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Luxury Los Angeles hotel plans lobby on 70th floor

Posted by Melanie Nayer May 30, 2012 08:43 AM

KoreanAirHotelLA.jpgPlans to build a $1 billion luxury hotel in downtown Los Angeles were unveiled by developer Korean Air this week, and they're putting emphasis on the top of the building.

The hotel will be built on Wilshire Boulevard and Figueroa Street, reports the LA Times, which will include a lobby on the 70th floor. Korean Air is working with LA architect A.C. Martin Partners Inc. to finalize the shape of the hotel and there is no management company in place, yet, to run the luxury hotel. Once complete, however, the hotel will be the second-tallest structure in Southern California with a total of 70 stories, and is expected to also have a high-speed elevator, a restaurant, bar and infinity pool. Retail shops and restaurants will fill the bottom floor of the 900-guestroom hotel.


Eau de airport? New perfume promotes "Scents of Departure"

Posted by Melanie Nayer May 29, 2012 05:05 AM

perfume.jpgIf you're one of those travelers who just can't enough of the smells of your favorite airport as you run from gate to gate, push through security or battle your way to your luggage at baggage claim, you're in luck. It was only a matter of time before someone came up with the idea of creating a scent to accompany airports.

The team at Jaunted first reported about the perfumes that were packaged to look like baggage claim tags a few months ago, and now it looks like the scents are finally hitting the stands for purchase.


Dramatic Designs: Ritz-Carlton Wolfsburg's 'floating' swimming pool

Posted by Melanie Nayer May 28, 2012 05:33 AM

There's nothing better than a cool pool with a great view, but leave it to the Ritz-Carlton to take it one step further. Before you get ahead of yourself and start guessing... I'm not talking about the highest pool (like the one found in Hong Kong) or the private pools in secluded villas (like the ones found in Doha). This feature is about design and dramatic effect, which is why the pool at the Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg in Germany is my pick.


The heated open air pool was designed to float in the harbin basin located just outside of the hotel. Guests of the hotel can access the pool via a private walkway that extends from the hotel's spa out to the water. You can enjoy cocktails on a clear day while you listen to the cars spin around at the Volkswagen’s Autostadt theme park, located just on the other side of the hotel.

Readers: Your thoughts?

Past Dramatic Designs:
B2Hotel's Lobby Lounge and Wine Bar
Gramercy Park Hotel's Drawing Room
Mandarin Oriental New York's elliptical lobby

New England escapes: Casco Bay and Chebeague Island Inn

Posted by Melanie Nayer May 27, 2012 07:50 AM

5328424323_333451da3a_z.jpgView from the deck of Chebague Island Inn.

Memorial Day weekends sparks the start of summer, and the best time to plan for New England weekends away. After all, one of the best things about being in Boston is the city's location to the Cape and the Islands, New Hampshire campgrounds and Maine's coastal towns.

While there's plenty to do at the beaches, on the water and on various rooftop gardens and bars throughout the city, there's something fun about finding the serene, secret gems. Raise your hand if you know about Chebeague Island, or where it's located.

Just 15 minutes from Portland, Casco Bay is one of Maine's hidden treasures that comes to life during the summer months. The historic Chebeague Island Inn on Casco Bay, which officially opened for the season on May 18, plays host to guests who visit this hideaway beach town, and offers up some innovative experiences.

Here's a bit more:


Ritz-Carlton gives kids the chance to live like the First Family

Posted by Melanie Nayer May 24, 2012 05:34 AM

WashingtonDC.jpgWhat did you want to be when you grow up? If you were like most kids, doctor, actor, astronaut and President of the United States were on your list. Ask your kids what they want to be when they grow up and the answers might be the same, but the opportunities will be slightly different, thanks to the Ritz-Carlton Hotels of Washington, D.C. The two D.C. hotels are offering a limited-time, legendary and luxury-based package that gives kids a glimpse of what life would be a like as the First Family.

For 24 hours, your kids will experience what the First Family and heads of state experience when they roll through Washington, D.C. If you pair this package with an explanation of how debates and elections work, it could be a very educational experience. (Request a copy of Schoolhouse Rock's "I'm Just a Bill" to show your kids what learning was like before computers were part of our everyday lives.)

Here are the details:


Four Seasons Toronto puts hotel contents up for auction

Posted by Melanie Nayer May 22, 2012 05:02 AM

If you've oogled at hotel decor and wondered how good it might look in your house, now's your chance to turn wonder into reality. The contents from the original Four Season Hotel Toronto are going up for auction to make room for the new Four Seasons Hotel that's scheduled to open this September.

Everything from window dressings to table accents and custom furnishings from the luxury hotel will be auctioned off from May 31-June 2 to private collectors and members of the public. Auction house IAAS Worldwide is managing the luxury hotel's auction.

four-seasons-toronto.jpgGuestroom at the now closed Four Seasons Hotel Toronto. The items in the room, including the bedding and artwork, are just some of the items up for auction.


Dramatic Designs: Mandarin Oriental New York's elliptical lobby

Posted by Melanie Nayer May 21, 2012 05:33 AM

What you see when you first walk into a hotel will set the tone for your stay, so it's only fitting that hotels will dress up their lobby space to make a grand impression. Case in point: The Mandarin Oriental, New York.

The lobby of the hotel is located on the 35th floor of the Columbus Square building. As you step off the elevators, the first thing you notice isn't the check-in desk or stunning views of Central Park, but the elliptical-shaped lobby and Dale Chihuly sculpture.

MO-NYC-Sky Lobby.jpg

The specially commissioned Dale Chihuly clear blown glass crane sculpture rises out of an oriental moss garden from the middle of the lobby. The sculpture is set into a custom-carved wood and silver vessel that flows in line with the lobby’s elliptical-shaped marble and granite floor. The ellipse shapes in the hotel’s lobby were designed in with the feng shui principles that they represent harmony, unity and a constant flow of energy.

Readers: Your thoughts? Have a hotel you think has a 'dramatic design'? Let us know!

Past Dramatic Designs:
B2Hotel's Lobby Lounge and Wine Bar
Gramercy Park Hotel's Drawing Room

The luxe life: Best celeb-spotting hotels

Posted by Melanie Nayer May 18, 2012 04:01 AM

Wondering where the rich and famous go when they want to get away? Or, just want to vacation like a A-list celebrity?

This week, Hollywood types and their entourages are touching down in the French Riviera for the Cannes Film Festival. The festival brings out the best in glitz and glamour, and focuses as much on the red carpet looks as it does on the silver screen. But traditionally after Cannes, all the celebs are known to spend a few days hiding away in their favorite luxury retreats.

Want to go, too? Of course you do. While you might not have the funds to fly your private jet to Cannes,® assembled the top city hotspots and secluded retreats for travelers to take in the Hollywood lifestyle, and likely catch a glimpse of their favorite stars.

chateau-marmont-hotel1.jpgThe entrance to the Chateau Marmont, one of the most famous celeb-spotting hotels.


Paramount Pictures plans movie-themed hotels and resorts

Posted by Melanie Nayer May 16, 2012 06:25 AM


The production company that brought you the "Mission Impossible" series, "Shrek" trilogy and "Titanic" is getting into the hotel business.

Movie firm Paramount Pictures announced plans to launch a chain of luxury hotels with ‘elements of the California lifestyle’, Paramount Hotels & Resorts boss Thomas Van Vliet told Bloomberg.

Initial talks have up to 50 hotels located in Brazil, the UK, the Caribbean, Russia, Qatar, Oman, South Africa and Indonesia, reports Bloomberg.


American Airlines, Marriott, Delta among best travel rewards programs

Posted by Melanie Nayer May 15, 2012 06:05 AM

Even in a down economy there's plenty of spending to be done. But it's just about finding a good deal anymore. It's about finding a good deal and then getting something back in return. That's where reward cards come in, but with so many to choose from how do you know what's best?

A good friend of mine recently had a big life change that has her flying coast-to-coast. She asked my opinions of reward cards, and I went on a research hunt to find the best for her needs. And that's just it - her needs. Every reward card is different and what might work well for some travelers won't generate any type of rewards for others. So how do you decide?
delta copy.jpg
At the Freddie Awards last month, nods were given to a airline and hotel companies for their reward efforts from frequent traveler. The Freddie Awards, also known as the Oscars of the travel industry, allow frequent travelers to vote on the best rewards and loyalty programs. Among the best this year: American Airlines AAdvantage, Marriott Rewards and Delta Skymiles.


Dramatic Designs: Gramercy Park Hotel's Drawing Room

Posted by Melanie Nayer May 14, 2012 06:36 AM

The Gramercy Park Hotel is widely known as one of the most majestic art hotels in the world, but it's artistic impression on the ceiling of the hotel's Drawing Room that takes the Dramatic Designs spot this week.

Located directly across from Gramercy Park, the only private park in New York City, the Gramercy Park Hotel is walking distance to Union Square, the Chelsea Art Galleries, the MeatPacking District, Soho, and the East and West Villages. Guests staying here will have access to Gramercy Park, and enjoy a guestrooms designed with one-of-a-kind furniture and artwork.

At the top of the Gramercy Park Hotel is the rooftop garden and Gramercy Terrace, which leads to the outdoor dining and entertainment space, and the dramatic Drawing Room at the hotel:

GPH-Drawing Room2.JPG

There are approximately 4,000 light bulbs in the Drawing Room's ceiling art, which was conceived by Julian Schnabel. If you're worried about energy efficiency, only 2 percent of those light bulbs actually light up.

More Dramatic Designs: B2Hotel's Library Lounge and Wine Bar

Readers: Your thoughts?

James Beard award-winning restaurants worth traveling to

Posted by Melanie Nayer May 10, 2012 06:42 AM

Looking for a fabulous new place to indulge in your culinary cravings? Last week, the James Beard Foundation celebrated its 25th anniversary and awarded honors to top chefs, restaurants and food writers around the country at the James Beard Foundation Awards dinner.

While the esteemed group gathered to nosh and nibble, the editors at - the website for Forbes Travel Guide - rounded up their favorite eateries from the list of James Beard winners, including a Boston favorite!

Next time you're planning a trip for your taste buds, take note of Startle's favorite places and make a reservation at this Four- and Five-Star restaurants:


Dubai plans to build underwater hotel

Posted by Melanie Nayer May 8, 2012 07:51 AM

underwaterhotel2.jpgPhoto: Deep Ocean Technology

The race to see who can build the most outrageous hotel concept is on. Last month I told you about the underground hotel being built in China, now comes word about an underwater hotel being planned in Dubai.

Building company Drydocks World and Swiss firm BIG InvestConsult are working together to develop underwater hotels, including the "Water Discus Hotel" in Dubai, reports

The plans for the Water Discus Hotels include various components, ensuring all guests can explore underwater in luxury. There are two spherical buildings (they look like giant spaceships) - an underwater and above-water one - connected by three legs providing stabilization and a long, vertical shaft that contains a elevator and stairway.


Dramatic Designs: B2Hotel's Library Lounge and Wine Bar

Posted by Melanie Nayer May 7, 2012 06:14 AM

What makes a hotel "cool"? What are the designs and details that stop you in your tracks when you walk into a hotel, and just stare in awe thinking, "where did they come up with that?!" Every week I'll showcase a hotel with just that material thinking in mind.

Dramatic Designs will run every Monday and will show you some of the most amazing amenities and ambiances that sit within hotels around the world, making them the 'hot-spots' inside the hotel, adding that extra bit of character to the hotel's public space.

I'm kicking off the Dramatic Designs series with a boutique hotel in Zurich, the B2Hotel. This hotel was formerly the Hürlimann brewery, founded in 1836. The brewery soon became the largest brewery in Switzerland before the 1900s. Today, the brewery building is now a boutique hotel that just opened in March, has a total of 60 rooms and suites and direct access to the Thermal Bath & Spa Zurich. But it's the hotel's library that garnered today's spotlight.

The Lobby lounge and wine bar has 30,000 books and three chandeliers made entirely from hundreds of empty wine bottles.


Readers: Your thoughts?

Give Mom the day off with these Mother's Day hotel deals

Posted by Melanie Nayer May 4, 2012 05:12 AM

What better way to show Mom you care than by sending her away... to a luxury hotel. This Mother's Day, hotels are offering some creative ways to give Mom the day off.

From unique dinners to spa indulgence weekends and adventure activities, hotels around New England and across the country are offering Mom's a great escape. The below are just a sampling of the offers available, but they're sure to spark some unique ideas for Mom this year.



Ritz-Carlton debuts mobile app packed with personalized info, hotel insights

Posted by Melanie Nayer May 2, 2012 04:54 AM

Solidifying the notion that luxury knows no limits, luxury hotel group Ritz-Carlton debuted its long-awaited mobile app, giving luxury travelers easier access to the company's portfolio of hotels around the world.

The app isn't just a booking engine, though. Ritz-Carlton made it personal.

In addition to the reservations system and hotel room look-up, the Ritz-Carlton app includes personal tips from President & COO Herve Humler that identify the "hidden gems" guests shouldn't miss when they check in (think: a Viennese crystal chandelier in Doha and a secret garden in Sanya). Additionally, the app will offer personalized suggestions to guests based on location and duration of stay.



About the author

Melanie Nayer is a travel writer who spent many years in the newsroom before jetting off to see the world. Her goal is to bring readers the best insider information More »

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