Hotel News We Noted: December 7, 2012 (Special Edition)

end of the world renaissance hotelsWe write today with bad news. Judging by the amount of press releases in our inbox, the world will end on December 21, as predicted by the Mayan calendar, and nine days before, on 12-12-12, the publicity world will relish their last ever chance to send out far too many press releases about a holiday that may or may not happen.

And what reporters would we be if we did not bring you such news, interspersed with our favorite “Hotel News We Noted” of the week.

An Over-The-Top 12/12/12 Wedding at Jumby Bay
Book a wedding date to remember at Rosewood’s exclusive Antigua resort. Book the Once in a Lifetime Package and receive accommodations for three nights for 80 of your closest friends, private “White Night” party, cocktail and wedding reception, ceremony and more. Want to know how exclusive this place is? It once denied access to Princess Diana. Rates start at $230,000 for a three-night wedding event for up to 80 persons (40 rooms).

A 12/12/12 Promo You Can Afford
In honor of 12/12/12, Affinia Hotels in NYC and D.C. are treating guests to a special low rate of $112.12 for Sunday night stays available for booking on Dec. 12 between 12 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. only. Those looking to extend their stay beyond Sunday, can also receive 12 percent off any additional nights booked. This limited-time offer is available for travel from Jan. 2, 2013 – March 31, 2013. To book visit and use promotional code TWELVE.

Gamble The Day Away
Packages to top gambling destinations on the last triple-digit date of the century are considered very lucky. has packages bookable by December 9 available for as little as $437 per person for four-night stays in Las Vegas and Atlantic City.End of the World Cocktails at Renaissance Hotels
Celebrate doomsday with decadent cocktail treats at Renaissance hotels throughout the U.S., or, if you’re like us, celebrate in your living room with these delicious recipes!

Mayan Sacrifice
1/3 oz. Patron Silver Tequila
1/3 oz. Bacardi 151
1/3 oz. Grenadine
2 Dash Creole Bitters

Mix ingredients together in a mixing glass over ice. Shake and strain into shot glass. Ensure shot has sufficient red coloring.

Survival Punch
2 oz. Death’s Door White Whiskey
1 oz. Peach Schnapps
1 oz. Orange Juice
1 oz. Cranberry Juice
¼ oz. Velvet Falernum
Blood Orange Bitters, to taste
Rosemary Sprig

In a shaker over ice, combine all ingredients and shake. Strain using funnel into bottle. Serve full bottle with 2 rocks glasses filled with ice. Garnish with a rosemary sprig.

Hallucination Celebration
1 1/2 oz. Lucid Absinthe Superieure
5 oz. Champagne (fill glass)
Gold Flakes or Leaf

Sprinkle desired amount of gold flakes in champagne flute. Carefully add Absinthe. Fill glass with champagne. Garnish with gold flakes.

Hotel Openings: Four Seasons Goes To Africa
A few years ago, we told you that glamping was a thing. Now Four Seasons has gotten on the trend with the opening of Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, Tanzania, the first of the brand’s properties in Sub-Saharan Africa (two additional properties are planned in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and an exclusive beach resort on the island of Zanzibar). This 77-room lodge features 12 suites with plunge pools, five free-standing villas, two restaurants and two bars. The hotel will offer a full-service fitness center and spa as well as opportunities for game drives. (Psst: Really want to get to Africa? We reported on another brand new lodge from the Singita brand last week.)

Hot Hotel Scene: Miami
We spent a night in Miami last weekend and explored some of what the hottest city on the East Coast has to offer, just in advance of its poshest event of the winter season, Art Basel, going on now. SLS South Beach, a Philippe Stark-designed masterpiece, is undoubtedly the center of Collins Avenue cool, with its Hyde Beach club, Jose Andres restaurant, and old school campground decor. We’ve also heard great things about The James Royal Palm, another boutique brand’s entrance into the Miami hotel world, and the soon-to-open B South Beach. We stayed at Hotel Beaux Arts, a unique hotel-within-a-hotel concept that’s a one-of-a-kind experience within the Marriott brand. Featuring floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Port of Miami and downtown, this super high-tech hotel has rooms full of Bang & Olufsen amenities. While we couldn’t figure out how to turn on the sink, we sure did feel like a high roller, and, thanks to the in-house (well, in the attached JW Marriott Marquis) basketball court, movie theater, golf school, and virtual bowling alley, you could too. This would be an ultimate bachelor party destination.

Aspen’s Little Nell Hotel Offers Free Fly-Fishing And Biking Now Through October 15

fly fishingColorado is a big state, and most of it remained unscathed during June’s wildfires. The Aspen region in particular is known for its knockout scenery, which includes the twin peaks of the Maroon Bells, wildflower-festooned meadows, shimmering aspen groves and crystalline rivers.

With fall foliage (if you’ve never witnessed the turning of aspens, it’s worth seeing) just around the corner, The Little Nell is offering complimentary fly-fishing or road/mountain biking, available exclusively for those who stay three nights or longer through October 15, 2012. Both activities are valued at $400.

Aspen’s beloved “Nell” is justifiably famous for its luxe standards and excellent food and wine, as well as its thoroughly unpretentious staff and atmosphere. You can even bring your furry friend on vacation with you (that means your dog, not your hirsute significant other)

The Fly-Fishing Package includes a three-hour guided trip, drinks and snacks from the Nell’s pastry chef, transportation to and from a custom-selected fishing destination, gear and gratuity. Custom add-ons include a streamside picnic lunch with wine, or (ahem) helicopter excursions to secluded fishing grounds. Guests are permitted to keep their catch, and have it prepared by the Nell’s chef.

The “Bike to Nirvana Package” includes two Orbea bike rentals (with Garmin GPS) for one day. Add-ons include guided tours, custom fitting, training and instruction from Aspen’s top athletes – featuring championship cyclist Scott Kasin – and custom lunches served off-road or trail.

Aspen doesn’t shut down in “shoulder season” like many Rocky Mountain resort towns, either. There’s AspenFILM and the farmers market, which runs through mid-October, and excellent dining (and imbibing) options abound. Bonus: Fall guests who stay at the Nell for two nights receive a third night free, based upon availability.

Aspen/Pitkin County Airport has daily non-stop flights from Los Angeles, Dallas, Denver and Chicago.

10 Hotels Helping Guests Celebrate This Labor Day

Riverside Hotel Looking to travel at the end of the summer, but don’t want to miss out on the Labor Day festivities? Stay at one of these U.S. hotels offering packages, deals and parties.

Riverside Hotel
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Sometimes it pays to work overtime. The Riverside Hotel is offering perks to vacationers who put in the time. Basically, the longer you stay, the less you will pay. With their limited time “Stay More, Save More” package, visitors who stay one night will receive 10% off, visitors who stay two nights will receive 20% off and visitors who stay three nights or more will received 30% off. Other perks include:

  • 25% off at Echo Salon
  • 20% off dinner at Indigo restaurant
  • Buy one ice cream at Kilwin’s, get one free
  • 50% off beer, wine or cocktails at Golden Lyon Pub

Nightly rates start at $149 per night, before the discount. Package is valid until September 30, 2012. Click here to book.The Broadmoor
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Residing near the southern edge of the Rocky Mountains you’ll find The Broadmoor, a luxurious yet historical hotel, which first opened in 1918. This Labor Day, the property is helping families enjoy the holiday with their “Labor Day Family Escape” package, which includes:

  • Overnight accommodations
  • Bicycle and paddle boat rentals daily
  • One hour horseback trail ride or Garden of the Gods jeep tour for each person
  • Complimentary access to The BROADMOOR movie theater
  • 40% discount on adult tickets at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
  • 15% discount on select retail purchases
  • 40% discount on published suite rates

Package available August 30 through September 4. Rates start at $485 per couple for three nights. Click here for more information.

lodge at tiburon The Lodge At Tiburon
Tiburon, California

Located only steps away from the docks of the San Francisco Bay, The Lodge At Tiburon is a relaxing retreat nestled among the cafés, boutiques and galleries of Tiburon. To help guests enjoy the upcoming holiday, the property is offering a “Labor Day Escape” package. The offer includes 30% the nightly room rate, daily breakfast and dinner for two at the newly opened Tiburon Tavern, a local gastropub with a farm-to-table dining approach.

Package rates start at $168 per night, with a minimum two-night stay required. Click here for more information.

Lakeway Resort and Spa
Austin, Texas

Lakeway Resort and Spa is ideally located near wineries, marinas, restaurants, nightlife and championship golf courses and offers numerous leisure activities. To help guests celebrate Labor Day, the resort has put together an exciting lineup of activities for guests to take part in. Some of the weekend highlights include sporting events for children, complimentary happy hours, S’more making, live music, a swim up breakfast, pizza and pasta buffets and more.

Rates start at $229 during the holiday weekend, with a minimum two-night stay required. Click here for more information.

windham hill inn Windham Hill Inn
West Townshend, Vermont

For those looking to escape the city and unwind amongst the Green Mountains in Vermont, Windham Hill Inn is offering a “Labor Day Mountain Escape.” Along with getting the opportunity to explore over 160 acres of beautiful landscape, guests staying at the inn over the holiday weekend will receive:

  • 3-course daily breakfast
  • Afternoon tea and homemade scones
  • Evening Vermont cheese board
  • Use of binoculars for on-property bird watching
  • Use of tennis court and swimming pool
  • Private garden tour by kitchen team member

Moreover, for an additional cost, guests can arrange to have the kitchen prepare a special Labor Day picnic for them to enjoy on the grounds where it will be stocked with Labor Day favorites such as watermelon, fruit salad, a chocolate dessert and more.

Rates start at $255 per night based on double occupancy. Click here for more information.

The Grove Park Inn
Asheville, North Carolina

This Labor Day, The Grove Park Inn is featuring a festive lineup of activities. From August 31 to September 3, guests can take part in shag dance lessons, pool games, live music throughout the resort, a Coastal Seafood Buffet and much more. Additionally, the weekend package offer includes:

  • Two nights of resort accommodations in a Property View room
  • Breakfast daily at your choice of the Blue Ridge Dining Room’s lavish buffet or In-Room Dining
  • Dinner at the Blue Ridge Dining Room’s coastal seafood buffet on Sunday, September 2, 2012
  • Tickets to the summer kick-off concert on Sunday evening
  • Tickets to the Saturday concert featuring “The Band of Oz”
  • Tickets to the Sunday concert featuring “Chairmen of the Board”
  • Complimentary admission to many of the weekend’s events and activities

Package rates start at $659 per couple for two nights. Click here for more information.

keystone lodge and spa Keystone Lodge and Spa
Keystone, Colorado

For couples looking for a romantic mountain retreat this Labor Day, the AAA Four Diamond Award-winning Keystone Lodge and Spa is offering a “Labor Day Weekend Couples Lodging and Play for Free” package. This three-night package for two features:

  • Nine holes of golf on afternoon of arrival
  • Wagon ride dinner
  • Guided hiking tour
  • Four hour bike rentals
  • Mountain biking lift haul
  • 20% off lodging

Package rates start at $818.68 including tax, surcharge and resort fee. This is for two people for three nights. Available August 31 to September 3. Click here for more information.

MileNorth, A Chicago Hotel
Chicago, Illinois

MileNorth, A Chicago Hotel is located just a few blocks from Lake Michigan where guests can enjoy summer activities like riding bikes along the Lakefront Trail, Great Lake surfing and relaxing on dune-covered beaches. The newly branded property is inviting travelers to Celebrate Chicago this Labor Day. The offer includes:

  • Two cocktails at C-View, the 29th floor rooftop lounge with sweeping views of the city
  • A gift tin of Chicago’s signature Garret’s Popcorn
  • Four ride vouchers to explore Chicago’s largest outdoor playground, Navy Pier
  • $10 Chicago Transit Authority card to live like a local during your trip

Rates start $184 per night. Click here for more information.

w hotel scottsdale W Scottsdale
Scottsdale, Arizona

A luxurious yet comfortable hotel, the W Scottsdale is offering a variety of “pick your package” promotions to coincide with their end of summer Labor Day pool party. The event, which is scheduled for September 2, will take place on the hotel’s rooftop pool deck, WET. Moreover, guests can opt for special offers like:

  • “Road Trip”: Guests will receive a $35 gas card, complimentary overnight WHEELS valet parking, a W Scottsdale travel cup and accommodations in a Wonderful room.
  • “Vitamin W”: Labor Day sun worshippers will receive a W Scottsdale beach tote, Aloe Vera cooling spray, lip balm, a poolside pitcher of margaritas and accommodations in a Wonderful room.
  • “Feel the Music”: Beat lovers will get a $30 iTunes gift card, W Scottsdale ear phones, W Hotels music CD, two cool cocktails and accommodations in a Wonderful room.

Rates begin at $199 per night. Click here for more information.

The Liberty Hotel, A Luxury Collection Hotel
Boston, Massachusetts

This Labor Day, The Liberty Hotel, A Luxury Collection Hotel is giving guests the chance to end the summer in style with their “Farewell To Summer” package. Participating guests will receive overnight accommodations, daily breakfast for two at CLINK and free valet parking.

Package rates start at $299 per night, with a two-night minimum required. Valid August 31 to September 3. Click here for more information.

5 California Hotels Where You Can Learn To Ride The Waves

If you’re looking to try your hand at surfing this summer, there’s no better place to pick up a board than California. For decades, California’s surf beaches have beckoned rookies and professionals alike with their laidback atmosphere and consistent waves. Dozens of surf schools line the coast, offering instruction from beginner to advanced. But if time is limited and research intimidating, look up the following hotels, which offer surf packages on California’s gnarliest beaches to help ease the introduction.

Huntington Beach, Orange County
Huntington Beach Surf Experience at Shorebreak, a Joie de Vivre Hotel
Includes: accommodations, equipment rental, a bar of Organic Surf Wax, an “Endless Summer” DVD, and a two-hour surf lesson.

Coronado Island, San Diego

These US Hotels Are Helping Guests Get In The Olympic Spirit

Want to celebrate the 2012 Olympic Games, but can’t make it to London? These U.S. hotels are offering Olympic-themed packages to guests.

coronoado bay Loews Coronado Bay
San Diego, California

To help guests get excited for the upcoming Olympics, Loews Coronado Bay is offering an array of Olympic activities for families. These include:

  • Tennis camps with former Olympic athlete Angelica Gavaldon at the resort’s three bayside tennis courts
  • Dive-in screenings of the Olympic Games, displayed on a giant screen by the resort’s outdoor swimming pools and Marina Terrace
  • “Coronado Cup” keelboat sailing lessons and sunset sailing excursions on the Coronado Bay

Rates begin at $209 per night, excluding Olympic activities. Click here to book.olympics Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel
Santa Monica, California

Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel is getting in the Olympic spirit by offering an array of sporty activities. Guests can enjoy:

  • Private beach volleyball lessons on Muscle Beach with former Olympic athletes
  • Customized rings, balance beam and parallel bar routines on the beach
  • Sculling and rowing lessons, offered through the UCLA Miami Aquatic Center

Families can also add on a “Bed and Breakfast” package, which includes a $50 daily credit toward breakfast.

Rates begin at $459 per night. Click here to book.

affinia Affinia Hotels
Various Locations In New York and Washington D.C.

In support of the movement to make yoga an Olympic sport, Affinia Hotels is offering yoga at check-in with the “Affinia Yoga Check-In Challenge.” During the Olympics, July 27 to August 12, guests can show off their yoga skills upon arrival by completing one, two or three levels of poses. Each pose will give them the chance to win a prize. The poses, from easy to difficult, include:

  • Tree Pose: Bronze Prize- Cupcake
  • Downward Facing Dog: Silver Prize- Bottle of wine
  • Head-to-Knee: Gold Prize- $25 MyAffinia credit

If they wish, guests who complete the “head-to-knee” challenge can get their photo taken to be entered into the hotel’s online version of the contest. The winner will be chosen by Affinia Facebook fans, and will receive a complimentary three-night stay in the Affinia property of their choice.

Rates start at $179 per night. Click here to book.

times square The Hotel @ Times Square
New York, NY

Want to celebrate the Olympics in a unique way? From July 27 until August 12, The Hotel @ Times Square is featuring a variety of “unsporty” packages, to help guests steer clear of The Games. Offers include:

  • Sprint From Shop To Shop- Guests receive a VIP coupon book for Woodbury Common Premium Outlets, directions and two bottles of water ($244.99 per room, per night).
  • Pick The Museum Mile Not A Marathon- Participants will get two tickets to the Metropolitan Museum of Art ($259.99 per room, per night).
  • Drop The Opening Ceremony For Real Historic Shows- Package entails two tickets to the “Rock Around The Block Tour” of Greenwich Village to explore where Dylan, Hendrix and Blondie made history ($291.99 per room, per night).

Click here to book.

houstonian The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa
Houston, Texas

From July 27 through August 12, The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa will be celebrating the Olympics with a “London Express” package. The offer includes:

  • An overnight stay in a hotel suite
  • Scones and tea for breakfast in Olivette
  • A couple’s massage at Trellis
  • Dinner at Olivette
  • Swimming, tennis, yoga and exercise in the private Houstonian Club, where one can find many former Olympians
  • Tickets and private transportation to and from The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts to see “The Lion King”

Package rates start at $1,595, based on double occupancy. Click here to book.

hotel solamarKimpton’s Hotel Solamar
San Diego, California

Kimpton’s Hotel Solamar is helping Olympics enthusiasts save big with their “Gold, Silver, Bronze – everyone wins” offer. The package includes discounts and perks, such as:

  • Book one night and receive 10% off best available rate and parking
  • Book two nights and receive 15% off best available rate and parking
  • Book three nights and receive 25% off best available rate and parking
  • Morning coffee and tea service
  • Hosted evening wine reception
  • 24-hour access to fitness center

Rates start at $131 per night. Must book by July 15. Bookable for stays now through September 30, 2012. Click here to book.

waldorf astoria Waldorf Astoria Park City
Park City, Utah

To help guests feel like Olympians themselves, the Waldorf Astoria Park City is offering a private ice-skating lesson with a member of the U.S. National Speed Skating Team and Olympic hopeful. This is the perfect activity for the city, which is a training ground for Olympians.

Offer is available through September 12, 2012, with rates starting at $299 per night, plus $120 per adult for a two-hour lesson. Click here to book.

hotel TradeWinds Island Grand
St. Pete Beach, Florida

In honor of the Olympic Games, TradeWinds Island Grand is hosting an array of family-friendly and athletic activities, including an opening ceremony event, beach Olympics, poolside broadcasts of the Games, a torch relay, gymnastics, fencing, boxing, an inflatable obstacle course, glow-in-the-dark volleyball at night and more. To help make the activities seem more like the real thing, a podium will be placed near the pool for photos and awards. The area will also be adorned with Olympic rings and flags.

Room rates start at $169. Click here to book.