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Hotel Openings / Andaz Hotels / Hotel Rebrandings / Napa Hotels / Avia Hotels / Wine Country Hotels / → All Tags
The outdoor terrace at the new Andaz Napa
A few days after the expected open date, which felt like an eternity but at last,Andaz Napa opened its doors yesterday in Napa’s burgeoning West End, effectively vaporizing the former Avia Napa. While we love Andazsms pretty much anywhere, having one in Napa is dreamy, not only because the brand is as locally focused as the town, but also because bringing Andaz's vibrant, stylish design to downtown Napa makes it a great option for those who find traditional wine country B&Bs a snore.
Last month, we mentioned a few of the changes to expect at this new Napa hotel, including an Andaz Lounge in lieu of a traditional front desk. Essentially replacing the lobby, the Lounge transforms the check-in process to a more social, casual experience where guests are greeted, checked in by iPad and offered a glass of vino while they sit or plot out their wine country adventures on the wall-length map of the Napa Valley.
Andaz Hotels / Hotel Openings / Hotel Rebrandings / Avia Hotels / Hyatt Hotels / Napa Hotels / Savannah Hotels / → All Tags
Major news for Andaz Hotel lovers--there's going to be a few new Andazes to check out pretty soon.
The 141-room Avia Napa in the area's "West End" will get a new look from California architecture and design firm Bishop Pass before it turns into an Andaz. The guestrooms will offer "modern furnishings in an earthy color palette, complementing the surrounding landscape." Bathrooms will feature white marble, walk-in showers and waterfall shower heads.
The lobby will also get a reno to showcase design inspired by the region. The hotel's signature restaurant and bar will offer a "Napa-to-table" menu, sourcing its ingredients directly from the plentiful ranches, orchards, mills and farms in the area.
Rounding out the hotel amenities are a 24-hour fitness center and a rotating art gallery with works made by local artists. And as with all Andazs, the minibar will offer complimentary snacks, non-alcoholic beverages and free WiFi.
Hyatt Hotels / Hotel Rebrandings / Hotel Sierra / AVIA Hotels / Hyatt Summerfield Suites / → All Tags
Well, if you're a fan of the new AVIA or Hotel Sierra brands, then yes, they now belong to Hyatt Hotels.
Late last week, Hyatt announced that they had bought the assets of the Lodgeworks, a private hotel development company for about $800 million in cash. That included 17 Hotel Sierra hotels and 4 AVIA hotels.
If you aren't familiar with these brands, Hotel Sierra is similar to an Element by Starwood in that they are open in tertiary markets and are modern twists on extended-stay hotels. AVIA on the other hand is more like a W Hotel in that it's boutiquey, sophisticated and aimed at the younger traveler.
Life works in mysterious ways. Just as we were shoving one of Paula Deen’s red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting down our throats, we find out about Avia Savannah—which has Bobby Deen, Paula’s son, on its list of tastemakers! Not quite sure what an Avia tastemaker is just yet, but crazy, right?!
We dug a little bit and apparently Avia has reached out to celebrated locals to get their insider recommendations for the surrounding areas of its hotels, and the Savannah outpost—the first of four Avia-branded hotels to open in 2009—is conveniently located just steps from The Lady & Sons, Paula’s flagship restaurant, which we happened to stop by last Labor Day and were confronted with an hour-long wait for a table at 11:30 a.m. The restaurant opens at 11 a.m. So we’ll say that so far, Avia Savannah has got at least one thing right.
Last week we informed you that Avia Hotels was getting in on the boutique hotel chain game. While the new boutique property Avia Savannah is scheduled to be the first of the chain to open--in December 2008--it's the Avia Napa property we're seeing the most of. Normally we don't like to run renderings instead of photos, but these are the first look at what could turn into a big brand.
The Napa location will be at the Town Center, and plans call for 141 rooms and suites. Some rooms will have soaking tubs and all will have working fireplaces and olive wood floors. We're also eager to see more of the swiveling flat-screen entertainment center.
After the jump, a look inside Avia.
Do you ever think to yourself, "The world needs even more boutique hotels?" We don't. But that's too bad for us: Avia Hotels are coming in 2008.
The first property will be in Savannah, Georgia, and is scheduled to open at the end of next year. Following soon after will be hotels in Long Beach, California, Napa and north Houston. The company behind the brand is LodgeWorks, the outfit originally behind Residence Inn and Summerfield Suites.
At this early stage, plans call for each hotel to have a bit of local character, with menu offerings and decorations designed to match the area. (Wine stuff in Napa, grits in Savannah, etc.) Espresso bars and evening cocktail parties are also in the works. We're not sure about the boutique moniker on a corporate hotel brand but, hey, sounds like Avia's making an effort.