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Fresh off the March opening of the Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Loews Hotels of Universal Studios in Orlando has just announced they will open their fifth hotel at the theme park. (No, it is not a Harry Potter-themed hotel. Go back to your working on that spell.)
Loews Sapphire Falls Resort will open in the summer of 2016 with a "colorful Carribean atmosphere" featuring a tropical lagoon with waterfalls and 1,000 guest rooms, including 77 suites. The hotel will be located between Cabana Bay and the Loews Royal Pacific Resort. There will also be an air-conditioned covered bridge which will connect the Loews Sapphire hotel to the Loews Royal Pacific. Wahoo!
When the hotel is completed, there will be a total of 5,200 hotel rooms from Loews at Universal Studios. Surely, some of those could be transformed into Gryffindor rooms? Pretty please?
Keep reading to see a rendering of the property!
Last year, the erstwhile St. John’s Hotel just off of London’s Leicester Square got picked up by Singaporean hotelier Peng Loh, having gone into administration less than two years after its arrival in 2011.
Being part of Loh’s Unlisted Collection didn’t create the magic the renamed One Leicester Street was looking for, so it’s going for another reinvention as part of the Honky Tonk Group this fall. This is the first foray into the hotel world for Honky Tonk, which runs two “American-inspired” restaurants with live music in Chelsea and Clapham.
Hotel Hype / Hotel News / Millennial Hotels / Jumeirah Hotels / Dubai Hotels / Venu Hotels / → All Tags
Oh lawd. Do we have another millennial-friendly hotel brand on our hands?
This morning, Jumeirah announced its plans for a “new contemporary lifestyle brand”. It’ll be called VENU, and the first hotel will be on Bluewaters Island in, fittingly, Dubai.
Here’s why we think it’s millennial-friendly (the first inkling was the logo):
VENU is designed to appeal to the modern traveler whose expectations revolve around their own lifestyle – clean, contemporary, cool and effortless… The essence of the new brand is that of a ‘social catalyst’ – a social place where good things happen, where people feel welcome and at ease, surrounded by a crowd they love, a smooth machine that offers everything they need and nothing they don’t.
Coming to a VENU hotel will be an intuitive experience, built around and anticipating the needs of the modern, savvy traveller.
Travelers [will] be inspired by the energy of the VENU brand… where technology is seamlessly integrated into the hotel experience, where the world comes together – a happening place full of energy and a cosmopolitan crowd.
It is simple and unpretentious, modern and creative, offering a sense that everyone who visits, stays at or works within a VENU space has the freedom to write their own story, create their own narrative, build their own scene.
W Hotels / New Hotels / Brisbane Hotels / Australia Hotels / Hotel News / Starwood Hotels / → All Tags
Last time we checked in with W Hotels' plans to relaunch the brand down under, Melbourne was the city to be rumored in the running for W's return to Australia (W once had a property in Sydney for a few years in the early aughts.) That fell through, so the folks over at W decided that Oz'z third largest city, Brisbane, would be the perfect place. Hence W Brisbane, opening in 2018.
In an announcement last week, W said the hotel would be a par of a brand spanking new building complex on the western side of the central business district, just steps from the city's namesake river. The entire development will result in three tower rising from the ground, with W Brisbane staking claim to one of them; the other two will be office spaces and luxury high-rise living.
Amid some big openings in London this month (Hoxton, Mondrian), a small UK hotel brand is venturing into the capital with an equally petite property: Artist Residence, currently to be found in Brighton and Cornwall, is opening a 10-room townhouse in Pimlico today.
Inside are 8 individually designed bedrooms and 2 suites, ranging from “Small” to the “Grand Suite” and the above “Loft”, which brings on the quirky and artistic in its mixture of exposed brick, recycled headboard, and most appealing to us, the green velvet (we think?) armchair in the corner. The hotel’s website is still light on images, but on Instagram you can get a better impression of the brand.
Hotel Booking Sites / Hotel Room Alerts / Hotel Alerts / Hotel Booking Apps / Dylan Loch / Hotel Booing Tips / Hotel News / → All Tags
Back in February, we called Hotel Room Alerts the "best new booking service we've seen yet" because the site emails and texts you when availability opens up at a sold-out hotel. The service also let you know when different room categories opened up as well, making it a useful tool when you're in need of a hotel room during a busy weekend.
Hotel Room Alerts is linked up with Hotels.com's booking system so you can check on over 170,000 hotel rooms. Now, the site has gone one step further and created a smartphone app called, Hotel Alerts.
The app does pretty much the same thing that the website does, except in app form which is always more convenient since you can create a reservation from anywhere. The app also uses a map view with your phone's locations service. And you're able to see hotels that are both available and sold-out.
Dylan Loch, founder of Hotel Room Alerts, explains this a bit more, saying:
When somebody searches the map, they will see every single hotel, whether it's available or completely sold out. When you search with a meta-search or through the hotel's direct page, the sold out hotels do not even show up.
We provide the opportunity to add hotels to the alert, but we also show which hotels are nearby and currently have availability. It's like having a front desk manager in your pocket.
Hotel Fees / Resort Fees / Miami Beach Hotels / Miami Hotels / Miami Hotel Mambo / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
While we're on the topic of hotel fees, we've just learned that the Ritz-Carlton South Beach will start charging a $25 resort fee, per night on October 1. Here's what will be included with that extra $25 + tax a night.
· Complimentary 5mb wireless Internet access for up to 5 devices in guest rooms, lobby and most common areas.
· Beach chairs and umbrellas
· Beach Activities including boogie boards, skim boards, beach paddle tennis, bocce ball and corn hole court
· One hour daily fitness class
· 24-hour access to fitness center
· Use of hotel bicycles
· Unlimited local calls
· Bottled water in guest rooms
· Access to daily tour of the hotel’s art collection
Well, at least it includes internet on multiple devices.
Resort fees in South Beach are actually quite common. We stumbled across one at The Surfcomber, a Kimpton Hotel, last fall. For $20 a night, you get morning coffee, two beach chairs, poolside amenities like sunscreen and flavor-infused water and a $10 F&B credit.
Beijing is adding a few more big names to its roster of hotels this fall: the W should arrive after some major delays in by the end of the month and Rosewood Hotels is set to open its first Chinese hotel in October.
What slightly confuses us is that on the weekend we were able to make reservations from October 20, but right now the availability calendar is blocked out well into 2015. We’ll just assume that’s a temporary glitch and not an indication of the opening date being at risk.
When it does open, Rosewood Beijing will have 283 rooms opposite the twisting CCTV Tower by Rem Koolhaas. Above an impression of what you’ll find inside, which we saw – and liked – for the first time a year ago: clean lines, dark woods, whites, and a bit of burnt orange (cognac?) in the swivel chair. There is of course a variety of rooms and suites, including a number of Spa Suites that have in-room treatment areas.
We lost a great, if controversial and scathing, lady today. Joan Rivers died from complications from a vocal chord surgery last week that caused her to lose consciousness. Even though her prognosis was dismal at best, we still sort of thought she'd pull through and return just in time for Awards Season. But it wasn't meant to be.
Before she went under, Rivers was in the middle of a stand-up comedy tour (yes, at the age of 81) and was set to perform at The Music Box at The Borgata Hotel & Casino on November 22. Obviously, that show is going to be cancelled, although Borgata hasn't made any announcements yet. They could always stream Joan in hologram form and then play clips of her greatest acts. Which would seem fitting for Joan, who wouldn't miss a show (and a paycheck) for anything.
In the meantime, we guess Frank Marino's impersonation act at The Quad Resort & Casino in Las Vegas will have to do instead. Eh.
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!
· HOXTON HOLBORN: The newest Hoxton hotel in London will open on September 25. While rooms are small, starting at 150-sq.ft. (eek!) with names like "Shoebox" and "Snug" to boot, they are quite affordable with opening rates ranging from $220 a night to $270 a night. All rooms also have 300-thread count sheets, rain showers, free WiFi, and complimentary breakfast bags.
· MONDRIAN LONDON: The Mondrian at the Sea Containers building in London is all set for its September 30 opening with rooms starting at 200 GBP a night. That's for a queen bed in a teeny tiny, 312-sq.ft. room. But it is opening when it says it will. On property will also be a riverside restaurant, run by New York chef Seamus Mullen, a seasonal cocktail bar from Ryan Chetiyawardana A.K.A Mr. Lyan, as well as a rooftop bar with sweet city views.
· W BEIJING: This W hotel, near the Forbidden City, has been through many delays but the September 30 opening date is holding steady. However, room rates for September 30 were not yet available so we're not exactly confident the hotel will open on that day. Starwood Hotels, however, is opening two other very important hotels in China this week. Read about them here.
The hotel action in London’s Shoreditch is so crazy right now that in the hundred yards between Old Street roundabout and The Montcalm / Virgin Shoreditch, we passed another future hotel without knowing it at the time.
While Montcalm / Virgin is just north of Old Street, and Nobu is five minutes east, on the northwest corner The Z Hotels will open another one of its budget-chic hotels in mixed-use complex The Bower.
The 107-room hotel will sit together with office space, restaurants, and retail outlets. Rooms will be on lower ground (i.e. basement), ground, and three upper floors. Lead-in rooms (probably the ones in the basement) will be without windows. Further up there are Double, Queen, and Accessible rooms. All come with en-suite wet room, 40” flat screen TV, and free WiFi. Opening is at the moment listed as just “2015”; looking at construction status the second half of the year looks most likely to us.
If you suffer from allergies, you know how nerve-wracking spending the night in a strange place can be, let alone a hotel room where many other people and their questionable living habits have gone before you.
We like to think that all housekeepers do a thorough job cleaning the hotel rooms but sadly, we know that isn't the case. And besides, people with severe allergies can still be affected by traces of the dog that stayed in the room three months before. Which is why there are Pure Rooms.
Hypo-allergenic hotel rooms have been around for nearly a decade now and Pure Solutions has been creating allergy-friendly hotel rooms for various brands and properties across the U.S. Each room follows "a patented 7-step process that eliminates and protects against 98-100% of viruses, bacteria and other irritants that are harmful to people with asthma and allergies." Now, Pure is letting allergy sufferers book their special hotel rooms through a new booking engine, booking.pureroom.com.