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Low-Key Saba Island Now Has a Hotel Spa, Thanks to Queen's Garden Resort

October 21, 2014 at 2:20 PM | by | Comments (2)

The new Frangipane Spa at the Queen's Garden Resort on Saba

If you remember the killer views we showed you last winter that make the Queen's Garden Resort on Saba, the Caribbean island's most luxurious property, you might recall the unfinished building in some of the photos. The work-in-progress was a spa, which was finished earlier this month, just in time for the upcoming Caribbean season.

Called the Frangipani Spa, it features two open air treatment rooms, Finnish sauna, Turkish steam bath, herbal facial aroma pots, waterfall shower, and an outdoor Jacuzzi. Like the hotel, it overlooks Saba's capital, "The Bottom," as well as the mountainside and ocean.

The photos below show a simplistic charm and a hut-like environment, the beige of the wood dominating as a background and allowing the bright Caribbean-colored accents to burst out. So as not to lose sight of the views, the hotel decided to completely leave out one side of the building - a decision we think will turn out to be a really good one. The treatments will use products from SXM Nectar on nearby St. Maarten.

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Photos: An Inside Look at Marlon Brando's Former Digs Near Tahiti

October 16, 2014 at 12:41 PM | by | Comments (0)

Just over a year ago, we dished on the details behind The Brando, Marlon Brando's posthumous hotel on Tetiaroa, a 12-islet atoll 30 miles northeast of Tahiti. Photos and guest-experience insight were limited at the time, but now that the hotel officially opened this summer - on July 1st, the 10th anniversary of Brando's death - it's time to take an inside look.

We guess we'll start with the bad news: This is one hotel that none of us will ever see the inside of. Rates start at $3,800/night for a one-bedroom villa (2 guests), and there is a three-night minimum stay. From here on out, we can consider this an eye-candy post, but just for fun, here's what's included in your daily rate at the Brando:

Accommodations; all meals in all dining venues; bottled water, soft drinks, beer, and select wines, Champagne, and spirits; 24-hour dining in the privacy of your villa; 1 excursion per person per day from a select list of options; 1 spa treatment (50 minutes) per day; Internet access; 1 bicycle per guest; access to an outrigger canoe, kayak, paddleboard, and snorkeling equipment.

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It Wasn't an Easy Task But Here are The World's Coolest Twin-Bedded Hotel Rooms

September 17, 2014 at 5:41 PM | by | Comments (2)

To anyone who has ever traveled with a friend, a family member, or a colleague and needed to book a double, or twin-bedded, hotel room--and has been less than happy with it--we feel your pain.

Although things are slowly starting to improve in the design of guest rooms for buddies and other "non-couples," after a very lengthy search we conclude there is practically a bottomless pit of dull and uninteresting twin hotel rooms out there.

NEVER FEAR. We've searched high and low to find cool hotel rooms that were actually conceived and designed for individuals traveling together. And we've created a photo gallery with the fruits of our internet search labor. Indeed, we searched very high and very low as these types of rooms are few and far between. There really needs to be more great double rooms. Hear that, hoteliers? And not just for friends and colleagues. Why we even know some hopelessy devoted couples who like to sleep in separate beds. It's something to think about.

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Inside The Soho House Chicago, Not Just for Members Only

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 113-125 N. Green Street [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60607
September 15, 2014 at 12:08 PM | by | Comment (1)

A few weeks ago, Soho House opened their newest, exclusive hideaway in Chicago. We finally went to check it out for ourselves and we think, this might just be the one of the best hotels in Chicago.

The property has 40 bedrooms, three restaurants (all open to the public), a private cinema and a retro-styled gym with a vintage boxing ring and aerial yoga classes. Soho House is also located on a back street in the West Loop neighborhood behind the hottest restaurant precinct in town. (Since you can clearly work off whatever you ate the night before, there's no reason not to take a few steps to some of the eateries found on Randolph Street.)

Take a look around a "Medium" room at the Soho House Chicago

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A Look Inside Hotel Lautner, Now Open For Winter

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 67710 San Antonio Street [map], Desert Hot Springs, CA, United States, 92240
September 9, 2014 at 9:29 AM | by | Comment (1)

Last time we heard about Hotel Lautner, it was surrendering to the Coachella Valley heat and closing down for the summer. Now, it’s open again (actually, it opened a little early for Labor Day), and with a special September deal: $199 (plus tax) per night, with no midweek minimum stay (though there’s the standard two night minimum on weekends).

You might think this looks relatively expensive for a Palm Springs hotel, since we told you before how low prices can go there. Is a two night minimum and a $200+ room really worth it?

Yes. 100 percent worth it. A million times over. And not just because it has a kitchen so you can save on eating out. Pictures speak louder than words, so here are some photos from our stay back in 2012, when it was newly open.

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An Inside Look at ME Madrid, Where Nightlife Reigns Supreme

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Plaza de Santa Ana, 14, Madrid, Spain, 28012
August 27, 2014 at 2:04 PM | by | Comments (0)

When we went down for dinner at ME Madrid Reina Victoria’s restaurant, Ana La Santa, at 9:45 p.m. while staying at the hotel, we were the only people in the restaurant. By the time we left at around 11 p.m., it was packed to the gills.

We headed up to the hotel’s super-swanky rooftop bar, The Roof: besides seeing one other forlorn-looking North American couple, it was empty. So we headed back down to the Ana La Santa Bar for cocktails and were surrounded by locals all just getting their after-dinner espressos as we reached the midnight hour.

By the time we hit the hay at around 1:30 a.m. the streets just outside the hotel were reaching a fever pitch. When we went back to the lobby at around 4:30 a.m. to check out, the loungey lobby was packed.

This is ME Madrid. (See the pics below!)

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Affordable Style in Bordeaux: An Inside Look at Hotel Burdigala

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 115, rue Georges Bonnac, Bordeaux, France, 33000
July 31, 2014 at 1:35 PM | by | Comments (0)

The 83-room contemporary chic Hotel Burdigala is found in Bordeaux’s Mériadeck district. About a block from the tram and across the street from a well-disguised mall, the hotel is apart from the action but close enough to it.

Part of Accor's MGallery collection, this hotel is billed as a five-star, but we would place it more at a solid four-star rating. This is not meant to deter you, though, as the hotel certainly has style and is at a budget-conscious price point.

Have a look at the pics in the gallery!

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A Peek Inside Mama Shelter Bordeaux

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 19, rue Poquelin Moliere, Bordeaux, France, 33000
July 23, 2014 at 4:48 PM | by | Comments (0)

Last week we gave you a peek at the hip Seeko’o Hotel in Bordeaux and now it’s Mama Shelter’s turn. If you know other Mama Shelters, then you know that the hipness tap stayed on during the making of this little gem.

Located right in the heart of things at Place Saint Christoly, this 97-room hotel opened in October of 2013. Like all of the Mama Shelters the concept is simple: Give the people what they need and charge ‘em extra for the stuff that they might want. That, plus a Philippe Starck design concept that’s stark (or Starck! yuk-yuk) white minimalism in the rooms and wild and wacky design in the public areas.

(Plenty of pics in the photo gallery!)

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Hip Bordeaux? A Peek Inside the Seeko’o Hotel

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 54, quai de Bacalan, Bordeaux, France, 33300
July 16, 2014 at 5:22 PM | by | Comments (0)

We spent some time in Bordeaux this summer and we have one question: When did Bordeaux get to be so hip? To prove this point, we give you the 45-room Seeko’o Hotel, in the up-and-coming Chartrons district.

Formerly a wine shipping area, this warehouse neighborhood had fallen into a state of decrepitude before the current mayor thought that enough was enough and government and businesses started investing in the buildings. Now you’ll find trendy shops, galleries and restaurants all along the river in these cool reno’ed warehouses.

Across the street from one of the quays is the Seeko’o Hotel – a modern vision in white – angular and austere. “Seeko’o” is the Inuit word for “iceberg” and it’s a fitting name. King Kong Architecture designed the building and clad the outside in white Corian. Standing taller than the buildings surrounding it, it doesn’t feel obtrusive but, rather, takes command of its space.

(Since pictures speak a thousand words, be sure to have a look at the pics in the photo gallery!)

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5 Things to Do at Paris’s Fouquet’s Barrière When You’re Too Jet-lagged to Leave

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 46, avenue George V, Paris, France, 75008
July 11, 2014 at 2:21 PM | by | Comments (0)

We’ve all had those days while traveling overseas when you can’t quite get the gumption to leave your cozy hotel world and explore the greater world outside. We recently had one of those days while staying at the celeb hangout, Fouquet’s Barrière in Paris (a Luxury Hotels of the World property), and have put together a list of things to do if agoraphobia hits you too.

1) Food glorious food: Fouquet’s has five restaurants and three bars, not too shabby considering the hotel has only 81 rooms. Our favorite places to hang out were at Le Bar Marta, with its black and white 1930s Hollywood glam design and La Petite Maison de Nicole because, heck, if it’s good enough for Jay-Z and Beyoncé, it’s good enough for us. The food at La Petite Maison is best-described as gourmet southern France comfort food. That means Macaroni with Truffles and Provençal Ratatouille. If you go on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday evening you can groove with one of the resident DJs.

2) Shop at the front desk: There is no reason you can’t still shop if you don’t leave the hotel. If you’d like to buy the monogrammed robe you can certainly do that, but you’ll also find five proprietary perfumes, yo-yos, aprons, pencil sets and Panama hats. Some products are on display throughout the lobby, some in your room, and some are found at the front desk.

Three more tips below!

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Hotels Are Making Big Design Statements, and Occasionally Music, With Their Pianos

July 10, 2014 at 7:11 PM | by | Comments (0)

Hotels are adding keys, as in piano keys, into their design repertoire, and there seems to be no end in sight.

We’re seeing more of them as a carefully placed, often dominating feature in lobbies, bars, ballrooms, and specialty suites. As hoteliers and interior designers seek to create a unique identity for a brand or even an independent, the style or placement of a piano can and usually does, set the tone, so to speak.

We thought it might be fun to take a collective look at some examples of how hotels use pianos to show their true colors, their sense of style, or simply to show off. In some hotels it is clearly the piano itself that makes the design statement—these will be obvious— and in other cases it is the overall setting that brings it all together.

We threw in a couple of “extras,” one which is a temporary piano display in a hotel that we could not resist, and the other which is more of a suggestion on our part, for matching a piano that we found, to a hotel that is not yet open.

Here’s our gallery of hotels and their pianos, quite possibly the first of its kind. Not the last, the way things are going.

[Photos by the hotels mentioned; Blue Dog Steinway piano by RodriguesSteinway; Ferrari Grand Rossa piano by Ressino]

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Inside Suite 335 at Four Seasons George V in Paris

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 31, avenue George V, Paris, France, 75008
July 10, 2014 at 5:05 PM | by | Comments (3)

Last week, we gave you ideas for things you can do at Four Seasons George V if you can’t afford the pretty penny it costs to stay there, but still want a piece of that luxury pie. Now we’re going deeper inside to give you a peek at one of the coveted suites at the hotel – Suite 335.

Suite 335 is a Four Seasons Suite, the lowest rung on the suites ladder at George V. After it comes the Deluxe, Premier, Duplex, and Empire Suites, and all the way up to the Penthouse Suite. The Four Seasons Suites are not to be scoffed at, however, as runts of the litter, for they range in size from 650-750 sq ft and have the old-world elegance found throughout George V plus all of the mod-cons you need to carry on with your daily life.

Plenty of pics below!

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