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Westin Runs For Sandy, Sandals Chases Grenada, And Other Hotel News

November 14, 2012 at 2:46 PM | by | ()

There's tons of hotel news flying around and we don't have time to give each and every story the love and attention it may deserve, so you will have to settle for some news briefs.

Tomorrow morning Westin Hotels is having a 5K run in New York to celebrate the launch of their exclusive New Balance gear lending program. Both Westin, New Balance associates (and now Top Chef-host, Padma Lakshmi) will run to benefit Soles4Souls, an organization that provides shoes to adults and children around the world. A majority of the donations will support Hurricane Sandy victims. The run starts and ends at the new Westin New York Grand Central where there will also be a Soles4Souls donation station the public can drop off gently used or new footwear throughout the day. After the run, Westin and New Balance will donate more than 15,000 pairs of shoes to Soles4Souls. For more info, visit westinnewbalance.com

Sandals Resorts International has purchased Grenada’s all-inclusive LaSource Resort for an undisclosed sum. This is the brand’s first property in the country. The hotel will be renamed Sandals LaSource Grenada Resort & Spa, and will add 100 more guest rooms to its current space for a total of 200 private cottages and bungalows. Many of these will be concierge- and butler-level suites, as is common in the Sandals brand, and also the famous octagonal-shaped Rondoval suites. We wonder if Sandals will keep LaSource’s former amenity of one free spa treatment a day. Sure it was only a 25-minute teaser, but it was something. A part of us believes they’ll be cut, but we’ve been pleasantly surprised before.

AKA, a luxury brand of full-furnished extended-stay residences has opened an outpost in Los Angeles. The new AKA Beverly Hills, made up of 88 stylish and spacious one- and two-bedroom suites ranging from 815 to 1,810 square feet. Plus, it’s in a prime location, just a few blocks from Rodeo Drive on Wilshire Boulevard. AKA says its clientele is made up celebrities, upscale consumers and affluent international travelers who need to be in town for at least 30 days and want a home away from home. Therefore, they gravitate to these suites with full kitchens, separate living rooms, and bathrooms with Bulgari amenities. A fitness center is in the works. The Beverly Hills branch now makes the brand’s ninth property (the last was the AKA West End in London). The plan is to add six-to-ten more properties around the world in the next three-to-five years. Rates begin at $325 per night for suites, based on a 30-day stay.

The Shangri-La company will open two hotels in Doha, Qatar in 2013-the Shangri-La Hotel, Doha, as well as a Traders Hotel. The five-star Shangri-La will be centrally located in Doha’s city center next to shopping and entertainment complex, and the more affordable 238-room Traders, which appeals to business and leisure travelers, will be close by.

Oahu’s Aqua Hotels & Resorts and the Island Colony Hotel have joined together to create one sleek new 110-room Waikiki property called the Aqua Skyline at Island Colony. Located in Waikiki’s tallest building, it’s just two blocks from the beach and steps from the areas shopping, restaurants, and nightlife. The hotel’s $6 million renovation included refurbished guest rooms that now have a contemporary green and silver design as well as flat-screen TVs, overhauled bathrooms and kitchenettes, and upgraded bedding and linens. The pool and hot tub has been refurbished and there’s a wealth of other improvements coming by February including new barbecue grills, renovations to the common areas, a new fitness center, and two restaurants.

As it starts getting chilly in North America, people start making plans to head south, and Argentina is certainly of interest, especially Algodon Mansion in Buenos Aires now that it’s opened the opulent Veuve Clicquot Lounge in partnership with the Champagne company. Located inside the Frank’s Cognac Bar on the first floor of the Relais & Chateaux hotel (the only one in the city), it will be the scene for the monthly "Dandy Night" party, where we’re sure well-dressed Argentinians will arrive in droves. Not there during that special night? No worries, you can still get your bubbly on any day, and then head up to the scenic rooftop, where the tented Davidoff Cigar lounge awaits.

[Photos:Sandals Resorts International/AKA Hotels/Aqua Resorts]

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