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Hotel News / Tipping / Hotel Housekeeping / Marriott Hotels / Maria Shriver / The Envelope Please / → All Tags
When we spied a tip envelope for the housekeeping staff in our guest room at The Ace Hotel Los Angeles, we thought it was a genius idea. The envelope served as a both a gentle reminder to tip and as a designated spot to put the tip, saving us the trouble of worrying about where to tuck a couple of dollars so that the housekeeper would see it.
Now, it looks like Marriott International thinks tip envelopes are genius as well.
The hotel company has partnered up with Maria Shriver and her "A Woman's Nation" organization to put envelopes in 160,000 Marriott hotel rooms, across all brands from Ritz-Carlton to JW Marriott and Residence Inn. The envelope will list the name of the housekeeper along with this little note:
"Our caring room attendants enjoyed making your stay warm and comfortable. Please feel free to leave a gratuity to express your appreciation for their efforts."
We're behind this initiative 100 percent but we do realize it may cause some more anxiety amongst guests who aren't used to tipping the housekeeper, especially if they don't have any extra cash on them. While Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson says it's customary to tip $1 to $5 a night, we say anything you can hand over during your stay will be appreciated. Most housekeepers are only paid minimum wage and most of the time, they don't receive tips. (Hence this campaign.)
Of course, that leads to another argument that Marriott and other hotel companies should pay housekeepers more per hour, instead of relying on tips from guests but sadly, that won't change any time soon. (Our contributor, Will McGough, actually thinks the envelopes are tasteless and tacky because of that reason.) In the meantime, we expect tip envelopes to be found in more and more hotels, not just Marriott ones.
What do you think about tip envelopes--helpful or annoying? Sound off in comments below!
[Photo: Marriott Hotels]
When we think of the JW Marriott Grosvenor House, we mainly think of two things: its gigantic 60,000+ sq ft meeting facilities (a sit-down dinner for 1,200 people? No problem!), and its very Mayfair décor (think dark woods, deep reds, heavy drapes).
The latter made us take notice of the pictures of its new Executive Lounge, which goes in a very different direction design-wise, with a much lighter, more contemporary look. There’s even a ‘media wall’ near reception, which we assume is visible above on the far left with digital images of the greenery of Hyde Park. Located on the ground floor of the hotel, the revamped space was opened recently; check out a few more snaps below.
Hotel News / Hawaii Hotels / JW Marriott Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Four Seasons Hotels / Oahu Hotels / → All Tags
That’s right: the latest news coming out of Hawai’i is that Four Seasons might get its hands on a fifth hotel in the island state. Above the current JW Marriott Ihilani Ko Olina, which Pacific Business News is reporting will close early next year for extensive renovations and reopen “under one of the top luxury brands in the world”.
While there is no official confirmation yet from either the developer or Four Seasons, the latter has registered a business in Hawaii under the name “FS Ko Olina Inc.”, which seems to suggest something is indeed in the works.
Yesterday, we gave you the Must-Stay Hotels for Wailea in Maui. Today, we're giving you a Must-East spot. Conveniently, it's in a hotel. Mahalo!
Chef Sheldon Simeon has done pretty well for himself after finishing in the top three of Season 10 of "Top Chef" and winning the "Fan Favorite" award. The Hawaiian native, who previously helmed Star Noodle in Maui not only opened his own restaurant, MiGRANT, at the Wailea Beach Marriott, he's also taken over the kitchen at the hotel's Mala restaurant.
So with the same chef overseeing both restaurants, what's the different? The Mala restaurant has a more formal restaurant set-up with a somewhat traditional menu while MiGRANT has a casual setting with a more creative menu. Ok. So which one should you choose? Allow us....
We stayed at the Marriott in May while celebrating a family member's big milestone, and when a dinner at Mala ended up being fraught with service issues, we were invited back to try it again, this time with Chef Simeon himself guiding us along his excellent culinary adventure.
The dishes that we had were a mixture of Mala and MiGRANT items but all were Simeon's creations, heavily influenced by local traditions and his own Filipino heritage. Here's what we sampled, and ultimately fell in love with:
Palm Springs Hotels / Palm Springs Week / Hotel Openings / Hotel Spas / Kimpton Hotels / Autograph Collection / Marriott Hotels / → All Tags
The Palm Springs Hotel
Be still, breaking hearts – it’s the last day of Palm Springs week! We’ve covered how to get there on the cheap, the must-stay hotels, and your essential pools and spas. We’re wrapping up today with forthcoming hotels that should be on your radar in the coming months – either brand new or refurbished.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / Hotel News / Edition Hotels / Miami Hotel Mambo / Yabu Pushelberg / Ian Schrager / Luxury Hotels / Marriott Hotels / → All Tags
Ladies and Gents, pull out your credit cards. The Miami Beach Edition is now taking reservations.
We got the email alert in our inbox today (although it was announced on Facebook yesterday) and quickly clicked over to the site. There we discovered that while the hotel will "premiere" in November, rooms aren't actually available until January 19, 2015. (UPDATE: We've been told that the hotel is definitely opening in November and that the reservations will get moved up as the opening date gets closer.) For now, rates on that opening Monday in January start at $579 a night for a standard king room. Someone pass us the smelling salts.
It’s a rather sad edition of Cute Hotel Doggies this week, as we saw the news that perhaps the most famous hotelier’s dog has died.
Read the blog – it will probably make you cry. Marriott had previously blogged about Murphy, and what he’d learned from him, in 2008. This time, he writes that Murphy “would have made a great hotel executive.”
Autograph Collection Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Bahamas Hotels / Loyalty Program News / Hotel News / → All Tags
This fall, the sprawling Atlantis Resort in The Bahamas will become a part of the Autograph Collection by Marriott. That means all of the resort's 3,400 rooms (including the super-luxe Cove rooms), 40 restaurants and bars and the 141-acre water park will now be bookable using Marriott Rewards points. Of course, you'll also be able to earn points with your stay too. (And hopefully, the resort will extend free WiFi to Marriott Rewards elite members.)
Atlantis will operate under a long-term franchise agreement with Marriott, who also provided a $100 million mezzanine loan to the resort. So this is a serious deal, not a "we'll try it out for a bit" situation.
And the partnership could not have come at a better time, or maybe it was orchestrated that way, since the nearby Baha Mar Resort & Casino and its resort wonderland is opening later this year and will surely draw folks away from Atlantis. But if you're a Marriott Rewards member with status, it may not make sense to go somewhere else.
A celebration of 40 years of Elie Tahari, on June 26th at the Renaissance New York Hotel 57
Renaissance Hotels is preparing to launch its 3rd annual Day of Discovery, a single day event on June 26, at all 157 Renaissance Hotels around the world. Each hotel will invite its guests to "discover" something unique about its city and local community. Just about all corners of culture are covered--music, art, architecture, fashion, nature, cuisine, and last but not least, drink.
Each Renaissance Hotel has its own “RNavigator” to advise guests on the day’s events as well as other activities throughout the summer. From this amazing list of cultural celebrations, we selected eight events that we found enticing as well as visually appealing. For details of all the events hosted on the Day of Discovery, go to here.
Sneak Peek / Hotel News / Moxy Hotels / Milan Hotels / Airport Hotels / Marriott Hotels / → All Tags
Moxy Hotels, the hip and affordable hotel brand for young folk, is opening its first location this summer at Milan's Malpensa Airport (Terminal 2) in August, followed by several more European airport hotels next year. We've seen renderings of the exterior for Moxy but today, we've got a sneak peek at the interiors.
Designers David Tracz and David Shove-Brown, co-founders of the Washington DC-based Studio3877, were tapped to do the architectural and interior concepts for the brand and judging from these renderings, they've really nailed the "contemporary design" aspect for Moxy, especially in the guest rooms.
These spaces look so sleek and chic, it's hard to believe they will be at affordable rates. No, really. These are affordable rates. We found a room for 89 Euros for a standard room at Moxy Milan on September 1. And of course, that includes free WiFi.
[Renderings by Neoscape]
Pride Hotels / LGBT Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Kimpton Hotels / W Hotels / Hilton Hotels / → All Tags
Tosh & Carmine at the Carlton Hotel New York, for Marriott's #LoveTravels campaign
June is Pride month, and plenty of hotels are getting into the spirit by saluting the LGBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) community in different ways. Here are a few that caught our eye, for every guest in the rainbow.
For the Party Animal: Dream Downtown in NYC. Party lovers heading to NYC for Pride (June 24-29) will want to check out the Dream Downtown, offering a Pride package which includes drinks at check-in (might as well get started) and an all-access pass to “Hot & Wet,” a DJ-hosted Pride kick-off pool party on Tuesday, June 24. Also provided is a hangover kit that includes Emergen-C and, most importantly, a 3pm checkout. Rates start at $350 per night with a two-night minimum; valid for stays through June 30, 2014.
Hotel Secrets / Renaissance Hotels / Hotel Drinks / Hotel Bars / Marriott Hotels / Denver Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
Menu items at the Renaissance Denver Downtown.
Last week, while having a drink in the lobby of the Renaissance Denver Downtown - we opened the bar menu to take a peek at the fare. Amongst the typical city-priced items, we noticed that one option stood out from the rest.
It looked strange and out of place, that last item with the peculiar price tag: 99 cent homeamde chips and dip. Was this a mistake? If soft pretzels are $8, and almonds $6... were the chips stale or something? We immediately put our hand in the air for the bartender to come over. We pointed at the menu. Are you serious with these chips?
Well, wouldn't you know that we just so happened to stumble upon one of the industry's best kept secrets. Turns out, all 157 Renaissance Hotels around the world have featured 99 cent chips on their bar menus since 2010. We've always been told to never question a good thing, but that simply doesn't work for a writer. Why, in a world where, quite frankly, hotel guests have become complacent and accepting of overpaying for food and beverage, would a hotel do such a thing?