The escalating competition in today's dining landscape means innovative ideas are a must if hoteliers wish to make a lasting impression on guests, writes Larry Mogelonsky, founder and president of LMA Communications. "Whereas 10, 20 or 30 years ago, a steak dinner would surely please and astound hotel guests, now, unless there's something special going on, such a meal goes down with a shrug and a contented smile, but not likely a, 'This was so utterly fantastic I have to tell all my friends about it' recommendation," Mogelonsky writes.
Work has begun on a planned 104-room hotel in Bristol, Va. The hotel is expected to open in 2014 under the Hilton Garden Inn flag with amenities including an indoor pool, a fitness center and a 3,500-square-foot banquet area.
Omni Hotels & Resorts has reached a deal with KSL Capital Partners to purchase five resorts comprising a total of 2,362 rooms. The properties are La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, Calif.; The Grove Park Inn in Asheville, N.C.; The Homestead resort in Hot Springs, Va.; Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage, Calif.; and Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas. Omni says the hotels will be rebranded as Omni properties.
Apollo Global Management and Sage Hospitality have sold a four-hotel Hilton Select Service Portfolio to Blackstone for an undisclosed amount. The 751-room portfolio includes a Homewood Suites hotel in San Francisco and three Hilton Garden Inns in Atlanta, Denver and Orlando, Fla.
Spring break travelers who want to take a dip in a great hotel pool should check out the Hilton Montreal Bonaventure or the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas. The Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage, Calif., boasts an adults-only pool, two 100-foot slides, a beach, sprinklers, a water-play zone and a swimming pool with a surrounding "river."