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Just as we suspected, Ritz-Carlton Hotels is taking over the 124 rooms and suites at the luxury resort, One Bal Harbour in October and here's official proof that the takeover is happening: Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour website is up with a note that reservations will be accepted starting October 2.
Maybe there is something in the water at this hotel. The property first opened in 2008 as a Regent Hotel.
So far, it looks like nothing will change, at least not superficially. Mister Collins, the all-day dining restaurant, will remain open as will the spa. Guestrooms start at 510-sq.ft. and most have full or partial ocean views. One and two-bedrooom suites are also available, starting at 1,657-sq.ft. with private terraces and full kitchens. Ritz will, however, bring in both their Ritz kids and Ritz pets programs.
We weren't able to make a reservation yet on the Ritz site but rooms were still available on the One Bal Harbour site for $549 a night on October 2. There was no mention of the Ritz switch so we'd be careful about making a reservation right now.
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This: The Castle Dalian, one of the latest additions to Starwood’s Luxury Collection (or at least that’s how we like to imagine the creative process went). Especially in CGI rendering, it has a more than a touch of Dreamworks to it, but it’s very real, and has hotel rooms inside that you can book. Check out the understated minimalism (not) you will find inside below.
Hotel Openings / Delano Hotels / Hotel News / Magic! / Hotel Opening Parties / Viva Vegas / Morgans Hotel Group / → All Tags
South Beach meets the desert...Delano style.
The Delano Las Vegas may have technically opened to guests over Labor Day Weekend but the desert outpost of the Delano South Beach made it official last night with a grand opening party that was hosted by model/actress Jaime King and included South Beach-inspired cocktails and appetizers, a Spring/Summer 2015 fashion show from designer Charlotte Ronson, and a small acoustic set from the Toronto-based reggae band, Magic!
You've probably never heard of this band before but you haven't gone anywhere without hearing their hit song, "Rude." (Come on, sing it--"Why ya gotta be so ruuuude? Don't you know I'm human too?")
The opening party was actually a trial event of sorts for the Delano as the hotel hopes to put on more exclusive shindigs and events like this in the future. While the hotel's bars and restaurants--Franklin, Della's, Mix and 3940 Coffee +Tea--are open to the public, folks who book the all-suite rooms at the hotel will have priority access to these events. Rates for the rooms start at $599 on the weekends and around $150 during the week.
Stay tuned next week for more from inside The Delano! In the meantime, peep a room below and head on over to VegasChatter for more info!
We already knew that InterContinental planned to take over the former Ritz-Carlton in Sydney and turn it into the InterContinental Sydney Double Bay, but today, we've got a few snapshots of the renovated, InterContinentalized space and it looks very sleek.
This bay-side sanctuary half-way between the city center and iconic Bondi Beach will feature restored rare white marble, Parisian-style balconies, a nautical-themed gin bar and an open rooftop retreat. The hotel's design, done by Aussie firm, Bates Smart Architects, will feature a neutral palette, metallic finishings and splashes of pale blue and yellow tones with each room sporting soft blue, white and charcoal furnishings against framed dark timber elements. It's classic decor married with laid-back Aussie style and topped off with a sophisticated European aesthetic.
Bummed because Four Seasons got edged out by Pan Pacific for the hotel portion of the Heron Plaza development? We’re here to brighten up your day, because not even a month has passed since that announcement and Four Seasons is back on track for its third London hotel, miraculously enough also midway between its current Park Lane and Canary Wharf outposts.
How? The Canadian group will be managing the hotel portion of Ten Trinity Square, a development at Tower Hill we first looked at at the beginning of the year (it’s the conversion of the former Port of London Authority if you recall) and then over the summer together with its neighbor citizenM to see whether they’d be opening next year.
Hotel Emergencies / Hurricane Odile / Cabo San Lucas Hotels / Cabo Hotels / Hotel News / Hotel Woes / → All Tags
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:
The Manchester Evening News is now adding to the list of departures with an update that a sale has been agreed for the city’s Lowry Hotel to Westmont Hospitality Group. While the management team on-site reportedly is staying on, it will mean a rebrand as well, but whether that’s InterContinental, Hilton, Marriott, or another brand Westmont works with is still to be confirmed.
We’re also happy to see mention of renovations to ‘further enhance the offer’; we stayed at the Lowry back in 2010 and still remember being a little underwhelmed by our room at what was meant to be “the” luxury hotel for Manchester, with a rather generic bathroom, a huge tear in the sheets on the bed, and ripped fabric on some of the furniture.
You can still book through the Rocco Forte website until well into next year, with a Deluxe Room starting around £149 ($243) a night. We’ll let you know what becomes of the Lowry when we find out.
Call it the Airbnb effect. Private rentals are booming right now, even amongst traditional hotel stayers (right now, for example, we’re writing this from a Greek island, in a house we booked on Homeaway because it was half the price of the hotels we looked at).
Spanish chain Room Mate is, of course, ever hip and always trendy – and now it’s following the trend with the launch of Bemate.com, a private rental site. “The way we travel has changed,” they say on the intro video on the website. “Now we want to feel at home anywhere… We want to be as local as the locals.”
BeMate launched yesterday with 2500 apartments (“handpicked”, according to the chain, though that is, of course, one of the most overused words of the past few years). Right now, it’s in cities where Room Mate already has a presence; by the end of the year, it plans to cover 150 cities, including London.
Hotel Emergencies / Hurricane Odile / Cabo Hotels / Cabo San Lucas Hotels / Hotel Woes / Hotel News / → All Tags
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]
Pop quiz: what does London need more of? Sometimes it seems the only answer is: more hotel rooms, more hotel rooms, more hotel rooms. Today we’re back at Leicester Square, where a new mixed-use complex is likely to go up at its southern end, and Accor Hotels is now throwing another 600+ rooms in the mix by 2017.
Right on the square will be the return of its MGallery brand (gone since the St. Ermin Hotel went Autograph Collection) in Victory House (above). We don’t know much more than that it will have just 80 rooms, that it will open at the end of 2016, and that unless you camp out among the crowds on the square, you couldn’t get any closer to the city’s tourist action.
Much larger will be the Ibis Styles, with 583 rooms in the Trocadero complex, midway between Leicester Square and the famous neon of Piccadilly Circus. Opening in 2017, it will have “a distinctly ‘London’ personality reflecting the colourful, bright and energetic brand persona of the ibis Styles brand, with a hint of humour perfectly matching the electric eccentricity of the Trocadero”.
No, we're not sure where it'll fit, either
The “luxurious urban resort” will be on Jumeirah Beach and will open in 2017. The 200 rooms and suites will, of course, undoubtedly be stunning, but the category to really get excited about will be the overwater villas, accessed via a private bridge, each with a private infinity pool and “swim platform”, allowing you to jump straight into the Arabian Gulf. Yes please!
It’s not all bad for the relative paupers in the rooms and suites, either – there will be a “variety of infinity edged pools leading down to the beach”. You’ll also have the run of nine restaurants and bars, including one on a pier with its own private dock. What’s more exciting than that? The signature cake shop, that's what.
Hotel Emergencies / Hotel Woes / Cabo Hotels / Cabo San Lucas Hotels / Hurricane Odile / Hotel News / → All Tags
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]