Tag: boutique hotels

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Head to the Algarve For Europe's First Neal's Yard Organic Spa

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Rua das Violetas, Porto de Mós, Lagos, Portugal, 8600-282
September 11, 2014 at 9:27 AM | by | Comments (0)

You may or may not know Neal’s Yard Remedies, the original organic, slightly hippy UK skincare brand. If you have, you don’t need us to sell it to you. If you haven’t, get hold of some, now –it produces some of the most wonderfully scented, naturally made products you’ll ever find, as well as herbal teas, supplements and all that hippy jazz.

Although a few of the Neal’s Yard branches in London do spa treatments, it’s more of a buy-to-use-at-home range, which is why this news is so important: The first non-UK Neal’s Yard spa has just opened at Vivenda Miranda on the Algarve in Portugal.

The hotel is on a bit of an eco crusade, focusing its food on local and seasonal produce, introducing vegan, gluten free and raw food dishes, and revamping the spa, which opened June 1. They’re also introducing “lifestyle retreats” focusing on meditation and raw food, in conjunction with Neal’s Yard – from £1395 for a week, see here for further details.

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Where to Stay in Warsaw, Europe's Cheapest Five Star City

Where: Warsaw, Poland
September 10, 2014 at 9:32 AM | by | Comment (1)

Hotel Bristol, your token five star

Warsaw. It may not be top of your European breaks wishlist (hell, it probably loses out to Krakow in your Poland wishlist, too), but it does have one thing going for it – it was recently judged the European city with the cheapest five star hotels.

Actually, there’s far more to say for Warsaw than that. Flights are uniformly cheap (last year we flew from London on Ryanair for £18, or $29 return – yes, total), and while some of the modern city is grim, the Old Town is gorgeous, plus there’s loads of interesting history, the 1944 Uprising Museum and Jewish Museum for starters.

So yes, you definitely want to go to Warsaw. And here are some of our favorite places to stay. They’re not all five star hotels – but then, you can probably find your own five star hotel, right?

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One Leicester Street Hotel Goes From Unlisted to Honky Tonk

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  Site Where: One Leicester Street, London, United Kingdom, WC2H 7BL
September 9, 2014 at 8:57 AM | by | Comments (0)

Last year, the erstwhile St. John’s Hotel just off of London’s Leicester Square got picked up by Singaporean hotelier Peng Loh, having gone into administration less than two years after its arrival in 2011.

Being part of Loh’s Unlisted Collection didn’t create the magic the renamed One Leicester Street was looking for, so it’s going for another reinvention as part of the Honky Tonk Group this fall. This is the first foray into the hotel world for Honky Tonk, which runs two “American-inspired” restaurants with live music in Chelsea and Clapham.

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Artist Residence Opens Townhouse Hotel in Pimlico Today

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 52 Cambridge Street, London, United Kingdom, SW1V 4QQ
September 8, 2014 at 9:37 AM | by | Comments (0)

Amid some big openings in London this month (Hoxton, Mondrian), a small UK hotel brand is venturing into the capital with an equally petite property: Artist Residence, currently to be found in Brighton and Cornwall, is opening a 10-room townhouse in Pimlico today.

Inside are 8 individually designed bedrooms and 2 suites, ranging from “Small” to the “Grand Suite” and the above “Loft”, which brings on the quirky and artistic in its mixture of exposed brick, recycled headboard, and most appealing to us, the green velvet (we think?) armchair in the corner. The hotel’s website is still light on images, but on Instagram you can get a better impression of the brand.

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Hotel Urso Is 'Bearing' Up Beautifully In Madrid

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Mejía Lequerica 8, Madrid, Spain, 28004
September 2, 2014 at 9:24 AM | by | Comments (0)

It’s chic, it’s sexy, it’s in a seriously up-and-coming part of Madrid – it’s the Hotel Urso ('Bear Hotel'), which opened quietly last week. And “quietly” is the right word – according to this account in CN Traveler España (in Spanish, or via Google Translate), the hotel was firmly shut up with nobody around until the day before opening; and they only fixed the awning with the Hotel Urso branding on it the morning of the day itself. Mañana mañana, and all that.

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Hip Hotel Bars in Bordeaux and What to Order in Each

Where: Bordeaux, France
August 28, 2014 at 3:56 PM | by | Comments (0)

As you know, we like a good cocktail over here at HotelChatter so we’re always on the lookout for the best bevvie to order when we’re hoteling on the road.

Located right in the heart of things, Mama Shelter Bordeaux’s bar is one huge space resembling the basement rec room in your parent’s house when you were growing up but with more technology lying about. Wooden tables and chairs, wooden posts with screens attached to some of them to show off your digital pics, and a long wooden bar the size of Baja California, take up most of the space. The boho crowd is young-ish and, like the bartenders, ready to have fun. There’s a DJ on hand every Friday and Saturday night.

We had the Mama Tai for €14 ($18), which included rum, Cointreau, lime juice, sirop d’orgeat, and had a luscious black cherry garnish. Now, you can sip on that cocktail in the newly-opened rooftop bar/restaurant.

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An Inside Look at ME Madrid, Where Nightlife Reigns Supreme

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Plaza de Santa Ana, 14, Madrid, Spain, 28012
August 27, 2014 at 2:04 PM | by | Comments (0)

When we went down for dinner at ME Madrid Reina Victoria’s restaurant, Ana La Santa, at 9:45 p.m. while staying at the hotel, we were the only people in the restaurant. By the time we left at around 11 p.m., it was packed to the gills.

We headed up to the hotel’s super-swanky rooftop bar, The Roof: besides seeing one other forlorn-looking North American couple, it was empty. So we headed back down to the Ana La Santa Bar for cocktails and were surrounded by locals all just getting their after-dinner espressos as we reached the midnight hour.

By the time we hit the hay at around 1:30 a.m. the streets just outside the hotel were reaching a fever pitch. When we went back to the lobby at around 4:30 a.m. to check out, the loungey lobby was packed.

This is ME Madrid. (See the pics below!)

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An Inside Look at One of Tikal's Most Picturesque Boutique Hotels

August 21, 2014 at 3:04 PM | by | Comments (0)

Travelers who go to Tikal in Guatemala from Guatemala City have to either 1) rent a car and drive the 7-8 hours themselves 2) travel 8-9 hours by bus or 3) take a one-hour flight. In that sense, unless a roundtrip flight in one day sounds appealing, most people will want to spend the night. As the experience at Tikal is extremely in touch with the outdoors, we'd like to give you a glimpse inside the Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel, located on a 200-acre private reserve between Tikal and the airport.

Opened almost two years ago now, Las Lagunas is made up of 17 suites, each separated from the lobby and situated directly lagoon-side, with beautiful views from its lobby, restaurant, and pool. Most suites have both lagoon and jungle views with in-room amenities that include hot tubs, enclosed decks, and wood-paneled rainshowers. Check out the photos below to for a virtual tour of the property:

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Your Monday Morning Coffee… Cocktails

August 18, 2014 at 3:07 PM | by | Comment (1)

It's no secret that we love drinking in hotels here at HotelChatter. In fact, hotels might be our favorite "local." So all this week and next, we'll be pouring out some drinks for you during our second Hotel Cocktail Week(s) -- newly-expanded because there’s just so many drinks to share. We'll be posting quirky cocktails, boozy trends, unique menus and even recipes so you can recreate your favorite hotel drink at home. We expect everyone will be getting a bit tipsy over the next couple of weeks! But don't forget to tip your bartenders, in this case, us.

Tea-infused cocktails have been very “in” the past couple of years, and they still are, but now there’s something for all us coffee lovers to enjoy apart from the after-dinner Spanish Coffee: iced coffee cocktails. So kick start your day or night with one of these caffeine-spiked cocktails when your energy starts to wane.

The New York Palace’s team at their French pastry shop, Pomme Palais, teamed up with illy’s Master Barista, Giorgio Milos, to create a cold brew using illy’s single origin Mono Arabica Coffee from Brazil. In honor of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the hotel combined this exclusive cold brew with cachaça to create an idyllic summer cocktail that couldn’t be simpler to make.

The Brewzilian at Trouble’s Trust and Tavern on 51 at The New York Palace

4 oz cold brew
3 oz coconut water
1 oz cachaça
1/2 oz coconut syrup
Fresh coconut

Combine cold brew, coconut water, cachaça and coconut syrup in a shaker and pour over ice. Garnish with fresh coconut.

Cost to drink: $19
Cost to sleep it off: $493

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All About That Basil: Go On a Basil Cocktail Crawl at These NYC Hotels

August 13, 2014 at 5:38 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's no secret that we love drinking in hotels here at HotelChatter. In fact, hotels might be our favorite "local." So all this week and next, we'll be pouring out some drinks for you during our second Hotel Cocktail Week(s) -- newly-expanded because there’s just so many drinks to share. We'll be posting quirky cocktails, boozy trends, unique menus and even recipes so you can recreate your favorite hotel drink at home. We expect everyone will be getting a bit tipsy over the next couple of weeks! But don't forget to tip your bartenders, in this case, us.

You can’t beat basil this year as the herb of choice in hip cocktail bars the world over, and nowhere more so than in New York. Join us on a basil bar hop as we hit some of the coolest hotel bars this side of the Atlantic.

1) We’ll start at the nautically-themed Maritime Hotel, found in the Chelsea on the edge of Meatpacking District at 363 West 16th Street. La Bottega trattoria and lounge serves the basil-rich La Primavera cocktail.

La Primavera
1.5 oz Tanteo Tropical tequila
5 oz Canton ginger liqueur
1 oz simple syrup
1/4 oz lime juice
3 basil leaves

Combine ingredients, shake well and pour.

Cost to imbibe at the hotel: $14
Cost to stay at the hotel because you've imbibed too much: $425

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HotelChatter's Hotel Cocktail Week(s) Begins with These Lazy-Hazy End Of Summer Cocktails

August 11, 2014 at 5:09 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's no secret that we love drinking in hotels here at HotelChatter. In fact, hotels might be our favorite "local." So all this week and next, we'll be pouring out some drinks for you during our second Hotel Cocktail Week(s) -- newly-expanded because there’s just so many drinks to share. We'll be posting quirky cocktails, boozy trends, unique menus and even recipes so you can recreate your favorite hotel drink at home. We expect everyone will be getting a bit tipsy over the next couple of weeks! But don't forget to tip your bartenders, in this case, us.

Although this may depress a few of you, it’s time to face reality: there are only a few short weeks remaining of good ‘ol summertime. But carpe diem everyone! It’s not too late to get these hotel cocktails and maybe grab some rays at a rooftop bar at the same time.


Sugar Snap Pea and Mint Cocktail at W New York–-Downtown’s Living Room Bar & Terrace

Created by mixologist Eben Klemm, the Sugar Snap Pea and Mint cocktail at W Downtown combines aquavit, simple syrup and muddled mint, lemon and sugar snap peas. Topped with ginger beer and garnished with a snap pea and mint sprigs, it’s one last fleeting summery sight for guests to behold. Plus the vegie makes it good for you. No need to explore that further.


The Farmers Tan Martini at Hotel Vermont’s Juniper

This drink is a twist on the classic dirty martini and combines the pickled vegetable of the day (most recently it was pickled fiddleheads), Vermont Barr Hill vodka or gin, pickling juice and a vegetable salt rim. Since it sounds like a pickle in a glass, we recommend a hearty beef burger to complement this bevvie.

If you want to give it a go at home, here’s what you do:

Combine 2.5 oz Green Mountain Vodka or Gin and .5 oz pickling brine
Shake ‘er up and put in a Martini glass with a Vegetable Salt Rim
Garnish with seasonal pickled vegetable

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HotelChatter Must-Stay Hotels 2014: Toronto

August 5, 2014 at 5:27 PM | by | Comments (0)

Introducing our newest hotel guide--HotelChatter's Must-Stay Hotels--where we pick four hotels for four different types of travelers in a particular neighborhood of one major city. This is also a seasonal guide so the options may change depending on when you're going. Got a question about where to stay and when? Email us.

Looking for a hotel in Toronto? You can troll online review sites, crowdsource on Facebook and comb through endless “Best Hotels” lists but why do all that when we’ve done all the work for you already?

Here are four different hotels to try when you head south of the border to one of Canada’s largest metropolises, all located in Toronto's downtown area. Whether you’re going for pleasure or work and whether you’ve got cash to throw around or have pennies to count, these hotels will fulfill your wants, needs and desires.

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