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This Week’s Top Hotel News

Globetrotters, take note: there’s been a wave of new openings, completed renovations, and other of-the-moment hotel happenings this week. Here’s a roundup of the six most notable tidbits.
Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld Redone
The Renaissance Orlando—one of the largest resorts in Central Florida—just got a $35 million makeover. This 781-room aquatic-themed resort, located right across from SeaWorld, gave its 65 suites modern furnishings, dramatically expanded its pool area, and added a brand new restaurant, Atlantis Kitchen.

New Luxe Resort Comes to St. Vincent
Buccament Bay Resort is the first of its kind on the island of St. Vincent. Located 90 miles west of Barbados, the all-inclusive 5 star resort has 95 villas and a bevy of dining options to choose from, including upscale Indian cuisine, a sushi bar, modern Caribbean, and Italian. Rates begin at about $1365 for two, and include connecting airfare from Barbados, as well as meals and resort amenities.

Merger of Joie De Vivre and Thompson
Two major boutique hotels from opposite coasts just bridged a gap across the country, announcing a merger that raised heads in the hotel industry. New York-based Thompson Hotels, with 12 luxury properties, and San Francisco-based Joie De Vivre, with 33 mostly three-star hotels, are now JT Hospitality headed up by CEO Stephen Brandman.

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First Five-Star Hotel for Gstaad in a Century
The small Swiss Village of Gstaad, popular for outdoor sports has a new luxury hotel coming next December. Overlooking the beautiful Bernese Alps, the Alpina Gstaad will be build on the exclusive hilltop area of Oberbort. The $337 million property will have 57 rooms and suites—including private apartments within the hotel and two chalets. Three restaurants, a wine tasting room, a cinema, and a 21,500-square-foot spa are also in the works.

ITC Hotels to Add Women-Only Floors
India’s leading luxury hotel chain, ITC, is betting on bookings from women traveling solo, reserving a floor for ladies only in each of its eight LEED Platinum properties, including those in Delhi and Mumbai. With an all-female staff, high-end bath products—even dressing assistants on call to help wrap your sari—the dozen or so rooms seem like a bargain at $850 per night.

Saint Lucia’s BodyHoliday Opens for Business
After a major $20 million renovation, the BodyHoliday, popular all-inclusive Caribbean resort in Saint Lucia, is once again welcoming guests. The new infinity pool and penthouse suite with a Turkish-style hammam are worth a nod.

Photo credit: The Renaissance Orlando, courtesy AdamCaudill/flickr

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