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Snapshot / Hotel Rooftops / Hotel Rooftop Pools / Hotel Pools / Killer View / NH Hotels / Buenos Aires Hotels / → All Tags
Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires. You can see it from the ground, a little dirty, a little noisy from the traffic, and sometimes even a little alarming, thanks to the anti-Falklands/pro-Malvinas encampment in there. You can hold onto your bag like there’s no tomorrow, and take a photo of the Casa Rosada through the metal barriers that may or may not be up.
Or you can see it from on high, in your swimsuit.
Hotel Service Charges / Hotel Service / Snapshot / London Hotels / Belgravia Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Hotel Bars / → All Tags
Service charges – a topic that’s been in our minds on HC recently. The ethics of room service charges got us all wound up the other week, but what about normal service charges – the type that get added automatically to your bill, before you can say whether or not you wanted to leave a tip?
Automatic gratuities are becoming the norm in London now, with 12.5% the normal whack (apart from our funny little friends at Belgraves who automatically add 15%, thank you very much). For reference, 10% is what one would normally tip in London.
But here is the genteel way to present your service charge:
Snapshot / Buenos Aires Hotels / Argentina Hotels / Budget Hotels / Affordable Hotels / Room Mate Hotels / → All Tags
When is a Room Mate not a Room Mate? When it’s your Argentinian Room Mate.
This is the lobby of the Htl 9 de Julio (a proper millennial name, if ever there was one) in Buenos Aires. At least, that’s what the sign on the door says. But inside the building, it’s a different story. The signs in the elevators? Room Mate hotels. The floorplans? Room Mate. The emergency exit and bathroom signs? Room Mate.
Snapshot / Hotel Rooftops / Hotel Rooftop Terraces / Killer View / Montevideo Hotels / Uruguay Hotels / Boutique Hotels / → All Tags
Ignore the Simpsons-style clouds, and have a look at the architecture. Pretty nice, right? Even nicer when you consider where this is: the Ciudad Vieja of Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay.
There aren’t many hotels in the Ciudad Vieja, and there are even fewer with rooftop terraces. But this is the view from the Alma Historica Boutique Hotel, which opened a month ago in a historical mansion on Plaza Zabala, the tranquil, second square of the old town.
It’s cold in Bosnia Herzegovina at the moment, really cold. In Mostar on New Year’s Eve, when we snapped this photo, there was a wind chill of 17 farenheit. Which made it difficult to get out into the Old Town and see the famous, and tragic, Mostar Bridge, a UNESCO World Heritage area.
Luckily, from our room at Villa Anri, we could sit inside and see the bridge – the reason we were in Mostar in the first place – from the comfort of our room.
Burma Week / Burma Hotels / Myanmar Hotels / Mandalay Hotels / Snapshot / Hotel Bars / Hotel Rooftops / → All Tags
Mingalabar! All this week we've been focusing on one of the fastest changing hotel scenes on the globe: Burma, or Myanmar. (For Burma or Myanmar, see here - as fence-sitters, we'll be using the two interchangeably throughout the week.) We’ve already covered your hotel basics, and looked at Yangon: its most expensive hotel, its most historic hotel and its weirdest. Today, we're moving north, on the road to Mandalay.
This looks like a river, but it isn’t just any river. This is the Irrawaddy River, one of the most evocative names in the world (the Mississippi, the Danube, the Nile, the Irrawaddy, etc etc) thanks to the likes of Rudyard Kipling, who referred to it as the Road to Mandalay.
This is the view from the rooftop bar and restaurant at the Ayarwaddy River View Hotel in Mandalay, Burma (the river bisects the country; Ayarwaddy is the current government's spelling). Myanmar’s second city, Mandalay is far more frenetic and modern than Yangon. Stay in the city center, as we did our first night, and you’ll probably wish you hadn’t come. Staying on the Irrawaddy, however, is like sleeping in a different city.
From the rooftop – and from the river-facing rooms – you can see fishing boats, trawlers, and the little cruisers going up and down to Bagan. You can see people washing in the mornings, and the sun setting over the hills in the afternoon. In the evening, look out the other side at the city – there’s a lively temple right behind the hotel.
This is an instance when you’re really paying for location – our entry level room was $100, with a city view (a river view would have been $20 more). The room itself was basic, three star standard – definitely not on a par with other $100 we stayed at in Myanmar. But the location was everything, and hey, they throw in a free ‘traditional’ puppet show on the roof every evening.
Yesterday, we gave you a brief look at the first AC Hotel by Marriott to open in the U.S. We'll have more on the rest of the property and the AC experience next week but we thought we'd leave you with this snapshot of a staple breakfast item at all AC Hotels going forward--croissants.
The buttery, perfectly flaky breakfast pastry is served daily in the AC Kitchen along with other sweet and savory fare, as well as the all-important coffee. (You can get it hot or iced.) But these aren't any old croissants. The dough was made in France, frozen and shipped to New Orleans. It is near perfection. (Perfection is obviously a croissant made and eaten in Paris.)
Breakfast at the AC Kitchen costs $14 for all you can eat. There's no lunch at the kitchen but in the evenings, the adjacent AC Lounge serves up small plates alongside specialty cocktails. We'll have more on that next week as well. Stay tuned!
Another day, another hotel welcome drink. A pineapple milkshake, since you ask – so far, so blah.
But wait, what’s that on the coaster? Ah yes:
ZERO TOLERANCE & SLEAZE FREE ZONE
NO SEX TOURISTS, JUNKIES, LOUTS & OTHER DEGENERATES
Of course, this isn’t the first time the Atlanta has warned you of its guest policy. “SEX TOURISTS NOT WELCOME,” shouts the homepage. “Visitors who object to any of The Atlanta's policies or who intend to spend their time in Thailand whoring, behaving badly, indulging in alcohol abuse and illicit drugs should stay elsewhere,” says the long caveat page. The message is repeated on the email confirming your reservation. And if you hadn’t got it by then, this is what greets you beside the front door:
There is no shortage of killer hotel views in Las Vegas, especially at night, but give us a room where we can admire the Strip from the comfort of a warm, bubble bath and well, that's almost as good as winning the jackpot. Almost.
This is the view from room 528, a Parlour Suite at The Cromwell Hotel, the boutique hotel which opened in May (Previously, the hotel was the old Bill's Gambling Hall.) The suite has over 700-sq.ft. of space with a living/entertaining room that has a small kitchenette and a powder room as well as a bedroom with a large bathroom. The tub, however, is placed in the corner of the bedroom so that it overlooks the Strip. Smart thinking.
Just remember, the windows work both way so you might be putting on your own Jubilee! show for the guests over the way at Bally's.
Next week, we'll have more on what it's like to spend the night at The Cromwell. But if you can't wait, the Parlour Suite is going for $869 and $889 a night this weekend. It drops down to its normal rate of $609 on Monday.
Disclosure: Juliana stayed at The Cromwell as a guest of the hotel.]
While staying at the Sheraton Suites in Kansas City, Miss. the other week--our first Sheraton Suites experience actually--we came across this disaster scenario in our suite with the microwave cord stretched across the sink to the outlet.
We know that any capable adult would take extreme precautions when running either the sink or the microwave in this scenario but still, this is a fire/electrocution hazard just waiting to happen.
Not helping is that we spied a torn off cord of some other kind on the other side of the room as well.
Despite the fear of electrical shocks, we didn't mind the rest of the room, even though it was rather outdated and rather expensive for what it was (over $200 including tax.) The bed was a super comfortable Sheraton Sweet Sleeper bed and the Shine products in the bathroom were excellent. They even came with a little shower poof.
We also liked the complimentary bottled water for Starwood Preferred Guest members and that there was free WiFi in the guest rooms and the lobby. But having the wires carefully tied up and put away would have been a nicer touch.
Snapshot / Hello Kitty Hotels / The Line Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / Hello Kitty / Sweet Suites / Hotel News / → All Tags
We are kind of at a loss for words right now. We just went into the Hello Kitty Suite at The Line Hotel in Los Angeles and it is all kinds of super kawaii.
The suite was created by a team of designers and artists led by Line designer Sean Knibb in honor of Hello Kitty's 40th birthday, which is also being celebrated with the first official Hello Kitty Con at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Downtown LA, starting tomorrow. (Knibb was the vision behind the t-shirts on the ceiling at check-in at The Line.)
But there's so much more.
Once again, hotels are going all out for Breast Cancer Awareness month, offering up pink cocktails, pink sheets, and pink-themed room packages.
Yet while we love the pink passion that hotels have this month (especially since costs for your pink hotel purchases go to a breast cancer awareness charity), we're really in love with this giant pink bra that's been hoisted upon the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans.
The 12-foot-high, 25-foot wide, 300-pound pink bra was constructed by artist Jonathan Bertuccelli of Studio3 inc. on behalf of the breast surgeons at The Omega Breast Center at The Omega Hospital in Metairie. It was raised up onto the hotel's exterior by crane on October 15, which was National Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day.
But the bra will get its moment to shine tonight as it will greet hundreds of breast cancer survivors who will be honored tonight at The Pink Gala, hosted by Omega Hospital and New Orleans Living Magazine, at the Windsor Court Hotel.
The bra will stay on the hotel until October 20. If you're in New Orleans, hurry by to see it!
[Photos: Windsor Court Hotel]