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Can a Crowd-Funded Hotel Actually Work? Hard Rock Palm Springs Will Find Out

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  Site Where: 150 South Indian Canyon Drive [map], Palm Springs, CA, United States, 92262
April 17, 2014 at 10:00 AM | by | Comment (1)

Admit, it. You've probably thought about what it's like to actually live in a hotel. The thought is totally normal, especially when you think about the daily housekeeping, trendy design and staff often responding to most every want. Well, this idea can be a reality with a trip to the desert of Palm Springs and your own little slice of the Hard Rock Hotel.

The Hard Rock is looking for people, regular people like yourself, to invest in the luxury 163-room resort in the heart of downtown Palm Springs. With a little professional help from RealtyMogul.com, interested (and cashed-up) parties will register their desire to be part of the America's first fully online crowd-funded hotels.

Benefits for signing a check with a few more decimals than a night's stay extend way beyond bragging rights. Individual investors in the hotel will receive VIP benefits ranging from free use of the hotel owner poolside cabana, 25% discounts off the best available room rates and free room upgrades. Even if you're not a regular to Coachella Valley Music Festival, this might be a good reason to get away to the desert more often.

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The Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage Has Actually Set an Opening Date

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  Site Where: 68900 Frank Sinatra Drive [map], Rancho Mirage, CA, United States, 92270
March 10, 2014 at 9:17 AM | by | Comments (0)

About a year ago we asked the question whether the Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage, hovering in hotel-limbo since the ’08 financial crisis, would ever recover to the point of having an opening date and welcoming paying guests.

Our answer is here today: the hotel will actually, finally, truly open on May 15, just over a week after fellow chronic delay case the Shangri-La at the Shard. 2014 is proving to be quite the good luck charm for these hotels.

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The JW Marriott Desert Springs Gets Spiffed Up (But The Awesome Boat Rides Remain)

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  Site Where: 74855 Country Club Drive [map], Desert Springs, CA , United States, 92260
November 18, 2013 at 3:25 PM | by | Comments (0)

JW Marriott Resort and Spa in Palm Desert, Calif. recently underwent a $25 million top-to-bottom renovation that saw the spiffing up of its 884 guestrooms and suites as well as the vast lobby atrium and upgrades to its two championship golf courses. But don't worry, the quaint boat rides that go around the resort's lakes remain, dock and all, at the far edge of the lobby. Oh and of course the exotic birds that line the bottom of the lobby are still there, providing endless entertainment for passerbys.

The resort also introduced a few new dining concepts including the Rockwood Grill (previously the LakeView Grill), the Blue Star Lounge, and a Fisherman's Landing outpost. While Rockwood serves an out-of-this world breakfast buffet and the Blue Star Lounge has cozy outdoor seating and fire pits, it's still Mikado's Japanese Steakhouse, which will be packed on weekend nights (seriously, do not go without a reservation.)

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JW Marriott's Aromatherapy Associates Don't Just Smell Good, They Feel Good Too

October 14, 2013 at 5:31 PM | by | Comments (0)

When we checked into the JW Marriott Desert Springs in Palm Springs the other weekend, we were tickled to see the Aromatherapy Associates line of toiletries in the bathrooms. Mouthwash included!

Last year, we had heard that JW hotels would be rolling out these upscale toiletries but now they are officially in place at every JW Marriott. Designed for business travelers to fight off skin dehydration after long flights and fatigue due to changing time zones, the line is made with all-natural ingredients and has a scent that appeals to both men and women.

During our stay we realized we forgot to pack our face wash, which nearly gave us a panic attack but the Aromatherapy Associates soap worked amazingly well, without overly drying our skin. (Of course, this being the desert, we slathered on moisturizer followed by sunscreen so our skin didn't have much time to feel dry.) And we loved the fragrant shampoo and conditioner. Even better, our hair was smooth and soft after blowdrying it too.

Shockingly, we forgot to grab our toiletries before we checked-out but if this happens to you, don't fret. You can buy the entire toiletry line on the Shop Marriott site.

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Even More New Hotels Coming to Palm Springs, Pittsburgh, Tel Aviv and Way More

September 16, 2013 at 10:58 AM | by | Comments (0)

Once again, the hotel openings and announcements news is coming fast and furious. So here's a short list of hot hotels coming to a city near you.

· The Dolce Palm Springs, which we told you the other month was intended to be a Mondrian Palm Springs, now has an opening timeframe. Construction will begin early next year and should be completed by 2015. We've also got a rendering of the resort on East Amado Road. We're loving the pops of bright color throughout. Aside from 210 rooms, the Dolce Palm Springs will have 15,000 sq.ft. of flexible function space, landscaped outdoor event space, two restaurants, a lounge, a recording studio, screening room, outdoor pools spa and fitness center.

· Kimpton Pittsburgh: Kimpton Hotels is heading to Pittsburgh with their Hotel Monaco brand.

An adaptive reuse of the city’s iconic James H. Reed Building, originally built in 1903, the new Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh will feature 247 rooms, nearly 9,000 square feet of meeting and event space and a chef-driven, 120-seat restaurant with a prominent corner entrance. Slated for a late 2014 opening, the nine story property is located at the intersection of 6th Avenue and William Penn Way, across from prestigious Mellon Square and in the heart of the city’s bustling Golden Triangle area. The new hotel’s interiors will reflect a locally inspired and distinctive take on the vibrant and whimsical Hotel Monaco style.

Kimpton also has new hotels planned for Savannah, Georgia, Palm Springs, Milwaukee and San Antonio, all opening by 2015.

· Ritz-Carlton Opening Seemingly Everywhere: Ritz-Carlton Hotels announced a major openings and expansion plans last week with the goal of having 100 properties by 2016. That's 20 more than what they have now. Six new RC hotels are expected to open this year, including The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba, The Ritz-Carlton, Herzliya, Israel and The Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore in India. Next year, RC will open in Kyoto, Japan; Nanjing, China; Rabat, Morocco; Cairo, Egypt; Manesar, India, and Bali. Then in 2015, it will open in Cabo San Lucas (!); Oman, Muscat; Bali (again); Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam; Tunis, Tunisia; and Haikou, China.

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Not Into The Hard Rock? Palm Springs Has Two New Hotels to Try

September 5, 2013 at 2:28 PM | by | Comments (0)

Palm Springs has quietly been undergoing a bit of a hotel renaissance. Not only will the brashy Hard Rock Hotel brand open on October 4th and the Kimpton will open in 2015, but the desert resort city now has two new (quieter) hotels to try. That's in addition to the four new hotels that have opened since November of last year.

Just opened this past weekend is the Monroe Palm Springs on North Palm Canyon Drive, which was formerly America's Best Value Inn. The property has been fully renovated and in a green way too, repurposing as many materials as possible. For example, the pool towel bins are made from the old window sills. But even though the hotel is "green", it's hue of choice is actually orange, which is found everywhere from the bedspreads to the walls to the pool chairs. Interestingly, there's no mention of Marilyn Monroe at the hotel but we can't help but wonder if that giant statue of her, that was recently on display in town, was an inspiration.

Rates for the rooms start at $100 a night for a regular room (suites are $150) and come with coffee-makers, free WIFi and complimentary hot breakfast at the neighboring Rick’s Restaurant and Bakery. Oh and pets are welcome too.

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You Say Goodbye To Summer, Hotels Say Hello to Winter (Deals)

September 4, 2013 at 4:39 PM | by | Comments (0)

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*

· Unlimited Kids Club and More at The Regent Palms, Turks & Caicos: Right now the Caribbean resort is offering a "Double Your Credit, Double Your Fun" package that offers a third night free, $100 credit per night, full American breakfast, high-speed internet and unlimited use of Conch Kritters kids club during your stay. Call 866.877.7256 or visit regentpalmstci.com. Use code DYC to book.

· Soar Over Napa Valley at The Wydown Hotel: This 12-room boutique hotel on Main Street in St. Helena has put together a Soaring Over California package that includes a one-night stay and a sunrise hot air balloon flight over Napa Valley. The deal also throws in some pre-flight coffee and pastries, a champpagne breakfast at Michelin-starred Solbar at Solage Calistoga and roundtrip transportation. You can also upgrade the package to either the "Royal Treatment" which will get you a tour of the Castello di Amorosa, Dario Sattui's authentically-styled, 13th century, 121,000-square-foot Tuscan castle-winery or the "Vineyards by Horseback” which features a guided 90-minute horseback ride through the Chalk Hill Estate Vineyards and a wine-tastting. The package begins at $424 per person with the Royal upgrade for $26 per person and the horseback upgrade at $120 per person. For reservations, call 707-963-5100.

· The Luxer Side of The Waldorf Astoria, For Less: The original Waldorf Astoria in NYC is offering their high-end suites starting at just $699 a night for a Tower Suite. You can also pick the residential apartments from $1,299 a night or splurge on the penthouse suite at $1,999 a night. We found a regular Towers room for $599 a night in late September so just a $100 will get you a suite. For more information or to book now, go to www.waldorfny.com or call 800.925.3673.

· Desert Season Kicks Off at The Willows Palm Springs: The Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn will reopen for the 2013-14 season on September 11 with special rates starting at $275 a night (normally they are priced from $325.) Each stay also includes a three-course breakfast, evening wine and hors d’oeuvres and en suite and poolside snacks. But hurry as that rate is only good through the end of September. To make a reservation, call 800.966.9597 or reserve online at www.TheWillowsPalmSprings.com. Room selections are available on a first come, first-served basis.

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Is The Mondrian Palm Springs Ever Going to Happen?

July 16, 2013 at 10:32 AM | by | Comments (0)

We won't lead you on any longer. The answer is a big fat NO. Here's what happened:

Five years ago, long before the economic collapse, Mondrian Hotels announced their plans to develop a hotel across from the Palm Springs Convention Center at Calle Alvarado and Amado. The hotel was shelved for obvious reasons after the markets tanked but yet was revived back in 2011. A Mondrian was still expected to rise with 200 hotels room and residences.

But somewhere along the road, that deal fell apart. (Perhaps because of Mondrian's parent company's internal woes.) And it was only just this past March, that developer CDI Ventures actuallyl got the official go ahead from the city of Palm Springs to purchase the land and develop a five-star luxury hotel. And guess who will be running it?

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Hard Rock Palm Springs to Open on October 4th

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  Site Where: 150 S Indian Canyon Dr [map], Palm Springs, CA , United States, 92262
July 9, 2013 at 5:36 PM | by | Comments (0)

Last week, we got a sneak peek at the upcoming Hard Rock Palm Springs which we initially thought would open in September. Turns out the opening will actually happen on October 4 but the good news is, you can book a room today.

We found rates on opening night, a Friday night, for just $262 a night. Rates dip to $193 on Monday but are pretty much around the $250 mark for the rest of the month. (Weekends are higher of course.)

The Hard Rock Palm Springs will have a total of 163 rooms, including a VIP rock star suite as well as a Rock Spa, a Body Rock fitness centers, a Rock Shop gift store, a few restaurants, a happening pool scene and tons of rock n' roll memorabilia.

The only bummer here is that the Hard Rock will be charging a resort fee of $30 a night. That includes internet, valet parking and a shuttle from the airport so you do get something for it. Oh well, add them to the list!

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A Sneak Peek at The Hard Rock Palm Springs, Opening This September

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  Site Where: 150 S Indian Canyon Dr [map], Palm Springs, CA , United States, 92262
July 3, 2013 at 10:01 AM | by | Comments (0)

The Hard Rock Palm Springs is getting ready to rock the desert. When we daytripped to PS the other week, we noticed a few billboards teasing the impending arrival of the rocking hotel brand. Sure enough, the website is up and running and all systems are a go for a September opening. And now we've got some hotel renderings to share too.

The Hard Rock Palm Springs, which was formerly the Hotel Zoso, will have 160 rooms, a VIP rock star suite, a Rock Spa, a Body Rock fitness centers, a Rock Shop gift store, a few restaurants and of course, a happening pool scene. It will also have some crazy sexy "stair gallery" where we gather there will be tons of rock n' roll memorabilia to ogle. We're also digging the sexy lobby bar lounge.

We expect rates to be around $250 a night but when Coachella rolls into town in April, that will go way, way, way up.

[Photo: HotelChatter; Renderings: Hard Rock Hotels]

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Going to The Desert? Watch Out For These Resort Fees

June 25, 2013 at 11:33 AM | by | Comments (4)

Lounging at this oasis in the middle of the desert will cost you an extra $30 a night.

Just like Las Vegas and Orlando, Palm Springs is no stranger to the dreaded resort fees..

We've compiled a list of desert hotels that are adding an extra charge, per night, plus tax for things that you would normally expect to be free with your hotel stay (Use of the "computer center"? Uh, no thanks.) However, you do get more of your money's worth at the bigger golf and spa resorts where they offer bag storage, shuttle service and exercises classes.

What's even more frustrating is that some of these hotels don't list their resort fee anywhere on their websites until you get to the final step of the online booking process. But hopefully, our list will help you be better informed about your desert getaway. And for what it's worth, most of these fees do include WiFi.

Know of a resort fee in Palm Springs that we missed? Let us know and we'll add it to the list!

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Are You an Audrey or a Frank at The Viceroy Palm Springs?

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  Site Where: 415 S. Belardo Road [map], Palm Springs, CA, United States
June 4, 2013 at 5:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

The other week we popped into the Viceroy Palm Springs and saw Audrey and Frank waiting for us at the koi pond by the entrance. And by Audrey and Frank we mean white and black bicycles with Audrey Hepburn and Frank Sinatra's photos on them.

The bikes are courtesy of Palm Springs' Celebrity Bike Rentals and are available to Viceroy Hotel guests as part of the $30 resort fee (that fee also includes WiFi, overnight valet parking and coffee and tea from 6am to 11am.) While the Viceroy is pretty walkable to the fun shops and restaurants of Indian Canyon Drive, riding a bike will get you around from one air-conditioned spot to the next a little faster.

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