Loews Hotels offers Whoopie Weekends to help sweeten up romance

I love a story with a little sass and sex appeal, so when Loews Hotels’ latest promotion, the Whoopie Weekend, came through my inbox, I was immediately intrigued.

The hotel company is offering those needing a little flicker in their fire a bit of a discount that includes everything from accommodations to marshmallow creme. Here’s what you get with the “Whoopie Weekends” romance package:

Luxury accommodations Indulgent welcome amenity: a make your own Whoopie Pie with marshmallow crème, chocolate mousse and dulce de leche fillings; “Making Whoopie for Two” breakfast in bed or the hotel restaurant; Two “Make Whoopie at Loews” t-shirts; Late checkout

The “Whoopie Weekends” package is based on double occupancy and is valid for one-night stays, Thursday through Saturday nights, now through February 2011. Pricing ranges from $124 at the Loews Ventana Canyon in Arizona to $294 at Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel in California.

Loews Regency Hotel teams up with NY Yankees to offer hotel packages

Who needs Yanks tickets? If you didn’t get your pick this season, Loews Regency has a deal for you. The Loews Regency Hotel on Park Avenue has two new “Pinstripes on Park” offers perfect for Yankee fans wanting to see their champions at Yankee Stadium this season.

The hotel’s line up of packages range from $489 for the “Home Base” package (includes luxury accommodations and main level tickets) to $1,665 for the deluxe “Suite Steal”, which includes field level seats and luxury accommodations in a one bedroom suite.

Pinstripes on Park — Home Base $489

  • Accommodations for two in a Luxury King room
  • Beer and pretzel welcome amenity
  • Two “Light Green” Main level tickets at Yankee stadium
  • $10 Metrocard and directions to and from Yankee Stadium via NYC Transit

Pinstripes on Park – Suite Steal $1,665

  • Accommodations for two in a luxury One Bedroom Suite
  • Beer and pretzel welcome amenity
  • Full American Breakfast for two in 540 Park or from Room Service
  • Two “Red” Field Level tickets to Yankee Stadium
  • Luxury sedan to and from Yankee Stadium from Capricorn

Packages are available from July 1 – Sept. 23, 2010, and must be booked a minimum of 14 days prior to the selected game.

Disney’s new Animation-themed resort reflects success of two recent hotel trends

A 35-foot-tall model of King Triton, the patriarch in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” will be the centerpiece of the new Disney’s Art of Animation Resort at Walt Disney World.

The 2,000-room hotel will have four wings, themed around four Disney movies that have become new classics over the past 20 years: “The Little Mermaid,” “The Lion King.” Finding Nemo,” and “Cars.”

The Art of Animation Resort demonstrates the success of Disney’s recent experiments with two different hotel trends, family suites and specially themed rooms.

At Disney’s All-Star Music Resort, the company converted rooms into 192 family suites in 2006. The rooms include both a living room and a bedroom and sleep up to six, thanks to a sleeper sofa and a chair and ottoman that each convert to a twin bed in the living room.

Disney has always had suites in its higher end “Deluxe” hotels, but the All-Star Music suites and the new suites at Art of Animation will be in Disney’s “Value” hotel category. Value resorts have smaller, motel-style rooms, but they still incorporate that magical Disney theming in over-the-top public areas, like swimming pools and lobbies.

Rates at Disney’s value resorts often rival off-site hotel prices. Regular hotel rooms that sleep up to four at value resorts currently start at $82 per night. The current family suites start at $190.

“This resort was designed with the needs of families in mind, as we continue the Disney tradition of providing a great guest experience for every taste and budget,” said Eric Jacobson, senior vice president of Disney Imagineering. In 2008, Disney World unveiled its first themed rooms, the Pirates of the Caribbean rooms at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. The rooms have pirate-ship beds, treasure-chest themed furniture and a swashbuckling curtain. Earlier this year, the Orlando Sentinel reported that the pirate-themed rooms, which were located in what was the least popular area of the Caribbean Beach Resort, have now become the most requested rooms.

Specially themed rooms have become popular in Orlando in recent years, with the nearby Nickelodeon Suites Resort offering rooms featuring Spongebob Squarepants and Dora the Explorer. The Loews Resorts at Universal Orlando have also ventured into themed rooms, with Dr. Seuss and Jurassic Park-themed suites.

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will have courtyards with “larger-than-life” icons from the four featured animated films. It is being built adjacent to Disney’s Pop Century Resort, off Osceola Parkway east of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Walt Disney World had prepped the site and started a couple of buildings there a few years back, when it was the planned second phase of the Pop Century Resort. But those plans were abandoned following the 2001 recession, and the buildings have sat empty and unfinished since then.

This will be Disney World’s 26th resort, and the first new hotel at Walt Disney World in seven years. (Disney has built three new vacation ownership resorts in the interim.)

The news of a new Disney hotel has energized Central Florida, with many believing that this is Disney’s vote of confidence that the tourism-supported economy here is turning around. Ground will be broken on the project later this summer, and it is expected to create as many as 800 jobs.

“This project also underscores our optimism about the future, as we continue to invest in new experiences for our guests around the globe,” said Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is projected to open by the end of 2012.

Loews Hotels launches ‘romantic’ Twitter contest

If you’re not on Twitter and haven’t reaped the benefits of Twitter-only travel deals that hotels and airlines are continually promoting, you’re missing out on some great offers. This latest one comes courtesy of Loews Hotels and it’s for romantics-only (not really, but play along for the prize).

The Loews Hotels Twitter-only contest offers hopeless romantics the opportunity to win a variety of romance-themed prizes, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Starting Monday, Feb. 8 through Friday, Feb. 12, one romantic movie trivia question will be posted on @Loews_Hotels Twitter page at 11am EST. The first follower to answer the trivia question correctly will win a DVD and a $50 food and beverage credit good for use at participating Loews Hotels. Of the five daily winners, Loews will choose one Grand Prize winner at random to receive Loews Hotels’ new “Drive-In Movie” package, which includes: 2-night weekend stay at a Loews city property of his/her choice; complimentary parking; daily in-room movies and popcorn from the lobby “concession stand.”

Daily winners and the Grand Prize winner will be announced on the @Loews_Hotels page. More information and official contest rules can be found here.

Travel to lose 200,000+ jobs

Nearly 200,000 travel-related jobs were lost in 2008. Another 247,000 are forecasted for 2009. And, the financial crisis is still developing. While we lament the loss of six- and seven-figure investment banking jobs, let’s not forget what those big money gigs mean for the travel industry.

Consider your average Wall Street titan. He’s still pulling down more than $1 million a year (somehow). So, he’s sitting on the couch in his rather large Chelsea apartment, wondering, “Do I need to take that golf trip down to Naples for the weekend?” For him, it’s throwaway. If he doesn’t head out for a few days, his life doesn’t change much.

Now, multiply this by several Wall Street titans for that weekend. Most of them decide to stay at home. Who suffers?

Well, an empty restaurant is a waiter’s nightmare. It’s also rough for the spa therapists, housekeepers and everyone else along the “travel supply chain.” Eventually, the companies have to cut back, and we see how that 247,000 projection becomes a reality.

For this reason, 10 of the largest hotel companies in the United States have urged members of Congress to remember the importance of business travel when developing legislation and regulations that may “unintentionally hinder economic recovery and cost American jobs.”

The hotel companies are: Carlson, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental Hotels Group, Loews, Marriott, Starwood and Wyndham Worldwide.