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The other day we were tipped off to a rumor that Ritz-Carlton Hotels would be taking over the swank One Bal Harbour Resort & Spa in Miami on October 1. (The hotel is currently a part of the Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels portfolio. Previously, it was a Regent Hotel.)
Before you get your La Perla and/or Hugo Boss undergarments in a bunch, nothing has been confirmed. Indeed, when you make a reservation on One Bal Harbour's website for next month, there is no mention of the RC takeover. Similarly, Marriott's Find a Hotel search function has no Ritz-Carltons listed in Bal Harbour. And combing random pages on the internet is also turning up nothing. But usually when we hear a whisper on the hotel grapevine, it turns out to be
a done deal true. Now, we'll just have to wait and see.
Currently, One Bal Harbour charges no resort fee. Meanwhile, Ritz-Carlton South Beach is going to start charging a $25 fee on October 1.
[Photo: One Bal Harbour/Facebook]
Hotel Fees / Resort Fees / Miami Beach Hotels / Miami Hotels / Miami Hotel Mambo / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
While we're on the topic of hotel fees, we've just learned that the Ritz-Carlton South Beach will start charging a $25 resort fee, per night on October 1. Here's what will be included with that extra $25 + tax a night.
· Complimentary 5mb wireless Internet access for up to 5 devices in guest rooms, lobby and most common areas.
· Beach chairs and umbrellas
· Beach Activities including boogie boards, skim boards, beach paddle tennis, bocce ball and corn hole court
· One hour daily fitness class
· 24-hour access to fitness center
· Use of hotel bicycles
· Unlimited local calls
· Bottled water in guest rooms
· Access to daily tour of the hotel’s art collection
Well, at least it includes internet on multiple devices.
Resort fees in South Beach are actually quite common. We stumbled across one at The Surfcomber, a Kimpton Hotel, last fall. For $20 a night, you get morning coffee, two beach chairs, poolside amenities like sunscreen and flavor-infused water and a $10 F&B credit.
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Howdy folks! There is so much hotel news flying around this week, we just don't have enough time to focus on all of it. Seriously, did all you hotelie people save it up for Labor Day Weekend? Sheesh. Anyways, here's a quick rundown to get you up to speed on the latest. More news will obviously be forthcoming.
Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort is Coming Soon: Get ready, Parrotheads! A beach resort inspired by singer Jimmy Buffett will open on the beach in Hollywood, Fla. in 2015. It will have 349 rooms, 17 stories, a Margaritaville Landshark Bar & Grill, a License to Chill rooftop bar, the Lone Palm Bar and a 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar. There will also be a 15,000-sq.ft. St. Somewhere Spa and an "authentic 'no worries' tropical vibe" present throughout.
The Diplomat Becomes a Curio Hotel: The Westin Diplomat in Fort Lauderdale, a massive convention center hotel, is doing away with the white green tea scent in its lobby as it rebrands from a Westin to a Curio Collection hotel by Hilton. The hotel was recently acquired by the Thayer Lodging Group who will make the change to Hilton in October. The property will also undergo a $100 million enhancement. The new name will officially be The Diplomat Resort & Spa.
Waldorf Astoria Naples Will Be No More: TripAdvisor reviewers were mumbling about the changes that are coming to this luxury hotel in Naples, Fla. Apparently, the hotel was recently sold and is now undergoing renovations and will go back to its former name of The Naples Grande Beach Resort. Which is perhaps best since most reviewers complained the property was not up to Waldorf standards. Renovations are expected to be done in January 2015. The name change could come at the same time too.
Auberge To Launch New Brand in Napa, After St. Regis Drops Out: Uh-oh. This is not good. A luxury resort in Napa, Calif. has not even opened yet and already it has switched management hands. The 117-room resort on Stanley Ranch has gone from a St. Regis to an Auberge Resort. It will open, possibly in 2017, as a "VieVage" resort which is a new brand from Auberg, that will be less expensive, more casual and more family-friendly than other Auberges. Here's more on VieVage. We'll be thinking good thoughts.
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We've been keeping tabs on all the Marriott International hotel brands that have been rolling out the option of checking-in via their respective apps and now, Ritz-Carlton Hotels can be added to the list.
The luxury brand's newest app includes the options of doing both check-in and check-out, as well as folio reviews, exclusive local content, special offers, food and beverage orders (at select hotels), and most interesting, real-time service requests.
Ritz-Carlton is already pioneering this function at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, in Florida where guests can make food and beverage requests while at the pool. The order is sent from the guest phone to the bar and is fulfilled right away. That means you don't have to lay in your lounge chair, meekly calling, "Miss? Miss? Sir? Sir?" while servers fly by you, unaware that you'd like another margarita.
The app will also introduce a shareable "Travel Poster" feature on October 1. In short, it will be Ritz-Carlton's own version of Instagram where guests can pretty up their photos with retro-style special filters, titles and stamps. The photo will then be shared across social media or else, saved to the phone's camera roll. Start gathering your witty Ritz-Carlton hashtags now.
[Screenshot: Ritz-Carlton Hotels]
Taken early afternoon, it was pushing 113F (45C), which felt like having a hairdryer on max in your face at all times, and meant no guest was brave enough to lounge in the scorching sun. We certainly weren’t, and headed straight to the lovely Six Senses Spa to hide out until the evening cool set in.
“Cool” being a relative term, because even in the middle of the night it didn’t drop much below 90F (30C), but the darkness did show the pool in a different light, with the star-filled sky effect adding a nice touch.
A Bed and Breakfast package at Sharq Village starts at 1395QAR ($380) a night, with a number of other offers available.
In space-constricted Japan (50% of the 127 million people live on 2% of the land), the size of a room isn’t typically looked at by square meter or square foot, but by the number of Tatami mats that fit inside.
That looks something like the above, and no, we didn’t ask The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto to take all the furniture out of the room for the photo: this is the bedroom of a traditional Tatami Suite at the hotel, which means every evening your equally traditional futon-style bed (two singles) will be made up for you. We had a chance to look inside the hotel during a recent visit to Kyoto, four months after the hotel opened on February 7 this year.
What better way to kick off the holiday weekend than by sampling a chilled s'mores concoction on the waterfront? That's what we did today at the Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey in Los Angeles.
The hotel recently opened a brand new, farm-to-table restaurant concept called Cast & Plow. Previously, this space was home to the stuffy JER-NE restaurant. But the entire dining room, as well as the extended lobby space, was gutted to create a light, airy and breezy social setting, complete with flat-screen TVs and communal tables with outlets.
Cast & Plow prides itself on locally sourcing ingredients and the menu even shows you exactly where the food comes from in California. The shareable dishes like a cheese plate ($14), kale chips ($7) and avocado & chips ($12, the avocado is mixed with blue cheese and sriracha) make Cast & Plow a great place for a quick bites while larger entrees like the chicken sandwich ($17), a local cod with grilled corn ($24) and an all-natural prime beef hamburger ($19) give you an excuse to linger and admire the incredible view. Boats, boats, and more boats!
A plaintive email winged its way into our inbox this week. “When does the Ritz-Carlton in Cairo open?” it asked wearily.
As well it might. You may have forgotten about the property, it’s been so long in the making. Originally a Hilton, it switched brands in 2009, with the intention of carrying out a two-year renovation while hosting guests.
That didn’t happen. In 2011, when this photo of the hotel's shell was taken, as Travel Weekly reported, it was still shuttered, due to Egypt’s political unrest. The company moved the opening date to 2013, hoping that its location near Tahrir Square would, again, be a plus point.
And so we’re at stalemate.
Ritz-Carlton Hotels have nabbed a stellar design team for its second hotel in the region, The Ritz-Carlton Mumbai, opening in 2016. While most of the luxury brands have already laid bricks in the Asia Pacific, Mumbai, as a growing center for finance, entertainment, and design—yes, design—seems to be the “it” destination and so the race is on.
According to HotelManagment, the 238-room Ritz Carlton is being developed by Oasis Realty in a joint venture of Oberoi Realty and Sahana Group. The hotel will occupy one of two new towers which will include Ritz-Carlton managed residences. The hotel will have an ocean-view bar (Arabian Sea,) two restaurants, spa, and enough event space for the average over-the-top Indian wedding.
It's been scientifically proven that your sense of smell can trigger old memories which is why for us, the smell of Aussie Sprunch Spray will forever take us back to a sweltering New Jersey summer in the early 90s when we religiously relied on the spray to keep our 'do intact. Seriously, one spray will have practically have us turning up Wilson Phillips on the stereo while we search for our crispest Vuarnet t-shirt and our rolled up jean shorts.
But this powerful link between smell and memory is also why hotels love pumping their own special scents into their hotels and subsequently, packaging that smell for you to buy. After all, what better way to remember your hotel stay by taking home the smell of it?
Now, while most hotels offer a candle made with their special lobby scent, the Ritz-Carlton South Beach is taking a different tact by making a Mango Guava scented candle that specifically reminds you of the hotel spa's new Taste of the Tropics treatment. Of course, you have to book the treatment to get the candle.
The dream of every prestigious hotel is to create a unique environment, one that will bring locals in off the street as much as it will entice its guests to stay put. During a recent trip to Germany, we stumbled upon a brand-new bar (no pun intended) at the Ritz Carlton Berlin that might just be the most out of the box concept we've seen at a hotel in a long, long time.
Called Fragrances, the bar's premise combines perfume with cocktail creation, encouraging patrons to use their sense of smell to pick their drink. The visual menu is set up right inside the entrance to the lounge-like bar, a lineup of perfume bottles displayed alongside the ingredients used to make the drink. Above, a photo of the cocktail's presentation hangs.
When selecting a drink, you smell the perfume carefully because the drink will 1) also smell like that perfume and 2) reflect that smell in its taste. The concept was designed and implemented by mixologist slash perfume expert Henning Heissen, who through a number of trials, was able to find the combination of ingredients that replicated the smell of the perfumes. Each drink is served in a unique way, from glasses in buckets and birdhouses to those that resemble baby bottles.
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For 10 years running, Mother Ritzy Duck has been showing up at The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown in Washington, DC, to hatch her brood in style. We guess you could say she has a standing reservation at the hotel (yuck, yuck).
This year, the team at the hotel has taken the utmost care to ensure that Ritzy’s stay is a true Ritz-Carlton experience that exceeds her needs and expectations -- lucky duck! –- and has assigned a "Just Ducky Concierge" to ensure her stay is a good one. A set of SOP (standard operating procedures) on Distinguished Duck Care has been written by the concierge to assist staff in taking care of this VID guest.
First and foremost is that Ritzy only gets Ritz-Carlton bottled water and absolutely no people food. Once a day Ritzy has lunch and then goes for a dip in the pool, which cools her eggs and helps with her baby ducks’ development, but for the last few days before hatching time, mama duck is given gourmet organic duck pellets so that she can eat in comfort while waiting for the little guys to make an appearance.