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Hotel News / Hotel Renovations / Econo Lodge Hotels / Florida Hotels / Orlando Hotels / Choice Hotels / → All Tags
A small part of us chuckles that the world's largest Econo Lodge will humbly boast under 300 rooms, but we suppose it's a nice step for the typically small motel chain as far as novelty goes. Perhaps more important than the size of the property is the extra perks that are not normally seen at Econo Lodges such as an on-site delicatessen and free in-room Wi-Fi, coffee makers, refrigerators, and ironing boards. It will also have a partnership with the adjacent YMCA Aquatic Center, allowing guests free access to its three indoor pools, fitness center, and indoor racquetball courts.
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If you're staying at the RiverPlace Hotel in Portland this week, and are looking for General Manager Ryan Kunzer, you won't find him anywhere in the hotel. Which isn't to say he's not working.
He'll be working, alright, but instead of a traditional office, Kunzer has temporarily stationed himself inside a bubble tent in the middle of Pioneer Square.
Starting yesterday, Kunzer will spend three nights working and sleeping inside the 24-geodesic dome as a way to promote the hotel's renovated guest rooms, which are fresh from a $2.5 million makeover.
As a way to introduce the new look to locals and potential guests, RiverPlace has re-created a guest room inside the tent for all to see (literally). Kind of a genius PR stunt, if you ask us. No pedestrian who stumbles upon a pop-up bubble hotel in the middle of a public square would ever be able to pass by and not want to peek inside.
Hopefully, the reviews will be positive...
Rates from $284/night.
[Photo: RiverPlace Hotel]
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.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Rebranding / Hotel Renovations / South Africa Hotels / Hotel Design / Cape Town Hotels / Hilton Hotels / DoubleTree Hotels / → All Tags
Last week, Hilton Worldwide opened the 183-room DoubleTree by Hilton Cape Town - Upper Eastside, the brands first DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in South Africa. Yes, the name is a mouthful, but we can swallow that if it means a new affordable option for Cape Town.
We’ve noticed lately Hilton’s been stylifying (yeah, made that word up) their DoubleTree brand, and this newly reno’ed, upscale property is no exception. The lobby is filled with white latticework and vibrant nature colors of green and blue. Rooms are a mix of earthy browns, greys and whites. The Rooms range from executive and suites to two-story loft rooms located on the penthouse floor with sweet views of the city’s skyline.
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The 42nd president of the United States, George W. Bush is getting his own presidential library at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and the hotels are expecting to fill up because of it. Yes, differing political leanings aside, President Barack Obama and all living presidents will attend the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum tomorrow though the library officially open to the public the first week of May.
Word on the street is that both the Hotel Palomar and the Hotel Lumen (both Kimpton Hotels), which are within walking distance of the library, are sold out or close to it. And one hotel, The Holiday Inn Dallas, Central-Park Cities recently underwent a $9 million, year-long renovation to spiff up its offerings for the influx of library visitors (estimated to be about 500,000 a year.)
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The Radisson Plaza Hotel Minneapolis has few flaws. Reviews are great, in fact. Out of towners love its comfort, reliability, cleanliness, and proximity to downtown attractions. Locals love the in-house FireLake Grill and lobby bar. So far, so good, right? Of course, there's a but...
There's one complaint that we see pop up now and then from guests--it's that the hotel's service can be impersonal at times and that it just doesn't sparkle the way they envisioned a 4-star hotel should.
Well, we think we can consider that problem officially solved. Last week, Radisson announced the property will be converted into a Radisson Blu, meaning if the hotel is considered "upscale" now, it will soon be "upper-upscale." Basically, more Ps and Qs, and maybe a white glove or two.
Hotel News / Hotel Rebranding / Hotel Rebrandings / Hotel Renovations / Autograph Collection / Marriott Hotels / London Hotels / UK Hotels / Edinburgh Hotels / Scottish Hotels / → All Tags
The raison d’être of Marriott’s Autograph Collection is to provide not just a place to lay your weary head, but to give you an experience based on different themes like Culinary Delight, Artistic Getaway, Urban Excitement or Sporting Adventure. (For added fun, you can visit their Facebook page and have your autograph analysed to see which theme suits you best. It was shockingly accurate.)
Now they’re bringing that concept to the UK for the first time with the addition of two upscale hotels: Threadneedles in London and The Glasshouse in Edinburgh.
Threadneedles is set in the heart of the Square Mile, the original site of the Roman settlement that started it all. Being in The City, you’re close to St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Borough Market and the Tower of London.
The hotel is in a former Victorian bank and blends the traditional with the contemporary. The lobby is dominated by an elaborate stained-glass dome from 1856 and the hotel has a see-and-be-seen restaurant and bar for the business crowd, Bonds. For those of you who have really latched on to the theme idea, you’re looking at Urban Excitement, Culinary Delight, Wedding Celebrations and Historic Explorations at this boutique hotel.
Hotel News / Langham Hotels / Eaton Hotels / Toronto Hotels / Canada Hotels / Hotel Rebrandings / Hotel Renovations / → All Tags
The brand has decided to take over the Delta Chelsea in Toronto, which, at 1,590 rooms, is Canada's largest hotel.
As of July 1, the hotel will officially be known as Eaton Chelsea, thus becoming the first Eaton hotel to open in North America. (For those of you unfamiliar with the name, Eaton is an offshoot brand under the Langham umbrella, with several properties throughout Asia, including Eaton Hong Kong and Eaton Smart New Delhi Airport.)
Langham's parent company has owned the
Delta Chelsea Eaton Chelsea for nearly two decades, but has finally decided to take over management duties as well. This is most likely due to Langham's steadily growing presence in the US, with The Langham Chicago one of the most anticipated openings of 2013 (and not just because of the free WiFi!).
Similar in many ways to Langham, Eaton is known for its "smart, modern and uncomplicated interiors and an enthusiastic 'can do' service culture," as explained by Eaton Chelsea Regional VP Josef Ebner. The hotel itself will undergo major renovations to the exterior, lobby, Market Garden restaurant, and meeting facilities.
One of its main attractions is the "Corkscrew," downtown Toronto's only indoor waterslide.
Rates from $131/night.
[Photo: Eaton Chelsea]
The Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando Studios has just finished a major renovation of its guest rooms so it's only natural that they show off the results. But The Loews isn't passing around some fancy, carefully staged, photoshopped photos. No, they've gone above and beyond the call of PR duty to create a time-lapse video that features the transformation of one guest room from start to finish.
The video is just over a minute long and it's actually super cool, especially if you're a renovation nerd like us. It's like we're watching HGTV but for a hotel room!
You see everything that went into the renovation from removal of the old outdated furniture, ripping up the dank rugs, putting new paint on the walls, laying down a new carpet, tons of electrical work and the assembling of the new furniture. (Our heart skipped a beat when we saw brand-new mattresses being unwrapped from the plastic. For real.)
Hotel Renovations / Photo Gallery / Beach Hotels / Santa Monica Hotels / Hotel Pools / Hotel Restaurants / Los Angeles Hotels / → All Tags
It's Guess the Hotel revealed!
We could have picked plenty other parts of LA for our West Coast jaunt this weekend: Downtown LA, West Hollywood, Studio City, or maybe, if we were feeling reaallly generous with ourselves, Beverly Hills. But no, we had to be stubborn about it and go after beachy, balmy Santa Monica.
The sun, the sand, the waves, we wanted it all. The only problem was, luck wasn't on our side, and the weather all weekend stayed cloudy and in the 60s.
This gave us a good chance to acquaint ourselves with our room, a spacious Ocean View Suite at the Oceana Santa Monica (ocean views are normally a good thing, but this time it just reminded us how we were missing out on quality sprawled-out-on-the-beach tanning time).
Inside the room, we caught up on work, watched Gladiator on TNT, and even played a few rounds of checkers with our friend. (Yup, that's right! The mystery flip-top checkers board table we showed you yesterday is indeed found at the Oceana Santa Monica.)
Then, just as we were getting ready to check out, we saw shadows start to become defined on our wall, and realized—gasp!—the sun was finally coming out! And just in the nick of time. So we did what any hotel geek would do and scoured the property to take photos of the hotel the way it's meant to be seen.
Click through for our photo gallery of the sun-drenched lobby and pool courtyard!
We’ve previously talked about the intense competition in the Parisian palace (and palace-adjacent; not every luxury hotel gets to use the term) hotel market. Despite eye-wateringly expensive rates, appetite for these hotels knows no bounds it seems. Let’s recap for a minute what’s been happening shall we?
Prince de Galles is due to reopen right next door to Four Seasons George V (which is renovating floor by floor and added a penthouse), Le Bristol added a whole wing, and so will Plaza Athenée, Raffles let Philippe Starck loose on the Royal Monceau, Le Meurice spruced up its five Presidential Suites, Hotel de Crillon should become a Rosewood after a two-year closure, and then there is the small matter of the three Asian heavyweights Shangri-La, Mandarin Oriental, and soon, Peninsula (more on that later) muscling their way into the market as well.
No wonder then that last August, perhaps the most famous of them all - The Ritz Paris - also closed its doors for the first time since opening in 1898 and began a two year soup-to-nuts restoration program.
Celebrity Scoop / Hotel News / Hotel Reopenings / Hotel Renovations / Houston Hotels / Historic Hotels / Music Hotels / Texas Hotels / → All Tags
Nothing like a little celebrity appearance to make a hotel re-opening event really sparkle, and that's what happened last week when Sheryl Crow turned up at the Sam Houston (which used to be called The Alden).
The 100-room hotel recently completed renovation work on all guest rooms, suites, and public spaces (the rooms now "combine clean decor with contemporary touches," which is a good thing, since the hotel's been around since 1924!), and has spent the past month celebrating its grand re-opening. Meanwhile, Sheryl Crow has a new album coming out, and she was in town doing promo at a local radio station.
The opportunity was too good to pass up!