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Right now, a prediction: there will come a time when hotels begin to supplement their exterior signs with their social media presence. It's already happening in a way at the Andaz 5th Avenue, where their side doora showplace for mural artist collaborationsincludes a plaque with the Twitter account (@Andaz5th) and a hashtag for any tweeting or instagramming about the artwork (#tbdart).
Still, for now we just want to draw your attention to this, the newest door mural. It's "Up in Arms" by Brooklyn artist Daniel St. George, and we're kind of in love with it.
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Hotel de l'Europe
Amsterdam has many fine hotels with many fine hotel bars inside and with the Andaz Amsterdam coming online soon, there’ll be yet another one to check out. Until then, here are the top two hotel bars that you should visit on your next trip to Amsterdam.
First up, Freddy’s Bar at the recently-renovated Hotel de l’Europe in the heart of the city’s old town. This comfy and tasteful bar is a modern version of Amsterdam’s traditional brown cafe – a relaxed watering hole where one can linger for hours. The original brown cafes -- many still exist -- got their names because of their dark wood interiors (we hear that that may have something to do with years of nicotine staining but we prefer not to think about that). Freddy’s Bar models the same dark wood interior, albeit without the nicotine stains.
Hotel de l'Europe
The namesake of Alfred Heineken a.k.a. Freddy, the bar is classically styled, with dark forest green leather club chairs, brown marble tabletops, walnut wood floors, copper-colored window coverings and burnished gold touches. While you’re admiring the interior, you can get a mellow groove on as you listen to the live jazz pianist. Be sure to keep your eyes open for local celebrities and high-society types, just as it was in Freddy Heineken’s day.
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The 151-room Hyatt property is located in a former AVIA Savannah hotel building smack in the middle of the city's historic downtown area, across from Ellis Square. It's been renovated with a new restaurant and lounge, adding to its current Andaz splendor. The restaurant 22 Square (appropriately named after one of the oodles of squares in Savannah) guests can partake of the "market to table" menu with fresh coastal foods, and snack on free candied bacon. Drool. You can’t get any more Southern than that.
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Thanks to our far-flung, adventurous and nonstop jetsetting contributors who never enter a hotel room without photographing the place from top to bottom, we've been able to get a peek into hotel rooms around the world by flipping through our numerous Photo Galleries.
We have so many good shots from so many great hotels, it's getting hard to keep track of all of them. So from now on, we'll be rounding up our favorite photo galleries. Some will be pulled together by hotel brand others will be done by city, design, style, amenities or just plain old hotel lust.
Got a hotel you'd like to see more of? Ask us, we probably have pictures of it!
Today, we've got food on the brain and thinking about what tasty treats will be on offer this fall. Chefs scouring farmer's markets in search of fantastic produce to create comfort food dishes and fancy teas that'll knock our socks off (or put them on--we've been barefoot all summer). Here are a few places that like to showcase their culinary offerings. Hope you're hungry!
Rendering of the lobby
The Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht is going to be a masterpiece of design when it opens mid-October. We had the pleasure of getting an in-person sneak peek of the
construction zone hotel in August and, although much work was to be done, even we could see the great bone structure that will make this latest Andaz a work of art.
This 122-room hotel has wunderkind Marcel Wanders (big name Dutch designer and co-owner of local design shop Moooi) at the design helm and, with the hotel’s savvy management fully behind him, the hotel will be a mixture of modern design that’s warm and inviting in feel, and authentic to Amsterdam, and yet, as with all good design, is beautiful as well as practical.
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The outdoor terrace at the new Andaz Napa
A few days after the expected open date, which felt like an eternity but at last,Andaz Napa opened its doors yesterday in Napa’s burgeoning West End, effectively vaporizing the former Avia Napa. While we love Andazsms pretty much anywhere, having one in Napa is dreamy, not only because the brand is as locally focused as the town, but also because bringing Andaz's vibrant, stylish design to downtown Napa makes it a great option for those who find traditional wine country B&Bs a snore.
Last month, we mentioned a few of the changes to expect at this new Napa hotel, including an Andaz Lounge in lieu of a traditional front desk. Essentially replacing the lobby, the Lounge transforms the check-in process to a more social, casual experience where guests are greeted, checked in by iPad and offered a glass of vino while they sit or plot out their wine country adventures on the wall-length map of the Napa Valley.
Another day, another Andaz Hotel to anticipate.
Just yesterday we told you how the Andaz Napa would be opening on September 7th, followed shortly by Andaz Savannah and Andaz Amsterdam in
October November. Plus, there's Andaz Maui to look forward to in 2013. The following year, Andaz Guragon in India is expected to open. And now beyond that, we've learned Andaz is heading to Mexico with the Andaz Mayakoba set to open in 2015.
TravelPulse had the detes back in May:
The 213-room Andaz Mayakoba, expected to open in 2015,will be located in the master planned resort community of Mayakoba, which is situated along one mile of beach coastline in Mexico’s Riviera Maya.
But there's even more!
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While we wait for the Andaz Amsterdam to open its Wanders-ful doors in October, there's another Andaz Hotel opening closer to home--The Andaz Napa.
Formerly, an AVIA hotel in the city's "West End" neighborhood, the property has been undergoing an Andazformation over the summer and is now expected to reopen on September 7th. Right now on the hotel's website, we were only able to find rooms for September 28 at $299 a night for a classic king, but the hotel will definitely open sooner than that.
Now here's a rundown of what has changed at the hotel:
· Instead of a traditional front desk, the hotel now sports an Andaz Lounge where guests can check-in either via iPad, tabletop computer or on the way to the room. A host will greet them and give them a galss of wine to enjoy as they take in the new, regionally-inspired design elements from California architecture and design firm Bishop Pass, including a wall-length map of Napa Valley.
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We’re hanging on to summer like a toddler gripping his parents' leg. Nope, not trying to let go! A good month left in the season left at least 30 more days of cocktail time. Where to sip and be merry? We’ve got a few hotels that are doing drinks right.
The Hotel Monaco Chicago The hotel's South Water Kitchen is serving new cocktail pitchers called “Last Sips of Summer” on the patio only, through Labor Day. Great for an after work come down or a pre-dinner stop by, the 30oz creations serve about 4 and cost just $25 each. The flavors sound so delish, though, we’re certain folks will be ordering more than one. The six pitchers available are:
Patio Punch: Bacardi Razz, Peach Schapps, Blue Curacao, and pineapple juice,
North Loop Gin and Juice: Hypnotic Clear, Gilbey's gin, honey, and grapefruit juice
Sloe Rum Screwdriver: Hanger Mandarin Vodka, Castillo rum, Sloe gin, and orange juice
Midwest Margarita:Cactus Jack tequila, Banana liqueur, Triple Sec, and sour mix
SWK Limonata: Captain Morgan Lime Bite, Apple Pucker, and ginger ale
Spiked Coffee Cooler: Heaven Hill bourbon, Amaretto, Talea Cream, and coffee
It's just minor delay but we were slightly crestfallen to hear that Andaz Amsterdam has pushed its opening date back to October instead of late September.
A tipster let us know that the hotel's website has been officially updated with the new opening date. Alas, reservations are still not being accepted. However, there are some new renderings up, including a few that we didn't see earlier this month. (Click the "Explore Hotel" button for a look-see.) Don't worry, the funky goldfish spoons are still in effect.
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There's tons of 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.
· Andaz Is Heading to India: Hyatt Hotels have just announced plans for an Andaz Hotel in Guragon, India. The hotel will have 275 rooms along with 75 serviced apartments. Very interesting. There will also be a multi-cuisine restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, a specialty restaurant, a bar and gourmet store, a six-treatment room spa, a fitness center and a swimming pool. And Andaz brand standards like free WiFi and complimentary minibar drinks and snacks, we presume. Andaz Guragon will open in Late 2014.
· Baccarat Hotel & Residences Definitely Opening in Midtown Manhattan: Looks like the Starwood Stalker was right. Baccarat Hotels, a super-luxe hotel brand that was conceived in the hotel boom years but never panned out, is coming to Midtown Manhattan in the old Donnell Library on W. 53rd Street. The New York Times reports the hotel will have 114 rooms and 64 condos spread over 45 stories. Interestingly, the hotel's design will meet feng shui standards.
While we're still waiting to hear when reservations will open up, we have been lucky enough to get our hands on some more renderings of the property which has been done up by renowned Dutch designer Marcel Wanders.
Below you can peep at the lobby (do you hear bells ringing?), the welcome lounge, a larger guest room shot (yup, the sink is next to the bed) as well as the entrance to the spa.