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Hotel News You Can Use: Accessible Travel, Renovations and Retreats

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Fall is fast approaching and hotels are gearing up for the final push of 2012. Think openings, renovations and some exciting new retreats and amenities, plus we take a look at a pressing issue among accessible travel.

August Hotel Spotlight

This week, local disability rights activists in Rochester, New York, staged a protest in response to an ongoing debate regarding hotel pool accessibility. Back in July, disability rights activists throughout the U.S. launched a boycott of hotels and chains, which do not have permanent lifts that make pools fully accessible to all paying guests.

For a bit of background, back in 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice updated Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations in order to require pools operated by hotels and other public entities to become accessible by March 15, 2012,unless it would not be readily achievable to make the changes. This year, hotel industry lobbyists at the American Hotel & Lodging Association fought hard to extend the deadline.

The most recent protest was run by ADAPT, which collaborated with disability rights activists across the nation. This is planned to be the first of several local protests as part of a guerrilla campaign, so plan on more coverage on

Openings & New Developments

Are you ready for the world’s tallest hotel? In early 2013, we’ll see the opening of the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, a 1,164-foot-tall property that will have 1,608- luxury guest rooms and 15 restaurants, bars and lounges.

Prior to 2012, in Phuket, Thailand, Regent Hotels & Resorts, will open its flagship property, Regent Phuket Cape Panwa, in October 2012. Looking for the luxury market, the resort has its own private beach. Look for highly discounted rates to celebrate the opening, starting at $177 per night.

Open now is the third Kimpton hotel in the San Diego area, the re-launched Hotel La Jolla. Prior to the relaunch the 110 guest rooms and public areas had a $4 million refurbish including a new pool deck, updated guest rooms and a new Mediterranean restaurant. Again look forward to discounted opening rates with the Hang Ten opening package, which $10 savings on deluxe accommodations parking, Cusp Dining & Drinks, the Hiatus Lounge and OEX Dive & Kayak.

Renovations & Upgrades

Looking for an upgrade? Check out what’s going on in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where The Broadmoor will be rolling out a $60 million renovation over the next two years. We’re talking expanded and redesigned guestrooms and suites, updated food and beverage offerings and improved meetings and events facilities. As of May 2012, phase one was completed, which includes renovated 21 guestrooms in the Southlake building an update for the Cheyenne Lodge meeting facilities and 16 new patios and 21 newly renovated rooms, of which 8 are suites. This is just the start, so we’ll stay tuned for all the renovations to come!

In Paris, Le Meurice has finished a 4-month renovation of Spa Valmont pour Le Meurice. Offering a brand new limited-edition facial treatment, Bulle Émotionnelle. The over 3,658 square feet, the revamped spa has suites, including a double suite for couples. For more information or to make reservations, please call (800) 650-1842, or visit their website.

Restaurants, Yoga Retreats & Other Fun Things

In Mexico, Rosewood’s oceanfront resort Las Ventanas al Paradiso has recently renovated to create three new deluxe luxury Beach Cabanas. The cabanas are the only ones of their kind in the country with private plunge pools and Jacuzzis as well as a private butler offering welcome drinks, iPads and iPods, Evian spray and sunscreen as well as full food and beverage service. In addition to the cabanas, the spa underwent a dramatic redesign to now offer a tranquil indoor/outdoor setting with new couples suites, a high-tech salon and new Four Elements treatment menu inspired by ancient healers of Baja.

Over at we always love a good giveaway, so check out the Club Carlson Global Giveaway. Six winners will win weekly vacation getaways to selected properties around the world. The trip includes a 5-night stay at a selected Carlson Rezidor property, round-trip business class airfare for two and $5,000 in spending money. You can become a member or learn more about the global giveaway by visiting them online.

Now that the Olympics are over, the frenzy is already starting for the 2014 and the World Cup. One way to get in on the action is through Kensington Tours and their new Brazil-based tours. Starting in Rio de Janeiro, the tours feature stylish centrally located premium hotels, chauffeured transfers, private guided tours and onsite 24/7 support, plus a destination expert who will tailor your experience to your exact wishes. There are four waves to the event starting in June 2014. For more information, visit Kensington Tour’s website.

Need some relaxation this fall? Then check out the Kundalini retreat lead internationally recognized Kundalini Yoga Teacher and Gong Master Healer Harijiwan. Running October 4-11 at Grand Velas Riviera Maya, participants will experience guided Kundalini Yoga Meditation, healing sounds of the gong, Mayan Spa treatments, special activities and menu of gourmet spa cuisine. The program starts at $6,812 per person, double occupancy, or $8,737 in single occupancy—an all-inclusive rates that include luxury spa suite accommodations, a la carte gourmet meals at a variety of specialty restaurants, premium branded beverages, 24-hour in-suite service, fitness center, nightly entertainment, taxes, gratuity and more. This is just one of the week-long Personal Experience Retreats being run at Velas Resorts.

Visit our hotel archives for more hotel news you can use.

By Lily J. Kosner for