Hotel News We Noted: September 28, 2012

Welcome to “Hotel News We Noted” and our first official fall issue. As always, we’re finding lots of new developments in the hotel world this week, from football-friendly packages (the refs are back and the games will go on) to openings, amenities and info galore.

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Awesome Amenity: Hotel Monaco, Philadelphia
Philadelphia’s second Kimpton hotel is opening to the public on October 4, but we got the inside scoop on what you can expect from general manager Nick Gregory. Guests at the soon-to-open hotel (seen above) will be able to operate their in-room televisions from a complimentary app available on their smartphone. No touching the dirty remote? We’re thrilled. Of course, the rooftop lounge, Stratus, seems pretty cool as well. Want to plan a trip? Rooms are 15% off during the hotel’s special “preview” period.

Hotel Opening: Shangri-La, Toronto
The second Shangri-La hotel in North America is now open officially to the public. While some of the Toronto Film Festival’s stars did stay at the property during the fest, it seems that now everyone can enjoy the downtown luxury hotel. While we were wowed by the property’s beautiful glass front during a recent visit, the most interesting aspect of the 202-room, 66-story property is actually the attention paid to the concept of feng-shui. From the David Chang restaurant to the Shangri-La suite to the hamman and spa by Caudalie, careful attention has been paid to the Chinese concept of balanced energy.

Now Taking Rezzies: AKA West End, London and Beverly Hills
AKA didn’t make it in time for the Olympics, but the chic extended-stay brand’s first European hotel is taking reservations for October 1, and the first West Coast outlet, in Beverly Hills, is now in a soft open, and expected to have the lobby and suites fully ready by the end of the year.

Cool Perk: Loews Lets Its Best Customers Skip The Line
Loews Hotels & Resorts‘ best customers can now skip the airport immigration wait with free membership in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s expedited immigration program. The program, which normally costs $100, is available for Platinum members of the hotel’s loyalty program for the next 60 days. Works for us!