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Ever hear that old wive's tale about the 10-year-old boy who peeked inside a hotel room drawer and found $10,000? Oh, wait, that was a real thing that happened last week to a father and son staying at a Hilton in Kansas City.
Upon checking into the hotel, 10-year-old Cody Schaefer (whom his dad describes as "very observant") was performing a routine inspection of the room when he uncovered a wad of bills stashed inside a dresser.
According to the Washington Post, the good Samaritan dad told his son they couldn't keep the money, and he promptly turned it over to the police. We can't say we would have been quite so magnanimous…
However, the story got us thinking: what are some weird things you've found in your hotel room?
Room Service / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Restaurants / Hotel News / Ace Hotels / Celebrity Chefs / Andaz Hotels / Hyatt Hotels / W Hotels / Hilton Hotels / → All Tags
Jaws dropped this weekend when Hilton New York it announced it would be doing away with room service completely. Instead of ordering up to their rooms, guests will have to trek down to the lobby, where a new grab-and-go restaurant is slated to open this summer.
Regarding the announcement, a spokesperson for Hilton said they've seen "a decline in traditional room service requests over the last several years." Though we wonder if that says more about the quality of Hilton's cooking than people's attitude towards the concept of room service.
Thankfully, there are plenty of other hotels in NYC that not only offer 24-hour room service, but when the food arrives, gives us mini food-gasms. For example…
On our first time staying at the Andaz Fifth Avenue, we went gaga over the complimentary snacks offered in every room for guests. But be sure to pick up the phone and actually order something next time you're there, as the French Toast (pictured above) we had for breakfast on our last visit totally rocked our world.
Four more picks after the jump!
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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: Farm-to-table concepts at restaurants
What's In: Farm-to-table concepts at spas
With “natural” and “local” now part of the modern lexicon for restaurants, hotels have decided that it’s not just your tummy that should get all that organic goodness. We present to you... (drumroll please) farm-to-face.
A Relais & Chateaux Resort, the Hotel Caesar Augustus is perched on a cliff on the languid isle of Capri. In this idyllic setting you can find an equally idyllic spa garden. The goods from the garden - infusions made with the oils from basil, sage, rosemary, and marjoram as well as lemons and oranges - can be used in various massage treatments they offer at the hotel. The truly wonderful thing is that the massages can take place in the midst of all of those blooming orange and lemon blossoms.
The Guerlain Spa at the Waldorf Astoria New York is launching a “Milk, Honey and Herb” Mani and Pedi using its own “Top of the Waldorf Rooftop Honey” from six beehives installed on the 20th floor roof. The unguents and creams also include herbs grown from the hotel’s newly-installed rooftop garden and, while you’re waxing poetic about the treatment, you can sip on the hotel’s signature Wax Poetic cocktail featuring the house-made honey.
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Manhattan is still the place to be for hip new hotel brands. Yesterday, we mentioned how Commune Hotels would be opening not one, but two new Tommie Hotels in the Big Apple. Today, we learn that InterContinental Hotel Group's upcoming Even Hotels brand has signed an agreement to open a second hotel in NYC--this time at 321 West 35th Street.
The hotel will be an entirely new build and will feature 150 guestrooms over 25 guest room floors. The rest of the hotel will feature flexible public workspaces, dining and social areas and since this hotel brand is all about health, fitness and wellness, a state-of-the-art,t hree-zone gym. Plus the entire place will be outfitted with free WiFi. The hotel is expected to open in 2015 as will the other Even Hotel on 44th Street. The very first Even Hotel will open sometime in 2014. That location is still TBD.
Keep reading for more hotel opening news!
Well, that move was apparently so successful, Hilton has now decided to make CB&TL the official coffee and tea provider for all Hilton properties in North America, South America and Central America, starting this summer. Which doesn't mean there will be fancy new cafes built in every hotel offering those delicious ice blended drinks, but the little coffee and tea packets found in guest rooms will all be exclusively sourced from the coffee chain (rather than Starbucks or Tazo.)
Hilton Executive VP Jim Holthouser told the LA Times:
"'One reason for the agreement is that Hilton will save money buying in bulk.'
Holthouser wouldn’t say how much the hotel chain would save but he noted that guests at the three major hotel brands drink more than 100,000 cups of in-room coffee per day."
Airport hotels are part of every traveler’s experience at one point or another, which is why we recently listed some of our favorites around the world for you. Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport – voted best European airport and number 3 in the world at the 2013 Skytrax awards – is getting a brand new hotel in 2015, when the Hilton Schiphol Airport (round two) will open.
It will replace the current Hilton, which has been around since 1972 (check out the gold reflective windows, very avant-garde at the time) and was the airport’s first proper hotel. Now, especially with competition from the likes of citizenM, it’s time to come back with a new 433-room, atrium-style hotel, which will be connected to the terminal via a covered walkway.
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Over in Manhattan, New York Hilton Midtown is celebrating the big 5-0 by launching a new website that fills people in on the hotel's colorful history (did you know this was the first hotel to replace keys with keycards? Yeah, neither did we!).
But there's more happening here than just reminiscing over old black-and-white photos (see above).
Another component of the birthday celebrations are what the hotel is calling 50 Random Acts of Hospitality, which calls for New York Hilton Midtown employees to "engage in random acts of hospitality". In case you're wondering just what that means, the acts will include: offering complimentary room upgrades, handing out umbrellas on rainy days and helping guests score tickets to local attractions and events.
In other words, everything a hotel is supposed to do anyway.
We love a room with a view, particularly when that room comes with a built-in window seat to enjoy it all. This combination can be found in the Executive rooms at the London Park Lane Hilton; located on floors 18 to 27 (this shot is from the 20th floor). You’ll take full advantage of being in one of the tallest buildings in the area.
Views range from the greenery of Hyde Park and Knightsbridge/South Kensington, like in the above photo, to city views of Mayfair and the West End. As appealing as they are, the trade-off comes with the hotel’s exterior, which sticks out like a sore thumb at the eastern edge of Hyde Park, but you won’t see that when inside, right? If you’re not staying the night, you can still sample the views in the bar, Galvin at Windows, on the 28th floor.
We found an Executive room on a Saturday in early June for £419 ($650) a night, but special offers can be a much better value from time to time.
[Photo: JasonD for HotelChatter]
In the important quest for the mighty "pink-dollar", the folks over at Hilton have introduced a creative way of attracting more gay and lesbian travelers to check-in to their hotels. Last week, the company re-launched a campaign to turn a few heads when it comes to same-sex relationships.
Hilton originally started the program in 2012, but have added more hotels and revamped the offering; the package will include perks like complimentary internet, two welcome drinks, late checkout and a full-year digital subscription to OUT magazine. Of course nothing says 'gay' like free WiFi and booze, right? Pfft. But hey, we'll take it. An effort is being made.
With a slogan like "Stay Hilton...Go Out", the brand plans to pull in the reservations by sponsoring some major gay-themed events around the world. From Chicago's North Halsted Marketdays to San Fran Pride, the chain is slapping their name on various gay events. Along with the sponsorship, they've created a gay newsletter highlighting major gay global events like Amsterdam Pride and Sydney Mardi Gras.
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Last week, Hilton Worldwide opened the 183-room DoubleTree by Hilton Cape Town - Upper Eastside, the brands first DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in South Africa. Yes, the name is a mouthful, but we can swallow that if it means a new affordable option for Cape Town.
We’ve noticed lately Hilton’s been stylifying (yeah, made that word up) their DoubleTree brand, and this newly reno’ed, upscale property is no exception. The lobby is filled with white latticework and vibrant nature colors of green and blue. Rooms are a mix of earthy browns, greys and whites. The Rooms range from executive and suites to two-story loft rooms located on the penthouse floor with sweet views of the city’s skyline.
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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*
· Taxes are a Beach in Miami Beach: The Sagamore Hotel in Miami has put together a "Taxes are a Beach" vacation package that is run by the hotel's own IRS (Internal Rejuvenation Services.) The minimum two-night stay deal includes tax-free accommodations in a Sagamore Suite, $25 daily stimulus (i.e. a hotel credit that can even be used to deduct from the room rate), daily breakfast for two, daily beach chairs for two and complimentary WiFi. The deal represents an overall savings of 20 percent. Rates start at $320 a night. The deal is only valid for April stays. Go here to book.
· Hilton's LGBT Deal is Back: The Stay Hilton. Go Out package is back. The deal includes high-speed internet (wahoo!), one-year digital subscription to OUT magazine, two welcome beverages and late checkout, where and when available. Guests who plan on staying with Hilton during the Gay Pride season can also download and print an LGBT event calendar from Hilton's Go Out website as well as sign up for the Hilton LGBT travel newsletter for travel ideas, upcoming events and special offers. Go here to book.
· Spring for a Springtime Hawaiian Getaway : Love Hawaii but hate the crowds? Avoid the summer rush and go this spring instead. Stay at the 43-room Ka'anapali Beach Hotel in western Maui and book their Spring Bonus package. The deal is good from now through May 31 and includes pool view accommodations, daily buffet breakfast for two and a compact rental car. Rates start at $215 a night. Go here to book.
Thanks to Melbourne-based artist, Matthew Bird, we can now rethink the image we have in our heads as we slide our key-card into a new hotel-room's door. He's created an art installation piece at the city's Hilton on the Park called "Hotel Otherworldly" that reworks an existing hotel room into a fabulous piece of art.
Housed in a fairly non-descript, brown brick building with no balconies, or character for that matter, this artistic hotel room is tucked away amongst business travelers and tourists unknown they might be sleeping next to a piece of art. A design that is as loud as a tornado, maintains the wallflower persona by being purely art.
One of the typical Hilton king guest suites has been transformed into a space where everything installed offers a regional reference to Australia, from flora and fauna to history and culture. A gold slap in the face for the region's gold rush days, art featuring crocodiles and royal blue to signify the history as a British colony all play a significant role in creating not only an over-the-top piece of art, but a reflection of the local culture.