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If hotel occupancy begins to plummet next fall, we might know who's to blame---the Fox TV show, American Horror Story. The creepy show has announced its "theme" for its next terrifying season, which will be "Hotel." (Last year's was "Freak Show.") And no, we don't think it will be about some fancy luxury hotel. It will be a straight-up haunted spot. Also, Lady Gaga plans on joining the cast.
Huffington Post reports that the show could be based on the famed Garden of Allah, a legendary hotel on Sunset Boulevard, which opened in 1927 and was pretty much the Chateau Marmont of Hollywood's Golden Age, where famous people went to get into trouble. (Coincidentally, Chateau is across the street.)
Today it's home to a bank, a McDonald's and a Subway but nearly a hundred years ago, it was just starting out as a hideaway for many actors and creative types like Marlene Dietrich, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Humphrey Bogart and Orson Welles.
The hotel was demolished in the late 1950s but you can still see a replica of its ground at Universal Studios in Orlando. That's where we snapped this shot.
No word on what type of character Lady Gaga will play but we don't think playing an eccentric, possibly possessed, hotel guest would be a stretch.
The Bachelor / The Bachelor Hotels / Bali Hotels / Hotel Butlers / Reality TV Hotels / TV Set Hotels / → All Tags
We presume the butler set up the Fantasy Suite for each girl, shaking his head all the while.
Last night's episode of The Bachelor reconfirmed that the Fantasy Suites at The Mulia Hotel and Mulia Villas were one of the most exciting things we've seen from a destination this entire season. Although, we are still appalled that they held a rose ceremony in a Balinese temple. #NotOk.
As we mentioned yesterday, the suites at the Mulia Hotel and the villas all come with 24-hour butler service. And boy, did Chris Soules really like it. Here is his take on the butler service, which he shared on his People Magazine blog:
This season of The Bachelor is undeniably one of the best seasons in "The Bachelor" franchise.
The producers have propped up a mumbling, bumbling but very good-looking farm boy from Iowa while at the same time unleashing some of the craziest, funniest, strangest and most beautiful women upon him. Ok, that doesn't sound like that much of a variation on the tried-and-true Bachelor formula but still, it makes for very good TV.
But unlike other seasons, the drama has been unfolding in some of the most unexciting destinations and hotels. So far, the crew has only been to Los Angeles, Santa Fe, South Dakota, and Dubuque and Arlington, Iowa. True, the Hilton Santa Fe was pretty but the Deadwood Holiday Inn was not. We hardly even saw the Hotel Julien in Dubuque.
Then when Chris visited the girls hometowns in Shreveport, Chicago, Phoenix and somewhere in Nebraska, things remained fairly unglamorous. The only exciting thing we saw from any of the hometown destinations was an alligator in the swamp in Shreveport. Unless you count the no-name motel where Jade squirreled away to show Chris her Playboy video shoot. Eek.
However, the ho-hum trips should all change tonight when Chris takes Whitney, Becca and Kaitlyn to Bali and the possibility of a night in the Fantasy Suite comes up. Here's where the ladies and Prince Farming will stay:
The new TV show, "Jane The Virgin" is not just the answer to the prayers of "Ugly Betty" fans, who have been in mourning since the show went off the air a few years ago. "Jane The Virgin" is also extremely clever and funny, yet unabashedly apologetic about its soapy premise.
That premise involves Jane, a virgin who's about to get engaged, getting accidentally inseminated by a distracted gynecologist, who just happened to use her brother's last surviving sperm which he had frozen before his chemotherapy treatment. (It's the brother of the gynecologist, not Jane's. No one is ready to see a show about accidental incest. No one.)
Further complicating matters is that Jane happens to work for the brother, named Rafael, and they even shared a kiss once upon a time. Obviously, her fiancée is not pleased. About the baby and about her job working for the baby's daddy.
Meanwhile, Jane's mom, a wannabe singer, has recently been in bed, er, in touch with Jane's father, who Jane has never known about. And Jane's father just happens to be a big time novella star of a show that Jane is addicted to watching. Ay, Yi, Yi!
But for us hotel nerds, we like a different kind of drama in play on, and off, the show.
The first episode of the new season aired last week (on Fox at 9pm EST) and saw the drastic renovation of the worn down Meson de Mesillia in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where the owner, Cali, was forcing her lounge singer aspirations on the hotel guests and staff.
Thanks to new furniture and decorating from show sponsor, Overstock.com, Ramsay helped make some significant improvements to the property, introducing a fresh breakfast buffet and a modern pool scene. He also gave the owner a no-nonsense smack down about her singing, even putting her microphone on ice, literally, in the freezer.
The owner was grateful for Ramsay's intervention...eventually.
Gordon Ramsay is once again going into run-down and mismanaged hotels across America and berating owners for their piss-poor management skills. The second season of Hotel Hell is set to air on Fox on July 21 at 9pm.
We covered Ramsay's last adventures episode-by-episode here at HotelChatter back in late 2012 and it was full of drama--some of it real and most of it producer-created. Since Ramsay worked with small, independently-owned and run properties, there were quite a bit of problems to deal with from old, dirty rooms to poor F&B options and dismal service.
But Ramsay essentially copied his M.O. from his other TV show, "Kitchen Nightmares"--which is to go nuclear on nearly everything he finds wrong--and took the owners and managers to task for their mistakes. However, he did occasionally find a struggling worker who really wanted the hotel to succeed and did what he could to lift them up (either financially or spiritually. Well, as much as Ramsay can be spiritual.)
Last week, we were dismayed to hear about Johnny Jet's bad experience while staying at the Ojai Valley Inn during filming of the cheesy dating show, The Bachelorette. A five-star hotel should definitely not shaft its guests just so a production crew and reality stars can film the perfect shot.
But is there really a way where a hotel, its guests and a TV or movie production crew can all get along?
One HotelChatter commenter thinks so. He writes:
Hassle can be minimized. I've been on both sides of this type of situation. Years ago, I was Night Manager of a hotel where a movie was filmed. I had guests complain because they couldn't access the health club, indoor pool, or spa because of the movie. That was horrible because my hands were tied. I couldn't kick the film crew out; and, discounting the room didn't do much to mollify guests who expected to be able to use the hotel amenities.
Occasionally, I work on some of the TV shows shot here in South Florida. A few weeks back, we filmed in the lobby of one of the hotels in Ft. Lauderdale. The production did a great job of not inconveniencing guests. While guests were prevented from walking across the lobby, that only happened during the shot. And, the longest any guest had to wait was about 4 minutes. Since guests could stand and watch the scene, no one seemed to be bothered.
Here's the latest happening in the luxury hotel world as told by Just Luxe's own Lena Katz. Got a question about luxury hotels, the travel biz, and where to stay? Send it in and we'll have Lena answer it.
We’re huge fans of the IFC sketch comedy show "Portlandia", for so many reasons: It taught us interpretive canoe dancing is totally a real thing and reminds us that the dream of the 90s is alive!! (btw, that’s the theme song’s catchphrase.)
Downtown Portland's Hotel deLuxe, which was featured in the recent episode “Squiggleman,” just announced a "Pilgrimage to Portlandia" package that incorporates goodies seen in past episodes. The Art Deco hotel is a 130-room artsy urban haven from the Provenance Hotels group.
Here are some perks you'll receive with their themed package:
Reality TV Hotels / The Layover / Celebrity Chefs / Anthony Bourdain / Toronto Hotels / Canada Hotels / TV Set Hotels / Sex Hotels / Trendy Hotels / Baseball Hotels / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / → All Tags
Anthony Bourdain is back for another season of “The Layover”, and we like it because he names the hotels in the cities where he'll be spending his precious time. We figure, he won't be laying his salt-and-pepper head just anywhere, after all, he's big time now.
So, for entertainment and a dose of travel value, we’ll give you some details on the properties he picks, just in case you find yourself looking for a place to stay in a city that’s sanctioned by this travel personality/chef.
Layover Hotel Episode 5:The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto: This advice from Bourdain: "If you're traveling for work and want to stick your accounting department with unpaid bills for your swank accommodation, you should probably stay at the excellent Ritz-Carlton." He goes on to big up their comfortable beds and ability to get "a good steak" on the premises. Top praise for this hotel located in the middle of the city's financial district that also commands top rates beginning at 545 CAD ($543) in the dead of winter.
Reality TV Hotels / The Layover / Celebrity Chefs / Anthony Bourdain / Brazil Hotels / Sao Paolo Hotels / Theme Hotels / TV Set Hotels / → All Tags
Anthony Bourdain is back for another season of “The Layover”, and we like it because he names the hotels in the cities where he'll be spending his precious time. So, for entertainment and a dose of travel value, we'll give you some deets on the properties he picks, just in case you find yourself looking for a place to stay in a city sanctioned by this travel personality/chef.
Layover Hotel Episode 4: Censiv Motel: "Is there anything more lonely and twisted than checking into a love hotel alone?" That's the question Bourdain asks about São Paolo's Censiv Motel, known as one of the city's most popular "love motels". You know the place--a no tell, motel where you stay for a night, or just a few hours.
Perfect for a layover of any sort, really.
Hotel Packages / Fairmont Hotels / Dallas Hotels / Texas Hotels / Hotel Tours / TV Set Hotels / → All Tags
Some of us are old enough (gulp) to remember the evening soap Dallas which began in the 1970s and ended in 1991. In it, that darn oil-rich Ewing family was always getting into trouble, but boy, did they live life to the fullest. However, if you happen to be one of the lucky ones who doesn’t remember the original show, you, too, can become a believer: We hear that the new version of Dallas has just been renewed by TNT for a second season.
To celebrate, The Fairmont Dallas wants you to try out the Ewing lifestyle with their "Dallas Oil Baron Experience” package. With the recent news of Larry Hagman's passing, maybe this is a way to let folks honor the 81-year-old actor's most memorable character, so we say, "go for it."
The package offers a minimum of two nights’ accommodation in a Fairmont Gold Room; access to the Fairmont Gold Lounge with its complimentary breaky and afternoon appies; a private tour for two of Southfork Ranch – the Ewing family’s abode; champagne; and a ride in a chauffeured BMW to Neiman Marcus for some shopping therapy. And because you’re special, you even get a signed copy of the Neiman Marcus Taste cookbook as a memento of your weekend of wealth.
Rates for the “Dallas Oil Baron Experience” package start at $469/night. Oh, and don’t forget your cowboy boots. The hotel doesn’t say they’re necessary, but if you’re going to walk the walk….
[Photos: The Fairmont Hotels and Resorts]
Celebrity Scoop / Reality TV Hotels / British West Indies / Anguilla Hotels / TV Set Hotels / Hotel Snapshot / Caribbean Hotels / Resort Hotels / → All Tags
Anybody catch last night's Real Housewives of Atlanta on Bravo? If so, you might have noticed the gals were far, far away from their Georgia digs, and kicking back at a luxury resort in the British West Indies.
Ani Villas in picturesque Anguilla was the stunning backdrop to last night's drama-packed episode. The luxury property is all private butlers, private chefs, and private speedboat transfers from the St. Martin airport. Name any amenity required for a luxury getaway, and they've got it.
But this is reality TV, so the minute the Hurricane Housewives touched down in the tropical paradise, the drama began to unfold.