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HNB: The Usual Rebrandings, Openings, Delays and Renovations

May 20, 2015 at 12:30 PM | by | Comment (1)

So much hotel news, so little time – here are a few snippets to keep you up to date with the latest news from around the world!

· Conrad Chicago, shown above, will cease to be a part of Hilton Hotels later this fall and will instead join Starwood's Luxury Collection group. No word yet on what the new name will be. [Source: Hotel News Resource]

· Fresh off opening their New York property, EDITION Hotels will open next year in Sanya, China; Thailand and Abu Dhabi with Shanghai and Times Square to happen in 2017 and West Hollywood in 2018. Paris has inexplicably dropped off the website although Edition folk say it is still happening. Also happening that's not yet listed? The Reijavkik Edition in Iceland. We cannot wait. [Source: Edition Hotels website]

· The 342-room JW Marriott Minneapolis, which will have direct access to the Mall of America, is set to open in November. However, the website is accepting reservations right now for stays from January 1, 2016 and beyond. [Source: JW Marriott Hotels]

· A tipster wrote into tell us that the W Retreat Kanai in Riviera Maya, Mexico, which last we heard was opening in July 2015, is now opening in January 2018, according to the W Hotels website. Yup, that seems about right for W Hotels. [Source: Tipster and W Hotels]

· After announcing a Hilton Garden Inn for Hawaii, Hilton is now going to install their DoubleTree by Hilton brand in the iconic Hilo Naniloa Hotel and Golf Club on the Big Island. The hotel is currently closed as it goes under a $16 million renovation. It should reopen as DoubleTree later this year. [Source: Pacific Business News]

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The New York Times and Financial Times Have Created a Digital Access Program for Hotels

May 20, 2015 at 10:58 AM | by | Comments (0)

The complimentary newspaper that used to come with a hotel stay has pretty much vanished, thanks to the advent of WiFi and smartphones But now, there's a way to get "all the news that's fit to print" when staying in a hotel, thanks to a new digital access program from the New York Times and Financial Times that launched today.

The first-of-its-kind offering will provide hotel guests in the U.S. with free unlimited access to more than 25 sections on the NYTimes.com and FT.com on any device that's connected to the hotel’s WiFi network. Currently, unlimited digital access to the NY Times is only available with a monthly subscription. Otherwise, users are restricted to 10 free articles a month.

“The New York Times has been available in select hotels for years, starting with the print newspaper and more recently with digital access,” Hannah Yang, executive director, Education and Corporate Marketing, The New York Times, said in a statement. “Teaming up with a premier brand like the FT enhances the guest experience, allowing them to explore and discover the vast amount of digital content available on FT.com and NYTimes.com, which normally require a subscription for full access.”

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The Goldgasse Hotel Is Alive with the Sound of Salzburg Tours

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  Site Where: Goldgasse 10, Salzburg, Austria, 5020
May 20, 2015 at 10:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

It’s been half a century since the hills were alive. Can you believe it? Neither can we.

What might perhaps help you believe it a little bit easier, though, is staying at the brand new Hotel Goldgasse in Salzburg and taking its private, tailor made Sound of Music location tour.

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How Much Would You Pay for a Hotel Breakfast?

May 20, 2015 at 9:25 AM | by | Comments (5)

When planning a trip to New York later this year, naturally we focused on which new hotels to stay at. Given how long we had to wait for 1 Hotels to open in South Beach, and how impressed we were with the result, we headed over to 1 Hotel Central Park to see what it would take to spend the night.

The answer? From $350-$400 a night and up for an Alcove Queen room. What stopped us dead in our tracks though was the price for breakfast in Jonathan Waxman’s restaurant: $70 per person. We then saw the headline “American breakfast for 2”, so perhaps it was $35 instead? But clicking through, adding two guests did push up our total by a $140. Wowza.

UPDATE 5.22.15: The hotel has told us the $70 price was a mistake. (See comment below.) Breakfast at Jonathan Waxman's restaurant is $35 per person. Phew!

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It's All Systems Go in Ibiza For Palladium Hotels

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  Site Where: Ibiza, Spain
May 20, 2015 at 8:58 AM | by | Comments (0)

Q: Just how many new hotels is it possible for one company on one tiny Mediterranean island to have in 2015?

A: Five, if you’re Spanish hotel group Palladium and we’re talking Ibiza. Here are all their adults-only renovations and reopenings for this season:

* The Fiesta Hotel Palmyra is reopening as the Palladium Hotel Palmyra (above). It’s now a 4 star superior, and is beachfront in San Antonio. Interiors have got a refresh, gardens have been added and there’s a new restaurant. It also gets a gym! (#notwhatyoucametoibizafor)

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Trouble in Paradise As There's Nowhere to Stay in Lanai This Summer [UPDATED]

May 20, 2015 at 8:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

UPDATE: A rep for the Four Seasons Resorts on Lanai has told us that while the hotels are closed for renovations, the island itself is still open for exploration. Guests can visit the shops, restaurants, a newly renovated movie theater as well as play on the Manele Golf Course. A Summer Golf Special will be offered starting on June 1, which includes 18-ocean-view holes, club rental, prix fixe lunch at VIEWS restaurant and transportation to and from the harbor for only $325. But the rooms are not available for overnight stays.

When we last left you on Lanai, the plan was for some serious renovation and refurbishment to take place at the island’s two main hotels— Four Seasons' two properties, the Lodge at Koele and Manele Bay. Well the time has come, so you'd better hit up Airbnb if you’re looking for accommodation on the Pineapple Isle. Because it's only going to get worse from here.

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Call 1-844-5OCLOCK to Make Your Margaritaville Hotel Reservations (Seriously)

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  Site Where: 1111 North Ocean Drive [map], Hollywood, FL, United States
May 19, 2015 at 7:07 PM | by | Comments (0)

Thirsty for a Margarita...ville hotel stay? Simply call 1-844-5OCLOCK to make your reservation at the brand new Margaritaville Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida, opening on October 1.

As we briefly mentioned in September, the beach resort inspired by singer Jimmy Buffett will have 349 rooms, 17 stories, a Margaritaville Landshark Bar & Grill, a License to Chill rooftop bar, the Lone Palm Bar and a 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar. There will also be a 15,000-sq.ft. St. Somewhere Spa and an "authentic 'no worries' tropical vibe" present throughout.

Here are some more details on what to expect after you get drunk and screw er, relax in your hotel room:

Each of the resort’s 349-rooms will evoke feelings of relaxation and paradise, with coastal-luxe décor. Business and leisure travelers alike will enjoy luxurious bedding with crisp all-white linens, teak-finished furnishings accompanied by subtle maritime accents, spacious walk-in rain showers, 42-inch LCD televisions and clocks with Bluetooth capabilities, ensuring maximum comfort and total relaxation.

Spacious walk-in rain showers with sea glass colored tile, teak vanities topped with vessel sinks and tropical bath potions (rendering above) will create a serene bath experience that is truly transporting. Attention to detail will be expressed in the thoughtfully selected features placed in every guestroom and suite, ensuring each guest enjoys a slice of paradise.

We're assuming cheeseburgers are definitely on the room service menu too.

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This Baby Gorilla Has Never Looked Cuter, Thanks to a Hilton Hotel

May 19, 2015 at 5:26 PM | by | Comments (0)

What's better than a photo of a baby gorilla? A photo of a baby gorilla playing on linens donated by a hotel to a local zoo.

That's exactly what the Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center has done for the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. Above is toddler gorilla, Nayembi, playing on a blanket donated by the hotel to the zoo for the western lowland gorilla exhibit. The momma gorillas at the zoo use the blankets as nesting materials, while the toddler gorillas use them for playing, which keep them stimulated and active.

But these aren't old discarded linens. These are the same table linens and blankets that hotel guests use. Nothing but the finest for baby gorillas!

We reached out to the Hilton's director of sales and marketing, Nathan Karsten, and asked him about how this donation effort came about. Here's what he told us:

"We work with our local humane societies, and based on the amount we had to donate we knew we needed a larger organization, said Karsten. "We reached out to the zoo to see if there was an interest and there sure was. Again, we are just so happy to help out."

And we are just so happy to keep looking at this photo. Thanks, Hilton!

[Photo: LP Zoo]

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'The End of The Hotel Room' is Here With ZOKU Hotels

May 19, 2015 at 3:27 PM | by | Comments (4)

In a time when the behemoth hotel operators are launching new brands to target millennials, (see Moxy, Hyatt Centric, Canopy, Radisson Red, Vib, Venu etc.) one hotelier is thinking outside the box in an effort to disrupt the home-office concept.

ZOKU, a new hotel brand created by ex-CitizenM founder Hans Meyer and co-founder Marc Jongerius, is ready to shake up the hotel industry yet again with a revolutionary new concept which shifts the focus from the bed to the living and work space.

The ZOKU loft hotel room revolves around a central feature which will be a four-person table that can be used to work, dine and entertain, or just hang out. The interiors will be customizable in addition to a retractable staircase, a lounge area, a kitchen and a funky yet functional storage area. While the concept caters more to long-stay guests, visitors can stay anywhere from one night to three months.

All ZOKUs will have an open-plan communal living and co-working spaces to highlight and encourage interaction and networking. Additional features include free and fast WiFi (Thank God!) and a 32-inch LED TV with BYOC (Bring Your Own Content!) The concept replaces the traditional hotel staff with Sidekicks, employees who are globally centered yet rooted in the local scene. They connect guests to any and all services, which range from housekeeping, bike rentals, laundry, and meeting room services.

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Le Bristol Paris Is So Cool, It Has Modern Art as Well as Cats

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  Site Where: 112, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Paris, France, 75008
May 19, 2015 at 10:33 AM | by | Comments (0)

The mirror screen behind the bar

Some grande dame hotels are stuck in the past. Not Le Bristol in Paris, though – instead of old masters on the lobby walls, it’s getting contemporary art on a video screen in the bar.

This is, of course, the hotel that has two delectable cats so it's no ordinary grande dame. Le Bristol has recently teamed up with the Piasa auction house, just down the road. From now until the end of the month, the giant mirror-slash-screen in Le Bar du Bristol will show SPIRIT: a showcase of modern works selected by Piasa’s Timothée Chaillou and artist and curator Mathieu Mercier.

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Soho Farmhouse Will Now Open August, Though We're Hoping July

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  Site Where: Great Tew, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
May 19, 2015 at 9:28 AM | by | Comments (0)

The time is nigh: Soho Farmhouse is nearly upon us. We now have a website, new renderings, and a few more juicy details.

That’s the good news. The bad: Opening has been pushed back to August.

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The Only Thing Better Than a Safari Might Just Be a Spa Safari

May 19, 2015 at 9:00 AM | by | Comments (0)

The view from your bale

Safaris and spas – two hotel-related things that we either love (the latter) or know we would love (the former). So we’re all over the Spa Safari that Nihiwatu on Sumba - an island in the Indian Ocean 250 miles south-east of Bali, and an hour’s flight from Denpasar – will launch next month.

It’ll take an entire day, the spa safari, crossing the island to Nihi Oka, a clifftop bale (traditional open air pavilion) overlooking the ocean below. You can get there either by foot (90 minutes) or – the luxury option – by car. Because why would you work up a sweat when you’re about to get slathered in fine oils?

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