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As the grand finale to cocktail week here's Part 2 of our round-up of some of the nifty things we see going on in the world of hotel bars and bevvies. Don't forget to let us know what’s going on in your section of the world!
Beer is the new wine: Before some of you get stressed out, we’re not saying that wine’s going away, but we have noticed that beer is getting more attention these days. Some hotel bars are making beer their “thing,” some are making their own and some are getting it made for them.
Most of us tend to only hang out at airport hotels when we’re going to and from a place, but the Four Points by Sheraton LAX has a 100-beer beererie called Brewster’s that includes an ever-changing tap list of craft and microbrews. They have an on-staff Director of Brewer Relations who ensures the beer list is fresh and filled with rare brews, monthly beer appreciation nights, beer pairings such as Smoked Stone Porter with smoked salmon, beer turndown service that includes a beer-stocked minibar, and a recently-launched Hoppily Ever After package that lets the happy couple-to-be create their very own custom, brewed-to-taste beer for their big day—isn’t that just so romantic?
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Just in case you missed out on National Tequila Day a few weeks ago (and we did not, tyvm), you have a whole 24 days to dedicate yourself to another unofficial-official holiday!
August is National Rum Month and thank goodness, because really, there isn't much to celebrate in these dog days, so we're all for anything that gives us a chance to sip Dark n' Stormy's, pursue pina coladas, and drink copious amounts of Cuba Libre's without judgement. We've always said we're patriotic folks, here at HC.
So, for the remainder of the month we'll highlight hotel's bars and restaurants paying homage to National Rum Month by serving classic cocktails or those with a twist. We'll even toss you a few recipes to recreate them at home because goodness knows, if you celebrate this holiday every single day, your wallet might hurt a bit.
BTW, if you find your budget
liver can't handle a whole month of rum, know that August 16th is National Rum Day, so feel free to make that your day to pay homage to the pirates elixir used to ward off scurvy. You don't want scurvy, do you?!
Read on for a few places having a rumtastic time.
The Drink: Atomic Red Carrot Swizzle
The Hotel: U.S. Grant, San Diego, CA
As part of the swank Grant Grill's "Tails From the Patch" drink series, this unusual drink is made with Shellback Platinum rum, Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum, Atomic Red carrot juice, Chioggia Guardsmark beet, Grenadine, lime, bitters, and allspice dram. It comes with a beet garnish and looks like something you'd get out of a gym health bar. But a hit of that potent rum and you'll quickly realize this ain't no Jamba Juice.
We like to keep it fun but informative here at HotelChatter so our series, What is This?, is devoted to odd-looking items in hotels that upon first glance look as if they serve only a decorative purpose. But everything happens for a reason, right? And we're here to tell you what these things really do.
We recently took a look around the recently renovated--and by golly, according to our 2011 stay, necessary overhauled-- mammoth-sized 1600-room Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego. A place this size, we agreed with our guide, the hotel was indeed a "mini city".
Therefore it's natural there's two towers for the hundreds of guests, not to mention customers coming in and out of their in-house Convention Center. So, when we took an elevator ride to check out the new and improved rooms (more on that another day), all seemed normal until we looked in the corner and saw the little sign above.
Obviously it was a medical symbol, that much we knew, but why was it there?
Take a guess, then we'll reveal after the jump.
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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: Farm-to-table concepts at restaurants
What's In: Farm-to-table concepts at spas
With “natural” and “local” now part of the modern lexicon for restaurants, hotels have decided that it’s not just your tummy that should get all that organic goodness. We present to you... (drumroll please) farm-to-face.
A Relais & Chateaux Resort, the Hotel Caesar Augustus is perched on a cliff on the languid isle of Capri. In this idyllic setting you can find an equally idyllic spa garden. The goods from the garden - infusions made with the oils from basil, sage, rosemary, and marjoram as well as lemons and oranges - can be used in various massage treatments they offer at the hotel. The truly wonderful thing is that the massages can take place in the midst of all of those blooming orange and lemon blossoms.
The Guerlain Spa at the Waldorf Astoria New York is launching a “Milk, Honey and Herb” Mani and Pedi using its own “Top of the Waldorf Rooftop Honey” from six beehives installed on the 20th floor roof. The unguents and creams also include herbs grown from the hotel’s newly-installed rooftop garden and, while you’re waxing poetic about the treatment, you can sip on the hotel’s signature Wax Poetic cocktail featuring the house-made honey.
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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: Trekking to the hotel gym
What's In: In-room workouts that rival a personal training session
The hotel gym. We know people use ‘em, but sometimes it’s hard to find that last bit of energy needed to drag yourself out of your room after a busy day of sightseeing or making deals. Or maybe you’re just jet-lagged and are up at 3 a.m. thinking, “Man – I could really go for a workout right now.” At these hotels, the gym comes to you.
Dorchester Collection’s new contemporary hotel 45 Park Lane in London offers you an exclusive in-room workout with fitness guru and trainer to the stars, Matt Roberts, through a bespoke and full-body in-room video program. The hotel committed to get fit during the London Olympics and got Matt to create five workouts, each video focusing on a different area of the body using the furniture at hand. (We’re not suggesting they’re copying us here at HC, but sort of like our Sweat-Worthy Hotel Room Exercises series we brought you about a month or so ago.)
When you leave you’ll also get a freebie Matt at 45 Park Lane Fitness Pack which includes step-by-step training techniques for beginners through pros, a healthy eating plan, and “in the know” tips from the trainer -- things only Matt Roberts and Naomi Campbell knew till now.
At Raffles Praslin Seychelles space is your friend if you want to have an in-room workout. In the privacy of your own 410 sq ft (minimum) villa, with a vast outdoor terrace looking out over the ocean, you can do as many Sun Salutations as you want without bumping into the furniture. All villas already include a yoga mat and, at your mere request, the resort will deliver a fitness kit consisting of a dumbbell set, skipping rope, stability ball, resistance band and a selection of exercise DVDs. If that’s not enough to get you going you can arrange for an in-room personal trainer to take you through your paces with a customized exercise program.
And don't forget, HotelChatter's Sweat-Worthy Workouts: Can't afford to hire a personal trainer to come to your room? Or more likely, are you staying in a property that doesn't have a gym or in-room fitness videos? We've got you covered with our five sweat-worthy workouts, all of which you can do in your hotel room. Watch the videos for instructions on the different body parts to work out. You're very welcome!
Two more fitness-crazed hotels below!
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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*
Spring Skiing Hotel Deal in Mammoth: Most of you might be getting ready to some surfboading instead of snowboarding but at Mammoth Mountain in California, the snow is just getting good. Ok, well, not really but spring skiing is apparently really fun there with both the US ski and snowboard teams visiting and with the Annual Pondskim on April 21. Plus, hotel guests at any of the mountain's hotels get a nightly discount based on the temperature from April 14-May 23. For example, if it's 45 degrees both days, then you will get a $90 refund on your hotel room at checkout. The daily high temp is based on the high temperature at Main Lodge recorded on the Ski Patrol website and you must stay two or more nights to get he refund. Go here to book.
Pay Your Respects to Lilly Pulitzer at Sea Island: The Cloister at Sea Island Resort, off the coast of Georgia, put together this Lilly Pulitzer Mother Daughter Getaway for Mother's Day weekend before the colorful designer passed away but now it seems the best way to pay your respects to the woman who made wearing crazy pink and green outfits acceptable. The deal includes a complimentary upgrade if available; a welcome bottle of pink champagne and green macaroons; a special Lilly Pulitzer gift; one massage for each guest at The Spa at Sea Island; one mani/pedi for each guest; one dinner at Tavola, the resort's new Italian trattoria; one dinner at The Georgian rom, a Forbes five-star resto and one pink rose petal bath for each guests. Rates start at $510 per person per night. So $2,040 for both of you for two nights. The deal also includes access to several Lilly-themed events over Mother's Day Weekend like a tennis clinic with Murphy and Luke Jensen, a Lilly Pulitzer runway show, and brunch on Sunday, although those are separate costs.
The Omni Wants You to Visit Sun Diego: The Omni San Diego is luring travelers to their hotel with promises of sun, sun and more sun. Oh and some sunscreen. Their new Sun Diego package includes room accommodations, complimentary valet parking for one car, two complimentary Seabreezes at McCormick's and Schmick's at the hotel, a bottle of sunscreen and a guide to the best outdoor activities and events in town. Rates start at $281 a night which is a little steep but if there's a ball game going on, it's totally worth it as the hotel is adjacent to the park. Go here to book and use code PKGSUN. No word if you get a refund if it rains but you could ask?
Have a Culinary Liason in DC: The Liaison Capitol Hill has redesigned its new restaurant, Art and Soul, as well as its lobby and guestrooms and is enticing guests to check out the changes with their Artisanal Fare Escape. Starting at $179 a night, the deal includes a stay in a recently renovated guestroom, plus a $100 dining credit for Art ad Soul. Go here to book and use promo code NEWART. The deal is good through September 2nd.
You can pretend like you didn't know today is "Tax Day" (shout out to extended filers!), or you can celebrate April 15th knowing your return is safely out the door. Perhaps you're one of those lucky peeps who've already filed and getting a refund, too! But let's not turn our backs on some of us who might need solace as they make out a check to Uncle Sam (stop staring at us!).
So, to cover both sets of folks, there are a few hotels ready to celebrate or commiserate "Tax Day" with you.
Here are our 3 faves.
The Grant Grill, US Grant Hotel, San Diego is a pretty pricey place (US presidents and their wives come here for a reason!) so for those who will be giving instead of receiving from the IRS, the hotel is generously reducing its new Raw Cocktail menu for a grand $4.15 per drink! Regularly priced at $12 each, these new craft cocktails--two are named the "New Apple Martini" and "The Melon Ball" are cute spin on classic drinks, both using the fresh, pressed juice of the entire fruit. BTW, those who are getting a sweet government-endorsed check? Buy a round (or two!) for your newly broke-ass friends! It's the right thing to do.
We co-sign the "Suite Tax Relief” package at The Grand Hotel Minneapolis, simply because you lucky ducks need a place to spend that refund, the enormous Mall of America is near this downtown hotel, and you'll have a blast with that new bank to spend. The hotel is offering a deluxe room (with no room tax added!), free Payday, 100 Grand and Sugar Daddy candy bars (how cute is that?) and a late check-out from your shopping hangover. Sweet! Package rates start at $149, and are available now through Memorial Day (blackout dates apply). Book at www.grandhotelminneapolis.com or call 800-Kimpton and mention rate code PTAX.
Perhaps we're just projecting our own sitches here, but we think there are many of us in the "filing late/owing" category. Yes? That's why we completely dig the “No Taxation Without Libations” deal at Chicago's Hotel Allegro. After you've cried, pleaded, promised a new attitude for next year's filing (you know, that filthy lie you always tell yourself) and then surrendered to a soon-come battle with the IRS, go on and head to this downtown boutique hotel for a good sleep and some dranks before you sign up for overtime shifts tomorrow to pay off that impending tax bill. The Allegro's package includes a night in a deluxe room and two cocktails and an appetizer for $10.40 (get it?!) at the Encore Liquid Lounge. We suggest you get a protein-heavy appetizer, because Ramen noodles dinners may be in your future after tonight. Package starts at $179 and is available through May 31st (for you late filers). Book online at www.allegrochicago.com or call 800-Kimpton and mention rate code TD1040.
[Photo: JW Wood Realty]
Even more horrifying, witnesses report seeing at least one guest engulfed in flames. Two victims were rushed to the hospital for treatment, and the third was taken to UCSD Medical Center for life-threatening burns. LAist.com reports that two of the injured were inside the room where the explosion occurred and that the other was from the room next door.
News reports state the man and woman inside the room were 'cooking' meth.
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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.
When we see specials that tout room for $1 or anything in that realm, we react with a twinge of excitement followed by a healthy dose of skepticism. We know these things do happen (see the smidgen of folks who got in on Public Chicago’s $1 deal), but, well, we’re just getting a little tired of breaking our necks for a slim-to-none chance to score a room.
So, when we saw that San Diego’s historic US Grant Hotel (where Michelle Obama recently stayed), the Gaslamp institution we featured in our Presidential Suites story, was offering $1.02 suites in celebration of their 102 birthday, we had to know “what’s the catch?”
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There's just something about this time of year when we are HUNGRY, like, always. But the only time it seems socially acceptable to get seriously gluttonous is at a buffet of some sort or, during a weekend brunch. And quite frankly, with the weather changing so fast in so many parts of the country, we're in the mood for a good plate of sumthin' sumthin'.
So, we dug into the HC brunch archives and pulled out some of our favorite places to chow down over the weekend. We tried to keep it to places where we didn't have to dress up (we're in a grungy sweatpants sorta mood), but some places can get fancy, and for a good meal, we will make the effort.
The best way to show you where to go is to point the way in pictures.
So, leave your worries behind, have an extra mimosa or not-your-usual Bloody Mary, and feed with fury. We are right there with you!
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If your Twitter and FB feeds haven’t yet been blown to smithereens regarding last night’s Presidential Debate, then we want to know your secret. But at HC, we want to focus on a key issue—and that is—where do presidents like to sleep when they’re on the road? And can we, the public, duplicate that experience?
So, while others choose to argue politics with friends, family, and..strangers on the internet, we’d rather entertain you with these hotels’ Presidential Suites and tempt you into voting on a stay there.
The US Grant, San Diego
The Penthouse Presidential Suite (from $3,500 a night) on the rooftop of this historic hotel is celebrated for its views of the city and the bay. Oh, and it’s recognized for the 14 presidents that have stayed here for the past 100 years--most recently George Bush Sr. Originally a radio station, it was the place where FDR broadcast his first ‘fireside chat’ outside of DC. The hotel has put together a package where you can actually stay inside the lavish suite, receive a city helicopter tour, and a chef’s dinner for two for $2012. Reserve online (rate plan LZPKG1) or call 866-716-8136.