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Staying at a Residence Inn is more often than not about business or a similar mission. That means your hotel stay is probably not focused on interacting with the other guests and hanging about the property. Well the folks over at Marriott are trying to change that, as they’re introducing something they’re calling The Residence Inn Mix.
Think of it as kind of an updated take on happy hour, as Residence Inn by Marriott looks to spice up its evening offerings. Events are planned for three nights each and every week, and with the different days come a different theme. Offerings will include things like food trucks, small bites and samples from local restaurants, or maybe just an outdoor grilling experience.
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Two side-by-side outdated office buildings in downtown Dallas are getting a new lease on life. That’s always good news, especially when that new life is a hotel. Or three.
The Dallas Morning News reports that developer NewcrestImage plans to renovate the two towers on Commerce Street and with a little design magic, by the end of next year we can look forward to a Hampton Inn & Suites, Residence Inn by Marriott, and AC Hotels by Marriott, offering a total of about 400 rooms.
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What do you do with an outdated office building in one of the best locations in Lower Manhattan? You convert it into a hotel of course! That’s just what Marriott has done, with the opening of Residence Inn New York Manhattan/World Trade Center Area.
Yes, that's really it's full name. We guess when you start overpopulating your brand in NYC, you have to be as specific as possible about the hotel name. The next Residence Inn may just be called, "Residence Inn New York Next To the Bodega at 42nd and 5th, No, Not that Bodega, The One That's Across From The Starbucks and Duane Reade."
But we digress.
The latest Residence Inn for Manhattan has a stellar location at the corner of Maiden Lane and Broadway, in the heart of the financial district and a short walk to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. As for the building, it dates back to 1903 and formerly contained offices for financial bigwigs, as well as for the jewelry industry which had its own downtown contingent.
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Sarajevo is more famous as a city of hills, but it’s also one of those beautiful European cities with a river running through it. The Miljacka splits the city in two, with the city center on the north and a quieter, more residential side (with better views) on the south.
You’d think that a river city would have hotels clamoring to sit along the riverside, but for some reason, in Sarajevo, that hasn’t happened – most of the smaller, independent hotels are in the Old Town, and most of the chainy and business ones sit on the main airport road (AKA Sniper Alley).
But there is one exception. The only hotel that actually sits right on the Miljacka is the brand new Marriott Residence Inn. In another first, it's also the only internationally branded hotel in the whole of Bosnia & Herzegovina.*
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Yesterday we gave you a little sneak peek inside the dual-brand Residence Inn and Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, across from the LA Live sporting and entertainment complex. The two select service brands are not just sharing a building but also a check-in desk, a lobby, a fitness center, a pool and even the guest room floors. (Here's how to tell which side of the hallway is yours.)
Now, here's the full reveal of the property. Peruse the photos below to see the shared spaces at the hotels, as well as the individual rooms of the Courtyard and Residence Inn brands. Then keep reading to see what we liked and what we didn't like.
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Marriott International has more than a crush on Downtown LA. Not content with having a Ritz-Carlton and a JW Marriott Hotel at LA Live, Marriott has now opened their first dual-brand hotel on the West Coast right across the street from the Staples Center--The Courtyard by Marriott and Residence Inn at LA Live.
Not only is this the first dual-brand on the West Coast for Marriott but it's also the first dual-brand hotel to share a floor. (Typically, the different brands split the floors.)
So how do you know which side of the hallway is yours? Follow the carpeting.
When you step off the elevator, you'll see a lotus type of design on the floor. The purple side of the lotus will lead you to the Residence Inn side, while the orange side will lead you to the Courtyard rooms.
But the two brands share more than just the guest room floors. They also share the check-in desk, the lobby, the pool, the 901 bistro and the fitness center. However, only Residence Inn guests can access the spacious RI Lounge and its free, hot breakfast buffet. We'll tell you now, this lounge is worth the extra $20 a night that Residence Inn charges.
Room rates for the Courtyard side of the hotel, which has 174 rooms, are around $289 a night while Residence Inn has rates for its 219 suites starting at $309 a night.
Stay tuned tomorrow for photos galore!
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As we mentioned in our Master List of Worldwide Openings this morning, New York City is now home to the tallest hotel in North America. So which hotel owns this distinction? The "two-pack" Courtyard By Marriott and Residence Inn Central Park which just opened a few hours ago at 1717 Broadway and 54th.
Measurement-wise the new hotel stands at 752 feet, 9 inches and without office or residential space attached, the hotel has grabbed the "Tallest Hotel" prize.
For guests staying at the hotel, they will have 68-floors of either Courtyard by Marriott or Residence Inn guest rooms and amenities to choose from. Courtyard has about 378 rooms on floors 6-33 (with those cool new room designs) while Residence Inn has 261 suites on floors 37-65. Check out the view from one of the Courtyard rooms. On the 35th floor is a fitness center floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor sundeck for relaxing, stretching or as Marriott says, "seasonal sunning."
Yet what has us more excited than the fact that Marriott has stuck two of its brands together in a giant hotel overlooking Central Park and with views of the Hudson River is that the entire hotel has complimentary WiFi. But that's not all. Marriott says each room delivers "1.25 gigabytes of bandwidth with horizontal and vertical fiber optical cable network that allows for fast, extensive use on multiple devices at one time." Yes, this is Marriott saying that.
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Construction began on the hybrid Residence Inn/Courtyard by Marriott Hotel across from the Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott at LA Live just last March but the hotel looks nearly finished, at least on the outside.
We snapped this pic from the 10 Freeway the other day (Shh! Don't tell the CHP) and the hotel looks nearly identical to the rendering put out last year. And no, it's not your eyes or your computer screen, we think those rooms windows are supposed to have that haphazard look. (Or maybe that was just because we were in motion when we took this pic. Oops.)
When it's completely finished, the 24-story building will house a 174-room Courtyard by Marriott (hopefully with these new "Gen Next" rooms) and a 218-room Residence Inn. Word is the hotel should be done by Summer 2014.
Meanwhile Marriott isn't done with Downtown LA. They are still building a Renaissance Hotel across from the JW Marriott on the northeast corner of Olympic Boulevard and Georgia Street. The hotel will have 450 rooms when it opens in 2016. Construction is expected to start next year. Perhaps Downtown LA should automatically sign you up for Marriott Rewards when you visit.
[Photo: HotelChatter, while driving. Don't do this at home, kids.]
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Marriott has certainly taken a liking to New York City as of late. First it unveiled the JW Marriott Essex House this past Spring, though recruiting NJ-native Jon Bon Jovi was an odd (but welcome!) choice. In May they debuted the Residence Inn Midtown East and had Iron Chef Cat Cora bless the place with an entertaining culinary demo. Next came a quiet opening two month ago of the Springhill Suites in midtown.
You’d think they’d stop there, and breathe, but nope. Just four weeks ago was yet another hush-hush debut, the Courtyard Marriott Herald Square. Yep, smack dab in the heart of tourist central is a 167-room hotel that commands views of Macy’s and the contained chaos on the streets below. The formerly Atlantic Bank of New York building, constructed in 1928, has been transformed into a rather upscale property—in other words, not your average roadside Courtyard.
But, we’re still hesitant about the location, and we will be stay there at some point to find out if the 34th Street noise level will permeate the Courtyard’s walls in the late hours. However for now, during the afternoon, the place, especially the modern lobby, is pretty tranquil.
Unlike other properties in the Marriott brand like Residence Inn and Springhill Suites, this hotel doesn’t offer free breakfast. Instead they offer a la carte and grab-and-go food service. Oh, and they serve Starbucks coffee, so no need to run outside for a java fix. The small Table 71 Dining Room has a light bar serving wine, beer, some spirits as well as easily prepared snacks (think quesadillas, paninis).
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Somehow a new Residence Inn opened in NYC on March 1st, and we heard not a whisper about it, until we were invited to their grand opening last week. The day happened to coincide with the brands third annual "Resident Mom of the Year" celebration, which always occurs near Mother's Day.
So, who was bestowed the honor of spokeswoman for Residence Inn's, all-suite, family-friendly properties? None other than Iron Chef, tv-host, and mama extraordinaire, Cat Cora.
Cat dazzled the crowd with her cute southern twang, warm personality, and ability to convince the crowd that cooking quinoa, stir fry, and parfaits is simple as pie in the hotel's kitchen.
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We hope you remembered back in the Spring when we told you the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade route would change this year and booked your hotel stay accordingly.
However, Hurricane Sandy and early snowfall in parts of the country has caused cancelled travel into the city, so some late birds (we won’t call you turkeys) may luck out and score last-minute hotel bookings and get a glimpse of those awesome floats in the flesh.
Let’s be clear though, many of these rooms may more now than normal, and some come with a minimum night’s stay (which won’t be so bad if you’re staying on for Black Friday shopping! anyway! Whee!). And if ANY of the hotels below show up on HotelTonight at noon? Grab 'em up, and schmooze like heck for a good room!
Just a few other things to know:
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Oktoberfest began this past Saturday in Munich and will continue through October 7th. The traditional 16-day Bavarian festival, which was first celebrated 200 years ago to commemorate a royal wedding, is now feted all over the world. We’d like to do our part and give you a few places in the U.S. where you can get your beer and brat on if you can't get to Germany. Lederhosen is totally optional, but highly recommended.
The Standard, Downtown LA and New York
The good news is that these hotel’s biergartens stay open year-round. The better news is that the LA hotel is offering a Oktoberfest lunch special between 12-5pm every day. For $15 you get a tasting of three beers on tap (Bittburger Pilsner, Licher Heffeweisen, and Kostritzer Black Lager) and a choice of a sausage, salad, pretzel or strudel. Meanwhile at the High Line outpost, which becomes glass-enclosed during the cooler months, they’ve revitalized the Stammtisch. This lets guests pay an hourly rate for a table and get unlimited beer brought to them. Call 212-645-4100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a reservation.
Dupont Hotel, Washington, DC
Now through September 30th, the Bar Dupont’s patio, across from D.C.’s famous Dupont Circle, becomes a boisterous biergarten with live polka music, four Oktoberfest-style brews on draft from a Hefeweizen to a special Sam Adams Octoberfest brew, and a menu serving German festival fare. Mugs, steins, and pitchers are be available for all levels of drinking as well as sizes of sausage from brat to knock to kielbasa, depending on your appetite. Oompah music, polka bands and other entertainment will be provided on certain days throughout Oktoberfest