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“Ask Alfred.” What is it? It is an advice column penned by Batman’s butler? (“How do I get Catwoman’s litter stains out of my cape?”) Is it a post-Aughties revamp of a long-forgotten search engine mascot? (RIP.)
No (too bad!) and no (thank heavens). It’s a teddy bear.
Because tomorrow is Teddy Bears’ Picnic Day,, seriously, the Millennium Hotels and Resorts brand is seizing the moment to import its “Ask Alfred Children’s Concierge” to North American properties.
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When one hotel closes, another one is quick to open. The Millennium Hotel in St. Louis which has been in steady decline for a few years, will close the last 164 of its 780 hotel rooms on January 22.. The general manager for the hotel gave this statement to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
“The hotel has served the St. Louis community well for many years,” Robert Rivers, the owner’s regional general manager, said in a statement. “However, we have concluded that the hotel, in its current state, does not meet our standards and has not kept pace with guest demands.”
An example of how outdated the hotel is? According to a TripAdvisor review, the rooms did not have wireless internet. Good grief! But the biggest loss will be the hotel's spinning restaurant at the top of the building. Baseball fans will also miss this killer ballpark view. No word on what could possibly take its place but residential condos is most likely.
Meanwhile, in Orlando, the new-ish Legoland Theme Park will be getting its own 152-room Lego-themed hotel in 2015. Having spent some time at Legoland Hotel in California, which just opened last April, we bet the Orlando outpost will be very similar. But of course, with Orlando being so
muggy hot in the summer months, there will probably be more water features at the pool.
Today we're drooling over a Sweet Suite—the kind of top-tier, five-star, too-expensive digs that most of us will never be able to afford. But that won't stop us from fantasizing! From newly-renovated suites to panoramic penthouses overlooking cities, we'll cover all the biggies in this ongoing series. Got a suite we should know about? Send us an email!
This past fall, One UN New York not only unveiled Phase 1 of its major renovation project, but also re-named the hotel (it used to be known as Millennium UN Plaza) in an effort to re-brand the hotel as a top luxury destination for the neighborhood. And one of the shining gems of the renovation is Suite 2932, located in the 154-room West Tower.
One of several duplex suites in the hotel, guests here certainly aren't lacking on space, with a giant living room, dedicated work space, a bedroom on the second floor, two bathrooms (with incredible views), and a minibar with a Nespresso machine.
But don't just take our word for it—click through the photo gallery and see for yourself!
Ever heard of New York Coffee Fest? Well, it's coming up on Friday March 8, and to celebrate the hoards of baristas, latte artists and bean roasters that will be pouring into Manhattan, we thought we'd take a minute to round up the city's best spots for hotel coffee. Even if you don't consider yourself a coffee nerd, after sampling these places, you'll soon be saying, 'Starbucks who?'
One recent Yelp reviewer called her mocha latte at Birch Coffee "just perfect," and we think that applies to pretty much the whole place. Located inside the Gershwin Hotel, Birch is essentially a neighborhood coffeeshop that's developed a cult following through its commitment to buying coffee from sustainable farms—and then turning that coffee into beautiful (and delicious) lattes, cappuccinos and the like.
We're also fans because of the friendly servers, reliable WiFi, and the fact that we always manage to find a seat in the tranquil, hidden upstairs library.
Two more of the city's top hotel coffeeshops after the jump!
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As the whole internet knows by now, Paris Hilton has been categorically demoted from vapid-but-fun reality TV star to villain, after a taxi driver recorded a conversation in which she basically wrote off the entire gay male population. In the aftermath of the controversy, we thought it would be appropriate to call out a few gay-friendly hotels that Paris would do well to avoid for the time being...
Millennium Bostonian Hotel is one of 14 IGLTA-sponsor Millennium hotels around the US (other cities include LA, Chicago, Boston and the tea-loving Millennium UN Plaza in New York)—each of which offers a 15% discount for guests who use the promo code PRIDE when booking reservations. The Boston property (pictured) overlooks Faneuil Hall, and sits within walking distance of the North End and Boston Harbor. Rates from $330/night, with the discount.
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Time to out ourselves: we love tea, in a big way. And it's not everyday that a treat like this shows up in our hotel.
We were conducting an interview inside a room at Millennium UN Plaza the other day when a refreshment tray was wheeled in by one of the room service attendants. What caught our eye immediately, before the steel coffee canisters or those little Fiji water bottles, was a plain white box placed on the table, which, when opened, contained a whole range of Kusmi tea. Red, orange, green, purple, white packets. Our only problem: having to choose just one!
For a long time, the cavernous Spanish-colonial gem of a former lobby at downtown Los Angeles’s Millennium Biltmore Hotel was going to waste as a way station for travelers checking in and out without giving the breathtaking hall the attention it deserved. Now, however, the hotel is putting the three-story space front and center as the location of its new Italian steakhouse, La Bistecca.
The lobby, which has touches of a bygone era like hand-carved wooden ceiling beams, Travertine walls, and an enormous chandelier that even the Phantom of the Opera would enjoy, has also added a huge rose marble fountain in the middle of the new 70-person seating area.
Carnivores can get six different cuts of steak, including a bone-in rib eye, and slow-roasted prime rib. The meats come, Sicilian-style, with a variety of simple accompaniments and sauces like the Barolo wine sauce, a mascarpone-horseradish cream, and a marinated porcini béarnaise.
Vegans might have a hard time finding something to eat here since even the salads have cream-based dressings, and all the antipasti and pasta dishes include some kind of meat, but you know what? You can hit a Whole Foods anytime, this is for a special night out at an old-school steakhouse.
The Asian region of the Millenium Hotels chain have just found a great way to increase room rates: just create a new brand by sticking the word "Grand" in front of your old one.
Okay, that's the cynical take on the news, and as we haven't yet been inside a Grand Millennium we should probably reserve our judgment. In any case, there are already four Grand Millennium Hotels operating, after Sukhumvit Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur opened last October, and then during 2008 the Grand Millennium Dubai and Beijing hotels have also started operations under the new branding.
As we reminded you earlier today, Bill Marriott has a blog. It's called Marriott on the Move. Which if you think about it is a funny name for the blog of a CEO who wants you to spend the night at his place.
Despite ripping off the Marriott on the Move name, Millennium Hotels is steering clear of the blog format by publishing a quarterly e-newsletter. Guess that means we should look forward to more news from the chain on May 1. Thanks for keeping us up to date, guys!
· Hotel Blog Watch coverage [HotelChatter]