Hotel News We Noted: March 22, 2013

Welcome to this week’s edition of “Hotel News We Noted,” where we round up the best, most interesting and just downright odd news of note in the hospitality world. As always, we welcome your tips, so feel free to leave comments below or send us an email.

Hotel Opening: Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown
Finally, after what seems like months of waiting, our “Birth of a Hotel” feature property has opened its doors. The 49-room ultraluxury hotel features personal assistants for each guest, 24-hour check in and check-out, a locally-focused restaurant, The Grill Room, and a spirits focused bar, The Rye Bar. Boasting a prime location along the C&O Canal in the city’s prime Georgetown neighborhood, the property has been called one of the States’ most exciting openings of 2013.

Gansevoort Las Vegas To Open in Early 2014
Style seekers jet-setting to Las Vegas now have more than ever before to be excited about. Along with the new Nobu hotel and the planned 2014 opening of SBE’s first Las Vegas property, Gansevoort Hotel Group and nightlife guru Victor Drai have announced plans to build their first Las Vegas property in the former Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon location. A planned $185 million renovation will transform the property into 188 Parisian-style guest rooms, including 19 suites, plus a 40,000-square-foot casino, destination restaurant and high-end retail shops. The resort will also include Drai Beach Club and Nightclub, a 65,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor nightclub/pool experience. The After Hours by Drai club will remain, and this venue will be included in the planned LINQ development, opening in late 2013.Hotels Celebrate Earth Hour on Both Coasts
March 23 (tomorrow) marks “Earth Hour,” the world’s largest single environmental event. Hotels coast to coast are turning off their lights at 8:30 p.m. tomorrow for an hour, making a commitment to the environment. Hotels are participating in the event in various ways, including:

  • Fairmont Miramar will have lighted candles around the property, which will produce a very picturesque sight under the iconic Moreton Bay Fig Tree at the hotel’s entrance.
  • The Sheraton New York Times Square is dimming the lights and offering guests several “green” treats, including a special “Green Cocktail” for guests in their 44th floor club lounge.
  • Ritz-Carlton hotels around the globe well also participate in the celebration, including candlelight yoga at the Doha property, LED candles in Barcelona and a naturalist guiding guests in constellation spotting at the Laguna Niguel property.

Something Borrowed, Something Brewed: Hotel Offers Special “Wedding Beer” Packages
Brides and grooms might not think of Four Points by Sheraton Los Angeles International Airport as a great destination for beer, but they should perhaps think again. The new “Hoppily Ever After” package from the hotel leverages the trend of offering custom cocktails at the wedding reception and takes personalization one step further – the couple can work hands-on with a brewer to create a custom wedding beer through a partnership with local Enegren Brewing Company, where they can create up to 30 gallons of beer to be served on their special day. The hotel also has an onsite beer restaurant and pub, Brewster’s – a Beererie, featuring an extensive 100-beer menu including many local, regional, national and international craft beers and microbrews. The Hoppily Ever After Package must be booked at least three to four months in advance to ensure the brewing process is completed by the reception date but is just $1,500 – $2,000.

[Image Credit: Four Points by Sheraton]

Birth Of A Hotel: Capella Washington Schedules March 22 Opening – An Inside Peek At The Grill Room

Finally, we have a confirmed opening date (March 22) for our “Birth of a Hotel” feature property, Capella Washington, and, surprisingly, it isn’t the personal assistants or the rooftop pool at the hotel that are generating the most buzz – it’s the hotel’s food. The Grill Room and The Rye Bar will open on March 22 alongside the hotel and area foodies are already salivating over the locally influenced cuisine.

Highlights of the new restaurant and bar program will include a tartare prepared tableside, cocktails made in aged oak barrels, a specialty ice program and house-made sauces for the meats.

Highlighting both food trends (farm-to-table, hand-crafted cocktails, and locally-sourced ingredients) and a focus on high-touch, high-quality service, the hotel’s new restaurant is aiming to be Washington, DC’s new go-to destination for discerning food lovers.

We got an inside look at the space – and the chance to help choose the correct mixture for the special rye-based sauce that will complement all of the hotel’s meats. Below, you’ll find a gallery of our visit.

[Image Credit: McLean Robbins and Capella Washington]

Hotel Room Of The Future: Tablet Touch Walls May Be Coming Your Way

In-room iPads have become practically standard in the luxury marketplace, but what about tablet walls? Spain’s Serrano Brothers sought to design the “hotel of the future” when they debuted the “ITH Room Xperience,” a model hotel room made of Microsoft Surface Tablets, multiple screens and interactive surfaces, all of which are controllable via smartphone, psfk reported.

It’s not the first use of the concept we’ve seen (recall the Corning Glass commercial?) but this is a first of its kind in the hotel world. The concept is currently on display at Fiturtech International Tourism Trade Fair in Madrid, Spain.

What do you think? Would you stay at a high-tech hotel room like this?

Eat Me: What Capella Washington’s New Restaurant Will Bring To The Table

A few weeks ago, we explored trends in hotel food and beverage. Now Capella Washington, D.C. has released exclusively to yours truly details about their new restaurant and bar concept. Dubbed The Grill Room and The Rye Bar, the farm-to-table restaurant along the C&O Canal will be open to guests and locals alike.
Helmed by Executive Chef Jakob Esko, formerly of Capella Singapore, the restaurant expects to open in mid-February with daily dinner service and select breakfast and lunch dishes.
The Rye Bar will feature a dozen unique Rye whiskeys, a nod to the spirit made at George Washington’s nearby Mount Vernon.
All meats – many of which will be locally sourced – will be served with a house-made alderwood smoked rye sauce, including a Wagyu bone-in rib eye, and a 14-oz. pork chop. Other dishes include a fresh pasta carbonara, a chopped lobster salad, and a 28-day aged “Capella” burger.
Guests will be able to dine indoors, or, in nice weather, along the C&O Canal. Hotel guests will also be able to order from a room service menu to the hotel’s roof deck in warm weather.

The “Birth of a Hotel” series explores what it takes to build, market and open a luxury hotel from conception to reception. Read more articles in the series, here.

[Image Credit: Capella Washington]