Shermans Travel » Blog » Archive
Tag Results: Hotel Renovations
The San Juan Water and Beach Club Hotel is already one of Puerto Rico’s trendiest hotels, but with $2.5 million dollars spent on recent renovations, it has even more to offer. Notably new is Mist, a rooftop bar and lounge, to accompany the rooftop pool and views of the steps-away Isla Verde beach. At Mist (pictured) you can sip cocktails and eat Island-Italian-Spanish fusion tapas (made from locally grown ingredients) from the spacious pillowed and cushioned couches that truly deserve the word “lounge.”
If you’d rather consume your food by table and chair, the hotel also has a new restaurant, Zest. Zest, like the neon-blue-lit hotel that contains it, is uniquely decorated, with such design elements as a waterfall by the bar and a simulation of the surface of the ocean on the ceiling. The food, too, is unique: Diverse dishes are locally and sustainably-sourced and scent-infused to take your taste experience to the next level.
At La Samanna on St. Martin, guests are enveloped by a sense of calm that belies the busy byways and beaches of other parts of this heavily-touristed island in the French West Indies. Here, wrought iron gates guard white stucco structures entwined by tropical blooms while the 55-acre beach that fronts the resort, Baie Longue, is peppered with just a few fabulous-looking people. La Samanna is, bar none, the best place for an upscale celebration, discreet escape, honeymoon, or even destination wedding on St. Martin.
So, it’s big news that this luxury resort, run by Orient-Express Hotels, is switching it up and moving ahead with extensive renovations. Out of La Samanna’s 83 rooms, 30 rooms have been completely redesigned while 20 have received an update with new furniture. The remaining rooms and public areas will be finished from September 1 – November 2, when the resort will close while work is ongoing. The décor in the newly-renovated rooms features a blue and white motif with white travertine floors, marble bathrooms with ceiling showers, shabby-chic style couches, and oceanview terraces. Some suites also have private plunge pools.
2011 has been a big year for hotels—we’ve scooped dozens of exciting hotel openings across the globe. On the flip side, we must bid farewell to a few monumental hotels that have closed. Here are a few of the goners we’ll miss most. A moment of silence, if you will.
Sahara Las Vegas (closed May 16)
One of Sin City’s last Rat Pack-era hotels has closed for good. The landmark casino-hotel held court on the northern Strip for 59 years. Scads of musical legends had graced its ballroom stage (Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Bobby Darin, Judy Garland, Dean Martin, and Liza Minnelli, to name a few).
Mandarin Oriental Riviera Maya (closed June 6)
We know Mexico tourism has taken a beating these last few years, but is the Mandarin’s closing an upshot? The luxury beach resort had been enduring increasingly low occupancy rates. Perhaps there’s hope—the property’s website indicates that the hotel will re-open in due course. We shall see.
The Chelsea Hotel (closed in August)
The historic artist enclave was sold to developer Joseph Chetrit and closed in August, save for its 100 permanent residences. Future plans are vague but Chetrit intends to keep the Chelsea a hotel. Phew! We can only hope that the history-packed rooms retain their legendary rocker grit post renovations.
The Plaza’s Oak Room (closed in May)
The celebrity-loved Oak Room will no longer host its famously outrageous afternoon parties, thanks to a rent dispute between restaurant operators and hotel owners. No word yet of what will become of the historic space.
Ritz Paris (temporarily closing in summer for renovations)
The oh-so-fancy Parisian landmark is, in truth, not so ritzy at the moment. The old gal is looking a little tired and will close for two years this summer for an extensive refresh.
On October 14, the iconic Hotel Bel-Air in Beverly Hills will reopen its doors after massive renovations that lasted two years. Now owner, Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, has upped the luxury ante with new villa suites, complete with private infinity pools and outdoor fireplaces; a La Prairie spa with spa loft guest rooms; and an over-the-top, 2,265-square foot presidential suite fit for a king . . . ahem, sultan. Its remaining 91 rooms and suites have been totally made-over with new limestone floors, roomier bathrooms with heated floors, and glamorous trimmings. Wolfgang Puck’s new onsite restaurant officially opens to the public November 1 but hotel guests will be privy to the first bites if they’ve been able to snag an overnight before then. Looks like the place is practically booked up through November. Rates for a deluxe guest room in December go for $595/night. Ouch. www.hotelbelair.com
For general trip-planning info, see our Los Angeles Travel Guide.
Following up on a $35-million overhaul in 2010, Hyatt Regency Newport rolled out the next phase of renovations last week with the debut of the new Pineapples by the Bay outdoor seasonal restaurant (open every day starting June 10). What was once a small grilling shack is now a full-service bar and kitchen, with seating for 17 at the wraparound bar and additional tables set up on the adjoining patio.
Thanks to the new digs, Pineapples’ menu also received an upgrade. Options range from casual burgers and apps (be sure to try the lobster quesadillas) to full meals like swordfish and grilled rib-eye steak. Don’t skimp on dessert – the bittersweet chocolate cake and Key West cake (a twist on Key Lime pie, with a ginger spice cake instead of crust) are phenomenal.
The latest renovation also doubled the size of the outdoor pool deck.
Sign up for the Top 25 Newsletter
to get exclusive weekly deals