Hotel News We Noted: December 21, 2012

ritz carlton dorado reserveBy now we are all sure of one thing: the world has not ended. We did get a little scared last night, however, when a power station in Annapolis blew up and caused this massive light show explosion and caused power all over town to go out. That said, we’re pretty sure we’re okay, and so this week’s “Hotel News We Noted” will go on.

Hotel Trend of the Week: What’s Happening for New Year’s Eve?
According to Expedia.com, New Year’s Eve is one of the country’s leading days to book a last minute hotel room. Such bookings are up to 50% higher than similar bookings in November and the first half of December. Half of respondents said that they booked these rooms out of necessity – they had consumed a few too many drinks and elected to stay overnight. The second-most cited reason was “personal,” and the third was “whimsy” (27%). Where might these hotel rooms be booked? According to Hotwire, the ten most popular cities for New Year’s Eve revelry are Orlando, Chicago, Las Vegas, New York City, Miami, San Francisco, London, San Diego, Los Angeles and New Orleans.

Hotel Openings of Note: Ritz-Carlton’s first North American Reserve
Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve, has opened its doors after a long wait, making it one of our most noted 2012 openings. The new brand takes traditional Ritz-Carlton luxury to an “ultra-luxury” level, including private butler service, more spacious rooms, high-end amenities and a more boutique feel. The Dorado Beach property is situated on the former Laurence Rockefeller estate and features just 100 rooms and 14 suites. The resort features a full-service spa as well as a restaurant by acclaimed chef Jose Andres.

Hotels Coming Soon: Aloft Iraq
Starwood Hotels & Resorts has announced plans to open a new boutique hotel, Aloft Erbil, in 2015. The property will mark the launch of the Aloft brand in Iraq. This isn’t the brand’s first foray into the country, either. Earlier this year, Starwood announced plans to open a Sheraton Erbil as well. Thanks Hotels Magazine for the tip. You might also be interested in the Gadling exclusive series “Destination: Iraq.”

Haute Hotel Deal of the Week: Free Brunch at Kimpton’s Hotel Allegro
Want to toast 2013 in the Windy City? It just got a little more affordable. Hotel Allegro Chicago, a Kimpton property, is offering a complimentary “Recovery Brunch” on January 1 featuring cold pizza, a bloody mary bar, and bottles of water. Want to stay overnight? Rates start at $199 – a pretty good deal!

“Hotel News We Noted” will return on January 4 after a brief holiday hiatus.

[Image Credit: Dorado Beach]