Boutique Hotels in Bangkok: Living the Jet Set Life

March 27, 2009
Luxx Boutique Hotel - Bangkok, Thailand

Luxx Boutique Hotel - Bangkok, Thailand

It drives me crazy to hear people write Bangkok off as a city full of nothing more than girly bars and market stalls hawking designer bag rip-offs. Now, if pole dancing and faux Prada is your scene, I am not denying that they can both be found aplenty in the City of Angels. But travelers in the know will find Bangkok to be so much more – a truly cosmopolitan city where you can wine, dine, party, shop and chill out in style.


When spending time in this steamy, chaotic city, a hotel that acts as your own personal sanctuary is a must. Bangkok is seething with run-of-the-mill chain hotels, but if you can see past them you will find boutique hotels that achieve chilled-out luxury with style (as opposed to gaudy buffet breakfasts and generic lobby bar bands).
For minimalist hip, try the Luxx Hotel off Silom Road. With only 13 rooms, the hotel has fabulous staff that are discreet and yet make you feel like a superstar. The location puts you in walking distance to all the action of Silom Road (including some of the city’s best day spas) and has a Zen-like aesthetic perfect for recharging after a hectic day in Thailand’s capital.


When it comes to dining in style, Bangkok’s one-stop-shop would have to be the Lebua Hotel at State Tower. Although this vertigo-inducing tower may not be for the height phobic, the Lebua provides plenty of glamorous-photo-shoot-worthy dining and drinking choices. Home to the famous Sky Bar, The Lebua also boasts award-winning restaurants with cuisines such as Italian, Thai & Lebanese. And although this traveler never tires of Thai curries and noodle dishes, my ultimate indulgence is an evening of oysters and champagne, so my recommendation is the oyster bar at Distil on the 64th floor.


The jewel in Bangkok’s shopping crown would have to be the Siam Paragon. It enables you to combine browsing luxury stores (think Gucci, Chanel and even a Ferrari showroom); with catching a movie (gold class seats) and the most amazing gourmet supermarket (the smoothie and sushi bars are my favourite).
However, if you’re interested in hanging with the cool kids, Bangkok’s equivalent of Japan’s Harajuku would have to be Little Siam. Gorgeous young things flock to parade and check out the fashions of young designers in this narrow strip of mini boutiques next to the MBK Centre (opposite Siam Paragon). You’ll find unique pieces for a fraction of the price you’d be willing to pay for them and will get a snapshot of Bangkok street style.


It may not be the newest kid on the block, but the Bed Supper Club is still one of the most happening places to party. So hip it hurts, this is where local cool kids, trendy ex-pats and visiting DJs collide, making it a fabulous place to either bust some serious moves on the dance floor, relax with a drink on the ‘beds’, appreciate the futuristic design (kind of like the Jetsons get glam) or simply people-watch. Just don’t forget to take a disco nap before arriving as despite the plethora of beds, it is still not cool to be caught dozing. Via: Robert Murgatroyd –

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Hard Rock San Diego Will Rock Once More

March 25, 2009
207 @ Hard Rock San Diego -

207 @ Hard Rock San Diego -

Putting the drama behind them for now, The Hard Rock San Diego has announced that it will reopen its bars (formerly known as the Sweetwater Saloon and the Moonstone Lounge) on April 3rd and 4th. The new names are now 207 and Float, the latter being the rooftop pool lounge.

According to the website, big music names like Scott Weiland, Lil Jon, Ludacris and DJ Am will be performing.

This ain’t no surprise considering that for the hotel’s opening weekend, The Black-Eyed Peas put on an exclusive show, complete with songs from Fergie’s solo album. (We were there. It was awesome.)

But we want to know, how will the new clubs be different from the old Rande Gerber clubs?

207 (named for the hotel’s street number) is described as “a laid back den of glamour” where guests and locals alike can catch a game on the flat-screen TVs or sip on cocktails on the outdoor terrace or represent their steppin’ skillz on the dance floor. In other words, not much has changed regarding layout since the place was the Sweetwater Saloon.

Float is also only different in name. The poolside lounge features private cabanas, section seating and opium beds for both day and nighttime fun. Drinks and, of course, music round out the spot — and something tells us the poolside experience is going to be a little bit more enjoyable than Sunday Rehab in Vegas. Via: Juliana – HotelChatter

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Tropical Islands for Parties

March 21, 2009
Ko Phangan -

Ko Phangan -

Everyone likes a good party. If you are a young traveler or just someone keen on having a fun time while enjoying the tropics, then finding the perfect party island should be your priority. There are a lot of tropical destinations in the world and all of them are beautiful, however, not all of them offer the party climate you may want.

One of the best places to discover wild party islands is in Greece. Visitors flock to the country for its serene weather, stunning beaches, warm waters, and crazy nightlife. The two main destinations are Los and Corfu. Corfu is located on the west coast of Greece. There are regular late night parties outside of the famed Atlantis nightclub and party goers all seem to stay at the notorious Pink Palace. During the day people soak up the beautiful Mediterranean sun and then party all night long.

Ios see a lot of tourists who want to do one thing: party. Ios is not only a party island but it is also beautiful and filled with culture (Homer was from here!). The island has a lot of tropical beaches with crystal clear blue water. At night, everyone comes out for some great seafood and Greek dining before spending the evening doing body shots of each other and waking up on the beach. Most party goers end up staying out until sun rise and sleep it off while getting a tan during the day. This is an island for the night owl.

For those looking to get out of the Mediterranean, you can head over to Southeast Asia and the islands of Bali and Ko Phangan. Bali is one of the most popular destinations in the world. Located in Indonesia, this huge island has a bit of everything. And those looking for a party will find it on Kuta beach. Besides great surfing, this spot is known for its beach parties and excessive nightlife. Here the tourists get loud, get down, and get crazy. It’s a cheap destination making it really popular among backpackers, Aussies, and Kiwis. After you burnt yourself out at night, treat yourself to a nice massage during the day.

Bali might be famous worldwide but Ko Phangan is the world’s premiere party destination. This island is well known to all travelers. It hosts the famous Full Moon Party every month, when 20,000 or more people descend on Haat Rin beach to consume large quantities of alcohol and dance until dawn. All the partying happens on Haat Rin beach and every night, the beach fills up with crowds of revelers looking to just have a good time. There is always an excuse to party, whether it is a Full Moon, Half Moon, or Black Moon party. After a few of the islands famous alcohol buckets, you won’t care what party you are at.

In the South Pacific, Fiji is well known to be a center of parties and activities. The most famous island group there is the Yasawa and that sees a lot of young backpackers who only have fun and sun on their mind. Here cheap bungalows, nightly BBQs, and cheap alcohol as well as beautiful beaches and great diving. It also helps that Fiji is a major stop on all RTW airline tickets.  

No matter where want to go to in the world, there is a location just for you. You’ll find what you are looking for and will be getting down with sun soaked travelers from around the world in no time. Via: Matthew Kepnes

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Jet Set Like a Rock Star in Mykonos

March 13, 2009
Cavo Paradiso - Mykonos

Cavo Paradiso - Mykonos

Welcome to the European summer home of rock star living – Mykonos. This place has it all. Whether you want to party or chill (or do both) it’s all here. Here’s our short list to Jet Set Like A Rock Star in Mykonos.

Where to Stay

Here’s our top 2 picks (in priority order).

1. The Belvedere – The ultimate in chic luxury. Always a scene. This hotel is amazing in so many ways. The staff anticipates your needs and always makes you feel like you’re at home and not in some stuffy hotel. The scene is simple, chic, and sexy. The location couldn’t be better. It’s at the edge of the port town and within 20 minutes of every beach on the island. The pool is a who’s who of international tanned hard bodies.

2. Bill and Coo – The sexiest infinity pool in town. Really. This is an all suite hotel. All rooms have fantastic balconies with views of the sea. Higher class suites have private plunge pools with a small deck to chill and enjoy the sun. This is a very quiet and very relaxed environment.

Where to Eat

Here’s our top 5 picks (in order of priority).

1. KiKi’s – No electricity. No sign. No credit cards. No reservations. Just 10 tables. Totally AMAZING food (did I say amazing). This fantastic spot is on a bluff overlooking the ocean on Aghios Sostis Beach. DO NOT miss this place. It is a MUST. Get the grilled octupus, eggplant and the fresh catch of the day.

2. Nammos – See and be seen lunch/dinner spot on Jet Set Psarou Beach. Think town and country meets the Greek Isles. Open air dining overlooking the beach. Get the to-die-for-caprese salad and fresh fish. A perfect day at Nammos would be to get a beach chair right in front of the restaurant (if you can), have a late lunch (around 4 p.m.) and watch the action.

3. Gola – This Italian restaurant is the triple threat of food, wine and view. It has it all. Upscale without being stuffy. Situated high enough to see Mykonos town all light up at night. Eat dinner outside, around its beautiful pool and under the stars. An experience you will never forget.

4. Belvedere Club – I hate to put a hotel restaurant on this list, but this one is too good to leave out. It’s a lunch spot pool side at the super chic Belvedere Hotel. Simple, stylish with great food and amazing vibe. Get the fresh bread with olive oil and black salt (from Cyprus) to start. Then move on to Greek salad (hands down the best on the island) and skewers of chicken, beef or veggies. After lunch browse the Mykonos outpost of Scoop (the hip New York/South Beach clothing store).International Cuisine. Very cool design with an equally sexy crowd. Go for dinner and stay for the drinks when the restaurant flips into a club filled with a very young and cool crowd.

5. Interni – Think Southern California vibe meets the Greek Isles. A blend of traditional Greek and

* Note about dinner: Do not show up to any restaurants on the island before 11 p.m.- you’ll be the only one in the restaurant.

Where to Party

Here’s my top 4 picks (in order of priority).

1. Super Paradise – One of the most famous beach party spots in the world. This is likely where Mykonos gets its bad boy party reputation. A great mix of young, old, famous, not so famous, gay and straight.

2. Astra – This is an exclusive, sexy lounge right in the center of Mykonos town. Sit outside, sip fantastic cocktails and people watch or go inside and dance on the mini-dance floor; don’t be surprised if you spot a celebrity or two.

3. Caprice – This tiny sea front bar is packed ALL the time. It’ll be a flash back to high school/college. You’ll know the words to every song. It’s a little silly, but it’s a lot of fun and filled with locals and tourists alike. Stop on your way in from the beach or on your way out to a club.

4. Cavo Paradiso – World famous DJ’s spinning while you watch the sun rise from the sea. Party kids, hip club goers and those that just want to see the sun rise with 1000 of their closest friends. Also check out this video we shot at Cavo this past summer. Via: Robert Murgatroyd –

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The Five Best Hotels For St. Patrick’s Day

March 4, 2009

St. Patricks Day Hotels for Green Day!

St. Patrick's Day Hotels for Green Day!

Photo: Via HotelChatter

Knick, knack Paddy whack, find us a hotel room….

St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Tuesday this year, meaning most folks are celebrating the Luck of the Irish the weekend before. But the die-hard green beer-drinkers (and of course, college kids) will remain true to the 17th.

This holiday is one where a hotel room is completely necessary. You don’t want to pull a Mel Gibson on this night and while some of you might have alternative sleeping arrangements (Yes! We’re talking to you serial bed-hoppers and couch-surfers) we’re thinking that we’d like to end a night of Erin Go Braugh revelry and the unfortunate “Come On Eileen” sing-along on a nice fluffy bed with (hopefully) a toilet very, very, very nearby.

Here are our top picks for Hotels for St. Patrick’s Day.

Hotel Monaco Chicago: The former hat factory sits on the banks of the Chicago River which will be dyed green on Saturday, March 14th. But aside from killer views of the river green, the hotel itself is very “green.” Along with the city’s other Kimpton hotels, the Monaco has received the Green Seal™ Silver Certification, meaning it has met a “rigorous set of environmental standards designed to reduce impact on the environment and human health.” That should make up for the green dye in the river, right? Rates start at $203.
Address: 225 N Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60601

Bally’s Las Vegas: It wouldn’t be a HotelChatter List without a Sin City hotel since Las Vegas mid-week can be extremely affordable. Right now, Bally’s has rooms on March 17th for $69 a night which leaves plenty of room in your budget to try your luck at the tables. Or you know, just drink your face off.
Address: 3645 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Room Mate Grace: In the heart of Times Square and popular amongst European travelers, the Room Mate Grace might actually be your best chance at meeting a real Irishman (or woman.) Plus, you can’t go a block without falling into an Irish pub of some sort. And it has a pool! Room rates start at $160 a night.
Address: 125 W 45th St, New York, NY 10036

The Four Seasons Dublin: Has it always been your dream to celebrate St. Patty’s Day in Dublin? Well, if you’re making the long haul to the end of the rainbow you might find your pot of gold at the Four Seasons Dublin, which is rated the #1 hotel in Town on TripAdvisor. Room rates start at 225 Euros.
Address: Simmonscourt Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin, Ireland

Hyatt Regency Cambridge: Ah Boston. Home of the Celtics. It must be a popular town to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland because hotel rooms here are going for a pretty penny. We found a Comfort Inn for $109 and that’s one of the cheapest rates we saw. However, looking at some rates on Expedia, we found the Hyatt Regency Cambridge for $129 a night. The hotel is two miles from downtown Boston and it has a free shuttle to get you around when you’ve done too many Irish car bombs.
Address: 575 Memorial Dr, Cambridge, MA, 02139

Via: Juliana – HotelChatter

Where are you celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, let us know!

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