“Dress Rehearsal” rate offered at the new Sanctuary Hotel in NYC

The Portland Square Hotel in New York is getting a face lift next spring. By fall of 2010, it will be reopen as the four-star boutique Sanctuary Hotel. During the final days of operation, guests who stay in one of the already renovated Sanctuary Studio rooms will receive a discounted rate of $159 per night and get a preview of what the rest of the completed rooms will look like.

The new rooms are decked out with European linens, plasma tvs, and iPod docking stations. Some will have unique design features like exposed brick or metal beams, and all will feature open plan bathrooms with rain showers.

The “Dress Rehearsal” rate of $159 is good through March 31, 2010. When the hotel officialy opens in the fall, rates will be nearly double, at $309 per night. Guests who book a room at the preview rate and then offer feedback about their stay will also receive a $50 credit towards a future stay.

Only nine of the 125 rooms have been renovated as of yet, so the rate may not be available on all dates. To book the deal, you can call the hotel reservation desk, or just type in the code DRESS1 and book online.

Product review – Kensington Auxiliary dock for iPod Nano

In this brief product review I’m going to introduce one of the newest products in the Kensington 2009 lineup.

The Kensington Auxiliary dock for the iPod Nano is a portable iPod dock designed to plug directly into the AUX jack found on many car stereos.

The device comes with 4 different iPod Nano inserts, and fits every model from the first Nano to the current 4th generation.

The dock itself is as simple as can be – the dock plugs into the headphone jack on your iPod, and the folding audio jack on the back of the dock plugs into your stereo.

I’ll pretend I know what you are thinking, and yes; a regular stereo cable will do the exact same thing, but the auxiliary dock does it so much nicer.

It also brings your iPod up by your stereo, and allows you to change tracks or pause the music without having to reach for your player. Of course, it also prevents the iPod from sliding around in the center console or passenger seat of your rental car.
When you are not using it, you simply unplug the device from your car stereo, and fold the connector inside the dock. It’s a simple yet efficient and well designed little product.

There is of course one drawback to the unit – your iPod does not charge when it is plugged into the dock, nor do you have access to a charger port, but with iPod battery life at an all time high, that may not be a huge problem.

The Kensington Auxiliary dock for the iPod Nano will be available from Kensington.com and other Kensington retailers soon, and retails for $24.95.

I have included some other images of the product in the gallery below.


Daily deal – 50% off everything in the Zagg InvisibleSHIELD store

My daily deal for today is a sweet 50% discount off anything you purchase in the Zagg.com online store. Zagg.com is where you’ll find the InvisibleSHIELD device protection film which provides a plastic barrier against damage to your devices.

The film is available for almost every popular mobile (smart) phone on the market, as well as for the iPod, gaming devices, GPS units and even watches.

Their product comes with a lifetime warranty, and the films start at about $15.

The Zagg store also sells several kinds of headphones and portable speakers (also included in the 50% off offer).

To get the discount, add your products to the online cart, and enter coupon code SHOWSP09 when you start the checkout process.

Product Review: iHome iP27 Portable Speaker System

If you’re tired of being reduced to earphones to get your iPod groove on while travelling, Apple has come up with a new solution. The iP27 is the newest version of the iHome speaker line, a docking station that plays music directly from your iPod.

The iP27 has a nifty alarm clock functionality that allows you to wake up to your favorite tunes, along with remote volume and play/pause control. The speakers themselves fold down flat and slide into a carrying case, so all in all, the system is really geared for travelers.

The cons to this system are that the speakers lack a lot of bass, compromising the sound quality; and as well, there is no radio function (for those few times you want to catch up on your foreign news?). I’ve also heard that some older versions of iPod aren’t compatible, but the Nanos and iPhones work just fine.

On the upside, the unit has an AA battery option and a downsized AC cord, so it’s a bit sleeker and less space-consuming than it’s iHome counterpart. Users of the iH27 probably won’t notice too many differences in the two units.

Rationally, I can’t think of any traveler that would actually use this unit, much less want to carry it around all over the place in their luggage. Definitely a geek-ified piece of equipment, but it will probably find its cult following.

Daily deal – Koss mini MP3 player speaker – free + $4 shipping

My daily deal for today is for the Koss SA-10 portable speaker dock.

This AA powered mini speaker plugs directly into the headphone jack of your iPod, or any other MP3 player with a regular headphone jack.

The 2 AA batteries keep the speakers powered for up to 10 hours of continuous playback.

The Koss SA-10 is on sale at 1 Sale A Day, and is being sold for $0. Of course, the catch is that you need to pay $3.99 for shipping. Even after the fairly high shipping charge, these speakers are a fantastic deal, and perfect for bringing along on your next trip if you want some music in your hotel room.