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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).
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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:
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It's that time! In addition to this month's crazy deluge of Leap Year packages, we have another big event on our radar: the Oscars. We whetted your appetite with a look at our favorite movie set hotels last week. Now, here are some classy joints to watch the awards ceremony. And the nominees are...
It's all about the popcorn at Loews Hotels, which will be offering a special Red Carpet Room Service package for this year's Academy Awards at three properties around the US: Loews Regency (starting rate $229), Loews Philadelphia (starting rate $199) and Loews Vanderbilt (above, starting rate $209). The package comes with a free in-room movie, $25 food voucher, and, of course, hot buttered popcorn delivered straight to your door. Yes.
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In case you didn't know, Leap Year is a big deal to lots of hotels. For some reason, that one little extra day thrown into the calendar sends them all into fits of benevolent joy, and results in all kinds of cool deals and packages. We mentioned a few last week, but here's another round for you February jetsetters to take into consideration.
Possibly one of the best deals out there is at the Inn on the Alameda in Santa Fe, which is offering complimentary one-night stays to anyone born on February 29. Sadly, that doesn't include us, but if you're one of the chosen ones, consider a longer stay with their foodie-centric packages like "Muy Sabrosa Cooking School" and the awesome-sounding chocolate sampler.
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."
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For beauty-products-loving ladies, the FAA's 3-1-1 rule puts a serious crimp in their style. Not to mention that gadgets like hair dryers and straighteners take up a lot of precious luggage real estate. To help these style-seeking women out, German Hyatt hotels and the Park Hyatt Zurich are offering Hyatt for Her, a new in-room beauty service.
As part of Hyatt for Her, hotels offer a hair menu as well as a manicure-pedicure and blow-dry room service so you don't have to lug products and equipment with you when you travel but still get smashing results.
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.
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Do you use Hipmunk.com? All the cool people do. And by "cool people," we mean us, because we just had a resounding success with our first hotel booking on the travel search website. Hipmunk recently began as another way to search for affordable airfare, but their creative methods of doing so caught our attention quickly. Even more recently, they've added a hotel search option to the site, where their smiling chipmunk mascot is all about finding you a hotel stay by "ecstasy," or price combined with location and ranking.
Ours was not an easy challenge. Find us a cheap hotel nearby the airport in Zurich, Switzerland. Zurichnay, all of Switzerlandis one of the notoriously highest priced vacations you can take. 5-star hotels average $1000 per night. Crappy 3-stars hover around $250 per night, and there's a chance they won't even have WiFi or a flatscreen TV. Nonetheless, our fingers were crossed. We wanted under $150 and nice.
iPads, be damned, we're loving our stroll through print land and our ongoing look at a dying hotel amenity--The Hotel Magazine. Sure, most hotels stock their guestrooms with the trendy magazines of the day or at least place some localized publication on the desks but there are actually a few hotels out there that still publish their own magazine. We've got our hands on a few copies of these rare breeds and we'll be documenting our finds for you here. Know of a hotel magazine we should see before it goes out of print? Send it to us!
Most of the Hotel Magazines we’ve reviewed recently have been brand-wide publications but not the hefty, glossy Baur Au Lac Views magazine. All 144 pages of this fancy publication are for the reading pleasure of guests staying at the ultra-swish Baur Au Lac in Zurich.
Its $50m renovation is now complete, and the hotel—and its magazine—is keen to strut about and show it off.
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Planning an Autumn get away? Do you aspire to head to Zurich, Switzerland? Then the "Autumn Aspiration" at the Dolder Grand might be up your alley. The package offers guests a savings of 30 percent at this luxury five star "city resort" just outside the city.
Included in the Autumn Aspiration are:
·Two nights in a Double Room Superior
·Continental breakfast in the Garden Restaurant daily for two people
·One 60 minute Kerstin Florian massage per person at the Dolder Grand Spa
·One three-course dinner for two people in the Garden Restaurant (excluding drinks)
We've kicked off our Summer Cocktails series where we profile fun new summer drinks that hotels are making. Got one we should know about? Send us the recipe with a photo of the drink. Otherwise, enjoy and @reply us when you're wasted!
This is one delicious-sounding drink which mixes crème de framboise and raspberry puree with vodka – and has a fantastic Swiss touch by using pieces of white chocolate (Swiss, of course) to make the Swiss flag on top. You can get it for 18 Swiss francs (about $16) at the Terrasse rooftop bar, which means you sip away while looking over Lake Zurich.
The folks at Baur Au Lac are generous enough to suggest recreating the cocktail in your own home if you can't make it all the way to Zurich, or can't afford the starting-at-$750 room rates, but we think it won't taste quite the same outside Switzerland.
Zurich: it’s properly smoking at the moment. Not only was it voted the world’s most livable city last month, and not only have the likes of Cyndi Lauper and Mick Hucknall just been playing the Dolder Grand’s mini festival. Now, the uber-posh Baur au Lac back in town is about to complete a $50m renovation.
The restaurant which only used to be open in the summer will now be taking orders all year round, 32 rooms have been expanded into 22 suites, junior suites and deluxe rooms, and they’ve thrown in a rooftop patio looking over the lake for good measure.
Fixtures-wise, all rooms now have flat-screen TVs, iPod docking stations and WiFi book a suite, and you’ll get a Bose sound system thrown into the mix as well. As well you’d hope, given that doubles start at $756, and junior suites $967. Let’s just hope the WiFi's free, yeah?