Hyatt members received excellent news this month: The Park Hyatt has opened its first ever hotel in Vienna, Austria. The luxe brand has taken up headquarters in Vienna’s First District, a quiet part of the bustling European city that’s focused less on tourism and more on history and shopping (so, not surprisingly, tourists are nonetheless focused on it). The First District is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the hotel itself is housed in a 100-year-old bank building overlooking Am Hof square. The hotel is elegant and impossibly grand, even when taking Vienna’s high standards into consideration. Read on after the jump >>
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Yamm restaurant shows off the hotel's futuristic design style.
Edward Snowden — the former CIA employee who leaked information about the National Security Agency’s surveillance methods last week — has reportedly been hiding out at The Mira Hong Kong since his whistle-blowing shocked people across the globe — but no longer. The Daily Telegraph has reported that a man who called himself Edward Snowden checked out of the The Mira today. Many have their doubts about whether or not this is the Edward Snowden: After all, the 29-year-old has been very secretive since the big reveal, even admitting to feeling extremely fearful of being spied on. In fact, reports claim that Snowden left his hotel in Hong Kong just three times during his stay — despite being in the city for three weeks — for fear of being located by the NSA.
There are certainly worse places to lay low: The Mira is one of Hong Kong’s most luxurious, high-design properties. The hotel boasts a central location in Tsim Sha Tsui, futuristic design touches, seven outstanding restaurants and bars, and an excellent fitness center. If Snowden was hiding out at the chic hotel, we can only assume he is sad to leave it now. Whether he will stay in Asia or seek asylum elsewhere – many speculate he may travel to Iceland for that reason — saying goodbye to The Mira could not have been easy. See more photos of The Mira after the jump »
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Here’s what caught our eye. Spread the love.
The Money Shot.
Thinking of grabbing the fam (or the fiance) and jetting to Hawaii? Well, if you’re a faithful reader of travel news, you’d be inclined to believe that the scene in Hawaii right now is…dismal. Surely you’ve seen the reports: hotel occupancy in our 50th state is down. Way down. The number of visitors has declined sharply. Room rates are plummeting, but the people still aren’t coming – and the numbers are especially distressing when compared to an astoundingly-weak July 2008. It’s bad over there.
But we’re going to let you in on a big secret: our reporters just got back from Hawaii (yes, Hawaii is our next destination to launch – that’s what we were hinting at last week) and they’ve got plenty to say about scene. So before you go picturing abandoned hotels and eerily-empty beaches with palm trees swaying in the wind, allow our reporters to offer up a glimpse of what things are really looking like out there in the Aloha State:
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In case you haven't been camped out in the Trump Tower Las Vegas business center...
Craving up-to-the-minute news on hotels, airlines and travel as it all unfolds? The @OysterHotels Twitter stays on top of the hot gossip flying around the web 24/7. Today’s highlights from around the Internet:
- A passenger on a Southwest airlines flight was arrested (naked) after he exposed himself to the woman seated next to him and then punched her in the face. Oy. [MSNBC]
- Warning: there is an entrepreneur out there who is planning on launching a “zero baggage” concept that involves renting clothes when you travel. Not for the faint of heart – or for those of us who feel itchy in thrift stores. [Consumer Traveler]
- So, about that $599 unlimited JetBlue pass? No mas. Sold out. All gone. You lose. [USA Today]
- …But you can watch all the fun everyone else is having by checking out the @599Club Twitter community. [Twitter]
- Our friends at Jauntsetter have rounded up a pretty hot roster of up-to-date travel deals, from Bangkok hotels to a full four-night London getaway. [Jauntsetter]
- Hawaii celebrated its big five-oh with a hula party in Times Square today – and, now that we mention it, The Aloha State has been in the news quite a bit lately. Not that we’re hinting at anything… [AP, NY Times, CNN]
Ah, the sweet veil of anonymity: the freedom to say what you want with no particularly dreadful repercussions. Angry at your concierge ex-boyfriend? Anonymously trash his hotel on the Internet! Want to take down a hotel that competes with your property? Write about the non-existent roaches in an online forum! Need your hotel to climb the web rankings? Create a whole bunch of user accounts to send around beautiful, glowing reviews! The possibilities are endless.
That’s not happening around here.
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