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We've started a series of what’s trending in hotels these days: What’s Out, What’s In. Do we like what we see? Think it's a dud? You be the judge!
What's Out: Trekking to the hotel gym
What's In: In-room workouts that rival a personal training session
The hotel gym. We know people use ‘em, but sometimes it’s hard to find that last bit of energy needed to drag yourself out of your room after a busy day of sightseeing or making deals. Or maybe you’re just jet-lagged and are up at 3 a.m. thinking, “Man – I could really go for a workout right now.” At these hotels, the gym comes to you.
Dorchester Collection’s new contemporary hotel 45 Park Lane in London offers you an exclusive in-room workout with fitness guru and trainer to the stars, Matt Roberts, through a bespoke and full-body in-room video program. The hotel committed to get fit during the London Olympics and got Matt to create five workouts, each video focusing on a different area of the body using the furniture at hand. (We’re not suggesting they’re copying us here at HC, but sort of like our Sweat-Worthy Hotel Room Exercises series we brought you about a month or so ago.)
When you leave you’ll also get a freebie Matt at 45 Park Lane Fitness Pack which includes step-by-step training techniques for beginners through pros, a healthy eating plan, and “in the know” tips from the trainer -- things only Matt Roberts and Naomi Campbell knew till now.
At Raffles Praslin Seychelles space is your friend if you want to have an in-room workout. In the privacy of your own 410 sq ft (minimum) villa, with a vast outdoor terrace looking out over the ocean, you can do as many Sun Salutations as you want without bumping into the furniture. All villas already include a yoga mat and, at your mere request, the resort will deliver a fitness kit consisting of a dumbbell set, skipping rope, stability ball, resistance band and a selection of exercise DVDs. If that’s not enough to get you going you can arrange for an in-room personal trainer to take you through your paces with a customized exercise program.
And don't forget, HotelChatter's Sweat-Worthy Workouts: Can't afford to hire a personal trainer to come to your room? Or more likely, are you staying in a property that doesn't have a gym or in-room fitness videos? We've got you covered with our five sweat-worthy workouts, all of which you can do in your hotel room. Watch the videos for instructions on the different body parts to work out. You're very welcome!
Two more fitness-crazed hotels below!
Believe it or not, the W Singapore-Sentosa Cove has opened, after only one delay! Originally scheduled to debut in August, the 240-room resort on Sentosa Islandjust a teensy ways away from Singapore's Central Business Districthas just barely cracked its doors open.
This marks the 43rd W hotel for the brand, and it's not about to shirk on the extras. Think a 1,300-square-meter WET outdoor pool with 24 underwater speakers, complimentary guest cabanas, a swim-up bar and a groovy "lighthouse" structure. Even Singapore's official flower, the "Vanda Miss Joaquim" orchid, will have pride of place as a running design theme throughout the entire hotel, inside and out.
Airport hotels get a pretty bad rap. Sure, there are the greasy, grimy ones, but we like to think that for every one of those, there's a perfectly clean business-friendly oneor, even better, an airport hotel with the luxury of an airport view. All this week we'll be taking a look at a few of our favorite hotels for plane spotting.
Detroit-Metro Airport (DTW) consists of two terminals; this is important to know because they're far apart, with separate freeway exits and everything. For plane spotting, you'll want to hit up the larger, newer of the two: McNamara. At the center of its 70+ gates is the Westin, with easy access to the in-terminal tram and its own TSA security lane and everything. It's pretty nifty.
You gotta hand it to Starwood. When it comes to partnerships, they certainly know how to align themselves with the right brands to make people really sit up and take notice (a few that come to mind: W and Instagram, Westin and Amazon, Aloft and Bud Light...oh, and Pitchfork).
Back in April, St Regis made a lot of guests happy by ordering fleets of the new Bentley Continental Flying Spur model to be "stationed" at their hotels around the world. Now, St Regis New York has decided to take the partnership one step further by creating a dedicated Benley Suite. And it's taking reservations for next month.
Not a photo of the W Milan (it's the W Chicago Lakeshore), though we don't doubt Milan will have its share of paparazzi snaps soon enough
It's crazy to think that in a city where the Armani Hotel, Maison Moschino and Hotel Bulgari fill their beds with the fashion-foward set year-round, that a W Hotel hasn't claimed a single cobblestone as its own.
Oh waitwe take that back! The W Milan has announced that it'll be opening in the Italian metropolis as soon as May 2013 and guess what? It'll not only be the first W in Milan, but the first W in the entire country of Italy. Che meraviglia!
Male or female, everyone can admit to doing a doubletake after passing the front of an Abercrombie & Fitch store, though it's not always for the reason the company would like. Forget the stupid A&F-branded clothes that are nothing more than an international symbol for douche and forget the fact that they spray their nasty cologne out onto the streets; the doubletake is all about the abs on the men who stand sentry at the store entrances...and now even Hong Kong has them.
This month, HK gears up to welcome its very first Abercrombie as 110 A&F male models wander the city, manning promo events and otherwise just touristing around, posing for photos.
What happens when you combine food- and water-deprived cab drivers with a well-stocked hotel kitchen eager for some good PR? Mayhem, most likely. But that's not stopping Starwood from going ahead, for the third year in a row, with its "Iftar For Cabs" program, which offers free packaged meals at sundown to any cab drivers who have been fasting for Ramadan.
30 Starwood hotels across the Middle East will be dispensing the prepared packs of iftar, which is traditionally the first meal eaten at sundown after a long day of fasting. Understandably, things might get a little frantic around the lobbies of these participating hotels—you might want to play it safe and stagger your dinner reservation accordingly. Or simply order room service.
Have you ever been to the Four Seasons Bali Jimbaran? If yes, then you're likely smirking at the memory of an over-the-top stay at one of the best hotels in the world. If no, add it to your hotel bucket list tout de suite. Or don't…since right across the street there's a new construction site which, in October of this year (yeah we'll see about that), will become the new Le Méridien Jimbaran Bay.
We did a little spying on the property recently while on our way to the excellent fresh seafood warungs (casual beachside eateries) of this south end of Jimbaran Beach, and though the hotel's newest, largest buildings are still very much in the concrete-and-rebar stage, it's quite obvious that the resort's proximity to these restaurants and the wide, calm beach itself will be the top selling point.
In total, the property should total 139 suites in the renovated Ristia Resort. There's not much other information available, not even photos on the official Starwood site, but we do know that the property will feature a lagoon-style pool and a 3-story restaurant and bar with a top terrace specifically designed for taking in the famous Bali sunsets.
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Kopi Luwak. Sound familiar? You've likely heard it mentioned in a documentary or by your coffee snob friend, because this "Kopi Luwak" stuff is well known to be one of the rarest, most expensive coffees in the world (and it used to be the rarest).
Luwak coffee owes all these superlatives to how it's produced: an Indonesian civet (like a possum) eats a certain type of coffee berries. Its digestive system digests the meat of the berry, adds enzymes to the bean inside, and then poops out the bean. These beans are then collected, cleaned and sterilized, roasted and ground into coffee powder.
Kopi Luwak is definitely one of those bucket list items; actually we believe it's even featured in the movie "The Bucket List." Go figure.
At coffee shops around the world, occasional bags of the rare stuff find their way into stock, going for $40-$60 per cup. In Bali, Indonesia however, the "cat poo coffee" is far easier to come by and you can even find individual baggies of the powder for $2. The W Retreat and Spa Bali, being a fancy schmancy hotel, both offers it on their bar menu and marks it up to 120,000 IDR ($13 per cup).
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We don't have to tell you that we're pretty crazy for the social photo sharing app Instagram and its potential for peeking into the hotel rooms of other travelers. This week saw the launch of Instagram for Android and now, more good news:
The W Hotel Times Square will open New York City's first Instagram photography exhibit on May 1. On display in the hotel's Living Room lobby area through June, the photos consist of works from five of the most popular Instagrammers in the Instagram NYC community. BUT! There's still a opening for one more, thanks to a contest of course. The details:
If you've ever flown through Detroit-Metro Airport, then you'll know that the place is crawling with Delta Airlines jets and jumbos. It is one of their hubs after all, but the constant aviation activity at DTW means one thing for guests at the on-site Westin Hotel: awesome, interesting room views.
The hotel knows they're a plane spotters dream, with large windows facing right out to boarding gates, so the rooms feature chaise lounges placed right where you'll want to lounge all day and all night, provided you aren't just catching a nap between connections.
Aloft launches its second Latin American hotel this month with the opening of Aloft San Jose in Escazú, close to the Juan Santamaria airport. Though Aloft Bogota opened last year, this is the company's first location in Costa Rica. The budget, easy-in-easy-out appeal of Aloft must have outweighed its flashier big sister, W when it came time for Starwood to decide which brand to introduce.
A quick TripAdvisor search reveals that until now, Escazú has boasted little in the way of hotels. While Real InterContinental Costa Rica and Marriott San Jose are both viable options (and also both boast killer spa servies) $149/night rates will make Aloft very attractive to cost-conscious travelers.
And all the usual Aloft trimmings (w xyz bar, re:fuel snack station) are here. The website is also showing photos of a "backyard" space with tables and chairs—since we know how much Aloft loves its social butterfly guests...