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For all you avid gamers out there, London's just unleashed a tricked-out hotel suite that we think will be to your liking. It's called the GAME Pad and it's located inside a Staybridge Suites in Stratford, overlooking Olympic Park.
The Pad is the result of a partnership between Staybridge Suites and GAME, a UK-based video games retailer, who's clearly going above and beyond their call of duty by turning every gamer's fantasy into a reality. Inside, the room contains not just a Nintendo Wii U, not just a Playstation 3, and not just an Xbox 360—but all three, each with their own separate 40" plasma TVs (plus another two screens just for watching regular TV). Add to that a full kitchen with microwavable snacks, bean bag chairs, lava lamps, and, of course, a bed, and you've basically eliminated any reason to ever have to go outside again.
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Anyone looking to learn a little more about the world of extended-stay hotels ought to take a look at the brief report we posted last week. If, however, you're all too familiar with the notion of week-long or month-long hotel stays, and have been doing them for years, then you're aware that things can get boring. Fast.
Thank goodness, then, that Staybridge Suites has teamed up with TV personality G. Garvin to film a 25-minute video clip that helps travelers deal with the strain of being alone in a hotel room every night with nothing fun to do.
Garvin apparently knows a thing or two about being lonely on the road. That's what leads him to say things like, "I feel your pain," and then launch into a 25-minute discourse on life-saving matters like how women should pack less shoes, and how turkey chili, turkey quesadillas and turkey tacos are actually a really great "quick" meal to whip up in a hotel kitchenette.
Moral of the story: G. Garvin has a real thing for turkey.
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All week long you've been on the fence about attending Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis on February 5, but now you have finally
asked your parents for some extra cash cobbled enough money together to get yourself to the Big Game. Yet the question remains--where do you stay?
There are some options left in Indianapolis but remember, all the good hotels are sold-out so don't expect silk sheets and bubble bath butlers. And actually, a lot of the budget hotels are sold-out too. So you will have to make do with budgety leftovers out in the 'burbs. But the prices are still going to hurt your wallet.
Here's a couple of options with availability. These hotels and their room rates were accurate as of January 27, 2012 but they are definitely subject to change.
Calling April Rhodes! If you're looking to head to the great Broadway, Staybridge Suites Times Square is offering aspiring Broadway performers the chance to win a 6-month stay at the hotel, $5,000 in spending money, and a series of Broadway Classroom courses as well as the opportunity to meet with Broadway influencers to speed up their chances of getting that big Broadway break.
Broadway hopefuls just have to submit a video of their talents by singing either "Give my Regards to Broadway" or "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows" to Staybridge Suites' Facebook page from now through June 18, 2010.
Boy, has this block seen some hotel action in the past 12 months. West 40th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues in New York is home to The Distrikt Hotel and, if you recall, the Tri-Pack BT, consisting of a Four Points, a Fairfield Inn, and the straggler of the bunch, the Staybridge Suites Times Square. The Four Points and Fairfield Inn opened last summer and the Staybridge Suites will join them on May 1st—with an opening rate of $189 a night.
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How could we forget that the Tri-Pack hotel in Times Square would have some competition. We got a press release today saying that the Four Points Times Square has opened. When we checked our archives to see what else we have written about this hotel, we found this story which focused largely on Gene Kauffman's Tri-Pack Hotel.
However, we also wrote that he was working on a similar packaged hotel at 40th street that would include "a Four Points by Sheraton, Fairfield Inn and Staybridge Suites, each more than 30 stories tall." For clarity's sake we'll call this new one Tri-Pack BT (Business Travelers.) The other Tri-Pack will have the more budget-y brands of Holiday Inn, a Candlewood Suites and a Hampton Inn.
Now the Four Points is open at Tri-Pack BT but Staybridge Suites won't take guests until January 16, 2010. On the other hand the Fairfield Inn is already open with rooms at $199, making this Tri-Pack hotel two-thirds open.
And yes, that's a Starwood property, an ICH hotel and a Marriott brand all sharing the same space. (Btw for giggles, check out the Staybridge Suites rendering on their site which shows the building as a standalone.)
Think Kuwait and you may think of Desert Storm and burning oil fields. But did you know this little country is becoming a tourist destination?
It has islands with white sand beaches, coral reefs, archaeological sites, museums, horse-racing clubs, festivals, serious shopping, and an amusement park with a haunted castle.
A testament to the success of the country's long-range tourism plan, Staybridge Suites is partnering with Intercontinental Hotels Group to roll out two new hotels -- and this is just one example of the massive outcrop of hotels and hotel chains that are scheduled to open in Kuwait city.
[Ed. Note: Hotel Maven Tim Leffel takes a look at how the hotel industry's bean counters figure out when extra bodies are worth it--and when you're on your own.]
Last week the Wall Street Journal ran an enlightening story on how finance executives decide whether it's worth it or not to have more people on staff for customer service. At Starbucks it pays to have an ample staff (because the most free-spending customers hate waiting). Apparently at Holiday Inn and Staybridge Suites hotels, it does not. ""Bellmen they have no use for," Holiday Inn President Mark Snyder says of the people who stay at the midscale chain's hotels. "Why would I invest in bellmen at the doors for people who've already dragged their bags through three airports themselves?"
If you have stayed at a Staybridge Suites, you may have been pleasantly surprised by the free food and drinks at the mid-week "Sundowner Reception." It's not done just to be nice: executives say it takes guests minds off the lack of service. "Housekeeping does a full room cleaning just once a week, and the front desk usually has no more than one or two people staffing it."
During their limited interactions, employees are also supposed to chat it up with guests.
"A lot of our guests really want that personal interaction -- the thing they get from home that they'd like to get from a hotel," says Rob Radomski, the vice president of brand management for Staybridge Suites. "There's conversations between guests and staff about projects they're working on, and their family back home, and the kid, the dog."
So, it's totally cool if housekeeping can't do a full room clean before we check-in, just as long as we can have a nice heart-to-heart about it.
Image via Vladka/Flickr
· Good customer service costs money; some expenses are worth it, and some aren't [WSJ via Post-Gazette]