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Hotel Woes / Hotel Bankruptcy / Baha Mar Hotels / Hotel News / Hotel Delays / Bahamas Hotels / → All Tags
Baha Mar has done it again. And by "it", we mean continued to promise to vacation-goers that their resort wonderland will open someday soon, despite filing for bankruptcy yesterday. Here are some choice quotes from the press release that Baha Mar, led by their chairman and CEO, Sarkis Izmirlian, put out yesterday:
Mr. Izmirlian stated, "I am committed to doing all I realistically can to move Baha Mar forward to be completed and opened successfully. I am confident that, once opened, Baha Mar will be a world-class destination resort that will attract guests from around the world and serve as a key economic sparkplug to The Bahamas. The Chapter 11 process provides the appropriate venue to create a viable financial structure that places Baha Mar's interests foremost."
Mr. Izmirlian continued, "The general contractor repeatedly has missed construction deadlines. This has caused both sizeable delay costs and forced the resort to postpone its opening. Unable to open, the resort has been left without a sufficient source of revenue to continue our existing business.
Oh yes. He did just throw some serious shade at China Construction America, which is mostly owned by the government on China. #sorrynotsorry. But Izmirlian continues:
Despite numerous delays, a debilitating deadlock between its developer and the hired construction company, and a social media blackout since April 22, the extremely troubled Baha Mar Resort in the Bahamas is incredibly still taking reservations for September 8, starting at $175 a night for the Baha Mar Resort and $1,500 a night for the high-end Rosewood Resort.
But we've said it before and we'll say it again--don't book a room at this hotel until you know for sure that the hotel is open. We've received yet another horrible story from a guest who booked a vacation through Baha Mar, only to find out two weeks before her vacation began that the hotel would not be open in time.
She was forced to rebook her vacation at the Atlantis but when she got there, she discovered Baha Mar had rebooked other guests at The Cove at Atlantis, but not her. When she called Baha Mar to complain, she said they only offered her a "golf experience" at their golf course. Hmm....
Clearly, customer service is still #TheWORST at Baha Mar but the resort may actually be closer to opening. For real.
Miami Hotel Mambo / Sixty Hotels / Miami Hotels / Hotel Openings / Hotel Delays / Hotel News / Jason Pomeranc / → All Tags
The other week we strolled by another new hotel coming to Miami Beach--Nautilus, a Sixty Hotel at 18th and Collins Ave, which we last heard was opening on July 6. Well, that date's not going to happen anymore as reservations for the hotel are being pushed back to October 1. Bienvenido a Miami!
On that date, rooms are going for $238.67 for a king superior room which includes a king bed, white marble floors, SFERRA linens, REN bath products (an HC fave), Bluetooth docking station, 48-in. flat screen TV and this badass vintage travel chest which doubles as the mini-bar filled with gourmet goodies and even books on how to make a cocktail. Keep reading to have a closer look at it!
Finding a hotel room is easy. Simply go on the Internet or use your smartphone and voila! You're booked. But if you are only interested in new hotels, then that's a different story. Luckily, you have us. And we're obsessed with new hotels. Here's a list of hotels that have opened or are opening this month (and a few that aren't going to make it.) Got a new hotel to add? Send it to us!
· HYATT CENTRIC SOUTH BEACH: At long last, Hyatt's millennial brand in Miami is open at 1600 Collins Avenue. You can read more about what's inside the hotel here and brush up on the Centric brand here. Room rates for tonight, which is the official opening night, start at $219 a night, excluding taxes. There's also a $20 resort fee which includes premium internet, two beach chairs and towels and other services.
· THE GREGORY NYC: Well, this was a surprise opening. Just last week, we learned what kind of man Gregory would be when the hotel opening this summer. But looking today, reservations are open tomorrow for $389.20 a night, before taxes, for a tailored king bed room with a sleeper sofa. That also includes free WiFi and a mini-fridge. We'll take it!
· ALOFT SOUTH BEACH: For some reason, the Aloft missed yet another opening date. Instead of opening as promised on May 28, it will now open on June 4. We'll keep our fingers crossed but our expectations low, especially since the website says rooms are not available for June 4. However, we did find rooms open in mid-June for $199 a night before taxes. There's also a daily resort fee of $20. UPDATE: Aloft is getting closer to opening, but not quite there yet.
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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]
Hotel Woes / Hotel News / Baha Mar Hotels / Hotel Delays / SLS Hotels / Bahamas Hotels / Customer Service / → All Tags
Just last week, we posted a silver lining that emerged from the storm clouds of the epic opening fail of Baha Mar Resort & Casino in the Bahamas, which has been plagued by construction delays, thanks to a standoff between the resort and its construction company.
A Hyatt Gold Passport guest told HotelChatter that he was extremely impressed with Hyatt's customer service for affected guests of the Grand Hyatt at Baha Mar, which involved a dedicated hotline for Hyatt guests and a full refund of all of his Passport points used to book the trip, plus a few extra.
This was pretty much the only positive report we've heard regarding Baha Mar in months. But today, we're back to the usual doom and gloom that has been hovering over the resort complex since they missed their (second) targeted opening date of March 27.
Tribune 242 is reporting that a bride and groom who were scheduled to have their wedding in June at the SLS at Baha Mar are now unable to get a refund nor answers to their many questions from SLS and Baha Mar. They are also trying to wrangle refunds for 100 of their guests, who had booked hotel rooms and flights to The Bahamas.
Apparently, the couple and their 100 guests were treated as one giant group, instead of individuals. Eventually, SLS offered the group a mixture of cash and credits for future stays, but the cash portion was not even enough to cover everyone's air fare. Now the groom, who himself is a builder of luxury homes in Houston and thus very familiar with construction projects and delays, said the experience has been such a nightmare that he will never return to the Bahamas again, "unless it was to see the ruins of Baha Mar."
And he's not alone.
Keep reading to hear yet another example of someone who was royally screwed over by Baha Mar.
Progress, we called it, when The Zetter Townhouse Marylebone got its website back in March, about a year after we first walked down Seymour Street to take pictures of the third Zetter hotel. It had us hopeful for a Spring opening, but alas: it will be summer – perhaps August – before the hotel opens.
Renovation of the double Georgian townhouse is advancing, with the front façade free of scaffolding. The biggest change is visible from Quebec Mews behind the hotel (below).
The hotel will have 21 rooms, 2 studio suites, and that rooftop apartment with terrace and outdoor roll top bath. Rates will start from £258 ($405) a night, with entry-level rooms being described as “compact”. That’s maybe a little more than we were hoping for, but in line with those over in Clerkenwell. We’ll report back when we have more details on square footage, amenities, and the like.
[Photos: JasonD for HotelChatter]
UPDATE: The exact date of reservations shown as open for Baha Mar is September 8.
This latest delay from The Baha Mar Resort in The Bahamas is not surprising at all, given the resort's history of opening delays. But it is another setback for a hotel that had initially hoped to open in December 2014.
Right now, according to The Baha Mar's website, you can book a room at either The Baha Mar Casino & Hotel for $285 a night; The SLS Lux for $385 a night or The Rosewood for $520 a night. Those rates don't include taxes or the $43 a day resort fee. Which makes a two-night stay at the Baha Mar hotel, shown above, a pretty expensive one at $736.38 total.
And as is becoming routine for Baha Mar, the resort hasn't made any announcements about the new delay. People are still leaving comments on the Baha Mar Facebook page about their reservations. Check out this comment left on Saturday.
Even if The Baha Mar resort opens in September (and we really want it to), we still wouldn't take a chance on booking a room there until you've actually read reviews or seen pictures from people who have been inside.
[Photo: Baha Mar]
Hotel Delays / Hotel News / SLS Hotels / SLS LUX Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Philadelphia Hotels / Sam Nazarian / → All Tags
Our comparison between hotel opening dates and blind dates turned out to be pretty prophetic in the case of SLS New York: the hotel would have stood us up big time had we counted on that February 2015 opening – and that’s after both 2013 and 2014 didn’t happen.
As much as scaffolding has been looking serious at the Park Avenue hotel, we can add another year’s wait to try the 190 rooms, rooftop with “killer views of the city”, and “unrivaled restaurant and nightlife concepts”: the hotel won’t open before early 2016. Bummer.
HotelChatter Long Reads / Hotel Delays / Hotel Hell / Baha Mar Hotels / Bahamas Hotels / Hotel PR / Hotel Crises / → All Tags
An exclusive HotelChatter Long Read by John Buchanan
Shortly after that, Baha Mar insiders told us the resort would actually open on March 27. Progress! Except after three months of non-stop marketing and advertising hype about the new "Bahamian Riviera", across traditional and digital media--along with a special Grand Opening offer that included a $100 resort credit--Baha Mar delayed its opening again to May in a most spectacular way--by announcing the delay on Facebook two days before the scheduled opening.
Would-be guests flooded the Bahamian megaresort’s Facebook page with questions about their existing room reservations and plane tickets. A few even said they had no idea about the delay until they saw the Facebook post. Several seriously unlucky folks had less than 48-hours notice before leaving for the Bahamas.
We’ve not seen a mob mentality rage of this kind toward a hotel before. Indeed, angry customers are still leaving comments on the resort’s Facebook page, asking about their upcoming reservations for May.
After canceling its official grand opening weekend for May 5-7, and moving its general opening date yet again, Baha Mar is now accepting reservations for July 1-3, seven months after the initial December opening date. (And no, there was no official update on social media from the resort about the May opening being moved as well.)
To be fair, delays are to be expected when building new hotels, especially one as big as the $3.5 billion, China-funded Baha Mar resort which will have a flagship hotel and casino, two luxury hotels (Rosewood and SLS Lux) and a Grand Hyatt. But it is one thing to delay your hotel’s opening date before you’ve begun accepting reservations. It is another thing entirely to delay your opening just two days before the expected date without notifying your existing reservation holders.
One can only wonder--Will Baha Mar ever recover from this very public embarrassing setback? Will guests want to take a chance on booking a room for July? Will travel media, travel agents, meeting and events planners and other businesses believe Baha Mar when they announce their next opening date?
W Hotels / Hotel Openings / Hotel Delays / Starwood Hotels / Amsterdam Hotels / Milan Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
W giveth, W taketh away...
Opening date will be Monday, September 21, with a “Cozy Exchange” room (from 22 sq m / 237 sq ft) setting you back a clean €450 ($478) a night. Prepaying shaves just €10 ($12) off a night, which doesn’t really seem worth it for the flexibility you sacrifice. The “Exchange” reference we presume means the room is located in the 1903 Telephone Exchange building, as opposed to the former bank just across the street (go here for exterior shots of both).
From Cozy, the order is up to Wonderful and then Fabulous rooms, with Cool Corner, Studio, and Marvelous Suites before you get to Wow and Extreme Wow Suites – which we saw those renderings of. The Extreme Wow Suite gives 112 sq m (1,206 sq ft) of space and runs at €2,162 ($2,292) a night.
Actual photography of the rooms and suites is still to come, but we’re kind of surprised to read the intro text on the homepage of the hotel refer to the ability to “recharge with our W signature bed and a peek-a-boo shower”. Is that becoming an actual industry term now?
Hotel Fail / Hotel News / Hotel Delays / Baha Mar Hotels / Bahamas Hotels / Hotel Opening Fail / → All Tags
This is surprising and yet not surprising from the hotel we awarded with the Worst Hotel Hype of 2014.
The Baha Mar Resort in The Bahamas, a vacation destination that is to include a Rosewood Hotel, an SLS Lux property, a Grand Hyatt and the centerpiece Baha Mar Resort & Casino, has now pushed its opening back to May.
Originally, the resort complex was set to open in December, but missed that date and hoped for a May opening instead. But starting in January, Baha Mar began hyping up a March 27 opening, accepting reservations and promoting several opening day packages. Then, last week, just two days before it was due to open Baha Mar posted the above note to Facebook about the delay, leaving guests who booked non-refundable flights in the lurch during a popular Spring Break travel week.
According to the Miami Herald, Baha Mar places the blame for the second delay on the Chinese construction for not finishing the work in time. Whatever the reason for the delay, Baha Mar is now scrambling to deal with the fall-out. But they will have a very tough time saving face.
All you need to do is read through the barrage of Facebook comments on this post. Many of the guests were told they could be relocated to nearby Atlantis, only to find out that resort was booked during their dates. Other guests with reservations in April had no idea the delay was even happening until they saw the update in their Facebook feed. And many more are worried that the resort won't be open in May, which we think is a very real concern.
Here are just a few of the more than 600 comments on the Baha Mar Facebook page.