FL Travel Guide
South Florida is not short on golf resorts with championship golf courses, but only the Trump National Doral outside of Miami has bragging rights to the new Jack Nicklaus Villas, a collection of 172 guest rooms and suites with views of the resort's famed "Blue Monster" golf course which Nicklaus frequently played, and won.
The villas, a part of the $250 million renovation Trump has done on the property, were designed by architects WATG with interiors by Ivanka Trump who went with her usual elegant palette of ivory and champagne with a bit of caramel mixed in. Mahogany wood and gold leaf Spanish revival details were also added and each room features photos and mementos of Nicklaus' career.
In short, it feels more like a Trump Hotel than a themed-golf suite and that's a good thing. If you've had a bad back nine, the last thing you want to see when you get back is more reminders of your crappy play.
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UPDATE: A Hyatt Centric South Beach reps says the hotel will open in April but that the "spring inventory" has not been released yet. The hotel is working on a special opening package which they will release next week. Once we have those details, we will let you know how you can book a stay in April. Stay tuned.
The other week, we had an operative on the ground in South Beach who cruised by the forthcoming Hyatt Centric South Beach to check on the construction progress. Our operative's conclusion? April was going to be a tough opening date to make. And they were right.
Hyatt Centric South Beach, one of the first hotels of the new Hyatt Centric millennial-friendly brands to open, is now taking reservations from JUNE 1.
We found a room on that date for $239 a night for a 300-sq.ft. king bed with complimentary WiFi, 47" flatscreen HDTV, a tea and coffemaker, a minibar, an oversized desk with ergonomic chair and a Hyatt Plug Panel for all your gadget hookups.
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When a hotel decides to redo its rooms, it's called a renovation. When a Hard Rock Hotel decides to redo its rooms, it's called a "remaster." Such is the case with the 650 rooms at the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando.
Above is how the property looked before it got remastered. Very old-school, old rocker kind of style. Below are more shots of the room in 2011, pre-renovation.
Keep reading to see what therooms look like after a complete renovation. (Hint: if you're a millennial, or a teenage girl, you'll probably dig it!)
These guys (Jason Pomeranc, Stephen Brandman and Pomeranc's two brothers) have been hard at work on transforming former Thompson hotels into sleek Sixty Hotels (you can read about one such transformation here) which may explain why there's a delay on the opening of Nautilus. Then again, several big name Thompson Hotels often failed to make their opening dates as well. #oldhabits
The hotel was set to open by the end of 2014, but now the date is simply "spring" and we're not sure if that means March, April or (gasp) May.
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But just how close will the one in South Beach, come to hitting its targeted open date?
We swung by the construction site on the corner of Collins Avenue and 16th Street the other morning to take a look. As if the company had been stirred into action by our coverage, the site was abuzz with activity. Detour signs were set up in front a massive hole in the road on 16th Street and construction workers tinkered away on the exterior of the building at multiple levels.
That's all a good sign, for sure. But--and you can call us jaded if you like--we're not convinced this means that the hotel will be finished by April.
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Remember the other day when we gave you the lowdown on the high season hotel happenings in Miami? Well, there's already been a change to the list. A BIG ONE. Sit down for it. Or at least stop glancing at Facebook while you read this important news.
The expected Hyatt South Beach at 16th Street and Collins Avenue will actually open as the Hyatt Centric South Beach, making it the very first Hyatt Centric hotel to open. If you aren't familiar with Hyatt Centric, you can read all about that here. In short, it's a hotel for millennials.
Since the name change was pretty sudden (or at least we think it was), the hotel's layout has not changed much since its initial description. But here's what you can expect from the 105-room hotel:
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These beach chairs won't be empty for long.
It is officially high season in Miami, not just for visitors but for new hotels.
We are only weeks away from the start of several major hotels opening in Miami such as 1 Hotels (now opening March 13), Element Miami Doral (March 5), Aloft South Beach (which has been delayed until April 16), AC Hotels by Marriott (April), Hyatt South Beach, the Washington Park Hotel and Nautilus, a Sixty Hotel.
But there are even more hotels coming to Miami (in fact, Miami has the 4th highest number of hotel rooms under construction, according to the a recent occupancy report.) We've heard that a Generators Hotel/Hostel concept will be announced soon in Miami.
Meanwhile, an NY-based developer, Sonny Bazbaz, who had a hand in developing The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, is hoping to open a mixed-used project in the Wynwood Arts District that will have 79 hotel rooms.
Miami. Remember when it used to be "God's Waiting Room?" Or perhaps more relevant for the pop culture obsessed--the place where "Golden Girls" was filmed (and where the girls once ran their own hotel?) No longer.
We've just got the official opening date for one of the several anticipated openings of 2015--the upcoming 150-room AC Hotels by Marriott Miami Beach.
Opening in April, the hotel will be the third AC Hotel for the U.S., after New Orleans and Kansas City, which opens next month. So far it looks like it will have all the same amenities as the AC New Orleans--from the AC Lounge to the AC Kitchen to the free WiFi. However, it will be the sexiest AC thanks to its rooftop pool. Not to mention, the beach is across the street. #bringyourflipflops
If you're slacking on your New Years Resolution to eat well, stay fit and be of sound mind, don't head to the Canyon Ranch Miami Beach to help you maintain your fitness goals.
The Real Deal reports that the Canyon Ranch franchise will be shed like water weight, thanks to the soon-to-be new owners, Z Capital Partners, who are expected to finalize a deal for the property this week. The new name for the property, which is a mix of residences, guest rooms and fitness facilities will go by...The Carillon Hotel & Spa. Eh. Apparently, it's a throwback name.
Here are the nitty gritty details on the deal as reported by The Real Deal:
There's a reason why you should spend a little extra for a room with a view at the Four Seasons Orlando at Disney World, and it's because you won't just get one killer view, you'll get a few different killer views.
Here are just three perspectives we snapped during a recent stay in November in a Park View King Room:
1. EPCOT: If you crane your head to the left from your private balcony, you'll see the iconic golf ball shape of EPCOT.
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Pop singer and royal wedding entertainer, Ellie Goulding, recently wrapped up a stay at the new Miami Beach Edition and like most jet setting travelers, took to Instagram to show off a snapshot. But while she definitely enjoyed herself, she had a burning question--what is that smell in the lobby?
When we were there in November, we didn't really smell anything in particular, except maybe the goodness wafting out of Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Market. However, we do know that Edition carries custom-created, faintly masculine scented Le Labo toiletries in their guest rooms. So perhaps it was a variation of that? Eh, we still think it was coming from the Market. That place is gooood.
It seems like the tony beach towns found along the nearly 30-mile stretch of scenic Highway 30-A in Northwestern Florida’s Walton County are a sort of well-kept secret. Outside of Florida and select southern states like Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi, this area doesn’t seem to be on the radar of many travelers, especially those from the East Coast.
But it should be.
Gleaming white sand beaches -- better than those in many Caribbean destinations -- and coastal dune lakes are a beautiful setting for the hip towns they occupy. In areas like Rosemary Beach, Watercolor and Seaside, funky beach bars, oceanfront eateries and cool boutiques dot the coastline. A bike path runs along 30-A, and for many visitors biking is the main mode of transportation.
Gorgeous beach houses are available for rent by the week, but if you prefer a hotel or your visit will be a short one, these are three favorites: