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The Former Yankee Clipper, Now B Ocean Resort, Gets a 2016 Upgrade

July 28, 2015 at 9:38 AM | by | ()

It seems like just yesterday we were playing Guess The Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, but fast-forward five years and we’re back—and we’re talking yet another renovation. The ship-shaped hotel formerly known as The Yankee Clipper has been doing its things in Fort Lauderdale for years and years, and after a stint as a Sheraton it has been turned over and turned into the B Ocean Resort.

Upgrades and improvements are scheduled to wrap up early next year, so all those spring breakers will be able to check things out during their ins and outs of sobriety. The Sun Sentinel has all the details, but it sounds like new colors and fun furnishings are just part of the plans.

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Heckfield Place Can't Catch a Break, Won't Open Before 2016

July 28, 2015 at 8:41 AM | by | ()

Alright then, you've heard the news but don't be too sad. We're still publishing until Friday.

If you’re familiar with the story of Heckfield Place, you know it’s been a long one: announced in 2011 for an April 2012 opening, the Grade-II listed country house 40 minutes outside of London was meant to outclass and out-luxe competition like Dorchester Collection’s Coworth Park and the Four Seasons Hampshire.

Years of construction delays resulted in the GM (from the May Fair) and chef (from Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park) leaving before the hotel ever had a guest come through its doors. Towards the end of last year, opening was going to “definitely” be spring 2015, which the single-page placeholder website proudly listed. We noticed a few months ago that the “spring” had been removed for a more vague “2015”, but even that was not to be: we just saw that opening has been pushed back to 2016.

That’s getting very near to four years behind plan, which we cannot imagine to be anything but rather painful for everyone involved. When the hotel does open, it should have 46 bedrooms and suites, along with three restaurants, a cinema, spa and fitness complex in a refurbished gardener’s cottage including pool and indoor and outdoor Jacuzzi.

[Photo via Google]

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Which Belgian Hotel Has Two Gyms Instead of Chocolate Amenities?

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Avenue Louise 71, Brussels, Belgium, 1050
July 27, 2015 at 4:05 PM | by | ()

Hotel gyms. One is normally enough - in fact, sometimes we don’t even get one. But two? Two is definitely out of the ordinary.

The photo above (cropped to avoid showing sweaty guests) is the normal hotel gym at the Wiltcher’s, a Steigenberger Hotel and one of Brussels’ grande dame properties. On the second floor, it’s a decent place with Technogym equipment and a good selection of machines.

But it’s not a patch on this one:

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Tommie Hudson Square Delays Until February 2016

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 231 Hudson Street, New York, United States
July 27, 2015 at 1:31 PM | by | ()

Alright then, you've heard the news but don't be too sad. We're still publishing until Friday.

The delays keep rolling in for Manhattan: we’ve told you the SLS New York won’t be happening before early next year, the 1 Hotel Central Park will most likely be August, not July (at least that’s still very soon), and now tommie Hudson Square rains on our parade by pushing back its reservations to February 1, 2016.

If you’re keeping track, that’s quite a difference with the October 1 date it started out with back in March, when it gave us a bunch of photos along with the ability to book a room – and the suggestion that “summer” would even be possible. Alas, it is not to be.

When we look at rates during the depth of winter, a “Twin Stack” with bunk beds starts at $249 a night before taxes. $10 more gets you an Urban Queen with a courtyard view, while an Alcove King with City View comes in at $299. When it opens, tommie will have Harold’s Meat & Three American Eatery, a lobby bar and courtyard, as well as a rooftop and a “24-hour General Store”.

Based on what we’ve heard, and the fact that reservations still aren’t live on its website, we don’t think The Renwick New York (sister hotel to The Gregory) will make its summer opening either – it’ll more likely be September or October before you can start penning that novel or work on those in-room easels.

[Photo: Tommie Hotels]

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Check-Out Folio: It's July, So Please Keep Your Christmas Cheer in Check

July 24, 2015 at 9:05 PM | by | ()

It's our weekly wrap-up, Check-Out Folio where we round up the best (Credits in folio-speak) and worst (Charges) hotel news of the week. Got a scoop? Or just want to share a recent hotel story? Tell us all about it!

CREDITS
· ROSEWOOD + NOUVEL + STARCK = THE HOTTEST NEW HOTEL PLANNED FOR SAO PAULO #takeustherenow

· THE ZETTER TOWNHOUSE MARYLEBONE IS ALMOST READY.

· THE WAY TO OUR HEARTS IS WITH A SANDWICH

· ALSO: Hello Kitty Room Service. Because. That's why. Because

CHARGES
· WTF? THIS HOTEL DENIED THIS WOMAN A ROOM BECAUSE SHE WAS ROMANIAN.

· WE CAN'T EVEN. GAYLORD HOTELS IS BREAKING OUT THE XMAS DECOR.

· BAHA MAR IS, LIKE, THE WORST THING THAT'S EVER HAPPENED IN THE HISTORY OF HOTEL DEVELOPMENT. SERIOUSLY.

· ALSO: Kimpton's union struggles in San Fran are a little too real right now.

[Photo: Gaylord Hotels]

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It's National Tequila Day: Time to Get Your Drink On!

July 24, 2015 at 8:46 PM | by | ()

Salud! Today is National Tequila Day and we recommend heading to your favorite hotel bar after work to celebrate. To get you in the mood, here are several yummy hotel-based tequila cocktails plus a recipe if you want to party at home.

Chef’s Medicine at RED, the Steak House, Miami Beach, FL: Located in the iconic ‘South of Fifth’ neighborhood, Red, the Steakhouse’s expert mixologists will honor National Tequila Day by pouring handmade tequila creations like the zesty Chef’s Medicine cocktail: blended with Don Julio 1942, Grand Marnier Cuvee 100, pineapple, fresh citrus and a cinnamon rim.

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Inside Princess Cruises' Two Denali Lodges

July 24, 2015 at 3:00 PM | by | ()

Relaxing and enjoying the view at Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge

In an effort to broaden the stay and experience of cruising in Alaska, Princess Cruises owns and operates five wilderness lodges throughout the state. The properties are constructed to accommodate large groups of tourists traveling before or after their cruise. In this way, they are not built for someone looking for a rustic stay in the wilderness. They are outfitted and able to accommodate families and groups, and with that comes lots of tour buses, long lines, and crowded common areas.

Princess has two lodges in the vicinity of Denali National Park, each with its own unique location and resulting benefits. During a recent visit to the Park prior to a cruise, I spent nights at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge and the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, transferring between Anchorage and the Park scenically and effortlessly via Princess' own luxury rail cars.

That last part is one of main reasons the lodges are so popular: A visit is extremely turnkey. Not only can you arrange transport through Princess, a stay is much like being on a cruise in that the lodges allow you to book excursions through them, providing ample and easy opportunities to explore the Last Frontier. The properties might lack true character because of the reality of their scope and size, but they are without question beautiful thanks to their location in the Alaskan wilderness.

With those things said and understood, I feel comfortable explaining that they are great options for general travelers who want to get a taste of the Alaskan wilderness before or after their cruise without taking on risk or doing a lot of planning. Below, we take a brief look inside them.

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Kids & Dogs Can Enjoy Miami Spa Month at The Betsy Hotel

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1440 Ocean Drive [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
July 24, 2015 at 11:50 AM | by | ()

It's Miami Spa Month through the end of August (yes, it's technically two months long), which means it's easier to upgrade your Miami hotel stay with a little pampering. Most treatments on the Spa Month menu are $99 (plus tax and gratuity), with some higher-end services at $129.

One South Beach hotel in particular has extended its spa month specials to the entire family, with treatments for kids and even pups available. The Betsy South Beach, the nicest hotel located right on Ocean Drive, welcomes guests with little ones and four-legged friends to its Zen-like Betsy Wellness Garden, Miami’s only open air rooftop spa, to try one of these custom treatments.

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One&Only Has Launched Its First Ever Fashion Label

July 24, 2015 at 10:30 AM | by | ()

Mirage kaftan, $250

Last week it was bikinis at the W Barcelona. This week it’s something a little less outre - One&Only have just launched their own fashion label.

Because a One&Only guest is a slightly less let-it-all-hang-out guest than a W guest, this stuff is pretty low key, or “understated glamor” as they call it. Kaftans, dresses, shorts and shirts form the collection - all white, embroidered to bring to mind the hotel brand and its different locations (in fact, the pieces are named for the hotels).

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Le Méridien 'San Francisco Treats' Itself to $12 Million Renovation

July 24, 2015 at 9:25 AM | by | ()

Your next stay in San Francisco just got that much better, as there’s one Starwood property throwing open the doors on its latest renovation and remodel.

All in all there’s been $12 million spent on Le Méridien San Francisco, and the place is ready to show off its stuff right in the middle of the city’s Financial District. For those keeping score at home, there are 360 rooms to checkout and of those 80 are sweet suites.

New stuff includes the brand’s signature Le Méridien Hub—think of it as way more than just the lobby, as they spin things into something that operates as coffee shop by day and lounge by night. There are subtle touches in this space reflecting the streets of the city, and even the carpet shows off a little local love. Even the event space and meeting spots have been improved, so if you’re looking for 12,500 square feet of space for your next soiree this place has you covered.

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Rosewood Teams Up With Nouvel and Starck for São Paulo Hotel

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Cidade Matarazzo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
July 24, 2015 at 9:05 AM | by | ()

Rosewood Hotels is serious when it comes to having 50 hotels by 2020: we heard about Montecito and Puebla, we know about Bangkok, Jakarta and Bali, then there is of course Paris, and possibly Amsterdam.

Today it is the addition of its first hotel for South America, where the group is picking Brazil as its entry point. Rosewood São Paulo will open in 2018 in Cidade Matarazzo, a landmark building from the early 20th century that was once a maternity hospital. Big names that will put their name on the project are architect Jean Nouvel and designer Philippe Starck, along with Brazilian artists Beatriz Milhazes and Saint-Clare Cemin.

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Here's How to Get a Date with an Elephant in Thailand

July 24, 2015 at 8:30 AM | by | ()

Do you have trouble forming relationships? Have you ever experienced love at first sight? Do you go for a bigger frame?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’ll be into the new package that just launched at Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort in Chiang Rai. As you’ll see from the name, elephants at this property are nothing new; but the Walking with Giants experience promises a real connection with the leather-skinned object of your affections.

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