Hotel News We Noted: September 14, 2012

andaz napa exteriorTemperatures are getting cooler, but the hotel scene is still hot, hot, hot. Here’s your news of the week, courtesy of “Hotel News We Noted.

Hotel Openings: Andaz Napa
Wine country is getting a bit cooler this week with the opening of the Andaz Napa, formerly the Avia Napa. The downtown hotel has the traditional Andaz lobby as well as a cheeky wall-long map of Napa – all the better to help you map out your wine tasting adventure.

Tech Troubles: What Happens to Hotel iPod Docks?
iHome and iPod docking systems have become nearly ubiquitous in hotels around the country, and the release this week of the new iPhone 5 is causing some major headache in the hotel industry. It’s not because they’ll have to update apps or re-vamp websites (although they likely will, in order to match new screen resolutions and the new operational updates) but because of a change in equipment. The new phones will have a different charging port, and hotels are now scrambling to figure out how soon, if at all, they’ll need to have these adapters onsite to connect to their docking stations. A Wall Street Journal article supposes that these adapters “could soon replace bathrobes as the hotel collectible of choice.” At nearly $30 a pop, we’re inclined to agree. Why, Apple, why???

Food & Beverage: Fairmont Gets Saucy
Fairmont is putting the focus on food, encouraging their chefs to get in with the craft food movement. We’re pretty sure that means good things for us, at least for those of us who don’t count on being able to steal the mini-bottles of Heinz from in-room dining. Is there a theme of theft in this column? Perhaps. Anyway, at Fairmont Pacific Rim, expect house-made condiments (Sake Kasu Cream Cheese Aioli, anyone?) and pickled veggies, Empress peanut butter with honey and milk chocolate at the Fairmont Princess or peanut miso with local Virginia peanuts at the Fairmont DC. In this case, being “saucy” sounds like a very delicious thing.

Celebrity Hotels: Gordon Ramsay Does Hotel Design?
Answer: only when he’s getting paid to do so. Celebrity chef turned television personality turned suite designer Gordon Ramsay has launched his very first room at San Diego’s Keating Hotel. Dubbed the “Victory Suite,” the room is really more of a promo ad for his series, “Hotel Hell,” but it’s pretty darn awesome nevertheless. The suite features exposed brick walls, vaulted ceilings and glass-encased bathrooms. The hotel and suite will appear on a future episode of the series, where Ramsay redesigned the lobby, the Victory Suite and also offered up a new menu for the hotel’s MerK Bistro. Thanks to Elite Traveler for the tip.