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Welcome to Funky Friday, a new segment we’re trying out which features one photo that we think singularly expresses a hotel’s inner psyche. We look for – and find a lot of – wacky, wild and wondrous designs that seem to have one thing in common: a Type A personality. So why not have a bit of fun as we all wrap up our week by taking a quick look at some hotels that quite frankly, want our attention.
Hotel Art has an ancient setting in Rome by the Spanish Steps, occupying a former boarding school, but the experience inside its walls has no historic precedent.
It is a visual journey through one vibrant space after another—all the way to the guest rooms. The interiors are designed to stand out – in white or in combination with one of more dominant colors: blue, green, yellow, and orange.
In the case of the hotel’s main lobby, the Hall and the focus of this week’s Funky Friday, the pixels are unlimited and the brightness button has been turned all the way to the right.
The Hall is the original old chapel, a rich historic space that any hotelier would be thrilled to transform. This is one very memorable way to do it. The chapel’s amazing vaulted ceilings are given new life by painting them deep cobalt blue, accented with tiny golden stars. Walls and columns are white, further amplified by the use of upward lighting at the base of the columns.
The chapel’s historic alter sits behind ice blue glass walls that bring a soft glow to the reception area. The rather noticeable spaceship shaped reception desks are -- so we are told -- abstract eggs that symbolize eternal perfection. Who knew?
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!
Not to be outdone by the Lulu Guinness tree in London, the Hotel de Russie in Rome has its very own designer Christmas tree to show off. In a match made in fashion heaven, the hotel has enlisted utterly Roman brand FENDI to create chic Christmas decorations throughout the hotel and garden.
Inspired by FENDI’s latest kooky, and some might say creepy, 'Bag Bug' handbag accessory line, the brand has also decorated the hotel's impressive 16-foot Christmas tree on the Piazzetta Valadier with plexiglass versions of the fuzzy critters.
Killer View / Manhattan Hotels / Shanghai Hotels / Australia Hotels / Mumbai Hotels / Paris Hotels / Rome Hotels / → All Tags
Two weeks ago, we ran a story on some of the details about a hotel room that bother the average luxury traveler. Have you ever flung open the drapes in a gorgeous room, only to see a brick wall a few feet away? Yeah, we should’ve added that to the list. Few things can be so disappointing. In complete contrast, when you score one of those oh-so-sweet views to die for, it can be the difference between an okay hotel stay and the memory of that room with the great view. So, in case you were out to make your next great memory, allow this list of killer hotel views to inspire you:
We begin with Capella Lodge (pictured above), located on the itty-bitty (11 kilometers in length) Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea. The landmass is located in the midst the world’s most southern coral reef, an area declared an UNESCO heritage site in the early ‘80s. Seriously, who wouldn't want to wake up like this?
Generators Hostels / New Hotels / Paris Hotels / Rome Hotels / Affordable European Hotels / → All Tags
We've already recommended the Generators Hostel as a budget alternative when visiting Barcelona as it offers stylish and playful digs along with the option of private rooms as well as shared rooms which start at just 17 Euros a night.
Now there's two more design-forward Generators coming to Paris (late 2014) and Rome (Spring 2014.)
The Generator Paris, located in the 10th Arrondissement and Canal St-Martin neighborhood, will actually be the brand's largest property to date, accommodating up to 950 guests in a variety of rooms from dorms to private rooms and even luxury penthouse apartments, all of which will have in-room bathrooms. Tres Bien! The hotel will also include a café lounge serving French cuisine as well as a nightclub and bar. Since Generators are knownw for their live music shows and DJ showcases, we expect this to be where it will all go off at night.
The Generator Rome, located in a stately residential building on Via Principe Amedeo, will be within walking distance to Colosseum, Termini Station and Metro station. It will be much smaller than Generator Paris with just 80 rooms on seven floors, accommodating up to 264 guests. However, it will have a large, rooftop terrace open to all guests with killer views of the city, along with a cafe and a bar and lounge.
No word yet on pricing for Paris and Rome but you can expect it to be crazy sexy cool...affordable.
[Renderings: Generators Hostels]
Hotel News / Hotel Rebrandings / Rome Hotels / Dorchester Collection / Dorchester Collection Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Le Meridien Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
Here’s an interesting titbit we picked up last week: the Dorchester Collection is trying to make a move on the Eternal City, having entered into discussions to acquire the Hotel Eden in Rome, currently branded under Starwood’s Le Méridien flag.
It would be the second Italian property for the group, joining the Principe di Savoia in Milan. The deal isn’t signed, sealed, delivered quite yet; the official line is that it is “currently in discussions with Starman, owner of the Hotel Eden in Rome, concerning the purchase of the hotel” with “an official statement [to follow] once the transaction is completed”. Given that the Sultan of Brunei is behind the Dorchester Collection and that the company is hoping to have 15 hotels in their portfolio by 2015 (currently they have 9), we’re sure they can work out something on the financial side.
Yeah, that room service breakfast doesn't look so tasty anymore.
Last week when we heard of the sudden passing of
Tony Soprano James Gandolfini, we had a feeling that the hotel suite at the Boscolo Palace--where he suffered the fatal heart attack--would soon be in high demand amongst thanatourists. But we had no idea how fast the hotel would start renting the room out.
Gandolfini died on Wednesday evening. By Friday morning, room 449 had already been cleaned up and assigned to Food Network star (and girlfriend to New York's govenor), Sandra
DLee. However, she didn't stay too long once she learned what had happened in that room.
The NY Post reports that she eventually moved to a different hotel entirely, citing "overwhelming" paparazzi who keep placing phone calls to the suite and even attempting to bribe hotel staff to get into the suite. (It appears they succeeded as the Daily Mail has got the pics up now.)
James Gandolfini / Celebrity Scoop / Hotel News / Hotel Deaths / Rome Hotels / Autograph Collection Hotels / → All Tags
We, like everyone else who loved Tony Soprano, are taking the news of James Gandolfini's death pretty hard but we're finding small comfort in the fact that his last days were spent in Italy--and in a luxury hotel.
The 51-year-old actor was found dead yesterday in the bathroom of his hotel room at the Boscolo Palace in Rome. A heart attack is suspected as the cause.
Despite the Palace moniker which conjures up old world luxury (and sometimes stuffiness), the Boscolo is a five-star hotel featuring modern Italian design and its suites have small terraces, with panoramic views of Rome's landmarks and overlooking the fashionable Via Veneto street. The 87-room hotel is also part of Marriott's Autograph Collection.
Rates at the hotel are at 324 euros a night for a deluxe room which isn't too bad for summer in Rome. Although, rates may go up as people seek out Gandolfini's last days. Yes, people really do that.
[Photo via Flickr]
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Summer tis the season for hotel contests, and Marriott got things kicked off last week when it announced its Pinterest five-day giveaway. One in four Americans said that they're going to spend more on travel this summer than the previous five years, but wouldn't you rather get stuff for free? We certainly like free, and we'll take anything, really, regardless of whether it's a bedside bottle of water or five nights on the house.
Feeling lucky? Here are a few rings in which to toss your hat:
Hotel Trends / Hotel Scents / Hotel Amenities / Hotel Toiletries / Istanbul Hotels / Turkey Hotels / Vermont Hotels / Zurich Hotels / Switzerland Hotels / Italy Hotels / Rome Hotels / Florence Hotels / → All Tags
Today we start a new weekly 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: Generic flower aromas
What’s In: Bespoke signature scents
Hotels are getting personal with their smelly goods. More and more they’re looking to give you a local scent experience as soon as you walk in the door or when you’re executing your nightly ablutions. Capitalizing on the strength of olfactory memories, they’re partnering with local scent companies to choose unique aromas that embody the spirit of the hotel and give it a sense of place.
Here are just a few examples:
Celebrity Scoop / Mark Zuckerberg / Priscilla China / Rome Hotels / Billionaire Hotels / Honeymoon Hotels / Lungarno Collection / → All Tags
There are many places we dream of going if we had unlimited funds and Italy is definitely at the top of the list. So when we heard that billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his new bride, Priscilla Chan, were honeymooning in Rome, we had to find out where they were staying.
Josh Flagg / Rome Hotels / Le Meridien Hotels / Killer View / Starwood Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
Our resident celebrity hotel hopper, Josh Flagg is about to invade your living rooms again when the fifth season of Million Dollar Listing premieres on Bravo on June 6. But life isn't all "house" work for Josh. As soon as filming finished, he packed up and resumed his whirlwind travels. Here's where he prefers to stay in Rome.
I must have stayed in Rome at least a half dozen times over the course of my short-lived life, however i have never really found an extraordinary hotel. The Hassler was nice...fifteen years ago. The St Regis is beautiful...if you don't mind using a flashlight when going out at night.
A block from Via Condoti and a block from Via Veneto, it is in the perfect location. The hotel exudes luxury and just the right amount of charm. The views are extraordinary and the staff is extremely nice and not snooty like at most of the other five star hotels in Rome. If I had my own star-rating system, I'd give the hotel five stars but the views, six stars.
Heading to Rome this summer and want to take up Josh's recommendation? The Hotel Eden's rates start at around 400 Euros a night. If you stay there, let us know how it went!
@HotelChatter Any recs on 5Star/upscale hotels in Venice and Rome? Usually stay at @FourSeasons but alas no FS properties in those cities.
That's pretty weird now that we think about it. No Four Seasons in Rome or Venice? They should really get on that!
But onto our hotel picks.