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Welcome to Funky Friday, a new segment we’re trying out which features one photo that we think singularly expresses a hotel’s inner psyche. We look for – and find a lot of – wacky, wild and wondrous designs that seem to have one thing in common: a Type A personality. So why not have a bit of fun as we all wrap up our week by taking a quick look at some hotels that quite frankly, want our attention.
We kick off Funky Friday in the lobby of Le Méridien Istanbul Etiler. It’s kind of hard not to notice the larger-than-life starburst patterns, created by artist Mustafa Hulusi. While we cannot say for certain what the meaning is behind this stroll down psychedelic lane, one clue may lie in that Hulusi himself couldn’t come up with a name for his work (“Untitled”).
Whatever the artist’s intentions may be, Le Méridien Istanbul Etiler clearly want modern art of be a part of the guest experience. The hotel has partnered with Istanbul Museum of Modern Art in their "UnlockArt" program and offer free entrance to guests who present their room key. (This program is actually in effect at all Le Méridien hotels.)
Now, stare straight into the center of any starburst and repeat to yourself, “I love HotelChatter.com and recommend it to everyone I meet …I love HotelChatter.com and recommend it to everyone I meet.” Feel better?
[Photo: Le Méridien Istanbul/Facebook]
The Carlton on Madison Avenue is partnering with Caravan Stylist Studio, the one-stop wardrobe and beauty shop, to present a collection of one-of-a-kind tree decorations designed by over 30 fashion designers from NYC.
Baubles designed by the likes of Nanette Lepore, Anna Sui, Nicole Miller and Malia Mills are all on display on a mini tree in the lobby, next to the check-in desk -- the Carlton's traditional fir tree is at the entrance, decorated in its own bling. These designer ornaments are all for sale for a very reasonable $30 each, and all proceeds will benefit Save the Garment Center, a non-profit organization that aims to preserve NYC’s Garment District.
[All photos: Karen Gardiner for HotelChatter]
Hotel Lobbies / Hotel Renovations / London Hotels / Luxury Collection Hotels / Starwood Hotels / → All Tags
When we talked about the impending closure – and auction of contents – of The Lanesborough, we mentioned that the closest option for those wanting to stay within the Starwood family while in London was the Park Tower in Knighstbridge, a few minutes’ walk west towards the department stores of Harvey Nichols and Harrods.
Turns out, just as the Lanesborough is going in for its makeover, the Park Tower has finished its own. Part of the group’s Luxury Collection, the hotel finished a redo of its public spaces this summer, with a new lobby, lounge, and bar.
HotelChatter Reviews / Washington DC Hotels / Hotel Renovations / Hotel Lobbies / Hotel Reviews / → All Tags
Is the Melrose Georgetown as sweet as it sounds? A HotelChatter Review
We hadn't had a chance to check in on the Melrose Georgetown Hotel (formerly The Melrose Hotel) since its multi-million dollar renovation was completed in April this year, so when we needed a room in DC and the Melrose showed up on HotelTonight for $149, we grabbed it.
The hotel is a couple of blocks from Foggy Bottom - GWU Metro station, on the blue and orange lines. If you are coming from Union Station you have to change once, at Metro Center, from the red line. But once we arrived, check-in was quick and easy. Within two minutes of walking through the lobby, we were in our room.
Over the past spring and summer, the five-star New York Palace has been having a little work done.
The $120 million renovation, guided by San Francisco-based design firm BAMO, includes refurbished Tower rooms and suites on the 41st floor and above; an overhaul of the former Le Cirque restaurant (set to be a new venture from chef Michel Richard), and an increase in the number of rooms from 899 to 909. Work is still ongoing (and is being completed stage by stage so as not to cause too much disruption) but the hotel, no longer a part of the Dorchester Collection, has unveiled its brand new lobby space, which had been closed since June.
New York Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Renovations / Hotel Lobbies / Historic Hotels / → All Tags
This Upper West Side hotel is celebrating its 110th anniversary this year -- and a history that has seen a lot of ups and downs. In its early years the Belleclaire was one of the hippest hotels in town, welcoming such guests as Mark Twain, Babe Ruth, and Maxim Gorky. The late 20th century, however, was not so kind to the Belleclaire, and its reputation declined until it entered the ranks of the budget hotel category.
As you probably know, we are always on the lookout for hotel lobbies that will oblige our digital nomadic tendencies.
And so, upon stumbling in to The Roger on Madison Avenue one humid afternoon last week with some work to do, we were pleased to find those plush blue sofas and brass-studded leather stools almost entirely unoccupied. Even better than quiet surroundings and plenty of work space? Free, fast WiFi -- no password required.
Just last month we told you about Marriott's rapid-paced New York City expansion. Well, it would appear they haven't stopped with all these new property openings; they've been getting to work sprucing up their established properties, too.
The lobby of the 497-room New York Marriott Downtown, previously known as the New York Marriott Financial Center, has just had a facelift, and, as any professional bit of work should be, it is fresh, subtle, and very elegant.
Singapore Hotels / Hotel Tea / Hotel Restaurants / Hotel Snapshot / Hotel Lobbies / Afternoon Tea / → All Tags
The other day, we met a friend for tea in Singapore. To get there, we entered a hotel lobby, walked past the reception desk, down some steps, and found ourselves in a long, corridor-like lounge area enclosed by floor-to-ceiling windows, with a 42 1/2 foot long bar.
Promptly at 3pm, we were led to our table, a low-slung divan wedged around a coffeetable in an intimate corner of the bar. Behind us, stunning waterfront views of the Bay. Above us, a silver-haired gentleman in a tuxedo began tinkling the ivories, while jacketed waiters whizzed by, and more and more folks showed up to rendezvous at the promenade-style bar.
Unknowingly, we had stumbled into one of Singapore's most vital social traditions: Afternoon Tea at the Fullerton Bay Hotel.
Hotel Toys / Hotel Swag / Hotel Lobbies / Hotels Doing Good / Singapore Hotels / Historic Hotels / → All Tags
You know those people who can't walk by a pet store without coo-ing over the adorable puppies in the window? Or, say, walk around a mall without popping their head in every darn shoe store? Well, that's pretty much us when it comes to cute teddy bears, and we totally fell for this little guy on a recent spin through the lobby at Singapore's Fullerton Hotel.
Dubbed the "Fullerton Bellhop Bear," he is one of four collectible stuffed animals being offered by the iconic hotel.
The complete Fullerton Bear collection includes: The Fullerton Postmaster Bear (referencing the hotel's history as a former post office), The Fullerton Bellhop Bear (pictured), The Fullerton Bay Ship Captain and The Fulleron Panda Plush Bear.
And just in case you're rolling your eyes right now at the frivolity of this post, keep in mind that the sale from each bear goes towards supporting two charities chosen by the hotel: Mainly I Love Kids (MILK), and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF- Singapore). The fundraising initiative started last year with just the Postmaster Bear, but due to its popularity, the hotel debuted the other 3 bears this past April.
Summer is almost here, and as many folks start planning their annual pilgrimage to the Big Apple, we thought we'd offer some tips on where to book a hotel—and save ton$$ of money—in NYC's hottest borough du jour, Brooklyn! Jay-Z and Beyonce sightings not guaranteed.
Hotel BPM: Modern, clean, and super affordable, the Hotel BPM is Brooklyn's first music-themed hotel, owned by an internationally-known DJ. It opened last summer with starting rates of $139/night, and luckily, prices haven't gone up too much since then. Right now, with their 21-day Advance Purchase special, you can find rooms this summer starting as low as $171.75/night—even better, the hotel just launched its in-room dining menu, available 24/7.
Two more cheap Brooklyn hotels after the jump!
Hotel Bars / Hotel Wine / Wine Hotels / Sheraton Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Hotel News / Hotel Lobbies / → All Tags
In our experience, hotel bar wine lists can be hit-or-miss. You either show up in the lobby ready to drink a mediocre (and, often, overpriced) glass of vino, or you go on Yelp! and find the nearest best-reviewed wine bar or bistro. Easy.
But over the past year, Sheraton has been changing things up with their exclusive (and verrry popular) Sheraton Social Hour. The program, which partially debuted last year in select Sheraton hotels, is awesome because it allows Sheraton guests to sample top-notch wines that have been given the thumbs up by Wine Spectator magazine.
Unsurprisingly, the program was a hit. So much of a hit that, as of yesterday, Social Hour has officially been rolled out to all 430 Sheraton hotels around the world.
Sheraton hotels and resorts in Hong Kong, Bali, Edinburgh, Santiago, New York, Waikiki—pretty much everywhere in the world, actually—all celebrated the launch with a 24-hour "toast around the world" (if you don't believe us, just type in the hashtag #sheratontoast on Instagram, and be prepared to see photos from the biggest, most extensive global wine fest ever known to man).