InterContinental Boston takes part in Earth Hour and saves menu for Earth Day

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Boston — For the fourth consecutive year, the InterContinental Boston took part in the World Wildlife Federation’s Earth Hour, a worldwide grassroots movement to take action for the planet by turning off non-essential lights for one hour to raise awareness about climate change. Let’s face it, hotels love their non-essential lights. Still, let’s not leave the burden of change to hotels: SOS — switch off something at home.
So, on March 28 at 8:30 p.m., the lights were dimmed and switched off where appropriate and the InterContinental Boston was bathed in a soft, calm twilight. So relaxing as many guests ordered Chef Iain Falconer’s three-course, sustainable dinner in the hotel’s pretty Miel Brasserie Provençale. It didn’t hurt to try the signature Earth Hour cocktail – the Blue Tahoe, made with tequila, blue curaçao, and Champagne.
The good news for those who missed the feast is that the hotel will reprise the menu for Earth Day, April 22.
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On this cold, snowy — what’s new, it’s Boston’s snowiest winter on record –spring night, the menu included a warming

Butternut Soup with Roasted Hazlenuts and Pecorino, and for the spring thinking forward,  a crisp apple, pear and fennel salad with baby kale.
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Entrees included a wild mushroom and faro risotto with asparagus, sweet potato and a Parmesan cream; and a Georges Bank caught cod with roasted purple and white cauliflower, sweet pea puree, and creamy honey (from the hotel’s rooftop apiary) emulsion.
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For dessert, the kitchen prepared berry creme brûlée and a white chocolate and pecan tart.
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In 2014, over 162 countries and territories and 7,000 cities and towns came together to break records with the largest movement in human history by creating a magical lights off moment on every continent of the globe.
For more info: InterContinental Boston
Photo credit: InterContinental Boston

 

Sea Crest Beach Hotel adds spa packages

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North Falmouth, MA — The Sea Crest Beach Hotel has partnered with nearby Bellezza Salon Medspa for two new spa packages: the Bellezza & the Beach  includes overnight accommodations, a customized facial, hot stone massage, a pedicure, and welcome goodie bag. Rates start at $398 and include gratuity. The Beach Stone package includes overnight accommodations, a hot stone massage, and a welcome bag, and starts at $230, including gratuity.

Package rates are based on spa services for one guest. Guests should book at least four days in advance to ensure spa availability. Upon booking, Sea Crest Beach Hotel’s reservation department will assist in scheduling spa services.

For more information: Sea Crest Beach Hotel

Photo credit: Sea Crest Beach Hotel

 

Conrad New York adds The Bruffin and gets ready to Pop

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New York — The Conrad New York hops on the hybrid pastry-breads trend by adding the Bruffin to the menu at the hotel’s coffee counter and in the hotel’s restaurant, Atrio. The Bruffin is a cross between a brioche and a muffin–sort of. Try the Bruffin Eggs Benedict, or the Bruffin burger and slider.

Also, as spring sunshine thaws New York City, Conrad New York’s rooftop bar, Loopy Doopy, is stocking up on People’sPops for its Prosecco & Ice Pop cocktails. Atrio’s kitchen is also adding pops to the menu with Mocha Pop and Churros dessert: hazelnut cream-filled churro, a mocha-flavored ice pop, and two dips – mascarpone and cocoa &  espresso foam. Loopy Doopy will reopen on Memorial Day Weekend for the 2015 season with a new look, including high-top seating for enjoying the bar’s remarkable views, and abstract “loop-de-loop” chairs.

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For more info: Conrad New York

 

Photo credit: The Bruffin/Conrad New York

Doubletree Hotels in Boston celebrate Earth Hour

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Boston, MA — DoubleTree by Hilton hotels in Boston will celebrate Earth Hour 2015 by asking guests and social media fans to take the DoubleTree pledge by turning the lights out from 8:30-9:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 28.  

Those taking part are DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Boston – Cambridge, DoubleTree by Hilton Boston – Downtown and DoubleTree Club by Hilton Boston Bayside. Guests staying on property can show their support by writing their names on a leaf to add to each property’s Pledge Tree to be displayed in their lobby. For every pledge made either on property via a Pledge Tree or through each hotel’s social media channels using the hashtag #DTPledge, $2.00 will be donated by the hotels to benefit Roxbury city school gardens via our partner Citysprouts (up to a $700 value). On Thursday, April 23, the hotel teams will further their commitment to living sustainably by planting blueberry bushes at the David Ellis School and a tree at the Orchard Gardens Pilot School for this and future generations to enjoy.

These three DoubleTree by Hilton Hotels in Boston will be joining hundreds of Hilton Worldwide’s more than 4,300 global properties that will once again connect with guests in demonstration of their commitment to living sustainably.

“This year, we wanted to plan an Earth Hour event that would reach beyond the walls of our property and really encourage our guests and neighbors to join us in support of this global effort,” said Danny Dwyer, Senior Events Services & Catering Manager for the DoubleTree by Hilton Boston – Downtown. “Rallying our sister properties and partnering with Citysprouts will allow us to not only reach more people, but also extend our sustainability commitment beyond Earth Hour.”

Make Earth Hour a daily habit and just SOS–switch off something!

 

Photo credit: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotels

Chef Caleb Lara returns to Martha’s Vineyard’s Harbor View Hotel

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Edgartown, Mass. — Chef Caleb Lara has decamped from the kitchen at the Chatham Bars Inn in Chatham, Massachusetts, and returned to Martha’s Vineyard’s historic Harbor View Hotel, where he will serve as executive chef,  overseeing the hotel’s food and beverage program, which includes Water Street, its signature fine dining restaurant, and the popular gathering spot Henry’s Hotel Bar, as well as event and wedding catering.

“We’re pleased to have Caleb back on board and look forward to sharing his culinary talent and experience with the island’s residents and visitors,” said Andrew Bartlett, general manager of Harbor View Hotel, in a press release.

Lara has also worked as a sous chef at Steel & Rye in Milton, Massachusetts and at The Ritz Carlton in Boston, and held the position of chef de partie at The Ritz Carlton, Naples and Harbor View Hotel.

“I’m thrilled to be back at Harbor View Hotel,” said Lara. “My time here left a lasting impression on my cooking style and gave me a great appreciation for locally sourced ingredients and I’m looking forward to exploring again all that Martha’s Vineyard has to offer.”

Lara is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of American in Hyde Park, New York and received his Chef de Cuisine Certification from the American Culinary Federation.

For more information:

Forest Bathing at L’Auberge de Sedona

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Arizona — Just last year, L’Auberge de Sedona launched the L’Apothecary Spa, which includes custom body care blends with local ingredients, and earthing-inspired spa treatments. Located along the famed Oak Creek and Coconino National Forest, and nestled within the enchanting Red Rocks of Sedona, Ariz.,
L’Auberge de Sedona has taken this interactive nature offering one step further with the new Forest Bathing experience. Guests are led by certified forest bathing experts at the resort on a gentle, guided walk

Forest Bathing, also know as “Shinrin-Yoku,” draws on the traditions of mindfulness and is rooted–no pun intended–in a range of transcultural practices honoring the healing benefits that time spent in nature can bring. Forest Bathing is complimentary to guests each week, or private sessions can be scheduled, starting at $195 per session.

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For more info: L’Auberge de Sedona

There’s something fishy going on at Sofitel New York

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New York, NY — It must be a French thing: On April Fool’s Day, Sofitel New York’s charming Gaby Brasserie Française will put a French twist on tricks and bluffs and honors its French roots with a Poisson d’Avril (April Fish) theme. As part of the French tradition, the target of a prank will unknowingly be tagged with a paper fish taped to his or her back. Gaby guests (one lucky diner per table) who discover a fish on their back will be the recipient of a pleasant surprise. The surprise might be appetizers to share, various desserts, or glasses of wine. Three tables will receive a complimentary bottle of wine and one table will receive a gift certificate for dinner for two valued at $100.

 

For more info:

Biophilic hotels anyone?

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Design rooted in nature doesn’t sound like the blueprint for hotel corporations like Weston and 1 Hotels, but in the greening of business, in order to stay relevant with consumers, some hotels are trying to get in touch with nature.

It’s a principle that’s around a hundred years old and dates back to  the Art Nouveau and Bauhaus movements, really. but the idea of living with nature inside as well as out, and considering the nature of the space are being incorporated into the interior design of Westin, EVEN and 1 Hotels, to name but three. Here’s what each has to say about it:

WESTIN

  • The brand’s new guest rooms create a meandering path that is reflective of nature and evokes the feeling of a more open space through asymmetrical positioning of its furniture and walls.
  • As the first global brand to incorporate vertical gardens in the lobby space, Westin is introducing new, vibrant plants to incorporate into these “living walls,” intended to lower blood pressure, enhance mental stamina and elevate the mood of guests.
  • Westin developed its own portfolio of fractal patterns and textures reflective of the colorful beauty in wildlife to further enhance the nature within the space.

EVEN HOTELS (IHG)

  • EVEN’s public spaces provide visually appealing natural touches with curated terrariums stationed throughout the hotel.
  • To further enhance the guest experience and evoke the feeling of the great outdoors, each hotel emits fresh, natural scents to revive senses in the lobby.
  • The hotel’s furniture features real wood surfaces, unique for a large hotel brand.

1 HOTELS (Starwood Capital)

  • Designed with nature in mind, each property showcases the sounds and smells of nature unique to its region.
  • 1 Hotels engage with its region with the use of reclaimed materials and the freshest organic ingredients in each aspect of the property.

Fairmont Hotels and Resorts meets World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Climate Savers Program targets

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The Planet — Calling hotels eco-friendly is a stretch at the best of times. But some at least try to lessen their carbon footprint, thus helping us feel better about staying there. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has met World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Climate Savers Program targets, reducing its operational CO2 emissions by 20 percent below 2006 levels. In doing so, the luxury hotel brand is the first to meet this necessary environmental goal.

WWF’s Climate Savers Program was designed to inspire companies to change their thinking about climate solutions, while also encouraging them to transform themselves into low-carbon leaders. This leaves member companies better placed to avoid carbon-related risks while realizing opportunities within their long-term business strategies.

“According to the United Nations, emissions generated directly from the tourism sector account today for 5 percent of global CO₂ emissions but may be higher. When Fairmont joined WWF’s Climate Savers Program in 2009, our mandate was to help address this issue as part of our long standing commitment to sustainability,” said Jane Mackie, vice president, Fairmont Brand, in a press release. “Achieving this goal is a testament to our colleagues’ commitment to their local communities. Thanks to their hard work, and through the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates, we have removed as much CO₂ as is generated by 13,569 passenger vehicles.”

Fairmont also has the Fairmont Sustainability Partnership, a comprehensive approach to reducing the company’s impact on the environment, and to the brand embracing the Climate Savers Program.

“Leading companies like Fairmont are proving that strong environmental action leads to business success,” said Alberto Carrillo, Head of Climate Business Engagement for WWF’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative. “Successful actions like these are critical to mitigating the devastating impacts of climate change on people and nature.”

To meet the Climate Savers agreement, Fairmont undertook a wide variety of initiatives globally, this included:

  • Reducing operational CO2emissions by 20 percent below 2006 levels
  • Created and implemented a Green Procurement Policy and Supplier Code of Conduct.
  • Educated and encouraged top suppliers (representing approximately 25 percent of the supply chain) to provide products in accordance with the Green Procurement Policy and Supplier Code of Conduct.
  • Updated Design and Construction standards to incorporate and reflect Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED)standards.

Fairmont hotels around the world also took their own unique approach to the challenge of reducing the brand’s carbon footprint, upgrading infrastructure and changing behaviors to reach the company’s goal. Activities were often driven by the actions of dedicated and passionate colleagues who were, and continue to be, committed to protecting and preserving the environment. Colleagues organized Sustainability Teams, leading the process as proactive, engaged, partners in the program. At the Fairmont St. Andrews, for example, the colleague Sustainability Team hosted open debates and pushed colleagues to propose initiatives that their department could then implement to create savings.

Some other notable activity and initiatives undertaken by Fairmont to achieve its Climate Savers target included:

Europe

  • At Fairmont Le Montreux Palacepumping water from Lake Geneva saves more than 60% of annual electricity consumption, compared to a standard air-conditioning installation (340’000 kwh/year).

 

  • In London,The Savoy, which is managed by Fairmont, installed a centralized compressor plant for all kitchen walk-in fridges and freezers. The hotel’s refrigeration plant reclaims waste-heat to preheat domestic hot water by 5 degrees Celsius. Reclaiming waste heat produces an approximate saving of £38,500 ($59,440 USD) over the course of the year, and reduces the loading and firing rate of the boilers which also extends the expected life of the boiler and reduces maintenance costs.

 

Middle East, Africa & India

  • Using outside breezes instead of air conditioning to circulate cold air into the Fairmont Dubai during the winter. This reduced energy consumption without impacting guest comfort.

 

Americas 

  • Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii heats its pool using waste heat from a chiller system at no cost. If the hotel were to heat its pool using conventional heating methods (like propane) it would cost more than $90,000 per year. The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii is now examining the potential to apply solar films on windows and panels on the roof of the hotel to generate more of its power from a more sustainable source.

 

  • In the heart of the Canadian Rockies, theFairmont Banff Springs began utilizing outdoor ambient temperatures for its chilled water system. It estimates that this will save approximately 368,750 kWh of energy consumption annually.

 

Asia Pacific

  • At Fairmont Singapore, the in-house Sustainability Team conducts monthly audits of offices, kitchens, and rooms to ensure energy efficient practices.

 

“Fairmont was very motivated through our partnership with WWF to help tackle climate change, achieve significant CO2 reductions, and deliver results worldwide,” said Allison Long, Fairmont’s business analyst, environmental affairs. “We are pleased with the results achieved thanks to our dedicated colleagues and are excited to be the first luxury hotel brand to reach the Climate Savers Program targets.”

 

For more information: fairmont.com.

 

Photo credit: Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

 

 

Spring into Central Park at The Pierre package launches

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New York, NY — This iconic Gotham hotel, located directly opposite Central Park, gets ready for spring with a Spring into Central Park at The Pierre package. Launching on March 20, in time for the vernal equinox,  the package is available until May 31, 2015. This special two-night springtime package includes:

  • Two nights at The Pierre, based on two guests sharing a room/suite
  • One customized 60-minute walking tour of Central Park led personally by Central Park Conservancy Historian Sara Cedar Miller for you and your friends (up to 15 guests if walking, up to 6 guests if taking a private Hybrid Toyota Highlander–but who wouldn’t to walk in this beautiful park?)
  • One signed copy of Cedar Miller’s book Central Park An American Masterpiece
  • One Molton Brown Black Peppercorn and Pink Pepperpod Shower Gel gift set
  • Continental breakfast for two guests served in-room daily
  • One dinner for two at Sirio Ristorante

From $879.00 for a Room or $1199.00 in an Executive Suite based on two guests sharing two nights, subject to availability, valid March 20th - May 31st, 2015. Reservations: thepierre.ny@tajhotels.com; toll-free: 1.800.743.7734. www.tajhotels.com/thepierre

 

Photo credit: Taj Hotels

Scampo chef Lydia Shire shares her soda bread recipe

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Boston, MA — Lydia Shire, fabled Boston chef, who helms the Liberty Hotel’s gorgeous Scampo restaurant, sent this recipe for soda bread over, all writ in green. She’s a colorful chef, and a colorful character, just check out her luscious version of this humble Irish staple! But the color is, of course, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.

Lydia’s Irish Soda Bread
4 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. sugar
2 ½ tsp. level sea salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2 T. caraway seeds
4 T. butter or lard  + extra to butter the pan + extra butter to brush on the finished loaf
1 c. ea. golden and dark raisins plumped in ½ c. dark rum and cooled
1½ c. buttermilk
1 large egg
1 tsp. baking soda
1 large egg yolk
1 T. heavy cream

METHOD:  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a bread loaf pan and line w/ wax paper or parchment paper. Butter the paper.  In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder + caraway seeds together. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the butter or lard. Sprinkle over the raisins that you have cooked w/ the rum gently until the rum is absorbed. Fold together delicately. In a small bowl whisk together the buttermilk, egg and baking soda until well mixed. Pour over the flour mixture and with a fork gently mix together until the dough barely holds. It will look like biscuit dough. Do not over mix. Place in buttered pan. Cut an X in the top of the dough and brush the yolk + heavy cream you have mixed together as a “wash “over the top.

Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour or until you test with a wooden pick and it comes out clean.
To gild the lily… melt an additional 3 T. of butter and brush over all as soon as it comes out of the oven .

Info: Scampo at The Liberty Hotel
215 Charles Street
Boston, MA 02114
P: 6175362100

 

 

Sneak peak at Boston’s Godfrey Hotel, due this fall

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Boston, MA — The Godfrey Hotel is due to open this fall in Boston’s Downtown Crossing neighborhood.This historic area was once home to corset, hat, and millinery shops where fashionable ladies in the 1800s would shop. By the 1960s, it was part of the Combat Zone, a city-sanctioned red light district that ripped the heart out of the area well into the 1990s. This century, Downtown Crossing has slowly clawed it’s way back to stand as part of Boston’s colorful history. The Godfrey is part of a wonderful renaissance, which includes rehabilitation of the Paramount Theater and the Burnham Building, and it’s steps away from the beautiful rococo Opera House and Boston Common.

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Eco-friendly sunscreens are a win-win for travelers

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We’re hearing a lot more about coral reef destruction and efforts by dedicated conservationists to grow new coral. It’s a difficult and painstaking process. One that will be helped by swimmers and snorkelers adopting coral-friendly sunscreen. These hotels are helping guests make better choices with organic and eco-friendly sunscreens, which won’t harm coral, mussels, and phytoplankton, among other wildlife. Also, if it’s less toxic to the environment, and preserves the coral reefs we love to snorkel through, it’s also less toxic to you: Win-win!

  • Cocoa Island by COMO in the Maldives has partnered with skincare company Aethic to sell Sôvée in the property’s boutique. Sôvée is a certified marine positive sunscreen with eco-compatible ingredients that do not damage the environment.
  • UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa in Trancoso, Brazil recently launched UXUA Beach Balm, which is 100% organic and made with raw ingredients from the hotel’s garden. Made on property, the sunscreen is a carefully concocted mixture of shea butter, extra virgin green coconut oil, frankincense and myrrh, as well as Ylang Ylang, grape seed, and buriti essential oils.

 

Photo courtesy of Cocoa Island

Charles Hotel offers Pi Day flash sale

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Cambridge, MA — It’s not exactly a national holiday, but Pi Day, if there be such a day, occurs on March 14. Math types get it already, but for the rest of us, pi is approximately 3.14, which is why March 14 — 3-14 — is Pi Day.

Suitably, given it’s proximity to Harvard University, and being a favorite haunt with local and visiting academics, the Charles Hotel, whose punning motto is ‘the smart place to stay’,  has a flash sale taking place the day before, March 13. The hotel website will take 31.4% off the best available rates across all rooms categories. The sale will run from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m and is available for travel dates: March 14th 2015 (Pi Day) – May 1st 2015.
For more info: Charles Hotel

Nine-Zero Hotel offers birds-eye view of New England Patriots’ victory parade

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Boston, MA — Boston closed down on February 4, but not because of snow, this time. The city stopped for the New England Patriots victory parade, which wound its way through the Back Bay, past Nine-Zero Hotel on Tremont Street.

As usual, the football team was introduced by musket fire from re-enactors dressed in early 1700s militia garb.

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And there was the truck bearing beaming cheerleaders.

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However, Julian Edelman, the Patriot’s wide receiver and punt returner, stole the show. Early on in the parade, he ripped off his hoodie, and then danced and prowled atop the moving duck boat like a superstar, all the way to City Hall Plaza.

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In a New England winter where record snow and more to come has frozen the area in more ways than one, Edelman and the Patriots warmed-up Boston, if only for a day.

 

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Ti Kaye welcomes new Executive Chef

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Saint Lucia, West Indies — Ti Kaye Resort welcomes Ed Boncich as its new executive chef. A Croatian native raised in New York City, Boncich earned his culinary degree at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, and worked Chef Bobby Flay at his flagship Mesa Grill. He was also the personal chef to Miami Heat Coach and President Pat Riley. Moving on to the hotel industry, he worked at the Ritz Carlton in Key Biscayne, and with Four Seasons Hotels both in Miami and on the island of Nevis. He fell in love with Nevis and helped open the Riviere House restaurant where his food garnered acclaim. Ed went onto helm the kitchens at the Pink Sands Resort in the Bahamas. His adopted cooking style is  contemporary Creole fusion, using local island ingredients and flavors, accented by Chef Ed’s Mediterranean roots.

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For more info: Ti Kaye Resort & Spa

 

Photo credit: Ti Kaye/Hotel Junkie

 

The Grand Amore Hotel and Spa opens in Florence

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Florence, Italy — Located just steps from the city’s iconic Il Duomo, the 11-room The Grand Amore Hotel joins the newly launched, family-owned Ricci Hotel Collection, which also includes the Be ONE Art & Luxury Home in Florence.

Seeking to provide each guest with a fully customized experience, the hotel offers first-timers a brief pre-check-in questionnaire so staff can glean their preferences, from their favorite flower to their nightcap of choice and even how firm or soft they like their mattresses. Hotel staff then go all-out to create the perfect home-away-from-home that’s their own mix of luxury, comfort, familiarity and aspiration.

All of the Grand Amore’s furniture is designed and crafted in Italy, and the artwork reflects the Florence’s history via a modern, sexy edge. Black and white vintage photographs line the walls, complementing the ivory, crimson and gray color scheme. Over-sized, hand-tufted headboards make a bold statement in guest rooms.  And, the hotel spa offers an extensive menu of face and body treatments, including a hammam. Cuore Café Bistrot features a raw bar alongside lighter fare and Italian wines.

For more info:

Grand Amore Hotel & Spa

Photo credit: The Ricci Hotel Collection

Charles Hotel joins up for Hotel Week Boston, again

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Boston, MA — One of the Boston area’s best hotels, the Four Diamond awarded Charles Hotel, will take part in the second annual Hotel Week Boston, February 15 – 22. The promotion offers a 30% discount on a hotel’s best available rate along with a value added amenity. For more details: www.hotelweekboston.com
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Photo credit: Hotel Junkie/Charles Hotel

Anse Chastanet’s Piton pool suite debuts

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Soufriere, St. Lucia – This winter, Anse Chastanet adds the newly made-over Casuarina suite, which boasts a 160 square-foot pool on a private deck overlooking the island’s iconic Piton mountains.

The spacious bedroom with walk-in closet opens to a 420-square foot open walled patio-living room area. The grand bathroom, also with a Piton view, features a “Couples Shower” with “His” and “Hers” rain shower heads. Coralina stone tiles and handcrafted furniture made from sustainably culled tropical hardwoods decorate the interior.

Three similar suites should be ready by the summer.

For more info: 1 800 223-1108, www.ansechastanet.com.
Photo credit: Anse Chastanet

Miami’s Hotel Croydon marks its first snowbird season

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Miami, FL — Hotel Croydon is experiencing its first snowbird season. Co-owners, father and son team Alan and Nathan Lieberman of the South Beach Group added the “Wunder Mile” property to their portfolio last July. Here are some of the guest bonuses:

  • Every night that Hotel Croydon’s penthouse is unoccupied, one lucky guest is upgraded to the PH at no additional charge.
  • The Tavern at Hotel Croydon is the only 24-hour restaurant in the Mid Beach area (and serves breakfast all day…just yes)
  • Croydon Rose Spa has an innovative holistic menu.
  • Wanderlista, located in Hotel Croydon’s lobby, is a boutique store carrying emerging designers.
  • Hotel Croydon’s rooftop sundeck has 360 degree views of the Magic City skyline.
  • Complimentary daily happy hour for guests from 7-8 p.m.
  • Every Friday enjoy live jazz on the rooftop with happy hour from 5-6 p.m. On the last Friday of every month the hotel will offer a jazz/yoga class to follow on the rooftop from 7-8 p.m.

 

Photo credit: Hotel Croydon

 

Spoke & Steele opens in Indianapolis with bespoke cocktails and a tribute to Steve McQueen

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Indianapolis, IN — Located in a 1928 building on South Illinois Street in downtown Indianapolis, Spoke & Steele opened in December, introducing a new kind of bottle service. Not only are barrel-aged in-house made cocktails served, but Spoke & Steele’s custom cocktail club allows members to enjoy a rotating house-made seasonally changing cocktail in their own personalized bottle.

The 160-seat AvroKO designed restaurant, includes a spacious dining room, bar, a private dining room, and a specialty drinking room. Chef Tyson Peterson heads the kitchen, keeping ingredients locally sourced and sustainable produced where possible. Spoke & Steele will be open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

And, yes, that is a mural depicting Steve McQueen in the 1971 Formula One racing movie, Le Mans. Indianapolis is, after all, a car racing kind of town.

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Photo credit: Spoke & Steele

This could be you (or me) having a really happy new year…

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Soufriere, Saint Lucia — Ti Kaye Resort‘s Koko Spa, you, hot stones, blue-blue sea lapping in the cove below. Heavenly New Year.

 

Photo credit: Ti Kaye Resort

The Park Hotels India to debut its new ZONE

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In January, The Park Hotels India is set to debut the new ZONE by The Park brand in Coimbatore and Jaipur. The Park calls itself a design-led brand and the new ZONE hotels are set to follow. Design is by London-based Project Orange, which is behind such places as the Hoxton Hotel, London.

 

Yotel announces global expansion

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Yotel is to expand in key city centers and international airports in Asia, Europe and North America. More than 3,000 cabins are scheduled to open by 2018, including Yotel hotels in Singapore, Paris, Miami, San Francisco, and a second property in New York City.

Yotel offers minimal cabins and suites, each providing everything for a guest but in a compact space.   In addition to New York, Miami and San Francisco, Yotel hopes to open new properties in Boston, Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle and Toronto. Outside North America, the company is actively pursuing opportunities in Europe and Asia Pacific, in particular Dubai, London, Milan, Barcelona, Sydney and Hong Kong. Currently, the company operates three airport properties at London Heathrow, London Gatwick and Amsterdam Schiphol and one city center hotel in New York City.

For more info: www.yotel.com

Photo credit: Yotel

Last minute Christmas plans? Book into the Carlton

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New York, NY — The Carlton hotel, situated in the heart of midtown Manhattan’s trendy NoMad neighborhood, offers an Ultimate Holiday in NYC Travel Package. This package includes accommodations in the Carlton’s lauded New Yorker Suite, which will be decked out for the season in a Winter Wonderland theme.  Guests will find their own in-room Christmas tree with gifts underneath, including:

  • 2 Cocktails at the gorgeous L’Age D’Or style Millesime restaurant
  • Dinner for two at Millesime –dinner  includes either 2 cocktails or 2 glasses of wine (room service not included)
  • In-Room Massages by Oasis Day Spa:  60-minute In-room Swedish massage for 2
  • $200 gift card that can be used for a Bespoke NYC Shopping Experience:  As an alternative to the crowded department stores and 5th Avenue Shops,   “gift card” can be used at one of a selection of local NYC designers.  Included is a car service for 2 hours.
  • Ice Skating at The Rink at Bryant Park (complimentary skate rentals for two)

Guests will also receive a bottle of Prosecco and holiday cookies upon arrival, as well as full American breakfast for two daily.  This package is available until December30with a minimum of two nights stay. Cost: $3,650 plus tax. For more info: the Carlton

 

 

Sofitel New York’s New Year’s Eve fête celebrates twice

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New York, NY —  Cozy up for an intimate New Year’s Eve in Sofitel New York… Or, take advantage of the hotel’s New Year’s Eve fête held at the hotel’s highly reputed Gaby Brasserie Française, which celebrates the date in two-time zones. Festivities kick off at 5 p.m. with a DJ, followed by a 5:30 p.m. screening of TV Monde 5 coverage of fireworks in Paris and a Champagne toast as the New Year arrives there, six hours ahead of the U.S. There will be two seatings for lavish dinner, which includes a glass of Laurent-Perrier Champagne and an amuse bouche of prosciutto, goat cheese and raisin roulade. A choice of appetizers entrées, including Chilean Sea Bass with truffle butter or Beef Wellington, and Chocolate à la Francaise follow. A wine pairing with the dinner is offered for an additional cost. There are choices of small bite plates and a Laurent Perrier bottle special available the entire evening until the Times Square Ball Drop, which will be screened from 11:30 p.m. The party continues until 2 a.m. For reservations, call 212-782-3091. For more info: Sofitel New York

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Ti Kaye Resort and Spa, Anse La Raye, St. Lucia, West Indies

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Location  Nestled among lavish rainforest on Saint Lucia’s Caribbean side, high above a small horseshoe bay called Anse Cochon, Ti Kaye Resort and Spa’s location is sublime. Far below the resort, a white sandy beach edges those magical blue waters, which, because all beaches in Saint Lucia are public, can soon fill with noisy visiting tourists and private boaters. In the morning, locals with a more pressing agenda can been seen swiftly riding the water with nets in hand, capturing the day’s fish catch. Don’t be surprised if one of those ugly monstrous cruise ships appears on the horizon, completely ruining the view! Still, the bay is safe from those hordes because it is simply too small and shallow to accommodate cruise liners. Anse Cochon is a designated marine preserve, one of the few in Saint Lucia, which is why the bay offers some of the island’s best snorkeling. The resort’s onsite dive center is conveniently located on Anse Cochon. The roadway up from the colorful town of Soufrière is a long, winding, and often bumpy one, but Ti Kaye’s seclusion is part of its charm. There is little of the usual commercial trappings around Ti Kaye Resort and regular life of shopping and consuming must be swapped for a peaceful, less harried existence. (Don’t worry, there’s plenty of pleasurable indulgences to be had.) Saint Lucia’s high season is January through March and the wet season is June through November.

 

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Lodgings This privately owned resort opened in 2001 and comprises 33 tropical bungalows, each with a private entry gate leading to the shrub shrouded verandah. They are dotted throughout 15 acres of tropical plantings, which are wonderful to wander. Watch your step in the wet season though: the pathways often have steep slopes. There is Complimentary jump-on WiFi throughout the resort. Some cottages have adjoining balconies, some are private and completely detached, and some have private plunge pools. each has a Creole name. Don’t take it personally if you are given kankannez, which means trouble or troublemaker (or maybe you should?). Accessed by 160 steps, the beach below offers beach activities, including snorkeling. Just off the main lodge, there is a small pool and beautiful sun garden with comfy loungers.

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View of a Room: K (Kankannez) Located off a steep sloping path, and accessed by its own private keyed doorway, there’s no trouble (yes, a pun) feeling at home in Kankannez. Spacious throughout, there’s a closet large enough to be called a dressing room, and a bathroom with an outdoor shower filled with plants and open to the sky. It feels very private and is a wonderful experience. There’s a line to hang wet bathing suits, or even wring out an item of clothing or two. The bathing area has large refillable bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion, cutting plastic waste. These excellent products are locally made. An armoire is loaded with a kettle, a cafetière, tea bags, milk (in a cute reusable glass bottle), and a jar of ground coffee. The latter – in keeping with the hotel’s keen environmental awareness – also cuts down on packaging and landfill waste. (Saint Lucia does not recycle.)  There’s a full ‘fridge. The four-poster bed is decked out with a mosquito net, which looks beautiful and romantic, until you realize you need it! Perhaps the best part is having a spacious balcony with a coffee table and rocking chairs, as well as a really comfy hammock.

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Restaurants and Bars It’s worth considering the cocktail hour as 5 p.m. That way, you can take in the view and sunset (at 5:46 p.m. each day—Saint Lucia wisely doesn’t change its clocks) at the spectacular Kai Manje cliff side bar. The view of Anse Cochon below rainforest-lined cliffs from the bar’s floor-to-ceiling windows is nothing short of breathtaking. Try what is probably the Caribbean’s best rum punch – made with Saint Lucian made Chairmans and not sticky sweet: More fruity and with a nice kick. Ti Manje and the first floor Kai Manje restaurant both serve indigenous Caribbean dishes and utilize local produce. There’s a focus on locally caught fish. Kai Manje restaurant was awarded Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence in 2013 and 2014. The Ti Kave wine cellar, which was added to the resort in 2011, is one of the largest underground wine cellars in the Caribbean, offering a choice of over 3,000 bottles. It is used for wine tastings and wine dinners, and the cool dark interior gives considerable contrast to the outside heat and humidity. There is also a beach side bar, accessed by those 160 steps, which plays host for a weekly five-course dinner, which turns the tables on its usual casual style.

Breakfast is served in Kai Manje and includes a build-you-own granola bar including local ingredients — nuts, dried fruit, yoghurt, and honey. The source of each is shown on a map of the island. IMG_3041 

Fitness and Spa In 2010, among other tasteful expansions, the resort added the beautiful cliff side Kai Koko Spa, which has a relaxation room and Jacuzzi, plus a couples and singles treatment rooms. This also looks over the bay and to take advantage of its heavenly views, mirrors are places under the head cradles on treatment beds. So instead of looking at the floor, you can see the blue-blue sky and sea.

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The same natural, locally made products are used alongside natural essential oils.  As far as fitness, who needs a Spinning class when there’s those 160 steps! The spa has won awards — and it’s not difficult to see why. It’s both unique and  first-class.

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Should those 160 steps not be enough exercise, there is a fitness center.

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Info

Ti Kaye Resort & Spa

Anse Cochon

Castries

St. Lucia

Tel: 758 456 8101 Email:info@tikaye.com

http://www.tikaye.com

Does it get any cuddlier or cozier than this?

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Boston, MA — Children, dogs, birthday cake — both human and dog — and a good story. How about that for non electronic, good old fashioned hanging out? This was the scene at Catie and Carly’s joint birthday bash at the Fairmont Copley Plaza. You can’t digitize warm and fuzzy.

Framed: special offer for Hotel Junkie readers

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So, there is that…

 

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And this…

 

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And what about this? Wouldn’t these shots of lovely Saint Lucia look great framed? From phone to frame just got easier with Instantly Framed’s App. It’s free to download from iTunes. And simple to use. What’s more Instantly Framed has given Hotel Junkie readers a discount. Just use the code, below, and receive $10 off each order. The offer expires Monday, Dec. 15.

CILABAN10   |

Conrad New York hosts Santa’s Winter Workshop

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New York, New York — Of all the places to Santa spot this season, the futuristic Mod Conrad New York is probably the hippest. The Children’s Museum of the Arts New York hosts its second-annual Santa’s Winter Workshop at the hotel, from 2:30-4:30pm, Dec. 6 ($30 for children, $15 for adults).  The afternoon will feature a variety of activities for the entire family to enjoy including:

  • Pictures with Santa and ornament decorating
  • Mr. Snowman hot chocolate bar to create your own hot chocolate using fun topping like candy canes, crystallized ginger, and crushed ginger bread crumbs.
  • Tea sandwiches, cookies and holiday treats

The Conrad New York is a contemporary all-suite luxury hotel located in the heart of Battery Park City, near the Hudson River water bank.

 

Photo credit: The Conrad New York