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Hotel Renovations / Fairmont Hotels / Ottawa Hotels / Ontario Hotels / Castle Hotels / Photo Gallery / Canada Hotels / Historic Hotels / → All Tags
Tripadvisor reviews haven't been very kind to Ottawa, Canada's historic Fairmont Château Laurier in recent years. The popular sentiment seems to be "time for a major renovation" and, luckily enough, that's exactly what the hotel has in mind. Better than that actually; the Château Laurier is in the midst of such a renovation of the guest rooms, replacing the former "grandma's guest bedroom" aesthetic with something much more modern, fresh, and bright.
Redecorated rooms finally offer lots of power outlets (including a desk with built-in console and bedside table lamps with outlets), Nespresso coffee makers and a variety of Fairmont proprietary tea blends, and bathrooms are equipped with both an ultra-flattering light-up mirror and a makeup mirror, not to mention toiletries from Le Labo's Rose 31 collection.
Only a small number of the hotel's 429 guest rooms have been redecorated with the fresher look, so guests should request one during booking or, at the very latest, during check-in.
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.
Kea Lani means "white heaven" and the all-suite and villa Fairmont Kea Lani in Maui certainly is divine now that it's completed its extensive three-year, $70 million renovation. Improvements have touched nearly every aspect of the 22-acre Wailea property.
Above is how a one-bedroom suite at the property used to look. Just a bit too dated for our tastes. But keep reading to see how the place looks now!
Hotel Tea. Hotel Drinks / Hotel Restaurants / London Hotels / UK Hotels / Fairmont Hotels / Morgan Hotel Group / Morgan Hotels / → All Tags
Tea and crumpets are as English as fascinators, but you can be overwhelmed by the sheer number of afternoon teas at London Hotels. So we thought we’d help you out by narrowing the field according to your tea type.
BEST TEA FOR FASHIONISTAS: Prêt-à-Portea at The Berkeley
This is the kind of tea that makes you smile, with brightly-colored fanciful treats. The Berkeley gets creative with each season’s couture collections for their Prêt-à-Portea, and every tea treat you eat is inspired by a designer. Late last fall their partnership with Jimmy Choo brought about a velvet praline cream cake with sweetheart bow – replicating the must-have Gala pointed-toe pump – and the Cayla zebra-print handbag in chocolate moelleux and meringue.
The 2015 Autumn/Winter Prêt-à-Portea draws inspiration from Diane von Fürstenberg, Dolce and Gabbana and Moschino. The “collection” changes every six months because, as you know, fashion can be so fickle. Tea is served daily from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and is £45 ($67) to £58 ($86).
The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and its surrounding wilderness
Last week, we showed you the killer view that makes the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise one of Banff's most talked-about properties. Its location at the edge of glacially-fed Lake Louise is how it makes its first impression, but what's the rest of the property have to offer? Today, we open its doors for a peak inside.
The hotel was originally started as a base for outdoor enthusiasts, and has evolved into the upscale property it is today. This combination is what defines the hotel, a focus on soft adventure that mingles with modern-day luxury. This ying and yang is evident the moment you walk into the lobby and see how the outdoor-inspired art and bold colors mix with the large archways, shimmering chandelier, and soft accents of its interior design.
View from the far side of the lake of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
We've highlighted the natural beauty of the Fairmont Banff Springs in the past, but its lesser-known sister property, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, is no slouch when it comes to killer views herself.
A few years ago, we dreamed about what it might be like to stay there, and now we have experienced it first hand. We'll dive in a little deeper next week, but it doesn't take a genius to figure out what attracts people to this property. It is positioned next to Lake Louise, which is fed by several glaciers that trickle down from the surrounding jagged peaks of the Canadian Rockies.
Hotel Openings / Hotel News / JW Marriott Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Austin Hotels / Fairmont Hotels / Westin Hotels / Starwood Hotels / → All Tags
Let superstition be damned: Marriott Hotels is taking Friday the 13th head on by opening its JW Marriott Austin tomorrow. The largest JW Marriott in the United States (1,012 guestrooms) and second largest in the world (largest being the JW Marriott Marquis in Dubai, because everything is bigger in Dubai), there are some dazzling stats that come with its size, but we’ve mostly focused on its walk-up burger window.
A King or Double-Queen Room is still available from $299 a night on opening day, of which the website currently only displays the above artist impression. We like the factory-style rolling doors that return in the headboard design, with the rest showing an expected subdued mix of blues, greys, whites, and browns.
The 1,000+ rooms on East Second Street are only the beginning of a highly-concentrated hotel boom for Austin, with another 1,400 rooms arriving within blocks of the JW Marriott. First up is The Westin Austin Downtown, now scheduled for July 16th on East 5th – a relative lightweight with only 326 rooms. It is making good on its promise of a 2015 opening though, which cannot be said of The Fairmont Austin, now pushed back to 2017, half a decade after it announced its 1,000+ room hotel.
Sean attends to his typical Savoy clientele
They’re contractually obliged to fulfill all the desires of the other party, they submit to ridiculous demands whatever their personal preferences, and they’ll go to great lengths to satisfy the other person. No, we’re not talking about gruesome Fifty Shades packages, but those bastions of English propriety, the butlers of the Savoy.
There are around 25 butlers at the Savoy, providing 24-hour service to all suites (of which there are 73). Sean Davoren here is their chief. And the hotel has got him to open up a little about all the weird and wonderful facets of being a butler.
Of course, this interview having been commissioned by the hotel, there’s nothing really mindblowing or naughty, but we like these facts:
Mayakoba Hotels / Rosewood Resorts / Fairmont Hotels / Banyan Tree Resorts / Rivera Maya Hotels / → All Tags
The Mayakoba resort community near Playa del Carmen, Mexico sits on 240 acres of tropical forest with eco-friendly lagoons and surrounded by the Caribbean shoreline.
Unlike many resorts in Mexico, there is much more to do than just drink margaritas on the beach (although we like that too). Biking via the extensive shady paths, golfing and scenic boat tours around the canals are just a few.
The hard question is this: Which of the three resort properties should you choose for your stay-- the Fairmont, Rosewood or Banyan Tree? Here is a brief overview of each:
The Fairmont Mayakoba struck us as the most kid-friendly with its waterslide and kids pool, even though all three resorts have kids clubs. It’s also apparently dog friendly as we saw this little number poolside (sadly the Paris Hilton-y owner was not actually Paris Hilton). Casitas are scattered throughout the property, some of which are beachfront with stairs leading right to the ocean and some have oceanfront private plunge pools. The Mexican craft beer tasting with tapas is a must do. The Fairmont is the largest of the three with 401 rooms but it is also the least expensive (although certainly just as lovely as the others.) Off-season prices start at less than $300 per night.
If you like traditional elegance in a hotel, you can’t really beat the star wattage at London’s Savoy hotel. The place oozes fine service and, to be honest, we were pretty impressed. But great service, location and iconic status often comes with a price tag to match. Luckily, what we were shown as the best room to book at the hotel was not a status symbol suite, but a Luxury King River View--specifically, room 514.
Rooms at The Savoy are decorated in either Edwardian or Art Deco style--although all Luxury King River View rooms are done up in Edwardian--and are pretty darn spacious. But what makes this room so special? It’s the commanding view over the River Thames and the British Eye. We stayed on a higher floor that also looked out over the Thames, but there is something about being a bit lower down at tree-level that makes one feel more "at one" with your green surroundings and dappled sunlit room.
Check out the photo gallery!
Hotel Holiday Decorations / Hotel Christmas Trees / Hotel Pop-Ups / Fairmont Hotels / Boston Hotels / → All Tags
Trees, gingerbread houses, insane glass bottle installations – Christmas hotel decor is all well and good, but sometimes you want to bring a taste of it home.
The Savoy Hotel has had more than its share of legends stay at the hotel since its opening in 1889 – Charlie Chaplin, Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland and Humphrey Bogart are but a few. To honor these celebrities and captains of industry The Savoy’s deeply dramatic Beaufort Bar has created a series of Character Cocktails and, we gotta tell ya, this is cocktail theater.
For those that follow this site regularly, you know we take our in-room cup of coffee seriously.
With that in mind, it is in good spirits that we pass on the word of Fairmont Hotels' partnership with a southern artisanal micro-roaster from Birmingham, Alabama called H.C. Valentine Coffee Company.
We haven't yet sampled the coffee personally, but it sounds promising, or at the very least, interesting, since most corporate brands tend to offer corporate coffee, like Starbucks.
The partnership is only for Fairmont's North American line of properties, and you can find a list of participating hotels here.
[Photo: Fairmont Hotels]