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Ocean Terrace Inn in St. Kitts Back in Business After Year-Long Renovation

April 21, 2015 at 4:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

The Ocean Terrace Inn in St. Kitts, located in the capital city of Basseterre, has officially reopened its doors following a major renovation during a one-year hiatus. It began taking guests earlier this month. Closed in April 2014 for the rebranding, the 50-room property is the oldest boutique hotel in St. Kitts and its sister island Nevis.

Its Facebook page categorizes the opening as a “soft launch” and announces that some projects are ongoing (love the candidness, as opposed to, say, this bungled rebranding launch).

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Equinox is Getting Pumped for Their Own Line of Hotels

April 21, 2015 at 2:29 PM | by | Comments (0)

It was only a matter of time. After the launch of Even Hotels, an entire hotel brand built around fitness and wellness, now comes a hotel brand that's actually built around an existing chain of fitness centers.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Equinox will open its first Equinox Hotel in 2018 in NYC at the Hudson Yards development. It will be designed by hotel designers du jour, Yabu Pushelberg, and will have indoor and outdoor swimming pools along with the world's largest Equinox fitness center, at 60,000-sq.ft. An Equinox Hotel is also expected to open in Los Angeles in 2019 and Equinox hopes to open around 75 hotels worldwide.

And so far, the model is pretty simple--build a hotel around a high-end gym with the latest in fitness technology. Which is great, if you're into that sort of thing. #roomservicecheeseburgersforlife

[Photo: Equinox/Facebook]

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Amazon is Now Taking Your Hotel Bookings

April 21, 2015 at 1:48 PM | by | Comments (2)

As we learned back in November, Amazon.com is getting into the hotel booking business with their new Amazon Destinations service, which is a part of the existing Amazon Local service.

What's different about this site from other booking sites is that Amazon Destinations pulls in destinations near you that are easy to reach by car. So when we went to Amazon Destinations, it showed us places for weekend trips near Los Angeles like Palm Springs and Santa Yznez. Amazingly, there was very little Vegas on the landing page, which is usually every booking site's go-to discount destination, especially for Southern California folks.

However, when we clicked the "Santa Barbara, Solvang, Buellton" section, all that popped up were tiny inns in Santa Barbara. Nothing in Solvang. Nothing in Buellton. And no branded hotels of any kinds.

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As Baha Mar is Delayed Again Until July, Can They Recover From This Epic Opening Fail?

April 21, 2015 at 12:40 PM | by | Comments (3)

Yesterday our Chairman & CEO visited the reservations team to personally thank them for all their hard work over the last weeks. We second that notion! #oneteamonedream

Posted by Baha Mar on Thursday, April 9, 2015

An exclusive HotelChatter Long Read by John Buchanan

Last December, we awarded the Baha Mar Resort our decidedly un-coveted "Worst Hotel Hype of the Year" award after it quietly postponed its ferociously-promoted original opening date.

Shortly after that, Baha Mar insiders told us the resort would actually open on March 27. Progress! Except after three months of non-stop marketing and advertising hype about the new "Bahamian Riviera", across traditional and digital media--along with a special Grand Opening offer that included a $100 resort credit--Baha Mar delayed its opening again to May in a most spectacular way--by announcing the delay on Facebook two days before the scheduled opening.

Would-be guests flooded the Bahamian megaresort’s Facebook page with questions about their existing room reservations and plane tickets. A few even said they had no idea about the delay until they saw the Facebook post. Several seriously unlucky folks had less than 48-hours notice before leaving for the Bahamas.

We’ve not seen a mob mentality rage of this kind toward a hotel before. Indeed, angry customers are still leaving comments on the resort’s Facebook page, asking about their upcoming reservations for May.

After canceling its official grand opening weekend for May 5-7, and moving its general opening date yet again, Baha Mar is now accepting reservations for July 1-3, seven months after the initial December opening date. (And no, there was no official update on social media from the resort about the May opening being moved as well.)

To be fair, delays are to be expected when building new hotels, especially one as big as the $3.5 billion, China-funded Baha Mar resort which will have a flagship hotel and casino, two luxury hotels (Rosewood and SLS Lux) and a Grand Hyatt. But it is one thing to delay your hotel’s opening date before you’ve begun accepting reservations. It is another thing entirely to delay your opening just two days before the expected date without notifying your existing reservation holders.

One can only wonder--Will Baha Mar ever recover from this very public embarrassing setback? Will guests want to take a chance on booking a room for July? Will travel media, travel agents, meeting and events planners and other businesses believe Baha Mar when they announce their next opening date?

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Radisson Will Really Paint the Town Red When It Debuts in Cape Town Next Year

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: South Africa
April 21, 2015 at 10:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

Radisson Red, Carlson Rezidor’s electrifying new lifestyle brand, has big expansion plans, even though we’re still waiting for the first one to open.

Since the first signing in China last October (Radisson Red Shenyang Hunan, due to open in 2016,) Rad Red is also seeking a noticeable presence – guess that goes without saying - in India (a market as hot as the color red), the Americas, Europe and Middle East. Word is out that late next year we'll see the brand’s debut in South Africa, with the opening of Radisson Red Hotel V&A Waterfront.

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Not Everyone is Pleased About the 'Ugly' Standard London

Where: Argyle Street, London, United Kingdom
April 21, 2015 at 9:18 AM | by | Comments (0)

We may be in ecstasy over the arrival of a Standard London, but the neighbors are not so keen. The Camden New Journal reports that the hotel will be a “blot” on the landscape, according to a rather well known local resident.

Lord Fink, fomer Tory party treasurer, who lives in the glorious conversion of St Pancras, is objecting to the rooftop extension to the communist-style Brutalist former council offices. It was already ugly, he reckons, and locals were silently hoping it might be demolished; but the plans for the Standard have shocked him:

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The Nautilus South Beach Finally Fixes a July Opening Date

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1825 Collins Ave, Miami, United States
April 21, 2015 at 8:54 AM | by | Comment (1)

The lights were on but nobody was home the last time we checked in on the Nautilus South Beach, Sixty Hotels’ refurbishment of the iconic Morris Lapidus property in Miami.

But now it's time to start planning a sweltering summer break in Miami, because reservations are now open for July 6.

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Patina Singapore is Nearly Ready for Your 24-Hour Stay

April 21, 2015 at 8:34 AM | by | Comments (2)

It feels like we’ve already waited too long for the 24-hour stays, possible calligraphy classes and six full stars of the Patina Singapore, but the wait is nearly over – because they’ve now set August 1 as the opening date.

At least, that’s what they say on the Leading Hotels of the World website (there’s still no info on Patina Hotels’ own site). But should you try to book, you’ll find reservations are only open from September 1. Perhaps they’re hoping to open up the August rooms nearer the time. Perhaps they’re playing it safe. Or perhaps they enjoy making us wait longer.

Either way, there’s a nice surprise – a really nice surprise – with the rates.

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The Landsby, a New Landing Spot for Wine (and Danish) Enthusiasts in Solvang

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1576 Misson Drive [map], Solvang, CA, United States, 93463
April 20, 2015 at 2:32 PM | by | Comments (0)

The quirky Danish-themed village of Solvang, California was made extremely popular by the movie, "Sideways" but visitors have long come to the town because of its proximity from Los Angeles (about two hours away) to the wineries of Santa Ynez valley. Oh and let's not forget Solvang's excellent Danish pastries, especially the aebelskievers.

The hotel scene in the town is mostly small independent spots that are often wine-inspired, like the Wine Valley Inn and the more upscale Hotel Corque or old world Danish-themed like the King Frederik Inn or the Viking Motel. (There's also a neighboring casino/resort, Chumash.) But the newcomer on the scene, The Landsby is paying homage to the town's Danish roots in a more contemproary way.

Opening on April 23, The Landsby is a 41-room boutique hotel that's been completely renovated from its old days as a "The Petersen Village Inn." (Landsby actually means "village in Danish.) The guestrooms at the hotel are bright and happy with a residential feel but most importantly, the decor is more in line with what you'd find in Denmark today, not 500 years ago.

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Hyatt Centric Chicago Will Open This Weekend (South Beach Coming Up Soon, Too)

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 100 Monroe St. [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60603
April 20, 2015 at 12:55 PM | by | Comments (0)

That was crazy fast.

After Hyatt Hotels announced Hyatt Centric Hotels, their new millennial brand in late January, they will now open their first Centric hotel on Sunday--Hyatt Centric Chicago The Loop on Monroe Street.

Rooms are available to book for April 26 for $229 a night. That's for a 300-sq.ft. king room with modern minimalist decor in warm colors (Notice the "floating" cabinet.) The room rate includes complimentary in-room coffee and WiFi. Other top amenities include the Hyatt Grand beds, a 40" TV, iPod docking station and windows that open.

Downstairs the hotel will have a restaurant from Chef Roland Liccioni called Cochon Volant Bakery, Brasserie and Bar, which as the name reveals is an all-day spot serving "gourmet cheeses, fresh baked goods, fruits, organic juices, to-go foods and wines imported from France." The hotel's lobby also features a interesting "statement" piece behind the front desk from local South Loop artist Francine Turk.

In short, the place looks very cosmopolitan and chic, almost like Park Hyatt-lite.

But that's not all on the Hyatt Centric front.

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Ace Hotels Eyeing Toronto Next

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 51 Camden Street, Toronto, ON, Canada
April 20, 2015 at 11:00 AM | by | Comments (0)

After Pittsburgh (opening this summer), Chicago, a second spot in NYC and possibly Nashville, Toronto will be the next city to get an Ace Hotel.

Shinan Govani of Hello! Magazine in Canada reports that the hotel brand just signed a deal for 51 Camden Street in Downtown Toronto. The hotel will have 130 rooms and it will be "built-to-suit" which is a bit different from the Ace's usual modus operandi of rehabbing historic buildings.

Govani also reports that the Ace has partnered up with Carbon Hospitality in Toronto with Shim-Sutcliffe Architects overseeing the design. If all goes well, the hotel should open in 2018, probably in time for that year's Toronto Film Festival. We're excited but in a totally cool, calm and "whatever works" Ace kind of way.

[Photo of Ace London: Juliana/HotelChatter]

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When in Rome, at Aperitivo Hour, Come to the Hotel Corner

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Viale Aventino, Rome, Italy
April 20, 2015 at 9:36 AM | by | Comments (0)

One concept that’s huge in Rome: the aperitivo hour, between around 5-8pm, when bars serve platters of free food (sfizi) alongside spritzes and proseccos.

One concept that’s not huge in Rome: the hotel bar. Why go to a boring hotel bar when you could sit with the beautiful people in Piazza di Pietra?

But when in Rome, you don’t always have to, you know – at least not at the Hotel Corner, slightly out of the centre, between the Circus Maximus and Piramide.

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