Tag: Hotel Emergencies

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This is Not What You Want to See At Your Hotel

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: | Setor Hoteleiro Sul, Quadra 02 - D, Brasilia, Brazil
September 29, 2014 at 6:00 PM | by | Comments (0)

This looks like more than just a "case of the Mondays."

A guest at the Saint Peter hotel in Brasilia today took a hotel employee hostage, forcing him at gunpoint to wear a vest containing explosives and then paraded his hostage around on a 13th floor of the 424-room hotel in front of news cameras.

Ultimately, the hostage-taker released the victim and surrendered to the police, with no physical harm done to anyone (although we imagine the hotel worker will probably be affected for the rest of his life. As it turns out, the kidnapper was using a fake gun to order around the hostage and to warn the other guests in the hotel.

Apparently, the whole thing was done out of political motivation as the hostage-taker was calling for "stricter enforcement of a Brazilian law that forbids politicians convicted of corruption from running again for office." Well, we can certainly understand the frustration over that but taking an innocent hotel employee hostage and forcing him to wear a vest of explosives is probably not the best way to go about it.

Then again, here we are talking about it. Sigh. For now, let's just file this under "Things we never want to see at our hotel."

[Photo via the WSJ]

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A Few Resorts in Cabo Will Begin Reopening Next Week But Most Remain Closed

September 29, 2014 at 11:19 AM | by | Comments (0)

Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf & Spa Resort after Hurricane Odile

Two weeks after a category four hurricane tore through Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, the popular vacation destination is still working hard to get back on its feet. The airport remains closed but it should reopen on October 8. And the Los Cabos Tourism Board is doing its job on Facebook, hyping future events in Cabo such as a golf tournament, a fishing tournament and and upcoming half marathon. However, most of the resorts in Cabo need a little more time to recuperate. Here are some notable reopening dates.

Hilton Los Cabos is closed through at least January 15.

The Esperanza Resort will reopen on November 15. Same with the Dreams Cabo.

Capella Pedegral is still assessing the damage and does not have a current reopening date. The resort is closed through at least October 31. The Westin and The Sheraton are expected to be open by October 31 as well. That's actually good news considering the extensive damage that the resorts received.

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Hotels in Hong Kong Are Open But Cautious as Protests Continue

Where: Hong Kong, China
September 29, 2014 at 10:33 AM | by | Comments (2)

The view from a room at The Upper House

One of Hong Kong's most luxurious hotels, The Upper House, was forced to cancel its Anniversary Party, which was scheduled for Wednesday, October 1, due to the pro-democracy demonstrations in the city's Admiralty and Central districts.

The demonstrations began over the weekend and have carried on today, forcing the city to cancel its fireworks show in honor of National China Day. A central issue for the protestors are the 2017 elections for the city's chief executives. Hong Kong, formerly a British colony, was promised full "universal suffrage" but then China said only candidates fully-vetted by a Beijing-friendly committee could participate. A police crackdown on Sunday involved the use of tear gas, pepper spray and batons but only resulted in having the opposite effect as people, outrage by the use of force, joined the protests .

As the demonstrations continue, more and more of Hong Kong's hotels are being affected. Here's a snapshot taken about an hour ago of the Mandarin Oriental Landmark Hotel:

Indeed the hotel has even pulled down steel gates over its entrance:

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Where to Send Donations for The Staffers of Cabo San Lucas Resorts and Their Families

September 24, 2014 at 1:48 PM | by | Comments (0)

The damage of Hurricane Odile last week in Cabo San Lucas has been well-documented and now, the relief efforts are starting to come together. Since many of Cabo's residents are hospitality employees, fundraisers have been started by individual hotels and resorts.

We've already told you how to help the employees of the Las Ventanas Resort and their families who were affected by the storm. While a generous soul has already donated $10,000, you don't have to reach that deep into your pockets. But indeed, every little bit helps.

A fundraiser has also been started for the employees and their families of the Capella Pedegral. The Capella Hotel Group, LLC has donated $10,000 to kick it off.

For the Hilton Los Cabos, a Hilton Worldwide Responds disaster fund has been set up to support the Hilton Team Members and the community affected. Hilton Worldwide will also match donations up to $25,000.

The Esperanza Resort is collecting donations the old-school way. Here's how to help their employees, as listed on their Facebook page:

Due to the outpouring of support that we've received thus far, we have set up an Esperanza Hurricane Relief Fund for those that want to assist our employees in their efforts to re-build their lives - we will be sharing this link shortly! For those of you who would like send a check, please make out checks to “Esperanza Employee Disaster Relief Fund” and send to: Auberge Resorts LLC, Administrator P.O. Box 8000 Mill Valley, CA 94942

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Esperanza Resort in Cabo Will Be Closed Until November 15; No Word Yet on the Westin and Sheraton

September 23, 2014 at 5:04 PM | by | Comments (0)

The Esperanza, last year.

It's taken a little more than a week to assess the damage from Hurricane Odile, but the Esperanza Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico has just announced it will reopen on November 15. Previously, they said they could reopen in mid-October. Here's a statement the resort put on their Facebook page today:

All of our employees (who are able to) have joined us back on property to assist with our cleanup and recovery process. We were able to do a more thorough damage assessment over the weekend and we will now be closed until November 15, 2014.

Again, if you have a reservation between now and November 15, please contact our US Sales Office at 310-453-6212 to reschedule. If you are looking for future reservations and availability, please contact us at this number as well. Thank you for your understanding - we will continue to post regular updates, so please continue to visit our Facebook page

Below is a look at how the Esperanza looked in October 2013.

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Guests Who Were Stuck in Cabo are Sharing Their Hurricane Survivor Stories

September 22, 2014 at 2:09 PM | by | Comments (0)

Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach

A week after Hurricane Odile hit Cabo San Lucas, the clean-up efforts are only just beginning. While most guests visiting the resort town have now gotten out safely (if a little dehydrated and severely exhausted), the airport is still in shambles and will not be operating for a few more days, possibly even longer. Many parts of the town are still without power, water and phone access. There are no new reports of looting--for now--but Cabo remains a dicey area to visit from a safety perspective, especially given how much debris still needs to be cleaned up.

Despite the tragedy, which leveled residences and local neighborhoods as well, there have been some uplifting stories to come out of the storm. Guests who were stranded at resorts during the storm have been sharing their stories on social media, especially on Facebook, with one group devoted to the Hilton Los Cabos, called "Hilton Los Cabos Hurricane Odile Survivors".

We perused some of the comments and so much of it is positive toward the staff who did their best to keep guests safe, even while their own families were battling the storm at home. And the staffers are still there, working to get the resort back on schedule.

Here's a snippet posted on Facebook by a staffer at the hotel:

We are running a different kind of hotel....providing rooms to those employees who lost their houses and setting up a control center for insurance, engineers, contractors and other experts etc.... Still no phones... you know the rest but I am not complaining. Outside our walls there is no electricity or water... We are doing all we can to get back on our feet.

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Guests are Still Stuck in Broken Down Cabo San Lucas Resorts

September 18, 2014 at 10:58 AM | by | Comments (0)

The Playa Grande resort

We are starting to keep tabs on when the resorts of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico will reopen after being hit hard by Hurricane Odile but the resorts are tasked with another, bigger job--getting the guests who were there during the storm back home safe and sound.

It is reported that more than 30,000 tourists were in the area when the storm hit. The airport is still closed (it too suffered major damage) and the efforts to arrange trips out of the country are rather disorganized.

According to Instagrammer, MPWilli910, who has been providing updates throughout the storm's aftermath while at the Hilton Los Cabso, said the Mexican military is stepping in to transport guests to either Mazatlan, Guadalajara, Tijuana or Mexico City. From there, folks can get flights back to their hometown/airports.

But we received this email from a guest stranded in Cabo at the Playa Grande Resort and the situation is dire. Here's what she had to say:

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When Will The Resorts and Hotels in Cabo San Lucas Reopen?

September 17, 2014 at 6:32 PM | by | Comments (0)

The Grand Solmar

As we told you earlier this week, Cabo San Lucas in Mexico was hit extremely hard by Hurricane Odile on Sunday night with much of the resort area effectively destroyed by the storm. The airport is still closed, homes are demolished, people are stranded without electricity, phone service, food and water and looting is happening at some stores. Meanwhile, resorts and hotels in the area are scrambling to get their existing guests home and at the same time, assess the damages to their property. It will be a long road to recovery and thus, most hotels are not accepting new guests for several weeks.

If you've got an upcoming reservation in Cabo, you should call the hotel's corporate number and find out how they plan on adjusting your reservation. Most hotels are offering full refunds or the opportunity to switch their reservation to another property within the hotel brand. Outside of Cabo, of course.

In the meantime, we're keeping track of the Cabo hotels reopening dates right here. Have an update to share about a property? Send it to us. Need more info? Check the resorts' Facebook pages as that's where many of the detailed updates can be found.

· Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos: The resort plans on reopening on October 31. Update: We are not seeing this date anywhere else so the opening is still TBD.
· Hilton Los Cabos: No exact dates but there is talk of reopening by October. January 15
· Capella Pedegral: The resort plans to open by October 15. Not opening until at least November 1.
· The Esperanza Resort, an Auberge Resort : The resort plans on reopening on October 13 November 15.
· Las Ventanas Al Paraiso: No exact dates. The resort has said they need a week to assess the damage and then will determine when they can reopen. So for the next week, the resort is closed. Update: The resort still has not released an opening date.
· Westin Los Cabos: The resort is closed and working on getting all their guests out safely. There are no reopening dates listed at this time. October 31.
· Sheraton Hacienda del Mar, Los Cabos: The resort is closed and working on getting all their guests out safely. There are no reopening dates listed at this time. October 31.
· Melia Cabo Real: No reopening dates have been announced.
· Dreams Cabo: The hotel is closed through at least September 23. November 15.
· Solmar Resorts: The resorts are closed but no reopening dates have been announced. According to an update we received from a guest stuck at the Solmar, the resort was heavily destroyed and getting out is not easy. We've since heard that the resort will open on October 22.
· Pueblo Bonito Pacifica: The resort is closed through at least September 22. According to their Facebook page, they are hoping to receive guests by October 1.Update: Some resorts that are part of the Pueblo Bonitor family will open as early as October 8. Go here for more info.
· Fiesta Grand Americana Los Cabos: A member of the resort says it will reopen on November 15.
· Cabo Villas Beach Resort: The hotel believes they will be up and running with 80 units open on October 1 with the remaining opening on October 15.
· Casa Dorada: The hotel plans to reopen on October 9.
· Monte Cristo Estates: The estates, part of the Pueblo Bonita resorts, says they should reopen by October 1. The company has been posting pics on their Facebook page to update future guests.
· Royal Solaris Los Cabos: The resort told a guest hey said will not reopen again until December 1. However, their Facebook page is saying sometime between October 15 and November.
· One & Only Palmilla: The luxury resort is still assessing the damage but for now, is canceling all reservations before November 15. The resort's website is now saying December 15.

[Last Updated: 9.29.14, 9:57am PST]

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Resorts in Cabo Will Be Closed for a Few Weeks, Maybe More, Due to Hurricane Damage

September 16, 2014 at 7:16 PM | by | Comment (1)

We posted a bunch of heart-breaking images yesterday from an Instragrammer stuck at the Hilton Los Cabos resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico but unfortunately, there's not much good news today.

The airport remains closed, several hotels and resorts are ruined, homes have been destroyed and people who were visiting the resort town have no way of getting out. While help is on the way, the area is currently without power (save for generators), internet access and phone lines, making it difficult to get any word out about what's going on.

We've been piecing together some reports on Facebook but it is hard to determine what's for sure and what's just a rumor.

Here's what we do know---Most hotels are closed to new arrivals and will be for several weeks. If you have reservations in Cabo in the next two, three or even four weeks, call the hotel's corporate number to find out when the resort will re-open. Some hotels are saying they will re-open by October 15, others are saying November 1. Yeah, it's that bad. The good news is your reservation will most likely be refunded. Your vacation however has been cancelled.

We're still working on tracking down updates from other resorts (namely Las Ventanas and Capella Pedegral, which have gone dark on social media). Got any updates to share? Please pass them along.

[Photo of the Hilton Los Cabos via MPWilli910/Instagram]

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Send Good Thoughts to The Resorts of Cabo Today

September 15, 2014 at 5:43 PM | by | Comments (0)

Yikes. Hurricane Odile tore through Cabo San Lucas last night and since the area is mostly made up of hotels and resorts, we're seeing nothing but frightening scenes of destruction, from the resort corridor down into the marina.

On Instagram, MPWilli910 has been posting videos of the storm and its subsequent damage and it's heartbreaking. She posted a video of the aftermath which left the tennis courts at the Hilton Los Cabos in sandy shambles.

Here's how the Melia resort looks today.

MPWilli910 also captured the storm in action last night.

And here's what she had to say on Instagram about heading for the hotel's safety shelter:

Our ridiculous late-night run through the halls of the hotel to get to a safe location. This is scarier than Hurricane Sandy. Our room on the second highest floor has flooded. It sounds like a freight train outside and the building is shaking. The windows on several floors are blown out. We had to evacuate through the open-air hallway, through flooding, torrential rain and whipping winds, dodging debris. Now, we're here in the hotel's shelter, sleeping on the carpet with hundreds of others, sweating bullets. Biggest weirdest slumber party everrr! Happy anniversary

In a comment on one of her other photos, she mentioned the Hilton is without electricity and is not letting folks back to their rooms because the damage is so great. Ugh, we sincerely hope everything turns out ok.

Keep reading for more on the hotels and resorts in Cabo after Hurricane Odile!

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What It’s Like to Visit Bangkok Right Now

Where: Bangkok, Thailand
June 11, 2014 at 9:07 AM | by | Comments (0)

A lot has happened since we last wrote about the situation in Bangkok. Back in January, we looked at how hotels were impacted by the anti-government protests; fast forward five months and one regime change later and the headlines about whether it is safe or not to visit Thailand continue.

We just had a brief stop in the city last week and here’s what we found:

- Hotels continue to operate as normal, though it was much quieter than we’re used to – official figures aren’t available, but visitor numbers and occupancy are down.

- Life seems to continue as normal as well; if you hadn’t known about the events of the past few months, you probably wouldn’t notice anything at all in most places.

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How NYC Hotels Cope With a 'Snow Day'

February 14, 2014 at 10:59 AM | by | Comments (0)

New York got snowed in again last night (and so did 48 other states) but this morning the doorman at The Algonquin in NYC was hard at work, squeegee-ing the street in front of the entrance. (Now that's a squeegee Giuliani would approve of!) Here's a description from the hotel's Facebook page about how the hotel dealt with the storm:

Well the most recent snow storm was a combination of heavy snow, rain and wind. The Algonquin engineering team stayed atop the mess through the course of the storm to be sure that passage on West 44th Street was safe. Doorman Jermaine Clark wanted to make certain that the entire area was safe for guests and is seen using the squeegee on the street to clear any remaining slush and debris. You really have to appreciate that sort of dedication, so typical of the spirit found at The Algonquin.

Meanwhile, downtown at The Ace Hotel, the doorman put their new parkas to work:

Back up in Central Park where the Trump Hotel views usually "trump" everything else, this was what they saw instead.

Ay, yi, yi. We hope warmer weather comes in soon!