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View of the Avenida dos Aliados and the main square in Porto's Old Town from the Intercontinental
Yesterday, while featuring one of the coolest hotel beds we've come across, we wrote that the Yeatman's advantage over its competing hotels is its position on the hillside in Gaia, with its rooms looking back across the river at the Porto skyline. That is indeed the most killer view when it comes to expansive landscape scenery, but those who wish to stay in the city center can still enjoy a trip to the window upon waking up in the morning.
The InterContinental Porto Palacio Das Cardosas couldn't be more in the center of the city, and it takes advantage of this by having all 105 rooms overlook the Avenida dos Aliados in the middle of Old Town Porto. The exterior of the building fits in quite well with its surroundings. The hotel has been outfitted into a remodeled 18th century palace, the Cardosas. Built in 1788, it is the oldest building on the square.
Hotel Closings / Hotel Renovations / InterContinental Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / New York Hotels / Park Ave Hotels / → All Tags
But only for renovations!
The InterContinental Barclay Hotel on 48th and Park Avenue, and a favorite spot for U.S. Open tennis players, will be closed for the next 18 months for some pretty extensive renovations--about $175 million worth of renos.
The building that currently houses the InterCon first opened in 1926 yet much of the interior decor of the hotel was very stuck in late 1990s and early 2000s. See a shot of the ho-hum guest rooms here on TripAdvisor. Yet in its new reincarnation, the Barclay will be thoroughly modern and updated.
Hotel Hype / InterContinental Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / Downtown LA Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
We were once pretty excited about massive hotel being built by Korean Air in Downtown LA but admittedly, it's been a while since we checked in on the property, which should be completed in 2017. However, today, some pretty big news was announced---the hotel, which has been known as the Wilshire Grand, will be an InterContinental Hotel.
According to the press release, the 900-rom hotel will be the largest InterContinental Hotel in the Americas. The building itself will be the tallest building on the West Coast at 1,100 feet. The hotel will also be the first hotel on the West Coast to have a "sky lobby" which will be located on the 70th floor as well as a dizzying rooftop pool. Here's a bit more on the plans for the decor scheme inside the hotel:
In particular, the new property will reflect the four ecological typologies of Los Angeles while also embracing the laid-back sophistication of the city. The natural wood and warm colors in the building will reflect the city's beach culture while the hotel's sky lobby will incorporate Los Angeles' car culture into the design through abstract representations of car lines into the internal paneling and decor.
Hmm...considering that LA is taking great pains to distance themselves from their "car culture" we're not so sure that's the best design approach to embrace. But who cares? There's going to be a sky lobby!
Still, 2017 is a long ways off. In the meantime, IHG Rewards Club members can use/earn points at the other InterContinental in LA in Century City which recently unveiled a sexy new look.
Rendering via PR Newswire]
We already knew that InterContinental planned to take over the former Ritz-Carlton in Sydney and turn it into the InterContinental Sydney Double Bay, but today, we've got a few snapshots of the renovated, InterContinentalized space and it looks very sleek.
This bay-side sanctuary half-way between the city center and iconic Bondi Beach will feature restored rare white marble, Parisian-style balconies, a nautical-themed gin bar and an open rooftop retreat. The hotel's design, done by Aussie firm, Bates Smart Architects, will feature a neutral palette, metallic finishings and splashes of pale blue and yellow tones with each room sporting soft blue, white and charcoal furnishings against framed dark timber elements. It's classic decor married with laid-back Aussie style and topped off with a sophisticated European aesthetic.
Hotel Rebrandings / Hotel News / London Hotels / Conrad Hotels / InterContinental Hotels / → All Tags
It’s less than two years ago we welcomed a second InterContinental hotel to London, with the Westminster outpost setting up next to New Scotland Yard, a walk across St James’s and Green Park to its Park Lane sibling. It’s less than a year ago we talked about a third InterContinental coming to the city, this time much further east at the O2 arena.
Things have taken a very unexpected turn though this month, with the InterContinental Westminster going and now gone, becoming the surprise return of Conrad Hotels to the city. As of now, the hotel on Broadway is known as the Conrad London St. James, a major move up from the previous Conrad location in Chelsea Harbour (now a Millenium Monogram Collection if you recall). Still with us? It’s all in the hotel rebranding game.
There’s something about the Intercontinental Park Lane that makes a tiny part of us die inside with every visit. Yes, they’ve been renovating the rooms to de-drab them, and yes, the views can be awesome, but it always feels so… sterile.
Having said that, we’ve always given props to the spa for having good therapists and decently priced treatments, considering its surroundings.
And this summer, the treatments have got even more appealing, with the introduction of Ayurvedic-inspired Sundãri treatments.
There are lots available – see the menu here – but they’ve kicked the program off with special offers on two treatments: a “Facial, Massage and Floatation Bed Offer” (a 30 minute massage, 30 minute facial and 20 minutes lying on a floatation bed) for £65 instead of £112.50; and the signature Sama treatment for £90 instead of £135. This takes 90 minutes and packs in loads of stuff: a feet-in-hot-towels thing; a “cleansing back ritual”; an Ayurvedic massage; a hand and food massage to relieve “stress and negativity”; facial cleanse and exfoliation; a Marma massage; and a scalp massage.
Must-Stay Hotels / Toronto Hotels / Canada Hotels / Hotel Guides / Luxury Hotels / Boutique Hotels / Shangri-La Hotels / Le Germain Hotels / Intercontinental Hotel Group / Intercontinental Hotels / → All Tags
Introducing our newest hotel guide--HotelChatter's Must-Stay Hotels--where we pick four hotels for four different types of travelers in a particular neighborhood of one major city. This is also a seasonal guide so the options may change depending on when you're going. Got a question about where to stay and when? Email us.
Looking for a hotel in Toronto? You can troll online review sites, crowdsource on Facebook and comb through endless Best Hotels” lists but why do all that when we’ve done all the work for you already?
Here are four different hotels to try when you head south of the border to one of Canada’s largest metropolises, all located in Toronto's downtown area. Whether you’re going for pleasure or work and whether you’ve got cash to throw around or have pennies to count, these hotels will fulfill your wants, needs and desires.
Loews Hotels / Hotel News / Chicago Hotels / InterContinental Hotels / Airport Hotels / Hotel Rebrandings / → All Tags
Loews Hotels have been busy at work on their new Chicago hotel, which is expected to open next year near North Michigan Avenue, but in the process, they managed to snap up another hotel in the area. This time near the airport.
The 556-room InterContinental Chicago O’Hare Hotel was recently purchased by Loews Hotels. The deal should close in late July which means the InterContinental branding will switch over to the Loews branding. The hotel will then go by the name, Loews Chicago O'Hare. And yes, this means the hotel will now have free WiFi.
The hotel is two miles from the airport and is also connected to the Donald E. Stephen’s Convention Center and the Fashion Outlets of Chicago. Downstairs the hotel has its own entertainment, thanks to three restaurants and bars and a curated art gallery. So it's clearly no rinky dink airport hotel.
Meanwhile, Loews is crushing hard on the Midwest these days as they just snapped up the Graves 601 Hotel in Minneapolis, and the Loews Chicago proper is coming soon. But this might not be the end. Jonathan Tisch, the chairman of Loews Hotels & Resorts, hinted at more Loews in the future.
“The Midwest is an area where we were looking to increase our presence,” he said in a statement. So, Loews Detroit? Loews Cleveland? Loews Des Moines? We'll keep our eyes out.
[Photo: InterContinental Chicago O'Hare; Loews Logo added by HotelChatter]
No, it's not a party. It's the hotel employees striking against the InterContinental Santiago for low wages.
The protest is pretty massive with a giant white banner stretched across the street corner, asking the InterContinental for a significant increase in employee wages. Smaller white signs listing the faults of the hotel also line the entire building while in front of the entrance, protesters have gathered to chant and sing songs. The walkway is littered with pieces of paper and it looks as if the doors are closed.
ILoveChile.com covered the protest when it began ten days ago. Yet despite the ferocity and length of the protest, the hotel is still accepting reservations. Tomorrow night, you can stay in a room for only $219 a night. That seems cheap but not worth the drama.
UPDATE: The morning after, all the signs and banners were removed, the sidewalk was cleaned up and bellmen were bustling outside the entrance. Perhaps strike is over? Or maybe just taking a break for the Chile v. Brazil World Cup game.
Luxury Hotels / Hotel Services / Hotel Housekeeping / Cannes Hotels / InterContinental Hotels / Cannes Film Festival Hotels / → All Tags
We've longed loved the little touches at old world luxury hotels, from a zen turndown service to a careful room service presentation. Now the InterContinental Carlton Cannes has brought to our attention a service we thought didn't even exist anymore. They are calling it The Bookmark Fairy.
If a hotel housekeeper notices book or a magazine left open without a bookmark or with a dog-eared page, they will slip one of the hotel's signature bookmarks inside where the guest left off reading.
A hotel rep tells us it's a little-known but "incredibly well-received perk." And as the hotel readies for the Cannes Film Festival which kicks off tomorrow, we're sure the Bookmark Fairy will be making the rounds.
Rates at the InterContinental Carlton Cannes start at around 285 Euros, after the festival is over of course.
[Photo: InterContinental Carlton Cannes]
Before and After / Hotel Renovations / Hotel News / London Hotels / InterContinental Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
Last year, we took you around the brand new Royal Suite at the InterContinental Park Lane in London, with its ginormous bed, bespoke furniture, and QEII touches (if you recall, the hotel is built on the site of her former childhood residence).
We recently popped back into the hotel on Hamilton Place to look at some of the rooms us normal folk are more likely to find ourselves in, which are now also being given a touch up: 122 out of 387 regular guestrooms have already been renovated, with further work planned for this year.
This is a first aid kit with two bandages, two Tylenol, two decongestants, 2 antacid relief tablets and one antiseptic towelette from In-Room Plus, a company that provides hotels with minibar products.
We've seen kits with Tylenol or Advil before but we like the additions of the decongestants and the antacid tablets. Because that's totally happened before when we've come down with a sinus headache or an upset stomach late at night. So this kit saves us from making the trip (or paying someone else to make it for us.)
This thoughtful touch all goes back to our argument of making the minibar accessible and affordable, rather than just eliminating it entirely. We could do without the full-sized bottles of alcohol and the overpriced nuts but a little first aid kit like this can really come in handy.