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Miami's Art Basel-Palooza: Which Hotels Are Doing What

December 2, 2013 at 12:28 PM | by | Comments (0)

Art Basel, one of the top art shows in all the world bringing international modern masters and emerging talent together, is now on in one of the hottest cool capitals in the world, Miami. And of course, the city's vibrant hotel scene is getting in on the party. Here's a shortlist of what's happening at which hotels this week. Stay tuned tomorrow when we round-up some last-minute hotel options:

The Gale Hotel believes in starting early with their "Brunch Before You Basel" special featuring a make-your-own Bloody Mary bar. The party can start as early as 10 a.m. by calling 786-975-2550 to make a reservation.

Irish-born, London-based street artist Fin DAC will be making a splash at the Lord Balfour Hotel during Baselpalooza (yep, that's ours). Early last week the artist started working on a mural of a modern-day geisha on the hotel's interior courtyard wall. Visitors can watch art being created and may even get spray painted if they stand too close.

Miami Beach's Hotel Astor is launching the pop-up lounge Drinking Room on December 3. It will be run by the Food Network winner of Chopped, Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli and, aside from such intriguing cocktails as the "Grow a Pear" and small plates including "Carbonara Croquetas," during Art Basel famed chef Janice Wong of Singapore will partner with Rapicavoli to create edible art installations that will hang on the walls. Oooh... gooey. If patrons get involved it could quickly turn into Performance Art. For a reservation, call 305-531-8081. '

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Opening This Month: New Hotels for November 2013

November 4, 2013 at 8:52 AM | by | Comments (2)

Finding a hotel room is easy. Simply go on the Internet or use your smartphone and voila! You're booked.

But if you are only interested in new hotels, then that's a different story. Luckily, you have us. And we're obsessed with new hotels. Here's a list of what hotels are opening this month (and a few that are changing brands as well.) Got a new hotel to add? Send it to us!

HOTELS OPENING IN NOVEMBER 2013

Westin Sanya Haitang Bay Resort, China: This long awaited Westin resort on Hainan Island in the South China Sea (it was supposed to open in 2012) is finally taking reservations for November 7th. The wait may have been worth the wait as this looks like no other Westin we've seen before. Rates start at around $242USD a night but the WiFi is going to cost an extra $13 a day. Also, a full moon is not guaranteed.

Le Meridien Zhengzhou, China: This ultra-luxe and super modern Le Meridien will also open on November 7 adajcent to Zhengzhou Eastern New District, with a shopping centre and cinema next door. But all this poshness DOES come cheap with rates starting at just $122USD a night. WiFi is free in the public spaces but can cost up to $10 a day to use in your room.

Westin Singapore Marina Bay: While this Westin is nowhere near as flashy as the neighboring Marina Bay Sands, it does boast an infinity rooftop pool and a Westin Heavenly spa. Rates for the 305-room hotel start at around $400 on November 12th. WiFi is free in the lobby but will cost $16 to use in your room.

Ritz-Carlton Aruba: Initially expected to open on November 2, the new Ritz-Carlton Aruba will now open 20 days later on November 22nd. Rates at Aruba's first five-star resort start at $649 a night. Rooms with an ocean view are going for $799.

The Landings Resort and Spa, South Lake Tahoe: According to a press release and the hotel's website, guests should be able to get in this month. But when we tried to make a reservation for November 22 (the first available date from the drop-down calendar), no rooms were open. We tried again for December 1st but no luck. So we'll just cross our fingers it opens this month.

WestHouse New York: The newest hotel in NYC will open just in time for Thanksgiving on November 27th. Which is kinda perfect timing since the hotel is all about blending "the privileges of a luxury hotel with the residential comforts of a New York townhouse." Rates start at $499 a night but also include a $30 resident fee per adult. That fee includes daily breakfast presentation, afternoon tea, hors d'oeuvres, evening canapés, in-room Dean & Deluca amenity kit, and unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

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From Packages to Pasta, These Manhattan Hotels Have Your New York Marathon Needs Covered

October 28, 2013 at 8:57 AM | by | Comments (0)

There's less than a week until the New York City Marathon kicks off on Staten Island and, if you are searching for a last-minute hotel package or just a great carb-heavy dinner for the night before, these New York City hotels have you covered.

Hotel Wolcott

For last minute hotel accommodations for runners or support team, the Wolcott Hotel is offering rates starting at $225 through the end of the Marathon (from Oct. 31st – Nov. 5th), with no minimum night stay required. The hotel also offers perks for active types, such as 20 percent off individual yoga classes at Yoga Union, a few blocks away, and a complimentary breakfast.

Book online or by calling 212-268-2900.

The Jade Hotel

The Jade Hotel's Marathon Package requires a two-night minimum stay, but includes such goodies as a special marathon–themed welcome amenity, 10 percent off a pre-marathon carbo-load dinner in Grape & Vine on Saturday, November 2nd, a “Breakfast on the Go” available on race day, (starting from 5 a.m.) and a “Marathon Recovery” menu featuring deals on massages, post-run room service specials, and two complimentary, celebratory cocktails at Grape & Vine.

Rates for November 2nd start at $260.

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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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An OC Rite of Passage: Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel Turns 30, Gets a New Look

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: One Ritz-Carlton Drive [map], Dana Point, CA, United States, 92629
August 27, 2013 at 9:15 AM | by | Comments (0)

The Ritz-Carlton news just keeps rolling in: we’ve heard about new things happening in destinations as disparate as Israel, Bali, Aruba, Japan and beyond already. Closer to home, the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel – in Orange County, Los Angeles – is marking its last year as a twenty-something with new-look guestrooms, new f&b outlets, and more.

Perched high on the cliffs above the crashing waves of the Pacific, the hotel’s location was the source of inspiration for the new design. That translates into lots of pale blues against white walls and sheets, with contrasting dark wood in the headboard and furniture. It’s the kind of beach-y modern that sits midway between the more traditional Ritz-Carlton wealthy- great-aunt look and younger urbanite style you’d find in its Georgetown, DC hotel for example.

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Israel Will Get Its Kosher Ritz-Carlton in Herzliya At The End Of The Year

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 2 Hashunit Street, Herzliya, Israel, 46555
August 7, 2013 at 9:53 AM | by | Comments (0)

It looks like right about three years after we looked at renderings of the first Ritz-Carlton in Israel, doors will finally open to the 12-story hotel in Herzliya, north of Tel Aviv, at the end of this year. First images of the hotel remind us – if not architecturally – of its sibling in Marina del Rey, California, given its water-side setting, overlooking the various boats and yachts moored outside.

As we mentioned at the time, Studio Gaia (responsible for many a Thompson and W) is responsible for the interiors of the 115 rooms and 82 suites. Rooms mix mostly beige and sand tones, with padded leather headboards and light blond hardwood floors. There is a peek-a-boo bathroom, which we hope dearly has a properly enclosed toilet.

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Former Ritz-Carlton Sydney Scrubs Up To Become an InterContinental

Where: 29-41 Cross Street, Double Bay Sydney, NSW, Australia, 2028
August 2, 2013 at 9:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

If you're a fan of anything and everything Ritz-Carlton, you might remember the hotel brand having a property in Sydney that has since been merely part of fond memories of luxury digs and top-notch service in the upmarket inner-suburb of Double Bay. Now, some deep pockets are giving the old hotel new life by turning it into an InterContinetal Hotel.. This will be the second InterContinental Hotel for the city.

The new owners will fork over a wad of cash to transform the derelict building which was built as Australia's only Ritz in 1991 and eventually became the destination for the likes of Princess Diana, Madonna and Bill Clinton on their visits Down Under. In 1997, the hotel made an infamous list when INXS lead-man, Michael Hutchence, was hung himself in room 524 causing the hotel's reputation to nosedive. In 2001, it was turned into Sir Stamford which then closed in 2009 causing the building to go in ill-repair.

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Amanda Bynes Disabled a Smoke Detector During Her Last Hotel Stay

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 50 Central Park south [map], New York, NY, United States, 10019
July 29, 2013 at 9:24 AM | by | Comments (3)

Although troubled Amanda Bynes is now recuperating in a psychiatric facility in Los Angeles, details of her last hotel stay at the Ritz-Carlton Central Park are coming out. And with photos too.

TMZ paid a hotel employee somehow got their hands on photos of the damage Amanda did to her hotel room before they kicked her out for being mean and smoking too much weed. And it's astonishing. So many bottles of diet coke, ashes everywhere, rolling papers and tons of cosmetic creams. Bynes also went above and beyond by disabling the hotel room's smoke detector. Word is she is paranoid and thinks that smoke detectors are "spying" on her. But um, also maybe she didn't want the smoke detector picking up on the marijuana.

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Amanda Bynes Gets Booted from The Ritz-Carlton Central Park for Being Mean

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 50 Central Park south [map], New York, NY, United States, 10019
July 22, 2013 at 9:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

The Ritz-Carlton Central Park is one of Manhattan's most elite hotels, with rates starting at around $700 a night. So excuse us for having no sympathy for troubled former star, Amanda Bynes who was kicked out of the hotel on Friday for insulting employees and for chronically smoking the chronic in her guestroom. TMZ has the detes:

Our sources say Amanda was a nightmare from the get-go, smoking weed everyday despite warnings from hotel staff. We're told Amanda tried using spray chemicals to mask the weed smell.

But that's not it ... we're told Amanda was unspeakably rude to the hotel staff, telling the front desk girl she was "too ugly" to check her in. We're told Amanda then offered her plastic surgeon's services to the desk girl in question ... and the tears started flowing.

That would never happen if it was Josh Groban!

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Do Dallas With The Ritz-Carlton's Sparkly Surprise

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 2121 McKinney Avenue [map], Dallas, TX, United States, 75201
July 19, 2013 at 2:02 PM | by | Comments (0)

Here's the latest happening in the luxury hotel world as told by JustLuxe.com. Got a question about luxury hotels, the travel biz, and where to stay? Send it in and we'll have JustLuxe answer it.

Well folks, once again it’s Fantasy Friday and you know what that means. It’s time to steal a few moments to mentally check out of work (we know you are doing it anyway, it is Friday after all) while you momentarily imagine yourself enjoying a little slice of heaven.

For your daydreaming pleasure today, we bring you a package that has been put together by the Ritz-Carlton Dallas. As we all know they don’t do things on the small scale down in Texas, unless of course that less-than-large something turns out to be very expensive… in which case exceptions shall be made. So despite the immediate mental image of over-the-top extravagance that Fantasy Friday usually conjures up, this week we are highlighting a simple, $399 package – that can have you walking away with a very expensive little gift.

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The Ritz-Carlton, Montego Bay Closes and Other Caribbean News

July 18, 2013 at 9:13 AM | by | Comments (0)

The Ritz-Carlton Closes MoBay: The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company is certainly making big moves these days. First vacating Palm Beach and Dublin, and today after nearly 13 years in operation, the corporation ceased management of the Ritz-Carlton Golf & Spa Resort, Rose Hall, Jamaica. The 427-room Montego Bay hotel, one of the region’s most famous, was originally rumored to be sold to Playa Resorts. However, in May, the company issued a statement saying the information was premature.

Word on the street is the hotel will open in the 2013-2014 winter season as a Park Hyatt, the first Hyatt brand in Jamaica and renovations will include adding more than 100 suites. However, at this time there is no mention of the property or this news on the Hyatt website. It appears this is as much of a mystery as the legend of the White Witch of Rose Hall, a famous Jamaican ghost story.

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The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Now Has a Camel Milk Mixologist On Hand

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: PO Box 91888, Khor Al Maqta’a, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
July 5, 2013 at 11:07 AM | by | Comments (0)

Your fancy luxury hotel may have a mixologist crafting up specialty cocktails at bar downstairs but does your fancy luxury hotel have a Camel Milk Mixologist working there? Didn't think so.

That rare kind of mixologist can only be found at the Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi which just opened in March. Mohammad Daoud does pretty much what his job title implies--mixes drinks with freshly muddled ingredients infused with locally-sourced camel milk, ranging from flavors such as sweet strawberry and refreshing mint. “I wanted to create something special for the upcoming Holy Month of Ramadan,” said Daoud. “Because camel milk has a high level of protein and additional nutrients, it’s an excellent beverage to consume during Sohour, the meal taken prior to sunrise for Muslims fasting during Ramadan.”

Ramadan begins next Monday and lasts through August 7 but the hotel will continue to offer its camel milk menu in Mijana, the hotel's Arabic restaurant. There, the mixologist can help camel milk newbies guide them through their first-time tasting as well as come up with different camel milk flavors to pair with various dishes. Of course, all these preferences can be saved for their next visit.

Want to stay at the Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi? Room rates start around $750 AED a night, or about $205 USD. Contacting the camel milk mixologist ahead of your stay is highly recommended at +9712 818-8282 or emailing restaurant.reservations@ritzcarlton.com. Camel milk not your thing? Head over to the Ritz-Carlton Phulay Bay, where there's a spice concierge instead.

[Photo: Ritz-Carlton/Facebook]