hopping left before annoying things like rain, wind chill factor, and snow block us from the outdoor lounging we love so much.
Use this guide to get your pre-Fall affairs in order!
Pod 39, New York City
Word's gotten out about midtown's newest hotel rooftop bar, located on the 17th floor of the Pod 39. And why not? Enclosed by a series of majestic terra cotta columns and slender brick archways, the al fresco space feels more like a re-discovered Greek temple than the regular old Manhattan standby. But, it's a bar alright. Cocktails like the delicious Weathervane (rye whiskey, grapefruit juice, campari, ginger, and a sprig of fresh rosemary, $12) make a great accompaniment to up-close views of the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building and neighboring Queens. (ASchechter, Assistant Editor)
See the rest of the picks after the jump!
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Deals: you want 'em, and surprisingly, everyone has 'em. Today, we've got a few deals, some early autumn packages and some for those hanging on til summer’s official end, Sept. 21st.
As usal, don't forget to tell us about your stay! )
·The Chanler at Cliff Walk: A coastal jaunt to Newport, RI, right now brings a good mix of warm days, and cool, but not cold nights. The “Fall In Love” package gives you a taste of what’s to come when the 3.5 cliff walk transforms into a Crayolafied palette of color. For $425 per night you’ll get:
•Two nights in a luxurious room
•Full seasonal breakfast
•A bottle of Spiced Pear sparkling wine
•Two tickets to visit one of the famous Newport mansions of your choice.
•A 3-course meal at the Spiced Pear restaurant
•Free transport to any Newport locale; drivers provide scenic tours
·Regent Palms Turks & Caicos: The temperatures are going to drop in many parts of the country—not so in the Caribbean, which will gear up for high season soon. But in the meantime, shoulder season means good deals, and that means 50% off stays at this luxury beachfront resort. Book through October 20th and the "Once in a Lifetime" package starts at $313 a night on all accommodations. The rate includes free continental breakfast, WiFi and more. Reservations can be made by calling 866-877-7256. Use promo code 1NLT.
You know that "Street View" button on Googlemaps that lets you walk around a street and see what buildings are there? And once in a while you just find pictures of people doing funny things to pose for the Street View car camera?
Well, Google has now introduced a feature that allows you to walk right into a hotel and poke around inside. Yup! Provenance Hotels in Portland, Seattle, and Tacoma are some of the first to test out the service (that works out well for them, since their hotels are so often chock-full of cool art and other knick knacks).
Of course, this could easily work against other hotels that don't have flashy lobbies or well-lit hallways. But then again, why would we want to be staying in those places anyway?