Affinia boutique hotels in New York, Washington and Chicago have just launched a new program for Affinia VIPs. Their new Tender Loving Comfort (TLC) program is based on offering deep customer service based on learning what guests need by reading their body language. Staff at Affinia recently underwent training with a body language expert to learn how to respond to certain body language cues.
Part of the new TLC program is offering a Comfort Hour when hotel managers mingle with guests while offering sample snacks, testing new products such as pillows and getting feedback from guests on what makes them comfortable at a particular hotel.
Affinia guests now get a truly customized experience with a six-choice pillow menu and a signature Affinia bed with down comforter and triple sheeting. Each room also has a welcome drink and an Experience Kit to help guests gain maximum benefit from their stay.
Special offers for Affinia TLC VIPs from now until December 31, 2011 include a VIP room upgrade when available, welcome cupcake, complimentary bottle of red wine and late checkout, subject to availability.
One of Chicago’s historic landmark buildings, the Old Dearborn Bank, is about to be turned into a four star luxury hotel in Chicago’s downtown area. Virgin Hotels, which was launched in the USA a year ago, plans to make the Art Deco building one of their chain of gateway city hotels across the U.S.
The 27-story landmark building was designed as a bank in 1928 by C.W. and George L. Rapp Architects and until recently was used as office space. Virgin stated that the property “has significant historic and architectural features that will be restored and recreated,” to enhance the proposed Virgin Hotel Chicago.
The Virgin brand offers luxury hotel accommodation to compete with other upscale brands such as W Hotels and InterContinental’s Hotel Indigo. Spokesperson for Virgin Hotels saw the project as “a first step towards our goal of building a portfolio of hotels that anticipate and respond to the needs of today’s travelers and set a new standard for the industry“. The hotel will have 250 rooms, meeting spaces, lounges and restaurants aimed at business and leisure travelers whose loyalty has been captured by Virgin Atlantic and Virgin America over the last 25 years.
Warning: those of a nervous disposition might want to look away now …
The Sears Tower in Chicago has recently opened ‘The Ledge’ - glass viewing balconies that jut out four feet from the 103rd floor, 1,353 feet up.
For those brave enough to enter one of the boxes with their transparent walls, floors and ceilings, there are unobstructed views of the Windy City. “It’s like walking on ice,” said Margaret Kemp, from California, her heart still pounding even after stepping away from the balcony. “That first step you take – [you think]‘am I going down?’”
David Roeder of the Chicago Sun-Times said:
“The Ledge delivers. The effect is spectacular even on a cloudy and drizzly day. All enclosures have visible pins and connections, so the eye has a reassuring reference point that you’re in a real structure. But it takes a certain trust in unseen architects, engineers and construction workers to take that first step overlooking perdition.”
by Andy Moreton, with Nina Douglas
For more details about the Sears Tower Skydeck and to buy tickets online, go to www.theskydeck.com. And Luxique has a range of luxury hotels in Chicago, including the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, the Ritz-Carlton Chicago and the Park Hyatt Chicago.
She has her own TV show, magazine, radio show and website, so I suppose it was only a matter of time before you could visit the Oprah Store.
It’s in Chicago’s West Loop – diagonally across the street from the Oprah studios – and features 900 of the lady’s favourite things - mostly clothing but also housewares, beaded baskets and sky-blue tea sets.
“When you walk in the store, you feel like Oprah is standing there,” gushes the manager, Darcy Rogers. “This is the world of all the things she loves.”
For true Oprah fans, the ‘wow’ moment comes with Oprah’s Closet, which contains a selection of her cast-offs. It typically features about twenty hand-me-downs, ranging in size from 10 to 14, and in price from $50 (for a pair of Banana Republic slacks) to $500 (an orange Yves Saint Laurent suit). The shoes are sizes 10 and 11. A pair of black Prada heels are listed at $250 - about half of what they cost new.
One regular from the west side of Chicago explained the attraction: “When you go in there, you just feel great, like you are somebody, like Oprah is touching you.”
Another visitor from St Louis said: “The pants are too long and the shoes are too big, but I will definitely be back for a sweater or a skirt. I like shiny stuff, and a lot of her stuff is shiny and vibrant.”
However, a message-board contributor from Omaha was not so impressed. “Designer clothes for the common people so they have a little piece of her next to their skin. I wanna puke.”
by Andy Moreton