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Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh Just Opened, But It's Already Totally Pittsburgher

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  Site Where: 620 William Penn Place [map], Pittsburgh, PA, United States, 15219
January 30, 2015 at 8:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

Pittsburgh is definitely a town on the up. Want proof? Look no further than the Hotel Monaco, which opened last week.

248 rooms including 13 suites are what’s available, and the Pittsburgh theme (yes, there’s a Pittsburgh theme) is strong, if subtle- think a lamp in the shape of a penguin (hockey), meeting rooms named after notable locals (including Scott Fahlman, who invented the :) smiley face emoticon (for real)), and the Rebellion Suite, named by locals for locals, which harks back to the "great whiskey rebellion of western Pennsylvania".

Rooms are your typical Kimpton riot of weirdness, including jade-colored headboards, black paisley carpets, yellow cushions, houndstooth curtains, feature wallpaper and gilded cages for the pearl-effect chandeliers. That’s all good; what’s less so are the “glass showers” that the hotel describes (there are no photos, but we assume that means peekaboo. Peekaboo is not sexy. It's gross).

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Hotel Indigo Bangkok Is Open, With Rates From $110 a Night

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 81 Wireless Road, Bangkok, Thailand
January 15, 2015 at 9:00 AM | by | Comments (0)

Where one door closes in the hotel world, another opens: Four Seasons may be leaving Thailand’s capital in a few months for a good three years or so, but a hop and a skip away from its current Radjadamri hotel, Hotel Indigo Bangkok opened its brand-new doors last Friday.

Above a rendering of the lobby of the 192-room hotel on Wireless Road, with soaring ceilings, funky furniture, and some serious chandelier action: one on the right, three above the bar at the far end, and one a floor up in what looks like a library-esque space.

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Hotel Indigo Has Landed in Newark

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  Site Where: 810 Broad St [map], Newark, NJ, United States, 07102
January 9, 2015 at 9:20 AM | by | Comments (0)

Just over two years ago, Newark got its first new hotel in four decades. And it looks like the fever is catching, because Hotel Indigo has just opened up in downtown Newark, making it the third in the New York area.

The theme is “modern industry” (tanneries, breweries and innovators hung around here in the 19th century), so there’s a mosaic tiled ticker tape (Thomas Edison’s invention) in the lobby, a bank vault-turned pizza oven in the restaurant, ALVA, and exposed brick walls in the bedrooms, giving it that authentic industrial vibe (the building itself is from 1912).

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Four Seasons Dublin Is Now Intercontinental Dublin

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Simmonscourt Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin, Ireland, 4
January 6, 2015 at 8:25 AM | by | Comments (2)

Last time we checked in on Four Seasons Dublin, it was getting ready to wind down with another “five-star brand” ready to take over.

We guessed Intercontinental – and lo, it has come to pass! It switched hands officially on 1 January.

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From Caravaggio to Cinquecento: Inside Hotel Indigo St. George Rome

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  Site Where: Via Giulia, 62, Rome, Italy, 00186
December 19, 2014 at 8:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

It's Guess The Hotel revealed! There were several ways in which we thought we’d follow up on our Guess The Hotel from earlier this week. Never in a million years did we think it would be with the knowledge that this, Hotel Indigo St. George in Rome, will now be part of the same family as Kimpton Hotels. While we continue to process that, we’ll take you on a quick tour of one of the latest additions to one of IHG’s quirkier brands, in a setting that couldn’t be further from the Asian cities where we’ve come to love some of its design.

The 64 rooms all have their murals, but what you’ll get depends on the category you choose: for the Cinquecento, pick the Executive King/Twin, which has a bit more space than entry-level Standard rooms. Caravaggio and the angel inspired by “Amor Vincit Omnia” (Love Conquers All), from our Guess the Hotel, appears in the Executive Suites, which give you a living area with pull-out sofa.

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Kimpton Hotels' Secret Santa Turned Out to Be InterContinental Hotel Group

December 15, 2014 at 8:37 PM | by | Comments (5)

This is major. MAJOR. InterContinental Hotel Group has just announced that they will be acquiring one of our most beloved boutique hotel brands, Kimpton Hotels. Right? We know. We can't even. Someone please start spiking the eggnog. Now.

An agreement was made for IHG to purchase Kimpton for $430 million CASH. IHG said that Kimpton and its portfolio of hotels, restaurants and bars will nicely compliment IHG's own growing boutique business which includes Hotel Indigo and the new fitness-oriented EVEN Hotels. And of course, IHG thinks Kimpton is going to make a lot of money.

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Inside an Even-Numbered EVEN Hotel Room

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 426 Main Ave [map], Norwalk, CT, United States, 06851
October 7, 2014 at 2:59 PM | by | Comment (1)

Have you ever gone to the gym and seen those guys with biceps bulging like just-fed anacondas, chests broad enough to land a small plane — and legs as thin as angel hair spaghetti?

In fitness, as with everything, it’s all about the details. Miss a spot, and “sexy” becomes “silly.” Fast. Luckily, Intercontinental Hotel Group’s newly launched brand, EVEN Hotels, sweats the small stuff.

It could have coasted on its concept: A line of properties that is designed entirely around wellness, from in-room mini-gyms to an onsite restaurant, Cork & Kale, that offers healthy meals worlds apart from the calorie-loaded grub you’ll find at most lobby bars. (The cocktails even use organic spirits.)

It’s sort of shocking that no one thought to do this already, and there’s assuredly a huge market out there for a fitness-focused hotel chain. I mean, somebody’s watching “Dr. Oz.” EVEN could have phoned it in. Thankfully for us, they worked hard to get it done right.

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Hotel Indigo Paris Opera: No Longer a Phantom, Opening Next Week

Where: 2 Rue Edouard VII, Paris, France, 75009
September 15, 2014 at 8:13 AM | by | Comment (1)

UPDATE: As per Maxime's comment below, this is NOT the Hotel Edouard, which remains open. Our source was wrong, sorry.

It’s stayed so under the radar during its pre-opening period that you could practically call Hotel Indigo Paris – Opera a phantom. But now it’s time for the great unmasking, since the hotel will open 22 September.

There’s not a vast amount of information about – 57 rooms (“very spacious”, according to the hotel website) including 12 suites and duplex apartments – some of which have views of the Eiffel Tower. The location is peaceful: a pedestrianized street near Place de l’Opéra, yet still in the middle of the business area. Before the year-long remodel, it was the Edouard VII hotel.

Rooms promise "unique murals celebrating Paris" and from the photos, they look rather lovely - theatrical but understated, with feature walls draped by curtains.

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Are Hotel Wristbands Something That Hotels Should Be Investing In?

September 2, 2014 at 1:24 PM | by | Comments (4)

The newly-opened EVEN Hotel in Norwalk, Connecticut

The development of the EVEN Hotels brand has been an interesting thing to watch as it attempts to appeal to travelers, presumably of the business variety, who want to stay in shape while on the road. And it's introduced some ideas and concepts that are sure to keep even casually health-conscious people thinking fitness, including "in-room training zones" and an in-house restaurant concept that makes it easy to make good decisions.

Obviously, the idea is to attract active guests. Which is why we're curious to hear your thoughts on the brand's latest guest service offering: Waterproof wristbands that act as the room key and a form of cashless currency.

According to a press release, the wristbands will reflect the "new, wellness-oriented hotel brand's efforts to appeal to particularly active guests." They cost $8, but can be kept and reused on a future stay. The wristbands can even be customized with a company logo.

Hmmm... guess that takes the "presumably" out of the above statement about EVEN Hotels going after business travelers. It's convenience for repeat guests that is for sale here, and there's probably a small underlying assumption that active guests are likely to rock an athletic-type wristband.

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This Holiday Inn Is Also A Classified Military Base

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  Site Where: 1299 Miracle Strip Parkway [map], Fort Walton Beach, FL, United States, 32548
June 25, 2014 at 8:26 AM | by | Comments (0)

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it (fittingly) a giant beach ball on the roof of this beachside Holiday Inn?

Nope, none of them. It’s a military radar thingy.

Taking working with the military to a whole new level beyond giving servicemen and women discounts, the Fort Walton Beach Holiday Inn in, you’ve guessed it, Florida, has joined forces with the military to create a beach resort-military base combo. Why hasn’t Vegas thought of this before?

According to the Miami Herald, in a story that made us triple check it wasn’t April 1 today (until the hotel confirmed the news on its Facebook page):

The combination resort hotel and military test site opened in late May in an unusual partnership between the military and private business in a time of tighter military budgets. In exchange for allowing the Innisfree Hotel company to build the 152-room resort on Air Force land, the military was able to construct a rooftop station that receives radar signals and a secure conference room for classified meetings. The dome hiding the military equipment is painted red, white, blue and yellow like a beach ball.

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Checking In On Europe's Newest Hotel Indigos, Three Months In

June 23, 2014 at 10:02 AM | by | Comments (0)

It’s been a few months now since the latest Hotel Indigos opened in Europe – Rome in March, St Petersburg a little earlier. How are they doing?

Reviews look solid, particularly for St Petersburg Tchaikovskogo: free soft drinks in the mini bar, a “master of Thai massage” and excellent customer service (by no means a given in Russia) are what people are focusing on.

A room tonight will set you back 6800RUB ($199), though they drop in July to 4900RUB ($143). That’s up on the 4000RUB lead-in price on opening, though still great value for Russia.

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EVEN Hotels is Now in Beast Mode, Er, Opening Mode

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 426 Main Avenue, Route 7 [map], Norwalk, CT, United States, 06851
June 19, 2014 at 1:03 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's been a longtime coming but EVEN Hotels, the new wellness-oriented brand from InterContinental Hotel Group, has finally opened its very first location in Norwalk, Conn.

We've spent a lot of time talking about what's inside the EVEN Hotel concept such as the in-room training zones, the Cork & Kale restaurant, the extensive fitness centers and the knowledgeable-about-exercise-staffers, but today, we're actually looking inside the EVEN Hotel concept.

Below are photos of the property from the exterior to the guest rooms (with so much exercise equipment), to the lobby and the restaurant. Have a look around, then put on your most serious judging face and score this performance in comments below.

Wanna get fit for the night at this EVEN Hotel? Rates for tomorrow start at just $108 for a wellness king room.

[Photos: EVEN Hotels]