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#Thatawkwardmomentwhen you’re in Brussels staying in your favorite hotel and realise you totally promised to share it with your HotelChatter family a while back but then time passed and life zoomed by and you forgot.
Sorry about that. Way back in February, we showed you the beer bar at the Zoom Hotel, a new opening in Ixelles, the trendiest part of the Belgian capital. We promised to take you inside the photography-themed rooms, too. And now, just in time, we’ve remembered.
This stay marks our third time at the Zoom. Why do we stay so loyal? Firstly, because it’s always fairly priced (rates are an obscenely low €65, or $72, right now for the low summer season, while the highest we’ve paid in high season winter is about €100).
Hotel Rooftop Bars / St. Pete Beach Hotels / Boutique Hotels / Florida Hotels / Hotel Happy Hours / → All Tags
What could be more Summer Friday than talking hotel rooftop bars? One of Florida's newest happens to be the only rooftop space of its kind in the area. You'll find the sprawling 360° Rooftop at The Hotel Zamora, where you can enjoy unobstructed, panoramic views of downtown St. Petersburg and the Gulf of Mexico.
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Third floor of the redesigned Penthouse Suite
We love hotel renovations nearly just as much as we love new hotels. But what we really love about hotel renovations is seeing the transformation that happens when an old, tired and lackluster room gets a modern makeover and transforms into new, spiffed-up, stylish guest room. Or put more simply, we love comparing the Before and After.
When we hear of hotel room renos, the rooms have often gotten to such a sad state of un-fabulousness that, in order to keep people coming back, they simply have to update them or risk being forgotten and going the way of the horse and buggy.
This is not so in the case of the SoHo Metropolitan and its Penthouse Suite renovation. As we mentioned last week, the SoHo Met was looking pretty fine when we were there and is still popular with the cool kids of the celebrity kind. The reno’ed Penthouse Suite, which was just completed before Will Smith moved in, has managed to keep some of the old yet bring in the new to create a very New York loft feel with floor-to-ceiling windows and an in-suite glass elevator.
The three-story, 4,000-square-foot suite has two bedrooms, five washrooms, a Kohler Sok infinity tub with chromatherapy, multiple fireplaces, a library, dining room, two living rooms, two kitchens, multiple wide-screen TVs, a Crestron entertainment panel, in-suite security system and a rooftop terrace overlooking the city with hot-tub and built-in grill. That's quite a mouthful!
Like what you see below? Let us know what you think!
We’re getting close to the midway point of 2015, and so far we only have one confirmed opening from our list of five London hotels to watch this year (that’s the M by Montcalm Shoreditch). Things are looking up this week though, starting with online reservations going live for stays from August 15 at The Laslett Notting Hill, the new townhouse hotel we told you about late last year.
We can see rates starting from £155 ($244) on a Sunday night for a Spare Room Double, which range from 193-203 sq ft. That’s a prepaid rate, which goes up to £255 ($400) on a Saturday night. Largest rooms are Master Bedroom Suites at 313-360 sq ft, which on a Saturday in August is £350 ($550) a night when prepaid. Spare Room Singles are the entry-level category but as the name implies, sleep only one.
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If you look up the SoHo Metropolitan (part of Preferred Hotels & Resorts) on a tourism site, chances are pretty good that you won’t find it there. And if you ask your airport taxi driver to take you to take you to the hotel, you might have to give him/her the address in order to make it. But do you know who does know about the hotel? Film and music celebs, that’s who.
We checked out the hotel on a recent trip to Corktown (AKA Toronto, and for you history fiends, the nickname came about from an old historic neighborhood in the center of the city) because we wanted to know what draws all of those bright shining stars to the hotel? Following are the five main reasons why we think this is their pied-à-terre of choice. (With more pics in the Photo Gallery!).
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Pool Access Room
Alaya Room Terrace
This is Indonesian-owned Alaya Hotels & Resorts’ second hotel in Bali (the first one is in Ubud) and the first artsy, upmarket boutique hotel to enter one of Bali’s, let’s say, more colorful neighborhoods. In fact, it’s reputed to be THE hotel opening of the year in the party-hearty South Kuta resort district.
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The historic Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine hotel is located in a restored 12th-century abbey and winery in Spain’s Duero winegrowing region just one hour by train from Madrid, and we think that they want to get you a wee bit tipsy for your next spa treatment.
The hotel is opening its new El Santuario Spa on July 1 and its signature oenotherapy treatment menu includes a Spa Sommelier to help choose the treatment that’s right for you.
And this is how it works.
The owners of the Halcyon Apartments are Bath’s toned-down version of Sam Nazarian: They own The Halcyon Hotel, the Halcyon Apartments (which is really what we’re talking about here today), Circo Bar & Lounge (at The Halcyon), The Basement – a hopping nightclub, The Porter Bar and Lounge, and Clayton’s Kitchen, which is headed up by yet another Bath-based Michelin-starred chef, Rob Clayton (which begs the question: Do all Michelin chefs move to Bath?).
These hotel and lounge mini moguls opened the Halcyon Apartments, consisting of one two-bedroom and six one-bedroom suites, in a Georgian townhouse conveniently located on George Street, at the very foot of Bath’s main shopping street that also leads to its most well-known attractions.
The suites are done in a comfortable chic style that you can book for one night or 100 nights (online, though, you can only book for up to 14 days) so if you’re looking for a long-stay option or just want to spread out for a few days with the family, this is the place for you. (If you’re looking for a room-room you can book into The Halcyon hotel, found at the other end of the historic area on South Parade.)
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!