Tag: Hotel Woes

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The Bahamas Hopes Baha Mar Won't Mar Their Vacation Reputation

July 20, 2015 at 2:08 PM | by | Comments (0)

UPDATE: A Bahamas judge has ruled to dismiss the US bankruptcy filing of developers Baha Mar, Ltd.

Things have gone from bad to worse to catastrophic for The Baha Mar Resort in the Bahamas. After missing its March opening date, failing to alert guests with reservations (and the media) to the delay, and then bungling up their refunds, along with filing for bankruptcy and engaging in a blame game with their construction company, the $3.5 billion resort project has turned what should have been a modern paradise into a hotel hell.

But now, the Bahamian government is attempting to step in and put the resort back on track to opening. Which has the resort's developers, Baha Mar, Ltd. extremely upset. The developers are due in Bahamian court today but the country's Prime Minister has made his intentions clear.

Travel Weekly reported last week that Prime Minister Perry Christie said the government would take over the project and force out the developers.

Christie, in an address to the Bahamas public late Thursday, said that the project, which is 97% completed, would have the best chance of opening if the government took it over and removed Baha Mar Ltd. He added that the Bahamas attorney general on Thursday filed a so-called "winding up petition" that would force a compulsory liquidation on the part of the developer.

Christie was also critical of the developer's decision to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. on June 29 without giving prior notice to either the Bahamas government, the lender or the contractor. Christie, whose government has agreed to fund two salary payments for Baha Mar's more than 2,000 workers since that bankruptcy filing, added that the developer wouldn't agree to either rescind its bankruptcy petition or discontinue the lawsuit it filed against the contractor in U.K. courts the following day, further hindering negotiations.

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And Now, Baha Mar's Contractors Blame Baha Mar for Resort's Failure to Open

Where: Baha Mar, Bahamas
July 7, 2015 at 4:27 PM | by | Comment (1)

Pop some popcorn and pull up a seat.

China Construction America, the contractor hired for the Baha Mar Resort in the Bahamas has put out a statement today regarding last week's bankruptcy filing by the developers of Baha Mar, who placed the blame for the resort's missed opening dates on the contractors. But China Construction America says Baha Mar's blatant mismanagement of the project is what caused the resort's downfall. Here's what CCA has to say (emphasis is ours):

Baha Mar Ltd.'s decision to file for bankruptcy protection is the direct result of its failure to secure adequate financing and its mismanagement of the design of Baha Mar resort project.

This mismanagement includes replacing the principal architect after construction had commenced, the late and incomplete delivery of design packages and over 1,300 Construction Change Directives.

The vast majority of the Baha Mar debtors are organized under the laws of the Bahamas, the Baha Mar project is located in the Bahamas, and the Bahamian people are deeply invested in the future of the project. Baha Mar Ltd.'s decision to file for bankruptcy protection in the United States was, therefore, misplaced and calculated to benefit the project's developer over the interests of the Bahamas and its people.

Keep reading. There's more where that came from!

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Another Hotel Shootout, This Time at the Omni Downtown Austin Hotel

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 700 San Jacinto at 8th Street [map], Austin, TX, United States, 78701
July 6, 2015 at 8:36 PM | by | Comments (0)

We have a few fears about staying in hotels, usually centered around someone breaking into our room and the hotel overcharging us for WiFi, but now we have "shootout" to add to the list.

A gunman walked into the lobby of the Omni Hotel Downtown Austinand killed a 60-year-old cab driver, before being shot to death by police offers. The incident happened at around 5am on Sunday morning, after 911 received a call from the hotel with a report of a man walking around the lobby carrying a gun. Police arrived on the scene to find a man carrying a rifle and a body on the ground. When the suspect pointed the gun at police, they returned gunfire, killing him near the hotel's restaurant.

The gunman was later identified as Michael Holt, who rented a desk from a start-up incubator called Capital Factory, which has operations inside the Omni Hotel's building. This shooting comes nearly a week after another deranged gunman killed 27 tourists in Tunisia.

We suspect the restaurant will be out of service at the Omni Hotel for at least a few days while the crime scene continues to be investigated but you'd never know that from the Omni Hotel's website which makes no note of the incident or of any closures. Omni Hotel's Facebook page has also remained silent on the matter. We reached out to an Omni rep but have not heard back with a comment on the shooting.

Tomorrow, the hotel is hosting Trailer Food Tuesdays and according to that group's Facebook page, the event is still on. We found rooms at the hotel tomorrow night starting from $269.

[Photo: Omni Hotels]

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Mandarin Oriental Will Boldly Go for Round Two in Beijing

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Wangfujing, Beijing, China
July 2, 2015 at 8:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

It may not have owned the hotel, but it still couldn’t have been pleasant for Mandarin Oriental to watch its brand-new-almost-ready-to-open Beijing hotel go up in flames following a little fireworks mishap. That was in 2009, and the hotel opposite Rem Koolhaas’ iconic CCTV Tower still hasn’t recovered from the unfortunate (but sort of mesmerizing) conflagration.

We’ll get to “Mandarin Oriental, Beijing” in a second, because in a gutsy move the group has just announced that it will also open “Mandarin Oriental Wangfujing, Beijing. In the district of the same name, which has lots of major hotels, it will occupy the top two floors of “WF Central”, a mixed-use complex.

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Baha Mar Files for Bankruptcy, Throws Shade at China, Bounces Checks and Stops Answering the Phone

June 30, 2015 at 2:49 PM | by | Comment (1)

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:

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Here's the Rest of the Reopening Schedule for Cabo San Lucas Hotels

June 1, 2015 at 11:24 AM | by | Comments (0)

The Esperanza resort, reopening today

Nearly a year after Hurricane Odile struck Cabo San Lucas, most of resort area’s hotels have reopened, several of them better than before like One & Only Palmilla and the Esperanza which actually reopens its doors today. And there are a few still to come, thanks to this recent update from the Visit Los Cabos tourism board.

Las Ventanas al Paraiso, a Rosewood Resort will open in a few days on June 4. The Hilton Los Cabos, whose damage we witnessed in real time, is set to open on July 1 as will the brand-new Cape, a Thompson Hotel (which is now offering rooms on July 1 for $299 a night.)

After that Hyatt Place and Hyatt Ziva will reopen on July 15 and August 15, respectively. Cabo Azul Resort and Spa is aiming for a September 30 reopening while Zoetry Casa Del Mar; El Ganzo; Dreams Los Cabos: and ME Cabo will take until October 1. The Melia Cabo Real will need a little bit more time--until November 30.

But it will be much longer for the Westin Resort & Spa which is aiming for a March 2016 reopening.

Still, even after all the hotels reopen, there will more hotel action for Cabo as the Nobu Hotel Los Cabos is expected to open in 2017. How do you like them apples, Odile?

Have you visited Cabo San Lucas recently? Tell us how the hotel scene is!

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Yet Another Baha Mar Dream Vacation Has Collapsed

May 18, 2015 at 2:56 PM | by | Comments (0)

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.

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Hyatt Reopens and Renovates Churchill London, Picks Up Grosvenor House?

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Portland Square, London, United Kingdom
March 23, 2015 at 8:28 AM | by | Comments (0)

Back in November, we told you about the gas explosion that occurred at the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill, which led to the evacuation, and subsequent closure, of the hotel. The “foreseeable future” time frame that was attached to that closure was sad to see, but we can tell you that things are looking up: after four months, the hotel is open again.

We can find a King Room this coming Friday for £290 ($433) a night, which goes up £40 ($60) if you include breakfast. An additional bit of good news is that the hotel has taken the closure to not only do the repairs necessary after the incident, but kick off a multi-million pound renovation of the rooms and suites as well. That renovation should be complete by the summer; we don’t have any visuals of the changes yet, but will share them when we have more details.

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Has the Boycott of the Beverly Hills Hotel Silently Finished?

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 9641 Sunset Blvd [map], Beverly Hills, CA, United States, 90210
March 2, 2015 at 9:38 AM | by | Comments (0)

In all the stories about the Grammys and the Oscars that have come out over the past few weeks, there was one that really intrigued us – John Legend pulling out of a party at the Beverly Hills Hotel, because of opposition to the Sultan of Brunei.

Very worthy, Mr Legend, we thought – but no more than we’d expect from the man who hired a food truck for Eric Garner protestors in New York.

But then we thought, wait. If Hollywood is boycotting the BHH, why has a top Grammys party been booked there in the first place? Has the boycott silently ended? Does sympathy with people who face an Isis-lite stoning for being gay go out of fashion?

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Hotel Verta Battersea Hopes for a Brighter Future as a Crowne Plaza

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Bridges Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3BE
January 28, 2015 at 9:03 AM | by | Comment (1)

Well, that took a long time. Three and a half years ago, the Hotel Verta – riverside in London’s Battersea neighborhood, with a heliport outside the front door – went looking for someone new after its Von Essen hotel group went into administration. That was only a year after it opened in a location that was enough out of the way for it to struggle pretty much from day one.

We’ll admit things have been so quiet we wouldn’t have been able tell you with certainty the Verta was still open, but evidently it was, with the news that it is now the Crowne Plaza London – Battersea. Together with the Crowne Plaza that is being developed near Albert Embankment and the existing City hotel, that will give IHG three Crowne Plazas on or next to the river between Battersea and Blackfriars.

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Don't Plan on Losing Weight at Canyon Ranch Miami Beach This Year

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 6801 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33140
January 13, 2015 at 8:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

If you're slacking on your New Years Resolution to eat well, stay fit and be of sound mind, don't head to the Canyon Ranch Miami Beach to help you maintain your fitness goals.

The Real Deal reports that the Canyon Ranch franchise will be shed like water weight, thanks to the soon-to-be new owners, Z Capital Partners, who are expected to finalize a deal for the property this week. The new name for the property, which is a mix of residences, guest rooms and fitness facilities will go by...The Carillon Hotel & Spa. Eh. Apparently, it's a throwback name.

Here are the nitty gritty details on the deal as reported by The Real Deal:

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Why is The Borgata Successful When the Rest of AC is in Ruins?

January 8, 2015 at 3:42 PM | by | Comments (2)

For a long time, especially during late 70s and 80s, Atlantic City was considered the Las Vegas of the east, attracting gamblers and partiers from the nearby cities of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and D.C. for getaway weekends with its combination of casinos and beaches.

But as it typically does in tourism, a lack of long-term planning has led the city into the despair it currently finds itself today. The Revel was an absolute disaster - an insult to the State's taxpayers - and two other boardwalk casinos also closed down this fall.

When we arrived in Atlantic City last Friday night, it was certainly sad to see the three buildings on the boardwalk essentially abandoned. Things simply did not feel the same. But meanwhile, off in the distance, bright lights could be seen.

It was The Borgata, a Boyd Gaming hotel that, in the midst of all the closures and negativity, was jammed pack to the gills. Indeed, back in October, it was reported that the revenue at Borgata was up by five percent.

So we had to ask--what makes this property seemingly successful when so many others have failed?

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