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Did you know it was Repeal Day? Sadly, we got through this whole entire Hump Day without being none the wiser. A tragedy, to be sure. Not that we haven't been loving autumn cocktails, we're not completely out the loop, ya know.
But, all is not lost. It's dinner time on the East coast, and the West Coast hasn't hit quitting time yet, so there's still time for everyone to take advantage of today's festivities. But, first, we'll clue you in on what Repeal Day is, just in case you didn't know.
To make it short (obviously time is of the essence) back on this day in 1933 Prohibition was ended in America after 13 years of (supposedly) dry living. Americans celebrated the "Repeal" of Prohibition by basically drinking their behind off. It has been celebrated every December 5th, since.
So in recognition of this "holiday", we guide you to some hotel bars that we think are serving some choice spirits.
The first 100 rooms have been stripped of the “Art+Tech” design, left over from the time Le Méridien managed the hotel, and have now changed their stripes.
But, let's have a reminder of what it looks like today, shall we?
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Deals: you want 'em, and surprisingly, everyone has 'em. Today, we've got a few to tickle your fancy before we unveil our Fall Package Specials next week! As usual, don't forget to tell us about your stay!
·The Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix has an “Autumn Enchantment Package” that promotes reduced room rates, a complimentary night and other extras such as breakfast for two daily, and a reduced resort charge of $10 from $28 (which entitles you to WiFi, fitness center and putting course access, and more). Rates begin at $279 per night with the 3rd night free (3-night min). Use booking code "Autumn" when reserving online or call 800-950-0086.
Air Tahiti Nui has a few five-night value-season packages starting at just $1949 per person, double occupancy. One option:
Magical Moorea with Tahiti! ($1949 pp)
Includes five nights on two islands
•Round-trip airfare from Los Angeles to Papeete on Air Tahiti Nui
•One night in Tahiti at the InterContinental Hotel Resort Tahiti in a Standard room
•Round-trip ferry transfers to Moorea
•Four nights in Moorea at the InterContinental Hotel Resort Moorea in a Lanai room
•Daily breakfast for two
•Welcome flower lei, all transfers and all taxes
Must be booked by October 31, 2012, for travel from November 1 to December 14, 2012 and January 7 to March 31, 2013. Reserve through 800-217-3300 or through Air Tahiti Nui.
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Just before the summer, we looked at the many things Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts has up its sleeve, with places as far and wide as Jerusalem, Panama, and Berlin welcoming this luxury brand of the Hilton group in the next few years.
This month however it’s time for Edinburgh, where the historic Caledonian hotel reopened its doors after a £24 million ($39 million) overhaul, and officially became The Caledonian, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
With over a hundred years of history, the restoration seeks to bring back the origins of The Caledonian as a luxury railway hotel. Marble flooring, a sweeping staircase, and the vast chandelier you can see in the picture above dominate the reception and lobby. In a nod to its famous New York sibling, the Peacock Alley is the central meeting place of the hotel and the spot to have a drink or meet for afternoon tea.
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There's even more hotel news flying around this week and we don't have time to give each and every story the love and attention it may deserve, so you will have to settle for some news briefs.
· It's Ok to Be a Geek at This Hotel: There's a new hotel coming to Minneapolis and it's going after geeks. The Commons Hotel will open on 10.11.12 and according to this press release the vibe is "industrial schoolhouse chic." Whatever that means! There will also be a Geek Chic suite and nerdy stay and play experiences and amenities such as alchemist mixology lessons, Book Butlers, Sudoku sleep-ins and a scholarly shopping shuttle for museum shop hopping. More brainiac diversions to the nearby University of Minnesota campus are also planned and even sports fanatics will find ways to indulge at the new hotel. The website is up and running here but rezzies won't begin for another few weeks.
· The Waldorf-Astoria in Panama Gets an Official Name: We already knew that Hilton was taking its luxe Waldorf Astoria brand to Panama but today they let us know that the 248-room hotel will officially go by the name Waldorf Astoria Panama. We like it. Simple and easy to remember. The hotel will open on January 1, 2013 with rates starting at just $219 a night.
Waldorf-Astoria Chicago (formerly The Elysian)
Lately, we've been wondering about what the Waldorf Astoria brand of Hilton Hotels have been up to (c'mon, that's just what we hotel geeks do in our spare time) but when we started snooping around, we were surprised by just how much is happening in the next few years.
Let us break it down for you now. Spoiler alert: it doesn't involve more $16.80 hotel rooms.
Way back in April 2008, we first reported the addition of a Jerusalem property, with only a few months later some local word on construction having been started to transform the historic Palace Hotel, which dates back to 1929.
The projected 2010 opening was not quite achieved, but the 220-room luxury hotel is now aiming to welcome its first guests on March 5, 2013. Details on the hotel website are a bit slim, but refer to two restaurants and a lounge, and two spas, complete with fitness center and pool.
Summer's nearly here and if you're a parent that means you're on the lookout for fun places to take the kids. Yup, once you're a parent, your vacation plans are pretty much ruled by the little ones.
However at the Boca Raton Resort and Club in Boca Raton, Fla. there might be a way for both you and the mini-tyrants in your life to have a good time. The resort's Boca Beach Club just unveiled their very own Random House Kids Library.
The custom-made library features more than 100 titles including books from Dr. Seuss and Stepping Stones collections. These books are accessible to kids who enroll in the beach club's Camp Boca program but they can also be borrowed by families at no extra cost during their stay.
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In its earlier days as The Elysian, the Waldorf Astoria Chicago was originally designed with the little black dress and Coco Channel in mind. On a recent visit, we were happy to see that none of this changed when The Elysian became the Waldorf Astoria this past February.
There’s the sunburst-shaped lobby chandelier inspired by a Channel brooch, touches of black in the furniture and artwork (really beautiful stuff hangs on the walls here), Tiffany-esque analog clocks on the bedside tables (a nice break from iPod madness), and everyday objects somehow beautifully amplified against muted backdrops.
But the crème de la crème was discovered in the bathroom beyond the shower door, where a simple nook in the shower wall sang out like a choir of angels.
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Here's a tale that's sure to warm your hearts on this dreary Friday morning, and then perhaps make you a little jealous: a New England couple that's been married for 60 years just celebrated their anniversary at the Waldorf-Astoria, the same place they spent their wedding night in 1952. The price they paid back then? $16.80. The price they'll pay this weekend on their anniversary visit? $16.80.
Apparently, old lady Waldorf has a policy of charging only the original room rate for returning guests who are celebrating a special event. According to the NY Daily News, who wrote Wednesday's piece on the New England couple, about two or three couples make use of the perk every year.
Which tells us there must be plenty of happily married couples out there who have a super cheap stay waiting for them at the Waldorf-Astoria, and who aren't making use of it. But we know someone who might be interested in taking the reservation off their hands...(us!)
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Barring the possibility that you're a former President—or that you don't mind spending $10,000/night—then you've likely never caught a glimpse of the Waldorf-Astoria's Presidential Suite. Why? Because until recently, the hotel has never allowed photography inside the suite.
Lucky for us, the NY Daily News has taken on the oppressive task of video touring the entire space—from gleaming top (the crystal chandelier in the master bedroom) to well-polished bottom (the black-and-white tiled bathroom floor).
Now, the goods are out in the open for all to see. So, what do you think?
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Remember the guys who brought you the sperm-shaped urinals at Trump Panama? Well, in the spirit of our recently-launched (and super hot topic-y) 2012 Master List of Hotel Openings, we were a little curious to see what else the design wizards at HBA had cooking on the stove.
Though their total project list spans 21 properties, a few in particular stand out: Four Seasons Guangzhou, Park Hyatt Hyderabad, Sheraton Fuzhou, and Waldorf-Astoria Ras Al Khaimah are all places we'll be keeping a close eye on as they gear up for their respective 2012 grand openings. We love nothing more than unique, well-executed, culturally-relevant design, and these places have it all.
Though we can't quite make out the white sculpture at the far end of Park Hyatt Hyderabad's atrium (above)—some sort of cat? or god?—we love the scale of those high black marble columns and curvy chandelier over the low rounded bench below. Proving, once and for all, you don't need urinals with tails to really make a lobby pop.
Waldorf is wiping the Elysian name from every nook and cranny, starting with the front entrance sign and then working their way up into the guest rooms to include the stationary, the bathrobes and literally anything else that says Elysian on it.
The good news is that the Chicago Tribune reports that pretty much everything else inside the hotel, as well as all the services, will remain the same.
What will stay the same is nearly everything else that has cemented the hotel's reputation for refinement: heated cobblestones in the courtyard, staff members who greet guests with platters of Evian bottles and a stunning, sunburst-shaped chandelier in the lobby modeled after a brooch by Coco Chanel.
That should please all those TripAdvisor members who voted the hotel the best in the U.S. If you're looking to be the first to stay at the Waldorf-Astoria Chicago, room rates start at $395 on February 1.