Legoland New York Resort officially opens, includes first Legoland Hotel in Northeast

August 10, 2021

Legoland New York Resort Hotel’s grand opening (Photo courtesy of Legoland New York Resort)

The following is a press release from Legoland New York Resort:

After more than a year of anticipation, awesome is finally here! LEGOLAND® New York Resort (in Goshen, New York) officially opened on Friday, August 6, 2021, with the debut of LEGOLAND® Hotel as the ultimate family getaway destination.

Families can now spend multiple days exploring the Park’s seven themed lands and then conveniently retreat to the 250-room hotel, located just steps away from the theme park’s iconic entrance arch. The only LEGO® themed hotel in the Northeast, LEGOLAND Hotel at LEGOLAND New York Resort is built for kids, with guest rooms and suites that are designed for 5-9 people depending on room type, with four room themes: Pirates, Kingdom, LEGO® Friends and LEGO® NINJAGO®. Built to inspire all-day play and curiosity, the Hotel also features imaginative LEGO models and immersive play areas throughout the property.

“Welcoming overnight guests at LEGOLAND Hotel is a long-awaited milestone that marks the final step in our phased opening,” said LEGOLAND New York Resort Divisional Director Stephanie Johnson. “We’ve created an overnight experience that can’t be found anywhere else in the Northeast through thoughtful, creative, and educational hotel offerings that complement a day at our Park. At LEGOLAND Hotel, families can experience a fully-immersive multi-day getaway: they can fuel up for their day in the Park, take a break if they need it, and drift off to sleep with a bedtime story from their in-room Google Nest.”

Upon arrival, LEGOLAND Hotel guests receive a “warm” welcome from a smoke-breathing LEGO dragon – and that’s just the beginning of the overnight adventure! Additional highlights include a Castle play area for children, more than 2,000 interactive LEGO models created out of thousands of LEGO bricks, a heated resort-style pool, an arcade, and a “Little Big Shop” to stock up on everything you need for a bricktastic vacation. Every overnight stay comes with a complimentary buffet breakfast at Bricks Family Restaurant, which also serves a family-size dinner each night.

LEGOLAND Hotel also offers an endless array of creative experiences, including the chance for young builders to put their skills to the test alongside Master Model Builders at the on-site Creative Workshop. Daily children’s entertainment takes place throughout the property, complete with LEGO character meet-and-greets. Meanwhile, parents can enjoy light bites and drinks at the Skyline Bar as they watch their children explore aboard a pirate ship and castle play area in the Hotel lobby.

Back at the room, inventive in-room amenities take contactless programming to the next level. Children and parents will love the Hotel’s Next Generation Sleepover: a Google Nest that can do anything from place a room service order to tell children an immersive bedtime story or send them on an in-room scavenger hunt. Each themed guest room offers a separate sleeping area for children, equipped with a bunk bed, pull-out trundle bed, and an entertainment unit, with a separate space for adults with a king bed. Guest rooms also include a welcome treasure hunt activity with LEGO prizes, access to a LEGO play bin, two high-definition flat panel TVs with complimentary on-demand content, and more.

“Children will find themselves engaged from the moment they set foot in LEGOLAND Hotel, while parents can tap into their inner child in the heart of this family-friendly playground,” said LEGOLAND Hotel Director Scott Case. “The Hotel is so much more than a place for families to rest after a fun-filled day. From the wall of 5,000 LEGO Minifigures to the interactive disco elevator with pulsating lights, mirror ball and music, LEGOLAND Hotel is an extension of the theme park experience that can’t be missed.”

Just beyond the Hotel doors, LEGOLAND New York Resort features seven LEGO themed lands: Brick Street, Bricktopia, LEGO® NINJAGO® World, LEGO® Castle, LEGO® City, MINILAND and LEGO® Pirates. The Park features the global debut of the LEGO® Factory Adventure ride, which transforms riders into LEGO Minifigures, and signature rides such as the Dragon coaster and LEGO® NINJAGO® The Ride. Children can also earn their very own LEGOLAND Driver’s License at Driving School, team up to save the day at Fire Rescue Academy and catch LEGO movies in 4D at Palace Cinema.

LEGOLAND Hotel will be open year-round and is now accepting reservations online on its website: www.LEGOLAND.com/new-york. Room rates begin at $279/night. Packages are also available through LEGOLAND Vacations which include a stay at a LEGOLAND Vacations Hotel (nearby partner hotels) and two-day LEGOLAND Park tickets. Guests can also purchase single-day tickets ($79.99 for adults) or annual passes ($229 per person) with or without a hotel stay.

For more information about LEGOLAND New York Resort, visit our website or follow us on Facebook.

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About Merlin Entertainments
Merlin Entertainments is a global leader in location-based, family entertainment. As Europe’s number one and the world’s second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin operates more than 135 attractions, 21 hotels and six holiday villages in 24 countries across four continents. Merlin’s purpose is to deliver memorable experiences to its millions of guests around the world, through its iconic brands and multiple attraction formats, and the commitment and passion of its employees. 

See www.merlinentertainments.biz for more information and follow on Twitter @MerlinEntsNews.

Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris unveils new Le Spa

July 9, 2018

(Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris)

The following is a press release from Four Seasons:

Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris officially unveils its new Le Spa this 9 July, offering a sanctuary of haute couture tailor-made, results-driven treatments in the bustling heart of the city.

The brand new Spa, spread over 720m², includes a 17-metre (55-foot) swimming pool, vitality pool with hydro-massage water experience circuit heated to 34°C, a 90 m² cutting-edge fitness room, and a stylish hair salon. In addition to the five single treatment rooms, two luxury hammams for men and women and a Spa Suite for couple treatments.

“We are delighted to introduce Le Spa, a contemporary space of style and serenity in the heart of the city. A place where Parisian elegance meets caring Four Seasons service, delivered by our team of passionate therapists who are dedicated to making you look and feel your best”, says Jean-Claude Wietzel, General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris.

Renowned Parisian interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon has created a space that is at once bright, modern and elegant drawing on ancient spa traditions, with a colour palette of light grey and silver tones. Inspiration from Greek, Roman and Turkish mosaic patterns lies alongside carefully curated pieces of modern art and spectacular floral compositions designed by Jeff Leatham. “We meticulously selected materials, furniture and pieces of art that embody the spirit codes and harmony of the hotel, both classic and resolutely contemporary” comments Rochon.

Key features of Le Spa include:

Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris
(Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris)

Swimming Pool
The 17-metre (55-foot) mosaic-lined swimming pool is the perfect spot for poolside relaxation, complemented by a 34°C vitality pool experience.

(Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris)

Fitness Centre
The 90 m² fitness centre offers a selection of the latest cutting edge cardiovascular equipment specially designed by Technogym for Le Spa, with chrome-plated equipment, including treadmills, bikes, ascent trainers, elliptical, and a rowing machine. A 7-metre long screen transports guests to the great outdoors with an interactive movie about nature bringing the four seasons into the very heart of the Hotel.

(Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris)

Hair salon
With two hair dressing stations, the hair salon offers complete high-end hair treatments for women and men leaving guests guaranteed to turn heads as soon as they step outside.

(Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris)

A tailor-made, results-driven approach 
In the city of haute couture, what could be more fitting then a menu of treatments tailor-made to provide the best results from the most reputable French and international brands? Le Spa will offer personalized experiences addressing the needs of all skin types, using a hand-picked collection of products and techniques developed in conjunction with globally recognized Spa and beauty experts.

A selection of brand new Signature Experiences has been developed to harness the core spirit of the Spa, providing bespoke sensory journeys that deliver tangible results. Highlights include a Kobido traditional Japanese facelift, an Alaena organic certified bio anti-ageing treatment, and a Dr Burgener escape designed especially for the Spa.

Kobido: a rare, traditional Japanese facelift created by Dr. Shogo Mochizuki
In Japanese, Kobido means “the ancient way of beauty”, and is the oldest facial tradition in Japan, following a lineage that dates back to 1472. Tradition states that this therapy was reserved exclusively for imperials and nobility for centuries. Le Spa is proud to bring this tradition to modern-day Paris, with Dr. Shogo Mochizuki having come personally to Le Spa to share his expertise with the team of therapists.

(Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris)

Breath of Life by Alaena: an organic treatment signed by Dr Sylvie Peres from France
This body and face treatment is inspired by Tui Na, a therapeutic art of Chinese Medicine, using patented active ingredients to boost cells rejuvenation and impart an anti-ageing effect.

George V Escape by Dr. Pauline Burgener, Switzerland
Created exclusively for Le Spa, this luxurious customised antioxidant treatment combines a Chardonnay body scrub, a massage with Champagne oil, and a facial harnessing the antioxidant power of gold, Chardonnay and green caviar. A sweet treat of a Four Seasons Hotel George V macaron and a glass of Champagne complete this uniquely Parisian experience.

St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort announces October 2018 re-opening following $60 million renovation

April 10, 2018

The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort
The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort (Rendering courtesy of Marriott International, Inc.)

The following is a press release from Marriott International:

The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort is thrilled to announce that the property is slated to open on October 29, 2018, following an extensive $60 million renovation at Bahia Beach. The renovation is inclusive of every guestroom and suite, the Plantation House, the heart of the resort where guests will enjoy The St. Regis Bar and the property’s signature restaurant, the seaside pool and esplanade, which will offer a casual dining option for guests, the spa, and the ocean-front golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr.  Additionally, The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort also announces the new $85 million beachfront, ultra-luxury residential development, Ocean Drive, as well as The Atlantic Drive Estates and plans for a resort expansion.

Owner John Paulson, Paulson & Co. said, “The St. Regis Bahia Beach has always been an incredibly beautiful resort. With the new upgrades, it will be even more remarkable than it was before the 2017 hurricanes.”

“We are delighted to see further investment at Bahia Beach, of which we are an integral part,” said Ian-Robert Ciappara, General Manager of The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort.  “With renovated and contemporary guestrooms and amenities, as well as luxury residential offerings, Bahia Beach and The St. Regis are poised to remain the absolute luxury go to on the island, welcoming travelers from around the globe seeking sun, relaxation, culture and glamour at the best address in the Caribbean.”

Designed by celebrated Puerto Rican designer Nono Maldonado together with internationally renowned Hirsch Bedner Associates of San Francisco, and inspired by the surrounding sea, sand and foliage, the 139 refurbished rooms and suites at The St. Regis will boast a light, modern and organic aesthetic in a contemporary and residential setting.  A tranquil color palette of shades of whites and light blues will beautifully complement ocean and lush tropical garden views, while custom furniture pieces such as a glass bar cabinet will evoke an inviting and luxurious home.  The modern, light-centric design is also seen in the Plantation House, which will greet guest upon arrival and is home to the resort’s signature fine-dining restaurant and St. Regis Bar. Anchored by The Long Awaited Voyage, a mural by Puerto Rican artist Arnaldo Roche Rabell that has been restored following the storms and hangs above The St. Regis Bar, the two-story building is a warm, lively and glamorous gathering space that overlooks the ocean and invites guests to simply relax and take in the view, as well as experience the brand’s champagne sabering ritual and enjoy live music from a Steinway Piano from the comfort of a plush banquette.  The seaside pool and esplanade has also undergone a renovation, and will now offer a casual dining restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating in addition to luxurious poolside cabanas and lounge chairs, as well as the spa, which will debut as The Iridium Spa at The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort when the property opens.

All structures have been built below the tree line, affording spectacular and unspoiled views along the resort’s two-mile stretch of private beach, where one has access to beach towels, comfortable lounge chairs, umbrellas and beach service.  For the ultimate beachside indulgence, private Beach Front Cabanas featuring signature St. Regis service will be available to reserve.

Available through a new collaboration with Aquavento Water Sports, equipment and activities for children and adults alike to enjoy includes non-motorized water sports such as surfing, paddle boarding, kayaking, sailing and fishing in any of the surrounding lakes.  The property also offers numerous trails for biking, walking and running, all nestled under the canopy of the tropical setting and inviting one to further discover and immerse themselves in the preserved surrounding nature. For guests interested in volunteer opportunities and activities that give back to the community and destination, the property is working in collaboration with the Bahia Beach Resort Golf Club and its non-profit organization Alma de Bahia on several initiatives to support the affected communities in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort is proud to offer these opportunities and assist those who were impacted by the storms.

The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort also announces the launch of an $85 million beachfront, ultra-luxury residential development, The Ocean Drive Residences. Comprising of 30 luxurious condominium residences in three beachfront buildings, The Ocean Drive Beachfront Residences at The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort will offer three- and four-bedroom residences and penthouse models ranging in size from 3,379 to 4,048 square feet of interior space.  Created by SB Architects of Miami and Hirsch Bedner Associates of San Francisco, the design of each residence takes inspiration from the spectacular nature and wild environment surrounding the property. Features also include innovatively designed living areas, expansive beach front terraces with outdoor bars and kitchens, and direct private elevator access.  Residents will additionally enjoy Five-Star hotel services and amenities provided by St. Regis, breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and a two-mile stretch of crescent beach.  The first building is under development and is expected to be completed by June 2019.

The property is also slated to debut The Atlantic Drive Estates, a collection of coastal home sites located in a prime location just west of The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort.  This exclusive collection of luxury property sites will provide residents the ideal opportunity to custom-design and build their own homes in beachfront sites and premium golf and lake locations.

Additionally, The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort announces plans for a $30 million expansion to the resort.  Occupying a secluded stretch of land adjacent to the current guest room accommodations, the expansion will add 60 oceanfront rooms to the hotel’s inventory and introduce a more contemporary style with family-friendly and flexible rooms to the destination.

Located on a former coconut plantation and situated between the El Yunque National Forest and Espíritu Santo River State Preserve, The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort is set on 483 pristine acres and it is the only Gold-certified Audubon Signature Sanctuary in Puerto Rico as well as rated AAA Five Diamond.  The resort also offers St. Regis’ legendary Butler Service, state-of-the-art fitness center, four deco turf hard tennis courts, a St. Regis Kids Club, and an ocean-front golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. The property is a short 30-minute drive from the vibrant town of Old San Juan.

 

Westin Hotels & Resorts announces Project Rise: ThreadForward to help donate pajamas to underprivileged children

March 15, 2018

child in pajamas
(Photo courtesy of Marriott International, Inc.)

The following is a press release from Westin Hotels & Resorts:

Westin Hotels & Resorts today announced the launch of Project Rise: ThreadForward, an unprecedented sustainability program that collects, processes and reweaves hotel bed linens transforming them into thousands of pairs of children’s pajamas.  The first-of-its-kind pajamas will be distributed to children in need, whose circumstances can contribute to shortened and more fragmented sleep. Beginning April 16th, Westin will give the gift of better sleep beyond the brand’s hotels, in cities around the world: from New York and Toronto, to Mexico City and Cape Town, and will encourage guests to support by purchasing a pair of pajamas on westinstore.com to benefit the program.

“As people integrate wellness into their lifestyle more holistically on the road and at home, giving back has increasingly become important to their overall sense of well-being,” said Brian Povinelli, SVP & Global Brand Leader, Westin Hotels & Resorts.  “Wellness is in the Westin brand’s DNA, and Project Rise: Thread Forward is evidence that we can empower the well-being of our guests and associates as well as make a difference in the communities around us – hopefully inspiring change in the industry as a whole.”

Last year Westin introduced a global campaign called Let’s Rise, taking on the distractions and unpredictability of travel and empowering people to regain control of their well-being when they need it most, while traveling.  As part of the brand’s rally-cry, Westin looked to their associates for an idea to empower the communities in which they live and work. The brand launched a challenge, Project Rise, asking associates to submit those ideas through the lens of the Six Pillars of Well-being; one idea would be selected and solution funded by the brand.  More than 325 associates from around the world submitted ideas; one inspired insight encouraged the brand to repurpose discarded bed linens that often don’t have a centralized recycling process or recipient.

Committed to helping guests get a good night’s sleep since the game-changing debut of the Heavenly Bed® almost 20 years ago, Westin saw an opportunity to not only create an innovative industry-first upcycling program, but also empower sleep in an entirely new way.

“Sleep continues to be the foundation of well-being,” asserted Charles Morin, PhD, President of World Sleep Society. “But despite this, one third of all adults and a majority of children are not getting enough sleep. Research suggests that, particularly for children, creating and preserving bedtime routines lead to more restorative sleep, which in turn improves physical and emotional well-being.” The simple act of putting on pajamas as part of a bedtime routine is one way to improve a child’s quality of sleep and cement long-term sleeping habits.

As a result of these insights, Westin tapped Clean the World, a leader in global health, best known for its soap recycling programs, and Divergent Energy, who sources the innovative technologies and solutions, to develop the hospitality industry’s first system to collect, process and reweave the discarded linens into a new fabric for pajamas. In just 5 months, 50 Westin hotels around the world submitted approximately 30,000 pounds of bed linens & terry to be sorted, broken down and reweaved into new material, using industry best practices in textile manufacturing. A new and proprietary upcycling process was developed specifically for this program to ensure the new fabric met both U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regulations and provided the comfort sought in children’s pajamas.

“Upcycling sheets into children’s pajamas has never been done before,” said Shawn Seipler, Founder and CEO, Clean the World. “As our partnership with Westin has grown over the past eight years through the bath & soap amenity program, we were excited when Westin came to us to help bring this vision to life.  Westin’s Project Rise: ThreadForward program is a phenomenal effort to continue to improve children’s health and create a more sustainable future.”

Westin worked with San Francisco-based Venables Bell & Partners to conceive and design the pajamas, which feature the brand’s signature color palette, zest, mint and flax (grey) as well as a whimsical illustration of a child rising over a moon with a book – a nod to a better sleep empowering a better day. They will be created in sizes 2-8.

With Delivering Good and their network of community partners, Westin will begin donating the first 1500 pajamas next month to children in need, who are most prone to suffer sleep anxieties, in markets around the world.

“Our mission to fight poverty and deliver hope to people in need aligns perfectly with what Westin was aiming to achieve with Project Rise: ThreadForward,” said Lisa D. Gurwitch, CEO & President, Delivering Good. “We know that pajamas are among the most requested items of clothing sought by our charitable partners that support low-income households; and we are delighted to work with Westin, who shares our passion and commitment to lift communities and empower people to be their best selves.”

As the global demand for well-being continues to grow and more people integrate wellness into their lifestyle, a new trend has emerged. Increasingly people consider giving back as an important part of their wellness routine, along with sleeping more, eating well and exercising.

In a recent global study:

  • 77% of global respondents say giving back enhances their overall well-being
  • Nearly 1 in 2 respondents in North America said it is very important to give back
  • 80% of those surveyed globally have intentions to give back while traveling in the next 12 months
  • And while nearly 1 in 4 travelers surveyed have volunteered through their hotel, 89% of people globally are more likely to book a hotel that provides give-back opportunities.

In response, Westin has made it possible for guests to support Project Rise: ThreadForward as well. Beginning on April 16th, the children’s pajamas will be retailed for USD $25.00 at Westinstore.com, and a portion of proceeds will go back to Delivering Good and continuing to support the efforts to give every child the opportunity to Sleep Well.

With its powerful penchant to give back, Westin continues to grow and evolve its programs and partnerships, addressing how wellness is integrated into consumers’ lives through the brand’s Six Pillars of Well-Being: Sleep Well, Eat Well, Move Well, Feel Well, Work Well, and Play Well. For more information about the Westin brand’s campaign: Let’s Rise, its commitment to sleep or to learn more about Project Rise: ThreadForward, please visit: www.westin.com/threadforward.

Study Methodology
This study is based on a survey conducted by STUDYLOGIC LLC via telephone of approximately 2,520 respondents ages 18 and older with household incomes of $50,000 or above from 4 different regions: North America, Latin America, Europe and AOA (Asia, Oceana and Africa). Interviews were conducted between January 24th and January 31st. The survey averaged 20 minutes in length and contains a margin of error of +/-3%.

About Westin Hotels & Resorts
Westin Hotels & Resorts, a leader in wellness and hospitality for more than a decade, empowers guests, associates and local communities to embrace well-being and be their best selves through the brand’s six pillars of Well-Being: Sleep Well, Eat Well, Move Well, Feel Well, Work Well, and Play Well.  At more than 200 hotels and resorts in nearly 40 countries and territories, guests can experience wellness offerings that include the iconic Heavenly Bed, RunWESTIN program, TRX and Peloton fitness equipment and Westin Gear Lending with New Balance, in addition to delicious and nutritious SuperFoodsRx™ and more.  To learn more, visit www.westin.com. Stay connected to Westin: @westin on Twitter and Instagram and facebook.com/Westin.

About World Sleep Society
World Sleep Day is organized by World Sleep Society, an international association whose mission is to advance sleep health worldwide. World Sleep Society promotes and encourages education, research and patient care, particularly in those parts of the world where the practice of sleep medicine is less developed. World Sleep Society currently represents over 900 individual healthcare providers and 31 regional sleep societies, totaling over 14,000 members. Learn more at WorldSleepSociety.org and WorldSleepDay.org. Find us on Twitter @_WorldSleep and facebook.com/WASMF.

About Clean the World
Clean the World is a social enterprise dedicated to the mission of saving millions of lives around the world while simultaneously diverting hotel waste from landfills. Clean the World operates soap recycling centers in Orlando, Las Vegas, Hong Kong, and Punta Cana and leads a “Global Hygiene Revolution” to distribute recycled soap and hygiene products from more than 5,000 hotel and resort partners. The organization benefits children and families in countries with a high pre-adolescent death rate due to acute respiratory infection (pneumonia) and diarrheal diseases (cholera) – which are two of the top killers of children under the age of five. Since 2009, more than 44 million bars of Clean the World soap have been distributed in over 127 countries. Clean the World has served over 10 million individuals through its soap distribution and hygiene education programs. In addition, Clean the World provides hygiene kits to relief organizations throughout North America. More information: CleanTheWorld.org.

About Delivering Good
Delivering Good is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization, with a mission to provide new merchandise to people who have been affected by poverty and tragedy. It is the charity of choice for new product donations made by hundreds of companies in the fashion, home and children’s industries. Donations include new clothing, books, shoes, toys, baby products, and other items for children and adults, and make certain that every needy recipient receives the fundamentals necessary for success. More information is online at Delivering-Good.org, and @DeliveringGood on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Hard Rock International announces details of Hard Rock Entertainment World

July 10, 2017

Hard Rock International logo

The following is a press release from Hard Rock International:

Hard Rock International announces details of its Hard Rock Entertainment World proposal, which is slated to be one of the largest resort destinations in Europe. The project, located in Vila-seca and Salou (Tarragona), Spain, will consist of a unique combination of hotels and convention areas, with world-class entertainment, dining and shopping. This project is defined through a complete Zoning Plan already approved by the Catalan Government, with a maximum capacity of 745.000 sq. meters for all the different uses and an estimated global investment of €2,000 million, including the cost of the land and infrastructures needed, to be developed by phases in the next years.

Phase 1 will be headlined by the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tarragona integrated resort. The Hard Rock integrated resort will also include a collaboration with PortAventura on the development of a family-oriented hotel of up to 500 rooms, and Value Retail on a luxury tourism shopping destination of approximately 10,000 square meters, featuring more than 75 shops. Hard Rock Entertainment World will bring thousands of new jobs and significant foreign direct investments. Phase one minimum investment is expected to exceed €600 million and is estimated to create more than 11,500 direct and indirect construction and ongoing jobs and an economic impact to the region of more than €1.3 billion.

“We’re honored to work with the Catalan government on the creation of Hard Rock Entertainment World and look forward to bringing first-class entertainment and hospitality experiences to the region,” said Jim Allen, chairman and CEO of Hard Rock International.

The iconic guitar shaped Hard Rock Hotel will be a focal point of the Hard Rock Entertainment World and will offer 600 rooms within approximately 100,000 square meters. Among the largest in Europe, the casino destination will boast 1,200 slot machines and 100 table games. The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tarragona will also provide guests with a 6,000 square meter pool and pool deck.

True to the Hard Rock brand, the entertainment destination will offer concert capacity in excess of 15,000 people and a Hard Rock Live performance venue that will host regional and international musical acts and shows, a world famous Hard Rock Cafe, and an accompanying Rock Shop, featuring authentic Hard Rock merchandise.

PortAventura and Value Retail have always supported the possible development of a complementary integrated resort on the land adjacent to PortAventura. The companies’ strong belief is that this project will be very good for tourism and the creation of jobs and will bring economic development to this important region of Catalonia.

Hard Rock International looks forward to working with the Catalan government in their process to bring another world class entertainment destination to the region.

Orlando debuts new theme parks, attractions, resorts in 2017

May 23, 2017

The following is a press release from Visit Orlando:

Recently named AAA’s Top Destination for Memorial Day Travel, Orlando is unveiling some of the largest expansions in theme park history this week, from the enchanting alien world of Pandora to the island paradise of Volcano Bay. These historic openings are the culmination of a year filled with new offerings including phenomenal dining options and brand new resorts. It’s one of the most exciting times to be in Orlando, where all-new adventure, thrills and family fun await visitors looking for an unforgettable summer vacation.

Find more information, including exclusive insider tips, opening dates and the latest news on Orlando’s summer happenings, at VisitOrlando.com/blog.

NEW ATTRACTIONS: THEME PARKS AND MORE

  • Universal Orlando Resort: Volcano Bay, a brand new tropical island water park, will open May 25, 2017, featuring innovative, thrilling attractions and TapuTapu wearable technology for virtual queuing. The new ride, Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon, opened as well at Universal Studios Florida.

  • Walt Disney World Resort: Pandora – The World of AVATAR will open as a new land at Animal Kingdom on May 27, 2017, which is the largest expansion in the park’s history. Also at Animal Kingdom, Rivers of Light is an innovative experience combining live performances, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery. “Happily Ever After,” a new nighttime spectacular, debuted at Magic Kingdom Park. Also new is Miss Adventure Falls, a family-style raft attraction, which opened at Typhoon Lagoon.

  • SeaWorld Orlando: SeaWorld’s first digitally-enhanced ride experience will open June 16 when the legendary Kraken roller coaster is transformed into a virtual reality (VR) roller coaster. Electric Ocean, a new end-of-day spectacle event, will take place June 17August 5. An all-new stadium show called Dolphin Days is now open, immersing guests into the world of the ocean’s most playful ambassadors.

  • LEGOLAND Florida Resort: LEGO NINJAGO World, a new immersive land, is a training ground for future ninjas. LEGOLAND Beach Retreat is a new property with 83 single-story duplexes, a themed pool and sandy play area.

  • iFly Orlando Indoor Skydiving opened a new facility next to WonderWorks on International Drive, which is equipped with two all-glass wind tunnels in an open single-story floor plan that allows I-Drive passersby to see skydivers in action.
  • Andretti Indoor Karting & Games is a brand new $30 million indoor go-kart facility on Universal Boulevard near the convention center, opening June 2017. The new facility will feature electronic go-karting, zip lines, bowling, racing simulators, a ‘sky bar,’ rock climbing, laser tag and a full-service restaurant.

  • Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opened Heroes and Legends, showcasing the heroism of America’s early space pioneers by inviting guests to vicariously experience the thrills and dangers of America’s earliest missions through high-tech elements and special effects.
  • Fun Spot America will debut a new wooden coaster this summer, dubbed the Mine Blower. The $6 million new ride will be 82 feet tall, run nearly 50 mph and include a barrel roll inversion, a rare element for a wooden coaster.
  • A brand new Multipurpose Soccer Stadium opened in a developing entertainment center a block away from the Amway Center in downtown Orlando. The 25,500-seat stadium serves as home to the Orlando City Lions soccer team.

  • Orlando became the new home of American tennis, when the United States Tennis Association (USTA) opened a campus in the Lake Nona area of Orlando. The 63-acre complex encompasses more than 100 courts (hard and clay) and a multi-use building with a pro shop, fitness center, locker rooms, cafeteria and players’ lounge.

USTA in Orlando, Florida

  • Main Event Entertainment at Pointe Orlando is a new dining and entertainment complex with more than 100 virtual and interactive games, state-of-the-art bowling and the first free-roam multi-player VR game in the U.S.

NEW DINING & NIGHTLIFE

Disney Springs: Two James Beard Foundation winners have joined the line-up of dining options at this newly-renovated entertainment complex: Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ Florida Kitchen and Chef Rick Bayless’ Frontera Cocina. The new Planet Hollywood Observatory features fare from Celebrity Chef Guy Fieri, while Paddlefish offers contemporary, seafood-centric cuisine. The Polite Pig boasts a variety of wood-fired, smoked and grilled items as well as drinks on tap. Upscale steakhouse, STK Orlando also opened.

Ace Cafe Orlando, the first US outpost of the iconic London, England-based motor-diner opened May 19. An American roadside diner inspires the menu, with made-from-scratch comfort food, some British favorites and locally-sourced and green options, all at an affordable price point.

Uncle Julio’s Fine Mexican will join the dining offerings at I-Drive 360 this summer. The Texas-based restaurant chain will sit near the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye, with a patio around the building for a view of the wheel. The Tex-Mex menu items will include a range of options, like honey chipotle salmon or cowboy queso.

Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen is a new full-service restaurant at Universal CityWalk that offers unique takes on classic steak, seafood, pasta and more, plus an array of gourmet chocolates and desserts.

NEW ACCOMMODATIONS

  • Universal Orlando Resort: The Loews Sapphire Falls Resort is the fifth onsite hotel at Universal Orlando Resort, featuring 1,000 rooms and suites with a casual Caribbean theme, built around a lagoon and towering waterfall. Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort will also open two new towers by late May, featuring 400 additional guest rooms and suites.
  • Just five minutes from Walt Disney World Resort, the The Grove Resort & Spa Orlando will open 108 new rooms this June, completing its first phase. The resort offering two- and three-bedroom residential-style suites with full kitchens, washers & dryers and multiple bathrooms to provide all the comforts of home.

  • Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate is opening a new resort recreational area in late-May. Adding to the resort’s current 15-acre recreational space, the new 23,000 square foot area will include 16 new pool-side cabanas, 400 more lounge chairs as well as an expanded kid’s pool area. The hotel is currently undergoing a $40 million expansion project, which will be complete by the fall.
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge will soon include new amenities. The accommodations formerly known as “The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge” have already assumed a new name – “Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge,” and a sweeping re-imagination of the former Hidden Springs Pool area is scheduled for competition in summer 2017. Called Boulder Ridge Cove, it will feature an expanded sun deck and zero-depth-entry pool in what appears to have been an abandoned rock quarry.

The Orlando Destination

Home to seven of the world’s top theme parks, Orlando – Theme Park Capital of the WorldSM is the No. 1 family vacation destination and the most visited destination in the United States.  An unparalleled mix of unique experiences create cherished memories for visitors, including legendary theme parks from Disney, Universal and SeaWorld, an array of world-class water parks, entertainment venues, an award-winning food scene, shopping, sports and nightlife. And, with 450 hotels, Orlando offers more lodging options than nearly any other destination in the world, from expansive resorts to uniquely themed hotels.

St. Regis Shanghai Jingan opens in China

May 22, 2017

The following is an excerpt from a St. Regis Hotels & Resorts press release:

The St. Regis Shanghai Jingan (
The St. Regis Shanghai Jingan (Rendering courtesy of St. Regis Hotels & Resorts)

St. Regis Hotels & Resorts today announced the highly-anticipated opening of The St. Regis Shanghai Jingan, marking the renowned luxury brand’s ninth hotel in the Greater China region. Owned by B.M. Holding, the hotel offers an exceptional experience that features a timeless blend of innovation and tradition, including the signature St. Regis Butler Service, unique culinary venues, and elegant design.

Where Tradition Meets Trade

The hotel’s elegant interiors create an oasis of calm by combining traditional English and Chinese palatial styles with elements of Chinese art and culture, such as calligraphy and handcrafted gold foil paintings. For added visual interest, five glass sculptures by world renowned glass sculptor Dale Chihuly will be featured in the hotel’s public space. The St. Regis Shanghai Jingan’s 436 exquisitely styled guest rooms, including 66 suites, and 55 residences boast sweeping city views, allowing guests to experience Shanghai’s energy from the comfort of their own space. The three-bedroom, three-story Presidential Suite spans 650 square meters and is located on the top of the building, featuring a glass ceiling, vast living room, outdoor terraces with panoramic skyline views, full kitchen, dining room, and lounge area.

Situated on West Beijing Road in the heart of the Jingan District, Shanghai’s cultural and business center, The St. Regis Shanghai Jingan provides guests convenient access to explore Shanghai’s storied past and bustling present. The hotel is a five-minute walk to the Shanghai Natural History Museum and a short drive to many cultural landmarks, including the famous Jingan Temple; 400-year-old Yu Garden and its centerpiece, the Exquisite Jade Rock; the historic and architecturally varied buildings that line the Bund, which have been a symbol of Shanghai since the 1920s; and the vibrant People’s Square and People’s Park. Soaring above the city, the hotel guest rooms are located on the 36 to 68th floors of a high rise building with major corporate offices on the 5 to 35th floors. Stylish shopping centers—including Plaza 66, Westgate Mall, Shanghai Center, and Nanjing West Road—are also nearby.

The St. Regis Shanghai Jingan. (Rendering St. Regis Hotels & Resorts)

Elevated Cuisine Featuring Local Flavor

Through six distinct restaurants and bars, The St. Regis Shanghai Jingan offers guests a unique combination of signature St. Regis offerings and local flavors. Set in a modern Japanese stone garden, Seki-tei features a live cooking teppanyaki station; while St. Regis master chefs at Bespoke will curate seasonal chef’s tasting menus and also offer customized menus according to guests’ personal tastes and preferences. Guests can also indulge in refined Cantonese cuisine at specialty Chinese restaurant Yan Ting or stop by Social to enjoy brunch, an extensive buffet, and live cooking stations. The Drawing Room features the signature St. Regis afternoon tea every day, and The St. Regis Bar, which in addition to fine wines, rare spirits, champagnes, and handcrafted cocktails, will offer the renowned St. Regis Bloody Mary. The bar will also offer the hotel’s local version of the Bloody Mary, the ‘Mary Jing’, which features unique Shanghai spices and local ingredients such as dried preserved figs infused in Vodka and dried Osmanthus flowers, which are known sweet scent and flavor.

Well-Being and Impeccable Events

Guests can escape from the city rush by relaxing at the St. Regis brand’s signature Iridium Spa, which features a range of specialty massages and treatments, or take advantage of the indoor swimming pool and 24-hour fitness center. Guests of The St. Regis Shanghai Jingan will also enjoy the signature St. Regis Butler Service, a famed hallmark of St. Regis hotels, which offers unparalleled around-the-clock anticipatory service that customizes each guest’s stay according to their tastes and preferences.

The hotel will provide the perfect venue for both intimate social and corporate gatherings with the uncompromising service for which St. Regis is known. Guests can work with a St. Regis event specialist, who will customize every detail and orchestrate flawless and unforgettable events from weddings and gala dinners to business gatherings with curated culinary selections. The hotel features over 3,000 square meters of meeting space across eleven meeting rooms, and together with two executive boardrooms offers a range of layouts and amenities that can be adapted to any occasion. Spanning 1,400 square meters, the elegant Astor Ballroom, featuring 95 square meter LED wall projection system and attached 368 square meter foyer, can accommodate up to 1300 guests for VIP receptions, gala dinners or corporate events. For more information or to make a reservation, please visit www.stregis.com/shanghaijingan or call +(86) 21 6257 9999.

 

 

Universal Orlando Resort debuts Christmas attractions, including for Wizarding World of Harry Potter

April 13, 2017

Universal Orlando Resort's Christmas at Hogwarts
Universal Orlando Resort’s Christmas at Hogwarts (Rendering courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort)

Universal Orlando Resort is debuting several Christmas/winter holiday attractions, which will run from November 18, 2017 to January 6, 2018.  Access to the festivities is included in regular admission to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.  Packages start at $165 (U.S. dollars) per adult, per night (tax inclusive) and include four-night hotel accommodations at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, a four-day/three-park ticket that includes admission to all three Universal theme parks, including Universal’s new water theme park, Volcano Bay, which grand opens on May 25, 2017,and early park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Volcano Bay.

Here are the details, according to a Universal Orlando Resort press release

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will give guests a special opportunity to see, feel and even taste what it’s like to celebrate the magic of Christmas in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World.

As night falls, a magical holiday transformation of Hogwarts castle will take place right before guests’ eyes.  Incredible state-of-the-art projection mapping and special effects will wrap the iconic castle, bringing holiday spirit and memorable Christmas moments from the Harry Potter series to life like never before.

Festive decor like ornate garlands will line the streets of both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley.  Each storefront will be decked out with uniquely-themed decorations, and guests will enjoy special holiday themed food, drink and entertainment.

Universal’s Holiday Parade Featuring Macy’s

A brand-new holiday parade experience will also join Universal Orlando’s resort-wide Holiday celebration beginning this November. Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s will take place in Universal Studios Florida and feature magnificent new, incredibly-detailed floats and balloons, and beloved characters like the mischievous Minions from Despicable Me, popular DreamWorks characters from “Madagascar” and “Shrek” – and even Santa Claus himself.  Universal is partnering with Macy’s, the global leader in balloon entertainment, to bring this new parade experience to life.  More details will be released soon.


Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort debuts in Portugal

April 8, 2017

Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort in Portugal
Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort in Portugal. (Photo courtesy of Anatara Hotels and Resorts)

Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas has launched Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort in Portugal.  It is the Thailand-based company’s first property in Europe.

The following is an excerpt from an Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort press release:

Just a 15-minute drive from Faro International Airport, Anantara Vilamoura is located close to the ocean, marinas and beaches of the Algarve and boasts stunning views of the Arnold Palmer- designed Oceânico Golf Course. All of the resort’s 280 newly upgraded guest rooms boast soft touches reflecting the natural woods and fibres of the region creating a chic and comforting place to relax and unwind. Anantara Vilamoura has teamed up with local artisans from the TASA Project and some unique pieces can be found in the 17 Anantara Suites, where guests can appreciate the hand woven pool bags, locally sourced cork coasters and signature Algarvian ceramic fruit bowls. Further comforts include an in-room wine humidor, pillow menu and on-call butler service to attend to guests’ every need.

 To make holidays a truly relaxing experience for parents and kids alike, Anantara has partnered with World Wide Kids Company, the resort childcare specialist. The new Adventurers Crèche and the Adventurers Kids Club, which will open mid-May, will offer cooking classes, open air cinema, adventure safaris and more. Teens will be able to make new friends and play it cool at The Hub, as well as take part in golf clinics and the dance academy.

At a resort where indulgence blends indigenous elements and international flair, the newly renovated Anantara Spa offers a wide selection of therapies including the signature Traditional Thai Massage in dedicated rooms, centuries-old Ayurveda rituals, and treatments using locally-sourced ingredients such as Algarvian citrus fruits, figs and almond powder. Healing continues through the wellness programme with yoga and tai chi sessions on offer.

Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort in Portugal
Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort in Portugal. (Photo courtesy of Anatara Hotels and Resorts)

Culinary excellence is at the heart of the Portuguese culture. Using his deep expertise in Portugal’s culinary traditions, Executive Chef Bruno Viegas has woven his passion throughout Anantara Vilamoura’s six bars and restaurants. A new wine oriented restaurant concept comes to life at EMO, where Bruno and the resort’s Wine Guru António Lopes have masterfully created a menu that reflects the terroir heritage of the region. Focusing on Portuguese grape varieties and local produce, the duo elegantly pair dishes such as Braised Turbot, Salt Cod Loins and Pata Negra Ham with a selection of over 300 accompanying wines from the region, allowing diners to savour the tastes of the country.

Opening on May 1, 2017, the new lunchtime restaurant Ria will serve freshly caught fish and seafood emulating a traditional Marisqueira or seafood bistro commonly found along the secluded Ria Formosa lagoon, located a short distance away. The restaurant will showcase choice catches such as Quarteira Prawns, Goose Barnacles, and Wild Caught Turbot, with the Raw Bar serving ceviche and carpaccios from the Algarve. The fresh ocean produce will be paired with crisp white and rosé wines to round off guests’ alfresco dining experience.

Preserving the heritage of the hotel’s previous incarnation as Tivoli Victoria, the all-day dining restaurant Victoria carries on the legacy as a warm meeting place, gathering cultures and tastes in one place for refined à la carte or lavish buffet style dining. Live food stations draw attention to recipes from in-house chefs as they lovingly prepare dishes from their home towns, served alongside the bold flavours of Thai cuisine, epitomising the origins of Anantara.

Anantara’s signature culinary concepts offer unique and engaging experiences. Presenting one of the most diverse Portuguese wine collections in the Algarve, resident Wine Guru António Lopes, who was voted Best Sommelier of Portugal in 2014, will host tasting sessions. Guests can also experience the Wine Guru’s expertise when indulging in “Dining by Design,” which offers a choice of connoisseur menus coupled with idyllic settings, alongside the services of a personal chef and butler. Travellers with a sense of adventure can learn how to create Portugal’s fresh and flavoursome dishes in a “Spice Spoons” cooking class, which combines a visit to the nearby Loulé fresh food market with an interactive cooking class in an open theatre kitchen with the chef.

Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort in Portugal
Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort in Portugal. (Photo courtesy of Anatara Hotels and Resorts)

Befitting its location overlooking the championship Oceânico Golf Course, Anantara Vilamoura boasts a one-of-a-kind Golf Guru, ensuring golfing holidays are not only seamless, but perfectly tailored to each golfer´s needs, whatever their handicap.

Guests can discover the well-kept secrets of the Algarve with a myriad of activities and guided excursions, including a tasting tour of the ubiquitous Ria Formosa with oyster shucking and freshly prepared seafood from a local fisherman; or escape to the countryside with a local guru who transcends your afternoon into a historical adventure through the local villages and towns surrounding the area.

The resort offers spectacular settings and venues for all types of events, from VIP dinners and weddings, to product launches and large scale conferences. The stand-alone Conference Centre has capacity for up to 800 people in its eight versatile meeting spaces, most with natural light, and offers direct access for both delegates and set up vehicles, as well as to the hotel car park.

Legoland Beach Retreat opens at Legoland Florida in Winter Haven

April 7, 2017

The following is a press release from Legoland Florida:

Summer vacation lasts all year long at LEGOLAND Beach Retreat, all-new accommodations that give guests great new reasons to play—and stay—at LEGOLAND Florida Resort.

Under a beautiful blue sky, a cast of kid performers delivered a grand opening ceremony today set to the Beach Boys classic “Surfin’ Safari,” ending with a burst of fireworks and volleys of giant foam LEGO bricks.

Filled with creative LEGO theming inside and out, LEGOLAND Beach Retreat is a village-style vacation resort featuring brightly colored bungalows in 13 horseshoe-shaped “coves.” The fun begins almost immediately, thanks to a drive-through check-in process that will take you from your car to your cove in minutes.

Designed to resemble larger-than-life LEGO sets, 83 bungalows offer 166 separate rooms that sleep up to five, including a cozy area just for kids. They’re an ideal solution for families and groups traveling together. Each cove has its own outdoor play area within view of the bungalows’ shaded patios, where mom and dad can relax while kids romp and run.

Along with picturesque lake views and a giant LEGO lighthouse that really lights, highlights include:

  • A giant swimming pool and an adjacent sandy area perfect for building sandcastles, plus the resort’s biggest outdoor play structure.
  • Sandy’s Castle Restaurant, featuring a delicious menu of entrees, sides and desserts. A breakfast buffet is included with each stay.
  • Bricks Beach Bar, offering an eclectic menu of made-to-order food, drinks and creative cocktails served poolside and indoors.
  • A hands-on LEGO building station where kids can contribute original creations to a huge sandcastle made out of thousands of LEGO bricks.
  • Free Wi-Fi.
  • Complimentary transportation to the LEGOLAND Florida theme park.
  • Early theme park access.

LEGOLAND Beach Retreat represents the latest milestone in the largest period of growth and expansion in the five-year history of LEGOLAND Florida Resort, with theming and architecture unique among the eight LEGOLAND resorts worldwide. Opening less than two years after the 152-room LEGOLAND Hotel, LEGOLAND Beach Retreat more than doubles accommodations at the Florida vacation destination.