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As the grand finale to cocktail week here's Part 2 of our round-up of some of the nifty things we see going on in the world of hotel bars and bevvies. Don't forget to let us know what’s going on in your section of the world!
Beer is the new wine: Before some of you get stressed out, we’re not saying that wine’s going away, but we have noticed that beer is getting more attention these days. Some hotel bars are making beer their “thing,” some are making their own and some are getting it made for them.
Most of us tend to only hang out at airport hotels when we’re going to and from a place, but the Four Points by Sheraton LAX has a 100-beer beererie called Brewster’s that includes an ever-changing tap list of craft and microbrews. They have an on-staff Director of Brewer Relations who ensures the beer list is fresh and filled with rare brews, monthly beer appreciation nights, beer pairings such as Smoked Stone Porter with smoked salmon, beer turndown service that includes a beer-stocked minibar, and a recently-launched Hoppily Ever After package that lets the happy couple-to-be create their very own custom, brewed-to-taste beer for their big day—isn’t that just so romantic?
While it seems logical to say that a busy cruise ship port benefits hotel occupancy in the area -- i.e. guests staying a night before or after who might not have otherwise visited -- a recent story developing in Mexico has made us rethink that notion.
Quick backstory: Last December, the Mexican government proposed to build a train that would link the resort area of Riveria Maya with the city of Merida, the capital of the Yucatan state. The concept has been supported by many, including the Mexican Tourism Board, as a way to improve tourism. According to reports, the train times would be coordinated with the arrival of cruise ships to allow for passenger excursions to Chichen Itza or one of the other nearby Mayan ruins that sit between Cancun and Merida.
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Matachica in Belize is all about the chill, at a great rate...
The great thing about traveling to the Caribbean now through December is that rates are least 40%, below high season rates. Sometimes even more than that. And face it, this is the time of year when most folks are taking their vacations anyway, so you may as well go somewhere that’s inexpensive, right?
We've got 5 Caribbean hotels that are pretty easy on the budget year-round, but are an even better deal now. So, pack your strongest SPF (those sun rays are HOT) and shades and get island bound with the quickness.
This Starwood brand is new to Cancún, and opened just a week ago, so things are likely in tip-top condition. This is pretty important in hotel-glut filled Cancún, where choices can sometimes be hit or miss. We’re also happy to see the Aloft favorites such as the w xyz bar, the 24/7 pantry fuel by Aloft and re:mix lounge, where we are certain the DJ will make sure to remind you you’re in Mexico with some serious salsa beats (and don't forget to drink tequila too!) It should go without saying—but the free WiFi is a plus. Coming soon will be a rooftop pool, but for now you’ll have to walk about five minutes to the beach and the sparkling blue sea. But at these rates, it’s no problema. Rates from $99 per night.
Celebrity Scoop / Nene Leakes / Hotel Weddings / Cancun Hotels / Palace Resorts / Mexico Hotels / → All Tags
Earlier this week we told you that a certain high profile personality was headed to Mexico for her bachelorette party.
Today we reveal the bride-to-be is none other than Linnethia "NeNe" Leakes of "Real Housewives of Atlanta" (and "Glee") fame!
Even though NeNe's famous line has been "I'm RICH," she brought her entourage of gal pals to the relatively affordable, but still upscale all-inclusive Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort near Cancun. The place is increasingly becoming a popular spot for celebrities--Usher just had a concert there last December and previous guests at the Palace brand have included Snooki.
The seven-member bridal party are already living it up and have gone on the FlowRider, been in the pool, spa and gym, having a true girlfriends getaway--but without the drama that we've seen on RHOA, thank goodness. However, just like their personas in ATL, they've been dressed to impress, even going to the beach in high fashion attire. Though NeNe looks a bit more comfy in her caftan than Marlo in her gladiator gear!
Check out our pics of the women having a ball!
We love our HotelChatter tipsters, and just received word that a certain engaged celeb is arriving in Mexico to get her bachelorette party on! We have to admit, we do get a little giddy when it comes to wedding season stories!
Before we show you the photos of the festivities, we’ll play a little guessing game with you. Take a look at these three ladies and let us know, who do you think will be the blushing bride-to-be?
Actress Regina King made us laugh earlier this year with her turn as on "The Big Bang Theory" but behind the scenes, things have been a little, well, rough.
For starters, her show "Southland" got cancelled. Then she split from boyfriend
Theo Huxtable Malcolm-Jamal Warner who apparently told her "he wasn't feeling it anymore." But we bet after seeing these pics, he's definitely feeling it now.
Regina showed off her killer body poolside at the Villa del Palmer Resort and Spa in Cancun, where she recently escaped for a much-needed getaway with her girlfriends. (Fun fact: Lisa Rinna recently stayed there too.) While there, she also fell in love again...with a salsa recipe from Chef Alfredo Bazan, the chef de cuisine at the resort's Zama restaurant. Once we heard this, we had to get our hands on that recipe. Will it make us look as good as Regina does? Probably not, but we can keep on with that wishful thinking, can't we?
Keep reading for more photos of Regina and the Villa del Palmar's special salsa recipe!
After completing a multi-million dolllar renovation of the Barcelo Bavaro in Punta Cana that increased its occupancy rate by about 2% and revenue per available room by 8.6%, Barcelo will now turn its attention to its gigantic Riviera Maya property in hopes of achieving similar results.
The project will cost more than $45 million and will begin on May 6 and focus on the complex’s Maya Beach and Maya Caribe hotels. Each will receive a revamped lobby, a new bar and an a-la-carte restaurant. The complex as a whole should benefit from the addition of an entertainment center that is to include a sports bar, bowling alley, teen disco, kids club, waterpark, and paddle tennis courts. A new Premium Club lounge will also be added.
The property consists of five adjacent hotels and one of the largest pools we've seen on a resort property in that region, with plenty of space to find serenity and avoid the drunk people at the swim up bar.
Although Mexico City’s Live Aqua Bosques did have a soft opening last October, it's now "officially" open and ready to dazzle guests. If you recognize the name it’s because this hotel is the sister property of Live Aqua resort in Cancun.
The main difference is that this 135-room property is primarily aimed at the business market, although it’s not your average cookie-cutter corporate set up. Hotelera Posadas, Mexico’s leading hotel company, designed and placed the five-floor hotel in the heart of Mexico city’s fast-moving business district, Paseo de los Tamarindos, in the exclusive neighborhood of Bosques de las Lomas. It’s also close to the important Santa Fe, Interlomas and Paseo de la Reforma areas.
Arriving guests won’t find a traditional check-in desk. Instead, it will be done on a one-to-one basis with a staff member using a tablet. The guest is then led to their sleek and polished room that follows the multi-sensory concept of Live Aqua Cancun. They’ll find in-room aromatherapy and pillow menus (with 18 options!) and customizable in-room lighting.
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We recently listed 5 Elopement Packages for those wanting a low-fuss wedding, but that doesn't mean one has to skip out on the time-honored tradition of The Bachelor Party. Of course, today is Fantasy Friday, so we've got to go a little over-the-top with the options, and boy have we found some. But don't worry, we've got some sensible back-up plans as well.
For Golf Lovers
Rosewood Mayakoba's $175,000 Ultimate Golf Experience is completely insane!During the week of November 11-17, 2013, the resort's El Camaleón Golf Club will host the OHL Classic, when the world’s top PGA Tour players will compete on the Greg Norman designed, 7,000-yard, 18-hole championship course. To celebrate this high profile tournament (and golf-nuts everywhere) the resort created an extravagant package that's a bachelor's ultimate last-hurrah.The groom and two of his besties will get a private lesson with world famous golf instructor Jim McLean, a round of golf with legend Greg Norman at Playa Mujeres (you'll take a private helicopter to and fro) as well as receive three positions in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba Pro-Am. Oh, and though this is already an all-suite resort, you'll stay in the 6,272 square-foot Presidential Lagoon Suite. Evenings mean sipping cocktails with the PGA Tour players (!), an invite to a private BBQ on the beach, and a tequila tasting of some of the country's best labels. This package is only available for November 12-19, 2013. Book via Rosewood.com
Not In Your Price Range?
Alternative: Head to Ponte Vedra and The Sawgrass Marriott Resort & Spa where from May 6 to 12, they'll be the host hotel for annual THE PLAYERS Championship at the world-famous TPC Sawgrass. Your group of guys can bask in the Florida sun in the place where some of PGA's greats like Vijay Singh, Fred Couples, and Matt Kuchar have played. This spring you'll see who'll be battling it out for a beaucoup cash purse ($9 million!) on the 18-hole, Pete Dye-designed course. Tickets start at just $15! When you're not playing yourself, feel free to spend time in the ornate Club House (we recommend indulging in the ridiculous brunch spread) where you can see Tiger Woods' 2001 tournament locker, have a few post-play cocktails, and generally feel like royalty before settling into the domestic life. Packages start at $349 per night, which includes daily breakfast, a round on THE PLAYERS Course, and other perks. In this special season and you'll generally feel like royalty before settling into the domestic life. Book through Sawgrass Marriott's special page.
Celebrity Scoop / Family-Friendly Hotels / Bethenny Frankel / Alicia Keys / Bahamas Hotels / Miami Hotels / Cancun Hotels / Mexico Hotels / → All Tags
Who says family vacations can be stressful? For these three famous mothers, getaways look effortless. Sure, they've probably got help, but you too can have a great time if you pick the right resort. That means choosing a place with a great kids' program, child-friendly foods, and of course, a pool or beach.
If you have all these things in place and you're pretty much guaranteed to have a good time. What we can't guarantee? That you'll look as STUNNING as these three mommas do, post-partum. What's their secret? We're dying to know and crazed with jealousy.
This past weekend, after a court date with soon-to-be ex-husband Jason Hoppy, Bethenny Frankel hopped on a Miami-bound plane with daughter Bryn. The two had a girl’s getaway at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. The super-svelt Frankel (clad in skimpy bikinis and a silk Ramy Brook cover up) seemed to forget her marital woes, and had a ball with her Cheetos and Pop Chip-munching two-year old, who wore a super cute pink polka-dot wetsuit and matching goggles.
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The amazing view from The Buccaneer is just short of competing with a brides beauty
May usually kicks off "wedding season" and from our experience, betrothed couples usually fall into two camps--the calm and collected or the completely overwhelmed. We believe these 5 Elopement Packages are perfect for the anti-bride, and those looking for an elegant, but easy-to-manage affair.
These hotels' wedding offerings are downright affordable, quite important after the seriously extravagant ceremony packages we've seen lately. Whether it's a ring exchange for 2 in Vegas or a Caribbean island soiree for 20, we think you'll appreciate a simpler way to walk down the aisle.
Aria Resort and Casino, Las Vegas
Who says all Vegas weddings have to be kitschy and doomed to an Elvis-impersonator-slash-drive-through affair? Nope. It's getting classier by the moment, and as of April 23, there will be a new Wedding Chapel at the ARIA, one of the town's hottest hotels. Instead of some velvet-laden, dank "church", this place promises to be completely chic. Designed in conjunction with MGM Resorts International Design, expect a modern and sophisticated set-up with chrome and mahogany wood doors, and a color scheme centered around warm chocolate tones and creamy whites. Pops of floral color and metallics soften up the look and lend a romantic feel. Seating is available for up to 60 guests, and the front foyer will double as a space for small post-ceremony gatherings. There's a dedicated ladies’ dressing lounge, and even a groom’s game lounge with a pool table and wet bar. It will feel more penthouse than house of the Lord, though, so keep that in mind. After all, it's still Vegas! On-site wedding coordinators are available to help the Big Day go smoothly, as well. The Wedding Chapel at ARIA will offer a variety of nuptial packages, ranging from $1,500 to $21,000. They all include photography, flowers, limo transportation to and from the Clark County Marriage Bureau and an officiant to perform the ceremony. Some packages even include accommodations at the hotel--honeymoon suite, anyone? And for those who can't attend your wedding, the Chapel can broadcast your ceremony online. For more info, visit arialasvegas.com/weddings or call the Chapel at (877) 371-2742.
Hotel News / Hotel Openings / Mexico Hotels / La Paz Hotels / Hyatt Place / Hyatt Hotels / → All Tags
2013 has been quite the year for Hyatt Place so far, with two major openings in Austin and New York within weeks of each other (we recently stayed at the latter, and wrote our thoughts about it here).
Now, the brand has us all worked up again thanks to an announcement about a 151-room hotel built on a 550-acre luxury resort in La Paz, Mexico. Opening in 2014, the hotel will be just a few minutes from downtown La Paz, and only 30 minutes from Manuel Marquez de Leon Int'l Airport (that's good news if your schedule only allows for quickie long weekend jaunts).
Now, don't go thinking that Hyatt Place gets all those 550 acres to itself: the hotel will be part of a luxury resort complex known as "CostaBaja." And as such, guests of the future hotel will get to enjoy all the resort's amenities, like a 250-slip double-basin marina, La Paz' first-ever spa, two pools, two restaurants, and an 18-hole golf course. Oh, and white sandy beaches along the Sea of Cortez.