Tag: UK Hotels

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Marriott’s Autograph Collection Expands Its Royal Reach Into the UK

April 19, 2013 at 11:32 AM | by | Comments (0)

The raison d’être of Marriott’s Autograph Collection is to provide not just a place to lay your weary head, but to give you an experience based on different themes like Culinary Delight, Artistic Getaway, Urban Excitement or Sporting Adventure. (For added fun, you can visit their Facebook page and have your autograph analysed to see which theme suits you best. It was shockingly accurate.)

Now they’re bringing that concept to the UK for the first time with the addition of two upscale hotels: Threadneedles in London and The Glasshouse in Edinburgh.

Threadneedles is set in the heart of the Square Mile, the original site of the Roman settlement that started it all. Being in The City, you’re close to St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Borough Market and the Tower of London.

The hotel is in a former Victorian bank and blends the traditional with the contemporary. The lobby is dominated by an elaborate stained-glass dome from 1856 and the hotel has a see-and-be-seen restaurant and bar for the business crowd, Bonds. For those of you who have really latched on to the theme idea, you’re looking at Urban Excitement, Culinary Delight, Wedding Celebrations and Historic Explorations at this boutique hotel.

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What's Out, What's In: Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend

April 18, 2013 at 4:30 PM | by | Comment (1)

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).

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Kaspar Tells No Seafood Secrets From The Savoy London. Get It?

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  Site Where: Strand, London, United Kingdom, WC2R OEU
April 12, 2013 at 12:46 PM | by | Comments (0)

The Savoy in London, managed by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, is launching its new Art Deco restaurant concept on Thursday, May 2: Kaspar's Seafood Bar & Grill. By naming it Kaspar’s the hotel is keeping alive one of its most celebrated (and superstitious) guests.

Here’s the story: In 1898, South African diamond magnate Woolf Joel held a dinner at The Savoy for fourteen guests and one cancelled at the last minute. The dinner continued, but one superstitious guest announced that death would come to the first person to leave the unlucky table of thirteen. Joel took that gamble and a few weeks later he was shot dead in Johannesburg.

To avoid a repeat performance and damage to its reputation, The Savoy offered a member of the staff to sit amongst tables of thirteen thereafter. However, unable to discuss private matters or tell ribald jokes, this proved to be unpopular with guests and thus, in a stroke of genius, Kaspar the cat was born.

This three-foot sculpture of a cat was made in 1926. For 90 years , The Savoy has been happy to oblige parties of thirteen with Kaspar's company, where he wears a jaunty napkin around his neck and is given his own place setting to enjoy every course.

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What’s Out, What’s In: Your Roots Are Showing

March 21, 2013 at 6:37 PM | by | Comments (0)

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: Hotel-recommended city tours

What’s In: Hotel-led cultural immersions

Hotels are taking a lead in ensuring guests remember that they’re actually in a foreign city when they travel. Except for some solid holdouts, gone are the days when you walk into your hotel in Amsterdam, say, and you could just as easily be in Istanbul or Portland. Whether through design details, cuisine or cultural tours, hotels are proudly showing their roots.

The Fairmont Kea Lani Maui offers guests a full gamut of authentic Hawaiian experiences led by the hotel’s full-time Cultural Coach. Not only can you explore some historical sites, you can learn the basics of Hawaiian paddling and the canoe's importance to the culture, the uses of native and non-native plants by the Hawaiian people, plus the history of the Hawaiian language, which you can then try to pronounce what seems to be unpronounceable. Rates at the resort start at $519.

The Goring –- the hotel with the Royal Warrant –- is launching their High Days and Holidays walking tours. Six tailor-made tours, all celebrating special occasions (or High Days in London-speak), were designed by Art History UK’s founder Rose Balston. Art’s on the menu but, as Rose says, “Think juicy tales, conversation, challenging ideas and plenty of hidden corners of London, past and present…” We’re talking tours that include dragons, pagan rituals, ghosts and treason. Does it get any better? Rates for the package start at 595 GBP ($902).

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London Travelodge Rolls Out Joke Toilet Paper

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  Site Where: Cambridge Heath Road, London, United Kingdom, E2 0EL
March 19, 2013 at 12:10 PM | by | Comments (0)

To celebrate its first hotel above a comedy club, Travelodge has rolled out a "loo laughs" campaign at London's new 131-room Bethnal Green location in hopes of keeping its guests entertained at all times. That's right -- there are jokes and cartoons on the toilet paper.

The idea was inspired by the hotel's position on top of British comedian Lee Hurst's Backyard Comedy Club, but it was also backed up by a bit of data. Travelodge ran a survey of 2,000 Britons that revealed 49% of them like to read on the loo.

Based on what we've seen, it doesn't appear they got much professional help with the joke writing, despite its location. The two samples we've seen haven't exactly been side-splitters. For example, Why are men better than dogs? Because they have only two muddy feet to walk into the house. Or, worse: How many men does it take to change the roll of toilet paper? We don't know... it's never happened. Oh, dear.

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Rosewood Hotel Slated To Open In London This October

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  Site Where: 252 High Holborn, London, United Kingdom, WC1 7EN
February 28, 2013 at 9:55 AM | by | Comments (2)

We love it when whispers of a brand new hotel arrive in our inbox, especially when it’s a bit of a surprise and the opening isn’t light years away. Yesterday, Rosewood Hotels (of The Carlyle New York and The Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas) gave us just that with the announcement of Rosewood London, due to open this October.

The hotel will open in a 1914 Edwardian Belle Époque building on High Holborn road, just northeast of main tourist draws such as Covent Garden, Soho, and Leicester Square. A dramatic entrance will be easy to make, coming through the wrought iron-gated carriageway into an arrival courtyard, and immediately inside is a seven-story marble staircase sweeping through the historic building.

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Celebrate Chinese New Year With These Three Luxury Hotels

February 8, 2013 at 3:18 PM | by | Comment (1)

If you can’t make it to Shanghai or Hong Kong for Chinese New Year on February 10, all is not lost. From an authentic “Year of the Snake” Cantonese culinary experience in London to an authentic Chinese Carnival in Paris to VIP access at San Francisco’s Chinese New Year Parade, hotels around the world are celebrating Chinese New Year in style.

The Dorchester Hotel in London is celebrating with a special “Year of the Snake” menu at the China Tang restaurant. If Snake Soup with Fish Maw is on your list of most favorite things to eat, then this is the place for you. The restaurant is reputed to have some of the best and most authentic Cantonese food outside of China, so you can bet that Peking Duck and Shanghai Smoked Fish are also on the menu. When you’re finally stuffed to the gills (we couldn’t resist!), then head over to the China Tang Bar for a classic digestif or a contemporary Asian one such as the yummy-sounding Xiao Mi Mi with Bombay Sapphire Gin, fresh ginger root, a slice of orange, fresh lemon juice, cinnamon and orange syrup, and strawberry liqueur.
The Chinese New Year Package is only available on Sunday, February 10 and starts at £1,260 ($1,973) in a Junior Suite.

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The Fanciest Doggy Hotel Ever (No, You Can't Stay, Too)

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  Site Where: The Old Rectory, Fakenham Magna, Suffolk, United Kingdom
January 24, 2013 at 5:01 PM | by | Comments (0)

We already know one HC editor who’d have a few choice words to say about this place that's just come to our attention. After all, he didn’t hold back when the subject of pampered pups came up before.

But with the picture above and the name House of Mutt? It would have been all over. Shut down. Eyeballs outta the building.

Yet we were intrigued about this “five-star luxury hotel for dogs of distinction”. A place for pets who need to relax from the “pressures of modern life”. But, it also seems that humans use this spot as an alternative to kenneling when they themselves are going on vacation. That makes feel a tiny bit better that dogs aren’t getting better treatment than us.

But wait. They are. Now we're kinda mad.

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The InterContinental London Park Lane Unveils Its Royal Suite

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  Site Where: One Hamilton Place, Park Lane, London, United Kingdom, W1J 7QY
January 24, 2013 at 9:34 AM | by | Comments (0)

London's Goring Hotel may have recently received a seal of approval with its Royal Warrant (gosh, we're still having a hard time with that name), but the InterContinental London Park Lane has its own special royal nod of recognition, too.

Sitting on the site of Queen Elizabeth II’s former childhood residence on Piccadilly, the hotel has just unveiled its Royal Suite, with queenly design elements tastefully scattered throughout, and a view over the Royal Parks, no doubt filled with Royal Squirrels. Heh.

Like most things royal, this suite is a bit complicated. We'll explain. But first, how about some photo gawking?

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Tune Cuts The Ribbon (and Rates) On Its First Scottish Hotel

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  Site Where: 7 Clifton Terrace, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom, EH12 5DR
January 17, 2013 at 9:00 AM | by | Comments (0)

In a first for the hotel chain and for Scotland, Tune Hotels opened up their first Scottish property last week welcoming thrifty travelers in the city to check out the umpteen castles, Edinburgh has to offer. It's a first for Scotland and a first in the new design for the hotel chain.

Last summer we told you of plans to bring the discount chain to Scotland, and now everything is official. The brand brings to the city, a la carte pricing for which they have become famous. Want towels? That's £1.50 extra. Room cleaning? £7 per day. Ability to watch some TV? £3 per day.

For those that can plan in advance, you'll see the cheapest rates. Room rates start at £25, but will skyrocket as the cheap rooms sell out. On a recent search in April, we found a double room without windows for £50 ($80) and a room with a view for £80 ($128). Once you start adding any normal hotel amenities, the price is comparable to local hotels.

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UK Novotels Ready For Rainy Season With Toy Chests

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  Site Where: Various Hotels , United Kingdom
January 14, 2013 at 11:57 AM | by | Comments (0)

If you have ever stayed in a hotel with children, you can only pray that the weather is nice enough to ensure the kids are not cooped up inside and, ultimately, annoying any and all adults in the hotel. Novotel UK comes to the rescue with special Rainy Day Toy Chests overflowing with toys to keep everyone from going stir-crazy.

All 30 Novotel properties across the UK, understand the weather can sometimes be grey and rainy ruining excursion plans. That's why they partnered with Hasbroto supply the toy chest in their family rooms with My Little Ponies and Transformers to keep the kiddies entertained during inclement weather. And just to ease the entire family's frustration, the chests also have family boardgames and active games to tire the little ones out.

Along with the toys, children stay free (breakfast included!) when accompanying parents or grandparents. If a shared room is too close for comfort, the hotels will offer a 50% discount on adjacent rooms for those under 16. This along with in-room Cartoon Network and video games and it sounds like Novotel has a winning combo for families.

[Photo: Novotel]

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Pipe Down! Premier Inns Install Noise "Meters" For Loud Louts

November 28, 2012 at 9:47 AM | by | Comment (1)

Allow us to introduce you to the newest passive-aggressive way hotels are attempting to cut down on loud guests: Noise detectors that let you know when it’s time to quiet down.

Premier Inn – a predominately UK hotel chain that offers discounts/refunds to guests who don’t get a good night's sleep – has installed the meters in the corridors of 620 of its hotels to crack down on late-night noisemakers.

“We asked our teams to come up with ideas about how we could reduce noise from other customers and they came up with some really novel innovations,” Chief executive Andy Harrison told the Daily Mail. “We tried giving rowdy guests lollipops when they come into reception after a night out to keep them quiet.’

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