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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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This guy's playing around with his 'stache. Bet he can raise big bucks for Movember!
Certain cultivators are no doubt celebrating the recent legalization of marijuana out west, but others are cheering a different kind of “grower” this fall. Movember has arrived!.
This is the month of mustache madness, (we've seen it spelled both ways and we're going this version) which means plenty of bad facial hair and lots of frustrated girlfriends all across the country. But it’s all good ladies--support for prostate cancer research.
This year, we've seen a few hotels offering sincere and socially acceptable ways for you to help contribute, so we're detailing them here.
According to the story, Leo Nocentelli, a guitarist from the Meters Experience, attempted to check into the hotel along with two other members of the band. When he handed over his credit card to cover incidentals during the stay, the hotel manager refused to take it.
Except there was nothing wrong with the card—just the manager, who somehow didn't like the look of these guys. When Nocentelli's friend later showed up to see what was wrong, the manager told him he didn't accept credit cards from black people.
Um. We always knew Travelodge was kind of an outdated brand, but...seriously?
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It's not often one can get inside a hotel's kitchen, much less influence what's going to be on the menu, so InterContinental Hotels' new “Kitchen Passport” program is a fun twist that lets non-cooks go behind the scenes. The program, which started this month, invites bloggers and online editors to work with some of IHG's top chefs and mixologists to create a few new food and drink specials and recipes that can be downloaded via the brand's InterContinental Kitchen Cookbook iPad app mid-October. The InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta began the experience this month and invited editor Anne Dolce of "The Daily Meal" to work with celebrated chef (and Oprah Winfrey favorite) Art Smith, head of the hotel's Southern Art restaurant. Together, they came up with a new appetizer (Southern Oysters Rockefeller), entrée and dessert. Dolce also paired up with Arianne Fielder at the Buckhead’s Bourbon Bar and helped design two specialty bourbon cocktails to go along with the new dishes.
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From a Hillside Cottage at Casa Madrona, see Richardson Bay where your seaplane to pinot land departs
Earlier this month, we kicked off California Wine Month with hotel packages in Central California’s Paso Robles. But since the whole state is in on the celebration through the end of September—and let’s be real, through all of Fall from harvest to crush—we’re zeroing in now on Nor Cal and the Bay Area’s coolest Wine Month packages.
Surrounding Cali’s most formidable wine country in Sonoma and Napa, Northern California and Bay Area hotels have turned up the wine country heat with more vino-charged events than usual. Sure, glasses and bottles of wine are a dime a dozen in these sorts of packages, so we turned our focus, instead, to Bay Area hotels doing something a little more special.
Behold, three hotels that deliver you to the vineyard door by day while keeping you cozy and pampered by night.
San Francisco has been on our radar lately. There just always seem to be a question of where to stay. We’re always being asked. Well, now there’s more news to add to the mix, the under-the-radar Hotel Adagio has undergone a seven-million dollar renovation which will make it more appealing for those looking for a Union Square-area option.
Opened in 1929, the historic Spanish-Colonial style hotel was once lauded for its great penthouse views, but over the years it's struggled in its theater-district location, which can be hit or miss depending on who you talk to. And despite being part of California's popular Joie de Vivre boutique hotel brand, Adagio parted ways with the company and has joined with the Evolution Hospitality management group, which has San Diego's Hard Rock Hotel under its wings. So, who knows perhaps the hotel's future may be brighter.
In case you've been living under a rock (hopefully with your iPhone) this past week, rumors and feature leaks abound in regards to the upcoming release of the Apple iPhone 5. The actual unveiling won't happen for a week yet, taking place on September 12 at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
In the meantime, all of the Apple invitees, tech journalists and other news media seeking to cover the event are also seeking hotel reservations. According to the recent Trivago hotel price index report, the repercussions of the iPhone rush are already being felt:
Just a smidge behind the initially proposed opening date of August 30th, today it was announced that the Aloft San Francisco Airport will fling-open its doors on September 13th.
The former Clarion Hotel, which dates back to the 1960s, was added into the Starwood fam. They company gave the aging hotel a makeover, proposed future greatness, and now the 263-room property has a sparkly Aloft name-ring on it.
Like other airport hotels in the chain, this one is close to transportation—less than three miles from SFO (a free shuttle runs back and forth every 15 minutes) and a short walk from the Millbrae BART station which will get you to downtown San Francisco in 20 minutes. We say double win, and one to consider when thinking about your favorite San Francisco hotel.
San Francisco has always been a bit of a tough hotel scene to figure out.
On the one hand you have a ton of touristy hotels clustered around the city's Union Square. Most of these are small and independent places but of course, the bigger brands like Marriott, Hyatt, Starwood and even Kimpton are found here too.
There are more luxe options nearby at Market Street like the St. Regis, the Four Seasons and the W and then down at Fisherman's Wharf the bigger hotel chains dominate again. There are just a handful of cool boutiquey hotels to stay at like The Clift from Morgans Hotel Group and the Hotel Vitale in the Embarcadero from Joie De Vivre but there are plenty of funky spots like the Personality Hotels and even a few stay-if-you-dare options like the Cova Hotel in the Tenderloin district. There's now even a small inn open in the city's Presidio park.
Yet while San Fran has seemingly many hotel options for all types of travelers, there's not one hotel that we get really excited about.
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Ready or not, Aloft is slowly infiltrating every corner of the world—India, China, and the US are all in line for multiple openings this year. And it was announced last week that South Korea is even set to get its first Aloft by 2014.
But in the more immediate future, we're looking at two US openings this month: Aloft Asheville on Aug 23 and Aloft SFO on Aug 30. One will be a place to retreat from (or invite back to your hotel room) all the ukulele-strumming Blue Ridge Mountain hippies. The other will be a place to lament your delayed flight. Both will spoil you with free WiFi.
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One of our favorite commercials is the Staples jingle, touting August as being the most “wonderful time of the year”. It's back-to-school time, and for parents, that means shopping for a laundry list of supplies, clothes and the like. But for those without rugrats, ‘tis the season to build a fall wardrobe! Luckily, these smart hotels are jumping on the retail bandwagon and put together Shop-Sleep packages.
Hotel Abri, San Francisco, CA
This hotel is just two blocks from Union Square and tony stores such as Saks, Neiman Marcus, Barneys New York, Macy's, as well as the nine-story Westfield San Francisco Shopping Centre, which has a three-level Nordstrom and new Bloomingdale's. Your scores will be picked up by the hotel’s shopping valet and delivered straight to your room. The package begins at $275 per night (minimum two-night stay) and includes a $100 certificate to Westfield San Francisco Centre as well as free backpack, with notebook and pencil kit.
Westin Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego, CA
The newly renovated Westin Gaslamp Quarter in the city’s downtown area offers a Back-to-School shopping package that gives a $100 Macy’s gift card for every night booked plus an 11% discount at the nearby Macy’s Horton Plaza Mall store. Package rates start at $179 per night, but with the gift card, you’re really only paying $79 per night! Use promo code CMY at www.westingaslamp.com
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We’re hanging on to summer like a toddler gripping his parents' leg. Nope, not trying to let go! A good month left in the season left at least 30 more days of cocktail time. Where to sip and be merry? We’ve got a few hotels that are doing drinks right.
The Hotel Monaco Chicago The hotel's South Water Kitchen is serving new cocktail pitchers called “Last Sips of Summer” on the patio only, through Labor Day. Great for an after work come down or a pre-dinner stop by, the 30oz creations serve about 4 and cost just $25 each. The flavors sound so delish, though, we’re certain folks will be ordering more than one. The six pitchers available are:
Patio Punch: Bacardi Razz, Peach Schapps, Blue Curacao, and pineapple juice,
North Loop Gin and Juice: Hypnotic Clear, Gilbey's gin, honey, and grapefruit juice
Sloe Rum Screwdriver: Hanger Mandarin Vodka, Castillo rum, Sloe gin, and orange juice
Midwest Margarita:Cactus Jack tequila, Banana liqueur, Triple Sec, and sour mix
SWK Limonata: Captain Morgan Lime Bite, Apple Pucker, and ginger ale
Spiked Coffee Cooler: Heaven Hill bourbon, Amaretto, Talea Cream, and coffee