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If you're not a fan of soccer, or football, and could care less about who's winning or losing in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, then
shame on you, er, that's totally acceptable. But over at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica, Calif., we think you'll find it hard to resist their own clever version of the tournament called, The World Cup of Wine.
The hotel's general manager, Gregory Day, and Master Sommelier, Peter Neptune, have created a wine menu that represents each of the 32 participating countries. Yes, some of the wines were harder than others to secure but as you can see in the menu above, Shutters is serving wine from the Ivory Coast, Ecuador, Mexico, Russia and South Korea.
Now, the way the game works is like this--once a team is knocked out, so is its corresponding wine. Adios Espana!
The hotel will be showing the games and offering the World Cup of Wine menu in their Coast Cafe and Beach Bar throughout the tournament which ends on July 13. Interested in spending the night? Rates start at $468 a night this weekend. Remember: USA plays on Sunday.
[Menu: Shutters on The Beach]
This is home for the Dutch national team in Brazil.
Every time the World Cup comes around, we get another chance to
stalk check out the cool hotels around the host country where the various football teams are staying. (Check out this oldie post from 2006!)
This year, however, the booking site Trivago has beaten us to the punch and has already documented where some of the teams are staying. Who knew Trivago liked thinking about football players laying shirtless in hotel beds more than we do? But we're not here to poke fun. Trivago has done the Lord's work in compiling this list. Here are the highlights:
Wayne Rooney will be laying his newly full head of hair down at the Royal Tulip Hotel in Rio de Janeiro. The hotel is located on São Conrado beach and can host up to 3,000 people in its 418 apartment-like hotel suites. But the team might be distracted by this naked lady.
Team Germany and their hottie coach are spending the hot nights after games relaxing on the coast of Bahia at a property called Campo Bahia. The grounds are completely private so stalkers like us will have to do with hoping to catch a glimpse of Joachim when he heads into the neighboring Toko Village. In the meantime, we'll obsessively refresh the Campo Bahia Twitter feed.
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If you caught the first World Cup game yesterday like we did, you may have noticed a strange advertisement on the board surrounding the pitch. The ad simply said #fryfutbol. No, not #tryfutbol. #fryfutbol. What.the.heck?
It turns out it's actually an ad for, who else?, McDonalds. The fast food chain has gotten in on the World Cup fever by redoing their french fry boxes with 12 different designs. This is the first time the boxes have ever been sold with a different design. And the Brazilian street artist who did the The World United By Soccer design, Eduardo Kobra, recently painted a mural for The Hotel Matilda in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
Kobra painted the hotel's exterior in a "blazing rainbow of colors" during the San Miguel Art Festival and it completely fits the contemporary design vibe of the Matilda. Sadly, the artwork will only remain up on the hotel until the end of the tournament. Here's hoping someone can convince the hotel to leave it up a little longer.
World Cup fans are tuning in for the very first game of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, featuring host team Brazil against Croatia. But down in St. Barth, Le Sereno is reminscing about that time Pelé, the most famous football player in the history of football, once stayed at their property.
Check out this vintage snapshot of Pele in front of the resort sign back in the 1980s. That was when the resort was still going by the name El Sereno. They changed the name in 2006 to Le Sereno, when the resort was bought by its current owners.
The resort is offering a World Cup package that doesn't really include much that's football related, other than a pair of Le Sereno Havaianas. However, there's plenty of relaxation involved, including two mini massages, a bottle of champagne upon arrival, two dinners or lunches for two people and VIP service at SXM airport. You can see the full package offerings here. The a minimum of seven days is required. The total cost for two people start at 3,400 Euros for a bungalow. Goooooooal!
Today's the day the world's been waiting for all year. The 2014 FIFA World Cup kicks off this afternoon with host country Brazil playing Croatia in São Paulo. Even though it's not too late to catch a flight to Brazil for the games, we reckon it's
cheaper easier for you to find a pub on your street with multiple TVs and special World Cup food and drink menus. Or rather, a hotel.
Here's a starting list of hotels that will be showing the World Cup matches while offering international cuisine and cocktails. We'll be adding to this as the games go on.
· The Refinery: The hotel's “Hatbox" venue will play the games on a large projection screen in addition to flat screen televisions with full audio. Entry fee is $5. The venue will open an hour before the games can sip on Heineken, Dos Equis, New Castle Brown Ale and Amstel Light draughts for $5 each.
· The Jade Hotel: The Grape & Vine bar will be playing the matches on a big screen while the bartender will be serving up World Cup inspired cocktails to try including classic Brazilian cocktails, a G&T named after Team England's captain Steven Gerrad, and a Clockwork Oranje drink named for the Netherlands team.
· Pod 51: Gastropub, Pop @ Pod is airing the games while serving up Leblon Cachaça in their World Cup-inspired cocktails such as the Lady in Red ($13), the Funky Monkey ($13) and the cocktail of Brazil, the Caipirinha ($10). Peroni drafts will also be poured on game days ($7 a piece and $30 for buckets.)
· Sheraton New York Times Square: Because Starwood Preferred Guest is a sponsor of the World Cup (through their partnership with Coca-Cola), SPG Members at this hotel can watch the games in a private SPG VIP suite with complimentary beverages and food for two. The cost is 5,000 SPG points. Check out the Sheraton Times Square package here and peruse more SPG World Cup experiences at other hotels here.
· The Hudson: The hotel's Tequila Park will be hosting mini-tailgate parties before each World Cup match with international food and drink (Caipirinha pitchers and a variety of gourmet tacos) and games like Foosball and Cornhole. Then the crowd can move into the Hudson Common room to watch the matches, which will be shown on nine flat-screen TVs and three 100-inch projectors.
· Mondrian Soho: Rooting for Team Italy? Head to Soho's tallest rooftop bar, Sonny's Soda Shoppe which will be offering Peroni beer specials during the games, along with their usual fare of Italian pizzas, gelatos and specialty cocktails.
· The Roosevelt Hotel: The street-level Vander Bar on the corner of Vanderbilt Ave. and 45th St. will be running food and wine pairings until July 13. Best day to stop by would be June 26th from 4 to 6pm when the Vander Bar will have a Leblon food truck outside along with giveaways, complimentary Italian Ice and a foosball table.
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The World Cup may start on Thursday, but for sporty Spanish resort La Manga Club, it aint got nothing on their upcoming summer camp.
FC Barcelona – ie the FC Barcelona – will be running its first official Football Club Camp at La Manga from 21-25 July. Bad news, guys: it’s only for kids aged 7-17.
Messi, Iniesta, Fabregas et al will not, sadly, be around, but each day will include five hours of training from Barcelona’s official coaches on one of the resort’s eight international-standard pitches, as well as lunch and “recreational activities” (which seem to include brushing of teeth – what?). Participants (male and female) will also get training kit and a special diploma. Again: sorry, it’s kids only.
There will also be shirts signed by the team up for grabs.
The price? Quite a bit less than you might expect, actually: €450 per student for the programme, or €950 including accommodation at the four-star Las Lomas Village in the resort (two children per room). If the child comes with their parents and stays at La Manga, they get a 10% discount off the course price.
The 2014 FIFA World Cup kicks off on June 12 and while the extreme football fans will head to Brazil to watch the matches, the majority of fans will settle for catching a couple of games in their local pub or bar. (That's what we plan on doing.) But these Miami-area hotels want you to watch the matches with them instead. Miami--it's kinda like Brazil!
The new b2 miami downtown has put together a b2 is for Brazil! package that gives 25 percent off the best available rate, 15 percent off food and drinks at Biscayne Tavern, the hotel's gastropub concept from Jeffrey Chodorow of China Grill Management; two signature cocktails at the tavern and a World Cup special edition souvenir. The package is available to book online from June 1 to June 15 with rates starting at just $99 a night. (Gotta love Miami in the off season.) Use promo code Brazil to book.
In Miami Beach proper, The W South Beach is offering a Timeout Getaway which includes a two-night stay; an in-room “Create-Your-Own Caipirinha Kit” amenity; special Brazilian themed dishes at the W's The Dutch restaurant; two signature cocktails daily, inspired by the countries of the competing teams in The World Cup and the ability to watch World Cup games from the guest rooms, the Living room and in select poolside private cabanas (those cost extra.) The packages starts at $489 a night and is available from June 12-July 13. Call 1.877.822.0000 to book but you must have seven days advance notice.
Further north in Ft. Lauderdale, the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa has created the "Kick It, Kick Back and Relax” deal that gives guests 20 percent off lowest available rates if you book three nights or more. The hotel will be showing the games on a flat-screen TV at their beachfront bar. Rates start at $207 a night, based on double occupancy. Book by June 5 for travel from June 2 to July 31. Go here to book and use promo code ADR.
Brazil's tourism board recently conducted a study of room rates and concluded that FIFA and its booking agency, Match Services, are jacking up the price of hotel rooms for next summer's World Cup.
Everyone expects room rates to be high during the Cup, but the tourism board thinks it's getting out of control, citing markups of 500% in some cases. What's worse is that the board suspects FIFA and Match are adding their own markup on top of the prices set by hoteliers. And not just a few taxes -- a 40% markup.
"We reiterate that FIFA/Match charges mark-up rates of more than 40 per cent on the amount contracted with the hotel, something that contributes decisively to the increase of the already high rates," the tourism board said in a document obtained by the Associated Press.
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One thing's for sure: The hotels being built for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil are going to be baptized by a fire hotter than the tip of the Olympic torch.
In total, about 16,000 new rooms will be added over the next three years. Obviously the properties need to be built, but don't forget about all the training and management issues that will need to be addressed, as millions of travelers from all over the world land in Rio expecting to be pleased. We already told you how new training was needed as sex hotels are converted to "normal" hotels, and we would imagine prepping to cater to all the world's cultures won't be easy.
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Rio has this hotel shortage for the upcoming events, we know that. The same committee that won the sports event bid for the Brazilian city promised 8,000 additional rooms have arranged for double that amount by the Opening Ceremonies. The 16,000 rooms will be a mix of new properties being built and renovated rooms. 3,500 of those rooms will be former sex hotels that have been cleaned up to attract the world sports fans.
In all, 60 four-hour-'nap' motels will get the once over (at least) saying 'até logo' to the heart-shaped waterbeds, red carpeting and mirrored ceilings in exchange for tasteful and comfy digs. Since the rooms will still be on the smaller side, these hotels can turn into a more affordable option for staying more upscale areas like Leblon.
Not only are the rooms getting redone, even the employees of the hotels will look and sound different. Motel employees are getting special training and language courses to deal with a new clientele. We can only imagine that late night requests for room-service are a lot different after the facelift.
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The 2012 Summer Olympics in London just finished two weeks ago and already the focus has shifted to the hotel scene in Rio de Janeiro for both the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament and the 2016 Summer Olympics. Fortunately, there's some good news. And yes, it will involve an explosion of hotel openings like we saw with London.
The Brazilian sports minister recently assured the sporting world at large that Rio would have enough hotel rooms to accommodate all the visitors who come into town for the World Cup and later, the Olympics. It appears a recent UN Summit back in May in Rio left folks very concerned as there were only 33,000 hotel beds in town to service over 50,000 attendees. Airbnb.com, anyone?
The Dorchester is known for being celeb crazy central, so it's no surprise that it's also the scene of some political drama.
London Mayor Boris Johnson revoked an invite to World Cup-governing FIFA officials to shack up at the hotel's posh suites for free during the 2012 Olympic Games in the city. The suites cost £1,000 or $1,562 a night, and the officials were slated to stay for more than a week.