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Hotel Memories / Snapshot / Hotel Toiletries / Hotel Rants / NH Hotels / Hotel Amenities / Bathroom Amenities / → All Tags
Our name is HotelChatter and we are addicted to hotel toiletries.
Designer, cult, no-name motel brands – we can’t get enough. We stash them away every night in our suitcase, so housekeeping gives us more. We check out with bagfuls of the stuff. We haven’t bought soap or shampoo in years.
Hotel toiletries are the first things that always crop up in those articles that always crop up – the ones asking what is ok and not ok to take from hotel rooms. (Spoiler: it’s always the toiletries and stationery that’s ok, everything else is off limits.)
Recently we’ve noticed a decline in hotel toiletries. Smaller bottles. Fewer restocks. A sparser selection of products. Those wall dispensers that, much as we want to be eco, we can’t quite get around to accepting.
We live, of course, us inhabitants of HotelChatter Towers, surrounded by hotel toiletries (a shoebox of soap, one of shampoo and conditioner, one of body lotion). And we tend to grab them without much thought – it’s hard to remember just where that bottle of CO Bigelow came from, after all.
But, spring cleaning this week, we stumbled upon another shoebox full of body lotion – one collected in happier times, around 2006-2008. Perhaps it’s coincidence, perhaps it’s pre-financial crisis, but we noticed that most of these bottles had been personalized to the hotels – and we had a Proustian moment, there in the bathroom, remembering the various trips.
Surrounded by two hectares of grounds in the modern Palmeraie district. A beautiful hammam. Eight beautiful suites, including some freestanding ones in their own pavilions. Like the Pavillon à la Rotonde, which is “romantic and secluded”, “ideal for an intimate getaway” with its “private garden and jacuzzi”. How glorious! Until you come to the booking page, and it describes it as “Poo Suite: Rotonde”.
Yes, of course this is an extremely juvenile thing to be giggling over. But it’s also a serious reminder to hotels to check through every page of your websites, and to keep names uniform across the site – because even if it said “Pool Suite: Rotonde”, we’d be wondering whether that was in fact the Pavillon à la Rotonde we’d so wanted to book.
Snapshot / Brussels Hotels / Novotel Hotels / Hotel Architecture / Accor Hotels / Belgium Hotels / → All Tags
It’s a Novotel, but not as you know it. Because this Novotel is wrapped around the ancient city walls.
It’s the Novotel Brussels Centre Tour Noire, and is built around the Tour Noire – or Black Tower – which was built in the 13th century behind the St Catherine church as part of the original city walls. We’re looking at it here from outside the old walls.
Here's the front entrance:
Snapshot / Hotel Transport / Cape Cod Hotels / Provincetown Hotels / Motels / Gay-Friendly Hotels / → All Tags
How do you like to reach your hotel? By car? Public transport? Chartered helicopter? Or by chariot?
Yup, when we stayed at the Cape Colony Inn in Provincetown MA, we found chariots mentioned in their detailed transportation guide.
Of course, they’re not real chariots – they’re pedicabs. But any hotel with a sense of humor is a hotel for us.
In fact, although the Cape Colony Inn is more of a motel than a posh hotel, we couldn’t fault it. Large, spotless rooms, tasteful – nay, even boutiquey – decor, Keurig coffee machines, and comfortable Simmons beds. They have a pool… and shuffleboard... and, more importantly, great customer service (they actually upgraded us to a two-bedroom suite because we had a terrible cold and feared passing it on to our travel companion).
Our front desk guy has been stressing the importance of great hotel service in the past few weeks but this five-star hotel in Peru is going to the extreme.
The Sol & Luna Lodge and Spa, a new addition to the Relais & Chateaux portfolio in the Urubamba Valley, has hired four former Cirque du Soleil acrobats who perform outdoors on the trapeze and ropes with the views of the Sacred Valley of the Incas in the background.
Yes, it's come to this. Hotel are now so eager to please their guests they have hired people who will literally bend over backwards for them. Guess we can't really complain about that.
Superior Casitas at Sol y Luna, which is 30 minutes from the Inca Rail to Machu Picchu and an hour from Cusco, start at $266 a night and that includes free WiFi.
[Photo: Sol & Luna]
If you’re anything like us, you will frown at this picture of the set up of the “tea and coffee-making facilities” in our room at the Atlas Hotel in Brussels. You will raise your eyebrows, sigh ‘this is exactly what I stooped to when I booked a three star hotel’ and wonder how on earth one is meant to raise one’s pinky when drinking from a plastic teacup.
But then you will realize the genius of the Atlas Hotel’s tea and coffee-making facilities set up. Because it is the set up of dreams for hotel germaphobes. If you have any level of OCD, or worry about housekeepers cleaning mugs with spit/mirror cleaner/nothing, it is for you. Because these cups are replaced – new – after every use.
A moose. On the loose. At a hotel called Antlers. Could this story get any better? Yes, actually, it can. It was a baby moose.
In news that surpasses even Norman the Scooter Dog in cuteness, a baby moose stumbled into the lobby of the Antlers at Vail hotel in, of course, Vail. According to a Colorado Parks & Wildlife spokesman (via CBS Denver), its mother probably abandoned it, then “humans chased it around town and it went into the hotel”. That’s a sad theory though. We prefer to think of it as a prodigiously gifted calf that read the word “antlers” and thought entering the hotel would be some kind of moose rite of passage.
According to the hotel’s Katie Nelson, having escaped from horrible children who were chasing it outside, the baby moose (mooselet?) lay on the lobby floor for 10-20 minutes – so long because the staff initially took it for a dog at this pet-friendly hotel.
It's Friday. You know what you need to get you through the rest of the day? Cat pictures.
So without further ado, here are our current favorite hotel cats. These two, along with one other, reside at the Empress Zoe hotel in Istanbul: a one-of-a-kind boutique pad in Sultanahmet, just below Hagia Sophia.
All three are former street cats who walked in one day and never left. (Istanbul is all about the street cats.) They aren't BFFs with each other; but, luckily for you, they are with the guests. Cuddling opportunities, should you be so minded, are unlimited.
The Sanderling Resort in the Outer Banks of North Carolina has some rather clever culinary presentations that they do for wedding receptions and other events at their beachfront property (check out the I Love Bacon station here.) But with everyone else but us (or it seems like) kicking back on Spring Break this week, we're really loving this Beer Canoe.
Yup, a canoe filled with bottles of beer. So simple and yet so right. The hotel will also do a seafood buffet out of a canoe too. Hello there, lobsters!
More pics below!
We thought the Viceroy Riviera Maya had won the best turndown service award with their plunge pool turndown but another resort in the area may just have them beat.
The Belmond Maroma (remember, Belmond is the new name for Orient Express) does a resort-wide turndown service every night. All around the property, candles are lit--along the walkways, in the lobby, at the restaurants, by the beach and around the pool (above.) Did we mention this happens every night?
The Belmond Maroma boasts a more secluded location than other resorts in the Cancun area, set amongst 25 acres of preserved jungle with the beach and ocean in front of it. Of course, you will pay for this. Deluxe rooms start at $815 a night which includes breakfast, coffee in-room, internet and a welcome cocktail. You may be able to score a slight discount by booking Belmond's introductory offer of 15 percent off standard room rates. The deal is valid on bookings made by June 26 for travel by June 30, 2014.
[Photo: Belmond Maroma/Facebook]
Snapshot / Hotel News / Hotel Hype / Shangri-La Hotels / London Hotels / Hotel Openings / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
About a month from now, Shangri-La Hotels will finally cut the ribbon on its long in the works skyscraper hotel at the Shard in London. Ahead of the May 6 opening, we packed ourselves into a construction lift - high-visibility gear, hard hat and all - for a first look at what you can expect between floors 34 and 52 of the Renzo Piano-designed landmark.
As we heard when reservations opened a few weeks back (opening rates start at £450 / $750), the ground floor lobby facing St. Thomas Street looks nearly finished, but some changes to furniture and set up are still to be made. We saw the sky lobby at level 35, which hits you with head-on views of the City and St. Paul’s, all the way west towards Westminster, the second you step out of the express lifts.
We often gripe about housekeeping barging in on us, even though we've put out the Do Not Disturb sign. We've also been concerned about intruders breaking down our door (the likelihood is low but still) so when we saw this on the back of the door at The Bellagio we got excited. You know, in a hotel nerd way.
The hotel door has both a door lock (turn the handle up like in the photo) as well as a latch. Double the protection. It's especially useful when you're stalling in the room after check-out time. Not that we've ever done that or anything. Nooooooo. Not us.