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5 More Features of Great Hotels

5 More Features of Great Hotels

This is Part Two of our ongoing series on some of the features and benefits we’ve enjoyed in great hotels. Over the years we’ve shot on all seven continents and so we’ve compiled quite a long and varied list of our favorite offerings. Here are the next five features that we love.

Number 1: A Kick Ass Restaurant
We often have really long days of shooting and really long nights of social media updates. So while we usually go out to visit local restaurants, we really appreciate the ability to have a nice meal on property. I think every business traveler does. So it is essential that there’s a great restaurant. And a nice bar helps as well.

One of our favorite examples of a hotel with great food and drinks is the Park Hyatt Tokyo. It is the hotel immortalized by Bill Murray in Sofia Coppola’s classic travel flick Lost in Translation. Just watching the movie gives me jet lag. But this hotel has the cure. When we were filming Wine Portfolio we actually didn’t venture out of the hotel any of the nights that we were there. Instead we happily ate at the Japanese or American restaurants and always capped the night off with a drink in the New York Bar. It has a great view of the lights of the Shinjuku area of Tokyo.

Number 2: Electronics
For some productions we write scripts on the road as we shoot. For others we have a very active community that likes updates along the way, but at the very least we’re always busy with email. So we work a lot in our rooms. That means it is nice to be able to relax with some music and so we love the Mandarin Oriental Miami. This room didn’t just have an iPod dock, they had and entire interconnected system where we could play music and movies from our iPod on TV or throughout the entire suite. We were even able to hook up our HD cameras and watch daily rushes.

Number 3: Hairdryer
OK so mainly this is for our Hosts not Crews, but I can’t tell you how many times Talent complains about weak or non-existent hairdryers. Cheryll from Let’s Shop has burned out hairdryers on six continents and at least one ship (which we’ve been asked to never speak of again). But at the Sheraton Abu Dhabi she met her match with a German made technical marvel. It has become legendary for our team and I can tell you that she still speaks fondly about it to this day.

Number 4: Iron
This may be closely related to Number 3 but an iron is a necessity when getting ready in a hurry and still looking good on camera. And surprisingly of all our Hosts the real whiz is Wine Portfolio’s Jody Ness. If they ever held an Olympic event in extreme ironing, he’d take the gold. 

Number 5: A Room With A View
Here the clear winner is Governor’s Camp in the Masai Mara in Kenya. While we were filming What The Future our exquisite luxury tents had views of the lush natural environment. It was like a scene from a movie, colonial-style tents nestled in the bucolic African countryside resplendent with tropical plants, tranquil rivers and elephant dung. Yep that’s right, elephant dung.  The really cool thing about Governor’s Camp is that it is right in the Mara, one of the world’s great national parks. This means animals can wander through the camp at will. Don’t worry the staff are trained to protect the guests but they don’t interfere with the natural experiences.

For some reason a particularly gassy pachyderm took a liking to our Host Warren Kimmel and like clockwork came to see him every night to drop a steaming load beside his tent.  Was the elephant critiquing his performance or sending a love note?  We don’t know, but for the ability to be totally free and open in one of the most beautiful places on earth, the Governor’s Camp wins the award for having the greatest view.

That’s it for part two, but stay tuned and we’ll keep laying out more great features that we’ve enjoyed in hotels. In the meantime, feel free to send us your favorites as well.

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