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We’re more than halfway through July, and there’s plenty of summer to be had in hotels across the globe—well at least the top half the globe. That doesn’t mean that hotels aren't looking forward to the holiday season, though - in fact, some properties are already busy heading up to the attic and taking an inventory of the Christmas decorations.
Gaylord Hotels—now part of the Marriott family—are beavering away getting ready for the holidays at four of their larger resorts. With properties having between 1,000 and 2,000 guestrooms there’s a lot of work to be done, as trees, wreathes, ornaments, and lights just don’t go and appear on their own. In Nashville it sounds like the lighting work has already begun—probably to give them time to figure out which one light is turning off the whole damn string of lights.
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!)
· Off Season in a Suite in Anguilla: If you've been dreaming about a Caribbean getaway all year but have been waiting for the off-season rate drop, now is the time to book at the Cusinart Golf Resort & Spa in Anguilla. Luxury suites are now going for $270 a night, down from $450. That includes full daily breakfast, free Wifi and an airport or ferry meet & greet. The deal is good for travel from now through September 3rd, so hurry, time is running out. To book, go to www.cuisinartresort.com or call 1-800-943-3210.
· Flash Sale for Gaylord Hotels is Extended: A flash sale for the not-so-flashy Gaylord Hotels has been extended until this Sunday, August 11, at 11:59pm CST. The sale is promising rates starting at $129 at all four of the Gaylord Hotels--Opryland, Palms, Texan and National--but rooms are going fast. That said, we were able to find rooms for Labor Day Weekend at the Gaylord Opryland hotel for just $129 a night.
· Mope Around Ojai like R-Patz at the Capri Hotel: Robert Pattinson has been hiding out from "trampire" Kristen Stewart in Ojai, Calif. on Reese Witherspoon's ranch no less. He's also been spotted around town drowning his sorrows in drinks at a local saloon. If you're keen to catch him while on the rebound or are in need of a break-up vacation, the Capri Hotel has rooms for just $89 a night on Living Social Escapes.
That includes a one-night stay for two in a balcony or patio room from Sundays-Thursdays, a bottle of wine and the option to combine vouchers to stay two nights. If you want to stay on a weekend, the rates jump to $102 a night. Alas, the deal is good only for stays starting October 1. R-Patz and K-Stew might totally be back together by then.
The Gaylord Opryland Hotel
Some bittersweet news today--Gaylord Hotels, which has four massive hotel/resorts in Tennessee, Florida, Maryland and Texas, will be selling its entire operation to Marriott Hotels for about $210 million.
Although the Gaylord name will remain, Marriott will takeover the operations at all four hotels for at least the next 35 years (Gaylord's parent company will still own the hotel buildings.) While this was the best move financially for the Nashville-based Gaylord Entertainment Company, it still makes us a little sad to see a small hotel company give into a bigger guy like Marriott.
However, USA Today reports that it was Marriott who decided to keep the Gaylord name because they believed in the brand so that's a good sign. All other experiences at the Gaylord hotels should remain the same as well (including the family-friendly Shrek one), just now you can use your Marriott Rewards points to stay here.
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For parents with children obsessed with Shrek (or for people who love Shrek themselves), Gaylord Hotels have partnered up with DreamWorks Animation to offer Shrek experiences for their guests.
These range from character breakfasts to Christmastime events, poolside activities, food and beverage offerings and what we predict will be most requested--private birthday parties. The experiences will also be done with characters from other DreamWorks franchises, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar and will happen at all four Gaylord hotels in Florida, Tennessee, Maryland and Texas.
Sadly, these experiences don't extend to the rooms. But the WSJ reports that themed rooms could be a possibility in the future, depending on customer demand. For what it's worth, we think there should be an entire Shrek Suite that resembles his and Fiona's house in the swamp. And don't forget Donkey!
The experiences go on sale in July for November stays but prices have not been released. But that's not going to matter is it when your kid is begging for a Shrek birthday party, is it?
We love a good comeback story, and in this case it's even sweeter, since the Opryland is one of the biggest fans of Christmas we've ever seen in hotel land, and they're reopening just in time to launch their big Country Christmas holiday tradition.
We're only halfway through and already 2010 has been a banner year for Hotel Emergencies. The headlines today may be dominated by BP oil spill news, but we are heartened to hear this good-news followup to another of the year's disasters, the Nashville floods of May 1st weekend: the Gaylord Opryland Resort will re-open on November 15.
The grand hotel suffered considerable damage and was forced to close indefinitely in the aftermath of the floods. (Thankfully, guests were evacuated before the floodwaters reached the property.) But restoration has been in full swing and is on schedule for a triumphant return in November.
If you're planning a stay at The Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville in the near future, you may want to double-check on that room reservation. Severe rain storms over the past few days have put most of Nashville under water as its Cumberland River continues to overflow and the grand hotel got hit hard as the floodwaters are one story deep around the hotel.
As you can imagine, the hotel--which has a massive atrium and retail shops on its lower floors--has been closed indefinitely while they recuperate from the damage. Here is a snippet of the message on their website:
As a result, the hotel is not taking any incoming reservations at this time. The guests that were in the hotel this Sunday were evacuated to a nearby shelter for the evening where they were provided with food, drinks and bedding. As of today, most have left the shelter, and have been picking up their luggage from the hotel with the assistance of Gaylord Opryland's bell staff and other leaders who are on site to assist these guests with obtaining their luggage.
We have a love-hate relationship with Twitter. The constant RT-ing, the abuse of hash tags, the "Top That!" and "First!" mentality of Twitterers and their cringe-inducing overshares have us threatening to quit Twitter on a daily basis. But today, we love Twitter again. That's because Twitterer DShelleny tweeted about his woes with too many gadgets and not enough outlets in his room at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville. He writes and TwitPics the frustration saying:
Hey @gaylordhotels..great hotel, here's a quick suggestion for you though... http://twitpic.com/m9u4o
That's his TwitPic above. Interestingly, @GaylordHotels (which has four Gaylord Hotels in the U.S.) has 475 followers but absolutely zero tweets. So we're guessing they didn't see DShelleny's @reply yet. Maybe now they have.
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It seems that Gaylord Hotels really know how to celebrate the winter holiday season, and although that time seems awfully far away right now, you know how Christmas suddenly appears without warning … so if you want to get a glimpse of the seasonal miracle that is Gaylord ICE! you should start planning a Christmas vacation at one of the four Gaylord places right now.
The Gaylord people really know how to impress and even gets Chinese ice sculpting experts in to set up the huge ice displays. NO, really. Gaylord is going all out with the ice.
There's tons of hotel news flying around this week and we don't have time to give each and every story the love and attention it may deserve, so you will have to settle for some news briefs.
· More Bob Marley Hotels?: Bob Marley's eldest daughter, Cedella, says her family is considering franchising the Bob Marley name to include beer, clothes and hotels. There's already a Bob Marley Hotel in Jamaica. [NME]
· Octomom's Hotel Stay: The controversial woman who gave birth to octuplets after getting in-vitro, although she already had six children, has apparently been staying in a hotel for the past week. Let's hope California taxpayers aren't footing the bill. [Radar]
· Hotels.com Lays Off Quality Assurance Workers: We are a little concerned about the recent layoffs at Hotels.com who let go about 150 IT workers and some quality assurance staffers. [Computer World]
· $99 Rooms at Gaylord Opryland: Room rates at this mega-hotel in Nashville have dropped to $99 a night for stays this month and in March.
· Where Richard Branson and Other Celebs Enter the Liberty Hotel: Through this "super secret" entrance. [HotelChatter Twitter]
Reviewing DC's shiny new Gaylord National Hotel, a writer for The Washington Post felt adjectives like "glorious" and "mesmerizing" weren't enough to describe the sheer enormity of this sprawling hotel and convention center.
"Ridonkulous" would have to do.
This $86 million dollar complex, part of the Gaylord chain, busts at the seams with atriums and banquet halls, 470,000 square feet of conference facilities, a four-star spa, even on-site shopping.
It's fair to say this place can brag it's a small city -- literally. There are 2000 rooms of all sizes (traditional, premium, and suites). According to the Post, it's a half-million square feet, looking out over the National Harbor docks along the Potomac, and Old Town Virginia, where you can catch a water taxi to Georgetown or Mount Vernon.
And inside the gargantualific atrium are two full-scale recreations of Colonial-era buildings. Bloody hell!