Hotel News We Noted: January 25, 2013

lego hotel pirate roomWelcome to this week’s edition of “Hotel News We Noted,” where we round up the week’s best, most interesting and just downright odd news of note in the hospitality world. Have a tip? Send us a note or leave a comment below.

News of Note: Hotel Industry Rebounding
Good news for the hotel industry, although perhaps not so great news for consumers seeking a deal. Early reporting from Smith Travel Research show that the hotel industry is growing, perhaps even rebounding to pre-recession levels. Houston, Nashville, New Orleans and Oahu are doing particularly well.

Hotel Opening of Note: Hard Rock’s new MEGAPOLIS in Panama
Panama has been a buzzy destination of late, with openings from brands like Westin and Trump, as well as a slew of other planned developments. The latest is the 66-story Hard Rock Panama Megaopolis (originally slated for 2011), featuring 11 bars, for restaurants and a nightclub, meaning the hotel is basically a mini Las Vegas or Atlantic City in Panama. The modern decor features a graphic rock artist wall that varies by floor and “tribal tattoo” themed carpets, HOTELS Magazine reports. Colors are bright, with orange, pink and purple playing a starring role. What do you think? Would you stay here, or leave this to the cast and crew of “The Jersey Shore”?

Openings We’re Excited About: The LEGOLAND Resort
If you’re a parent and reading this, we’d suggest you hide your screen from the kids. California is getting its first LEGOLAND Resort this spring (April 5, 2013, to be exact) and Mashable has a video (OK, really more like a glorified ad) that makes us wish we were 12 again. From a pirate ship and a castle to a bar just for the adults, this first Lego hotel in the United States is sure to be a kitschy yet clever hit. Think you’ve seen this before? Maybe you have – there are other hotels outside of the U.S., and a LEGOLAND theme park in Florida.

Weird Hotel Rooms Around the Globe
We sadly can’t take credit for this great roundup, but one of our favorite parts about this column is being able to share great hotel news we find ’round the web with our readers. A thanks to The Atlantic Cities for this package on the weirdest hotel rooms found worldwide, from former prisons transformed to hotels to ice hotels and capsule rooms. Have you seen a weird room not reported on in this column? Let us know and we’ll share it next week.


Coming up, we’ll round up some of the best over-the-top Valentine’s Day packages … so if you have an idea for sweet suite-style romance, send it over.

[Image Credit: LEGOLAND California Resort]