If smiling is your favorite, you will love this ‘Buddy the Elf’ themed suite at the Royal Park Hotel in Rochester, Michigan.
This one-of-a-kind experience looks like Buddy himself decorated the digs with lights, gift wrap and ornaments — the ceiling is even a show-stopper with paper garland and snowflakes.
GALLERY: ‘Buddy the Elf’ themed suite at Royal Park Hotel
“Our team worked around the clock trying to get this Buddy’s suite up and running,” said Sue Keels, Royal Park Hotel general manager.
It’s a 1,100 sq. ft. suite that has been transformed into literal Christmas cheer.
For each booking, the Royal Park Hotel says 10 percent of the proceeds will go to help fund the Big Bright Light Show in Downtown Rochester. The suite is sponsored by Maker’s Mark and guests will receive a few of Buddy’s favorite things with their booking, including a signature ‘Mailroom Cocktail.’
While the holidays may need to be more intimate in the year of COVID-19, they don’t have to be less festive. Hotels all over the globe are curating inspired in-suite offerings for Thanksgiving, Christmas and other special occasions. These experiences go beyond anything you could find in ordinary room service — they include having a chef prepare an extraordinary seven-course dinner and having a philharmonic performance just for you, all within the confines of your own suite.
Whether you travel or take a staycation, avoid the crowds all while still having a one-of-a-kind celebration —without any of the work or cleanup — at these Forbes Travel Guide-approved hotels:
Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London
The skyscraper is closed through December 2 for London’s lockdown. But before the shutdown, it introduced Dining in the Sky, dinner and dazzling city views from a specially reconfigured guest room with floor-to-ceiling windows. It includes glasses of champagne upon arrival, three courses from British-Asian TÎNG Restaurant and beverages.
The Ritz-Carlton, Denver
Take over the 12th floor of the elegant Denver hotel with family and friends during the holidays. You’ll get a Luxury Suite, a One Bedroom Suite and 12 Deluxe Guest Rooms along with the 2,700-square-foot Club Lounge, which boasts three big-screen TVs, a powder room and lounge spaces. Gather in the Club Lounge for Thanksgiving dinner, partake in the open bar and receive breakfast the next day.
Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok
A stay in the Chao Phraya Suite grants exclusive access to one of the city’s top French restaurants. Le Normandie will set up a seven-course meal, including caviar and sea urchin floating in potato foam, in your river-facing accommodations. Fans of Lord Jim’s grill can get a similar experience in the one-bedroom suite, or partake in the Bangkok hotel’s famed afternoon tea in the Royal or Ambassador suites.
The Milestone Hotel & Residences, London
Despite London’s second quarantine, this boutique hotel remains open. And you will want to visit for a unique in-suite experience: a live (and socially distanced) private recital from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. RPO’s solo harpists or string trio will come to your accommodations and play your favorite songs.
The Venetian Resort Las Vegas
The all-suite hotel debuted family-style room service meals for four. Order Party Time for Caesar salad, pizza, buffalo wings, vegetables, potato chips and dip, or the Rotisserie Chicken with baba ghanoush and Italian sausage crumble spreads, grilled bread, roasted vegetables, buttery mashed potatoes and bibb lettuce salad. Both options come with a decadent 16-layer chocolate fudge cake for dessert.
How six couples still found a way to have wonderful weddings, despite their original plans being canceled by a pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic started just as couples everywhere were prepared to say “I do.” With so many people worrying about contracting the virus or it spreading at their parties, especially with at-risk relatives, The Tennessean Hotel in downtown Knoxville wants to help.
The staff at The Tennessean stepped up to serve couples, their families and friends by turning the hotel’s Governor’s Suite into an intimate wedding space. The 1,646 square-foot luxury suite includes everything for up to 30 guests to enjoy weddings and parties in relative safety and in style.
Of course, things look different than before the pandemic, but that isn’t stopping Erica Greene-Johnson, director of The Tennessean’s catering and convention services, from giving events a touch of elegance.
Workers physically distance, wear masks, sanitize frequently and check guests’ temperatures at the door. Although couples may not be able to invite everyone they hoped for, Greene-Johnson is dedicated to involving family and friends who can’t be there in ways that are special to the hosts.
“When we entered the pandemic, we needed to see what we could do to assist our guests,” Greene-Johnson told Knox News. “We found that many people were searching for something small so that they could carry on with their plans safely. A micro wedding venue was the answer.”
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Helping couples cope
The Governor’s Suite has been used for an array of events in the past – from corporate retreats to a Thanksgiving getaway without the mess. However, when the virus threatened to cancel wedding receptions, the Tennessean staff reimagined the space for small celebrations.
Greene-Johnson is the only point of contact for couples planning an event at the suite. The one-on-one consultation allows for easier decision-making and expert attention to detail. Greene-Johnson and her team are able to move quickly for couples who have already had a challenging time coordinating a new date and making changes to the guest list.
“We will do whatever it takes to ensure couples can have the wedding they deserve, especially now,” Greene-Johnson said. “Just because an event is small doesn’t mean it matters any less.”
A suite space
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Greene-Johnson said the hotel’s goal is to provide a high-end venue with a “homelike” feel for couples and their guests. From the suite, guests overlook World’s Fair Park through wall-to-wall windows, and everything at the stay, including crystal dishes, is there for guests to use.
“We want the suite to be a home away from home for our guests,” Greene-Johnson said. “Things can be rearranged for their big day, but they can also relax while getting ready, staying overnight and dining with their wedding guests.”
Couples have options to fit their wedding wants and needs. Several staff members are prepared to serve custom menus, set up seating arrangements, check coats and
When I arrive at Hotel Classic by Venue, a staff member proffers a cold towel on a plate.
I have travelled only 20 minutes from my home in the east and it has not been a tiring journey by any means, but the gesture reminds me of soothing resort lobbies and tropical welcome drinks from a long-forgotten time.
The hotel is among a trio of boutique properties under the Venue brand, all located in Joo Chiat. They are run by home-grown company Worldwide Hotels, which runs 38 properties in Singapore.
Mr Kenneth Seah, sector manager for the Venue brand hotels, says Joo Chiat’s reputation as a foodie haunt has enticed Singaporeans looking to explore new enclaves.
So it’s cheap, but is it comfortable?
Hotel Classic by Venue lives up to its name, offering the quintessential hotel experience at a fraction of the price.
My Superior Room is understated and elegant – with walls, floors and a marbled headboard in neutral shades of light brown and grey. On the wall, sleek black panels control everything from the temperature to a “do not disturb” button for housekeeping.
The bathroom is shiny and sizeable, with thoughtful touches such as hand towels (the only budget hotel I reviewed to offer this) and an ample-sized ledge for toiletries. It is lovely to luxuriate under a powerful rain shower and step out to plush bath towels.
Overlooking an alley, my room is generally quiet, though I do hear muffled chatter and other guests returning to their rooms at night. Blinds keep the room so dark and cosy, I sleep in till almost noon.
Hey, isn’t that the point of a staycation?
What else is there to do?
Peranakan culture abounds in Joo Chiat.
Stop by home museum The Intan at Joo Chiat Terrace, lovingly curated by Mr Alvin Yapp who has been collecting the antiques of his heritage since he was a teenager.
The shophouse is a treasure trove of furniture, beaded slippers, and a rainbow of tiffin carriers and spittoons line its staircase. Visits are by appointment only.
Learn how Peranakan kebayas and beaded shoes are made at the heritage gallery of the Rumah Kim Choo shophouse in East Coast Road and stop for a photo at Koon Seng Road, where candy-coloured Peranakan shophouses line up gaily in the sun.
You’ve saved on a stay, now indulge in a good meal.
Vietnamese restaurants abound. Follow the queues and you will wind up at Long Phung Vietnamese Restaurant in Joo Chiat Road, five minutes away on foot. It is the most well-known Vietnamese outlet in the area and if you are looking for a hearty bowl of pho, it will not disappoint.
But I take a gamble on Lap Vietnamese Restaurant next door, where staff and patrons converse in Vietnamese and every table seems to have ordered
SINGAPORE – I finally chill at the pool outside my room, just before checking out. After two days of intense exploration at Jewel, I am lulled by the vision of aquamarine water and the clusters of palms submerged in planters.
In this sunken courtyard, I gaze at the clouds drifting overhead. That’s when it dawns on me that I have not seen a plane flying for two days, though I am at the airport. The empty sky is a sign of pandemic times.
Still, the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport, restful and stylish, is an escape from anxiety.
Its design is contemporary Asia, with stylised frangipani motifs on the facade. Rest on seats shaped like papaya slices. Tropical-fruit furniture are vibrant splashes in a darkened lobby. The subdued lighting lets transit guests, fresh off the borderless world of planes, move into a restful mode at the hotel lodged in Terminal 3.
The Crowne Plaza’s identity as an airport hotel is evident everywhere. I check in at the same time as a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flight crew and we stick to separate safely-distanced paths to the lobby. Air crew also have their own lifts to rooms on designated floors.
Before the pandemic, international plane geeks would ask for specific runway rooms to spend hours watching planes lift off and land at one of the world’s busiest airports.
Now, guests like me can still spy airliners at the viewing galleries in Terminals 1 and 3. I pop into Terminal 3 for partially blocked views of grounded planes, and it is dispiriting. To think we once regarded travel as a birthright.
It is uplifting, however, the moment I step onto the link bridge between Terminal 3 and Crowne Plaza to Jewel, with its indoor waterfall, fantasy gardens, retail, dining and play zones.
Jewel is a destination of many dimensions, and the hotel adds to that experience. Mine is the Stay, Shop, Play room package that includes a ticket for the attractions at Jewel’s Canopy Park. The hotel is also close to the new Jurassic Mile, which I visit after my late check-out.
Crowne Plaza has been named the Skytrax World’s Best Airport Hotel for six successive years. There are nearly 60 Crowne Plaza properties in airports like Amsterdam’s Schiphol and Paris’ Charles de Gaulle. These airport stays are designed for business travellers’ work and play. I suppose I am a variation of a business traveller during my one-night stay.
My Premier King Pool View room is awash in a calm palette of neutral colours. There is a huge desk and a bath tub.
The room and the fabulous courtyard-pool put me in a resort frame of mind, even as I have city amenities for my work.
I imagine business travellers and even staycationers may be rushed, always trying to do more. So fuel up with breakfast at Azur in the hotel, where I order laksa and latte with a QR code.
My pace had been non-stop, but ending my 48 hours at a
A HOTEL suite in the US has a hidden room which guests are challenged to find – with a secret reading nook behind the bookcase.
Travel blogger Zanna van Dijk stayed at the Bella Vista Bed and Breakfast Inn in California and shared her discovery.
The secret room is found in the Monte Vista Suite, with the hotel challenging: “If you are clever enough, you will find a secret room somewhere in your suite.”
The luxurious room features a bookcase at the end of the bed, which is the secret to the discovery.
A book on the third shelf has no pages inside it, but instead has a golden door handle.
Behind the secret bookcase door is a reading room with a floor to ceiling bookcase, armchair and window with views of the surrounding area.
You can stay for yourself for £200 a night, although California is currently off the cards for Brits due to the US borders being closed to the UK.
The room description states the decor is “100 years of Hollywood” with vintage pictures of celebrities and film stars.
Tik Tok fans loved the secret room, with one person commenting: “Put a couch, blankets, some candles and I am gone. Living the rest of my life as a blanket human burrito surrounded by books… Ngl sounds like heaven.”
Another person said: “That would be good for hide and seek.”
Someone else agreed: “This was always my dream as a kid.”
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Hotels also have hidden rooms for VIP guests, not available on booking websites.
Even though the rooms aren’t advertised, you can still rent them if you receive the go-ahead from hotel management.
A new scheme called Sleepover to Help Over is offering discounts and free upgrades if you book a hotel stay.
TikTok flight attendant shares top safety tips when staying at a hotel
Japan’s train system is super smart, speedy and efficient, no wonder it’s gained a cult following. Rail fans now have something new to geek out to, as this hotel in Osaka has outfitted a suite with elaborate train paraphernalia including a driving simulator.
Fraser Residence Nankai Osaka is conveniently located next to Nankai Electric Railway’s Namba Station. The hotel has converted one of its guest rooms into an all-encompassing train-themed suite. The sumptuous 77sqm suite is now the largest accommodation in the service residence, containing a living room, two bedrooms and two bathrooms as well as cooking amenities.
To make the room look even more ‘rail’, actual seats from Nankai’s Southern Limited Express train are used as furniture in the living room while train paraphernalia are displayed in the bedrooms. One of them in particular even features the same wallpaper as Nankai’s Rapi:t airport express train – plus, there’s a train simulator which you can play on.
The other bedroom, while slightly pared down, offers glass walls overlooking the surrounding area and a table from the airport express train. Nevertheless, the entire suite is studded with details celebrating the joys of train travel, from the Nankai Railway tableware and train-related books and DVDs to authentic rail car plates and other decorative items.
An overnight stay in this train suite starts from ¥39,000. But you’ll be glad to know that Fraser Residence Nankai Osaka is eligible for the Go to Travel campaign, meaning you’ll save 35 percent on the room rate. For bookings, click here.
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LOS ANGELES, Oct. 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ —Nomadix® Inc., a technology leader in hospitality and multi-tenant industries, today announced it will demonstrate its new suite of cost-effective hotel solutions, including casting, cloud PBX and a mobile guest app, at Cyber HITEC October 27-29, 2020, in the Cyber Exhibitor Advantage Pavilion booth #730. The company will also showcase its flagship gateway offerings, along with new functionality to meet shifting guest demands and budget restrictions in today’s hotel environment.
“Being part of the hospitality industry for more than two decades, we understand the complex requirements and pain points of this market. We are here to support hotels as they move into recovery and have doubled our efforts to offer right-sized and right-priced products that meet these new demands,” said Tammy Estes, chief product officer at Nomadix. “We are looking forward to connecting with the hospitality community at the virtual show and hope to see everyone in-person next year.”
Nomadix Casting: Enables guests to easily cast their preferred shows and other content from Netflix, Hulu, Spotify and thousands of other popular streaming apps from their mobile devices onto the in-room TVs. It eliminates the need to touch the remote, the inconvenience of remembering passwords and the security concerns of logging into public devices. When combined with Nomadix gateways, the connection is automatic.
Nomadix Cloud PBX: Reliable, cost-effective cloud telephony service for hotels that meets the latest emergency calling requirements. Compatible with most SIP/IP phones on the market, Nomadix also offers IP phones with options such as built-in Wi-Fi, LED screens and headsets to meet the needs of the hotel. Angie guest room devices are also offered as in-room phones through our partnership with Angie Hospitality.
Nomadix Guest App: Personalized guest experience, touchless guest interactions and eliminated contact points that increase guest engagement, customer retention and incremental revenue. Offers check-in/check-out, hotel information, room control, mobile keys and concierge chat to provide a seamless branded experience from pre-arrival to checkout.
Nomadix Gateway Family: The hospitality industry standard for more than two decades, Nomadix gateways are found in tens of thousands of properties supporting millions of rooms around the world. Powered by innovative, patented technology, Nomadix’s family of internet access gateways is designed with reliability and scalability in mind to accommodate small, medium and large-sized venues. The EG 3000, EG 3000L and EG 6000 gateways provide seamless authentication and connectivity for guests and offer unmatched bandwidth management, authentication and customized landing pages for visitor-based networks.
Hotel Portal: Robust management and controls for properties and managed service providers (MSPs) that can be branded with the same look and feel as other MSP solutions or the hotel’s brand. It offers guest onboarding, authentication, bandwidth management, network management, reporting, ticketing and a conference room scheduler.
Demonstrations will be available during Cyber HITEC, and appointments can be scheduled throughout the post-show timeframe. For more information, visit https://nomadix.com/hitec/.
Nomadix is a world leader in edge gateways and is the industry standard for