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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*
· Bear Down Package at The Amalfi Hotel, Chicago: This one's for Da Bears...fans and enemies. The Amalfi Hotel's "Bear Down Package" includes overnight accommodations, complimentary deluxe continental breakfast before the Chicago Bears game at Soldier Field, a CTA pass (optional), a bucket of 6 domestic beers to celebrate (or mourn), a signature snack trio and a nightly manager's reception with complimentary Italian hors d'oeuvres. The package is available through January 4th. Go here to book or call the hotel at 312.395.9000 (Toll Free: 877.262.5341.) Use code BEAR-DOWN to book. Oh and here's the Chicago Bears home schedule just in case. We found a room for $294 next weekend when they take on the New Orleans Saints.
· Wander & Wonder at the Hotel Monaco San Francisco: The newly redesigned Hotel Monaco has a new Cal Academy package to go along with their new look. In addition to a pretty new room, the hotel will give you two adult general admission tickets to the California Academy of Sciences to check out the penguins, parrots and the albino alligator named Claude. Also included is two 3-day MUNI passes and a 20 percent discount off food at the Grand Cafe, adjacent to the hotel lobby. Go here to book an use promo code WANDER. The deal is valid until December 31st but a two-night minimum stay is required.
· Moment in Time at The Plantation Inn, Maui: The 19-room Plantation Inn is the sister B&B to the Kā‘anapali Beach Hotel, which features turn of the century architecture with modern amenities such as air conditioning and soundproofing. Plus, it's just two blocks from the beach. Now, the inn is offering a "Moment in Time" package that includes three nights in a Lanai category room, daily breakfast for two, dinner for two at Gerard's Restaurant, a bottle of champagne on arrival, his and hers Hawaiian robe keepsake and daily compact car rental (rental policy here.) The total for the package is $877 which is a savings of $237. But it's only available through December 19th. Go here to book.
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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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We hoped it wasn't true when we saw the tweet below stating hotels were price gouging after the Asiana Airlines tragedy. We could say we were surprised, but as we've found out just last year during the middle of tropical storm Sandy and Hurricane Irene, these things do happen.
But we wanted to find out who would take advantage of such a horrible situation, with so many passengers delayed (many for multiple days) and needing hotels. Surely hoteliers have learned this type of behavior wouldn't go unnoticed?
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Who knew the Hotel Triton in San Francisco had such a sweet suite? (Literally!)
The Haagen Dazs "Sweet Suite" has been open at the Union Square hotel since at least 2007 (we told you to book the suite to get over a bad break-up)-- but it recently underwent a refresh. It still has the "Sweet Spot", which is an ice cream cabinet full of cartons of Haagen Dazs ice creams along with bowls, scoops and spoons. But now there's new furniture and new giant photographs of ice cream and ice cream ingredients (LOL.) Despite the ice cream obsession, the suite is quite stylish with a residential feel. Don't worry, you can still bring the ice cream in bed with you.
In honor of National Ice Cream Month, which is next month, the Kimpton hotel is offering a Haagen Dazs Sweet Dreams package which includes deluxe accommodations in a recently redesigned room, Haagen Dazs ice cream delivered nightly to the room, a groovy ice cream scoop to take home and a signature Triton rubber ducky. Rates start at just $175 a night with a portion going to the Haagen Dazs's charity of choice, The Delancey Street Foundation. The Sweet Suite is a bit more at $350 a night.
[Photos: Hotel Triton]
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Did you know that famed chef Charlier Palmer is also a hotelier?
The man best known for his award-winnng Charlie Palmer steakhouses opened the boutique-style Mystic Hotel in San Francisco's Union Square 'hood last year with his Burritt Tavern, installed on the second floor of the hotel. (He's already opened the Hotel Healdsburg in Sonoma too.)
Now, the property has just completed a renovation of all 82 guest rooms (this place used to be the old Crescent Hotel) and it looks like an ideal place to rest your weary head...and your full stomach. The rooms are small but big on comfort and personal touches like fluffy white beds, exposed brick walls and carefully chosen honor bar selections from local companies such as PopChips, Oaktown Jerky from Oakland and 479 popcorn (note: the fuller-sized bottles of alcohol too.)
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Here's the latest happening in the luxury hotel world as told by JustLuxe's own Lena Katz. Got a question about luxury hotels, the travel biz, and where to stay? Send it in and we'll have Lena answer it.
A recent dinner at the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco’s swank Parallel 37 food-geeked us out, thanks to new chef Michael Rotondo’s tendency to incorporate the most exotic produce items in California into his tasting menu. Torpedo radish? Smoked sunchokes? Arugula blossoms? It’s all coming at ya…and it’s good.
Chef Rotondo, who recently arrived from Chicago where he cooked under Charlie Trotter for eight years, admitted when he wanders through the San Francisco area farmers markets, he often doesn't recognize some of the stranger fruits – and when that happens, he usually buys the questionable item, takes it back to the kitchen, and figures out a tasty use for it.
We asked him to identify seven awesome produce items he’s cooking with right now, and tell us what the heck to do with them
Fermented Black Garlic: Ferment whole bulbs of garlic at high temperature, and they’ll turn black and taste sweet and syrupy, with hints of licorice and balsamic. Black garlic isn’t the prettiest veggie in the drawer, but it adds a complexity to a dish that raw garlic can't match. Most Asian markets carry black garlic. We have it on the lunch menu currently - blended into a light aioli and used on our albacore tuna sandwich.
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Autograph Collection just announced its first two hotels in California, plus a second in Davenport, Iowa, all of which are set to officially debut as AC properties next month. Looks like the brand is well on track to reach its goal of 50 hotels by the end of 2013.
First up is Hotel Adagio, a 171-room historical hotel near Union Square in San Francisco. This one caught our eye back in September when we visited and loved how fresh-looking the place looked after its $7 million renovations. In fact, back then, we even wrote how Hotel Adagio had parted ways with Joie De Vivre, so "perhaps the hotel's future may be brighter."
Looks like we were right about that one!
Next week we'll be debuting our HotelChatter 2013 Cruise Guide. It might seem like a funny time to release this as, to put it lightly, the cruise ship industry has been in the spotlight over the past year. And few flowers have been thrown on stage.
There have been some dramas. Costa Concordia sank off the coast of Italy. The disabled Carnival Triumph had its feces run down the walls. Food-related illness continues to be a problem. And now cities are starting to debate whether or not they should welcome ships, whether they do more harm than good. Charleston is having an internal debate about it currently, and it isn't pretty.
One resident described cruise ships as "sardine cans" that are "susceptible to horrific accidents that instantly can put thousands at risk for their lives.” Another saw the ships as a detriment to the city's ambiance. “I can’t believe they are doing this to Charleston,” she said. “I can hear the announcements from my house. And that black smoke. It just tumbles out of that smokestack. You should see the dust in my car.”
While a reasonable person could understand that side of the coin -- the resident's viewpoint -- we can't forget about the other side -- the business side. And also a strong consumer force that continues to love cruising.
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For all you Sinophiles out there, the acclaimed "China's Terracotta Warriors" exhibition has finally landed at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco this month. Featuring 120 life-size clay soldiers, out of the nearly 8,000 that were excavated from the tomb of China's first emperor Qin Shihuang, the relics are considered by many to be the eighth wonder of the ancient world.
Unsurprisingly, this was a perfect opportunity for Mandarin Oriental SF, which is located near the museum, to offer a "Terracotta Warrior" package. No, you don't get to cuddle up to the statues in your room, or enjoy a romantic candlelit dinner with one of them at the hotel's Brasserie S&P restaurant.
What the hotel wants you to do is simply get to the museum and spend an afternoon admiring the warriors—they are 2,000 years old, after all. The package starts at $545/night and, in addition to accommodation in the hotel's recently-renovated guest rooms, also offers special access to the exhibit with two VIP tickets and a catalogue with additional info on Emperor Qin Shihuang and his burial complex (ie, something to peruse while you lounge around your "room in the sky").
UPDATE 2:05pm, A rep for the hotel informs us that the hotel is experiencing some minor delays and will not be opening today. As of now, the Zetta is on track to open later this week.
San Francisco's newest belle opens today in the city's SoMa district, right next to the Powell St BART stop. The 116-room Hotel Zetta is in fact a Viceroy Hotel, and is the latest output from the brand's "Urban Retreat" collection (this is also what will open in New York next September).
The original building that houses the Zetta was actually built in 1913, and the hotel features "reclaimed" decor like a front desk made out of old lumberyard wood, a chandelier made out of old sunglasses, and a "used electronics" art installation that incorporates old cell phones, computer chips and other expired gadgetry that was donated by locals (this is the home of Google and Facebook, after all) last month.
Best of all: the hotel had been keeping quiet about its lobby restaurant (the website still lists an unnamed "exclusive destination restaurant"), but SF Gate finally spilled the beans last week that the venue will be called The Cavalier.
Run by Ana Weinberg and chef Jennifer Puccio, The Cavalier will be a "London-inspired brasserie," with leather banquettes and polished brass giving the place a vintage feel, as well as a "semi-private bar and lounge" in the back of the restaurant named Marianne's, after Marianne Faithful (whom we love). Weinberg and Puccio will also handle the food and drink menus at the S&R lobby bar (pictured). The Cavalier is set to open later this summer.
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If you can’t make it to Shanghai or Hong Kong for Chinese New Year on February 10, all is not lost. From an authentic “Year of the Snake” Cantonese culinary experience in London to an authentic Chinese Carnival in Paris to VIP access at San Francisco’s Chinese New Year Parade, hotels around the world are celebrating Chinese New Year in style.
The Dorchester Hotel in London is celebrating with a special “Year of the Snake” menu at the China Tang restaurant. If Snake Soup with Fish Maw is on your list of most favorite things to eat, then this is the place for you. The restaurant is reputed to have some of the best and most authentic Cantonese food outside of China, so you can bet that Peking Duck and Shanghai Smoked Fish are also on the menu. When you’re finally stuffed to the gills (we couldn’t resist!), then head over to the China Tang Bar for a classic digestif or a contemporary Asian one such as the yummy-sounding Xiao Mi Mi with Bombay Sapphire Gin, fresh ginger root, a slice of orange, fresh lemon juice, cinnamon and orange syrup, and strawberry liqueur.
The Chinese New Year Package is only available on Sunday, February 10 and starts at £1,260 ($1,973) in a Junior Suite.
It's no surprise that Cali is always on the cutting edge when it comes to technology, but even we were stumped when we first heard about Hotel Abri's "iPad wall". We knew it had to be gimmicky in some sort of way, but hopefully helpful, too.
The "wall", which is located in the hotel's lobby, holds five iPads loaded with the latest and best apps out there to help guests tour San Francisco. There's a bunch of best of lists, links to Alcatraz tickets, details on Napa tours, games and more.
Along with the iPad wall, Hotel Abri has a "Tech Menu" for guests who've forgotten important items at home. Need to borrow a phone or laptop charger? They've got it. How about some ear buds, speakers, or a flash drive? Yeah, they've got those for you, too. All for free. Love it so much you want to keep it? They'll sell it to you, no problem.
And of course, your room, with its free 100 Megs of WiFi, will be laced with all the bells and whistles, from the in-room iPod/iPad docking clock radio to the new iPhone 5 adapters (whew!).
Rates at Hotel Abri begin at $279 per night in February.
[Photo: Hotel Abri]