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One of the most talked about mixed-use developments in the history of Hollywood is having a hard time getting off the ground, mostly because of what is going on below the ground. Millennium Hollywood, aka "MillHoll," is an ambitious live-work-stay destination that aims to add about a million square feet, and a 200-room luxury hotel, onto a couple of vacant parking lots. MillHoll is located next door to the iconic Capital Records Tower, which is to be a highlighted feature of the mega-urban project.
The hottest issue that may be keeping MillHoll from advancing past renderings form is whether or not the land is sitting on top of an active earthquake fault. If it's true, that's one hell of a "no-no."
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Over the weekend, there was a slight reprieve in the press release war between Capella Hotels and the owners of The Resort at Pedregal but judging by the latter's social media postings, they are not backing down and will forge ahead with their new identity and management.
Quick backstory in case you missed it last week: The owners of Pedregal terminated Capella as the luxury resort's manager, installed a new GM (from a Wyndham hotel in Chicago, btw) and locked Capella's old GM out of the property. Capella took the owners to the NY Supreme Court and got a ruling which reinstated them as managers. Meanwhile, the resort is still closed for ongoing renovations due to damage sustained by Hurricane Odile.
Could this BE any more of a hotel telenovela???
Over the weekend, perhaps to show off their determination in the face of the court ruling, The Resort at Pedregal has been steady with their social media postings. Here are a couple of posts from their Facebook feed:
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Earlier today, we learned that Capella Hotels was reinstated as manager of the Capella Pedregal in Cabo San Lucas, a luxury resort that's currently closed while undergoing renovations for damage sustained from Hurricane Odile in September. But there's another storm brewing behind the scenes and this one could damage the resort for good.
Earlier in the week the owner of the Pedregal property, Hoteles de Cabo, S.de R.L.de C.V, (also known as CarVal Investors) announced that Capella would no longer manage the resort. The property would be known instead as The Resort at Pedregal. When we inquired about the reason for the management change, we were told this: "It was decided by ownership that it is in the best interests of everyone involved for The Resort to begin a new direction and the name change reflects the commitment to the new direction." Very vague.
But now that Capella has taken the matter to court and won a ruling in their favor, Hoteles de Cabo has let loose a bunch of allegations of mismanagement including, "unauthorized payments to themselves, and false financial reports." Perhaps worst of all, Hoteles De Cabo said Capella Hotel Group is withholding the funds that were donated to the employees of the resort after the hurricane.
Here's a statement from the Pedregal ownershipr:
"Beyond its mismanagement of the property itself, Capella has held funds donated by generous patrons to help the neediest team members recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Odile.
Capella is holding tens of thousands of dollars intended specifically to help hotel associates get their lives back in order following the horrific storms that have plagued Cabo recently. For reasons beyond our knowledge, they have opted not to distribute those funds. This is not only unacceptable for the unfortunate families involved, but should be doubly embarrassing in light of the fact that the funds were donated by our guests."
So much for that hefty donation Capella Hotel Group contributed. Hoteles de Cabo has said their company has distributed $125,000 directly to the employees of the hotel.
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The other week we published a list of official reopening dates for the resorts and hotels of Cabo San Lucas, who were hit very hard by Hurricane Odile in September. Worryingly, quite a few of the hotels on the list were only given the dreaded "To Be Announced" slot for their opening dates. Today, we have a few of those TBA dates firmed up.
· Capella Pedegral: The luxury hotel plans on reopening January 15. Here's a portion of the statement they put on their website:
Capella Pedregal has completed its assessment of the damage resulting from Hurricane Odile, and as reported earlier, the damage to the hotel was not severe and our initial goal was to be operational the earliest date possible. Unfortunately, the items needed for our hotel to be fully operational are estimated to be delivered and installed in January 2015.
If you have reservations with the hotel before January 15, 2015, Capella will issue fulleposit refunds and can either book you for alternative dates or check availability at their sister properties. Call 877.247.6688 with your concerns.
· One & Only Palmilla: Initially, this hotel was hoping to be back up by December 15. But now that date has been pushed to March 15. Here's their statement:
Hurricane Odile significantly impacted One&Only Palmilla and our team members and we are working hard to bring back our beloved resort and to delivering a true One&Only experience.
If you have reservations before March 15, call the hotel at 888-691-8081 to reschedule or amend.
· Esperanza, an Auberge Resort: Initially expected to open in December, the luxury resort will now open on March 1. If you have a reservation booked prior to this new March opening, contact reservations at 866-311-2226 for refund and re-booking assistance.
Keep reading for a list of updated reopening dates in chronological order
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We've been keeping tabs on the resort re-openings in Cabo San Lucas, after the area was severely damaged by Hurricane Odile last month. But now, we have a fully updated list from Los Cabos Hotel Association. And the timing couldn't be better as Cabo's airport officially re-opened today.
Quite a few hotels will open this month and next, and indeed, quite a few are already back in business. But there are five hotels that won't open until well into 2015 while 10 hotels still have no opening dates. We hope those change soon.
Keep reading to see the full list!
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After a Courtyard by Marriott in Manhattan was embarrassingly outed for "code injecting" a few years back, we kinda thought that Marriott International would learn from this lesson and drop all their WiFi shenanigans, especially after telling us how much of a priority free and working WiFi are for them. But no.
On Friday, news came out that the Federal Communications Commission fined Marriott Hotels $600,000 for blocking mobile WiFi hotspots at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville back in March of 2013. (Marriott took over the property in 2012.) In blocking these hotspots, Marriott then charged conference attendees, exhibitors and small businesses between $250 and $1,000 per device to connect to the hotel's own network. #heinous.
However, those shenanigans have caught up with them. Now, after forking over $600,000 in fines, Marriott will also have to send "compliance and usage reports to the FCC every three months for the next three years." So, you'd expect Marriott to finally learn their lesson after this ruling. Nope. Read this statement they released, which Loyalty Lobby posted up:
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]
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.
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.
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.
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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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.
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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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: