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Chicago woke up to some sad news this morning, with the Tribune reporting that, during the night, 23-year-old Nicholas Wieme fell down and got trapped in the smoke chute of the InterContinental Chicago. Apparently, after he'd fallen, Wieme was still able to text his girlfriend and ask for help, but by the time firefighters got him out of the chute, it was already too late.
A WGN reporter explained:
"The 23 year old man's girlfriend told fire officlals he went up to the rooftop to take pictures at around 1am. That area is not open to the public, and it's not clear how he gained access, or wound up trapped in the shoot about 22 feet down."
It sounds like the rescue team did literally everything they could--the Tribune reports that 125 firefighters and paramedics showed up at the scene, though once the situation had been properly evaluated, it was clear that removing Wieme was not going to be an easy task.
Hotel Openings / London Hotels / InterContinental Hotels / Hotel Art / Hotel Lobbies / Photo Gallery / → All Tags
The 256-room property is the first InterContinental to open in London in 36 years, joining its sibling, InterContinental Park Lane, a ten-minute walk across St James’s and Green Park. Though only half of the rooms are in operation at the moment, the hotel’s public spaces are already in full swing, with Blue Boar Smokehouse & Bar packed with locals on a recent Thursday evening.
Read on to find out more, and see photos!
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Whether you're driving into Miami or sailing out of it on a cruise ship, keep your eye to the skyline at night as the InterContinental Miami just celebrated the completion of a $30 million dollar renovation (remember those Venus Williams-designed suites?) by introducing a new light show on its two main facades.
The 19-story LED show has several scenes; it varies from spelling out "WELCOME TO MIAMI" letter-by-letter to a lava flow to a dancing girl (video below). No music will accompany the dancing girl, but playing songs like "Lights" by Ellie Goulding and "Miami" by Will Smith sync extremely well.
Entourage star Jeremy Piven did the honors of turning the lights on, but it was really a night to celebrate Warhol contemporaries Ultra Violet (a painter/sculptor) and Patrick McMullan (the famed photographer), both of whom contributed their creative juice to the lobby of the hotel.
Click through to see our video!
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You know those instances when you're in a hotel and you have some simple questions about the area you're staying in, but don't feel like dealing with some peppy concierge who's just going to draw a bunch of lines and circles on a paper map and regurgitate the same tired, old recommendations?
Well, here's one nifty thing about staying at the InterCon Miami. The newly-refreshed hotel has installed an arsenal of giant touch screen coffee tables in the lobby that provide guests with a fun, user-friendly way to plan local outings, make restaurant reservations, or even book an appointment at the spa.
If you want, you can even use the screens to order a cocktail without having to walk over to the bar!
Yes, technically, that's what waiters are for. But this is 2012, and giant touch screens are just so much more fun.
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Even Mickey and Minnie make an appearance at Chicago's Magnificent Mile Lights Festival
This Saturday, November 17, an estimated one million spectators will glob together along Chicago’s Michigan Avenue to kick off the holidays with the annual BMO Harris Lights Festival and, the highlight, a night time parade with Disney greats and even Kris Kringle.
We'll be there, too, but you won’t find us freezing our arses off outside along the parade route, crooning for views over a sea of heads. Nope, not gonna fight for overcrowded, pedestrian space when some of the best—and most comfortable—views can be had from within Chicago hotels.
And so, we present our top Chicago hotels from which to watch the Mag Mile Lights Fest:
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Venus Williams is quietly positioning herself for the day she decides to retire her tennis racket. Her interior design company, V*Starr, has steadily gained recognition since its inception back in 2002, drawing praise from magazines like Family Circle, Luxury Living, and Homes of Color.
Despite a relatively low-profile portfolio that includes athletes homes in Miami and the set of a PBS television show in Los Angeles, the Intercontinental Miami took a chance on her, contracting the company to redesign its two presidential suites, both of which are now complete. The project was V*Starr's first hospitality gig.
Does it show? Intercontinental calls the two rooms "distinctively different," but we're not really seeing that in the photos gallery below. Outside of the colors and different names, they look like the exact same layouts.
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There's tons of New York hotel news flying around this week and we don't have time to give each and every story the love and attention it may deserve, so you will have to settle for some news briefs.
· The Carlyle's Got Bono Under Its Skin: Remember back in September when Mariah Carey dropped in at The Carlyle to do an impromptu performance of Lullaby of BIrdland? Well, it must be something in the water there, because just a few nights ago, Bono went and did the exact same thing.
According to the Huffington Post, singer Jim Caruso and pianist Bily Stritch were performing standards from The Great American Songbook at Bemelmans Bar, when Bono suddenly rushed up to the stage and started belting right along with 'em (the song was "I've Got You Under My Skin," in case you were wondering.) Apparently, right after singing the last note, Bono waved to the crowd, hopped off stage, and took off into the night.
In the lead up to the look inside we plan to give you once fully finished, we had the opportunity to put on some high-visibility gear and a hard hat last week and see the site as it is today. The place was crawling with hundreds of construction workers, which are laboring away pretty much round the clock to get everything guest-ready over the next month.
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It's not often one can get inside a hotel's kitchen, much less influence what's going to be on the menu, so InterContinental Hotels' new “Kitchen Passport” program is a fun twist that lets non-cooks go behind the scenes. The program, which started this month, invites bloggers and online editors to work with some of IHG's top chefs and mixologists to create a few new food and drink specials and recipes that can be downloaded via the brand's InterContinental Kitchen Cookbook iPad app mid-October. The InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta began the experience this month and invited editor Anne Dolce of "The Daily Meal" to work with celebrated chef (and Oprah Winfrey favorite) Art Smith, head of the hotel's Southern Art restaurant. Together, they came up with a new appetizer (Southern Oysters Rockefeller), entrée and dessert. Dolce also paired up with Arianne Fielder at the Buckhead’s Bourbon Bar and helped design two specialty bourbon cocktails to go along with the new dishes.
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South Place Hotel
If you follow HotelChatter, you know hitting up a good hotel rooftop is high on our list of favorite things to do (and if it’s a rooftop that's normally off-limits and comes with a once-in-a-lifetime view of the retiring Space Shuttle, we’re definitely in). That’s why, though the seasons have now officially changed, we gave you our list of last chance rooftop romps. Seems like Indian Summer is giving us a break, and places are still open for business. Hurrah!
Living in London, we know having a back-up for any outdoor plan is a good idea, so should the weather discourage you from outdoor eating and drinking, fear not! Not only do our two al fresco picks Angler and Radio come with hotels attached to them, there are lots of other places to check out (and check in) this fall.
We recap below what’s been happening since our last London Hotels to Watch List and what you can expect by year's end.
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Hip hop star Azealia Banks—whose hit song "212" went viral in early 2012—took a moment on Twitter yesterday to proclaim the wonders of sitting in hotel rooms eating fried chicken and watching BBC documentaries. Which we can totally identify with.
So for her sake (and partly our own), we decided to put together a handy Top 5 list of US hotels that serve awesome fried chicken, to be enjoyed either in-room or at the restaurant. As for the BBC docs? Less of a concern.
#5. Revel in Atlantic City made a big splash at the start of the summer by opening with a Beyonce concert. Well, we got to take a look around the hotel last month, and particularly enjoyed the fried chicken with garlic mashed potatoes ($23) we sampled at Central Michel Richard. Who needs taco trucks anyway?
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There’s just something about those little (and sometimes big!) bottles of shampoo, shower gels and lotions that we adore and can take back home without feeling guilty. Lately, some hotels are getting even fancier with their offerings (no more boring Aveda!) by partnering with interesting boutique brands.
The latest to tickle our fancy is InterContinental Hotels' new Agraria line. It’s actually one of the oldest and largest American luxury home fragrance company, which makes us smile that the company appreciates a boutique classic. The products made their way into rooms this month and will be in all 169 properties by January 2013.
Lemon verbena, Agraria’s number one scent, has been chosen for the hotels. The brand, which was born in San Francisco in the ‘70s, uses natural ingredients, plus its packaging uses recycled paper and is 100% biodegradable.
Bonus: If you’re a InterContinental VIP guest, you’ll get a special “Sweet Dreams” Agraria evening turndown service with a gift of either homemade lemon verbena cookies to a take-home lemon verbena TasselAire, unique perfumed tassels that can be used as room fresheners.