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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 you will have to settle for some news briefs.
· Oberoi Dubai Is Now Open: We were so busy making popcorn in preparation for the opening of Dubai's first movie-themed resort that we almost forgot about Oberoi Dubai, the 252-room luxury resort that opened last week in downtown Dubai. Guest can expect all the usual Oberoi touches, like in-room check-in, 24-hour butlers, and two Presidential Suites that come with their own 1.5-meter plunge pools. In addition to that, there will be four restaurants—including Nine7One, which sources different cuisines from all seven (7) continents—and a 24-hour spa with Ayurvedic treatments. Rates from $272/night.
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We brought you the 2013 WiFi Report last week, and today we're here to tell you which hotels in NYC you can count on for free WiFi. Here are a few of our faves…
Indigo Chelsea: This isn't the kind of place you go for a buzzing lobby scene or super luxe rooms. However, with a super-friendly staff and great midtown location, you can't go wrong. Rates from $293/night.
Ace Hotel: Sure, there's free WiFi. But with all the action going on at this hotel (lobby bar, Breslin restaurant, shops, and basement performance venue), will you actually get any work done? Rates from $289/night.
Andaz Fifth Avenue: Fifth Avenue shoppers will love this WiFi-enabled gem, where you can spend the day hitting up Louis Vuitton and Bergdorf Goodman, and then come home and play with those awesome welcome amenities. Rates from $432/night.
This is not so much a bar hop as a bar marathon that runs (get it?) the entire length of Canada. If you have the stamina, so do we.
Even Canadians say that visiting Québec City is like visiting a quaint European metropolis, minus the long flight involved. Old Québec may be a fortified city with UNESCO World Heritage status, but the TRYP Québec Hotel PUR is most definitely of a modern vintage.
The hotel is located in the newly-hip district of Saint-Roch, formerly a warehouse-type neighborhood now filled with trendy shops, excellent cafes and restaurants, artists and artisans, students, and the professional IT crowd.
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But the Tryp lobby is limited (this is New York after all), and the bar area can fill up quickly during the after-work scene. So it's lucky they have designated a separate—but equally fun—room for spillover, where customers can take their drinks and chill out away from the hubbub. It's called the Library and it happens to be one of our favorite spaces in the hotel.
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Hotels can get so focused on sexing up the bathrooms sometimes that they forget to give a little thought to practical, useful little features that make bathrooms an easy, pleasurable experience. And we're not talking about friendly toilet seats that rise to "greet" you or TVs in the mirrors.
We're talking about circles cut out of the shower door that make it so that you can turn on the water without getting yourself all wet. Genius! That's what the bathrooms at Tryp Times Square offer, and we thought it was so original we had to take a quick little snapshot of the appliance in use.*
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Guess the hotel revealed!
Alright, then. For anybody who guessed Tryp Times Square after seeing Friday's mystery QR-coded mirror, you are correct! The two-month-old hotel is keeping right on top of its tech amenities with free WiFi in all the rooms, a pioneering hotel meetup app known as LobbyFriend, and of course those smartphone-friendly mirrors...
Now, we're taking a look inside one of the brand's signature Family Rooms, of which there are 23 in the hotel. While other signature suites like the Fitness Room and the Media Room might appeal to gym freaks and video gamers, these oversized loft-style suites are perfect for families traveling together, or a group of friends who just all want to hang out and scan mirrors together at the same time.
Scroll down for our photo gallery!
We got a little fitness crazy last week—inspired, of course, by IHG's forthcoming fitness-oriented brand Even Hotels. And while we're excited to see the super-healthy rooms open in 2013, Even will by no means be the first hotel on board with the whole workout-in-your-room concept.
It turns out Tryp Hotels, which has a strong presence in Europe and South America, but is slowly making its way into major US cities, offers a similar amenity. When booking one of the hotel's Fitness Rooms, guests can choose from a treadmill, stationary bike or elliptical machine, plus a complimentary exercise mat. Water and towels are provided too, but then again, what hotel doesn't offer those?
For a super healthy amenity, why not just go the extra mile and install a water cooler and a mini pool at the foot of the bed? In fact, why not just do away with hotel gyms altogether.
We had the opportunity to pop our heads in the new lobby at Tryp Times Square South, and judging from the scene on a random Tuesday evening at 7pm, the rooms aren't the only thing people seem to like about this place.
We don't blame them.
The lobby is bright, warm, colorful and big—and manages to simultaneously function as check-in counter, breakfast nook, work area, tapas bar, and general lounge area. Wooden vaulted ceilings and tasteful cream-and-black mosaic floors offer a sense of grandeur, but playful touches like the patchwork furniture, chalkboard menus, and the fake crossroads signs by the Front Desk bring the whole place back down to earth. At the end of a long "tryp," worn-out travelers deserve to play around in a lobby like this.
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Bad news if you were planning on staying at the new Tryp by Wyndham in time for Thanksgiving. The yet-to-be-finished hotel taped a sign to their door yesterday re-routing guests to the nearby Wyndham Garden Times Square South, which is less than ideal. Sure, you're still in Times Square. And the originally price will be honored (on average, Tryp's rooms go for about $100 less than Wyndham Garden's).
But if it's a brand new hotel with 'Mediterranean accents' you were looking for, you're going to be disappointed. The closest you'll come is by heading over to Eventi's Bar Basque—they sure have plenty of 'accents' to go around.