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Hallo! There's a bunch of news flying around and we're having trouble getting to it all, so we've packaged the tidbits up nice and neat for you to read about here. Enjoy!
· BEHIND-THE-SCENES STRUGGLE IS HAPPENING AT ACE HOTELS: Alex Calderwood, the man who founded Ace Hotels, passed away last November, shocking those close to him and those who like us, just loved his hotels. His presence can still be found throughout the Aces, including in illustrated format at the Ace Hotel DTLA. But now his estate is asking for a bigger presence. We received a media alert which said the following:
The estate of the late Alex Calderwood has filed suit against Ace Group International LLC (“Ace”), its member Ecoplace LLC, and board member Stefanos Economou. Calderwood’s estate is the majority stakeholder in Ace and is asking the court to declare that it, not Ecoplace or Economou, has the right to control and manage Ace under the Ace membership agreement and Delaware law. The case is pending in the Supreme Court of New York for New York County.
Calderwood, who passed away in November 2013, was the founder and creative force behind Ace and its collection of successful Ace Hotels. Aspen Ace LLC, with Gordon Sondland as President, was established to advise and represent the estate on behalf of the Calderwood family.
Ay, yi, yi. We hope this ends amicably.
UPDATE 1.20.15, 5:00PM PST: A rep from Ace Group International has sent over this statement on the lawsuit.
Upon Alex Calderwood’s death, his interest in AGI passed to his estate which is administered by his father Thomas Calderwood. AGI’s operating agreement states that the estate's interest is a profit/distribution only interest and that it has no management rights. Stefanos Economou and the rest of Ace’s management team have been operating the company since Alex’s death. A lawsuit was filed which requests a broader role for the estate. We believe that this lawsuit is without merit.
Hotel Closings / Hotel Openings / Hotel Hype / Legoland Hotels / Hotel News / Millennium Hotels / → All Tags
When one hotel closes, another one is quick to open. The Millennium Hotel in St. Louis which has been in steady decline for a few years, will close the last 164 of its 780 hotel rooms on January 22.. The general manager for the hotel gave this statement to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
“The hotel has served the St. Louis community well for many years,” Robert Rivers, the owner’s regional general manager, said in a statement. “However, we have concluded that the hotel, in its current state, does not meet our standards and has not kept pace with guest demands.”
An example of how outdated the hotel is? According to a TripAdvisor review, the rooms did not have wireless internet. Good grief! But the biggest loss will be the hotel's spinning restaurant at the top of the building. Baseball fans will also miss this killer ballpark view. No word on what could possibly take its place but residential condos is most likely.
Meanwhile, in Orlando, the new-ish Legoland Theme Park will be getting its own 152-room Lego-themed hotel in 2015. Having spent some time at Legoland Hotel in California, which just opened last April, we bet the Orlando outpost will be very similar. But of course, with Orlando being so
muggy hot in the summer months, there will probably be more water features at the pool.
Legoland in Carlsbad, Calif. only opened their first hotel this past April (read all about it here but already they were dreaming of opening a second hotel next to the theme park, this time with an additional 50 hotel rooms, along with 40 themed cabins that would have been designed as either tree houses or "Hobbit lodges. Amazing!
Except the city of Carlsbad rejected Legoland's proposal and instead voted in favor of a bland Westin resort from Grand Pacific Hotels. Booo.The Westin will actually come about as an addition to the existing Sheraton resort near Legoland.
According to the San Diego Union Tribune, there is a possibility that Legoland will still be able to build their second hotel property on land that they already own versus land owned by the city. We can only hope.
But still, if this one doesn't get built, more Legoland hotels will happen as Lego's parent company, Merlin Entertainment, is prepping an public stock offering to fund hotel development and theme parks around the world.
One of the perks of staying at the just-opened Legoland Hotel in Carlsbad, Calif., (aside from the kid-friendlieness, the early access to the park and the Lego pit), is that there are Lego works of art at nearly every turn.
These sculptures were done by Lego's own Master Builders and each one requires THOUSANDS of Legos to build.
Seven of the hotel's large Lego models are animated and four of them are part of the Lego dragon family (there's one at the entrance, in the lobby, out back and another in the lobby playground.) The rest are just fun to look at. We especially loved the toy monkey in our room, the play concierge near the concierge desk and the giant Lego pasta maker in the Bricks restaurant.
These are just 15 of the sculptures we spotted or loved and/or had the time to take a picture of. There are actually a total of 3,500 Lego models throughout the property. In total, more than three million Lego bricks were used to create these masterpieces. Hmmm...We bet Legoland didn't have to pick up the stray pieces from their living room floor though.
Hotel Deals / Hotel Promo Codes / Passover Hotels / Viceroy Hotels / New Orleans Hotels / Caribbean Hotels / Legoland Hotels / → All Tags
Deals: you want 'em, and surprisingly, everyone has 'em. Take a look at some of the latest hotel deals going around the internet today from booking sites, social media sites, flash sale sites and more. Don't forget to scroll down to see the HotelChatter-approved deal either. Who knows? You might just find what you're looking for. (But don't forget to tell us about your stay!)
DEALS, DEALS, DEALS*
· Passover Pick in Miami: Last week we focused on some Easter hotels. This week we have a spot for Passover which begins on March 24-The Alexander Hotel in Miami Beach. The all-suite hotel Passover package includes two lavish seders, three upscale meals and tea daily, late night buffet, a BBQ extravaganza, a daily minyanim, a Shabbat elevator and more. You can see the entire breakdown of rates and dates (especially what it will cost if you have kids) on this helpful PDF. Once you've made up your mind, go here to book.
· Viceroy Hotels Flash Sale: The Viceroy Hotel Group is in the midst of a seven day sale for nearly all of their properties from Anguilla to Beverly Hills, San Francisco, New York, Maldives and even Abu Dhabi. Most deals start with 15 percent off the best available rate and include varying amounts of hotel credits per night. The sale ends at 11:59EST on March 24. Go here to book.
· $83 April Fool's Rate at Sheraton New Orleans: No kidding, the Sheraton New Orleans is dropping its pants, er, rates to $83 a night on April 1. For real! Why the $83 rate? That's because the hotel first opened to guests on April 1, 1983. Now the Canal Street hotel is sporting a grand new look thanks to a recently completed a $50 million renovation. To get your $83 room rate, call 1-888-627-7033 and mention promotion code NOFOOL. Regular rooms start at $129. Oh and if you somehow saved your receipt from your stay at the hotel in April 1983, you will get a three-day stay at the $83 rate. You must show your historic receipt upon check-in to redeem the offer.
· Soft Opening Discount at New Caribbean Resort: Las Verandas Hotel and Villas on the Western Caribbean island of Roatán (off the coast of Honduras) just opened on March 1 with 60 luxury rooms, 32 free-standing villas and a 6,000-sq.ft. spa. The resort will fully open in July but from now through May 31st, you can score a 30 percent discount. Rates for golf course rooms start at $295 a night before discounts. Ocean view rooms are $325 a night, also before discounts. So when you call 1-855-224-6620 to book, ask for the soft opening rate to get the 30 percent off. 30% off all rack rates for stays during March 1 to May 31, 2013.
Legoland Hotels / Hotel Openings / California Hotels / Themed Hotels / Hotels for Kids / Hotel News / → All Tags
One hotel goes off the list and another one comes on!
Ahoy there, matey's! North America's first Legoland Hotel has just pegged its stateside opening for April 5 at the entrance to the Legoland theme park in Carlsbad, California.
Newly released images snapped by Reuters show the lobby of the world's third Lego hotel (there's one in the UK and Denmark) will be staffed by life-sized, Lego-built employees including bell hops and a dragon.
We know many of you have finished up your family holidays for the season and sent the children back to their so-second homes called school. But for those parents with tiny tots at home and those advanced planners we all secretly aspire to be, you’ll want to know this: Legoland, Californiais now taking reservations for May 7-August31-2013.
These are for hotel packages at its new 250-room hotel near San Diego.
Now families will have a complete theme-park experience with days spent at on rides, , and nights at the resort-like themed hotel which has a dragon-guarded entrance, interactive features, themed play areas, pool and kid’s entertainment. You won’t have to travel far to reach the hotel either as it’s located right at the main entrance of the theme park.
Guests can choose from three types of themed rooms—Pirate, Kingdom, or Adventure-with accommodations including two separate sleeping areas: queen-size bed for adults, and one for kids ( up to three) with bunk bed and pull-out trundle bed, plus their own television, so no fighting over the remote!
The package includes:
*Four 2-Day Resort Hopper tickets, including 2-day admission to Legoland California, Sea Life Aquarium and Legoland Water Park (water park open weekends only until May 25th, then open daily for the Summer)
*Exclusive early admission to the park on both days
*Breakfast for up to 4 people daily
Legoland Hotels / San Diego Hotels / Family-Friendly Hotels / Hotel Construction / Hotel News / → All Tags
For the folks who can't make it across the pond for the just-opened Legoland Hotel in the UK comes news that the Legoland Hotel San Diego, on property at the Legoland theme park, is indeed under construction and set to open in Summer 2013.
Cameras installed last December after grading on the site began will remain on, tracking construction from sunrise to sundown, until the hotel opens in the summer of 2013. The website shows two different angles of the 250-room hotel and gives viewers the ability to watch time-lapse footage and zoom in and out of the site. The walls are currently going up, reports Legoland spokeswoman Julie Estrada.
Keen to stay here? Better get on the list. Advance room sales will open this August. Also, we're keeping our fingers crossed that "junior concierges" will be hired at this hotel too.
[Photo via Legoland Webcam]
There's only about two more months until the new Legoland Hotel opens at the LEGOLAND UK but their hiring plans are already in full swing. Yet there's one unusual position that stands out--that of Junior Concierge.
The hotel is putting together a team of six boys and girls, ages 8 to 12, who will help young hotel guests to decide what to do at the park. Aside from getting to wear a funny costume, er, uniform, and to talk at length about their favorite things at Legoland, these junior concierges will get some killer employment perks: The NY Daily News reports:
Each concierge will receive a free weekend with their family over their tenure, the park says, which includes a stay in a Lego-themed room, two days in the park and plenty of Lego to play with.
And we're guessing they will only have to work when school's not in session.
Great news for parents of LEGO lovers--When the The LEGOLAND UK Theme Park opens again for the season on March 16, there will be a brand-new 150-room LEGO-themed hotel opening along side it called The LEGOLAND Windsor Resort Hotel. Even though a new Legoland recently opened in Orlando, this is actually the first official LEGOLAND hotel to open outside of Denmark (where the original LEGOLAND is.)
The UK LEGOLAND hotel will be very similar to the Denmark hotel in that the place will be wall-to-wall LEGOS from the entrance which will feature a fire-breathing dragon perched in a tower, to the restaurant, LEGO Skyline bar, and a LEGO pirates-themed pool. And of course, there will be LEGO-themed hotel rooms.