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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: Hotel-branded pens and notepads as keepsakes
What’s In: Souvenirs inspired by the history and culture of the hotel
Fess up: The last time you stayed in a hotel, did you take the little pad of paper and pen with the hotel’s name on it? Everyone takes the toiletries, but if you’re a serious hotel geek, that cheap pen disappeared too. We get it. And so do hotels.
If you want a more lasting or glam souvenir though, these hotels have what you need.
The Washington School House hotel in Park City, Utah was a former school built in 1889 that even has its own motto: "Where old school is the new cool". As a playful nod and a wink to their educational roots, guests will find a notebook and pencil set waiting when they check in.
The Hyatt Regency Atlanta Downtown recently completed a $65 million transformation that included the opening of Market – a self-serve, around-the-clock stop for all your snacking needs (including a fancy-dancy touch-screen soda fountain that dispenses 126 different drinks). Food in Georgia trends towards down-home goodness, and the Executive Chef’s homemade BBQ rub, at $5 a pop in Market, lets you experience that Southern comfort all over again.
The sleek Yabu Pushelberg-designed Modern Honolulu likes to serve a little quirk with its chic. The hotel leaves complimentary sarongs and ukuleles in each guest room for you to use during your stay. But if you like them so much you can’t live without them, the sarongs and ukuleles are available for purchase so you can strum away ‘til your heart’s content.
Hotel Rebrandings / Hotel News / Hyatt Hotels / Andaz Hotels / Paris Hotels / France Hotels / Cannes Film Festival Hotels / Concorde Hotels / → All Tags
Just as we were slowly rolling into the weekend last Friday, Hyatt dropped a little bomb on us with the news that no less than four iconic French hotels will be brought into the Hyatt family, doubling the group’s presence in the world’s most popular tourist destination.
The four hotels are film-festival favorite Hotel Martinez in Cannes, the Palais de la Mediterranée in Nice, and the Hotel du Louvre and Concorde La Fayette in Paris. Read on for more details on exactly what’s going to happen from April this year onwards (including Andaz à la française).
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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*
· The Hampton Inn Miami Brickell for $149 for Heat-Thunder Finals: Staying in Miami for the NBA Finals? The rather new Hampton Inn Miami Brickell is advertising rooms starting at $149 a night with ticket holders getting an extra 10 percent off. The Heat is On package also includes pre-game drink vouchers at the hotel's lobby bar, 50 percent off parking, free WiFi and On the House hot breakfast served daily. Indeed, there are rates at this price for June 17 when the Heat return to Miami. Protip: Florida residents can save an extra $18. Book via www.hamptoninnmiamibrickell.com.
· The Westin Nova Scotian for $109: Sojourning in Halifax this summer? The Westin Nova Scotian, overlooking the Halifax Harbour and with its own train station, has rates for $109 a night. The rates are good for arrivals on all days and we found them for the weekend of July 13. Upgrades to Harbour View rooms can be had for $30 extra per night. Book online using code LASTMIN1. While the rate applies for stays through September 3rd, you must book by June 18.
· Affordable Paris, Thanks to Concorde Hotels: Paris is an expensive city but staying there can be done for less with Concorde Hotels which are offering 45 percent off their rooms on Travelzoo. Rates start at just $115 a night from July 13-September 9 but beware: booking is pre-paid and non-refundable. We recommend the Hotel Lutetia where we and Dita Von Teese have stayed.
It's been a trying weekend for Japan, and the situation still remains dire with entire towns wiped out and massive rescue efforts under way. In Tokyo, life is attempting to return to normal, but limited public transportation schedules and the threat of electricity blackouts has stunted business. True to Japan's culture, however, the hotels of the city seem to be handling the crisis as gracefully as possible.
Last night, while routinely reading Twitter, we noticed that @thebaghag was relating her friend's story of being a tourist in Tokyo during the earthquake. It happened while he was staying at the Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel, a popular hotel with amazing views, located in a Shibuya high-rise.
Naturally guests were evacuated, but hotel staff went above and beyond to pack for guests with departing flights:
Paris is always a beyatch for hotel prices, but Travelzoo has scouted out a fabulous offer this week if you want to make a quick trip to the city of lurve.
The Concorde Montparnasse has rooms for €109 (£97 or $147) a night at the moment, and even includes an upgrade to a superior room, a glass of champagne, free WiFi and the ever elusive, ever expensive buffet breakfast.
Well, hello Paris. And Berlin. And Prague. And even Marbella. Christmas shopping on the Continent is looking pretty promising this year. The latest lot to offer special winter deals are the folk at Concorde Hotels. But is it worth it?
The Winter Offer which starts 1 November and ends March 31 promises bed, breakfast and a “surprise gift” if you stay two nights or more. And the rates sound pretty good – Prague from €80 ($118/£72), Berlin from €136 and Paris from €148.
Except we just looked up rezzie rates for a couple of properties, and looks like you can do better by simply paying up front, if all you want is a room with no added extras.
Ah, Bastille Day! Watching the parade down the Champs Elysees, crowding onto the Champs de Mars to see the fireworks above the Eiffel Tower...how could you not want to be in Paris this summer? To celebrate France’s independence day, the Concorde Hotels chain is offering some deep discounts and attractive perks at their hotels all over France and Europe. The offers don’t end after July 14, though.
From July 10 to September 13, you can choose any of Concorde’s 22 participating properties and get room rates starting at $165 per night. The package includes accommodations, buffet breakfast, and special gifts like free museum tickets, boat rides on the Seine, city tours, and picnic baskets.
You may be a little worried about hitting Europe this summer. Especially Paris – it’s notoriously expensive at the best of times, but right now, a trip there means you’re pretty much guaranteed a wallet-mauling.
But if Mama Shelter’s full and you don’t want to settle for a hostel or swap Paris for Brussels, there are pretty neat deals at some of the Concorde hotels. If you pay up front and don’t mind a non-changeable, non-refundable deal, you can get a Super Saver rate, which costs from €105 for a double room at the four star Concorde Montparnasse, or €111.50 at La Fayette. Neither of them are very central, but for these prices, you can’t argue too much.
Or if you’re in a group, and staying for four nights or more, you could try their summer offer – you can get a room at the Montparnasse for €140, plus a second one at half price. You’ll also get three complimentary activities with this package – tickets to the Louvre, a boat trip down the Seine, and a picnic basket.
The offers are valid until 13 September and both include breakfast. So if you fill your little tumtums up first thing, you can save even more by doing without le dejeuner. Tres bien.
The Cannes Film Festival is in full-swing right now which means celebs and their entourages have taken all the best hotel rooms and their mere presence has jacked up the rates at any other hotel you may consider staying at. But of course, once the celebs leave the prices come down to back down to earth. And at the Hotel Martinez, you will get a little bit of a kickback.
To celebrate its 80th anniversary, the hotel is offering guests who stay three consecutive nights a resort credit of 80 Euros, per person which can be used at the hotel's restaurants (including La Palme d'Or), bars and spa.
The offer begins for stays starting June 1 through September 30 and also includes buffet breakfast. Rates are still rather steep with a three-night stay starting at 310 Euros a night. Free WiFi is included which is a plus but we're a little concerned about those bedspreads.
Staying at nice hotels can wreak havoc good dieting intentions: 100 percent true fact (as we like to tell ourselves). All those sugared freebies in the rooms, the elaborate breakfast smorgasboards and the overblown dinner menus add up to something not-so-good for the waistline.
Luckily the trim French chain of Concorde hotels has decided to help out the weak of will by introducing a Zero Complex menu that comes in at under 800 calories for three whole courses probably the same as the pot au chocolat we'd usually down at first sight.
Because they're good restaurants (like the Palme d’Or at the Martinez in Cannes, which is one of the top draws for A-listers at le festival), you can rest assured that this will be some good stuff: for instance, trout from Lake Geneva at the Hotel de la Paix in Geneva, or an apple and lychee sorbet at Le Palais de la Mediterranee in Nice. "Choosing a dish from the Zero Complex menu does not mean having to cut down on taste or an interesting assortment of flavours," says Concorde. Good.
You won't be paying a premium for your good choices either: the Nice menu starts at 29 euros ($38) for the three courses. And it's available at all European Concorde hotels except its Parisienne grande dame, the snooty Crillon. Well, you've got to keep that fatty French cuisine going somewhere, we suppose.
Now that airline ticket prices are dropping and the dollar is finally gaining (a little) ground against the Euro, forget that lame “staycation” you’ve been planning (we know you were only going to sunbathe in your own backyard anyway), and head to Paris this spring to see the “Andy Warhol’s Wide World” exhibit at the Grand Palais with a special package from Concorde Hotels.
Hotel Video Tours / Paris Hotel Scene / Paris Hotels / Concorde Hotels / Dita Von Teese / → All Tags
Although we don’t like to admit it, we often go by celeb guests when we’re deciding where to stay. So when we decided to take an empowered single lady trip to Paris, we took a leaf out of uber-empowered single Dita Von Teese, by going for the Left Bank Hotel Lutetia, where she’s apparently staying at the moment.
We didn’t catch Dita, or anyone else of note, but the bar is the place of choice for a host of French celebs – Carla Bruni used to be a regular before she became Mrs. Sarko, and Gerard Depardieu pops in most days. We can imagine that – it’s a gorgeous art deco hall with a couple of bronze statues propping up the lights, and panes of coloured glass on the ceiling.