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The hospitality world has been busy over the past year preparing for the spring travel season. In addition to dozens of new hotel openings, many hotels and resorts are unveiling new features, packages, renovations and expansions ready to impress. Here are a dozen exciting developments to have on your radar as you plan your spring and summer travel.
New water park at Orlando World Center Marriott
This week sees the opening of the new River Falls Water Park at the Orlando World Center Marriott near Walt Disney World. It is part of the larger and recently updated pool complex and features three inner tube water slides towering 50 feet high and a 575-foot zero-entry lazy river, all of which are free to hotel guests.
Boomerago is a fast slide that boomerangs guests into the air before landing in the pool. The open-tube sections of Tailspin, the longest slide at 525 feet, is a thrill ride that puts riders into a tail spin before hitting the splash pool. The resort also completed a larger renovation including the guest rooms, dining outlets like its popular Japanese teppanyaki venue and 40,000 square feet of additional meeting space in two dozen rooms expected to open this spring.
The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes renovations
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A multi-million dollar renovation is ready for prime time at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. The accommodations, more than a dozen dining outlets and even poolside cabanas went under the knife to reveal something fresh and modern for the spring and summer season. Among the amenities are a 40,000 square foot spa and the Knife & Spoon restaurant, led by Chef John Tesar, a four-time James Beard Award nominee.
Popular with families as well as business travelers and meeting groups, the hotel is part of the larger 500-acre Grande Lakes complex, which also includes JW Marriott Orlando. That property will begin a renovation project soon.
New chef at The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island
The sous chef at Le Bernardin, the 3-Michelin Star fine-dining seafood restaurant by Eric Ripert in New York, is now at The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island. Chef de Cuisine Okan Kizilbayir’s has started his tenure at the hotel’s Salt restaurant. He plans to launch several collaborative dinners with various other chefs and winemakers throughout the year as part of the resort’s larger culinary offering.
Nonprofit swimwear collaboration at Sugar Beach St. Lucia
Guests can look good and feel good at the same time thanks to a new swim and resort wear collaboration at Sugar Beach St. Lucia. An exclusive print from Love Brand & Co is available through the resort. Made from recycled plastic, each fashionable pair sold includes a donation to saving elephants in the wild. The print is inspired by the iconic Pitons that serve as the backdrop to the resort as well as the property’s triangular architectural style.
New seafood restaurant at Grand Hotel Tremezzo
When Grand Hotel Tremezzo opens for the season on the shores of Lake Como, it will add a new restaurant to its culinary lineup. The April 1 debut of Giacomo al Lago will be the very first lakeside seafood restaurant in this famous region. Also new is the hotel’s gift collection “Sense of Lake” available online and at the store including designer clothes, fragrances and travel products.
New rooms at Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet
Once a prison, this small, luxury hotel is now a bastion of luxury and one of two Four Seasons properties in Istanbul. Closed for a thorough renovation, the Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet is set to emerge later this spring from top to bottom as a new hotel. The property used the downtime from fewer visitors during the Covid-19 pandemic last year to begin the update. New guest room interiors and public area furnishings will be a luxurious welcome when the hotel opens again in May. Its most popular rooms still have beautiful views of its famous neighbor, the Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque.
Biohacking spa treatment at Fairmont Century Plaza
A new biohacking program at the Fairmont Spa Century Plaza combines infrared technology, neuroscience and compression therapy to enhance wellbeing at a “cellular level” by reducing stress and improving sleep. The program was designed by Dr. Oz Garcia, a “biohacker” who specializes in healthy aging.
Each session uses Normatec by HyperIce compression boots to increase circulation, an Oakworks Curva Lounger Anti-gravity Chair with a curve and tilt inspired by NASA for relaxation, LED face visors and NuCalm, a neuroacoustic headset to soothe the mind and nervous system. The Fairmont Century Plaza participates in Accor’s All Live Limitless program, which is offering triple points for stays through June 30.
Select Slopeside at W Aspen
Apres-ski has never been so chic. In a partnership between W Aspen and Select Aperitivo (creator of the original Venetian spritz cocktail), the hotel is hosting Select Slopeside every afternoon through April 11. The pop-up experience features the signature red spritz made with Prosecco, soda water, a green olive and the botanical-infused Select Aperitivo. Guests and visitors can enjoy live music and entertainment by the fire with 360-degree mountain views after a day on the slopes.
W Aspen is part of the Marriott Bonvoy program giving guests the chance to earn and redeem points during their stay. Through a promotion this spring, guests can earn bonus points and double elite night credits.
Wine-themed romance package at The Yeatman Hotel Porto
Continuing through early spring is this romantic package at the wine-themed Yeatman Hotel in Porto, Portugal. It includes a night in the famed Bacchus Suite with its copper tub bath, fireplace and mesmerizing views of the Douro River and Porto’s famous waterfront. Following a Champagne bottle welcome, guests can enjoy complimentary breakfasts and discounts in the wine shop or hotel’s vinotherapy-focused spa.
Meandering through the hotel’s gardens takes visitors to WOW Porto, a cultural district with unique museums and experiences centered around Portuguese wine, fashion, cooking and history. WOW Porto-The World of Wine and The Yeatman are under the same ownership, and a visit to both is a special way to kick off the warmer season with Portuguese wine glass in hand.
Get better ZZZs at Sheraton Phoenix Downtown
As part of National Sleep Month, Sheraton Phoenix Downtown launched a new sleep package in partnership with wearable sleep device, Cove. Vibrations from the device help to “activate a brain pathway” that stimulates relaxation after wearing it twice a day for 20 minutes. The hotel will also launch a new restaurant inspired by the flavors of the Sonoran Desert this spring.
The Charleston Place goes independent
Once a Belmond property, The Charleston Place in South Carolina is now under local ownership with Charleston-based Beemok Hospitality Group. It will undergo a $100 million renovation, and to celebrate, the hotel is offering a special package called “The Place to Celebrate,” that includes a bottle of Moet Chandon plus a $100 food and beverage credit. The property will continue to be a part of the American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts program, which offers benefits for booking directly through the credit card program.
New Presidential Suite at Waldorf Astoria Atlanta Buckhead
As part of a larger renovation and redesign project expected to finish this spring, the Waldorf Astoria Atlanta Buckhead is unveiling new residential-style suites capped off with a new, 2,340-square-feet Presidential Suite design. The most luxe accommodation in the hotel comes with a new kitchen, dining and living room areas, two private terraces, fireplace and master bedroom and bathroom (with the option to connect to another suite to make it even larger).
Coming soon is a Southern-inspired French brasserie as part of the hotel’s culinary offerings, which also includes Peacock Alley (a Waldorf Astoria staple honoring the iconic lounge at the Waldorf Astoria New York).