What Makes a Hotel ‘Good For Women’?

July 31, 2009

Our pals over at Hotels.com released a list of the “best hotels for women” (well, specifically, the best hotels “for girls who want it all”) — that is, the hotels with “plenty of pampering, as well as easy access to some of the world’s best shopping areas.” Because that’s what women want. Right?

Since not all hoteliers and package-assemblers are as in tune with ladies as, say, Mel Gibson in a certain 2000 film co-starring Helen Hunt, we’d like to step in here and ask: what do women really want in a hotel?

The hotels.com list includes hotels that are in super-close proximity to major shopping areas — for example, NYC’s Park Central was offered as a pick because it’s two blocks from a lot of the big shops on Fifth Avenue (but, um, it’s not a very nice hotel; seriously). The other hotels that made the list did so for similar reasons or for spa offerings — not necessarily for safety or women-focused amenities offered.

Some hotels out there have women-only floors. Some, like Kimpton, offer specific amenities for women and programs targeting toward female travelers. And, of course, there are the seemingly-endless parades of girlfriend getaway packages, some of which are appealing and some of which are so, so, so off-base.

But what do women really want? Ladies, what are you looking for in a hotel? Is it really close proximity to shopping spots? We don’t think so — but we could be wrong. Tell usby Jenna – HotelChatter

[Photo: The Barbie Room / Hilton Toronto]

Related LinksGirlfriend Getaways, Park Central, Hilton Toronto

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Party Cruises From Cyprus Developing Reputation For Orgies

July 30, 2009

Looking for some whipped cream and strawberry contests to liven up your vacation? Apparently they’re happening on overnight cruises off the coast of the Cyprus resort of Ayia Napa.

By day, Ayia Napa is a beautiful beach resort and it’s at least partly marketed as a family paradise. But locals are furious about the night cruises which attract young party-going tourists that have led to orgy photos being published in Norway.

The Cypriot police check the boats every day once they’re back at the port, and have found no evidence of anything illegal going on, so the cruises are continuing. Sounds like Cyprus doesn’t want to encourage this but hey, isn’t diversifying your tourism industry important these days?  by amandak – Jaunted

[Photo: Niro]

Related Links:  Ayia Napa Hotel Deals, Hot Cruise Deals, Groove Cruises

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Tweeting Travel: Customer Service in 140 Characters or Less

July 29, 2009

Twitter is having a curious effect on big corporations. The time lag between a customer needing service and getting it is getting shorter and shorter. When a single tweet can bounce around the internet and land in the CEOs lap in a matter of seconds, people start paying attention. Being a customer in the travel industry has never been more of a pleasure. For example, before Twitter, Jessica Gottlieb wouldn’t have been able to do much about her two kids sitting on the tarmac, not taking off, on a recent Virgin America flight out of JFK. But through the wonders of the interwebs, she was able to tweet out the following missive to her almost 10,000 followers.

Dear Virgin Air, my children have been on the tarmac for one hour with 90 more minutes to wait. I am at JFK gate b25. Pls RT.

It’s that last bit that’s the most interesting, the Pls RT, because Re-Tweet is exactly what happened, and within minutes Virgin had phoned Gottlieb to reassure her that her kids would be fine. “They contacted the gate agent manager and explained to us the entire weather situation,” she says. “Within 20 minutes of that conversation, the plane took off.” That’s some fancy and fast customer service if you ask me. In the past you might have gotten an apology some weeks later through a blog posting or email campaign, but this kind of instantaneous feedback is amazing. This is a game changer for travelers, social-media-wise. Southwest Airlines lists nearly 70,000 “fans” on its Facebook page, while Virgin Atlantic has close to 20,000 and American Airlines has more than 10,000. JetBlue leads the pack on Twitter, with well over 700,000 followers. Southwest has more than 100,000 followers. Join up and tweet—it can’t hurt. Unless you get sued.  By: Bryce Longton – BlackBookMag.com

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Hard Rock San Diego to Serve Free Pot Brownies

July 28, 2009

Where: 207 5th Ave [map], San Diego, CA, United States, 92101-6908

Oh, Hard Rock, ever the edgy brand. (Don’t let its glossy corporate shell fool you!) Underneath its aging-rocker exterior you’ll find an inner badass. Really! Er, that’s what we hear from Hard Rock Hotel San Diego’s carefully crafted marketing blitz to coincide with the upcoming 40th anniversary of Woodstock.

The hotel’s signature restaurant, Maryjane’s Coffee Shop, will be serving “free Pot Brownies” to all guests checking in Aug. 14-16 in “an irreverent nod to the infamous Woodstock counterculture” (read: drug orgy). Of course, this is 2009 (not 1969) and a luxury hotel (not a muddy field) we’re talking, so “pot brownie” is, alas, just a play on words.

In their words: “The truth is: The warm, baked-to-order brownies are aptly named for the charming ceramic pots in which they are baked and not for any secret ingredients.”

D’oh! Not that we’re complaining. Free gooey brownies are always welcome, munchies or not. Even better? The brownies will be served a la mode. Mmmm…brownies and ice cream — that’s a “special” combo if we ever heard one.

by KatieK – HotelChatter

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The Five Must-See Hotel Pools of Summer 2009

July 26, 2009

The time has come for itsy-bitsy-teeny-weenie bikinis (and teeny weenies, if the Speedo thing is your jam) and sunning a-plenty. Countless hotels boast flatscreen TV’s (yawn), Michelin-starred restaurants (stuffy) and iHomes (so what?), but what really impresses your pals are the photos and stories about that kickass pool by which your got your bitchin’ bronze glow.

Inspired by our brother site Jaunted’s World’s Coolest Pools list, we bring you our picks for the Five Must-See Hotel Pools of Summer 2009.

1. Hotel Joule; Dallas, TX
For the urban exhibitionist (or voyeur, as it were): this Starwood Luxury Collection property (new to the Lone Star State, too!) has a sky-high design-y spot for some memorable dips: guests can go for a swim in this outdoor rooftop pool which partially hangs off the side of the building — eight stories up. And, yeah, it has plexiglass sides, too.
Rates start at $229 in the summer.

2. Hotel Caruso Ravello; Amalfi Coast, Italy
Shut. Up. Look at this edge right now. This Orient-Express hotel’s infinity pool is killer — and, as Jaunted pointed out, TripAdvisor reviewers recommend swimming before breakfast; the pool is usually empty at that time, so you can act like a five-year-old who just might fall off the edge of the pool into the sky.
Rates start at $859 in the summer.

3. Sarojin Resort; Khao Lak, Thailand
This massive blue bad boy has a plunge pool and a Jacuzzi, but the private cabanas are sorta heavenly: you can sit back and relax, munching on yummies from the nearby Ficus Restaurant or just get to chilling on the chaises. Check out Jaunted’s take, too.
Rates start at $261 in the summer.
[Photo: Robert Stokes]

4. W Fort Lauderdale; Fort Lauderdale, FL
We know you haven’t been here before (er, because it just opened): this one’s for the watchers and those that love to be watched. The new W Fort Lauderdale pool has an infinity-edge that looks out onto the Atlantic — but the coolest part: the oceanfront pool deck has a glass-enclosed stairway. You can walk from the living room through the water (all Moses-style) up to the pool deck, or you can just sit in the living room and watch the tight bodies swimming above through little windows in the ceiling.
Rates start at $149 in the summer.
[Photo: FTLTodayDOTCom]

5. Four Seasons Maui at Wailea; Maui, HI
Be the first to check out FS Maui’s new dippin’ spot, dubbed the “Serenity Pool.” The property debuted its brand new infinity-edged pool just this month, featuring an underwater music system, six cabanas with flat screen HDTVs with wireless headsets, wireless and wired internet access, ceiling fans, mini-fridges stocked with Evian and fresh fruit, magazines, comfy couches and oversized chaise lounges. There’s a swim-up bar and a walk-up bar in addition to full service goodness for getting your drink on.
Rates start at $545 in the summer[Photo: Lar Jay]

by Jenna – HotelChatter

Related LinksHotel JouleAmalfi Italy, Sarojin Resort, W Fort Lauderdale, Four Seasons Maui at Wailea

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Prive and The Living Room at Planet Hollywood To Close Next Week

July 24, 2009

Where: 3667 Las Vegas Blvd S [map], 89109

Prive servers, in black and red, boogey down at the end of the night last year.

We heard there were problems at Prive inside Planet Hollywood back when the nightclub got in trouble for dumping too-drunk passengers back out into the casino floor. Yet it turns out there were some even more sinister things going on with the popular club which resulted yesterday in Prive losing its liquor license. FOX 5 News reports:

In its ruling, the county Business License Department issued three notices of violation against Prive’, saying inspectors were stalled or interfered by club security. Inspectors said Prive’ also allowed “topless and lewd activity.”

Additionally the report said drug use was spotted inside the club and Prive employees have been accused of both physically and sexually assaulting patrons. Also mentioned: overserved customers were being dumped into the casino areas in “various states of consciousness.”

Because of these serious violations, Prive and its adjoining Living Room bar must close by the end of business on July 28 (Prive) and July 30 (Living Room.)

While initial reports said that the Opium Group, the nightclub management company that owns and runs Prive, would have to pay a whopping $750,000 fine for the violations, the latest word is that Planet Hollywood itself will pay a $500,000 fine instead. Meanwhile, the club can appeal the decision within 30 days.

But that still means its lights out next week for Prive and its adjoining lounge, The Living Room. (For the record, we never noticed anything too illegal while partying at Prive and we’re happy to report that although inebriated in the club, we were never sent packing to the casino floor to pass out.)   by juliana – VegasChatter

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You Can Now Play Blackjack Poolside at The Stratosphere

July 22, 2009

Where: 2000 South Las Vegas Boulevard [map], 89104

Finally, there’s something we’d be interested in doing at the Stratosphere other than thrill rides and drinking souvenir drinks–playing blackjack poolside. From Friday through Sunday, 12 to 7pm, bikini-clad blackjack dealers will be beckoning you poolside at the hotel’s renovated pool area.

The Stratosphere Hotel & Casino recently announced the addition of bikini blackjack to its newly renovated pool area. Bikini blackjack is available Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. – 7 p.m. and will last throughout the summer. If blackjack isn’t enough excitement for you, other poolside activities include a water balloon toss and beer pong tournaments.

Gotta love the beer pong tournaments! We’re also keen on playing blackjack here rather than at the swim-up tables at The Hard Rock because we won’t have to worry about whatever is lurking around in the water.  Via: Julianna – VegasChatter

[Photo: VegasNews.com ]

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