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We know you’re into the ins and outs of the hotel business - as are we. But one thing we - and possibly you - are not is hotel executives (although in our minds we totally are).
Anyway that’s why it’s worthwhile to check out what Best Western has been offering up on their site, as they just launched the "It's Personal" Executive Blog which features insight and expertise from CEO David Kong and other industry hotshots.
Hotel Amenities / Hotel Chocolate / Hotel Stores / Hotel Rebrandings / Hotel News / NH Hotels / Best Western Hotels / Brussels Hotels / → All Tags
Chocolates at turndown are all well and good, but here’s a hotel that’s going a step further – a chocolate store and workshop. This could only be in Belgium, of course – and it’s at the new NH Brussels Carrefour de l’Europe.
The hotel was previously a Best Western, but was taken over by NH this month. It’s in the Grasmarkt – a pretty square of medievalish buildings in the old town (though it’s very touristed, quite noisy, and even a little bit drunky – and most of those old buildings are now hotels). You’re right at the foot of the hill that leads to the Royal Palace, and a quick walk across from the Grand Place.
Vib Hotels / Seoul Hotels / Millennial Hotels / Best Western Hotels / Hotel Hype / Hotel Development / → All Tags
The Vīb, which is expected to break ground later this year, will be located in the city’s Gangnam district, which everyone knows all about now, thanks to Psy’s "Gangnam Style" song. The hotel will have 148 rooms and will be true to the Vīb philosophy which is about “innovation, technology, and style with authentic, local flavor offered at a great value."
And no doubt, a cool vibe too. Peep the renderings below, taken from the Vīb website, to understand more of what Vib is all about.
The Asia Pacific market will be a big one for Vīb Hotels, which is checking out spots for new hotels in Bangkok, Thailand; Sarawak and Shah Alam, Malaysia; and Ortigas, Philippines. Overall the
[Photos: Vib Hotels]
Hotel Rebrandings / Best Western Hotels / Tryp by Wyndham Hotels / Times Square Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / New York Hotels / Hampshire Hotels / → All Tags
The Best Western President Hotel in Times Square used to be one of our favorite Best Western hotels ever with its purple hued decor, high design and free WiFi. We say "used to be" because the Wall Street Journal has reported that the hotel will soon change into a Tryp by Wyndham Hotel.
The owners of the hotel, Hampshire Hotels & Resort (who also own the Dream and Night brands, which are licensed by Wyndham), have modified their mortgage due to the increased competition in NYC which has seen the hotel occupancy rates rise but not the actually price of the rooms. (Sidenote: how is this possible? It seems like all NYC hotels are charging insanely higher prices these days.)
Anyways, Tryp is planning a renovation of the property that will make it more millennial-friendly.
It’s planning a “multimillion-dollar” upgrade at the Times Square property which will include adding “lobbyfriend,” a social networking system for hotel guests, and making the hotel’s public spaces more inviting places to hang out, says Bill Hall, a senior vice president (of Wyndham.)
The rebranding should happen early next year. In the meantime, you can check out the Tryp Times Square South at 345 W. 35th St. where rates start around $400 a night on the weekends in December. Rates at the Best Western are about $430.
[Photo: Best Western President/Facebook]
Hotel News / Millennial Hotels / Hotel Concepts / Best Western Hotels / Vib Hotels / BW Premier / → All Tags
After nearly 70 years as a cornerstone of America's mid-range hotel scene, Best Western has announced that it will take a step into two new markets with two new brands, Vib (pronounced "vibe") and BW Premier.
The Premier Collection has actually been up and running for a while, and includes this recently opened eco-resort in Malaysia. In fact, last time we checked in on Premier, it was planning properties in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Kuwait, Malaysia, Nairobi and Oman. Just to catch you up if you missed it, the BW Premier Collection will be a "soft brand" offering, meaning that it will consist of a variety of high-end properties in different markets (as opposed to a single hotel brand, like Vib). Hotels in the Premier Collection will be bookable through the Best Western website, and guests will be able to earn and use their Best Western reward points at any hotel in the collection.
The big announcement is the new boutique Vib concept, short for Vibrant. It is being described as a "stylish and technology-centric hotel concept created to meet the needs of today’s connected traveler," featuring "vibrant and modern design with a focus on convenience, technology and social engagement." That's about as vague as it gets, and the details are pretty scarce except for the fact that the properties will be tech-savvy and have large lobbies that incorporate local flair. You can check out the short promotional video below.
New Hotels / Best Western Hotels / Best Western Premier Hotels / Eco-Friendly Hotels / co-Resorts / Malaysia Hotels / → All Tags
Yes, you read correctly. Best Western has upped their game and opened up their first eco-resort in Malaysia, as part of the Best Western Premier Collection. It's a luxury resort that is both environmentally-friendly and the perfectly tropical for the ultimate in relaxation. And with a name like The Haven, it can't go wrong.
The 100-room resort north of Kuala Lumpur is in the middle of geological formations dating back 280 million years, surrounded by limestone hills, the Bintang and Kledang Mountains and the rivers of Perka and Kinta. As a sustainable resort, The Haven uses 100 percent renewable energy by harnessing the power of the wind and sun; one of the first hotels in Malaysia to do so.
Guests will be able to soak up a little slice of paradise at the four-level, lagoon-style pool and the private tropical gardens. This isn't your parents' Best Western since each room will serve up panoramic views of the lake while still staying tech savvy with flat-screen TVs and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Today, Best Western International officially began a partnership with Google to put together virtual tours of all 2,200 of its properties. The plan is to have Google professionally photograph the entire hotel, then string them together to create a "walk-through" experience on the hotel's website.
“Best Western’s leadership and owners acted strongly and decisively on two superior market insights: consumer decision making in the hospitality category is increasingly moving online, and the internet is becoming more of a visually-driven medium,” said Best Western’s Dorothy Dowling, senior vice president of marketing and sales.
While there's no question Dowling is correct in her assessment on a general level when it comes to the Internet, we're still wondering how consumers feel about hotel websites. When we talked about them this summer, photos were definitely something potential customers enjoyed looking at, but experienced hotel-goers also noted how misleading "professional" photos can sometimes be, showing the hotel at its absolute best and not necessarily how it looks day-to-day.
Most hotels spend lots of money to bring themselves out of the prehistoric era, but the Best Western Denver Southwest did just the opposite, throwing down $4 million to convert itself into a dinosaur-themed property.
The idea for the design came from nearby Dinosaur Ridge, an archaeological site 10 minutes from the hotel that houses the footprints of long-necked sauropods. The 112-room hotel is now all decked out with dinosaur paraphernalia, including skulls, fossil tables, classic dinosaur artwork and an on-site natural history museum dedicated to the prehistoric beasts.
The co-owners of the property said they hope the theme will draw some attention to the excavations that have taken place in the area and help bring tourists to see for themselves.
Hotel Emergencies / Airport Hotels / Airline Hotels / San Francisco Hotels / Best Western Hotels / → All Tags
We hoped it wasn't true when we saw the tweet below stating hotels were price gouging after the Asiana Airlines tragedy. We could say we were surprised, but as we've found out just last year during the middle of tropical storm Sandy and Hurricane Irene, these things do happen.
But we wanted to find out who would take advantage of such a horrible situation, with so many passengers delayed (many for multiple days) and needing hotels. Surely hoteliers have learned this type of behavior wouldn't go unnoticed?
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For most of us, we're just happy that our hotel room in Manhattan doesn't look out onto a brick wall. But for those of you who are particular about your views, we've rounded up the best hotels in lower Manhattan for river gazing. And no, you don't have to spend a fortune to do it, which is another reason to consider downtown versus uptown when planning your stay.
5 SCENIC WATERFRONT HOTELS IN LOWER MANHATTAN
1. It's all about the views at Ritz-Carlton Battery Park, which also took quite a beating during Hurricane Sandy (everything's back to normal now, though). The 298-room hotel often gets overshadowed by its uptown counterparts (Ritz-Carlton New York Central Park, Mandarin Oriental, Four Seasons New York), but actually this place outshines all of them put together when it comes to fresh sea breezes and plenty of open spaces around the hotel The rooms even come with telescopes!
Rates from $395/night.
Four more after the jump!
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A tragic story emerged this week about the death of an 11-year-old boy due to carbon monoxide poisoning in his Best Western Plus hotel room. Unfortunately, it was made even more tragic when authorities revealed that the same exact room had been responsible for killing another two guests—also from carbon monoxide poisoning—back in April.
(TIME magazine's 'Hotel Horror' headline was pretty spot on, if you ask us.)
Tests confirmed an "elevated level of carbon monoxide in the room," and the hotel has been shut down for the time being—but the question that keeps circling in our head is: could we be susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning in our hotel room, too? How would we even know if the levels were high? After all, carbon monoxide is deadlier than other gases because it can't be seen or smelled.
So, to ease our anxiety, we've done a little research that ought to help us (and you) sleep peacefully next time you check into a hotel room. Here are five facts about carbon monoxide poisoning all hotel guests should know:
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Manhattan is still the place to be for hip new hotel brands. Yesterday, we mentioned how Commune Hotels would be opening not one, but two new Tommie Hotels in the Big Apple. Today, we learn that InterContinental Hotel Group's upcoming Even Hotels brand has signed an agreement to open a second hotel in NYC--this time at 321 West 35th Street.
The hotel will be an entirely new build and will feature 150 guestrooms over 25 guest room floors. The rest of the hotel will feature flexible public workspaces, dining and social areas and since this hotel brand is all about health, fitness and wellness, a state-of-the-art,t hree-zone gym. Plus the entire place will be outfitted with free WiFi. The hotel is expected to open in 2015 as will the other Even Hotel on 44th Street. The very first Even Hotel will open sometime in 2014. That location is still TBD.
Keep reading for more hotel opening news!