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This Sunday, we're springing forward for daylight saving time which means we lose an hour of sleep but we gain an extra hour of daylight. And after a long, hard winter, we're really looking forward to that.
In the past, changing clocks for the time change was kind of pain. Today, not so much since most of use cellphones and tablets and those automatically adjust to the change. Sure, there's a watch or a kitchen clock to change here and there but usually it's pretty easy. However, if you're a hotel with nearly 2,000 hotel rooms, preparing for daylight savings time is a major event.
General manager Terry Lewis of the The Sheraton Times Square Hotel, the third largest hotel in NYC, with 1,781 rooms and her staff are tasked with not only updating their clocks but also reminding guests staying at the hotel that daylight savings is happening. And it goes way beyond slipping a note under the door. Here are 12 Ways The Sheraton Times Square Gets Ready for Daylight Saving Time (#8 is REALLY important to read.)
Here’s what you get in exchange for what amounts to a year’s salary for many:
Three nights in the 3,546 square-foot, 45th floor, two bedroom, three bathroom bi-level Penthouse Suite with views of Central Park and Times Square from every room.The master bedroom has a king-size Sheraton Sweet Sleeper bed; the second bedroom has two doubles.
Bottomless wine tasting with in-house wine expert David Ocampo, featuring wines rated 90+ by Wine Spectator. from wineries such as Chateau Ste. Michelle, Seghesio, Villa Antinori, Peter Lehmann, M. Chapoutier, Paul Cluver and Domaine Lafond.
A two-hour cooking session with Executive Chef Joe Fontanals in the suite’s full kitchen and dining room
Access to the 44th floor Club Lounge with 24/7 complimentary beverages and snacks
Upon booking the Penthouse Escape package, guests have an initial consultation with a member of the hotel’s culinary team to discuss their food interests and any special requests. Guests then receive copies of recipes created during the experience.
Actors Navid Negahban who plays terrorist Abu Nazir, and Nazanin Boniadi, who plays CIA analyst Fara Sherazi, were joined by former CIA Directorate of Operations Jack Devine, and journalist and former government official John Miller (hunky Damian Lewis, alas, was not present). Together they discuss the television series as well as -- amongst other things -- issues of national security, interviewing Osama bin Laden (Miller in 1998), representations of strong female Muslim characters on television and plotholes.
"There's no cell phones allowed in CIA buildings," Miller pointed out. "However, I've learned that every time I see something on the show and say that would never happen, I read about it in the New York Times six months later." Yikes!
Guests staying on the Club Floors were given the opportunity to ask the panelists questions and mingle afterwards during the Sheraton Social Hour while sipping on Sheraton Selects wines.
The man we once described as a "serial hotel architect," Gene Kaufman is working on a ridiculous number of hotels all over New York City, and now he's signed on to two more properties, side-by-side on a narrow street in the Financial District at 8 and 10-12 Maiden Lane. Kaufman is also at work on what will be the world's tallest Holiday Inn at nearby 99 Washington.
The new Maiden Lane property is going to rise to 25 stories and will offer 191 guest rooms and a rooftop bar. We hope it's nice because it would be a shame to replace this cool architecture with something bland -- a description oft-used to describe Kaufman's work.
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While we had already been told that the eco-conscious brand was making its way into Flushing, Queens, of all unexpected places, we were pretty floored to hear today that the new property will be a dual-hotel development alongside Starwood stablemate Four Points by Sheraton.
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There's tons of 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 here is a quick rundown to get you up to speed on the latest.
Four Seasons goes to Seoul: the Canadian group just announced it will be adding a 317-room Four Seasons hotel in the Sejongro area of South Korea’s capital, due to open in May 2015 in a brand new 25-story building
One&Only goes Down Under: we had heard the rumor before, but it’s official now. Australia’s Hayman Island will be managed by One&Only, with a full re-launch in April next year. The resort, in the Whitsunday Islands near the Great Barrier Reef, will undergo extensive renovations. Private residences will be added as well
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As the grand finale to cocktail week here's Part 2 of our round-up of some of the nifty things we see going on in the world of hotel bars and bevvies. Don't forget to let us know what’s going on in your section of the world!
Beer is the new wine: Before some of you get stressed out, we’re not saying that wine’s going away, but we have noticed that beer is getting more attention these days. Some hotel bars are making beer their “thing,” some are making their own and some are getting it made for them.
Most of us tend to only hang out at airport hotels when we’re going to and from a place, but the Four Points by Sheraton LAX has a 100-beer beererie called Brewster’s that includes an ever-changing tap list of craft and microbrews. They have an on-staff Director of Brewer Relations who ensures the beer list is fresh and filled with rare brews, monthly beer appreciation nights, beer pairings such as Smoked Stone Porter with smoked salmon, beer turndown service that includes a beer-stocked minibar, and a recently-launched Hoppily Ever After package that lets the happy couple-to-be create their very own custom, brewed-to-taste beer for their big day—isn’t that just so romantic?
We don't think we are asking too much when we say that we expect hotels to be able to pay someone to clean up after us. We mean, that's kinda 50 percent of the reason we're there, right?
So, we can only imagine our reaction if we had been staying at the Sheraton Times Square a few days ago when room service was reportedly being delivered on plastic plates, and dining tables set with plastic utensils. We're pretty sure it would had been a tad stronger than that of the Wisconsin party planner who the New York Post describes as being "miffed" when her guests were served on plastic plates. Especially if we were paying something like $700 a night for the room.
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Fresh off a rather good review in the NY Times, the Sheraton Delfina in Santa Monica will soon no longer exist. But don't worry, it's not as dire as it sounds. Actually, the hotel is getting a brand upgrade to Le Meridien.
The hotel, which incidentally is managed by the Viceroy Hotels, will be known as the Le Meridien Delfina Santa Monica. It will also receive another round of renovations to feature the signature Le Méridien Hub™ lobby experience, large-scale artwork, the exclusive Le Meridien signature scent, and the brand's UNLOCK ART program, featuring LM100 ™ artist designed key card collection and access to Le Méridien brand affiliated contemporary cultural centers in the city.
Rates at the Sheraton start at $270 a night. The Le Meridien brand will officially take over sometime this fall. Rates will definitely go up then but don't worry, your SPG points are still good here.
Not only does this news mark a return to Los Angeles for Le Meridien (they used to be where the SLS Hotel now is), this is another example of the brand's push to expand their brand, right here in America. So far this year, we've seen Le Meridien take over existing hotels in Atlanta, Dallas, and Charlotte. We wonder who will be next?
We been to plenty of hotels around the world and it's always a pleasant surprise for hotel staff to sport a uniform that's a departure from the stuffy, black or charcoal suit. Walking into the Sheraton Towers Saigon we were warmly welcomed by, what seemed like, a crew of greeters with one in particular catching our eye--a lovely young lady dressed in a golden and bronze ao dai topped off with a matching hat.
The ao dai is a traditional silk dress worn by men and women alike, but emphasizes the way the dress ties feminine beauty to Vietnamese nationalism. Walking around the city, visitors will undoubtedly spy heaps of different dresses in a rainbow of different colors; even school girls are decked out in the silk frock. Through the years, ao dais have been tweaked and modernized with the most current design of the garment finding its roots right in Ho Chi Minh City.
The dress is so popular, Prada and Giorgio Armani have even had their hand at creating a haute couture version of the traditional article.
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Not long ago, we wrote about the growing trend of the dual-branded hotel property. When a combined Hampton Inn & Suites and Homewood Suites opened in Denver last May, it reflected the tendency of these new-ish hotel concepts to pair an extended stay property with a limited service hotel. Starwood’s announcement last week,however, was the first we have heard of upscale brands getting in on the act.
The hotel company is planning to open a combined Sheraton and Le Meridien in Charlotte’s uptown business district, with each hotel occupying one tower each of a massive hotel complex that is currently operating as the Blake Hotel (run by Amsterdam Hospitality.) The two hotels will each have their own separate entrances and lobbies, but will share the fitness center, spa, pools, and meeting space. The two towers will have a total of six restaurants, and Le Meridien will feature a rooftop bar offering views of the Charlotte skyline.
Take a walk down memory lane with us, when travelers dressed up to fly, business deals were finalized over a two-martini lunch and hotels sported ice-machines on every floor (nowadays, they are usually only on a couple of floors.) With a little help from Sheraton Hotels, this stroll has become much easier thanks to their (almost) hidden gem--the Vintage Sheraton photo album on their Facebook page.
Uploaded a few weeks ago, the collection of vintage advertisements are a flashback to a more innocent time of travel with some focusing on features like bridging the gap between leisure and business travel (an on-going campaign for present day hotels) and bragging about properties that have air conditioning. One of the ads taunt guests to "enjoy air-conditioning, television, handsome furnishings, the very best of everything."