hotels with practice pianos

Posted by: Dram

hotels with practice pianos - 04/10/08 10:59 PM

I'm curious if anyone has ever compiled a list of hotels that have pianos that you can practice on while traveling. I just stayed at the Grand America in Salt Lake City, and they had a nice baby grand steinway, well tuned and regulated, in a quiet corner of the hotel, away from folks, that was ideal for practicing late at night after a long day's work (they actually had another one, plus one in the lobby). I'm going to San Francisco soon, and any similar recommendations would be appreciated. Maybe a list by city?
Posted by: bitWrangler

Re: hotels with practice pianos - 04/10/08 11:38 PM

San Antonio, TX:

Drury Inn and Suites (Riverwalk)
They have a Petrof in the lobby. It's right by the "front" doors. My daughter played one song and the folks there didn't say anything. You'd have to not mind a lot of folks being around though, and I don't know what they'd think of someone "practicing". The Petrof looked older and was not in tune. Looks like it had a player system.

Hyatt Hill Country Resort (by Sea World)
They have an older piano in the main lobby, we didn't try it out (it looked like it was more of a PSO). However, we did find a piano in a side hallway by the conference rooms (it was a weekend, so it was pretty dead in that area of the hotel). The exact brand escapes me now (want to say either Yamaha or Kawaii ?). We were able to get a good 45min worth of practice in and we weren't bothered by anyone (nor did we bother anyone).
Posted by: Always Wanted to Play Piano

Re: hotels with practice pianos - 04/11/08 02:16 AM

Wow, great question. Never even thought about this.
Posted by: Carol I.

Re: hotels with practice pianos - 04/11/08 07:52 AM

Hi Dram,

The Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco has a couple of Steinway M's in areas of the hotel that are sometimes deserted enough to catch some practice time.

Carol
Posted by: Dram

Re: hotels with practice pianos - 04/11/08 10:44 AM

Ok, if folks keep posting, i"ll put together a spreadsheet. Since many hotels have pianos in the lobby themselves, but that are unsuitable for practice time by rank amateurs (and performance phobes) like me, maybe we should focus on those with other pianos in less central places.

Carol, the Ritz-Carlton chain in general might be a good all-around bet: the DC Ritz-Carlton also has a decent piano in their basement area. (and even if someone doesn't have the budget to stay in one, maybe stay close by and stop in; or buy a drink there after you get some practice time in)

Thanks!
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: hotels with practice pianos - 04/11/08 11:29 AM

Last time I was in Orlando (couple of years ago), the Peabody had a Kawai grand in the basement that customers could play on (and another grand in the main lobby that we weren't allowed to play).

I travel a lot with my hubby on business, and I'd say that maybe 1/4 - 1/3 of the hotels we stay in had pianos in a public area (we stay at places like Hyatt, Radisson, Westin, etc.). Of that percentage, maybe half would let me play on them.

I always ask at the front desk if there is a piano available, even if I don't see one in the lobby. I figure the more people who ask for one, the more likely the management will consider buying one. \:\)
Posted by: justification

Re: hotels with practice pianos - 04/11/08 12:20 PM

Why am I having thoughts of Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman" or Michelle Pfeiffer in "The Fabulous Baker Boys"?

Not an Exotic Location, but the Best Western Ramkota in Casper Wyoming has a Yamaha in the lobby with a sign asking it not be played from 11:00 pm til 7:00am
Posted by: ftp

Re: hotels with practice pianos - 04/11/08 05:48 PM

Hotels should experiment with having digital pianos (keyboards w/headphones) available for guests (delivered to their rooms). It may be a differentiator or it may be something one could charge the equivalent of a movie fee for.

An enterprising retail shop could try offering a Marriott chain in a big city test digitals to see what the demand was. The end result for the retail firm could be the sale of one more digitals in each of the hotels. Alternatively this could be a market for used digitals.

Just a thought.

(edited for clarification)
Posted by: eromlignod

Re: hotels with practice pianos - 04/11/08 06:04 PM

I don't think it is a practical idea. It would have to be in a secluded area and would probably be poorly kept.

And the one in the lobby is for a professional to to entertain guests with cocktail music during certain events, not for you to work out your scales on. Most hotels don't want you playing their pianos. In fact most of them lock them up. Listening to you practice is not entertaining to the rest of the guests. The management has no way to know (or care) whether you will play anything that anyone would care to listen to. Pianos tend to be a magnet for kids, and every jackass who wants to bang out their rendition of Heart and Soul. As with many things in life, this is one where a few jerks have already ruined it for everyone else long ago.

Don
Kansas City
Posted by: Skip D

Re: hotels with practice pianos - 04/23/08 08:46 PM

Funny; had this same issue while traveling. Hotels with the best grands I found were in the Toronto area. The King Charles, Royal York and a couple of area Delta hotels all had large grands (most were Yamaha). I find that too many hotels in the U.S. these days either keep the piano near the front entrance where you can't get near them or worse; sitting "locked" with a clamp in the ballroom area. Always said if I owned a hotel I'd keep at least a Hamburg C for guests to enjoy in a kind of "music-sitting room". I was amazed recently to encounter a new Estonia Concert Grand with a player system in the atrium near the entrance to Somerset Mall in Troy Michigan. Would love to encountered in a quiet area of a hotel after a long day's journey!
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: hotels with practice pianos - 04/23/08 08:51 PM

We have rented pianos to hotels for high-end clients or concert artists for in-room practice.
Posted by: SilentMark

Re: hotels with practice pianos - 04/23/08 10:38 PM

Back when I was traveling, I made a quest of finding places to stay that had a piano to practice on. Here is list of places that I have stayed that have let me practice on their piano. I have had good luck with places close in to Universities and Colleges.

The Carolina Inn
211 Pittsboro Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
www.carolinainn.com

Kawai Grand (Very Well-Maintained)
(My favorite! Last stayed/played there March 2008. Watch out! The hinges on the lid are not attached, so keep the lid closed.)

---

O'Casey's Bed and Breakfast
225 West Craig Place
San Antonio, TX 78212
http://www.ocaseybnb.com

Older Grand - Tuned, in use and playable.
Being a small B&B, you need to exercise some common send in picking the times you play, the sound carries to the bedrooms. Piano is available during the day and early evening.

---

Charlotte Douglas International Airport
Charlotte, NC
Non-descript pracific rim grand.

Between flights, you can play a grand piano in the main lobby of the airport near the food court. Action is sluggish but you can make music with it. If no live band is using it. Great way to use the time waiting for a flight. I normally get a round of applause from the diners. Returning from a business trip, a few years back, I spent a memorable midnight to 1am improvising to a near deserted airport.
Posted by: SilentMark

Re: hotels with practice pianos - 04/23/08 11:16 PM

I, too, have looked for lists of places to stay that have pianos -- to no avail.

I think compiling a spreadsheet is a good start. But it might make sense over the long run to set up web site to collect and disseminate the
data. That way, we can distribute the effort over the community and get a better result.

I wonder if Piano World would be interesting in hosting a web application where registered piano world users could access and update a database of hotels with practice pianos. I imagine some web forms for entering data, some kind of search capability, and, possibly, links in to plot locations on Google Maps or Google Earth. Built-in version control would allow the user's to self-police the site in the spirit of wiki-based sites.

The result would be a community maintained and monitored directory of travel accommodations with serviceable practice piano's.
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: hotels with practice pianos - 04/24/08 09:28 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by SilentMark:
Charlotte Douglas International Airport
Charlotte, NC
Non-descript pracific rim grand.

Between flights, you can play a grand piano in the main lobby of the airport near the food court. Action is sluggish but you can make music with it. [/b]
I played that piano for an hour and a half about a year ago. At the time it had a broken F5 string... but it was still the best time I ever had waiting for a delayed flight. \:\)
Posted by: y__b

Re: hotels with practice pianos - 04/24/08 10:16 AM

At the Continental Hotel in Bucharest, Romania, there is a baby grand in the lobby. I'm sorry, I can't remember for certain but I believe it was an Ibach. It was a rainy day and they let me play for hours.
--
Bohemia 123A
Posted by: emmaj

Re: hotels with practice pianos - 04/30/08 08:38 AM

The landmark trust has a couple of properties with pianos - one is Robert Brownings old house in Florence and the other is the music room in England - not a particularly pretty town but a short drive from the lake district. They aren't hotels - but very special historical buildings - the music room in England is covered with ornate 18th century plasterwork.
Posted by: plays88skeys

Re: hotels with practice pianos - 04/30/08 09:43 AM

There's a nice Steinway L in an out of the way place at the Williamsburg Lodge that I have played before.

Also, the Vienna Hilton has a grand off to the side of it's main lobby area (near a bank of elevators) that I played for about an hour. It's Yamaha, which surprised me, considering the venue.
Posted by: Piano World

Re: hotels with practice pianos - 04/30/08 09:48 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Monica K.:
Last time I was in Orlando (couple of years ago), the Peabody had a Kawai grand in the basement that customers could play on (and another grand in the main lobby that we weren't allowed to play).

[/b]
Is that the one with the ducks?

I've stayed there, the piano in the lobby has a player system, but I managed to sneak in a few minutes playing before they chased me away (management, not the ducks).
Posted by: Piano World

Re: hotels with practice pianos - 04/30/08 09:54 AM

The Marriott Marquis in Times Square (NY, NY),
and the Renaissance (also in Times Square, other end) both have pianos in their lounge areas.

The one in the Marquis is easy enough to access, I had to ask permission at the Renaissance. They were reluctant until I told them about Piano World :-)
Posted by: Stanza

Re: hotels with practice pianos - 04/30/08 09:58 AM

I've been tempted by the Carolina Inn piano when going to dinner, but never played it.

Here at the UNC hospitals we have a small Boston grand in the main hospital lobby, and a Young Chang upright in the Childrens Hospital Lobby. Patients, visitors, and employees are invited to play. Also...there is a digital up in the employee recreation area. I guess you'd say we are pretty piano-friendly!
Posted by: FormerlyFlute

Re: hotels with practice pianos - 04/30/08 06:50 PM

The Ostella Hotel in Bastia, Corsica has a Hyundai grand in the bar, just off the lobby. I played it briefly and later in the evening I heard another guest playing for awhile.

The Woods Resort in Hedgesville, WV has a Kawaii upright in the bar. They let me in early in the morning to practice.

The Lodge in Blackwater State Park in WV has a Kimball (?)upright in an auditorium that I played when nothing was going on.

The Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center on the Michigan State U campus has a Clavinova in the lobby and in the halls around the conference rooms in the lower levels there are a couple of pianos that I plunked on.