Tourism and economic development leaders in Raleigh, N.C., are concerned that a spate of proposed new hotels doesn't include any within walking distance of the city's convention center. While all the additions are welcome, said Bill King of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, a 400-room hotel near the convention center is needed to compete for bigger events and handle business travel growth.
Marriott and Hilton are among major hotel companies that are updating the designs of staff break rooms and other back-of-house areas. "We're definitely moving away from the focus on just utilitarian spaces to a space that is actually going to be attractive and [that] people want to be in," said Tim Freeman of design firm Zimmerman Weintraub Associates, which is currently doing a project for Marriott.
The Bamford Haybarn Brompton Cross spa recently opened in London. Founder Carole Bamford says she's always wanted to provide the essence of the original Haybarn spa's natural surroundings in an urban setting.
Se Spa at the Grand Velas Riviera Maya resort features an 80-minute aquatic massage inspired by Mayans. The Volcanic Mud Massage at Costa Rica's Nayara Springs uses mud from the Arenal volcano.
Vanilla chai hair is a mix of brown and ash blond for fall. "Just like a spicy chai tea with a hint of sweet vanilla, this color is the best of both worlds: light while still allowing for dark roots, and bright while cool enough for fall," Leah Prinzivalli writes.
With the hope of replacing streetlights, officials in Chengdu, China, are planning to implement an "artificial moon" -- a targeted illumination satellite that is eight times brighter than the moon. The launch is expected to happen in 2020, according to the Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute.
Whether the wellness trend is a worthwhile investment for hotel companies was debated by hospitality executives at the recent Global Wellness Summit in Cesena, Italy. A key problem that emerged is the executives see a lack of real metrics to quantify the monetary value of wellness.
Architectural styles ranging from Italian Renaissance to Art Deco and ghosts of celebrity guests such as Marilyn Monroe and Al Capone distinguish 16 history-rich downtown Chicago hotels. A review of the storied properties points out that some started their lives as office buildings or mansions.
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