You Can Still Find Hotel Rooms for the Super Bowl For Under $300

January 20, 2010

The Whitelaw Hotel, Miami Beach

As you can imagine, most hotels in Miami and Fort Lauderdale are sold out for Super Bowl weekend—or have ridonkulous rates around $1,000 a night. But there are still rooms available for less. Hard to believe, we know, but look what happened yesterday: the Jets beat the Chargers! Anything can happen!

There are a few catches, of course, the first being that you’ll have to stay at least four nights to secure a room in most places. Generally, this means from Thursday, February 4 to Monday, February 8.

Here are two rates in Miami and one in Fort Lauderdale that were still available for those dates when we checked via Quikbook earlier today:

· Acqua Hotel: This boutique hotel in South Beach had rooms for $203 a night.
· Whitelaw Hotel Rooms are still available for $281 a night at this member of the South Beach Hotel Group.
· Hampton Inn & Suites, Fort Lauderdale Airport: Standard rooms and king suites are both $199 a night.

In other Super Bowl hotel news, we learned via the New York Times that the NFL booked Fort Lauderdale’s Harbor Beach Marriott Resort and Spa for the A.F.C. champion team, while the N.F.C. team will get to live it up at the Intercontinental in downtown Miami. That doesn’t seem fair now, does it?

Jets and Colts fans, however, take note: You can still book a room at the Harbor Beach Marriott, from $729 a night. Which is a small price to pay to sleep with greatness, no?  Via: MsRebecca – HotelChatter

[Photo: Nutch Bicer/CC BY-ND 2.0]

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NYC’s Underground ‘Please Don’t Tell’ Bar Tells All

January 13, 2010

New York City’s fave “neospeakeasy” has become mainstream to the chagrin of some of its regulars. Besides the amazing drink menu created by Jim Meehan, Please Don’t Tell’s greatest asset is its “secret” entrance inside the hot dog joint Crif Dogs on St. Mark’s Pl. The phone booth entry not only makes patrons feel like they are experiencing something special, it has also filtered out those who weren’t in the know.

Mixologist Jim Meehan has been well known to drink connoisseurs for some time but now he’s bringing his talent, and his secret bar, to the forefront. Jim was recently featured on the Travel Channel and last week he made a high profile appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. On the show, Jim spilled all of his secrets, like how to make one of his signature drinks, a Tequila Highball, and where to find his hidden bar.

But all of this publicity has some wishing PDT would stay a secret. One Twitterer recently exclaimed, “Now that @PDTNYC & Jim Meehan have been on Travel Channel and Jimmy Fallon, it should be really awesome to sit next to tourists at the bar!” While another patron pointed out the fact that speakeasies are suppose to be kept on the DL. “What point is it having a “secret” bar that everyone knows about??? They shouldn’t be listed in places like City Search, and they shouldn’t have a website or any other kind of advertising either. It should be simply word of mouth. They didn’t have the internet back in the prohibition years you know!”

If you’re one of those annoying tourists who wants to check out a real, big city speakeasy, make sure you make reservations and call early (212-614-0386), PDT’s 45 seats are usually booked by 4 pm. The only thing that irritates locals more than tourists, are tourists without reservations.  Via: cmb – Jaunted

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The W Hollywood Gets Ready for Its Close-Up

January 12, 2010

The W Hollywood is still on track to open in just a few short weeks and while we have plenty of shots of the hotel’s exterior, we finally got our hands on some renderings for the hotel’s interior, including a guestroom shot.

We’re getting more and more excited for this hotel to open. Los Angeles has been in need of a proper W Hotel–in the middle of the action, not tucked away in Westwood–for a looong time.

Sooo…what do you think? We are happy to see that the guestrooms here have gone the way of W South Beach, which has some of our favorite new hotel rooms on the planet, as opposed to W Boston, which was a disappointment. But of course, we have to reserve our final judgment for when we see the place in person.

Still, we think things are looking very good here.

While the hotel is to open on January 28th, we couldn’t find any rooms available. However, the following weekend of February 5th, room rates were holding steady at $319 for a Fabulous room with a king bed. (Advance purchase required.)

If you’re going to be in the Hollywood area this Thursday, you should know that the W Hollywood is holding its Grand Kick Off event for its 400 new employees. The welcoming celebration will shut down Hollywood Boulevard in front of the Pantages Theater and the House of Blues’ world-famous gospel choir, celebrity impersonators and even some “paparazzi” will give the employees the Hollywood star treatment. That should put them in a good mood to receive guests!  Via: Julianna – HotelChatter

What do you think of W Hollywood’s guestrooms? Do they have what it takes or should they just hope for a reality TV show? Let us know in comments below.

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More Places to Log On Without Paying Up – CES, Vegas 2010

January 7, 2010

We hope you brought your wireless card with you.

If you’re headed to Vegas this weekend for CES or the Adult Entertainment Expo, chances are you’re gonna need a WiFi connection for all your uploading, downloading, Twittering, Facebooking, blogging, and other, ahem, recreational activities.

The bad news is that in the privacy of your hotel room, expect to pay at least $10 a day to sign on. Sadly, there really no hotels where in-room WiFi is free. There are, however, plenty of public options. You just have to know where to look.

Our big sis HotelChatter has culled together a list of tried and true WiFi hotspots on the strip based on our own experiences as well as the knowledge of Vegas expert @24K aka Chris Rauschnot, who is constantly up and down the Strip reporting on the scene–all from his cellphone.

So the next time you find yourself in Vegas for a conference or just some good old debauchery, here’s where you can get connected.

Are you reading this from a free WiFi spot in Vegas right now? Tell us where you’re at.

Where to Find Free Hotel WiFi in Las Vegas

Wynn and Encore
· Pizza Place at Wynn (formerly Sugar and Ice)
· Terrace Point Cafe

Palazzo and Venetian
· Coffee Bean in the Venetian’s food court (signal may be weak the further out you are from Coffee Bean.)
· Cafe Presse in The Shoppes at Palazzo
· Dal Toro restaurant

Vdara
· In-rooms: WiFi is included in the $15 resort fee. It’s blazing fast and the $15 also gets you two water bottles in your room, a newspaper, access to the fitness center and valet parking.

Aria
· Possibly upstairs (We say “Possibly” because during a media day we were Twittering away from our laptops at the Sirio restaurant on the second floor. However, the rest of Aria was murder on our iPhone 3Gs.)

New York, New York
· ESPN Zone

Planet Hollywood
· Hawaiian Tropic Zone in the Miracle Mile Shops
· Coffee Bean in the Miracle Mile Shops

The Palms
· Near the High Limit area
· Coffee Bean in the food court (signal may be weak the further out you are from Coffee Bean.)

Marriott Residence Inn (Paradise Road)
· Everywhere in the hotel

M Resort (Off Strip)
· In the lobby

Element Las Vegas (Off Strip)
· Everywhere in the hotel.

Mirage
· In-room. WiFi is included in the $15 (plus tax) resort fee.

Elsewhere in Vegas
· Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf shops: Not only a sweet Starbucks alternative but has free WiFi at all of their LV locations.
· Whole Foods at Town Square: A few miles out but still on Las Vegas Boulevard. We like the booths by the entrance and the quinoa sandwiches of course.
· McDonalds: Making your happy meal even happier.
· Apple Stores: The closest one is across the street from Wynn at Fashion Show Mall but it gets very crowded and there’s not much space.
· McCarran Airport: Totally free and fast.
· Drai’s Afterhours club: In the north seating area. Yes a nightclub. Just don’t pull out your laptop. That might not be so sexy.

More Resources:
· Las Vegas Advisor’s list of free WiFi spots all over Las Vegas. Interestingly, pools on the Strip have free WiFi.

Via:  Julianna – VegasChatter

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New Year’s in Amsterdam Can Be Way More Civilized Than You Thought

December 29, 2009

The view at midnight from the Blauwbrug

Looking to say goodbye to the craptastic year that was 2009 and still in need of a hotel room somewhere? We’ve already told you where to book in MiamiNew York and the important timezones but we’ll be hitting up more cities today for New Year’s Eve. Did we miss a city? Want a better deal? Let us know and we’ll help you out.

Amsterdam’s so famously louche that spending Thursday there would be a New Year’s to end all New Year’s, right?

Kind of. You can get stoned as you like, obvs, but the Dutch actually make it a rather civilised do, with fireworks going off left right and centre. If you want fireworks and impromptu street parties, you need one of the main squares – like Nieuwmarkt or Dam Square – or stand on any of the central canals.

But if you want a full-on partay, try Jimmy Woo – reputation has this place down as the best club in the city, and Caspar the owner is a riot (we met him the other week). Expect a classy affair – Moet and caviar are doing the rounds – running from 11pm to 5am. Presale tickets cost €55 from here.

As for where to stay: there’s swank, but it doesn’t come cheap. Caspar’s favourite hotel is the Dylan, and it has some superluxe suites free… but they’re going for a whopping €950 (garden view) or €1050 for a canal view.  Via: juliab – HotelChatter

[Photo: Jan van der Woning]

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Choose Your Own New Year’s Eve Shindig at the Ivy Hotel

December 18, 2009

Oh hai in the pink mini-dress. We totally see you making out.

New Year’s Eve is almost here, but you have last-minute options other than watching Ryan Seacrest in Times Square. San Diego’s Ivy Hotel will usher in 2010 with a Masquerade bash with mini-celebrations throughout the hotel.

Pick your own NYE celebration based on your partying preference, whether you want to dance all night or just have some good grub.

· Hardcore Party People
The action will go down in Envy Nightclub, where revelers will grind in the New Year to the sounds of a whole slate of DJs. Admission is $95 and doors open at 8pm. If you want to party hard, opt for a bottle service package—eight people costs $2,000, six is $1,600 and four is $1,100. Bottle service packages include VIP admission to the bash, premium liquor with mixers, bubbly and party favors.

· Dinner Party People
The food festivities take place in Quarter Kitchen with a three-course prix fixe meal. It’ll kick off with a chef’s-choice amuse bouche and a first course with choices like shrimp cocktail and foie gras terrine. The entree selections will include braised prime shortribs, duck two ways and lobster pot pie. You’ll finish with sweets like Meyer lemon semifreddo or an apple frangipane tart. Dinner costs $99 before 7:30 p.m. and $129 afterward. To give it an NYE vibe, a DJ will spin and there’ll be a Champagne toast.

· Sleepy Party People
For those who want to do a little celebrating and then a lot of sleeping, the Ivy offers an NYE Room Package, priced from $559. It’ll get you VIP entry to Ivy’s bash, party favors and a Champagne toast at midnight. Then you can make a quick getaway to your room for the evening and leave the all-nighter to the clubbers.  Via: Jennifer Kester – HotelChatter

[Photo: Envy’s Facebook]

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New Glass-Domed Rooftop Lounge in New York

December 16, 2009

Last week, The Strand, a boutique hotel recently opened in Manhattan’s Fashion District, threw a party to celebrate the opening of it’s glass-domed rooftop lounge. Friends, family and press sipped Champagne and stood with jaws dropped, staring at the incredible reach-out-and-touch-it view of the Empire State building just three blocks away.

The glass-roof is retractable (shown here open) and is one of just two in the city. The other covers Plunge, the rooftop bar at The Gansevoort Hotel further downtown in the Meatpacking District). The Strand’s lounge is more intimate and filled with comfortable Asian-inspired plantings and banquets, the perfect spot to enjoy a drink at night’s end. The lounge is The Strand’s sexiest asset, the rooms, while fairly large by New York standards, are simply furnished.

The hotel will likely be hopping twice a year during Fashion Week. As a tip of the hat to the fashion crowd, the owners sourced vintage fashion shots from Condé Nast’s archives and framed them in rooms and public spaces. So even if guest aren’t a part of the fashion crowd, they can feel like they are. And a new, soon-to-be-opened ground-floor restaurant features a cozy two-sided fireplace, another great gathering spot for this mid-town hotel.  Via: Carrie Culpepper – Luxist

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