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A few months ago, we put out a poll that asked readers how they felt about hotels replacing traditional keycards with electronic wristbands. A few people liked the convenience of having everything on their wrist and not keeping track of a key, but most, including this writer, balked at the idea.
Part of it is that the hotel chain in question, EVEN Hotels, is charging guests $8 for them. The other part of it was the belief that if anything is going to replace our beloved keycards, it should be smart phone technology. Who needs one more thing?
Alas, it looks like enough people are at least interested in the concept to give the trend a chance to become a mainstay. But this time it’s no small potatoes. This time, it’s Four Seasons touting them as a perk.
Must-Stay Hotels / Denver Hotels / Four Seasons Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Crawford Hotel / Four Seasons Denver / Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center / → All Tags
Introducing our handy hotel guides--HotelChatter's Must Stay Hotels--where we pick four hotels for four different types of travelers in a particular neighborhood of one major city. Now that the snow is coming, we're rounding up a few cold and warm-weather destinations, starting with Denver. Got a question about where to stay and when? Email us.
Winter is here and most travelers to Denver will be passing through on their way up to the mountains. But with so much happening in the city, it would be a mistake not to spend a few nights. Here are four different hotels to try in downtown Denver. Whether you’ve got cash to throw around or have pennies to count, these hotels will fulfill your needs. One common thread running through these hotel picks? They have all free WiFi. So during your stay, you can write us a thank you email for the recommendation.
Hotel Openings / Hotel News / Four Seasons Hotels / Johannesburg Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
If hunting for hidden Mickey Mouse ears isn’t your thing, perhaps some wildlife spotting sounds more appealing? It may not have made the summer opening we were hoping for, but Four Seasons The Westcliff in Johannesburg is now welcoming guests, after a $56 million renovation of the hotel.
As we showed you earlier this year, the refresh isn't afraid of a little zebra print, across a number of different styles and colour schemes. The hotel has 117 rooms and suites, ranging from entry-level Superior Rooms to the Royal Suite, which has its own plunge pool.
When the Four Seasons Orlando at Disney World opened last August, we found all sorts of non-Disney reasons to get excited by the new hotel, such as the adults-only pool, the neighboring wildlife sanctuary, the Tom Fazio-designed golf course, the 18 spa treatment rooms as well as the luxe decor and attentive service that we've come to expect from Four Seasons hotels.
Now, we understand that all these reasons may not appeal to the extreme Disney fanatics out there. Indeed, because the resort is not technically owned by Disney, there aren't many Mickey touches at all.
The only place where you will find "official" Mickey Mouse ears is at the Disney Planning Desk in the lobby. Here you can buy tickets and Magic Bands as well as make reservations, arrange services and quiz the Disney cast members on what to do and where to go at the parks. And if you do the Character Breakfast at the hotel's Ravello restaurant on Thursdays and Sundays (and some select Tuesdays), you'll be able to see Mickey Mouse in person.
But, there are quite a few unofficial Mickey Mouse ears throughout the property.
Here's where we found hidden or accidental Mickey Mouse ears at the Four Seasons Orlando.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / Bahrain Hotels / Manama Hotels / Four Seasons Hotels / Wolfgang Puck / → All Tags
Bahrain: top of your travel list? No, us neither. But here’s something that’s rocketing it swiftly upwards: news of the new Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, due to open early next year.
The hotel will be in Manama, the capital. But that’s massively underselling it – actually, the hotel will sit on its own, 12-acre, manmade private island, with terraces, pools and gardens landscaped around the 68-story hotel. Oh, and did we mention it’s modeled on the grand ocean liners of the 1930s? They promise “art deco accents and a calming color palette” throughout. Those floor-to-ceiling windows and that carpet are certainly soothing us right now. As is the fact that it’s 75 degrees there right this second.
Once you’ve made it onto the island (via water taxi, boat or private causeway), there will be 216 rooms and 57 suites, all with panoramic views of either the skyline or the Arabian Gulf, as well as a bi-level “sky bridge” with restaurants and event space. Bahraini artwork will be scattered throughout the hotel.
Never did we think it would be Four Seasons that would end up managing Ten Trinity Square when we first looked at the development earlier this year, but so we found out a few months ago. The website has moved on from being just a landing page, with a tiny bit more detail on the hotel, residences, and club that will arrive inside the former Port of London Authority building.
Starting with the hotel, opening is scheduled for 2016, with no further commitment to when within that twelve-month window. It will occupy the lower ground to the third levels, with 100 guest rooms and suites (the press release from Four Seasons talked about 98, but who are we to nit-pick).
Above the rendering we have at this point, which shows soaring ceilings, classic details, and a dramatic four-poster bed and step-down lounge. We assume this would be one of the suites, and if the hotel is located on the lower floors of the building, this 2nd floor layout we found in February may indeed be accurate. That called for all rooms having separate bathtubs and showers, and no fewer than three Royal Suites.
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Back in April, Four Seasons Hotels announced their own branded 757 private jet with three exquisite journeys beginning in February. But in case you didn't make enough money this year to afford one of the $100,000+ flights, which also include accommodations, meals, excursions and ground transportations, there's always 2016.
Four Seasons has announced their 2016 journeys, starting at $100,000. They are:
· Timeless Discoveries: An Around the World Journey: January 26 - February 18. USD $125,000. Flies to Los Angeles, Kona, Bora Bora, Sydney, Bali, Chiang Mai, Taj Mahal and Mumbai, Prague, and London
· International Intrigue: An Around the World Journey: April 14 - May 7. USD $125,000. Flies to Seattle, Tokyo, Beijing, Maldives , Serengeti, Istanbul, St. Petersburg, Marrakech and Boston
· Extraordinary Adventures: An Around the World Journey: September 17 - October 11. USD $130,000. Flies to Austin, Costa Rica, Hawaii, Sydney, Langkawi, Mauritius, Serengeti, Petra and the Dead Sea and Lisbon.
· Cultural Escape: Europe, Middle East and Africa: November 4 - 22. USD $100,000. Flies to London, Petra and the Dead Sea, Dubai, Seychelles, Serengeti, Florence and London.
[Photo: Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts]
Hotel News Briefs / Ireland Hotels / Four Seasons Hotels / Hyatt Hotels / Auberge Hotels / Auberge Resorts Collection / → All Tags
Top of the morning to ya. There is so much hotel news flying around this week and we just don't have enough time to focus on all of it. So here's a quick rundown to get you up to speed on the latest.
· HYATT TO OPEN FIRST HOTEL IN IRELAND?: Remember when we told you that the Four Seasons Dublin would be no more? Well, that's still true but Hyatt Hotels will move on in. The Independent has the details. Since Four Seasons will be out by the end of the year, we expect Hyatt to move in shortly after that.
· BUT HYATT IS ON THE WAY OUT IN OUBAAI: If you've ever been hoping to use your Hyatt Gold Passport Points in South Africa at the Hyatt Oubaai George in South Africa, we're sorry to say that the resort will be leaving the Hyatt portfolio on November 30. The details first emerged in a FlyerTalk forum and a note has been posted to the hotel's website. It will honor all reservations but not Hyatt Gold Passport program perks.
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The few things we know at this stage? It will be the first Four Seasons hotel on the island of Oahu, the fourth island of Hawai’i with a Four Seasons (the others are Maui, Lana’i, and the Big Island), and the fifth Four Seasons in total. Another first is the creation of private residences, which adds to our expectation that the current room count of 387 will change.
The only rendering we have is above, a sweeping staircase (complete with lady in a mustard-yellow ball gown) over reflecting pools. The architects working on the renovation include 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Toyo Ito.
When we look at the JW Marriott website, we can only make reservations up to January 9, 2015. We think it will be 2016 or 2017 until Four Seasons reopens.
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Добро пожаловать!* We may have got a little sidetracked by the insane suites of St Petersburg yesterday, but today our eyes are pointed back towards Moscow, where the Four Seasons finally opens in a recreation of the legendary Hotel Moskva which featured on the Stolichnaya vodka label and which was bulldozed 10 years ago. (In fact, it ‘opened’ two days ago with a big party, but is only available for bookings for normal folk from today.)
As we said before, the location is spectacular, on Ploshchad Revolyutsii, which filters into Red Square. It has five food and drink venues including Italian and Russian restaurants, a 24-hour fitness center, a glass-roofed lap pool and a whopping 32,292 square feet spa, which will open early next year.
Hotel Closures / Hotel Rebrandings / Four Seasons Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Dublin Hotels / Jakarta Hotels / → All Tags
If you’re looking to capture the last moments of Four Seasons Hotels before they close, your itinerary is no longer limited to Hawaii’s Lana’i this year (one of the two hotels there, The Lodge at Koele, will shut early January for most of the year, as part of Larry Ellison’s plans for the island).
You’ll be heading to the Irish capital Dublin and Jakarta, Indonesia, too – quite the reach for a three-country jaunt, isn’t it? In Ireland, the goodbyes are forever, with the announcement that the group will cease management of Four Seasons Dublin on December 31 this year. Luxury hotels in Dublin have had a tough run since the 2008 crisis, with probably some of the lowest rates we’ve seen of any European Four Seasons, often hovering around the €200 ($250) mark, if not just below, at the hotel. The Irish Times reports that the hotel was sold in 2011 for €15 million, believed to be a quarter of what it cost to develop the hotel in 2001. Another “five-star international brand” will be taking over, so we’ll have to wait and see which one that is – perhaps InterContinental?
Must-Stay Hotels / London Hotels / Corbin and King Hotels / Maybourne Hotel Group / Four Seasons Hotels / citizenM Hotels / → All Tags
Introducing our handy hotel guides--HotelChatter's Must Stay Hotels--where we pick four hotels for four different types of travelers in a particular neighborhood of one major city. From London's Soho last week, we continue with Mayfair and the West End today. Got a question about where to stay and when? Email us.
Looking for a hotel in London? 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 in and around Mayfair and the West End. So 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 needs. One common thread running through these hotel picks? They have all free WiFi. So during your stay, you can write us a thank you email for the recommendation.