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We really hate to be the ones to have to tell you this, but it’s mid-August. This means that summer is, sadly, drawing to a close and soon our pool days will be in short supply.
Not, however, in Phuket, and the good news is that Paresa Resort is opening up what they think will be the hottest beach club on the island.
ZAZADA will open in September, which will give you enough time to wean yourself off of your local pool habit and go dip your toes into ZAZADA's infinity pool at one of Thailand’s most beautiful beaches, Surin Beach.
Designed locally, the beach club will not only have its full-service infinity pool and beach space, but a dance floor, DJ booth and room for a band. You can literally show up in the morning, have a fresh-squeezed juice or smoothie at the juice bar, hang by the pool until it’s time to move on to other liquid refreshments from the full bar or wine room, bake on the beach, and then have dinner at ZAZADA’s restaurant – with a menu put together by Ryan Arboleda of Paresa’s Talung Thai and Diavolo restaurants. Have a shower and change into your dancing duds (or not--bathing suits are, after all, allowed) and then dance the night away.
ZAZADA is open to the public so you can mingle with the locals too, but Paresa guests have priority access with free admittance and transportation from the resort (less than 10 minutes away).
When ZAZADA opens, the Hot Deal Rate (advance purchase) at Paresa Resort is 8992 THB ($288) and includes breaky and free WiFi.
[Rendering: Paresa Resort & Spa]
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As the grand finale to cocktail week here's a round-up of some of the nifty things we see going on in the world of hotel bars and bevvies. What do you see goin’ on out there? Let us know!
A salad in every sip: Complementing the trend we told you about in our What’s Out, What’s In column where the drink IS the meal, we’re finding that crafty mixologists are making our drinks a wee bit healthier and sneaking veggies into them to make sure that we’re getting all of our daily recommended vitamins.
Splashes at Surf and Sand Resort in Laguna Beach has a VegGin’ on the Rocks made with Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin, agave nectar (which is said to have a low glycemic index, BTW, which means your blood sugar won’t spike), lime juice, and baby arugula–-all muddled together and topped with house made soda water. You can really taste the goodness.
The Fairmont Chicago’s Green Goose Cocktail features a trio of super foods: kale, celery and granny smith apples. The juiced greens are mixed with Grey Goose, fresh lime juice, chartreuse, and simple syrup for a nutrient-filled flavor explosion.
The appropriately-named Salad Cocktail from the Shangri-La Hotel Toronto is a heart-healthy concoction of juiced celery, spinach, beet, apple and pear combined with 1.5 oz of gin. To top it off, it’s garnished with sherry vinaigrette soaked raspberries and sous vide beets and crisp romaine leaves. We’re getting into the realm of “drink as dinner” with this one.
At Caesars Entertainment Resorts and Casinos in Atlantic City you can find the savoury Red Pepper Margarita–-a mix of red pepper juice, jalapeno rings, five-spice simple syrup and tequila with a smoked salt rimmed glass. Next trend below!
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We've started a series of what’s trending in hotels these days: What’s Out, What’s In. Do we like what we see? Think it's a dud? You be the judge!
What’s Out: Seaweed facials
What's In: Facials with gold, diamonds and other sparkly things
Diamonds and other precious metals and gems are sparkly and luminous; why shouldn’t your skin be the same? See what the hotel spas below are doing to make your skin radiate with good health.
The Dorchester Hotel in London offers the Carol Joy London Diamond Facial. Following ten years of research and three years of development, Carol Joy London products are created with some of the most precious beauty ingredients around (who knew that Golden Millet Oil was like pure gold?).
This intensive facial includes exfoliation with a diamond-head contraption that is said to be gentler than the traditional crystal ablater (we just like that word –- it sounds kind of bad-ass). While that’s going on, you’re being blasted with an Oxyjet machine that produces 95% pure oxygen to cool and soothe your skin and stimulate collagen production. The result? A firmer, clearer and more glowing you. The price for beauty, in this case, is £205 ($279).
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We've started a series of what’s trending in hotels these days: What’s Out, What’s In. Do we like what we see? Think it's a dud? You be the judge!
What’s Out: Windsurfing and jet skis
What’s In: Stand up paddle boarding (SUP)
As synchronized swimming fell out of favor after the 1950s and windsurfing mania waned in the 1990s, another wet trend has emerged: Paddle boarding. And with so many hotels getting in on the action and upping the game (yoga paddle boarding, anyone?), we think it may just be here for awhile.
For the luxury crowd, Raffles Praslin Seychelles offers complimentary stand up paddle boarding so guests can take in the stunning Indian Ocean scenery. If your main goal is to simply enjoy the Seychelles' waters aboveboard and not below, the resort also launched hourly lessons for new users, with an expert teaching you the proper way to stand on the board, keep balance and paddle (what -- all at the same time??).
Another luxe resort, the Paresa Resort in Phuket, Thailand offers straight-up SUP, but then raises the challenge level by combining stand up paddle boarding with yoga. Their “Yoga on the Ocean” program begins at sunrise or sunset when you paddle your board out on the indigo Andaman Sea and enjoy a yoga class floating on your watery yoga mat.
Deals: you want 'em, and surprisingly, everyone has 'em. Take a look at some of the latest hotel deals going around the internet today from booking sites, social media sites, flash sale sites and more. Don't forget to scroll down to see the HotelChatter-approved deal either. Who knows? You might just find what you're looking for. (But don't forget to tell us about your stay!)
DEALS, DEALS, DEALS*
· Quikbook: The brand new Acme Hotel in Chicago (very similar concept to Ace Hotels) is available this weekend for just $129 a night. The hotel's website is offering $159. The catch is you must book before 4pm on Friday, April 27. The deal is valid through August 31.
· LivingSocial: Now that you've heard from the concierge at the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley, Calif., you can spend the night for just $169 along with free parking, free WiFi and a $50 food and beverage credit.
· Jetsetter: The newly renovated, Saint James Paris, the only chateau-turned hotel in the city, has rooms for $662 a night, down from about $886 a night. But that includes daily breakfast, a candelit dinner for two, a bottle of champagne and a full-day rental of convertible, two-seater Smart Car (including insurance.) A three-day minimum stay is required.
Ever dream of designing your own hotel or wish someone was really listening to your brilliant ideas on how to improve hotel social spaces? Now’s your chance to be heard, win some mullah and even see your idea come to life with Tablet's Rethink Hotels contest.
Hellbent on serving up fewer choices via curated lists of cherry-picked hotels, Tablet has partnered with Jovoto, a task-based, global platform for mass creative collaboration, to toss this challenge to the public and conquer a new mission: putting the hospitality back in the hotel.
Here’s the word, straight from the Tablet contest briefing
"What we are proposing is an architectural challenge, but also an experiment in human psychology. Many a hotelier has gone broke chasing an elusive crowd, and many a “hip hotel” has alienated its following with lazy (or greedy) gimmicks. A rigorously enforced guest list can create a buzz for a while, but it always fades when interesting people find themselves on the outside looking in. In today’s hotel business, the word “exclusive” is bandied about as a posh way of saying “really nice.” Nobody ever stops to ask who’s being excluded, and why. It’s all rather unbecoming, for an industry which purports to be about hospitality."
We read the entire project briefing and the gist of the challenge is this: create a revolutionary hotel that connects travelers and locals. Basically, you need to radically inspire both groups to come together in a hotel in ways they haven’t before. If you’ve got a vision for hotel spaces that are wildly, socially inclusive and interactive, this could be your racket. Participants are also required to limit the hotel concept to downtown New York City, south of 23rd St.
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We're going to be totally straight with you regarding our peek at the Hotel NOI Vitacura in Santiago, Chile. We were just spending a super sunny, hot day walking around the tony neighborhood of Vitacura and, suddenly, a modern building caused us to do a doubletake.
"I wonder if that's the new NOI hotel?"
Turns out it was, and we ventured inside to do some snooping. A quick turn in the Portofino Book Lounge (very nice) and we had to see more. Up in Room 310, a standard with flatscreen TV, freestanding soaking tub and free WiFI, we found a spacious layout thatthank godonly adhered to the hotel's Italian theme with the most subtle details. Hence the striped bedspread, leather-covered desk drawers and old school valet stand.
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We'll take you inside a standard room (which starts from $300 per night) and all around the deck and other spaces tomorrow bright and early, but to refresh, here's the clues to clue you in on this property:
· It's got the best hotel roof deck in the city, though some would beg to differ. [Answer: The W Santiago would beg to differ]
· A newcomer to the metropolis, the hotel is still quiet and relatively only for those "in the know."
· The design of the hotel is energy-efficient, andyay#151;the WiFi is complimentary.
· The neighborhood is known as one of the top 15 residential areas in the world, and while it lacks high-rises, there's no lack of luxury boutiques. [Answer: Vitacura neighborhood]
· The roof deck's tables slide open to become mini firepits on cooler evenings.
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It's crazy, we know, but it's already time to plan for New York Fashion Week. The good news is that this upcoming NYFW is our personal favorite, since it's the fall/winter collections (layering, deep colors!) and it won't be hot and steamy outside as it usually is during the September shows.
If you've always wanted to attend a Fashion Week runway show as an invited guest, now is your chance. Via a Tablet Hotels contest in partnership with Oscar de la Renta, you could be headed to NYC for 5 nights at the Tribeca Grand and seats at the OdlR show.
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Know what's crazy boring and frustrating? Trying to decide whether or not to stay at a hotel by looking at their tiny, staged room photos on a website. This is why we do our best to get in and give you some massive photo galleries to flip through, but now hotels are taking it upon themselves to get creative by using the iPhone photo sharing app Instagram.
To put it plainly, Instagram allows its users to post their own shots (most taken on the fly, via iPhone) applied (or not) with filters to jazz it up the visual oomph. The community is crawling with design, travel, architecture, photography and foodie geeks, which makes it a perfect place to show off your property if you're a hotel.
We've recently joined Instagram ourselves (search hotelchatter & jaunted in the app to find our photostreams) and we're sharing original snaps from our own hotel stays. Still, we searched to find the hotel accounts on Instagram to follow right now:
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It's hot in Bangkok, and often unbearably humid. The Metropolitan Bangkok knows this, which is why there are refresher towels waiting just inside the entrance to the lobby. Which is why there's an expansive indoor fitness facility complete with his and hers spa hottubs. Which is why there's a resort-quality outdoor swimming pool. Bangkok's urban tropical environment mean that guests at The Metropolitan are here for a multitude of reasons, from business to a getaway.
We were there as your usual tourists to Thailand, taking in every bit of the place and we've already shown you our Metropolitan room, but we also managed a peek into the Penthouse and COMO Suites while we were at it.
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So everyone who's everyone knows The Metropolitan London and its modern interiors, members-only Met Bar and prime location, but do you know it's got a sister site in The Metropolitan Bangkok? It's true; there's a sleek white hotel sitting a little off bustling Sathorn Road that also lights the logo of The Metropolitan, and it's just as cool, just as comfortable with two huge differences.
Big difference number one: this Metropolitan is a world away from London in Bangkok, and you'll know it through Thai elements in the rooms and an award-winning Thai restaurant, called nahm, which serves things like durian ice cream.
Big difference number two: the room rates are very affordable, but of course this is because we're talking Bangkok versus London here. We stayed for two nights via the Tablet Hotels private sale for $91 per night.