Travel Updates for Week of July 27

Cosmo pool reopens after blaze; Carnival to become ADA-compliant; and Southwest to remain bag-friendly. Here are this week’s travel updates!

Property Updates

The pool at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas reopened on Sunday after a fire on the 14th floor Bamboo Pool. Full service was restored except for the West Bar.


As part of the Sheraton 2020 plan, Sheraton Hotels and Resorts introduces Paired, a “reinvigorated” menu at the lobby bar with gourmet small offerings and bar snacks, and local beers and premium wines. Some options include a Banana Bread Peanut Butter Sandwich a Tawny Port and Cantonese Style Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings paired with Riesling or IPA. The offerings are available at Sheraton properties worldwide.

St. Regis Hotels and Resorts announced the signing of The St. Regis Qingdao in one of the China’s Top Ten Most Livable Cities. The city hosts an international fashion week, an international beer festival, and an international motor show.

Hyatt Place Dubai/Baniyas Square, the second Hyatt Place hotel in the Middle East and the sixth Hyatt-branded hotel in Dubai, opened this week and is located just 12 minutes from the Dubai International Airport.

Hyatt Place is also venturing into Melbourne, Australia, with its first hotel scheduled to open in 2017 in the Essendon Fields development. It will be located just six miles from Melbourne’s Central Business District.

Travel Weekly reports that Hilton Worldwide has plans to create a midscale hotel brand in the first quarter of 2016. Originally Hampton Inn was targeted to the midscale customers but has “grown up out of it,” said CEO Christopher Nassetta. Adds Nassetta, “there is no good midscale product, and that’s why we are doing it.” Comparable hotels are Best Western, Ramada, and La Quinta (who are now offended).

InterContinental Hotels Group announced the opening of the new-build Holiday Inn Express and Suites Vaudreuil-Dorion hotel in Quebec, the first Holiday Inn Express in the city. The hotel features an indoor saltwater pool and seven suites with adjacent private meeting rooms.

Located in one of Europe’s top destinations, InterContinental Bordeaux – Le Grand Hotel, France became IHG’s sixth InterContinental Hotel in France this week and is located in Bordeaux’s center square in a historic 130-room hotel that was built in 1776.

Travel Weekly reports that Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf & Spa Resort in Los Cabos will add two Club Level towers and a new amenities building. The towers, called the Quivira Club, will feature 40 guestrooms, a presidential suite, and six suites with private pools, and will offer enhanced room amenities and a butler for each floor. The new amenities building will have a Mexican-Mediterranean restaurant, an oceanfront gym, and a VIP lounge.

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts announced its first property in South America, Rosewood Sao Paulo in Brazil. Scheduled to open in 2018, the hotel will be housed in a former historic maternity hospital in the Cidade Matarazzo and feature 151 guestrooms and 114 owners’ suites. Other facilities include two swimming pools, one rooftop; two restaurants, one located on a veranda overlooking the hotel’s gardens; a listed wedding chapel; an adjoining music studio; a large spa, and more.

Travel Weekly reports that the B Ocean Resort in Fort Lauderdale will undergo renovations this August. The 59-year-old property, shaped like a cruise ship, is the former Sheraton Yankee Clipper and will remain open during the renovations, which are scheduled to conclude next summer.


Cruise Updates

Travel Weekly reports that Carnival must modify its entire fleet, including its Princess Cruises, Holland America brand, and its seven ships under construction, to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The adjustments will make three percent of all cabins accessible with three levels of accessibility and all Carnival employees will receive ADA training. Plus, Carnival will appoint ADA compliance officers shoreside, and each ship will have a ADA officer. Reservation systems, website, and apps will allow disabled passengers to reserve accessible cabins and suites and guarantee reservations for accessible cabins. The changes come after the Justice Department received complaints about reserve cabins, modified policies, practices, and procedures, as well as effective communication during muster and emergency drills.

According to The Report, MSC Cruises has become the number one cruise line in Europe by having a capacity of 1.1 million passengers across its fleetwide, announced MSC Cruises in a statement.

Kathie Lee Gifford launched her new GIFFT wine Pinot Noir Rosé aboard the Carnival Splendor. The new blend features strawberry, raspberry, and red apple aromas and originates from the California-based Scheid Family Wines. The Pinot Noir will join the GIFFT Red Blend and Chardonnay aboard all Carnival ships later this year.


Princess Cruises is partnering with Celebrity Chef Curtis Stone with “Crafted by Curtis” menu items available in the main dining rooms, a new specialty restaurant concept and menu design by Chef Stone, and a new Chef’s Table experience by Curtis Stone. The offerings will be fleetwide by the end of 2015.


Air Updates

Delta Air Lines has invested $450 million into China Eastern Airlines, acquiring a 3.55 percent stake in the company. The five-year partnership has tripled the size of Delta’s China network and helped to connect the U.S. with business hubs like Shanghai.

NY-LON lounge bar, a joint venture by Virgin Atlantic and Delta, officially opened this week at The O2 in London. The aviation-themed lounge offers light bites and beverages, and offers a secret meeting room for business guests who want a private dining experience. The bar was inspired by the successful Delta Sky360 at Madison Square Garden.

Delta debuted the state-of-the-art upgrades on its A319s this week, which include Panasonic in-flight entertainment at every seat, 60 percent more space in overhead bins, and 110v and USB power plugs. All of Delta’s 126 A320 and A319 will receive the upgrades by summer 2017.

Hawaiian Airlines will extend its non-stop service between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Lihu’e, Kaua’i (LIH), plus more flights between LAX and Maui (OGG) and Kaua’i have been added from December 2015 through January 2016 for holiday travelers. Flights between LAX and LIH will increase to five days per week from Dec. 18 through Jan. 4 before reverting to three days per week on Jan. 8. Flights between LAX and OGG will operate four-times weekly between Dec. 17 and Jan. 3.

Travel Weekly reports that American Airlines will begin roundtrip service between Los Angeles and Montego Bay, Jamaica (MBJ), on Dec. 18. The flight will depart LAX at 10:59 p.m. on Friday and arrive at Sangster Airport at 7:40 a.m. on Saturday. The return flight will depart MBJ at 10 a.m. Saturday and arrive in LAX at 1:21 p.m. Saturday.

Alaska Airlines announced it will launch nonstop service from Portland, Oregon to Kansas City (MCI), Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP), and Omaha (OMA), Nebraska, starting Feb. 18, 2016. The flights will be nonstop and operated by SkyWest Airlines with E175 jets, which are comparable to a 737.

Travel Pulse reports that Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly announced at the Global Business Travel Association annual convention that Southwest has no plans to charge for the first two checked bags. Southwest is currently the only major U.S. carrier that doesn’t charge for checking luggage.


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