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Cruises

An Update From Palace Resorts and Le Blanc Spa Resort

As increasing numbers of hotels are temporarily closing their doors in the wake of the coronavirus, two Palace Resorts’ properties – The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun and Le Blanc Spa Resort Cancun – remain open for business, the company said.

For the time being, the company has closed Moon Palace Cancun, Beach Palace, Sun Palace, Isla Mujeres Palace, Playacar Palace, Moon Palace Jamaica and Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos.

“We aim to have all of our properties re-opened as of May 1, 2020,” a Palace spokeswoman said.

All existing and new reservations made for March and April can be modified to any alternative dates from now through Dec. 15, 2020. All penalties associated with date changes are waivered, including non-refundable reservations.

The company’s cleanliness processes are in compliance with the Mexican government, whose standards are based on the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points system.

Preventative measures at Palace and Le Blanc resorts include providing supplies of hand sanitizers for all guests upon arrival and cleaning commonly used objects in the lobby with SANI 950 every half hour. Front desk clerks use hand sanitizers or wash their hands with soap after attending to each guest, and hand sanitizers are available at every desk.

For questions regarding the company’s coronavirus policies and steps it has taken to keep its guests safe, visit palaceresorts.com/en/relevant-information.

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Cruises

MGM Resorts Pledges $1 Million for Employees, Donates 400,000 Meals

MGM Resorts International announced several initiatives that the company is currently supporting to help those impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The company is pledging $1 million to an employee emergency grant fund and has donated the equivalent of 400,000 meals across the United States over the past week.

“As we confront extraordinary events and an unprecedented global pandemic crisis, we know that this is an extremely challenging and uncertain time for many of our employees, their families, friends and neighbors and we are committed to helping those in need,” said Bill Hornbuckle, Acting CEO and President of MGM Resorts International, in a statement on Monday.

“We have done a number of things to help our colleagues, including significantly expanding eligibility coverage for the MGM Employee Emergency Grant Fund. MGM Resorts International is donating $1 million towards disaster relief to offer additional support to employees impacted by the crisis and who may be experiencing hardships,” Hornbuckle added. “We’ve also stepped up our commitment to communities around the country. Over the past week, MGM has donated the equivalent of 400,000 meals through local food banks to alleviate food insecurity in the United States.”

The MGM Resorts Emergency Relief Fund provides full-time employees, on-call employees and those facing layoff, separation or furloughs and their families with short-term relief to help keep the bills paid.

Since temporarily closing its properties around the country due to the COVID-19 outbreak, MGM Resorts has put its unused food to good use, donating more than 480,000 pounds of food—about 400,000 meals—to the communities in which it operates, including Las Vegas, Detroit and Atlantic City. The company said that it’s “working with local food banks to ensure all available fresh food from its resorts is safely and quickly donated to charitable organizations in several underserved areas.”

During this unprecedented time of crisis, we are proud to have spent this week donating over 300,000 pounds of food, or 250,000 meals, to food banks across the nation for the communities in which we operate. Because #WhatMatters, is you. pic.twitter.com/c1FBtfA4EC

Like many sectors in the travel space, the hospitality industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis, with occupancy rates plunging and executives pushing the government for urgent assistance.

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Cruises

Ski resorts suddenly shutter coronavirus

On March 14, skiers and snowboarders at Smugglers’ Notch ski
resort in northern Vermont were lining up at the Sterling lift and dining at
the Black Bear Tavern like it was a regular Saturday.

But that evening was anything but normal in the ski
industry. While Smugglers’ Notch remained open, Vail Resorts shuttered its 37
mountain resorts and retail, effective immediately until March 22 due to
concerns over the spread of Covid-19, and said it would use the time to assess
the rest of the season. Lodging and property-management operations would remain open for current bookings, but no new bookings will be taken.

At the same time, Alterra suspended operations until further
notice. The closures shuttered the lifts, food and beverage and retail
operations at 15 mountains, including Steamboat and Winter Park in Colorado, Squaw
Valley Alpine Meadows and Mammoth in California, Deer Valley and Solitude
Mountain in Utah, and Tremblant in Quebec. Its CMH Heli-Skiing division was to
continue operating through March 17. 

The decisions, like the reaction to the coronavirus pandemic
in the U.S., came fast. 

The same day Alterra and Vail announced their suspensions, Jared Polis, Colorado’s governor,
issued an executive order requiring ski resorts in the state to close for a
week. “As a result, Telluride Ski Resort is now closed for the season,” that
resort said on its website. A letter from CEO Bill Jenson began, “The past 24
hours have been unprecedented.” 

At Araphoe Basin in California, COO Alan Henceroth wrote on his blog, “We
support the governor making this very difficult decision. While some folks
encouraged us to close, hundreds, if not thousands, of people have asked us to
stay open. We tried our very best to be creative and modify operations to
reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission. I know that many of you want to be
here and many of you had a great week skiing here. This closure saddens me
deeply. Unfortunately, it is time to close.” 

Aspen Snowmass at 7:15 p.m. on March 14 said it, too, was
closed. “We understand that this impacts a huge number of people; our
employees, guests and the community as a whole,” the resort said in a
statement. “We are working now to address all of these issues and will work
with each of these groups to minimize the impacts where we can.”

Elsewhere, Mount
Bachelor and Mt. Hood Meadows in Oregon were suspending operations for a week,
until March 22. But Snowbasin and Sun Valley in Utah closed effective March 16
for the remainder of the season. 

As of March 16, Alyeska Resort in Alaska was keeping its mountain open, although its aerial tramway closed and food and retail operations were cut back significantly. “Our executive leadership team is committed to daily
meetings at 9 a.m. for the foreseeable future and will announce any
changes to our operations immediately following,” it said.

But after posting Sunday that it would remain open, Smugglers’ Notch on Monday evening said it would stop its lifts Tuesday, after Vermont’s public schools were to close and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dropped the number of people that should gather together to 50.

“As you know, change is coming at a rapid rate,” Smugglers’ owner Bill Stritzler wrote in a statement published on Instagram.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this report gave incorrect information about Vail Resorts. March 22 is the day the resort company may reopen its ski resorts, not the day it had originally planned to close.


Update: This report was updated March 16 to include updated information about Smugglers’ Notch, Telluride and other North American resorts.

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Cruises

La Colección Resorts Gears Up for 2020 With Newly Appointed Executives

WHY IT RATES: These new executives will assist in providing the best experiences for travelers visiting the resorts in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. —Codie Liermann, Associate Editor

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La Colección Resorts is pleased to announce the appointment of Maria Laura Venegas and Marc Andre as Director of Sales for two of the collection’s most popular properties: Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta All Inclusive & Spa and hospitality company’s newest venture, Live Aqua Beach Resort Punta Cana.

With in-depth knowledge and vast experience in the industry, Venegas and Andre join the company’s talented teams of hospitality experts to successfully promote the uniqueness of each destination combined with La Coleccion Resorts’ unparalleled experiences.

As Director of Sales and Marketing, Marc Andre will spearhead the execution of sales and marketing initiatives of the soon-to-come Live Aqua Beach Resort Punta Cana, a property for the popular lifestyle sensory brand that is slated to open in March 2020. Aside from managing all aspects of the hotel’s grand opening, Andre will also oversee and manage sales staff and reservations to maximize revenue and ensure marketing goals are achieved.

Originally from Mexico City, Andre has a professional career in the hotel sector of more than 30 years working for leading hotel chains such as Grupo Presidente Inter-Continental, AMResorts and Grupo Playa in the main vacation destinations and the Caribbean, including Punta Cana.

Set on golden-sand beaches and surrounded by lush tropical flora, Live Aqua Beach Resort Punta Cana will boast impressive architecture and design that embraces its serene setting to offer guests a variety of experiences. Expansive airy public spaces such as the grand lobby and beach lounge meld perfectly with the more intimate spaces including zen gardens and relaxation zones accented with magnificent fountains and imposing waterfalls.

The resort will have 345 Suites, available in seven categories, that enjoy views of the ocean, gardens or swimming pools. Among the most exclusive options will be select Junior Suites with swim-up access from main swimming pools.

Other Suites will offer complete exclusivity with private swimming pools and terraces. All Suites will have all the comfort essentials such as expansive, fully-equipped bathrooms with soaking tubs, interactive 50” flat-screen televisions, espresso machines, aromatherapy and pillow menus and more.

With more than 20 years of hospitality experience, Maria Laura Venegas brings her expertise managing segments like tour operators, leisure groups, MICE and ecommerce as Director of Sales for Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta All Inclusive & Spa.

An expert in Mexico’s hospitality industry after leading impactful marketing and sales initiatives for national brands like Camino Real, Brisas and Park Royal, she will be responsible for working closely with all aspects of the hotel and ultimately generating sales and leads for Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta All Inclusive & Spa.

The resort recently completed a long-awaited renovation of the Fiesta Club, which includes 96 refurbished luxury stay rooms boasting elegant Mexican-style interiors. Guests who book rooms in the Fiesta Club will also experience new amenities including a personalized concierge service, complimentary coffee and pastries served fresh every morning, and access to the adults-only Sonne Club that features a refreshing pool and large terrace that serves bites and cocktails throughout the day.

The addition of Marc Andre and Maria Laura Venegas as leaders for each property contribute to La Colección Resorts’ mission to provide the best experiences in Mexico and Dominican Republic’s most coveted destinations.

For more information, visit www.lacoleccionresorts.com.

SOURCE: La Coleccion Resorts by Fiesta Americana press release.

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Destinations

Centara Hotels & Resorts accelerates expansion in 2020 ·

Centara Hotels & Resorts accelerates expansion in 2020

As the world enters a new decade, Centara Hotels & Resorts, Thailand’s leading hotel operator, is accelerating its global expansion with plans to open new hotels and resorts in some of the world’s most dynamic destinations.

In 2020, Centara expects to open eight new properties, adding four countries to the company’s world map and enhancing its leadership position in Thailand. This will increase the group’s worldwide inventory by almost 2,000 rooms and suites, in line with a strategic plan to make Centara a top 100 global hotel operator within five years.

As part of this expansion, Centara’s highly anticipated first resort of its new luxury brand will be unveiled at the end of 2020, following the refurbishment and repositioning of Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui. This popular beachfront retreat closed temporarily in 2019 to facilitate an extensive upgrade. Its grand reopening in late 2020 will mark the launch of Centara’s sixth hotel brand, the name of which will be announced shortly.

Centra by Centara Cha Am Beach Resort Hua Hin is expected to open in April 2020. Located on pristine Cha-Am Beach, this 190-room and suite hotel will be surrounded by attractions, including theme parks, golf courses, retail outlets and a Royal palace. COSI, Centara’s affordable lifestyle brand, will also drive Centara’s domestic growth in Thailand. After the recent addition of hotels in Pattaya and Koh Samui, this cutting-edge concept will enter another popular beach resort destination in Q4, with the launch of the 142-room COSI Krabi Ao Nang Beach.

Southeast Asia will be a major focus area for Centara in 2020. The company will plant its flag in two new countries this year; the 95-room Centara KMA Resort Inle Lake will become its first location in Myanmar in Q2, and the 162-room Centara Plumeria Resort Pakse will launch in Q4 to mark Centara’s introduction to Laos. Both properties will bring international-standard accommodation to their respective markets, which are rising in popularity with travellers. Moving forward, Centara will enter several exciting new destinations in both countries, including Luang Prabang, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed former capital of Laos and the country’s capital, Vientiane.

The Middle East is another key region, with several new hotels and resorts preparing to welcome their first guests this year. In Qatar, The B Premiere Hotel, an 85-room property under the Centara Boutique Collection, will be introduced in Q2. Then in Q4, Centara will enter the UAE with the 607-key Centara Mirage Beach Resort Dubai – an outstanding family-friendly themed resort that will comprise 607 rooms and suites and a wealth of activities for all ages, including a lazy river, waterslides, cliff jumping, multiple restaurants, a kids’ club, SPA Cenvaree and its first kids spa.

In parallel with the development of its portfolio, Centara will continue to roll out its new guest experiences, including Staying Well, which promotes a healthier way to travel, and Meetings Redesigned, an innovative one-stop service for the MICE sector.

Finally, Centara will accelerate the implementation of its companywide Sustainability Plan in 2020, which includes the elimination of single-use plastic products, such as straws, bags, bottles and food containers, the reduction of food waste, and the expansion of its support for local farmers, rural communities and small-scale sustainable producers.

Centara Hotels & Resorts will showcase its entire global portfolio and pipeline of properties at ITB Berlin from 4th to 6th March 2020, at Hall 26B – No.223.

To learn more about Centara Hotels & Resorts, please visit www.centarahotelsresorts.com.

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Categories
Destinations

Centara Hotels & Resorts accelerates expansion in 2020 ·

Centara Hotels & Resorts accelerates expansion in 2020

As the world enters a new decade, Centara Hotels & Resorts, Thailand’s leading hotel operator, is accelerating its global expansion with plans to open new hotels and resorts in some of the world’s most dynamic destinations.

In 2020, Centara expects to open eight new properties, adding four countries to the company’s world map and enhancing its leadership position in Thailand. This will increase the group’s worldwide inventory by almost 2,000 rooms and suites, in line with a strategic plan to make Centara a top 100 global hotel operator within five years.

As part of this expansion, Centara’s highly anticipated first resort of its new luxury brand will be unveiled at the end of 2020, following the refurbishment and repositioning of Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui. This popular beachfront retreat closed temporarily in 2019 to facilitate an extensive upgrade. Its grand reopening in late 2020 will mark the launch of Centara’s sixth hotel brand, the name of which will be announced shortly.

Centra by Centara Cha Am Beach Resort Hua Hin is expected to open in April 2020. Located on pristine Cha-Am Beach, this 190-room and suite hotel will be surrounded by attractions, including theme parks, golf courses, retail outlets and a Royal palace. COSI, Centara’s affordable lifestyle brand, will also drive Centara’s domestic growth in Thailand. After the recent addition of hotels in Pattaya and Koh Samui, this cutting-edge concept will enter another popular beach resort destination in Q4, with the launch of the 142-room COSI Krabi Ao Nang Beach.

Southeast Asia will be a major focus area for Centara in 2020. The company will plant its flag in two new countries this year; the 95-room Centara KMA Resort Inle Lake will become its first location in Myanmar in Q2, and the 162-room Centara Plumeria Resort Pakse will launch in Q4 to mark Centara’s introduction to Laos. Both properties will bring international-standard accommodation to their respective markets, which are rising in popularity with travellers. Moving forward, Centara will enter several exciting new destinations in both countries, including Luang Prabang, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed former capital of Laos and the country’s capital, Vientiane.

The Middle East is another key region, with several new hotels and resorts preparing to welcome their first guests this year. In Qatar, The B Premiere Hotel, an 85-room property under the Centara Boutique Collection, will be introduced in Q2. Then in Q4, Centara will enter the UAE with the 607-key Centara Mirage Beach Resort Dubai – an outstanding family-friendly themed resort that will comprise 607 rooms and suites and a wealth of activities for all ages, including a lazy river, waterslides, cliff jumping, multiple restaurants, a kids’ club, SPA Cenvaree and its first kids spa.

In parallel with the development of its portfolio, Centara will continue to roll out its new guest experiences, including Staying Well, which promotes a healthier way to travel, and Meetings Redesigned, an innovative one-stop service for the MICE sector.

Finally, Centara will accelerate the implementation of its companywide Sustainability Plan in 2020, which includes the elimination of single-use plastic products, such as straws, bags, bottles and food containers, the reduction of food waste, and the expansion of its support for local farmers, rural communities and small-scale sustainable producers.

Centara Hotels & Resorts will showcase its entire global portfolio and pipeline of properties at ITB Berlin from 4th to 6th March 2020, at Hall 26B – No.223.

To learn more about Centara Hotels & Resorts, please visit www.centarahotelsresorts.com.

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Destinations

COMO Hotels and Resorts announces Tuscan Photography Retreat ·

COMO Hotels and Resorts announces Tuscan Photography Retreat

 

COMO Hotels and Resorts which forms part of the COMO Group has announced a new collection of experiences for 2020, focused on the discovery of destinations and the development of guests’ creative identity through the lens of a camera.

COMO Photography Retreats have been designed as the ideal environments where participants are taught how to convey a sense of place and storytelling through photography. The retreats, going beyond equipping participants with the tools they need to capture striking images, will inspire guests to slow down and engage in the present moment to observe the world more mindfully. By slowing down, they will enjoy a deeper and more thoughtful observation of nature and discover a deeper level of engagement with their surroundings, ensuring more intimate visual illustrations of their experience.

In May 2020, COMO Photography Retreats will continue in the rolling hills of Tuscany at COMO Castello Del Nero, the latest addition to the COMO portfolio and the company’s first property in continental Europe. The five-day retreat, available to just eight participants, will offer daily photography workshops that capture the people, Renaissance architecture and verdant vineyards of Chianti that make the destination so unique. Guests will also have the opportunity to explore the cities of Florence and San Gimingo with a knowledgeable English-speaking guide, as well as relax at the twelfth-century castle hotel, sampling wine from the property’s cellars, strolling through the vineyards, or dining on Michelin-starred cuisine.

Guests will learn how to optimise photos through ISO, aperture, shutter speed and post-production techniques as well as head out on assignments to hone their originality and creative eye, all under the mentorship of award-winning photographer Martin Morrell. Morrell, COMO’s key contributing photographer for over 20 years, has shot for many of the world’s leading magazines including Vogue, the New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar and Condé Nast Traveler.

Martin Morrell’s presence in Tuscany will see guests learn the key skills needed to excel in both the creative and technical elements of photography. “Today, it has never been easier to take a photograph – but it has also never been more difficult to get an original shot,” says Morrell. “Our workshops will encompass the end-to-end process of a travel photographer: from proper set up and technical mastery, to colour grading and post-production. Most importantly, I will show our guests how to find their own unique angle so they can go on to tell their own stories through photographs”.

The COMO Photography Retreat with Martin Morrell is followed by the COMO Photography Retreat in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan in October 2020. The latter will be led by award-winning photographer and Kodak ambassador Michael Turek, offering guests the opportunity to capture the gravity-defying monasteries, orange-robed monks and verdant rice fields on film by travelling through one of the most photogenic countries in the world.

To book, visit www.comohotels.com/en/castellodelnero/offers/travel-photography-retreat

About the COMO Group and COMO Hotels and Resorts

The COMO Group, headquartered in Singapore, represents Christina Ong’s unique vision of contemporary living. The Group encompasses the hospitality collection, COMO Hotels and Resorts, which offers personalised luxury travel experiences through individualised service, a commitment to holistic wellness, and award-winning cuisine. Each hotel is developed in response to the destination it inhabits. The Group also includes the international luxury fashion retailer Club 21, the award-winning wellness concept COMO Shambhala, and the philanthropic COMO Foundation.

Get a glimpse of our beautiful destinations and follow our exciting adventures on Instagram @comohotels

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Categories
Destinations

COMO Hotels and Resorts announces Tuscan Photography Retreat ·

COMO Hotels and Resorts announces Tuscan Photography Retreat

 

COMO Hotels and Resorts which forms part of the COMO Group has announced a new collection of experiences for 2020, focused on the discovery of destinations and the development of guests’ creative identity through the lens of a camera.

COMO Photography Retreats have been designed as the ideal environments where participants are taught how to convey a sense of place and storytelling through photography. The retreats, going beyond equipping participants with the tools they need to capture striking images, will inspire guests to slow down and engage in the present moment to observe the world more mindfully. By slowing down, they will enjoy a deeper and more thoughtful observation of nature and discover a deeper level of engagement with their surroundings, ensuring more intimate visual illustrations of their experience.

In May 2020, COMO Photography Retreats will continue in the rolling hills of Tuscany at COMO Castello Del Nero, the latest addition to the COMO portfolio and the company’s first property in continental Europe. The five-day retreat, available to just eight participants, will offer daily photography workshops that capture the people, Renaissance architecture and verdant vineyards of Chianti that make the destination so unique. Guests will also have the opportunity to explore the cities of Florence and San Gimingo with a knowledgeable English-speaking guide, as well as relax at the twelfth-century castle hotel, sampling wine from the property’s cellars, strolling through the vineyards, or dining on Michelin-starred cuisine.

Guests will learn how to optimise photos through ISO, aperture, shutter speed and post-production techniques as well as head out on assignments to hone their originality and creative eye, all under the mentorship of award-winning photographer Martin Morrell. Morrell, COMO’s key contributing photographer for over 20 years, has shot for many of the world’s leading magazines including Vogue, the New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar and Condé Nast Traveler.

Martin Morrell’s presence in Tuscany will see guests learn the key skills needed to excel in both the creative and technical elements of photography. “Today, it has never been easier to take a photograph – but it has also never been more difficult to get an original shot,” says Morrell. “Our workshops will encompass the end-to-end process of a travel photographer: from proper set up and technical mastery, to colour grading and post-production. Most importantly, I will show our guests how to find their own unique angle so they can go on to tell their own stories through photographs”.

The COMO Photography Retreat with Martin Morrell is followed by the COMO Photography Retreat in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan in October 2020. The latter will be led by award-winning photographer and Kodak ambassador Michael Turek, offering guests the opportunity to capture the gravity-defying monasteries, orange-robed monks and verdant rice fields on film by travelling through one of the most photogenic countries in the world.

To book, visit www.comohotels.com/en/castellodelnero/offers/travel-photography-retreat

About the COMO Group and COMO Hotels and Resorts

The COMO Group, headquartered in Singapore, represents Christina Ong’s unique vision of contemporary living. The Group encompasses the hospitality collection, COMO Hotels and Resorts, which offers personalised luxury travel experiences through individualised service, a commitment to holistic wellness, and award-winning cuisine. Each hotel is developed in response to the destination it inhabits. The Group also includes the international luxury fashion retailer Club 21, the award-winning wellness concept COMO Shambhala, and the philanthropic COMO Foundation.

Get a glimpse of our beautiful destinations and follow our exciting adventures on Instagram @comohotels

Source: Read Full Article