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We're bringing you a double-dose of QT Hotel news this week, because we couldn't resist the announcement of a new ski resort in Australia. Huh? Australian ski resort? Surely, we meant Austria? Nope! It's true, the sunburned land Down Under actually has some areas that get snow and with the new QT Falls Creek, now's the perfect time to head down to the slopes.
The mastermind hotel designers have taken over the perfect après–ski location situated in the mountainous Great Dividing Range in South Eastern Australia. Just over four hours drive from Melbourne, QT's newest outpost, which was previously Quay West Falls Creek, has 63 alpine one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom apartments that'll have the quirky touch we've come to expect from the brand. Most of the apartments will have private balcony hot-tubs but all will have uninterrupted views of the snow-capped peaks surrounding the resort.
Who would have thought that faux fur and babies would actually go together like peanut butter and jelly? Well, the folks Down Under at the swanky QT Sydney have come up with the perfect package for those looking for the trendiest Babymoon.
Appealing to more parents like Brangelina or Posh and Becks, the QT has introduced the perfect package for fashion-forward parents looking to get get away from it all with, of course, the children. The creative offer features daily breakfast for the grown-ups and freshly made baby-food for the little ones and a spa treatment for both mom and dad. If the sexy digs aren't enough to relax, the room comes with a bottle of sparkling wine to calm the nerves of new (or old) parents.
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As summer nears, hotels are going to start up with the usual warm-weather offerings: rooftop bars, poolside cabanas, and those awkward tanning concierges. But as far as we're concerned, it all boils down to one question: where can we ride a bike for free?
Unless otherwise noted, all of the below hotels offer free bike rentals on a first-come, first-served basis (that means no reserving the night before!), and all bikes come with a helmet and a lock.
We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves on the public bikes at Public Chicago, and we recommend you do the same! Guests can grab a Trek Bicycle and take out for a spin down to Lake Shore and cruise along the beach's bike path—which are just three blocks from the hotel. Oh, and did we mention it's free?
In time for the first shoots of spring in London, £1-favorite Hoxton Hotel is now offering guests four custom UK-made Mango Bikes in the hotel’s colors to tool around town in. Both Sanderson and St. Martin’s Lane counter with equipment from the home of cycling, with Dutch bikes by Public J7.
Santa Barbara's El Encanto Resort has something special for adventuresome guests: electric bikes! The electric component can be turned on or off, so if you don't feel like cheating, you can pump all the way to the beach and back. But when it comes time to head back to the hotel (which sits in the Santa Barbara hills), that motor is going to come in pretty handy.
Sofitel So Bangkok offers three bikes for rent—a number suitable for the cast of Three's Company, but hey, free is free! Head across the road and pedal your heart out around Lumpini Park, the city's answer to Central Park, where you can ride along the Komodo Dragons basking in the sun on the banks of the lake.
For 12 more hotels (and hotel brands) with free bike rentals, read on!
Keeping with our series of bending the ear of our favorite barkeeps, we recently had the opportunity to find out what bartender, Nicholas James, from Stingray Lounge at QT Gold Coast in Surfers Paradise thinks about the industry's preferred poisons.
HotelChatter: How many years have you been in the industry and time at Stingray?
Nicholas James: 5 years in the industry, and coming up to nearly one year at Stingray.
HC: What type of formal training do you have?
NJ: I have studied and worked alongside some of Australia’s most recognized and award winning industry professionals in and around Sydney’s small bars, pubs and restaurants.
HC: With such an extensive list of creative cocktails, what is your least favorite to make; the one you go 'really? I have to make that?' but still do it with a smile?
On Sunday night, all of Sydney was abuzz with Tropfest showcasing independent film-makers. Even after a long night of judging short-films, Avatar star Sam Worthington had enough energy to tie one on at QT Sydney. The swanky new boutique hotel attracted a good number of stars and star-gazers to celebrate the end of the World's Largest Small-Film Festival held over a weekend where over 850,000 spectators converged on The Domain, the city's best outdoor area to catch some film in the park.
The Hollywood hottie was spotted partying in QT's super swank Gilt Lounge while rubbing elbows with a few notable Aussie stars including Wayne Blair, the director of the hit movie, The Sapphires. Many of the up-and-coming actors that attended the bash are following in Sam's footsteps since he also got his start at this festival.
Word is Sam was also guest at the hip QT--good choice since the party was on a school-night!
[Photo: QT Sydney]
A stay at QT Gold Coast was as if we just stepped out of a Gidget movie and into a surf side vacation rental with a lot of class and personality. Long gone are the days of mis-matched wicker furniture, well loved carpeting and not-cool-vintage design. This place is done right.
Here is a peak inside the super-quirky beach side property known for fantastic views and even better brews. From the vintage station-wagon sporting a few surfboards to StingRay Lounge and to the in-room squeeze-your-own lemonade, this place screams vacation. Even the Sunday brunch at the interactive Marketplace goes on our list of favorite hotel brunches.
With large comfy rooms, that are decked out in mid-century modern decor it was easy to settle in to staying just blocks from the beach. The modern bathrooms are the furthest from overused beach house that we could imagine and with a few splashes of bright colors; they have summer written all over them.
We love movie premiers and, even more, we love to be looking smart with a nice smooth face. Like a baby's bottom, but more manly and suitable for an international spy like James Bond. QT Sydney has come to the rescue their Mr. Bond Shave. It's just in time for the US premiere of the movie today.
Yes, we know it's Movember, but bare with us for a moment.
The shave is as retro as it gets in QT's cool barber shop connected to the SpaQ. A complete throwback to when men wore hats, shaved with straight razors. We're talking hot towels, thick shaving cream, blades and aftershave all brought into the 21st Century with a splash of pampering to look your best, even if you're not living a life of espionage.
Men are encouraged to sit back, relax and enjoy the experience because "a razor to the neck reminds you that you're truly alive." After all the stubble is removed, a re-hydrating eye mask is applied while your neck and shoulders get a complete rub-down. We would be surprised if anyone walks out of the barber shop not looking their best and ready to take on Dr. No.
She doesn't look dead to us...
Obviously, Ke$ha is a fan of HotelChatter because she had to have read our exclusive peek inside Sydney's newest boutique hotel and decided to stay there on her trip Down Under. The avante-garde singer was spotted enjoying herself in QT Sydney's cool lobby and super swanky Gilt Lounge.
Ke$ha was in the country to see the singers she mentored on the Australian series of the "X-Factor", but that wasn't her first task upon landing. After arriving in Oz, she was faced with a Twitter rumor that she'd died. We are here (like, literally here in Sydney) and can say she is alive and kicking it funky style at the hip QT.
We have teased you enough with all our talk about Sydney's hottest new hotel, QT Sydney. This property is out to wow guests and Sydneysiders alike. We got a sneak peek of this little gem and had a smile on our face with every new experience as the hotel corners the market on unique.
A little history on the location; QT has moved into the former Gowings Department Store and the State Theatre in the middle of Sydney's central shopping district. With a deep back-story, the new rooms reflect the history and former glory of the old buildings. Add a splash of dramatics and a healthy dose of playfulness and this place is a winner.
From the moment we walked through the doors, we knew this was going to be special. As if we were walking back in time, after the best elevator ride to reception where it opened up to an eclectic mix of hand-picked furniture and a funky feel. After we tried to absorb everything we could, we were off to our room tucked in a dark hallway like it was backstage at a play.
It isn't very often that a hotel wants you to leave the property, sometimes even offering free transport. That's how things work at QT Gold Coast in Australia. They want their guests to go...and explore the city and everything it has to offer.
The hotel offers guests free use of their super cute, vintage bicycles to pedal around town and pretend to be Gidget in a 1960s beach movie. The Papillionaire bikes are displayed in the hotel gift shop and look like part of the mid-century Miami Beach decor. If the sun is shining and the tide is high, they are an affordable way to cruise the neighborhood for up to 3 hours.
For those of you with the need for speed, QT has the solution mopeds! A vintage-looking scooter is propped by the main entrance with a sign tempting guests to 'rent me'. It's not only the perfect way to hop from beach to beach, but its a great way to get some sun and blow off the sand stuck to your skin. Since the hires are handled by a local rental shop, the selection of scooters are not limited to just the retro feel and range in price for all tastes.
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As the whole internet knows by now, Paris Hilton has been categorically demoted from vapid-but-fun reality TV star to villain, after a taxi driver recorded a conversation in which she basically wrote off the entire gay male population. In the aftermath of the controversy, we thought it would be appropriate to call out a few gay-friendly hotels that Paris would do well to avoid for the time being...
Millennium Bostonian Hotel is one of 14 IGLTA-sponsor Millennium hotels around the US (other cities include LA, Chicago, Boston and the tea-loving Millennium UN Plaza in New York)—each of which offers a 15% discount for guests who use the promo code PRIDE when booking reservations. The Boston property (pictured) overlooks Faneuil Hall, and sits within walking distance of the North End and Boston Harbor. Rates from $330/night, with the discount.
Sydney is getting a fresh new design hotel and there's no time to waste if you want in on the deal at the new QT Sydney. The hotel is officially opening on the 17th, but they've been treating visitors to a sneak peak and discounted room rates since Tuesday.
Housed in the former Gowings Department Store and State Theatre, on the corner of George and Market Streets, the QT will be tickling the design senses for guests with 200 ultra-modern rooms, a lobby bar full of swank, a full-service restaurant and a namesake shop, QTique. Maintaining the vintage building's own design elements, the overall design is eclectic and full of funk.