Wall Street Journal | Putting a new spin on the term "designer hotel," boutique chain W Hotels is hiring a fashion director to amp up its style credentials and its profile within the fashion industry.
After a two-year search, the chain is planning to announce next week—on Feb. 11, the opening day of New York Fashion Week—that it has hired stylist Amanda Ross in what is very likely a first for the hotel industry. W Hotels, which operates 36 properties worldwide, is a unit of Starwood Hotel & Resorts Worldwide Inc.
With my snowboarding skills firmly intact, I decided this season I would head west again (after three years) for some real-deal riding. Here are my highlights from my January jaunt to Vail and Beaver Creek.
Avanti and Pickeroon, Vail (lift ticket $97 a day)—often-groomed, excellent mix of intermediate and advanced slope.
Larkspur Bowl and Golden Bear, Beaver Creek (lift ticket $97 a day)—the bowl was next to empty and made me shout, WOOHOO, multiple times; I renamed Golden Bear “Honey Bear” because it was such a sweet ride.
Favorite après-ski spots:
Garfinkel’s, Lionshead (drinks for two $15)—lots of picnic tables outside, making it easy to spot your friends; I accidentally stayed après après.
Los Amigos, at Vail Village (drinks for two $15)—watch tired experts and out-of-their-league beginners make their last run down the black-diamond Pepi’s Face, and be thankful you’ve already loosened your boots.
If this is the fifth dirtiest hotel in America, things may be better than they seem. The Quality Inn in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, found itself on the worst sort of list recently: TripAdvisor's 2010 Dirtiest Hotels in the United States. Reporters at the local newspaper, the Pocono Record, showed up with a video camera the next day and posted the results on You Tube. It's hard to discount the numerous bad reviews about the hotel found on Tripadvisor.com; some of the specific complaints are positively disgusting. Yet when you view the video, you wonder how the images could be so vastly different from the Tripadvisor user comments.
Mark Orwoll is Travel + Leisure's international correspondent.
- Bed made...check!
- Guestroom cleaned prior to arrival...check!
- Mini-bar fully stocked...check!
- Wireless internet working...check!
- Hotel staff member warming bed...ch—wait, what?
One of the more notable traits of a worthwhile hotel is its attention to details. Whether it's a personalized welcome letter from the G.M., goodies for your accompanying canine companion, or just the personal touch that comes with staff greeting you by name when you walk through the lobby, it's the little things that really entice guests to keep coming back again and again.
But Holiday Inn is taking that attention to detail just a little bit further....In a new campaign, three of the hotel's some 1,300 properties—two in London and 1 in Manchester, England—are offering their guests the option to have their beds warmed up prior to arrival. Not by heated blankets. Not by hot bottles of water. But by willing staff members outfitted with fleece...onesies!
Are you a wealthy philanderer or disgraced politician looking to woo back your spouse? When compared to the alimony and lawyers’ fees you could be served with, the over-the-top Valentines packages below may seem like a cautious investment. For the rest of us, don your Holly Golightly sunglasses and look through the windows at Tiffany & Co. to see how the rich can opt to show their affection. (Honestly, when you factor in the fancy dinners and multiple night stays of some of these packages, they don’t seem quite so out of reach even for those of us without guilty consciences or fat wallets.)
With all the Olympic buzz going on now, it might be easy to forget there are plenty of other events happening in Canada this winter. On the other end of the country, Toronto's Gladstone Hotel just kicked off their annual alternative design event Come Up To My Room. Starting yesterday, art installations took over the hotel's second floor gallery space and 14 public spaces and will be there until this Sunday, January 24.
I’ve just returned from a blissfully relaxing trip to the deep Caribbean. After the Christmas rush, my family annually escapes to the West Indies for a week of sailing, diving, and, with months-in-advance reservations in place, great food! As French and posh as ever, St. Bart’s seemed virtually unaffected by the unfavorable economic climate—with Microsoft magnate Paul Allen’s 416 foot mega-yacht Octopus in the lead, an unparalleled collection of pristine 150+ footers took up their usual spots on Gustavia’s glitzy dock.
That is, until a powerful tide and unforeseen surge forced the multimillion dollar vessels to leave their front-row seats on the flashy dock and retreat to the outer harbor (where our relatively diminutive sailboat lay), leaving the high-profile passengers to be shuttled in their heels and tuxes to the mainland in lieu of stepping right off their boat onto dry ground. A nice reminder that being on a boat does, in fact, involve being in contact with water!
Think it's too late to score a hotel room for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver? Think again. I spoke with the Four Seasons Whistler's general manager Tuesday and have great news for all of you winter sports fanatics who thought you lost your chance: Not only does the luxury property still have rooms available for the Games, it's also offering an Olympic package.
As of now, the updates for the Ballroom, Windows Lounge, Cabana Restaurant, and pool are completed with room refurbishments wrapping up soon. A new restaurant, Culina, Modern Italian will debut in early March.
When you’re the new kid on the hotel block, how do you make yourself stand out? If you’re the Strand (33 W. 37th St.), the new Manhattan luxury property that debuted in Midtown this month, you combine hard-to-beat views with old-world glamour.
I recently stopped by the 177-room Art Deco–inspired hotel, and while a lot of the highlights are in the process of being rolled out over the coming months—spacious 19th- and 20th-floor Premier Empire rooms with balconies and knockout views; an outpost of Miami’s popular Fish Called Avalon restaurant—one feature that’s already up and running is the Top of the Strand, a rooftop bar on the 21st floor showcasing New York in all its glittery glory. The bar’s retractable glass roof was closed during my visit, but when it’s pulled back on warm summer evenings, it’ll seem like you can reach out and graze the Empire State Building with your fingertips.
Rooms start at $268 and include a full European style breakfast, along with great details like Egyptian cotton sheets, quirky asymmetrical lounge chairs, Fragonard bath products, and super-soft bathrobes.