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It may be a remote national park, but the South Rim of the Grand Canyon has always been pretty well equipped with hotels. There's the El Tovar Hotel (above), which opened in 1905, right on the rim, of course. Dotted around it are other lodges making up the "Grand Canyon Village" with full and partial canyon views, and there are even a couple of motel-style options set a little back from the edge itself. But however many hotel rooms there are around the rim, they are almost always sold out months in advance.
You can also stay inside the canyon itself, at Phantom Ranch, but you can only get there on foot or by mule. But soon, there might be another way to get down - and more hotels on the canyon rim itself.
Ideas to develop the canyon further for tourism aren’t anything new - think the gulp-inducing Skywalk at the far off West Rim, which is run by the Hualapai tribe (who also have accommodation, but away from the rim). Now, both the LA Times and the Telegraph are reporting on something called the Grand Canyon Escalade, a proposed gondola ride down to the Canyon floor at “the Confluence, near Tusayan, where the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers meet. Down below, a restaurant and elevated riverside walkway would be constructed.
Geek Hotels / Hotel Desserts / Hotel Drinks / Omni Hotels / Sedona Hotels / Arizona Hotels / Utah Hotels / Pennsylvania Hotels / North Carolina Hotels / → All Tags
If you’re not only a hotel geek but kinda a science geek too, you probably already know that March 14 is Pi Day (because the mathematical constant π, or Pi, which is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, is approximately equal to 3.14, but with 1.2 trillion digits after it).
If you didn’t know that, you might want to know this: Some hotels are using this as an excuse to bring out their best pies for the occasion. And who doesn’t like a nice pie?
The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC is offering a scrumptious-looking Apple Pi Tartlet (that's it above) that’s made with 3 Pi (9.42) Granny Smith apples. The tartlet is topped with decorative apples made of white chocolate—can you stand it?
Who says you have to travel to far-flung exotic islands just to get a killer view from your hotel room? Ok, maybe we did last year. But thanks to Ben Bethel, the hotelier behind The Clarendon Hotel in Phoenix, Ariz., we only need to head to the Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa for a zen mountain view. More specifically, we need to check into room 33 at the hotel.
The Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa describes itself as a luxury hotel with a distinctive Mediterranean design and plenty of simple yet luxe touches like pillow top mattresses, rain showers in the bathrooms, lambs-wool throw blankets and private balconies. Not to be missed is the Sedona Rouge Spa which has extensive menu of relaxing treatments and wellness programs.
But we really like how this resort's rates are truly affordable, starting at around $142 during the week and about $188 on the weekends.
[Photo: Ben Bethel]
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Omni Bedford Springs
While hotel holiday decorations are pretty to look at, they don't do much to relax you during the holiday season, which let's be honest--can be crazy stressful with all the parties, the shopping, the relatives. So if you need a breather, we’ve put together a list (and we’re checking it twice) of hotel spas across the US who have put together some holiday-themed treatments that you can give to yourself because, contrary to popular belief, sometimes it is better to receive than to give.
The Spa at Rancho Bernardo Inn, San Diego normally uses seasonal ingredients and this winter is no exception. From December through January you can indulge in the Chocolate Candied Orange Treatment, and indulge you will! This treatment starts with a hazelnut and orange scrub; then comes a chocolate comfrey wrap and cinnamon scalp treatment; an Acai butter massage follows, as does a mulled cider drink. The spa then sends you on your way with a take home recipe for hazelnut and sea salt shortbread cookies. The cost for this extravagance is $175.
At Lake Arrowhead Resort’s Spa of the Pines (an Autograph Collection hotel) there is a new holiday-themed menu of treatments. The resort is offering a hot stone Holiday Pedicure, a Holiday Swedish Massage using their own special holiday-scented oil (cloves and cinnamon), and a Holiday-Scented Body Scrub using an organic vanilla and brown sugar scrub followed by a rich body cream. For the most bang for your buck go for the Holiday Duo: the body scrub followed by the massage for $165.
L'Auberge de Sedona is offering guests a Warming Gingerbread Sugar Body Scrub and Gingerbread Wrap that are good enough to eat. Using organic sugar and warming ginger oil there are also notes of cinnamon and orange. To tempt you further, we’ll just tell you that after the scrub, the body butter is applied to your skin, you’re wrapped in warm blankets and receive either a scalp and neck massage or a foot massage. You can just lie back and hear the heavenly choir. The scrub and wrap are $145 for both treatments.
Hotel Bars / Secret Hotel Bars / Hotel Speakeasies / Arizona Hotels / Phoenix Hotels / Waldorf Astoria Hotels / → All Tags
The Mystery Room at Arizona's Biltmore Resort is a mystery no more.
As we told you back in February, the Waldorf Astoria resort's historic Mystery Room has reopened as a speakeasy, which is actually what the Mystery Room initially was during Prohibition. Back then, it was called the "Men's Smoking Room" and required a secret password to enter. Inside was a well-stocked liquor cabinet that converted into a bookcase in the event of a raid. Men could purchase a "set up" of glass, ice and mixers for bootleg liquor. (The 20s version of bottle service, we suppose.) The resort even kept watch for police and would shine their high-powered spotlight into the Mystery Room if they ever saw patrol car outside.
Today, the speakeasy is open to both men and women and it's totally legal. Yet it's only open on Sunday evenings from 8 to 11pm. And it requires a password which will change weekly. The hotel's Twitter feed, @Arizona Biltmore, will post clues every week . Here was last week's passwordg:
“I am looking for the blind pig this evening” #speakeasy— ArizonaBiltmore (@ArizonaBiltmore) July 26, 2013
Fun fact: Speakeasies were also called "blind pigs."
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When the Queen of England remarks on your pregnancy (which has gone 11 days past due date) with a "...I would very much like it to arrive. I’m going on holiday”, that certainly puts the pressure on. So, it's no surprise Kate Middleton was admitted early this morning to London's St. Mary's Hospital and is in labor. Looks like the third in line to the throne will be welcomed to the world soon and Queen Elizabeth can go on vacation!
Well guess what? All you other pregnant ladies out there not yet due can still get some respite, thanks to the host of "Babymoon" packages that have rolled out ever since Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge announced she was with child.
From decadent hotel stays to pampering getaways, here are options for women in every stage of pregnancy--just make sure it's doctor approved (Kate got harassed for her own Mustique babymoon, by taking an eight-hour flight). We've decided to skip the outlandish six-figure "Royal Babymoon" deals (cough) for those a bit more realistic--although the Trump Package was such a good Fantasy Friday special they're now doing it in Waikiki! But take it easy, after all, you've got a boatload of diapers to finance in the near future.
However, do get in one more treat before D (delivery) Day comes!
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Deals: you want 'em, and surprisingly, everyone has 'em. Take a look at some of the latest hotel deals going around the internet today from booking sites, social media sites, flash sale sites and more. Don't forget to scroll down to see the HotelChatter-approved deal either. Who knows? You might just find what you're looking for. (But don't forget to tell us about your stay!)
DEALS, DEALS, DEALS*
· LUXE HOTELS 30th Anniversary Deals: We love when hotels celebrate milestones because that usually means we get to reap the benefits. Luxe Worldwide Hotels is turning 30 this month and several of its properties are offering a special 30th anniversary package. For instance at the Luxe Hotel on Sunset, the package includes access to special anniversary rates, a welcome cocktail and amenity, American breakfast for two, overnight valet parking, $30 credit for spa services, 30 percent discount at the gift shop and free WiFi. Rates start at $299 a night. Go here to search for a different LHW in your desired destination.
· Summer Break Cyber Sale from LOEWS HOTELS: Starting TOMORROW, Loews Hotels & Resorts are kicking off their one-day only Summer Break Cyber Sale with up to 40 percent off at participating hotels plus free internet during your stay. The deal begins at 12:01 (EDT) on May 30, 2013 and will run until 3:00 am (EDT) on May 31, 2013. Go here to book. The reservations are totally non-refundable and cannot be cancelled. It's also not available at the Loews Hotels in Orlando.
· Take a Gamble with THE VENETIAN'S 72-Hour Sale: The sprawling Las Vegas resort and casino is currently in the midst of a 72-hour sale that ends on May 31 at 3pm PST. Rates are $109 a night during the week and averaging about $200 a night on the weekends. Although, we found the weekend of June 14 for just $149 a night. The deal also includes a Passaporto di Carnevale with additional offers for the property (from dining to retail to spa) that is valued at more than $1,000. But you have to book by Friday. Go here to make your reservation or call (866) 403-8046 and mention code: EV4MAY. The deal is good for The Palazzo as well.
· Recharge at THE MIRAVAL RESORT in Arizona Using $300 Resort Credits: This resort is well-liked by big celebs such as Oprah Winfrey and Sharon Stone who took advantage of the resort's brand-new Clarins Spa last year. But thanks to Travelzoo, you don't need their bank account to stay here. Rates from June 15- September 15 are just $299 per person and includes a $300 resort credit per person. A two night stay is required and the deal is based on double occupancy but that's essentially staying two nights for one since you can use the credit for almost anything at the resort including spa treatments. And if you stay three nights or longer the credit is bumped up to $500 per person. Go here to book using code TRAVELZOO. The offer is based on availability and may sell out quickly.
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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: Cheetos and johnnie Walker
What’s In: Locally-made or healthy alternatives
Sometimes it’s late in the day, dinner was hours ago and you’ve got the munchies bad, or it’s early and you just want to grab something before you rush out the door to your meeting. Your eyes drift over to the minibar, but that ubiquitous, teensy can of Pringles isn’t going to keep you fuelled, never mind toned. What’s a road warrior to do?
Fifteen Beacon goes beyond the standard M&M's and sodas to include local faves like Boston Baked Beans and Cape Cod all-natural potato chips, plus healthy alternatives including coconut water, protein bars and Emergen-C. To top it off, they even offer pampering products like cucumber eye-cream and Sprayology -- a holistic product for your travel-stressed immune system.
Local products abound at the Fairmont Pittsburgh including Betsy Ann Chocolates, Torn Ranch snacks, Naturally Yours trail mixes and local beers (Penn Pilsner and Yuengling). And here’s the best part: in keeping with the idea of “be good to your body, be good to the earth” they also offer complimentary, refillable glass bottles for you to fill with filtered water from dispensers located on each floor.
For you appreciative craft beer lovers, the minibar at Enchantment Resort in Sedona has swapped out mass-produced beer brands for locally-made Grand Canyon Pilsner. They also keep full bottles of local Arizona wines, chocolates, snacks and full-size bath products atop cabinets and vanities to really tempt you to indulge yourself.
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Hard to believe, but baseball is back with spring training under way down South. Florida is hosting its half of the action as well, but the unique thing about the scene in Phoenix is how close all the teams are (see map comparing Arizona and Florida facilities). Not only does this mean lots of options for games, it also means lots of hotel choices. And seeing as this is one of the best times of the year to visit the southwest weather wise, it's time to check in on some of the hotel discounts and packages happening in the desert that will help make your childhood dream of jet-setting down to spring training a bit more feasible:
Hotel Palomar: This Kimpton property is offering the "Batter Up" package that gets you 25% off the best available rate, two local beers, a baseball-themed welcome treat, and complimentary access to Gold's Gym Elite in case you want to hold your own spring training.
The Westin Phoenix Downtown: The 2013 Baseball Package has rates starting at $189/night Thursday through Sunday -- nice for a long weekend trip. It includes overnight parking, high speed internet access, and baseball “snack pack” amenities (there better be some Cracker Jacks!).
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You know you should be heading to the gym soon, right? You made some New Year's resolutions, and this is juuuuust about the time where you start getting a case of the "screw its". That's because you haven't found the right workout for you, honeylamb! But see, we have sacrificed and done the research for you and found something hella fun. They call it aerial yoga.
Here's the thing about aerial yoga: it's better than mat yoga. Not only do you get a better stretch (you use your body weight rather than muscles) but it's a crack up! In that Spiderman kinda way. And the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is one of the few places in the country that offers this class. So grab your yoga mats, people, we're going to Arizona.
The class launched in January (right when Willow Stream Spa unveiled its $60 million renovation) and is so popular, they have to turn people away. Talk about Burning Man syndrome. Thankfully they recently brought more instructors on board to expand classes. Guests who take aerial yoga will also have access to the resort's spa facilities. Fairmont Princess Scottsdale is the first resort in the US to bring Well & Being to life, basically a new program that combines health, wellness, nutrition, integrative medicine, fitness and advanced skincare together.
Go shorty, it's your birthday, Arizona Biltmore's gonna party like it's your birthday…
We'll warn you now: this song may be playing in the lobby of the Arizona Biltmore when you check in.
This historic Waldorf Astoria property totally digs you getting one year older, so they're offering a free room for you during your birthday month (a minimum of two nights booking is required). To make it a serious party, they're also throwing in a cupcake and balloons delivered straight to your room. Bring your own party hats, though.
We suggest rounding up an active crew as this birthday bash is going to be off the hizzle: there's eight swimming pools, including a 92-foot-long water slide; 18-hole PGA golf course; seven tennis courts; mountain biking; hiking; life-size chess lawn and a 22,000-square-foot spa.
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It seems cliche, but it happens every year -- people get straight up dumped around the holidays.
And what happens? You grit your teeth through Santa's hearty laughter, thinking about all the fun you should have been having. Soon you're kiss-less at the strike of midnight on New Year's Eve, and when you wake from this misery, Valentine's Day is looming around the corner. Crap.
Well, we feel your pain (seriously, we were tossed recently, too). And so do hotels, so they're offering what we refer to as "Lonely-Hearts Packages" (many dressed up as "Guys Getaways").
Here's a rundown of some ideas to pitch to your good buddies. Remember to play up how much your heart hurts and give them the proper guilt trip to come along and get you back in the game. You would do it for them!