Tag: hotelchatter 2012 awardsView All Tags
Thanks for joining us on the last workday of 2012 for our 2012 HotelChatter Year-End Awards. A big, big shout-out to all the Hotel Mavens out there who have contributed to our site with their reviews, photos and comments this year. We couldn't have done it all without you. Keep it up in 2013!
As always, there are at least six ways you can contribute:
· Become a HotelChatter member and submit stories, releasing your inner travel writer
· Become a HotelChatter member to comment on stories and review hotels
· Send us snapshots of your favorite and least favorite hotels
· Shoot us an email tip.
· Follow us via various social mediums.
Now for your viewing enjoyment, here is our complete list of winners. We will be back in full effect on Wednesday to kick-off a brand new year of stories.
HotelChatter 2012 Awards / Hotel Openings / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Design / Miami Hotel Mambo / SLS Hotels / → All Tags
We (and the rest of the world) quickly fell in love with the NoMad's rich, black-and-gold-accented lobby, its skylit restaurant with old-fashioned dessert trolleys, and its wood-paneled library. And let's not forget about those rooms, which we reviewed not once but twice, and which had us swooning over the claw-foot tubs, wooden floorboards, and minibars hidden inside vintage trunks.
It's that time of year again: the 2012 HotelChatter Awards! Between last Friday and today, we're showcasing the best (and worst) of hotels over the past year. But we couldn't do it without you! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or shoot us an email. And the Award goes to...
2012 was exactly the exciting year for the hotel world we hoped it would be with more new hotels open than we've seen in a long time. And as we've already mentioned, one of those hotel openings that had us crazy excited was the SLS South Beach.
After years of speculation--will it open or will it just fade away?--hotelier Sam Nazarian managed to open the long-awaited spin-off to the SLS at Beverly Hills. And the SLS South Beach does not disappoint from its kinky bedrooms (hello, mirrors on the ceilings) to its so-hot-right-now selection of restaurants and lounges to the celebrity designers who put their rock star touches on the place.
While the SLS South Beach is not for everyone--once could successfully argue that it's just a nightclub and restaurant with rooms attached--the Shah of SLS has managed to transport his nightlife je nais se quoi into the hotel realm. After all, who doesn't want to party in Lenny Kravitz's poolside bungalow or eat sushi at Katsuya and get wasted at Hyde? Certainly most of the people who head to Miami for its lively party scene. And Nazarian's only just getting started.
Sometimes the best way to help readers visualize a place is to well, bringyou along with us.No, we can't stuff you in our carry-ons, but can do the next best thing and have you see exactly what we do once we arrive at our destination, by filming it.
We admit, we’re a touch spoiled with some hotels who look askance at tired taxi service and have brought in their own high-class cars to whisk guests to and fro to their desired destination(and for free!).
Do you drive a fast car? Well, they do at New York’s Gansevoort hotels where Porsche Panamera’s transport customers from the midtown Park Avenue South location to the bumping Meatpacking district outpost in seemingly seconds.
Then there’s the Accura's, that will graciously schlep those staying at the W Union Square to any location within a 2-mile radius, gratis. It’s a very popular service though (top-notch shopping is in the vicinity) so make sure you book fast. Oh, and you can find this service at many of the W's across the country, including the W Fort Lauderdale.
Are you really that surprised to learn we've selected New York as the best hotel scene of 2012? Allow us to present our case:
In the past year, the Big Apple witnessed quite a few major openings—The NoMad, The Wythe, Conrad New York, The Out NYC, Pod 39—and 2013 promises to be just as fulfilling, with at least another four on the way.
Yup, this city is definitely on a roll, hotel-wise. Just take a look at our recent "11 Best NYC Hotels" guide to take stock of the goods. Or ask the New York Times, who ran a piece in October titled "A Hotel Building Boom in New York."
In addition to expanding, the city's hotel scene is also undergoing a bit of an exodus, with new hotels now popping up in the outer boroughs (Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and, yes, even Staten Island).
If you ask us, it's all good news. New York may seem jam-packed full of hotels, but in reality it could always use a few more. In 2012 alone, a record 52 million people visited the city. And during busy holidays (or, for that matter, hurricanes), rates become so astronomical, you're better off staying with a friend, hitting up Airbnb, or just absconding to New Jersey.
HotelChatter 2012 Awards / Hotel Renovations / Set Hotels / London Hotels / Hotel Openings / → All Tags
Between the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics, 2012 was a big year for London. Everything went off—thankfully—without a hitch, and in the aftermath of the festivities, we got loads of shiny new hotels to gawk at. To say the least, it's been a tough job just trying to keep up with it all.
Most hotels aimed for a pre-Olympics opening, and most inevitably failed (but does a hotel delay really surprise us at this point?). Our winner for Best Renovation of 2012 falls in this category, having recently re-opened its doors after four years of renovation work: we're talking, of course, about Café Royal.
Last January, after reading a story about an Irish hotel staff being instructed to post fake reviews online, we posed the question: "Have You Ever Been Bullied Into Writing A Positive TripAdvisor Review?".
Unsurprisingly, you all had plenty to say about the issue. What surprised us, however, was how long the debate has endured.
Fast forward to this month, when a similar incident took place, this time in Dallas, TX, where some genius employee had the idea of offering customers cash rewards in exchange for nice reviews on TripAdvisor.
On the one hand, we can kind of sympathize with the hotels, who are really just desperate for positive feedback (that future guests will then hopefully read). But on the other, we're frustrated that the online reviews we once trusted are seeming less and less reliable.
One commenter (a hotelier) called it "regrettable but a necessity" for hotels to solicit positive feedback from guests, while another admitted to asking guests to post reviews online, but noted, "I don't use the word "positive" and I don't give rewards." If only they could all be so upright...
Last summer, a lot of buzz surrounded the opening of The Out NYC, New York's first-ever gay-themed hotel, located in midtown, several blocks west of Times Square (and right across the street from Yotel).
However, unlike its neighbor Yotel, which towers 27 floors above 10th Avenue, there was one thing missing from this place: a good view. When we checked into the hotel shortly after it opened in March, we were greeted by the above view from our Superior King—bright green astroturf, funhouse mirrors and an assortment of beanbags. Can you really blame us for feeling like we were trapped inside a daycare center, dressed up as a hotel?
The Park Hyatt Shanghai is located on floors 79-93 of the Shanghai World Financial Center and was once considered the tallest hotel in the world (that’s now been trumped by the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai).
Still, no matter the designation, we give it an award for having the best view around and we've loved it for a long time. The reason is simple. Once you take the express elevator up to the 87th lobby floor of this mammoth building you’ll be gobsmacked by the incredible panoramic views of the city that’s becoming the center of attention for many hotel brands. The Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, Banyan Tree, and Bulgari are coming to town, sooner rather than later.
An afternoon dim sum lunch at the 100 Century Avenue restaurant on the 91st floor makes it hard to concentrate on the food and not the famous Oriental Pearl Tower in the distance. And at night, the ambiance and views at the Park Hyatt get even better when you go to level 92 and the Music Room, where a cocktail to accompany the live music sets an incredible scene.
Naturally, if you’re afraid of heights, you might disagree with our choice, but we just say, don’t look down!
HotelChatter 2012 Awards / Celebrity Scoop / Celebrity Hotels / Lindsay Lohan / W Hotels / Dream Hotels / → All Tags
Some would say “performance” is a euphemism for “acting out”. We’ll go with either of these defintions, because it doesn’t matter really—girl Lindsay Lohan has been doing all that and then some.
The acts of cray-cray have been numerous this year, from racking up a ridonkulous $46K bill at LA’s Chateau Marmont, the hit and run pandemonium of the Porsche variety outside NYC’s Dream Downtown, and then there was that abuse incident with not-so-BFF congressional aide Christian LaBella at the W Union Square, which involved a physical altercation between the pair and a pulling of a fire alarm. Mercy! And these were just acts that involved hotels! There's a laundry list of more mayhem we're too tired to get into.
As if we didn’t have enough paranoia to occupy our everyday living, we learned that an employee at the Omni San Diego was caught planting a hidden camera inside one of the hotel's public bathrooms. Spies like us? We don’t think so!
The creep in question was the hotel’s Chief of Engineering, who'd been with them for five years and no doubt had studied the ins and outs the property before deciding that the free-for-all lav was the place to catch people off-guard and with their pants down. Literally.