Atlanta loses three hotels to weak market, two to become dorms

Three hotels have succumbed to weakness in the Atlanta market. Among the recent casualties is the 502-room Marriott Renaissance. Rates have been pushed lower by an abundance of capacity that has caused even top brands to get stuck charging less than $100 a night. When there’s far more supply than demand, of course, this is what happens.

Joining the Renaissance in the graveyard will be the city’s Wyndam Garden Hotel and Baymont Inn & Suites. Georgia State University will be buying both and converting them to dorms. The future of the Renaissance remains uncertain, though 75 percent of its laid-off staff will be moving to other Marriott properties.

Given the state of the Atlanta hotel market, there’s the risk that more hotels could follow:

“More and more property owners are asking themselves the question, ‘Is operating this facility as a hotel really what produces the maximum economic return?'” Mark Woodworth, president of PKF Hospitality Research, tells the [Atlanta Journal-Constitution].

[photo by Nrbelex via Flickr]

Renaissance Hotels let the kids pamper mom with a pancake playdate

Renaissance Hotels wins my prize for the most creative Mothers Day promotion this year (and yes – we get emailed a lot of them!). On Sunday May 9th, participating Renaissance properties will open up their kitchens just for kids – and the hotel chef will guide your little ones through the art of making the perfect pancake.

Prices for this pancake brunch start at just $25, and kids can make mom the perfect pancake using their imagination or one of the specialty pancakes on offer around the chain.

In Boston, the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel bakes seasoned bacon fat into the batter to complement the Lobster Benedict.

In Washington D.C. kids can cook up a batch of organic buckwheat short stacks – with local Tuscarora Farm apple compote and McCutcheon’s wildflower honey.

By far the best sounding creation will be served at the Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach with Tres Leche pancakes, featuring caramelized bananas.

Of course, the best way to pamper mom is with a stay at a Renaissance, so head on over to their reservation site. Just be sure to check with the property of your choice whether they will be offering the pancake playdate.

Check out our other Mothers Day coverage here.

Renaissance hotels offers the sweetest of suites for Valentine’s day

Around Valentine’s day, we tend to get a huge amount of emails promoting the various romantic hotel deals on offer around the country. The vast majority are pretty boring, and involve little more than some Champagne in the room. Thankfully, every now and then someone sends something that is just too awesome to ignore.

Take for example the Renaissance New York Hotel 57 where you can book “the Dylan’s Candy Bar Sweetest Suite”. This spacious room comes with an edible candy wall, white chocolate fountain, cotton candy machine, 300 pounds of candy and chocolate in every drawer. Sweet fun like this is not cheap – a two night stay in this amazing suite is $2500 (available February 13-15). The room can be booked by calling the hotel directly at 212-651-3205.

If you are working with a slightly lower budget, then head on over to the Renaissance Hotels romance site to check out their creative Valentine’s romance package.

Room rates start around $130 (for a standard room), and come with Champagne, breakfast for two (with room service option), late check-out, a Dylan’s Candy Bar gift bag and a $100 savings coupon for a future 2 night stay. The package is available from February 11th through the 15th, and can be booked directly on their site.

Some hotel futures at risk

The number of hotels defaulting on their loans surged 125 percent in May and June this year. Travel is down (no shit), which has an obvious effect on the top line. When there’s no money coming in, it’s hard to send cash out to meet some pretty hefty obligations. So, if none comes in, none can go out … and defaults start to rise.

Some high-profile properties have defaulted already, including the Four Seasons and Renaissance Stanford Court Hotel – both in San Francisco – and the W Hotel in San Diego. Nobody’s safe in this market. Outside California, 13 hotel loans adding up to $596 million became delinquent in June alone. Most of the carnage came from Phoenix, Las Vegas and New York City.

Of course, the defaults don’t spell the end for these properties. There is always the chance that the loan terms can be changed or the hotels can be sold. There’s a long way between defaulting loans and closed doors.