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Destination News - Hotel, Resort & Spa North America.

New York (AirGuide - Destination News - Hotel, Resort & Spa North America) Sep 5, 2010

Aqua Hotels, Sabre Aqua Hotels & Resorts, which recently switched to Sabre Hospitality Solutions, said that it has seen a 38 percent increase in conversion rates on its website since switching to the Guest Connect booking engine. OVisitors to our website have found our new booking engine very easy to use as evidenced by the huge increase in conversions, bookings and revenue. WeOve found the multi-step booking process to be a big factor in the usability as consumers are familiar with this way of shopping,O said Elizabeth Churchill, vice president, sales and marketing, Aqua Hotels & Resorts. She said that calls to its central reservations office have decreased and web bookings are up 30 percent, with revenues up 41 percent because of SabreOs merchandising solutions. In addition to Guest Connect, Aqua uses Sabre Hospitality SolutionsO SynXis Central Reservation System (CRS) to distribute its inventory to all channels including the four global distribution systems (GDS), online travel agents (OTA) and to its own reservation call center using Voice Agent. For more information, visit www.sabrehospitality.com. Sep 1, 2010

Australia, New Zealand Down Under Answers is offering 10 new "I Love Aussie" travel deals starting at $1,399 per person double-occupancy, including airfare and accommodation. The sale ends Sept. 30. The offers are good for travel between Oct. 11 to Nov. 23 and from Jan. 30 to March 31, 2011. The campaign will offer savings on customizable itineraries such as Luv Great Barrier Reef, Sydney Opera House and Bondi Beach, an eight-night trip priced from $1,399 per person double occupancy, air and land inclusive; the Luv Sydney, Hamilton Island & Cairns, a 10-night air and land inclusive trip priced from $1,699 per person double; Luv Sydney, Cairns, Tangalooma & Brisbane, a 12-night air and land inclusive trip priced from $1,899 per person double occupancy; and Luv Sydney, Rainforest, Noosa, Fraser Island & Brisbane, a 10-night air and land inclusive trip priced from $3,389 per person double occupancy. Each package can be purchased as is, or Down Under Answers can help customize a vacation. Guest can upgrade to four- and five-star hotels in the Luv Sydney & Cairns package for $130 more. Founded in 1992, Seattle-based Down Under Answers offers travel to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Tahiti, the Cook Islands, Vanuatu and Dubai. The company employs destination specialists to customize tours ranging from experiential holidays tailored to suite style, taste and budget, to pre- and post-cruise itineraries, shore excursions, escorted tours, destination weddings and honeymoons, private tours to groups of any size and much more. New for 2010 is the launch of Africa Answers. Jason Mesnick, star of ABC's season 13 of "The Bachelor" and an employee of Down Under Answers, is online most weekdays at noon discussing travel-related topics. For more information, call 866-792-5458 or visit www.duatravel.com/luvpr. Sep 2, 2010

Chateau on the Lake Resort Chateau on the Lake Resort & Spa, in Branson, Mo., is offering a 20 percent discount off of its best available room rates to active members of the U.S. military, and a 10 percent discount off of its best available room rates to retired members of the U.S. military this fall. In addition, active members of the U.S. military receive a 20 percent discount off selected spa treatments at the resortOs 14,000-square-foot Spa Chateau. You simply need to show your U.S. military ID upon check-in. The offer is valid through Dec. 30, 2010, and also includes complimentary use of the resortOs 24-hour fitness center, indoor pool and hot tub; nightly movies in the resortOs Sassafras Theatre; covered self-parking; and free meals from the Chateau Grille kidOs menu or breakfast buffet for children 5 and under staying with a paying adult. For reservations or more information, call 888-333-LAKE or visit www.chateauonthelake.com. Sep 1, 2010

Chebeague Island Inn MaineOs Chebeague Island Inn is offering three-night Food & Foliage seasonal packages featuring an ocean-view room; a five-course chefOs tasting dinner with wine pairings; nightly hot cocoa, tea and house-made sweets on the innOs seaside porch; and a bottle of Pol Roger champagne upon arrival. Guests also will enjoy a Chebeague Island exploration guide from inn staff, and a picnic lunch prepared by the innOs chef. The seasonal Food & Foliage package also includes access to L.L. Bean bikes for leisurely island cycling, plus access to island tennis courts and waterfront lawn games including croquet and lawn bowling. The inn also provides to guests and visitors with access to eight moorings near its scenic front porch, as well as launch service to boaters using the innOs moorings. The Food & Foliage package is available Sundays through Thursdays through Oct. 14, 2010. Rates start at $571.37 per person, representing a 25 percent discount off the innOs published rates. For reservations or more information, call 207-846-5155 or visit www.chebeagueislandinn.com/reservations.html. Sep 1, 2010

Crowne Plaza The Crowne Plaza Redondo Beach and Marina Hotel in Redondo Beach, Calif., is offering a package in conjunction with the 15th Annual Redondo Beach Surf N Turf Lobster Festival September. The Lobster Festival package includes a 10 percent discount at the hotelOs day spa, and a Crowne Lobster plush beanie gift. The package is valid Sept. 23 to 26 from a nightly room rate of $149. The festival will take place at the nearby Seaside Lagoon in Redondo Beach, Sept. 24 to 26, and will feature fresh Maine lobster and steaks, concessions by area restaurants and live music stages. For advance tickets, visit www.lobsterfestival.com. To book the package, call 800-227-6963 and ask for the Lobster Festival package. For hotel information, visit www.cpredondobeachhotel.com. Sep 2, 2010

Disneyland Hotel The Big Thunder Suite at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, Calif., is the wildest suite in the wilderness. Located on the 11th floor of the hotelOs Dreams Tower, the new Big Thunder Suite at the Disneyland Hotel in California immerses up to six guests in 1,400-square-feet of rustic accommodations inspired by the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad attraction at Disneyland Park. The new suite adds to the hotelOs growing portfolio of signature suites that includes the Mickey Mouse Penthouse, Pirates of the Caribbean Suite, Fairy Tale Suite and two regal suites. Howling wolves sound to the push of the Big Thunder SuiteOs doorbell as guests step into a mine shaft foyer inlayed with FoolOs Gold and hear the rumble of a passing runaway mine train. A button on the wall can be pushed to trigger sound effects from the attraction. The mine shaft leads into a living and dining area that separates the suiteOs two bedrooms. In many rooms, repurposed wood from a Midwestern barn is used as flooring and paneling, which is complimented by textured earthen walls. A stone-hearth fireplace in the living area serves as the suiteOs centerpiece and houses a mounted flat-panel TV. When not in use, the TV is concealed by one of the many pieces of attraction concept art found throughout the suite. The living area also includes a surround-sound stereo system and displays antique tools once used for mining gold, including an 1850s gold scale and pan. The Big Thunder Suite is part of the significant "re-imagination" underway at the Disneyland Hotel. The project includes completely new guest rooms, a new pool and water play area with monorail-inspired body slides, a new restaurant and bar and the renovation of an existing pool. The work will considerably open up the courtyard and pool area, allowing guests a clear line of vision and easy access across the property. Changes will restore and highlight the original mid-century style of the classic hotel. The hotelOs original two-story bungalows were built in 1955, just months after Walt DisneyOs first theme park opened its gates; the first tower was erected in 1962. The hotelOs expansion is scheduled to complete in 2012. For reservation or more information, call 800-854-3104 or visit www.disneytravelagents.com. Aug 30, 2010

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino "Supernatural Santana: A Trip Through the HitsO has added seven concert dates at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Those dates, which are on sale now, are Jan. 5, 8, 9, 12, 14, 15 and 16. More 2011 dates will be announced soon. The concert, starring Carlos Santana, is a multi-sensory journey through the bandOs career, featuring hits like OOye Como Va,O OBlack Magic Woman,O OEvil WaysO and OMaria Maria.O Ticket prices start at $51. To purchase tickets, go to the Hard Rock Hotel box office or a Ticketmaster location, call 800-745-3000, or visit www.ticketmaster.com . Sep 2, 2010

Harrah's Cherokee Casino Harrah's Cherokee Casino & Hotel in North Carolina celebrated the Labor Day weekend with the opening of its Event Center with more than 3,000 seats, making it a leading concert, events and entertainment venue in the region. The center will host talent across all genres, including country, rock, oldies, pop and comedy, as well as sporting events and production shows. Among the tri-level Events Center's assets are a banquet kitchen, VIP suites, box seating and balcony seats. Modular seating may be used for VIP banquets, expos, conferences, sports programming and special events. The massive stage is framed by 32-foot HD resolution screens and boasts a top-of-the-line speaker system and the highest quality theatrical lighting available. Scheduled performances through 2010 include Crosby, Stills, and Nash (Sept. 18); Paula Deen (Sept. 25); Jason Aldean (Oct. 3); Cirque Shanghai (Oct. 9 and 10); Josh Turner (Oct. 16); Larry the Cable Guy (Nov. 6, two shows); Dierks Bentley (Nov. 27); and Gary Allan (Dec. 11). The $633 million expansion of Harrah's Cherokee is currently the largest hospitality development project underway in the Southeast and one of the largest in the U.S.Upon completion in 2012, the 56-acre property will have added a third hotel tower, Events Center, entertainment and VIP lounges, 18,000-square-foot spa, state-of-the-art digital poker room, Asian gaming room, retail outlets and new restaurants (Paula Deen's Kitchen, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse and BRIO Tuscan Grille). Sequoyah National Golf Club is an 18-hole, par 72 championship course offering privileged hotel guest access. The property is also doubling the size of its casino floor to 195,000 square feet while increasing video and table game capacity. For more information, call 828-497-7777 or visit www.harrahscherokee.com. Sep 3, 2010

Htel Le Germain Htel Le Germain Maple Leaf Square, a new 167-room boutique hotel, brings Groupe Germain style to guests at Toronto's Maple Leaf Square. This is the company's second hotel in the city and its fifth Le Germain Boutique hotel across the country. Guestroom, meeting and event reservations for fall 2010 and beyond are welcome now. Steps from Air Canada Centre, a glass-and-metal facade fronts the 75 Bremner Blvd. address. Architecturally eye-catching, the street view hints at the striking interiors created by LeMay Michaud Architecture Design in harmonious Le Germain style. In the main lobby, natural ash wood combined with crystallized glass distinguishes the reception area. Leather-clad columns and metallic tile flooring are lit by a window wall. Htel Le Germain Maple Leaf Square guestrooms range in size from 400 to 1,500 square feet. Each is defined by detail, with inspiring ergonomic workspaces, complimentary Wi-Fi, windows that open, glass-enclosed rainfall showers, luxurious Frette linens and goose-down bedding. From an eco-engineering perspective, the building incorporates responsible energy features such as low-E windows to provide maximum light with minimum heat loss, dual-flush toilets in all guestrooms and domestic hot water heating from HVAC heat rejection. For business and special occasions, contemporary meeting and event facilities include up to 4,600 square feet of venue space flooded with natural light. Unique group offers will combine business and pleasure, taking advantage of the cutting-edge technology and the proximity to some of the world's best events. With the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs and the NBA's Raptors as neighbors, Htel Le Germain Maple Leaf Square's concierge will have exclusive, advance access to some of the hottest tickets in Toronto. Htel Le Germain Maple Leaf Square is offering introductory rates starting at $229 per night plus taxes including deluxe continental breakfast, based on single occupancy. For reservations or more information, call 888-940-7575 or visit www.germainmapleleafsquare.com. Sep 3, 2010

Hyatt Hotels Chains get ready to launch fall promotions. Major hotel chains have disclosed the details of fall promotions coming just around the corner. Hyatt is set to launch a "Great 10k" promotion in Sept. 15, allowing members of its Gold Passport program to earn 10,000 loyalty bonus points after every five eligible nights at any Hyatt through Dec. 15. And Marriott launches a free-night promotion through a return of its "MegaBonus" promotion, which allows guests to earn a free night if they pay for two stays using their Visa credit card. Aug 30, 2010

Hyatt Hotels Hyatt Hotels Corporation and Chase Card Services, a division of JPMorgan Chase & Co., announced the launch of the first Hyatt Card, a simple and rewarding Visa credit card. The introduction of this co-branded credit card, through Hyatt subsidiary HyCard, Inc. and Chase Card Services, demonstrates the companies' commitment to provide Hyatt guests with even more of the benefits and simple luxury they have come to expect. After the first use of the credit card, members will receive, courtesy of Chase and Hyatt, two nights at any Hyatt anywhere in the world which are redeemable within one year. This benefit makes the Hyatt Card unique among hotel reward cards, which typically require the translation of award points into stays and have limitations on the properties where the points can be redeemed. A key feature of the Hyatt Card is no foreign transaction fees. Hyatt stays earn more -- three Hyatt Gold Passport points for every $1 spent at any Hyatt property, one point for every $1 spent on purchases elsewhere and there are no limits to the points you can earn, with no black-out dates, no limit on available standard rooms and no resort fees. Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum membership offers a 15 percent point bonus on each stay; the best room available within the category booked; complimentary Internet service; expedited check-in at a dedicated area for members; guaranteed 72-hour room availability; Visa concierge service and acceptance at millions of merchants in more than 200 countries; travel protection, including trip cancellation, lost luggage and trip delay; and an annual fee of $75. For more information, visit www.hyattcard.com . Aug 30, 2010

InterContinental Hotels The InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa completed a multimillion-dollar renovation. The refurbishment included substantial terrace extensions of all bungalows (garden, beach and overwater), the addition of private plunge pools to all garden bungalows, a new poolside restaurant and bar, as well as two new Infinity pools. The overwater bungalows have improved direct access to the water with the creation of a sea-level platform and ladder, as well as an outdoor shower. The bungalow terrace extensions are shaded by a thatched gazebo furnished with a table and chairs for outside entertainment and also feature a solarium area with lounge chairs for sun bathing. Each of the 17 garden bungalows features private Infinity plunge pools. Additionally, a flight of steps and a beachside outdoor shower have been added for convenient beach access. The new resort pool is located at the top of the main beach, measures 3,875 square feet and boasts spectacular views of the lagoon and ocean as water cascades down from a smaller infinity pool built above. Also added is a new poolside restaurant, Motu On, and swim-up bar, Motu Iti Bar, located on the sunset side of the beach. Motu On serves cocktails and seaside dishes all day until late evening. The stage located between the pools at sea-level offer a setting for the resortOs Polynesian shows. In addition to a swim-up bar, a landscaped outdoor terrace has been created as an extension of the Fare Hana restaurant. For more information, call 888-424-6835 or visit www.tahitiresorts.intercontinental.com. Sep 1, 2010

Naples Beach Hotel The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf ClubOs championship golf course, located in Naples, Fla., has reopened. The course was closed July 12 to Sept. 2, 2010, so that it could undergo enhancements, and it now boasts new grass on 12 of the greens, and on all 18 tee boxes. In addition, there are new bridges over some of the courseOs water features, according to head golf pro George Willard. The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club is Southwest FloridaOs only beachfront resort to feature an on-site championship golf course, world-class spa and award-winning tennis center. Built in 1927, the resortOs championship par-72 layout is NaplesO original golf course. Updated over the years -- first by Mark Mahanna in 1948, then by famed golf course architect Ron Garl in 1980, 1993 and 1998 -- the course was renovated to enhance the qualities that have always made it so popular, according to Willard. Measuring 6,448 yards from the blue tees, the resortOs 18-hole, par-72 course is designed for both enjoyment and challenge. The courseOs pristine natural setting provides golfers with an incredible sense of serenity. A favorite since it opened, NaplesO original championship course is home to the Florida State Senior MenOs Open Championship, Florida State Senior WomenOs Golf Association Championship, and Future Collegiate World Tour, among other events. To celebrate the reopening of the course, the hotel is offering OFall Value RatesO starting at $119 per room, per night, from Sundays to Thursdays; and $139 per room, per night, Fridays to Saturdays. The resortOs standard room rates start at $235 per night in the fall and at $325 per night during winter. In addition to accommodations, the packages include complimentary use of the resortOs fitness center, daily afternoon tea and cookies, and complimentary admission in the Beach Klub 4 Kids supervised activity program for children ages 5 to 12. Guests who stay three nights under the special rate receive a fourth night free. The rate is available through Dec. 23, 2010. For more information, call 800-237-7600 or visit www.naplesbeachhotel.com. Sep 3, 2010

PricewaterhouseCoopers Slowdown in hotel supply to cause a rise in room rates, PwC says. PricewaterhouseCoopers released its quarterly lodging forecast on Monday, saying "robust room rate growth" in the U.S. next year would be driven by a slowdown in new supply. PwC estimated a 2% supply growth for 2010, falling to 0.4% next year. Meanwhile, hotel demand growth is expected to continue as business travel recovers, according to PwC. Aug 31, 2010

Real Resorts Now through Dec. 23, 2010, Real Resorts will offer guests up to a $50 resort credit when they show their receipt for airline checked luggage costs upon check-in. The offer is available per guest suite and is limited to one credit per stay. The resort credit is valid at the luxury-gourmet, all-inclusive, all-suite, adult-only The Royal in Cancun and The Royal Playa del Carmen, as well as the family-friendly. all-inclusive Gran Caribe Real Cancun and Gran Porto Real Playa del Carmen. The resort credit can be used to purchase suite upgrades, spa services or for extras such as premium bottles of wine or private beach dinners. In addition, guests will enjoy savings on vacations booked for arrival now through Oct. 31 and early booking bonuses of up to 30 percent savings for 2011 vacations booked by Oct. 31, 2010. For reservations or more information, visit www.RealResorts.com. Aug 30, 2010

W Hotels W hotels' Bliss spa chain is marketed to college coeds. As hotels continue to reach out to markets beyond their traditional guests, W hotels' Bliss spa chain is marketing its services to stressed-out college students in need of some rest and rejuvenation. The chain is offering 20% off spa treatments such as facials, manicures and other services in cities such as Dallas and Atlanta, and it says the campaign represents the first time it has marketed to college-aged women. Aug 31, 2010

Windsor Court Hotel Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans has adopted Carino Hotels and Resorts WorldwideOs Global Distribution System (GDS) code OUN.O Carino Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, a sales and customer information company dedicated to assisting luxury hotels, launched the GDS code so that participating members will now be able to see and track directly the measurable results that the organization delivers. The GDS chain code feeds information to major travel agency systems including Sabre, Amadeus/Apollo/Gallileo and Worldspan that connect directly to more than 600,000 travel agencies worldwide. In turn, these systems power consumer travel websites such as Orbitz, Travelocity and Expedia, among others. Thus, the GDS code also allows Carino Hotels and Resorts Worldwide members to reach both businesses and consumers concurrently for the first time ever since the organizationOs inception. For more information, visit www.carinohotels.com. Aug 30, 2010

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