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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: Seaweed facials
What's In: Facials with gold, diamonds and other sparkly things
Diamonds and other precious metals and gems are sparkly and luminous; why shouldn’t your skin be the same? See what the hotel spas below are doing to make your skin radiate with good health.
The Dorchester Hotel in London offers the Carol Joy London Diamond Facial. Following ten years of research and three years of development, Carol Joy London products are created with some of the most precious beauty ingredients around (who knew that Golden Millet Oil was like pure gold?).
This intensive facial includes exfoliation with a diamond-head contraption that is said to be gentler than the traditional crystal ablater (we just like that word –- it sounds kind of bad-ass). While that’s going on, you’re being blasted with an Oxyjet machine that produces 95% pure oxygen to cool and soothe your skin and stimulate collagen production. The result? A firmer, clearer and more glowing you. The price for beauty, in this case, is £205 ($279).
Hotel Renovations / Hotel News / Swissotels / Geneva Hotels / Switzerland Hotels / Hotel Design / → All Tags
Swissôtels has recently revealed the first of its new “signature rooms” at Geneva's Swissôtel Métropole in the city's shopping and business quarter and close to the Old Town. Twelve rooms in total have been renovated for the launch of this category that focuses on design and comfort, with some pretty nifty tech advances, too.
Naturally, being a Swiss brand, the design follows an alpine motif as inspiration, including parquet wood floors and--the show stopper--a colorful wall that's reminiscent of Swiss Alp mountain flowers. Sounds delightful, doesn’t it? The exclusive wallpapers for this scene were designed for the hotel by renowned Swiss textile manufacturer Jakob Schlaepfer, who supplies luxury fashion houses such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Vivienne Westwood with material goods.
Then there's the good stuff for hotel tech geeks out there.
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Today we start a new weekly 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: Generic flower aromas
What’s In: Bespoke signature scents
Hotels are getting personal with their smelly goods. More and more they’re looking to give you a local scent experience as soon as you walk in the door or when you’re executing your nightly ablutions. Capitalizing on the strength of olfactory memories, they’re partnering with local scent companies to choose unique aromas that embody the spirit of the hotel and give it a sense of place.
Here are just a few examples:
Hotel Openings / Switzerland Hotels / Preferred Hotels / Preferred Hotels & Resorts / Ski Hotels / → All Tags
Ah, Gstaad. Maybe you too have fond memories of swooshing down the mountainside, hiking in the hills, sipping on Glühwein or hot chocolate, and eating fresh raclette cheese. It’s all good. But now, it's even better because for the first time in about 100 years, there’s a new luxe hotel opening: The Alpina Gstaad.
This 56-room Preferred Hotel is a real beauty -- think big stone fireplaces, pine interiors, cozy nooks, timber peaked ceilings and spectacular views of the Alps. No two rooms are exactly alike and, although beautifully-designed, also have plenty of quirk (just wait until you see the cowbell bedside lamps!)
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Recent snowfall in Colorado and Utah have kicked off an early ski season sparking a storm of deals and packages from resorts across the country. It's not uncommon to see early-bird discounts this time of year, but it appears there's an extra bit of excitement after last year's flop of a season.
It seems every mountain resort imaginable is offering some sort of bargain, whether it's ski and stay discounts, kids ski free, or complimentary hotel nights, so check around before checking in.
Here’s a sampling of some of the best deals from major areas in the US and a few from afar:
Winter Park, Colorado: This local favorite owned by the city of Denver rewards guests who book a five-night stay ($169/night) at the Vintage Hotel before December 12th with a free season pass. The resort puts icing on the cake with a snow guarantee - previously booked nights can be rescheduled if snow conditions are not up to your liking.
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When we posted your hotel check-in rituals, some commented on Twitter and Facebook that ordering room service is the first thing they do when settling in. We're a bit nosy, so we asked a few hoteliers and Food & Beverage folks what y'all are ordering--hoping there would be some extreme weirdness going on like anchovies on PB&J. But, bearing a little skepticism about the guest who asked for live tarantulas, you're just like us! You love a simple club sandwich. You crave a grilled cheese! Our mini-survey shows your faves.
Hyatt Regency Atlanta: Folks love to order the strawberry-stuffed French Toast, a breakfast dessert that is a Southern quiet riot made with brioche, toasted pecans, fruit, and sea salt.
Beau-Rivage Palace, Switzerland: Europe can be such a complex place, and this Lausanne, hotel shows us that their guests demands are no different! The most popular items? The pricey duck foie gras terrine at CHF 39 ($40.10) and on the complete opposite spectrum, chicken nuggets at CHF 18 ($18.50)!
Tucked away in Fürstenau, Switzerland (about a two hour drive from Zurich), the Schloss Schauenstein Hotel has been passed down since medieval times among bishops, barons, artists and scientists. And in 2003, it fell into the hands of chef Andreas Caminada, who subsequently decided to set up a hotel and restaurant, using the same medieval name—which roughly translates as "lock looking stone," a reference to the original lock and weir system of the adjacent river.
As for the rooms? Simple, spacious, still slightly medieval, and soooo cute.
We were seduced by this photo, taken by a recent guest, of one of the bathrooms in the hotel. The wooden rafter beams reaching just inches above the shower stall somehow combine the hotel's medieval history with a clean, contemporary look. And the simple floorboards, we must say, are a refreshing change from the granite and tile we have become almost sick of in more modern places. No mood lighting here, but no need either. Between the sparse wooden staircase and the see-through shower, the mood is pretty much already set.
Ski Hotels / Europe Hotels / Winter Hotels / Ski Resorts / Luxury Hotels / France Hotels / Austria Hotels / Switzerland Hotels / → All Tags
While it's possible to find passable skiing conditions any time of year, depending on location, it's winter time that ski aficionados spend the year anticipating with zeal. Europe, with its bounty of snowy climes, is home to some of the world's best and most exclusive ski chalets—locations that provide near perfect powdery conditions for "woosh-wooshing" downhill.
We've sussed out some of the continent's most luxurious ski hotels for this feature; they're places you can kick back with spiked hot cocoa if you so choose, yet still get you up close and personal with slopeside action. Take note, Jonny Moseley-types.
The Novotel near-ish Zurich Airport
"Airport Hotel" may be dirty words, but thankfully many European cities have understood the need for affordably priced, safe and comfy hotels alongside their international airports. One of the cities lagging behind, however, is Zurich; despite its huge air traveler numbers and popularity with flight crew, its airport-area hotels are loosely located and a surprising few offer free airport shuttles. There's just the Radisson Blu SAS adjacent, with rooms that begin at $255 per night. For an airport hotel. That's Switzerland for you.
Or not. The latest news from Business Traveller gives us major hope for a ZRH future: "Billed as 'the first global location with the ambience of a small town and the synergies of a big city.' The Circle at Zurich Airport will be located adjacent to the airport and will be designed by Japanese architectural firm, Riken Yamamoto & Field Shop."
The Hotel Bellevue is that little round building
Here at HotelChatter, we frequently talk about hotels with unique pools, hotels that push the limits with luxurious service, and even hotels which claim to be "world's tallest" or "world's fanciest schmanciest," but today we're discussing something else entirely: a hotel precipitously perched atop a Swiss mountaintop.
Hotel Bellevue is literally tops; it calls the Swiss Alp Mount Pilatus home, and sits some 2,132m (7,000') high. Get your reservations for their 24 rooms in early, because this hotel is sought after for its ridiculously awe-inspiring views, plus it's only open from March until December.
If you want to check into a cool-looking Bollywood suite, you'll have to visit, um, Switzerland. The Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa in Interlaken has a new suite dedicated to famous Indian film director Yash Chopra.
It isn't as random as it seems; the director has shot a number of his movies in Switzerland. Bollywood fans will want to stay in the 915-square-foot Yash Chopra Suite—which comes with a living room, bedroom and two bathrooms—to gaze at framed posters from the director's romance Veer-Zaara on its walls.
To quote Shakespeare, "What's in a name?" Well, a whole lot apparently, if you take the word "Savoy" as a study. What adjectives do you associate with "Savoy?" Something like luxurious, expensive, opulent, exclusive or classic should come to mind, and most of the blame for that goes to London's Savoy Hotel, a grand dame that's reigned over the city and been known throughout the world since it opened in 1889.
Alas, there are other Savoy Hotels, and we happened across another five-star last month in Zurich, Switzerland. The Savoy Baur en Ville is a good option for the city, with free WiFi and an awesome location right off the main Bahnhofstrasse.
It's not affiliated with the Savoy of London; it's just another hotel that borrows the historic name and makes it work. Luckily this one can get away with it; the Savoy Baur en Ville rooms begin at 400 CHF ($432) per night for a single, or 690 CHF ($746) for a king-size bed. We're quite sure you can find rooms at London's original Savoy for less! But then again, this is Zurich, banking capital of the world and whatnot.