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The place hasn’t even been open ten years, but it’s already time to get some work done. They were the first property in town to score an AAA Five Diamond rating, so we guess they don’t want to just rest on their laurels. All in all they will be spending $8 million to upgrade and improve the place, as they work with the architecture and design group over at Streetsense.
Miami Hotel Mambo / Miami Hotels / Florida Hotels / Golf Hotels / Trump Hotels / Hotel Reviews / → All Tags
There's more to Miami than people-watching and partying in South Beach.
A world away from the hectic scene of the beach, and just a few minutes from Miami International Airport sits The Trump National Doral Hotel, an oasis for golfing and relaxation. The actual resort has been open for over 60 years, attracting some of the best golfers and spa-goers, but in 2012 Trump purchased the property and brought the entire 800-acre resort firmly into the 21st Century.
Once we pulled into the private drive, we knew we were gearing up for something a lot more extravagant than just being surrounded by four PGA-level golf courses. The drive circled around an impressive fountain and ended at the equally impressive clubhouse for check-in. Once we were handed our key card and given a map to find our way to one of eight villas all named after some pretty renowned golfers; incidentally we were led to the Tiger Woods villa.
For some hotel properties, bidding fond adieu to the minibar is part of the new and improved way of operating efficiently. For others, they've gone different routes--like Kimpton and Andaz, who include certain minibar items in the room rate. But as for the cream of the crop, some luxury hotels are going overboard and stocking some of the coolest stuff and, subsequently, charging out the nose for them.
Take for instance a recent stay of ours at the Trump National Doral just outside Miami. After exploring the comfy Ivanka Trump-designed interiors accented with lots of signature gold trim, we opened up the minibar drawer and almost had to catch our jaw from smashing down into the immense selection of gourmet treats that rolled out of the cabinet.
As one of the only beachfront resorts in the Palm Beach area, The Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa is a popular spot for Northeast vacationers, especially during the winter months.
We toured the hotel during a busy Spring Break season and were amazed at how much was going on from the poolside activities for kids to the fun games set up on the beach, tropical drinks served at the bar, and relaxation treatments offered at the spa. To say nothing of the rooms upstairs, which start at one-bedroom suites and come with a separate living area, a mid-sized kitchen, a washer and dryer, and two balconies that offer partial ocean views and views of the intracoastal.
To put how busy the resort gets into perspective, we asked them for a "By the Numbers" sort of report on the daily happenings at the hotel, including the spa and the restaurants, with a few other bonus figures thrown in. And here's what they sent us. Hotel nerds, this will make your day.
Spring Break Hotels / Panama City Hotels / Florida Hotels / Holiday Inn Hotels / Holiday Inn Resorts / → All Tags
When you think of Spring Break, you normally think of non-stop partying, bikinis, tank tops, shots, beer, drinking games, red Solo cups, instantly regrettable hook-ups and...The Lion King?
That's what's on the "playlist" for the college Spring Break guests at the Holiday Inn Resort on Panama City Beach, as the hotel's owners have been blasting the "Circle of Life" song from the movie soundtrack every morning at 11am. Conveniently, that's also check-out time.
At first, we thought this hotel was doing it to deter Spring Breakers from staying at the hotel, or at the least, getting them to wake up so that they could check-out.
But the resort is actually very Spring Break-friendly and their unusual wake-up call is now a bona fide Spring Break ritual, almost a siren call to begin a new day of partying.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / Hotel Design / Hotel News / Florida Hotels / Key West Hotels / → All Tags
The furniture’s arriving, paint is setting and staff is training: preparations are well underway to herald the opening of the 245-room
boutique lifestyle property, The Gates, in Key West’s New Town.
Scheduled to open in April, the property is aiming to be the sophisticated design hotel that hasn’t been seen in these parts before. It will combine “refined luxury, modern design, organic touches, and Floridian flare to recreate the verve of Hemingway's ‘old school Key West.’ " What that means, in less marketing speak, is that you should expect lots of white and grey, whitewashed wood, blue sky- and ocean-colored accents, and some contrasting modern design touches just to make it interesting.
The Gates is designed by Andrea Henzlik of AHD in Atlanta and her goal was to make the property feel home-grown, chic, convivial and relaxed. To this end, the hotel will have a residential feel without the traditional front desk and has partnered with locals including photographer Jorge de la Torriente of De La Gallery, whose work will be found in the public spaces and rooms, the Key West First Legal Rum Distillery will be supplying their farm-to-bottle craft-distilled blends at Rum Row, the hotel’s bar, and Rodriguez Cigar Factory, the oldest cigar maker on the island, will be providing its premium cigars to be savored in the hotel’s Cigar Garden.
Just When You Thought Hotel Charges Couldn't Get Any More Ridiculous, Enter Orlando's 'Safe Charges'
Up this week is reader J Jacobson. From the horse’s mouth:
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:
Retro right down to its window frames. That’s the verdict on The Marker, which just opened in Key West – in fact, it’s the first new-build hotel to open in the Old Town in 20 years.
Yes, new-build. Not that you’d know from the photos. Coffered, whitewashed ceilings, art deco-style stucco around the windows, rattan sofas and leopard print armchairs. It’s deco meets 1950s meets the present day, and the result is 100% delicious. In fact, can we say Kimptony?
More photos after the jump!
Hotel Toiletries / Hotel Amenities / Florida Hotels / Oklahoma Hotels / Belize Hotels / Charleston Hotels / → All Tags
Who would have thought 20 years ago – even 15 – that we would go so ga-ga over hotel toiletries that savvy hotel marketers would list what brand they carry on their websites? Now there’s a new player (playuh – you have to say it right) in town and their products are all American-made.
William Roam was created to take on the task of making hotel toiletries that were not just promoted and sold in the US, but were thought of, sourced and made in America. They currently offer three lines from their head office in Indianapolis: Roam, Float and Sense, each made with fresh ingredients sourced across the country.
Their signature line, Roam, is made with blueberries from Maine, wheatgrass from Kansas and red wine grape extract from Napa Valley and products are packaged in classy-like square bottles. The soap even contains bits of grape fiber and root to gently exfoliate your nutrient-needy skin.
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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it (fittingly) a giant beach ball on the roof of this beachside Holiday Inn?
Nope, none of them. It’s a military radar thingy.
Taking working with the military to a whole new level beyond giving servicemen and women discounts, the Fort Walton Beach Holiday Inn in, you’ve guessed it, Florida, has joined forces with the military to create a beach resort-military base combo. Why hasn’t Vegas thought of this before?
According to the Miami Herald, in a story that made us triple check it wasn’t April 1 today (until the hotel confirmed the news on its Facebook page):
The combination resort hotel and military test site opened in late May in an unusual partnership between the military and private business in a time of tighter military budgets. In exchange for allowing the Innisfree Hotel company to build the 152-room resort on Air Force land, the military was able to construct a rooftop station that receives radar signals and a secure conference room for classified meetings. The dome hiding the military equipment is painted red, white, blue and yellow like a beach ball.
The Hotel Zamora, the first new hotel in more than 20 years on St. Pete's Beach, is slated to make its debut next month.
Influenced by the architecture, design, and feel of the rocky hills of the Spanish province of the same name, the waterfront hotel will feature Mediterranean-style rooms and suites with high ceilings, crown molding, arched windows, and Spanish-influenced details in the form of wooden doorways and artwork. Outside, the hotel has a marina with space for seven boats, a fresh-water pool, and access to the Gulf of Mexico’s white-sand beaches to the west of Tampa Bay. Both regular and suite rooms feature walk-in spa showers and soaking tubs to mirror a spa retreat.