Hotel News We Noted: August 3, 2012

We’re officially into the Dog Days of Summer and it seems like every resort we see is trying to promote a pet-friendly package. Be sure to inquire if you want to travel with Fido or Fifi – many hotels offer pet-friendly policies for dogs under a certain size, and some, like Kimpton, even cater to the pampered pooch with special welcome amenities.

This week’s Hotel News We Noted is full of both good news and sad, as it seems like most of the big openings and events will be happening later in the fall. Still, we’ve got a full slate of happenings for you, just down below.

As always, send us a message if you have questions, comments or tips!

Hotel Closing: The Ritz Paris
The video above is in tribute to the closing of The Ritz Paris, an iconic property that closed this week as part of a two-year restoration. We love the cheeky video, which shows lights being turned off, maids undoing aprons, and dust covers being placed on the furniture. We wish the hotel and its staff the best of luck during their hiatus.

Hotel Concierge: Apothecary Concierge at Hotel Matilda
We’ve heard of art concierges and even a soap concierge, but this is the first we’ve heard of an on-site Apothecary Concierge. San Miguel de Allende’s Hotel Matilda has a new on-site herbalist who creates handmade natural beauty and skincare products personalized for each guest. Each guest gets a personalized skincare consultation and can discuss with the herbalist their unique needs and preferences. The proper remedy is then whipped up on the spot and given to the guest for use during their stay and to take home. We’re pretty sure this might be the coolest concierge perk we’ve seen in some time. Now if only we needed to take a trip to Mexico.

Hotel Amenity: OPUS Vancouver Loves Apple
We are beginning to suspect some sort of partnership – first OPUS Vancouver gives guests in-room iPads, and now they’re replacing their phones too. Guests in rooms at this boutique property now have in-room and during-their-stay use of an iPhone 4. While we think it’s a bit strange to outfit rooms with phones that can’t connect direct to the front desk or in-room dining, we love the idea of being able to take our phone with us when we travel … and, since our own iPhone doesn’t work internationally, this is a perk we’d definitely use. What do you think?

Hotel Openings: Hard Rock Rockin’ On in Mexico and a New Kimpton in La Jolla
The Hard Rock brand had a banner week with the refurbishment and opening of two new properties in Mexico – the Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta and the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun. Both properties are now open for biz, and plan to host star-studded (and likely big name music acts) opening parties in August and October, respectively. Prefer to stay in the U.S. to get your beach fix? Kimpton has spent $4 million to refurbish a brand new property in La Jolla, aptly named Hotel La Jolla, open today.

Happy Birthday, Holiday Inn
One of America’s best-loved brands is turning 60. This month, the iconic Holiday Inn brand turns the big 6-0. This is a brand known for firsts – when launched it was the first hotel to introduce many things we take for granted today like TVs, in–room telephones, air conditioning, free ice, free parking, a full service restaurant and a pool, all at affordable prices. It was the first hotel brand to allow kids to eat and stay for free; and the first to take online bookings. Now they’re encouraging guests in the US, Canada and China to share their own “firsts” on Facebook, Twitter and Weibo to win up to 60 free nights each day in August. Guests from all over the world can also share their “then and now” pictures on Facebook and Weibo through October. The best entries will win a weeklong family vacation at the Holiday Inn of their choice anywhere in the world.