Hotel News We Noted: June 14, 2013

rancho las palmas
Rancho Las Palmas Image Courtesy of Omni Hotels

Happy Friday, “Hotel News We Noted” readers. Summer is heating up, and that means that the hotel world is in full swing, promoting summer travel, touting new resort openings and even launching new initiatives. This column brings you the best, the weirdest and the most interesting news of note from the hospitality world each week. Have a tip, comment or question? Leave your note below or shoot us an email. We’d love to hear from you!

News of Note: Omni Gets Five
Dallas-based Omni Hotels & Resorts has gotten even grander as of July 1 with the acquisition of five of the country’s best-known resorts. The five properties are Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, TX; La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, CA; Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage, CA; The Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC; and The Homestead in Hot Springs, VA. We’re excited for the addition of these new properties to the brand’s portfolio – it gives us an even better way to use our loyalty points!

Wellness World: Trump Launches New Wellness Endeavor
We all know that Donald Trump doesn’t do anything halfway. It’s all in or “you’re fired,” as the catchphrase goes. So now, the brand has launched a comprehensive wellness program that blends healthy menus (Trump’s “Nourish”) with a healthy kids menu and super-fast-delivery menus (“Quick Bites”), plus has a fitness component (“Travel Fit”) that includes delivery of equipment to the room plus apparel, footwear and an iPod. In addition to working with two of the best brands in the biz (Technogym and Under Armour), Trump has done a brand-wide sweep of all in-room dining, quick dining and minibar options to make them all healthier and locally focused wherever possible. Kudos to Trump for going over the top – in a very good way.
Sad Hotel News: Carbon Monoxide Kills Young Boy At North Carolina Best Western
It was reported this week that a young boy was killed by carbon monoxide at a North Carolina Best Western hotel. The room, which was directly above the hotel’s pool heating equipment, also had caused the death of an elderly couple earlier in the year. While the incident is certainly unfortunate, it illustrates a scary fact – hotels are not often required to have in-room carbon monoxide detectors. If you feel faint, dizzy, or develop severe headaches in your hotel room, alert a member of the staff immediately.

Cool Promo: Marriott’s Autograph Collection Develops A Limited Edition Cocktail Book With Jim Beam Bourbon
Capitalizing on the small-batch cocktail trend (and just in time for National Bourbon Day, today!) the Autograph Collection of Marriott, a portfolio of fun independent hotels, has launched a special limited edition cocktail book with special drinks inspired by 12 of the hotels. Sample a drink that reminds you of Scrub Island in the BVIs or the Bohemian Hotel Savannah Riverfront. Scrub Island did a “Scrub Island Dream,” a mix on a Dark and Stormy with bourbon, passion fruit puree and ginger beer, while the Bohemian reinvented a classic gin martini with a mix of Bourbon, amaretto, bitters and orange juice dubbed the Maritime Martini.

Omni Hotels & Resorts Partner With Joining Forces To Hire Servicemen And Women

Omni Hotels & Resorts is doing its part to increase employment for American Veterans thanks to a new partnership with Joining Forces, announcing a plan to expand recruitment of servicemen and women over the next three years.

Joining Forces is an initiative that mobilizes all sectors of society to give opportunities in the areas of employment, education and wellness to service members and their families who earned the support through their service to the country.

“Omni respects the sacrifices made by service members and their families as the backbone of the armed forces,” said Joy Rothschild, senior vice president, human resources for Omni Hotels & Resorts. “This partnership enables Omni to recruit dedicated, service-minded associates and gives Joining Forces another channel to achieve their mission.”

Joining Forces is dedicated to hiring or training 100,000 veterans and spouses by 2013. Omni has planned expansion in its Dallas-Fort Worth headquarters, as well as planned hotels or additions in Dallas, Amelia Island and Nashville.

Marriott and Starwood also participate in the program.

Omni to launch new luxury brand of hotels

Move over Marriott and Hyatt, Omni wants to share some space. Seems the big-hotel-chain-turned-small-boutique-brand concept is taking off and Omni Hotels is jumping on the bandwagon – Omni’s new luxury hotel brand, Mokara, will open this April in San Antonio.

The Watermark Hotel & Spa is being branded as the first in Omni Hotel & Resorts’ new line of luxury hotels. Watermark is one of San Antonio’s most recognized hotels, and the folks at Omni say the rebranding and new Mokara name will only help drive more guests to San Antonio. We’ll watch and see what happens…

While limited details are available right now, we’ll keep a close eye on Omni’s new concept and how it fares next to Marriott’s Autograph Collection and Hyatt’s Andaz properties.%Gallery-73514%