Summer brings new perks and amenities to many top hotels and brands around the world. Dozens of new hotels and resorts are opening for the first time this season, but others are adding new features and renovations that repeat guests will be eager to see. From do-it-yourself goodies to eco-friendly changes, here is some of the latest news from the hospitality industry and properties around the world.
Villa La Massa offers new amenities for 2023
The Tuscan estate on the banks of the Arno River and just 15 minutes from Florence, Villa La Massa (a member of The Leading Hotels of the World) is celebrating a host of new features for the summer. It all starts with the arrival of new general manager, Elisa Peroli, who has been making exciting updates to the luxury hotel (sibling to Lake Como’s Villa d’Este). A new electric shuttle now makes the complimentary drive into Florence on regular intervals, which is part of the hotel’s growing sustainability efforts.
A full renovation to the Villino building was also unveiled for the season. Dating back nearly a century, the seven rooms and suites there have new interiors, but maintained their four-poster beds and frescoed ceilings. A new mixologist is also on staff and has revamped the menu with updated cocktails using herbs and ingredients from the property’s own garden. The property’s Bistrot L’Oliveto now serves both lunch and dinner to appeal to summer visitors looking for something more casual by the pool.
Autograph Collection and Fotografiska launch cultural project
To celebrate the “art of travel,” Marriott’s Autograph Collection brand has a new collaboration with Fotografiska, a modern museum of photography, art and culture. Original art and photography are on display at Fotografiska museums and select Autograph Collection properties worldwide (including Berlin; San Pedro, Belize; Oklahoma City; and Tokyo). At participating hotels, guests will be able to borrow lomography 35mm film cameras and film rolls (with photography tips) to use during their stay. They will also receive free access to Fotografiska museums and priority reservations to museum bars and restaurants.
New “rest and relax” amenities at two Marriott brands
Two other Marriott brands, Element Hotels and AC Hotels, are launching a new “rest” program. At AC Hotels, guests can take part in a “do it yourself” turndown service where they can make lavender turndown sachets to enjoy in their bed. The brand has its own signature scent in public areas to calm guests using fig leaf, amber elements and fir balsam. Element Hotels will offer its complimentary evening reception with wine and beer available to all guests. Warm or cold towels infused with eucalyptus oil are part of the check-in process. In addition to restful sleep tips, Element guests can also enjoy “caffeine-free teas made with turmeric, lemon balm or lavender” for a natural detox before bedtime.
Global Hotel Alliance partners with Regent Seven Seas
This alliance of independent hotel brands, which includes familiar names like Anantara, Kempinski, NH Hotels and Pan Pacific, is adding a new partner to the fold with Regent Seven Seas Cruises. It is one of the first partnerships between a hotel loyalty program like Global Hotel Alliance (GHA) and a cruise line (World of Hyatt and Lindblad also partner together). The new connection allows GHA DISCOVERY to earn DISCOVERY Dollars when sailing with Regent, which can then be redeemed at GHA properties around the world.
GHA members that book a cruise with Regent will also receive welcome gifts in their cabin like chocolate and Champagne plus a fast track to GHA DISCOVERY Titanium status (room upgrades and welcome gifts). When booking a Regent cruise, members can earn between 750 and 2,5000 DISCOVERY Dollars to redeem later. In a limited-time promotion, those that make a Regent reservation before the end of September and sail before the end of the year will receive triple the reward.
Terrasse Nelligan, newly renovated, opens for summer
Montreal’s Hotel Nelligan is one of the city’s most popular rooftop terraces for more than two decades. Now open for the summer season, it is fresh from a renovation with chic design, a talented DJ, refreshed food and drink menu, see-and-be-seen vibe. Reservations are a must if you want to secure a table on weekends. Views are of the river, the city’s skyline and Montreal’s famous Old Town. On the menu are cheese platters native to the province, a raw bar of oysters, ceviche and caviar, burgers and salads. Following the remodel of the terrace, the hotel (and its sibling Hotel Place d’Armes) will undergo a top-to-bottom renovation in the coming year, too.
Hyatt continues brand acquisition
The latest addition to Hyatt’s brand roster is Mr & Mrs Smith, which it brought over to the fold from a previous partnership with IHG One Rewards. The British-based travel club allows guests to book more than 1,500 boutique and luxury hotels or properties around the world. The partnership was scheduled to close this summer with plans for members to be able to earn or redeem points with any stay at an eligible stay. This is in addition to Hyatt’s recent franchise agreements with Lindner Hotels & Resorts and me and all hotels.