Category Archives: Hotels

Sofitel Luxury Hotels Opens First Abu Dhabi Hotel

Sofitel Luxury Hotels has opened its first Abu Dhabi hotel and its second property in the United Arab Emirates.

The Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche is located on the seafront on the eastern tip of Abu Dhabis Corniche and tourists staying at the new property will have access to Saadiyat Island and Yas Island.

The latest addition to the already reputable collection of luxury Abu Dhabi hotels is part of the new Capital Plaza Complex and the building boasts contemporary architecture and design.

The chief executive of Sofitel Worldwide, Robert Gaymer-Jones, commented: I am particularly happy to be welcoming this new flagship hotel to our network.

The Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche is a precious asset for the brand both in the Middle East and internationally.

In addition to its strategic location in Abu Dhabi, its design based on contemporary art with some well-known French artists has ensured that this establishment is totally in line with the country strategic positioning.

When guests of the new hotel first arrive to their holidays in Abu Dhabi, they will be greeted in the lobby which features beautiful paintings from Pierre Soulages, a French artist known as the painter of black, as well as lithographs from Jean Cocteau and sculptures inspired by Brancusi.

The luxury hotel has 282 rooms and suites with modern dcor, furnishings and amenities, plus facilities including the Club Millesime Lounge, three gourmet restaurants with a wide choice of international and regional cuisine, three elegant bars, and 2,600-square-metres of meeting space.

During Abu Dhabi holidays at the Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche guests can walk across the bridge and head to Saadiyat Island, an up and coming world class leisure, residential, business and tourism hub. The natural island spans 27-square-kilometres of land, and development is being carried out in different stages until 2020.

The island is home to iconic landmarks; marinas with berths for up to 1,000 boats; two championship golf courses; civic and leisure facilities; over three million square-metres of office space; sea-view residential apartments and villas; luxury hotels; and tourist attractions such as the Guggenheim and the Louvre museums, the Zayed National Museum and the Manarat Al Saadiyat visitor centre.

Holidaymakers can also reach Yas Island from the new hotel in Abu Dhabi where they can visit Yas Marina, Yas Marina Circuit, and Ferrari World.

How To Make Your Hotel Bedding Last Longer

Beds get a lot of use in hotels, with daily changes and new guests all the time – from the tossing, the turning, the jumping and even the breakfasts in bed. So, how do you add to the longevity of these well used hotel amenities?

Duvets and Pillows:

These essential items of bedding need to be looked after carefully, especially if youre using feather and down filled bedding. These fillings tend to move around a lot and clump together in corners. So, each time you change the bed, make sure you give the duvet a good shake and fluff the pillows. This will ensure the comfort that these items give will last longer. And of course, occasional washing is needed. But make sure you check with your hotel linen supplier for laundry instructions.

Mattress Turning:

One of the simplest ways to get the most of your bed is to turn the mattress quite regularly. It may sound extremely simple, but its the best way to encourage longevity and will significantly prolong the life of the mattress. Mattresses have to deal with a lot of weight on them for long periods and turning them will relieve some of this weight induced wear.

Clean Bed Linen:

Clean bed linen also makes a lot of difference to a bed. Firstly, daily linen cleaning is very important in the hotel industry, but also the maintenance and care of linen is pivotal in creating the right impression and can really lift a room to a significant degree. Of course, you should use the best possible products when cleaning linen to ensure they are whiter than white. Do, be aware that you should also try and take care of the linen with products that have great cleaning ability, whilst being kind on fabric. The last thing you want is brilliant white, clean linen thats worn out.

Mattress Toppers:

Of course, mattress toppers and protectors prevent the mattress being stained, well to a large degree anyway. These protectors are easy to put on the bed, create a barrier for stains and liquids. Whats more, they also help older mattress by increasing the padding, making the comfort last longer.

Cleaning Mattresses:

Mattresses can often be cleaned by hand with the use of laundry detergent and water, a sponge and some hard rubbing. This should work on superficial stains, though be aware not to use too much water, which will dampen the mattress. Upholstery shampoo also works well, but make sure you follow what the manufacturer states and test in a concealed area first.

Mattresses may also need to be vacuumed. This is a good way to ensure you get rid of dust, crumbs and other extras that end up on the mattress. This can be achieved with the main hoover or a hand held hoover.

Following these rules should ensure that your beds are spotless, clean and will last for a longer period of time.

Best Third Party Hotel Management Company

Who you choose to manage your hotel can make or break your company. Deciding who to go with for your third party hotel management is a difficult decision, but probably one of the most important ones you will ever make in your life. And when people come down to visit us here in the South, they have high expectations. Were in the hospitality business, those of us who own hotels, and what is the South known for if not hospitality? Whether youre looking for a Texas hotel management company or third party management in Florida or in Alabama wherever you may be this is the one area that you do not want to sell yourself short. But it doesnt have to be the daunting task that it seems.
One important tip as far as third party hotel management goes is to choose a company with experience. Now, this doesnt necessarily mean an old company or one thats been around. But the employees of the company whether its old or new should all have background in hospitality. People coming into the hospitality business from some fancy degree are all smoke and mirrors. Sure, they can recite to you the theory with near perfection, but without the practical background, their knowledge is next to useless.
Another important thing to consider is that the company should treat you the way you want the management treating your guests. If youre trying to invest in the services of a third party hotel management company and they dont seem to have the time to look in your direction, do you really believe that theyll be treating your guests any better?
Dont forget, you reap what you sow. It isnt just up to you to hire the company and wash your hands of it all. Follow through. Go through the whole process with them. If you dont, then dont be all astonished when things in your hotel arent going the way you want them to. You have to take responsibility. Hiring an outside company does not mean youre excused from work.
Deciding who to go with for third party hotel management is important and can be a bit intimidating, but if you take extra care, you should find yourself in good hands. Just by putting in the necessary work, you wont have to worry about whether people are going to go home talking bad about the South. Youll know that your guests were treated right, and so was your hotel.

Cienfuegos Unveils Latest E-hotel To Open Offering Cultural Cuba Holidays In Bay Of Jagua

Offering the perfect mix of seaside recreation and cultural charm, the historical city of Cienfuegos has recently welcomed a new addition to its collection of colonial hotels in the Bay of Jagua.

The fully renovated Perla del Mar hotel joins the portfolio of E-Hotels (Hoteles Encanto) in Cubas colonial city of Cienfuegos. The E-hotels brand comprises a selection of restored properties of historical value that after renovation works have been converted into charming accommodation options for history-loving tourists in search of a more authentic place to stay, with a bit of added history to perfectly complement culturally-enriching Cuba holidays.

The hotel was inaugurated at the end of last month with the presence of the Gran Caribe Hotel Groups president, Eduardo Acosta and the newly opened establishment became the fourth Encanto hotel in the Punta Gorda complex, which comprises another four sister properties of equal historical value and old age charm. These sister hotels include the Jagua, Casa Verde and Palacio del Valle, the latter of which was the first E-hotel to open in Cuba and marked the starting point for extending the Encanto brand and restoring more old Cuba hotels to their former glory.

The motivation behind the opening of these peculiarly charming hotels in Cuba was not only to rescue and give use to crumbling buildings of historical importance that had been abandoned throughout the years but also to meet an increasing demand and growing interest from tourists to stay in unique accommodation that reflected Cubas captivating colonial past, much of which is still present in the architecture of old villages and sleepy towns like the residential neighbourhood of Punta Gorda, where the new Encanto Perla del Mar is located.

The investment in the restoration of the new property, part of which overlooks the sea and the beautiful Bay of Jagua, totalled 1.4 million U.S. dollars and a further restoration project is in the pipeline for another hotel in city which will be named San Carlos. Work for the new San Carlos hotel will start in 2013 with an expected date of completion in 2012 while existing projects are also to be enhanced in the area.

Perfectly catering to the growing interest for cultural holidays in Cuba, the new property adds value to the new accommodation in this city with fully renovated guest rooms and facilities.

Advices how to choose a hotel

Book hotels in advance. Hotel prices tend to rise during holidays and seasonal days. You can save 30-40 % by making a booking 2-3 months in advance.

2. Book hotels located near a public transport like a metro/station. Remember that large cities always have traffic jams. Thats why a metro/station can come in handy.

3. The hotel must be easily accessible from the airport/railway/seaport/carpark you are going to use.

4. Remember: the hotel must be reasonably priced, but not too cheap to avoid disappointments.

5. Dont be afraid to book the hotel by yourself. It is cheaper than using the travel agencies where they charge you with a commission. You will also have time to read hotel reviews on the Internet before making your choice.

6. Pay attention to the check in and check out time of the hotels. In general the hotels have a check-in time of 12.00 pm or later, while some tourists arrive at the city in the morning.

7. Once you have chosen your hotel, make sure you find a map or a tourist guide of the region. Most of the hotels will provide you with the information you need. That way you will have time to plan your vacation on an efficient way.

8. If you only plan to eat and sleep in the hotel choose a hotel near the centre of the city. If you are a creative person, consider to book a design hotel.

9. When you book hotels located in the centre of the city, make sure that the window is faced inside the hotel. That would allow you to avoid traffic noise during the night, which is a problem in the centre of the city.

10. Pay attention to small details: room service, smoking or not, check for noise isolation on the windows, availability of a swimming pool, gym and so on.

11. When booking a room in a warm country, make sure that the room has an air-conditioner. Often hotels only mention their air conditioning in the hotel facilities.

12. Try to find a hotel with a possibility to use a taxi transfer to the hotel. That way you dont pay too much for a local taxi. Besides, if you dont know the local language, you might even lose more time.

The Pros And Cons Of Boutique Hotel Accommodation

The term boutique hotel refers to a style of usually small and independently run hotels which have their own unique style and creative flair. A boutique hotel could be anything from a stylish city retreat with themed rooms, a quaint countryside inn, or a quirky historical hostel.

There are pros and cons to staying in this type of accommodation, and here are some of the main advantages and disadvantages of boutique hotels:

The Advantages of Boutique Hotel Accommodation

There are many advantages to be found in this type of accommodation. One of the main reasons why boutique hotels are so popular is because they offer a chance to stay in a unique and creative space that has a lot more personality than a chain hotel room. Boutique hotels usually have funky and artistic decor or special themes. This is desirable for travellers who want their accommodation to have a bit of personality and intrigue.

Another advantage of boutique hotels is that they are usually run by a small amount of passionate and caring staff and only have a small amount of guests at one time. This allows them to offer more personalized service and create a welcoming feeling. Since boutique hotels are usually smaller than large chain hotels they can be built within tiny spaces in city centres, often offering a much better location.

When you patronize independently owned boutique hotel accommodation you also get the satisfying feeling that you are supporting a local business rather than a large conglomerate. Also, most boutique hotels will offer lower prices than conventional style hotels of the same quality.

Disadvantages of Boutique Hotels

Despite how lovely some boutique hotels can be, there are also some disadvantages to choosing this style of accommodation. Some people find that the lack of a brand name makes them nervous because the hotel does not have the guarantee of belonging to a reliable large company. Many people choose chain hotels because they like the security of knowing what to expect from their accommodation.

Boutique hotels are also often much smaller than chain hotels, which means that there are less likely to be rooms available if you book your stay at the last minute. Also, if you are travelling for business you might not find all of the facilities such as free WiFi and conference rooms to use during your stay, as boutique hotels usually cater for those who travel for pleasure. Another disadvantage is that most boutique hotels dont offer the types of loyalty programs that the larger companies do.

Whether you choose to stay in boutique hotels or not depends on your personal preferences towards holiday accommodation, yet it is good to know that these unique and quirky choices are available if you desire to stay somewhere different on your next trip.

There are advantages and disadvantages to staying in boutique hotel accommodation during your next holiday.

New Hyatt Wailea Maui Hotel To Open For Beach Weddings In 2013

Hawaii is to receive a new Hyatt-branded hotel after Hyatt Hotels and Resorts announced that they will be opening the new Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort & Spa in Spring, 2012.

The new hotel will be located on Mokapu and Ulua Beach on the island of Maui, which is a hotspot for idyllic beach weddings, and Michael Stephens has been named as the General Manager.

Set upon 15 acres of land, the new Hyatt resort will take over the hotel that was once the Wailea Renaissance resort. This is the first Andaz-branded property to be built in Hawaii and the brand embraces local culture into its dcor, food and events.

The Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort & Spa will have 325 rooms and suites, a lavish 15,000-quare-foot spa, and 12,000-square-feet of event and meeting space, making it the perfect venue for destination weddings of any size.

Mokapu and Ulua Beach has been a popular setting for romantic beach weddings for many years and the new resort is expected to attract many couples planning on getting married abroad in Hawaii in the near future.

All beaches in Hawaii are open to the public and Mokapu and Ulua Beach is likely to see an increase in visitors once the new hotel is open for destination weddings.

General Manager of Hawaiian Style Weddings, Jana Rothernberg, commented: I think this has been the ideal location for beach weddings on Maui. The location has been un-crowded since the closure of the Wailea Renaissance hotel. Being on the south end of the Island means ideal weather and beautiful sunsets. This will certainly change next year when the Andaz resort opens its doors.
Hawaii is a fantastic destination for island weddings thanks to its idyllic surroundings, a tropical climate and a variety of luxurious hotels and facilities that are available to the bride and groom and their guests.

Hawaiis five main islands Kauai, Maui, Oahu, the Big Island and Molokai – offer plenty of settings for romantic ceremonies such as white sandy beaches against the backdrop of the sparkling turquoise ocean, a wooden gazebo in fragrant tropical gardens, or under an arch that has been decorated with native colourful flowers.

Tourists Can Experience Traditional Pearl Diving At Jumeirah Beach Hotel Dubai

The Jumeirah Group is offering a fantastic experience for tourists staying at the Dubai Beach Hotel this spring with the launche of pearl scuba diving excursions off the coast of Jebel Ali.

Some of the worlds best pearls have been found in the waters of the Arabian Gulf over past centuries and from 2nd March, 2012, guests enjoying scuba diving holidays in Dubai at the Jumeirah property will be able to learn about the ancient tradition of pearling.

Holidaymakers will meet at Jumeirah Beach Hotel and they will be transported by bus to Palm Jebel Ali. They will then dress into traditional clothing and board traditional dhow boats where they will be taken to the shallow waters of the Gulf to collect oysters using traditional pearl diving methods.

There will be plenty of activities aboard the boat such as story-telling and singing, and passengers will be served a fish and rice dish for lunch. The experience enables the visitors to dive three to five metres beneath the surface of the ocean and if they find any pearls, they can keep them as a souvenir from their scuba diving holidays in Dubai.

The pearl diving excursions are being operated in partnership with the Emirates Marine Environmental Group (EMEG) every week from Tuesday to Saturday and they enable foreign tourists to understand more about the traditional pearl diving industry during Dubai holidays.

The Jumeirah Beach hotel is one of the Jumeirah Groups most luxurious Dubai hotels with 598 elegant rooms and suites and 19 beachfront villas.

Guests can take advantage of facilities and activities including 20 gourmet restaurants and stylish bars that offer a wide selection of international cuisine and premium drinks; sailing trips and snorkelling and scuba diving adventures at the Pavilion Marina & Sports Club; complimentary access to the Wild Wadi Water Park; and the activities at Sinbads Kids Club will help make Dubai holidays even more fun for children of all ages.

Shaped like a breaking wave with its arc of shimmering glass, the Jumeirah Beach Hotel is located in the citys renowned Jumeirah beach area, just 15 kilometres from the city centre.

The hotel is set upon 36,300 square-metre of pristine private beach and there is a purpose-built coral reef located two kilometre off-shore where scuba diving and snorkelling enthusiasts can explore the waters of the Arabia Gulf throughout their holiday time ath the hotel.

The Jumeirah Group provides luxury holidays for tourists and scuba diving gurus with its collection of hotels and resorts across Abu Dhabi, Dubai, the Maldives, Frankfurt, London, Mallorca, New York, Rome, and Shanghai.

Jalousie Plantation Hotel In St Lucia To Be Re-branded As A Viceroy Hotel Property

After re-branding its Tides hotel on Mexicos Rivera Maya last January, the Viceroy Hotel Group announced that the Jalousie Plantation Sugar Beach resort in St Lucia, will also re-launch this year as a new Viceroy Hotels and Resorts property.

The transition of this property as it passes hands to the Viceroy group was highly anticipated and took no one by surprise given the growth of the Viceroy Hotel Group in markets such as Abu Dhabi, Turkey and the Maldives. The group looks forward to a progressive year for the expansion of their portfolio, with the addition of the Jalousie Plantation allowing the hotelier to cash on the popularity of St Lucia holidays.

On its part, the luxurious Jalousie Plantation, Sugar Beach resort, located on an immaculate tropical rainforest in the iconic centre of St Lucias Valley of Pitons, has also recently decided to upgrade their in-room facilities with the addition of new Touchstone Home Products featuring newend-of-bed TV lift cabinets to enhance its luxury villa suites. The award-winning, world-class property categorised as one of the most luxurious St Lucia hotels and resorts, decided to upgrade its suites with Touchstone as part of a $100 million renovation started in late 2010.

Touchstone, leader and pioneer in the design and development of the Theatre Lift Cabinets, was founded in 2005. They specialise in the production of cabinets in contemporary, traditional and transitional styles to fit flawlessly in almost any home. The Vice President of Touchstone, Frank Quinslink, expressed his satisfaction over the Jalousie Plantation collaboration, and pointed out that the Touchstone technology was designed to match all types of decoration.

We were very excited to work with Jalousie Plantation on this installation of TV Lift Cabinets, he said Our cabinets are a perfect lift for the hospitality industry, especially because we have the ability to custom finish our cabinets. This allows us to match the decor of any resort, hotel or bed-and-breakfast looking to upgrade its room furnishings. It really helped to make our project with Jalousie a great success.

Adding to the resorts improvements, the new Touchstone TV lift cabinets provide the perfect solution for the new flat-screen TVs that are being placed in the villas. Guests will be able to enjoy technology and comfort on their holidays in St Lucia while feeling relaxed in a serene island setting away from all worldly troubles.

The two new styles of Touchstones TV lift cabinets chosen by the Jalousie Plantation were the value-priced Elevate, in a customised white finish and the end-of-bed Seaford, also in white with a rising component shelf. These new models blend in perfectly with the Superior Luxury Villa, the Grand Luxury Villa and the newly-built Beachfront Cottages, highly popular among guests.

Delicious St Lucia Holidays For Chocoholics At Hotel Chocolat

Chocolate lovers from all corners of the world now have the chance to not only enjoy the most finely crafted chocolate delights during St Lucia holidays, but also to learn about the history of the island’s chocolate produce through the hotel’s iconic location in a working cocoa plantation visited by the likes of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.

For the most indulgent of chocoholic holiday experiences, the new Hotel Chocolat in St Lucia, which only opened in spring last year, is now open to welcome true choccy lovers to a sweet world of tasty delights. This rather unusual hotel accommodation in Antigua opened with the concept of indulging chocolate lovers with a unique chocolate-theme restaurant and bar with the finest in cocoa-based cuisine, with a touch of this delicious ingredient present in almost all the dishes with some form of cocoa inclusion.

Set in the grounds of a working cacao plantation, the hotel makes a direct connexion between the chocolate consumer and the source of the cocoa produce. Placing a strong focus on sustainability, the Hotel Chocolat has an input in stimulating a sor of Cocoa Renaissance and encourages other cacao growers on the island to follow suit as part of their ‘Engaged Ethics’ programme. For over 20 years, cocoa farming in St Lucia has been in decline. Hotel Chocolat has pledged to buy local cocoa at prices 40% above those previously achieved, to help stimulate the sector. So those enjoying sweet St Lucia holidays at the chocolate-themed hotel will know that they will be directly contributing to boosting the island’s cocoa produce.

The most unique of St Lucia hotels yet, the property instantly charmed the likes of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall who visited the hotel’s surrounding Rabot Estate and reinforced Britain’s compromise to promote sustainable development, environment

The chocolatey hotel also features the ‘Tree to Bar’ experience, providing the opportunity for guests to create their own chocolate. It begins with guests walking along the estate’s cocoa groves and ends with them making scrumptious chocolate bars. The tour includes a visit to the seedling nursery, fermenting room and sun-drying station, as well as grinding, mixing and lots of tasting! Participants are invited to graft their own cacao plant, which is labelled with their name and date of visit.

And for those wanting to branch out from the cacao, however, the property also has a spa, a pool overlooking the Pitons, a secret bar and casual dining. A daily shuttle service operates to Jalousie beach and theres 140 beautiful acres of land surrounding the property which, among other things, is a delight for hiking and bird watching.