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Forget Christmas and New Year's. Right now is the most wonderful time of the year for the Beverly Hilton.
If you're hoping to catch a glimpse of hosts Amy Poehler and Tina Fey or your favorite TV and movie stars, alas, rooms at the hotel are sold-out. Being able to watch the red carpet arrivals is also a lost cause this late in the game.
But should you want to know what the celebs are eating inside while you're stalking them outside, InStyle has the scoop on the menu and not surprisingly, it includes a "modern Waldorf salad." Wonder if it will be accompanied by advertisements for the upcoming Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills that's being built next to the Hilton?
If you had to name a railway station hotel in London, chances are your first thought would be of the gothic exuberance that is the St. Pancras Hotel. Maybe neighboring Great Northern Hotel, possibly even the much more contemporary Shangri-La at the Shard, which, as much as it isn’t necessarily advertised as such, literally sits on top of London Bridge station.
Much less attention is there for the Paddington Hilton, attached to the station of the same name that for most travellers is only synonymous with the (outrageously overpriced) Heathrow Express. But, the hotel is trying to step things up a bit with the addition of 56 new “GWR” Tower rooms, in reference to its original Great Western Royal Hotel name. Set in their own wing, the rooms look to Art Deco for design inspiration and come with access to a dedicated Executive Lounge.
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Europe’s busiest airports had a good year last year: citizenM arrived at Paris Roissy – Charles de Gaulle, the first European Element came to Frankfurt, and of course, the shirtless men of Moxy welcomed us at Milan Malpensa. With the last two of those openings courtesy of industry giants Starwood and Marriott, it seems appropriate that the latest news comes from Hilton Hotels, which is reflagging the former Kempinski hotel at Munich airport as the Hilton Munich Airport this month.
With that step, the almost proverbial “airport Hilton” is now available at each of the seven largest European airports (that’s London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Paris CDG, Munich, Amsterdam, Madrid, and Rome). There is more to the change in Munich than a different badge on the front door though, and construction in Amsterdam to replace its dated 1970s hotel is moving along too.
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‘Tis the season to celebrate and there’s no better way than with a holiday-inspired beverage. And, as we all know, a holiday cocktail a day keeps the Grinch away. For Hotel Holiday Cocktail Week, we’ve scanned the globe for some delectably delicious cocktails that will leave you humming a merry tune that doesn’t include, “You’re a Mean One, Mr Grinch.”
The Waldorf Astoria Park City in Utah has gotten into the holiday spirit with their Cedar Smoked Manhattan. We picked this bevvie because a) it just looked so darned pretty, and b) we’re really into smoking cocktails – instead of sitting in front of a fire, you can just sit in front of your cocktail. Both will warm you up.
It’s time for our six-monthly check in with the longstanding London hotel project that is the Hilton Bankside. A year ago, we thought the dormant site behind Tate Modern had finally picked up again, with construction reaching street level. Then, over the summer, we stumbled upon some much-improved renderings of the interiors, which were described as according to Hilton’s newly launched brand standards.
The all-suites chain will now feature Giovanni eco-chic products in their bathrooms. The line will include the 50:50 Balanced shampoo and conditioner, CLEANSE moisturizing body wash, HYDRATE body lotion and BATHE moisturizing body bar. The new amenities are available at select Embassy Suites properties but are rolling out to all Embassy Suites soon.
Interestingly, Hilton has done a toiletry survey in which 73 percent of travelers admitted to swiping hotel toiletries.
This is not so unusual. You can look in our bathroom closet right now and see just how much swiping we've done lately. So Embassy Suites knows this line will get swiped and they are ok with that. But the next statistic will really upset you.
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OhEmGee. There is already so much hotel news flying around this week and it's ONLY MONDAY. Needless to say, 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.
· FAIRMONT NO LONGER IN PLACE AT BOSTON'S BATTERY WHARF HOTEL : The Fairmont Battery Wharf Hotel in Boston was recently sold and the Fairmont brand was ousted as of October 27. The hotel will now be known as The Battery Wharf Hotel & Spa. It will be managed by a Canadian company, Westmont Hospitality Group.
· FAIRMONT ALSO HAVING ISSUES IN BERMUDA BUT PICKS UP BARCELONA: Just after the $90 million redevelopment of The Fairmont Hamilton Princess, and their brand new marina, The Princess Marina, the hotel's owners are now trying to ditch the Fairmont brand. A report came out today about a lawsuit filed in NYC by the hotel's owners and as expected for these type of owner-manager lawsuits, it's not pretty. Read the full list of accusations, and Fairmont's response, here. Meanwhile, Fairmont has announced they will pick up the Hotel Rey Juan Carlos I in Barcelona.
· ANOTHER AC HOTEL BY MARRIOTT IN THE WORKS: We're closing in on the grand opening of the first AC Hotel by Marriott in the U.S. (in New Orleans) but we've got a tip on another AC location. Sorry, it's not as exciting as NOLA. Woodbine Development, Inc is bringing the AC brand to the Park Place Development in Irvine, Calif.
CANOPY by Hilton
Ever since the epic fail that was Denizen Hotels (you can read up on that here), Hilton Worldwide has been desperately seeking a new lifestyle brand to fit into their portfolio. Once the court-ordered business restrictions were lifted last year, Hilton went into overdrive.
First, they announced their Curio Collection, a group of mostly already existing hotels with no real unifying trait except that they tend to be more boutique in terms of design, and of course, they are part of the Hilton HHonors network.
Now, Hilton Worldwide has officially announced their totally new lifestyle brand, Canopy by Hilton Hotels.
Chris Nasetta, president and CEO of Hilton Worldwide, revealed the new brand to existing Hilton hotel owners at Hilton Worldwide's Global Partnership Conference in Orlando. Here's what he had to say about it:
“Built on extensive market research, our highly anticipated Canopy by Hilton brand delivers a fresh approach to hospitality and the guest experience,” Nassetta said. “We saw an opportunity to not only enter the lifestyle space by developing a new brand, but also to redefine this category by creating a more accessible lifestyle brand. We identified the need to take the emphasis off of capital-intensive design and deliver exactly what the target consumer desires: an energizing, comfortable stay with more included value.”
Here's what we took away from that statement: affordable. Although Canopy promises to be so much more.
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But don't worry. It will remain a Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Hilton Worldwide, who unloaded the property, will remain in charge of the hotel's operations for the next 100 years.
Despite the property leaving Hilton's hands, the best news to come out of this sale is that THE HOTEL WILL FINALLY, AT LAST, GET RENOVATED. We've long known that the regular rooms at the hotel are total dogs. The Waldorf Tower rooms are more luxurious but still look a little stale and stuffy. No word on when the renovations will begin but we hope it's ASAP.
[Photo: HotelChatter Flickr Pool]
When we visited the Selfie Spot at the Grande Bretagne in Athens the week before last, we remembered the other hotel bar with truly jaw-dropping Acropolis views (as opposed to other hotels which pretty much all have a glimpse of the Acropolis): the Galaxy Bar at the Hilton Athens. So, with a couple of hours to spare in Athens last week, we headed over.
The Hilton is back a bit from the center of Athens – out by the Byzantine Museum, around a 10-15 minute walk from Syntagma Square. But what it lacks in ease of location, it makes up for in views – because thanks to the low-rise buildings all around it, it has a straight on view of the Parthenon. It is extraordinary.
Sadly, we tell you this from memory, because on arrival we discovered the Galaxy Bar isn’t open all day, like the GB roof terrace; it opens at 6pm. Instead, we settled at Aethrion Lounge on the ground floor for some lunch and drinks.
We suggest you don’t follow our example.
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$7.5 million of refreshments went into both an interior and exterior spruce-up, ranging from a new lobby and revamped pool area to refreshed guestrooms. The last stop on the renovation track has been the opening of restaurant Barbianca Local Kitchen. More shots from inside below.
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Here's just another reason why it pays to become a member of a hotel's loyalty program--access to cool technology that will make checking in a smooth transition after a long day of travel. Or so we hope.
Hilton Hotels has announced a new update to its HHonors app that will allow guess to select their own rooms, right down to the floor and room number. By the end of the year, this app function, along with digital check-in, will be in place at all 4,000 Hilton Hotels worldwide. Here's how it works: