Monday, August 31, 2009

Hotels on Stilts - Angsana's InOcean Villas are Island-Free Vacations in the Maldives

The Maldives’ newly-opened Angsana Velavaru InOcean Villas are swanky hotel rooms on stilts. The luxurious collection of 33 two-story vacation homes are joined by a boardwalk but are completely isolated in the blue waters of the Indian Ocean.

The remote Angsana Velavaru InOcean Villas’ abounds with amenities like infinity pools, spas treatments, fine dining, and of course diving, which is what the Maldives are most famous for.

Don’t get top worried about being too cut-off from terra firma, though; take one of InOcean Villa’s own kayaks and paddle a mere 20 minutes, and you’re on dry land. Via: Elsa Blaine - HotHotelReviews

References: angsana, timesonline

Related Links: Hotels in the Maldives, Angsana Velava Photo Gallery - Jet Set the World Now!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Who Will Save Our Celebrities From The Toxic Power Of Twitter?

Finally using her Twitter account for good, this week Britney Spears handed out tickets to her shows at Madison Square Garden in New York to a lucky fan via tweeted clues.

Is Spears playfully engaging with a new medium, or playing a dangerous game? Spears or her handlers left a series of clues for followers to parse about the place she was, like "Manhattan," and "below 60th Street and above 20th Street." The clues apparently led to the Times Square M&M store, just when you thought it was going to be something original and local-approved -- but anyway!

In the end, it wasn't Britney herself handing out the tickets—of course not, that's what you pay people for. Nonetheless the giveaway, and similar stunts pulled by @The_Real_Shaq and other celebs on Twitter sent the New York Times sniffing around the scene for an article pondering the fact that Twitter's biggest numbers are being posted not by text-friendly teens, but by adults.

Having jobs would keep most of New York from dashing off for the day to find Britney, but not all. It wouldn't be that hard for an ill-intentioned follower to locate and do harm to a celeb trying to "connect" with the "fans."

Ironically, most of the teens in the Times story raise questions of privacy which presumably we grown-ups on Twitter have learned to successfully navigate without the help of Internet Guardians. But as more celebs take to tweeting their trips (ex: Lily Allen), the potential exists for more than touristy heckling, clueless Twitpics, and hasty PR-driven apologies. More followers can mean more readers of your travel plans, and not all of them with innocent intents. Celebs beware; there's a time to take yourself off the map. by egw - Jaunted

Related Links: Hotel Deals in NYC, NYC Packages, New York Pass - Become a fan on Facebook!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dubai's Latest Flashy Statement Of Wealth: Designer Seatbelts

Good old flashy Dubai might be one of the world's largest consumers of gold-covered cars, but apparently they think they're too cool for school to use a seatbelt. Thanks to Luxist, we hear that drivers in the United Arab Emirates are so loathe to use seatbelts, that the country is lauching its own aggressive seatbelt safety campaign a la the US and France.

WIth only 11% of Emiratis deigning to strap themselves in, auto accidents in Dubai and Abu Dhabi especially are oftentimes more serious than what should be. As a result, the seatbelt safety campaign wants to appeal to residents' love of luxury and fashion by painting the seatbelt as a statement, as well as safety, item.

How will they do this, you ask? Well, by printing seatbelts with logos of luxury brands, or your favorite team, or the Emirati flag. We imagine a taxi cab picking us up from Dubai's airport, and we climb into a back seat to buckle up with Armani belts. Luxist points out that luxury brands aren't exactly liberal with the use of their intellectual property and might poo-poo use of logos, but we bet that soon you'll able to buy seatbelts in Dubai slathered with the (unofficial) Louis Vuitton Damier pattern nonetheless. by JetSetCD - Jaunted

[Photo: uncle boatshoes]

Related Links: Hotel Deals in Dubai

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

South Beach Goes Hollywood, Budget Hollywood

Where: 334 Arizona Street [map], Hollywood, FL, United States, 33019

No, no, the SoFla folks aren’t coming west, just heading north. The self-described “hip hotel group” The South Beach Group has just announced a new property in Hollywood Beach, Florida. But don’t look to their Miami Beach boutique hotels—Catalina, Riveria South Beach, Whitelaw, et. al—for clues to the new digs: this baby is a two-in-one, the Hollywood Beach Hotel + Hostel.

For those who haven’t stayed in a hostel since that time they hooked up with the cute Dutch backpacker, we turn to South Beach Group honcho Alan Lieberman for illumination: “The difference between a hostel and a hotel is about a community,” he says. “It’s easy to get to know other people in a safe environment. It’s not uncommon for guests to meet and make plans to experience the city together.”

In other words: bunks. Some of the “Key West styled units” at The Hollywood Beach Hotel + Hostel will have queen beds and private bathrooms, but for the most part we can expect the typical hostel set-up, complete with security lockers and a shared kitchen and living room. Since this is SoFla, there’s also an outdoor lounge and deck area.

“We are taking the hostel concept to the next level,” says Nathan Lieberman. How so? Well, they’re offering free WiFi, Cable TV, beach access, pool tables, and the use of surfboards and bicycles.

Then there’s their sunny spin on sharing a room with strangers: “The idea was a simple one; stay with your best friends who you haven’t met yet and share the cost of the room.”

Ready to meet your BFF? Head over to the hotel + hostel’s website. Beds start at $19.95 a night (in the “Single and ready to mingle” category). If you want to stay in a female-only (“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”) or male-only (“Mancation”) room, it’s an extra two bucks. by MsRebecca - HotelChatter

Related Links: Hotel Deals in Hollywood Fl., South Beach Hotels, Hostels - VIP Nightlife & Travel

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Chase Temple Ruins And Hammock Lounging With A Cold Laotian Beer

Even though the recession has hampered exotic travel, there are still those intrepid explorers going all out. All this week, our Cambodian embed Claire will share experiences from her trip to Laos.

Southern Laos more closely resembles its neighbors, with a flatter, rice-paddy covered landscape. Here, main attractions include Wat Phu Champasak, temple ruins in a stunning setting and Si Phan Don, the 4,000 islands, a mid-river delta in the Mekong.

Wat Phu Champasak, an ancient Angkorian temple built into a hillside, is about two hours south of Pakse by sangtheaw. The infrastructure here, and the tourism machine, deteriorates slightly, leaving more options for independent travel alongside Lao people. We rode in a truck with a week’s supply of produce and several old ladies who helped us understand prices and figure out our route, all without any ability to truly speak to each other.

The setting for Wat Phu is the most beautiful we’ve ever seen for an Angkor ruin, carved into a jungly hillside with a waterfall dropping behind it. Fog settled low on the hills, adding to the eerie atmosphere of the place.

Further south from Wat Phu and its adjacent town of Champasak is Si Phan Don, a delta of 4,000 islands in the Mekong. Activities there involve cycling around backroads, over bridges and past villages, motoring around the islands to small islands (which disappear in rainy season), and spotting river dolphins. Eating is a surprisingly fun hobby too, we discovered, with superb Lao-style laap (a limey, spicy minced meat dish and curry soups served with the country’s ubiquitous sticky rice. Every guesthouse seems to have gotten on the pumpkin burger train too, which is fantastic.

The two main islands for travelers are Don Det and Dhon Khon, with the main town—and access to $3 per hour internet—on the northern tip of Don Det. Near town is also an Australian-run bakery, with freshly made cinnamon buns and various baked goods that emerges in this remote island location like a mirage in the dessert.

Bungalow-style guesthouses line the riverfront, costing about $1 or $2 per night. Lounging on the hammock between meals, sipping Beer Laos—Southeast Asia’s best brew. Just another of the many things that Laos does best in the region. And this is how we'll remember our trip: sipping Laotian beer from the porch of a $2-a-night guesthouse, fresh from discovering temple ruins. by ced138 - Jaunted

Related Links: Laos 411, Hotel Deals in Laos - For Jet Setters, By Jet Setters!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It's A Great Day For A Sail, On Murdoch's $310,000-A-Week Sailboat

When we aren't out jetting around on LCCs, busing to Baltimore for $1 or hopping a high-speed train, we like to fantasize about that other form of transportation: the almighty ship. So to allay our own curiosity as much as yours, we're spotlighting yachts with either notorious owners or histories...or both. Know of a bootylicious boat? Let us know.

Last month, we featured the $1 Million-a-week yacht charter of the Fontainebleau Hotel owner's 'Mad Summer' boat. Recognizing that this price bracket is far out of reach for many people, hell, all people, we're toning it down to something more affordable.

What do you say you and nine of your friends get together and shell out a total of $310,000 for a week onboard a sailboat? This isn't just any sailboat however, it's Rupert Murdoch's 'Rosehearty,' and she's got an aluminum hull and technical advances to daze the most seasoned seaman.

The 184-footer is outfitted with the standard millionaire/billionaire play things: hottubs, A/V equipment and top-of-the-line audio systems to turn your deck into a movie theater, a full gym, two sailing dinghies and a dinghy sailing instructor (we want this job), and a full complement of dive gear.

If we had our way with this baby, like Rupert does when he has a spare second, we'd take her all up in the Windwards, the Leewards, and the Edwards—we don't even know if Edwards Islands exist, but we'd sure look for them with the 'Rosehearty.' You can look into chartering her here.
by JetSetCD - Jaunted - For Jet Setters, By Jet Setters!

Art Gallery Hotels - The LALALA Arthotel Features Rooms by 7 Different Artists

The LALALA hotel in Sopot, Poland has seven rooms designed by seven different artists, each with their own unique flavor. The beautiful room designs range from elegant to kitchy, featuring everything from clean, crisp white to vibrant retro and striking Asian-influence.

The artists who contributed to the project include Jakub Rebelka, Iwona Cybula, Asia Piascik, Marek Mielnicki, Emilia Bartkowska, Patrycja Orzechowsk, Kuba Bakowski, Honorata Martin, Ula Wasielewska and Joanna Zastrozna. Via: Cecilia Biemann - HotHotelReviews

References: dezeen

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Leonardo DiCaprio Is Making Out And Dodging Explosions In Paris

Protecting Ellen Page from flying debris and making out with Marion Cotillard is all in a week’s work for Leonardo DiCaprio. Leo, Ellen and Marion are all in Paris this week filming the contemporary Sci-Fi thriller Inception, which is being directed by The Dark Knight’s Christopher Nolan. Very little is known about the film except that it takes place in "the architecture of the mind," whatever that means.

What we do know for sure is that Leo and Ellen filmed at Cafe Debussy and near the Pont de Bir-Hakeim on the Seine yesterday. This isn't the first time on the big screen for the bridge; it was also featured in National Treasure 2, Munich and Last Tango in Paris.

Leo invited a few family members along on the Paris trip, including his mother who seemed to be doting on her famous son. We wouldn’t be surprised if Leo put his family up at the ultra lux Four Seasons George V while they're visiting him in Paris. Right now, the hotel is offering a special Bed and Breakfast Package that includes a full American breakfast daily for up to two adults at the hotel’s La Galerie, Le Cinq restaurant or through In-Room Dining for $1170.00 a night. For that kind of money, you too could probably also be making out with Marion Cotillard. by cmb - Jaunted

[Photo: Just Jared]

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Living the Rock 'N' Roll Life at The Andaz West Hollywood

Where: 8401 W Sunset Blvd. [map], West Hollywood, CA, United States, 90069

The West Hollywood drag of LA's Sunset Strip is synonymous with a frenzied rock 'n' roll lifestyle. This is the stretch of bright lights that The Viper Room and Roxy Theater call home, and where on any given night, well-heeled groupie types (or "Band Aids," as the Always Famous euphemism goes) can be seen wandering in droves toward the latest insider after party. We'll reserve judgment about the outfit choices we've observed.

The recently reinvented Andaz West Hollywood has long been a part of this local, life-on-the-edge culture, playing host to guests who have an appreciation of the Strip's late night hustle and hard cocktails. For this year's Sunset Strip Music Festival, which will be held from September 10-12, The Andaz has been named the host hotel and is offering discounted rates of up to 20% accommodations from Thursday, September 10th through Sunday, September 13th to mark the high gloss occasion.

If you're planning on hitting up the event, it's probably a smarter—not to mention safer—bet to stay near the wild revelry of the SSMF. If you've ever dared a bar crawl along the Strip, you'll know that things naturally tend to get a little out of hand. Plus, when the inevitably deafening sounds of Korn have you screaming "Gimmie Shelter," then ducking into the Andaz could be a temporary retreat. Our suggestion: the rooftop Sundeck. But if you're looking to keep the buzz going through the next morning, you can order a complimentary Bloody Mary or Mimosa with Sunday Brunch. Old habits die hard, it seems. For reservations, call 323.785.6090 or visit by Heidi Atwal - HotelChatter - VIP Nightlife & Travel

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Digital Nomad Lobbies: Working It Out at Smyth Tribeca

Where: 86 W Broadway [map], New york, NY, United States, 10007

There has been a lot of talk recently about the lifestyle of digital nomads -- folks who work from wherever they might roam. HotelChatter has been covering hotel wifi since the beginning, but as we cited in our 2009 annual hotel wifi report times they are a changin'.

The biggest change on the tech side is the growing popularity of the usb broadband card. As more and more people buy into these cards (and more and more GMs pray to the hotel gods they do) there are a growing number of digital nomads that no longer tap into a hotel WiFi network.

Instead, these nomads are in search of killer hotel lobbies to comfortably work in. That's right, digital nomads have no problem coming in, kicking back on hotel lobby couches and doing an hours worth of work. So once again hotels have a choice -- welcome these folks, pay no mind to them, or actively try to kick them out.

With this in mind, we figured it was time for us to start rating hotel lobbies on their digital nomad quotient. In our latest edition, the The Smyth Tribeca Hotel.

The sectional seating area.

Hotel: Smyth Tribeca Hotel

Location Layout: Lobby. You walk through the front entrance, staffed by handsome young men, and make a right. There is a front desk in front of you, a sort of lounge/bar on your left and big seating area on your right with both soft banquette seating (with tables) and a huge sectional sofa facing out onto Broadway.

Outlets: We found one next to the wall on the banquette+table side.

Furniture: Verrrry comfortable. Sit back and relax.

Digital Nomad Tolerance: They will tolerate you, but it helps to order a drink or food from the bar/temporary restaurant, Jour et Nuit.

Phone Calls: You can make 'em, but the reception in here was god awful. And we have no idea why. It was on the ground floor right next to some large windows.

Overall Mood: Pleasant. It was quiet and professional with just the right touch of design flair. Nothing too ostentatious like the Gramercy Park Hotel and nothing to cold and scary like the Thompson LES hotel. It reminded us a lot of 60 Thompson but fresher. Oh and without the constant groups of models/wannabes sashaying throughout the place.

Digital Nomad Grade: B, if you have a WiFi card and don't need to make phone calls. We can't wait to head back to this lobby with our shiny new WiFi card. The food was tasty, the seating comfortable and generally, very digital-nomad friendly. But if you don't have a WiFi card and are a hotel guest trying to rely on the hotel's WiFi, forget about it! The hotel charges $10 a day and it kept dropping our signal. Also, dropped phone calls? FAIL. You're better off at the Starbucks across the street. by juliana - HotelChatter

Friday, August 14, 2009

Indian Princess Baths - The Alva Park Resort & Spa Features 6-Star Luxury in Costa Brava

Alva Park Resort & Spa in Costa Brava, Spain is a six star relaxation retreat in one of the most beautiful places in the Mediterranean.

Alva Park Resort is in Platja de Fenals, making excursions to different areas of Barcelona and Girona a breeze. With amenities like an Indian Princess bath featuring salt water and underwater music, however, you might not make it very far from the resort.

The Alva Park Spa (Molton Brown Spa) features decor like river stones and Buddha sculptures, making it a very zen destination for those seeking to connect with their spiritual sides - or just enjoy world class pampering.

The Alva Park Resort has 88 suites, each of which includes a lounge area with “an Oriental art gallery with Mongolian pottery and reproductions of Han Dynasty statues and ancient Chinese coins,” according to The Leading Hotels of the World. Factor in the 300-yarn fine Egyptian cotton sheets and top notch electronics (but who would want to flick on a Bang & Olufsen TV with the world’s best scenery outside the door?) and you’ve got a paradise for even the most discerning of jet setters.

Check out pictures of Alva Park Resort & Spa in the gallery, and if you’re really ready to get whisked away from your day-to-day routine, make sure to check out their site! Via: Bianca Bartz - HotHotelReviews

References: alvapark, lhw

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

French champ, Brazilian models and NYC beats

The Place:
Pink Elephant

The Scene:
Located in a swanky corner of Dacon Tower in Sao Paulo’s Jardins, New York’s Pink Elephant lands a Sao Paulo outpost for late night debauchery and celebrity revelry. With outposts of Crobar and Pacha, Sao Paulo lands one of its first international VIP-style nightclubs looking to bolster its velvet rope demographic with a stylish late-night dance lounge for Brazil’s tabloid-set. While some had serenaded of Pink Elephant’s demise in NYC, the club is gaining a second life as a resort mega-club with outposts in the Hamptons, Sao Paulo and coming soon to Monte Carlo and Punta del Este.

Pink Elephant SP steps-out in red carpet style with a topiary-lined entrance abuzz in flashbulbs and I-Phone snapshots of arriving guests. The interior club takes glamour to the max with a central lounge area of circular pink-tufted banquettes with solitaire-shaped cocktail tables overcrowded with crystal stemware and buckets of bubbly. Walls are framed by exposed brick walls, plush pink drapery and wood-paneled bar area overcrowded with those unwilling to pay-up for bottle service. Between DJ sets of hip-hop and Latin pop, guests make their way to the bathrooms that are mini-salons with make-up and hair crew spritz and teasing with Dior beauty products.

JetSet Tips:
Pink Elephant begins its world club domination with stylish VIP club in Sao Paulo’s Jardins.

Last Word:
It’s all about being beautiful and filthy rich, if you’re neither of the two simply queue-up in line and wait your turn up to 45-minutes to get through the door. Remember, the Brazilians like to catwalk even in their nightclubs so dress to impress without being too dressy. Via: Anne Vine -

Friday, August 7, 2009

NYC's Hotel Gansevoort Gears Up For New Club 'Provocateur'

Where: 18 9th Avenue [map], New York, NY, United States, 10014

Remember the heyday of the Hotel Gansevoort in New York's Meatpacking District, before The Standard came and when the Gansevoort still had bedspreads without cigarette burns in them? It was the place to go on a Friday or Saturday night in summer, for a drink at their rooftop "Plunge" pool bar or down at their garden restaurant/club, Stereo.

Now that Stereo has closed, leaving the corner of the Meatpacking eerily quieter at night, what will move into the prime space? Another club of course, but this time not of your typical $19 cocktails and black minidresses sort, or so it seems. The new venture will be called "Provocateur" and is billing itself as "The [heart] of Progressing, Vocal & Indie Music."

We never thought we'd see those genres associate with The Gansevoort, but know they are just trying to stay hip byt knocking out the lounge and techno beats in favor of something more buffalo plaid-friendly.

The Club is due to open this fall, and you know since we spend the better part of our days spying on The Standard, that we should be in the perfect spot to see what blossoms at "Provocateur." by JetSetCD - HotelChatter

[Photo: HotelChatter]

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Why Just Visit An Irish Castle When You Can Stay In One?

If touring a castle in Ireland just isn't enough and leaves you wanting more, then why not sleep in a castle? it's the easiest way to live out your fantasy of being a royal, and you're in luck because there are plenty regal Irish castles that have been turned into luxury hotels.

One of the best castles-turned-hotels is the Dromoland Castle in Co Claire, just a few minutes from Shannon, making it easily accessible via the Shannon International Airport. It's also an excellent home base for visiting tourist traps in western Ireland, like the Cliffs of Moher and of course the Blarney Stone.

If tourist traps don't sound appealing, there is really no need to ever leave Dromoland. The five star hotel is on a 375-acre estate where guests can go hunting, fishing, horseback riding, play golf or tennis, or just hang out and do nothing at their full-service spa. The hotel also has several restaurants for breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner.

The baronial Dromoland castle has a fascinating history as well. It was the ancestral home of the O'Briens, Barons of Inchiquin, who are one of the few native Gaelic families of royal blood and direct descendants of Brian Boroimhe (Boru), High King of Ireland in the eleventh century. More recently, the castle was the location of EU-US Summit in 2004 and hosted President Bush who stayed at the facility while attending the summit.

Right now, The Dromoland Castle is offering a special 3 Night Break which includes 3 nights Deluxe Accommodation with Full Irish Breakfast each morning in the Earl of Thomond Restaurant for two adults and 2 children for € 640. by cmb - Jaunted

[Photo: FanPop]

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cameron Douglas Was 'All Strung Out' at The Gansevoort Hotel

Where: 18 9th Avenue [map], New York, NY, United States, 10014

We knew the Hotel Gansevoort was a party hotel but Cameron Douglas was throwing quite a different type of party in his hotel room the other night. The 30-year-old son of actor Michael Douglas was busted by the DEA task force inside his guestroom, where he had been staying for quite some time on his dad's dime. Douglas was reportedly in possession of half a pound of crystal meth, valued at $18,000, which he was intending to sell. The NY Post reports:

He had been staying at the hotel for some time in a room rented by his father, and when authorities barged in, they found the place a mess and Cameron Douglas "very strung out," according to the sources.

An informant had told the investigators that Douglas -- grandson of Kirk Douglas -- was the middleman in a deal to move a half-pound of crystal meth from California to New York to sell.
Douglas has been arrested on other drug charges twice before. He's currently being held by the Feds and his dad, Michael is said to be furious. Yeah, we would be too if we were paying close to $400 a night for our son to hide his crystal meth. Now we just feel bad for the housekeeping team who had to clean up that mess. by juliana - HotelChatter

Monday, August 3, 2009

Newest Fashion Hotel On The Block: Tcherassi In Colombia

It's official: 2009 is the year of fashion designer hotels. Missoni just debuted their first in Scotland, Palazzo Versace continue to proliferate, Diesel's creative director opened a Brazil retreat in spring, and Armani will have his first in Dubai on December 2. We can't just look at the biggest names as the only creators of boutique properties, however, as Colombian designer Silvia Tcherassi steps up to open her own tropical resort in fall.

Tcherassi will be the first Latin American designer to go the hotel route, but will keep it close to home with a 7-suite colonial mansion property on the Colombian coast in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Cartagena de Indias. Who will be staying here, you ask? Tcherassi's fans, naturally, as the designer is known for her wedding atelier especially, and even has a US store and bridal workshop in Coral Gables, Florida. Marry in Miami; honeymoon in Colombia. Why not?

Of course there will also be a spa and restaurant, and judging from the exposed restaurant area and pool above, as well as the glass bathroom, this place will be your typical see-and-be-seen boutique hotel. by JetSetCD - HotelChatter

Related Links: Hotel Deals in Cartagena - Columbia, Silvia Tcherassi - VIP Nightlife & Travel

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Buy Your Bathing Suit From A Vending Machine At The Standard

Ever gone on vacation and realized you left your swimsuit behind. Worry no more if you are staying at any of The Standard hotels. Sporty clothing company Quiksilver has partnered with André Balazs' The Standard Hotels on co-branded swimwear that will be sold not only in the hotel boutiques but also poolside in special vending machines in New York, Los Angeles, Hollywood and Miami. It's a smart collaboration, The Standard is infamous for its pool scenes.

Four different styles of men's board shorts were designed one for each hotel but women will have to content themselves with a black string bikini. Items can be purchased online at, and the first vending machine will open in Los Angeles on August 8.

by Deidre Woollard - Luxist - VIP Nightlife & Travel