Tag: boutique hotelsView All Tags
A stop at the Abbey Hotel’s Allium Brasserie for dinner one night prompted us to pop in the next day for an impromptu tour of this three-star arty, contemporary hotel. What this fateful stop proved to us once and for all is that many three-stars in Bath have pretty much everything you need for a comfortable stay and don’t charge you an arm-and-leg for it. (See also our piece on The Queensberry Hotel as a case in point.)
The hotel has 60 rooms (when we walked through last fall, the rumor was that there were plans for expansion to 99) set in a row of three 270-year-old townhouses. Situated close to shopping, restaurants, the Roman Baths, the Thermae Bath and Spa and Bath Abbey, you’re in really good company location-wise.
All rooms are decorated in a bright and sunny modern style, with a hint of English garden design evident. Light oak furniture, houndstooth and plaid patterns on the beds and windows, and original artwork make up the décor. Rooms also carry bespoke Hypnos beds, iPads, free WiFi and REN toiletries.
Bathrooms are kinda plain Jane but they're in the process of being reno’ed and will be completed by November.
The Queensberry Hotel is one of those small hotels made up of several townhouses – in this case, four Georgian ones – that is nicely designed in a contemporary way but with some little oddities added in that only seem to properly come from the British.
Things like having an elevator that jerks and hesitates like it’s not going to make it, and moves so slow you’ll probably beat it if you take the stairs. We used it as an opportunity to grab a few winks on the way up and down.
Then there’s the oddly placed monkey statue set on the modern bar.
And stairs that seem to come out of nowhere.
And the bulldog pillows.
The thoroughly surprising picturesque walled courtyard in the back.
The antique dresser that we could open to put our clothes in but then couldn’t get them back out.
And, finally, the best meal we had in Bath, hands-down.
All of this serves to create an oddly satisfying stay where you feel like you’re privy to a place whose eccentricities perhaps outweigh your own.
We certainly do have pics in the photo gallery!
Things are heating up in Charleston, and we don’t mean just the temperature, as the race for hotel openings continues. Last November, we reported several hotels in the works and about a year ago we highlighted one in particular that was off and running.
The Spectator Hotel, in Charleston's French Quarter, is now preparing for a July opening. In fact, just in time for July 4th with a two-night offering.
The hotel’s web site shows a first available date as July 4, with a 2-day minimum at $594 per night; after that, rates start at $349.
Photo Gallery / Hotel Renovations / Hotel Reopenings / Killer Views / Leading Hotels of the World / Switzerland Hotels / Bern Hotels / Boutique Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
The last hotel on our ramble through Switzerland takes us to the country’s capital of Bern and the uptown chic hotel, the Hotel Schweizerhof Bern (part of Leading Hotels of the World and Swiss Deluxe Hotels).
This 99-room property’s been around for more than 150 years and in 2005 the hotel shut down for a major reno (you know the story: you’re a new owner so you absolutely have to re-decorate) and, six years and 50 million Swiss Francs later, ta-da! Now it’s a stylin' five-star superior property.
Designed by Maria Vafiadis from MKV Design in London, our 410 sq ft Deluxe King Room was decorated in earthy taupes and grays with dramatic stainless steel and black-and-white glass bathrooms. Floors were done in herringbone oak which kept the room warm in feel and the view was of the rooftops of the Old Town (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). It had the feel of a luxe pied-à-terre.
Room perks include the minibar with its complimentary beer and soft drinks, a Nespresso machine and kettle, free WiFi, locally-made comfy linens, a Japanese soaking tub AND a shower, a window in the bathroom that opens and has the same aforementioned view, and Bulgari White Tea toiletries (this writer’s fave of the Bulgari line).
See the rest of the hotel pics in the image gallery!
Sweet Suites / Photo Gallery / Switzerland Hotels / Lucerne Hotels / Relais & Chateaux / Luxury Hotels / Boutique Hotels / → All Tags
Originally opened as the Hotel Bellevue in the oldie days of 1875, the Park Weggis hotel (part of Swiss Deluxe Hotels) – on Switzerland’s Lake Lucerne – has definitely renovated since that time. One of its latest renos, completed in 2007 (they also renovated some rooms in the main building in 2011), was to add ten uber-modern Adara Suites and this is where our story starts.
Many of the luxury hotels in Switzerland are beautiful, yes, but tend to lean towards a more traditional elegance. What strikes us about these suites, which brings the room count up to 52 at this boutique Relais & Chateaux property, is their modernity.
We stayed in an Adara Deluxe Junior Suite – the Adara ones come in Deluxe Junior Suites and then Suites – which was about 70 sq m (750 sq ft) and we’ll tell ya, the green-tinged black marble bathroom took up about half of that space. If your idea of relaxing is to set your one-touch mood lighting to “evening,” hang out in the deep soaking tub in the middle of your bathroom with a glass of prosecco, and then shower under the Dornbracht Bigrain rain shower using the Bulgari Red Tea toiletries (surprisingly hard to come by and, in case you’re wondering, we did take them home with us), then this is the luxe crash pad for you.
There are so many more pics in the photo gallery!
Last September, we told you that amidst the big splash made by hotel openings such as The Hoxton Holborn and Mondrian at Sea Containers, London also welcomed a petite property in the form of Artist Residence Pimlico, just touching the double-digit room count with a total of ten accommodations.
We wandered down Pimlico’s “grid” (a range of blocks by planner Thomas Cubitt, now a conservation area) to get a better understanding of what being a resident (artist or otherwise) at Artist Residence would be like – here’s what we found.
The banking theme runs through the hotel (as well as the Gotham City theme, thesexy Downton theme and the “sexiest hotel in Europe” theme), according to Mancunian Matters, with moneybags on the laundry bags, walls embossed with typewriters and “gold ingot toiletry stands” – for real.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / Florence Hotels / Historic Hotels / Boutique Hotels / → All Tags
Cast aside all mental images of Radisson Blus and chain hotels – this is a delicate 9-room, family-owned place in a 16th century palazzo. Palazzo Ricasoli (built by one of the main Florentine families) has been a hotel before – in the 19th century it was the oddly named Grand Hotel de New York. Now, it’s equally grand but a lot more Italian, with the rooms curated by local designer Piero Brarda.
This isn’t your average hotel – the palazzo is still owned by the family who built it, and your host is Baroness Maria Teresa Ricasoli Firidolfi who, amazingly, promises to treat you as if you’re at a friend’s house. There’s a butler and a concierge, who’ll do everything from unpacking your luggage to booking your Uffizi tickets.
Late this fall, where Vancouver’s oh-so-hip and oh-so-coolly-named Gastown meets historical Chinatown, the Skwachàys Lodge Hotel & Gallery opened its doors to the public (pronounced skwatch-eyes). No trumpets blew and there weren’t any fireworks, but this little 18-room hotel is truly one-of-a-kind.
Owned and operated by the registered charity, Vancouver Native Housing Society, each room is designed by one of six local interior designers in collaboration with one of six Aboriginal artists (Native Americans in U.S.-speak in case you didn't know). Each unique suite features original carvings, paintings, fabric, art, custom furniture and décor.
HotelChatter Reviews / Montevideo Hotels / Uruguay Hotels / Boutique Hotels / Historic Hotels / → All Tags
Last month – was it really so long ago? – we showed you the view from the rooftop terrace of the Alma Historica, Montevideo’s newest hotel (it opened in January), and its first luxury boutique property. Appetites whetted? Hopefully so, because we promised to go inside. Let’s do it.
The Alma Historica is a restoration of a centuries-old palazzo with a couple of new floors (and that roof terrace) tacked onto the top. Where most hotels in Montevideo seem to be either new and slightly boring, or old and on the road to decay – if, admittedly, often in a rather beautiful way – Alma Historica is different. It’s embraced its roots, and its location on one of the historic core’s central squares, so the vibe is old school, with a hint of Victoriana – but adds an injection of very modern luxury. And it works beautifully.
The feel may be that of stepping into a posh house 100 years ago, but the theme is Uruguayan pride. All rooms are named after homegrown heroes, from artists to footballers. All the furniture was sourced locally. Even the bathroom soaps are made in Montevideo – and filled with local ingredients, like eucalyptus, lemon and yerba mate (which makes the national tea-ish drink), and red berries with seeds.
Hotel Bars / Hotel Beers / Brussels Hotels / Boutique Hotels / Affordable Hotels / Hotel Amenities / Hotel Shops / → All Tags
Last time we checked in on Brussels, we were all about the beer bar at the new Zoom Hotel in Ixelles (up the hill from the medieval bit, but where all
we the cool kids go). 50 Belgian beers, selected by a top Belgian sommelier? Oui, s’il vous plait.
So obviously, when we were in Brussels last week, there was only one place we were going to stay. More on the hotel another time, but for now, here is the beer bar.
Yeah, it’s not what we were expecting either. Discreet. Grown up. Who knew boozing could be like this?
Snapshot / Hotel Rooftops / Hotel Rooftop Terraces / Killer View / Montevideo Hotels / Uruguay Hotels / Boutique Hotels / → All Tags
Ignore the Simpsons-style clouds, and have a look at the architecture. Pretty nice, right? Even nicer when you consider where this is: the Ciudad Vieja of Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay.
There aren’t many hotels in the Ciudad Vieja, and there are even fewer with rooftop terraces. But this is the view from the Alma Historica Boutique Hotel, which opened a month ago in a historical mansion on Plaza Zabala, the tranquil, second square of the old town.