Hotel News We Noted: January 18, 2013

Welcome 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.

Hotels to Spot the Celebs: Washington, DC’s Hottest Inaugural Lobbies
It’s officially here: Washington is celebrating its 57th Presidential Inauguration on Monday, Jan. 21. We’ve already covered how hotels are prepping for inauguration and some of our favorite over-the-top packages, but what about the best places for people watching? We’d park ourselves at the Four Seasons’ Bourbon Steak or Seasons, Adour at the St. Regis, Off the Record at The Hay Adams, the Round Robin bar at The Willard, POV or J&G at the W, Blue Duck Tavern at the Park Hyatt, the lobby of the Ritz-Carlton Georgetown, Quill at The Jefferson or West End Bistro at The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, DC. Washington Post’s Reliable Source is a great place to get the scoop on who is staying where this weekend … and who isn’t coming to town (Oprah, among others).

Tech-Free Trend: Leaving the Gadgets at Home
Could you go tech-free for a week or a weekend? Marriott seems to think so. They’re testing “Braincation Zones” at hotels across the Caribbean and Mexico, ABC News reports. This encourages guests to put down devices and truly relax. The article goes on to detail other hotels that encourage tech-free policies or tech-free zones. We’re totally inclined to put down our gadgets on vacation, but think that actually removing the ability to check email or make phone calls goes a bit far … we’d like the ability to make that choice on our own, thank you very much.

Hotel News of Note: QE2 to Become a Floating Hotel In Asia
Bloomberg Businessweek is reporting that the Queen Elizabeth 2, the former cruise ship that made waves in the luxury cruise space for more than 40 years is being converted to a floating hotel and will be docked in Asia. The property will open in 2014 and may move locations at some point, possibly to Dubai. How does the idea of staying in a floating hotel sound to you?

Hotel Openings: Tropicana Las Vegas
Hilton Honors members just found their next location for a Las Vegas vacation. The DoubleTree by Hilton has invested more than $200 million to renovate the 1,500-room, 35-acre resort. In celebration, Hilton is giving away monthly chances to win one million HHonors points as well as an ultimate Vegas vacation weekend on their Facebook page.

[Image Credit: ~MVI~ (running away from parties)]