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While we weren't lucky enough to score a £1 room when the Qbic London ran its recent promotion, we still felt pretty chuffed to find a London hotel for a decent price. We paid £71.10 ($117) for a the lowest-priced "No View - Scratch yer Head" (internal) room (including the 10 percent discount we received as a consolation prize for failing in our bid for the £1 room) and here's what we got.
If you're heading to Miami Beach sometime soon for Thanksgiving, Art Basel, Christmas, New Year's or just a general getaway, you should be aware of some major construction that's going on.
This is the scene along Collins Avenue, home to a boatload of hot hotels. A lane of Collins is ripped up from about 5th Street up to 15th Street. It ends just before The Sagamore, The Delano, SLS, Surfcomber and Catalina Hotels begin. Construction started last June and isn't expected to be finished until sometime next summer. That means hotels along this route--The James Royal Palm, The Loews, The Dream--and many others have front-row seats to the construction and its noisy players.
However, the good thing about the beachfront hotels (The James and The Palms) is that out back they have access to the beach path which you can take instead of walking along the street. Plus, you can get some exercise by renting a bike.
Meanwhile, the hotels along Ocean Drive are construction-free. Well, for the most part. Thanks to constant renovations and remodelings, Miami is never really construction-free.
Photo Gallery / Snapshot / Mexico Hotels / Cabo San Lucas Hotels / Beach Hotels / Hotel Pools / Melia Hotels / → All Tags
While we showed you a quiet alternative in Cabo San Lucas earlier this week, today we're looking at a more lively hotel spot--The ME Cabo. This is where pool, beach and party all come together in a neat little package, ready for you to rip open with life-affirming gusto. But before you go buckwild, we have some important tips to share.
1) Bring your best bathing suit—This is no time to shrink down into your beautiful white Bali bed. The ME experience focuses on the senses and this includes sight, so show what ya got even if you think what ya got ain’t good. Here, attitude counts. With Bali beds for two to eight, sharing and showing a little skin is what it’s all about.
2) Wear your party hat—Nikki Beach Club, known worldwide as party central for house music revellers, can be found right at ME Cabo. We’re talking bikini dancing here, folks. There’s a DJ spinning tracks in an open-air booth while the Nikki Girls (that’s right) try to get the crowd moving to the beat of the electronic drum. Make sure to try the Nikki Mojito, the signature drink Bacardi approached Nikki Beach to create and is found at all Nikki Beach Clubs.
ME Cabo also knows how to throw a good party at Passion, their indoor/outdoor club and lounge. When the music dies down at Nikki Beach, Passion gleefully takes the baton. We were there during the annual Halloween party (if you can, we recommend you try to go during a celebration of some sort as well) and it was packed with both guests and locals. To best describe the vibe that night and the well-dressed or well-costumed patrons, imagine a big-city nightclub owned by Salvador Dali. (We’re digging what you’re thinking right now.)
We scoped out the construction site yesterday hoping for some sneak peeks at the rooms or public spaces but the construction crews were still removing parts of the old Sahara and putting in newer foundations. Various parts of the buildings are also trying out some paint jobs and the entire site is wrapped in banner ads for the restaurants, bars and retail coming to the SLS (Umami burger! Fred Segal!)
Still, we won't be able to see much happening on this hotel for another few more months. Don't worry, if something does happen, VegasChatter will be all over it.
You know us. We love to be one of the first people inside a new hotel and that's what we're doing at the just-opened Downtown Grand hotel in downtown Las Vegas. The hotel has been soft-opened for about 10 days but it's official opening in 11.12.13. (See what they did there?)
The Downtown Grand has transformed the old Lady Luck into an "industrial chic" hotel and casino. But perhaps more importantly, DTG has also helped revitalize the block surrounding the property, nicknamed Downtown3rd, adding several restaurants across the street from the hotel. We were so impressed with the hotel's stylish boutique look and innovative eatery options, we almost forgot there's a 25,000-sq.ft. casino here too. This seems to be the way of Vegas these days with revenue from gambling constantly shrinking while revenue from shopping, restaurants and nightclubs keep growing.
But enough about that. Now onto the guest rooms at DTG....
One of New York's finest, Lou Reed passed away last weekend at the age of 71. Since his passing the Hotel Chelsea -- immortalized in Chelsea Girls, which Reed co-wrote and Nico performed -- has been the site of pilgrimage for fans wishing to pay their respects. Little bouquets of flowers, hand-written notes, and photographs have all sprung up at the entrance to the hotel, which is currently closed to guests while it undergoes renovations led by King & Grove... and nothing will ever be the same again ...
We haven't quite managed to get a peek inside the 285 guestrooms of the recently opened, Stonehill + Taylor-designed NYLO NYC, but we have, at least, checked out their lobby bar, which goes by the name of LOCL.
We stopped by on weekday afternoon to find plenty of available seating at all four of the bar's differently styled areas. First there's the sidewalk café, accessible through a large glass garage door:
Then there's the library,stocked with locally appropriate books and a chess table; the main bar is surrounded by exposed brick and metal, and finally, there's the piano lounge, filled with chairs and sofas of different colored fabrics and a bright red piano -- that's where we settled in.
Earlier this month, we wrote about 13 Things You Wish Didn't Happen in Hotel Rooms and now just in time for Halloween, here comes another hotel gross-out: a rat found its way into a guest room and chewed a hole in a take-out box.
A terrified NYC hotel guest sent us this picture, saying:
Here is take out container from Cookshop the night before. Found it in the morning with a little hole in the container with shredded bits. Sadly no picture of the mouse. Saw this, packed up and left right away. Hoping that no rat poop in my open luggage set beside the table. Will have to check later.
The guest alternated between telling us it was a rat and a mouse. But given that NYC has a rat problem, we're gonna go with that.
We're working on confirming the authenticity of this story, just in case this isn't some creepy Halloween prank but until then, stay safe in your hotel rooms. Perhaps, don't leave any food out overnight.
[Photo: HC tipster]
In our opinion, the jury is still out on all-inclusive resorts. Sometimes we love them, and often we hate them, but one thing's for sure: we never expect a memorable gastronomical experience when we stay at one.
We are happy to report, however, that our recent stay at the all-inclusive IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Paraíso, on Mexico's Riviera Maya, might help sway our opinion. The hotel has four restaurants (Japanese, Italian, French, and a steakhouse -- strangely no Mexican), two buffets, and six bars. We ate well and we ate often.
But in this digital age where everyone with a smartphone is taking pictures and uploading them to various social media outlets--is it even possible for this rule, er, request to be enforced? We took a quick look on Instagram and found a few photos of the pool scene but nothing too stalkerish. We even saw a photo of someone posing next to this sign.
So maybe people are obeying the No Photos rule after all. (Also, whoever can tell us WTF a harp was doing in one of the guest rooms, we'd very much appreciate it.)
Of course, we had to flaunt the rules ever so slightly to snap this shot of the cute, pink, To Go boxes from the Cabana Cafe. Inside lies a McCarthy Salad...for $30. But it's still cheaper than the $500+ a night room rate.
Design Thursdays / Snapshot / Photo Gallery / Hotel Design / Hotel Food / Hotel Restaurants / Europe Hotels / Estonia Hotels / Tallinn Hotels / → All Tags
Summer was a busy one for this HotelChatter editor as I traveled up the Baltic coast and finally found myself in the cobbled medieval marvel that is Tallinn. There I popped into the Savoy Boutique Hotel to have a look around. What I found was a 44-room property that can best be described as "romantic" (and I don’t use that word lightly).
The lobby is full of sumptuous textured fabrics and comfy seating areas, making you feel as if you're visiting a wealthy family friend’s 17th-century estate. Walls are sienna-colored painted plaster complementing the floral bouquets in the lobby. When you arrive to check-in, you’re handed a house cocktail made with cucumber juice, sparkling wine, lime, and a touch of sugar for sweetness.
Get a peek inside after the break!
While he can't say that he's overly religious, a recent stay at Martin's Patershof, a church that was converted into a hotel in Belgium, has Wake thanking the lord.
This 2008 conversion project came with a series of fantastic stipulations, mostly surrounding the fact that they could not alter any of the original church structure when building the hotel. This means that the alter, stained glass, and curved architecture could not be removed or compromised. In fact, the hotel had to be built using a removable steel frame with absolutely no changes to the exterior shell whatsoever.
The result is a hotel with tremendous personality and beauty. None of the 59 rooms are the same, their shape and windows dependent upon where it is located within the church walls. We loved walking in and seeing the way the stained-glass window lit up our room. The ceiling swooped with the arch of the roof, showing off a dome-like ceiling and epic columns. The dining room was probably our next favorite aspect as it incorporated the old alter as the mother of all centerpieces. As you can see from the photos, the strict regulations resulted in a masterpiece.