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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!
Hotel Cocktails / Hotel Bars / Andaz Hotels / Hyatt Hotels / New York Hotels / Hilton Hotels / Preferred Hotels / Washington Hotels / Boutique Hotels / → All Tags
We hate to keep going on about summer ending soon and all but, as if to prove our point, time’s running out on some of these fave seasonal cocktails. You better get ‘em while you can.
The bar downstairs at the Andaz 5th Avenue has some summery cocktails on offer until September 30. The two most popular are the Taken to Task, containing Aylesbury Duck vodka, lemon, Cochhi Americano, berries and orange bitters, and the Scarlet Rum Old-Fashioned, with Flor de Caña 7 year rum, Scarlet Ibis rum, Clear Creek Pear Liqueur and Angostura bitters. Mmm… boozy.
The Waldorf Astoria New York has U.S. Open fever and is offering a grand slam of a cocktail during the run of the matches in August and September. The Tennis Ball features the hotel’s Top of the Waldorf Honey produced by the six apiaries on the 20th floor along with Zubrowka Bison Grass vodka, Cocchi Americano, Midori melon liqueur and fresh lemon juice.
Two more "can't misses" below!
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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!
Pride Hotels / Gay Hotels / Hotel News / Hotel Deals / Hotel Packages / Preferred Hotels / W Hotels / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Hilton Hotels / → All Tags
The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS if you will) has just smacked down the Defense of Marriage Act, saying the 1996 law which denies federal benefits to married same-sex couples is unconstitutional. That means the U.S. can now "immediately" extend some federal benefits to same-sex couples. Woot!
While this doesn't change any state laws regarding same sex marriage, it still is a major victory for gay rights. And what better way to celebrate than with a hotel stay? :) Here are four getaways to consider:
· RITZ-CARLTON, WASHINGTON DC: Celebrate the landmark decision in our nation's capitol at the Ritz-Carlton with their OUT in DC Pride Package. It includes: overnight deluxe room accommodations, a donation made in your honor to the Human Rights Campaign, two welcome cocktails, a Pride Weekend "Survival Kit", American breakfast for two, overnight valet parking, complimentary internet and access to Sports Club/LA fitness center connected to the hotel. Rates start at $354 a night and the package is available through August 31st.
Back in January we told you that the Topnotch Resort and Spa in Stowe, Vermont was undergoing a major reno. Shortly after that, the hotel closed up shop as it entered the final stage of its makeover. But now the hotel is nearly ready for its close-up and will re-open on June 28.
A Preferred Boutique and Preferred Pride hotel, the fruits of Topnotch's multi-million dollar refurbishment include:
• A more contemporary entryway that opens to a spacious new lobby designed to showcase soaring mountain views
• A brand spanking new bar
• Two new restaurants: The Flannel & The Roost
• 68 newly renovated rooms and suites
• New wedding & events venue
Hotel Openings / Switzerland Hotels / Preferred Hotels / Preferred Hotels & Resorts / Ski Hotels / → All Tags
Ah, Gstaad. Maybe you too have fond memories of swooshing down the mountainside, hiking in the hills, sipping on Glühwein or hot chocolate, and eating fresh raclette cheese. It’s all good. But now, it's even better because for the first time in about 100 years, there’s a new luxe hotel opening: The Alpina Gstaad.
This 56-room Preferred Hotel is a real beauty -- think big stone fireplaces, pine interiors, cozy nooks, timber peaked ceilings and spectacular views of the Alps. No two rooms are exactly alike and, although beautifully-designed, also have plenty of quirk (just wait until you see the cowbell bedside lamps!)
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If you've been to Vienna you already know it’s a fascinating city that upholds its formality and grand architecture as a point of pride, but you don’t need to dig very deep to also find its modern charms--hip museums, neighborhoods, and cafes. This is the city that bred Falco, after all.
The new 63-room Hotel Sans Souci, a member of the Preferred Boutique Hotel Group, had its soft opening on December 20, but it rocked Amadeus (check the Falco reference!) yesterday during its grand opening event.
Designed by yoo, Philippe Starck’s design company, the hotel has La Véranda restaurant, Le Bar and a spa. Interiors are modern and refined in shades of grey (heh!), gold and white with opulent little touches, such as chandeliers overhanging the pool, Arne Jacobsen egg chairs, and the Roy Lichtenstein paintings found in the suites and public areas.
Also worth noting, just in case you’re a Johann Strauß groupie, Hotel Sans Souci is actually the former inn where the composer performed his “Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka“ for the first time in 1858. Just sayin’.
Whether it's major hotel chains like Marriott or Hilton offering dedicated pride packages, a new booking site for on- (or off) -the-beaten path destinations, or even a "straight-friendly" hotel in NYC, the hotel industry is catering more and more these days to the lucrative gay travel market. But lucrative or not, we’re just happy to see a hotel (group) taking an inclusive stand.
Preferred has a dedicated website called “Preferred Pride”, with all listed hotels being either TAG-approved or a member of IGLTA, the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association. Each property, like North Carolina's divine Old Edwards Inn (pictured above), also stands for equality in its employment policies and services, and supports the LGBT community.
Trump Hotels / Preferred Hotels / iPrefer / Killer Views / Hotel Bathtubs / Hotel Booking Tips / → All Tags
As you know from our post yesterday on these nightstand lamps, we spent a night at the Trump Soho. But what we didn't tell you is how we came to spend a night in a suite with this killer view from the bathtub. Allow us to do so now.
We did our usual compare and contrast of the hotel's website and other booking sites and found that a king deluxe room was going for the rate of $419 everywhere. Not content with just booking a room without any perks, we thought maybe we could do a Josh Flagg except that Trump Hotels are not part of American Express' Fine Hotels and Resorts. However, they are a part of Preferred Hotels and Resorts, of which we happen to be a member.
Celebrity Scoop / Presidential Hotels / Barack Obama / Vail Hotels / Preferred Hotels / Timbers Resorts / Hotel Rebranding / → All Tags
The brand new Library, before its Obama baptism
How’s that for a ringing endorsement of your new name? Just over a month after the Vail Plaza Hotel & Club was reinvented as The Sebastian, it swung itself a presidential visit this week. Or, rather, a presidential family visit – while Obama stayed in DC this weekend, Mrs O took the kids on a jaunt to the hotel.
According to the Mail Online, there’s a spot of controversy over the First Family’s trip to Vail following Obama’s advice on saving money – that one might like to cut back on one’s vacations. But hey, it was Presidents' Weekend after all.
Michelle Obama would almost certainly approve of Block 16, the hotel’s brand new restaurant that serves local, organic, seasonal food, as well as the newly dedicated Library (it’s just 10 days old, according to Facebook) – a room stuffed full of books, games and art which the hotel website reckons is perfect for “lively debate”. There’s also a new spa (which offers pop-up services around the hotel) and live music at the new bar, Frost, but we reckon Mrs O is too clever to risk coming over all Marie Antoinette by getting her nails done or throwing back a scotch.
If this cold weather has you craving a trip to Vail to hit the slopes, you won't be able to shack up at the Vail Plaza Hotel & Club. The hotel has been converted into the Sebastian Vail.
But the boutique hotel is still open for business, and it offers some new features, including a new signature restaurant, bar and spa. That is, just in case you want some post-ski noshing or pampering.
iPads, be damned, we're loving our stroll through print land and our ongoing look at a dying hotel amenity--The Hotel Magazine. Sure, most hotels stock their guestrooms with the trendy magazines of the day or at least place some localized publication on the desks but there are actually a few hotels out there that still publish their own magazine. We've got our hands on a few copies of these rare breeds and we'll be documenting our finds for you here. Know of a hotel magazine we should see before it goes out of print? Send it to us!
The other week when we took a look at the Preferred Hotels and Resorts , we found out that not only do they get the pre-opening skinny on new hotels along with great rates for existing hotels, they also put out a magazine called Preferred Lifestyles.
We got our hands on the newest issue from this year and spent some quality time perusing the different "lifestyles" to lead.
Having such a wide range of hotels to write about, the magazine can touch on pretty much every destination in the world. And that's what's great about the mag's in-depth articles. They aren't built around a hotel but rather a destination, like South Africa (just before the 2010 FIFA World Cup), Utah, Boston and Rome. Suggested places to stay (of course, all Preferred Hotels) are then listed at the end of the articles.