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We often complained that hotels have been acting a lot like airlines with their ridiculous fees but this time, we're actually approving of a hotel taking a page from the airline's playbook.
That's because the Radisson Edwardian Bloomsbury Street Hotel in London has unveiled some "First Class" lodgings on their seventh floor. Think of these upper echelon rooms as sort of a mix between first class seating and airport lounge access, but you know, in a hotel kind of way.
Only those who hold a Seventh Floor key card can access the floor's 11 rooms--five studio suites and six king deluxe rooms. These rooms are tricked out with better amenities than the rest of the hotel rooms, like espresso machines, clothes steamers, boutique bathroom gift set, complimentary movies and music, free WiFi and even drinks from the minibar.
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It's been a while but it looks like Boston will finally get another new stylish hotel. The Boston Globe reports that the Radisson on Stuart Street is undergoing a $27 million makeover that will transform it into The Revere, a 356-room hotel.
When finished the Revere promises "steel sculptures in the lobby, CD release parties in the lounge, and uniforms designed by students at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design." Up in the guestrooms, there will be "high-style combined with comfort" in what the hotel calls "livable glamour."
A hardwood entryway will anchor the space and present three distinct areas of the room for "sleep," "work" and "lounge" that will include an oversized desk, a suede headboard, plush bedding, and a masculine houndstooth chaise. Each Revere guest room will also feature an oversized balcony offering commanding views of the city skyline and the historic South End.
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When we booked our City View King for a total of $287 on the hotel website, all was normal. Then we received the confirmation email, with a tempting little red notice that upgrade options were available, from only $9. After your room purchase is complete, Radisson would like to sap a few extra dollars (like $9 for the chance at a one-category upgrade or $39 for an 11am early check-in) from your wallet.
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In the heartbreaking film Blue Valentine the troubled married couple played by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams try to repair their in-tatters marriage by stealing away to a the Radisson Hotel Valley Forge for a romantic weekend. That may have been their first mistake.
A diplomatic Williams described the futuristic room as "trashy" to the Los Angeles Times, but Gosling went all out and said it was more like the "inside of a robot's vagina." Delightful.
UPDATE: In our caffeinated excitement, we missed some of the finer points about those in-room coffee-makers. The Nespresso machines are only in Radisson hotels in Europe, The Middle East and Africa. But coffee makers are standard in Radissons in North America.
Are you a member of Radisson's goldpoints plus loyalty program? Well, good for you--but now there's something even better. It's called Business Class, and it gives guests access to specialized amenities and services that promise to make the life of a road warrior much less cranky-making. Yup, it's pretty much a rip-off of the business class you find on airplanes.
According to the marketing babble, the new program--which was introduced on September 1--was developed around the concept of “travel empathy.” In other words, Radisson feels your pain and wants to give you extra stuff to win you over. Since one of those things is an in-room Nespresso machine, it sounds like they really have listened to their guests. (We think individual coffee-makers should be standard.)
Free booze and sweet stuff – just what we like to hear. Book the May Fair Hotel’s Summer Promotion - yes, even though it’s barely summer anymore – and they’ll swing by your (deluxe) room with a bottle of prosecco, a punnet of strawberries and a picnic rug for you to get your drink on al fresco.
The deal also nets you a full English breakfast, 25 percent off Amba Bar & Grill, and the chance to bed down alongside the greats of British celebrity culture such as Ashley Cole and his new bird. Lucky you!
Or are you? Because if you buy your own booze and berries, and get breakfast at the Pret a Manger down the road, it will save you about £100.
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The Polo Bar at the Westbury: scene of the crimeski.
So, you’re a billionaire. A Russian one, no less. You’re in London. And instead of buying up half of Chelsea to sleep in on your odd visits, like all the other RBs, you want to stay in a hotel. How quaint!
Don’t worry, though - you don’t have to lose face among your (insanely rich) fellow countrymen if you follow our HotelChatter suggestions for where to stay, and you shouldn’t get poisoned, either. These places aren’t any old five stars – they’re five stars worth of Abramovich et al. Enjoy-ski!
If you don't have kids or consider "fun parks" the least fun thing on the planet, you'll want to file this news under "Another place to avoid when traveling." But if you have rugrats you need to occupy, or you're a big, waterslide-lovin' kid yourself, rejoice! The Radisson Hotel Albuquerque has a new waterpark, opening on March 12, just in time for spring break.
If you're not familiar with the waterpark concept, firstly: commiserations. Waterslide collisions are the stuff childhood is made of. The Radisson's set up includes all the waterpark staples: indoor and outdoor slides, an activity pool, wading pool, hot tub, lazy river, tipping bucket, and the most unfortunately named thing we've heard of since the iPad, the FlowRider.
Fancy a 2010 trip to London in honour of Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes film? Let us make it elementary for you (sorry) with a roundup of who’s doing Sherlock-specific packages. Boringly enough, they’re all called the same thing (Sherlock Holmes Package) but some are better than others. And two are definitely cheaper.
As you’d expect, the Park Plaza Sherlock Holmes on Baker Street is going all out with a Sherlock Holmes package: for £154 you get bed and breakfast, two Sherlock Holmes or Dr Watson cocktails, two tickets to see the film at Everyman Baker Street (a cute indy cinema), and a two course dinner for the pair of you (although weirdly, you need to pay a supplement for steak, and this doesn’t include drinks). Not half bad, considering room rates start at £99.
If you don’t want to stay over, they’re also offering a free cocktail to anyone whose surname is Holmes or Watson (does our mum’s maiden name count? We’ll give it a whirl). Buy any drink (perhaps a “Sherlock Holmes” or a “Dr Watson”, both £6.95) at Sherlock’s Bar before 31 January, show staff your photo ID and they’ll throw you another for free.
Here’s a good deal in honor of hump day: Radisson Hotels have announced a 20 percent discount because, hey, we all work hard. Guests can get the discount when they book the “Perk for Hard Work” rate and pay with an American Express card. (Ed. Note: Amex cardholders staying at Radisson? That's quite an interesting theory.)
And unlike that pesky boss of yours, Radisson won’t make you show any proof of this so-called “hard work.” In other words, don’t sweat those two-hour lunches when booking the deal. Heck, go ahead and take that long weekend you may or may not deserve — on account of lower hotel rates, naturally.
You can book your rezzies now for stays to take place between Oct. 15 and Jan 15. The offer is valid on standard room rates at participating Radisson hotels in the Americas and Asia Pacific.
Yes, we know that summer only just ended this week but what can we say? We're in a holiday mood.
Christmas in London: it’ll probably be a wet one, rather than a white one, but it’s a pretty good time to hit town, seeing as half its residents up sticks to the country for a (wet and not white but rural) festive bash.
The hotels will be pretty empty too – which is presumably why Radisson Edwardian are offering 25% off their 11 hotels in London, plus their one up north in Manchester.
The Pay, Save and Stay promotion will knock 25% off the best available rate, any day of the week, and throw in two-for-one dining at the hotel restaurants as well. That means rooms in London are starting at £74 ($124).
Feeling intellectual today? Us neither, but we’re open to suggestions. Hence we’re glad to hear that the Radisson Edwardian Bloomsbury Street’s book club is in full swing.
As we told you last month, the hotel is capitalising on its literary history (Virginia Woolf et al used to hang around Bloomsbury) by starting a “Book of the Month Club” - guests can either read up in the hotel, or, more realistically, take home a free copy to read on the way home.
What the hotel would really like you to do, of course, is book (haha) up one of their two suites which come with a bath at the foot of the bed. You could have a good read there, or in one of the egg-shapped chairs suspended from the ceiling, like in the photo here.
Nice as they are, we’d probably go for the train option. Though if you really like the Tales of Hans Christian Andersen - this month’s book – maybe you’ll go crazy. Rooms start at £199 ($328).