Hotel News: Virgin, Walt Disney World, Miramonte Resort and More Open New Properties, Complete Upgrades
As 2021 winds to a close, hotel companies far and wide are opening new properties, finishing up remodel projects or finalizing expansions in preparation for a busier 2022. Here are some of the most recent developments to keep on your radar:
New Properties and Spaces
Virgin Hotels New Orleans
As the latest lifestyle brand to open its doors in New Orleans’ artsy Warehouse District, Virgin Hotels New Orleans features 238 “chambers” (aka guest rooms), two penthouse suites, multiple outlets for dining, drinking and gathering, a 24-hour state-of-the-art fitness center and 5,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event spaces.
All guest rooms feature Virgin’s signature layout with two distinct spaces: The Dressing Room with a full vanity, makeup desk with a mirror, an extra-large shower with a bench and a closet for two, and The Lounge, which features the brand’s patented ergonomically designed lounge bed, a stocked SMEG mini-fridge, a high-definition TV, a yoga mat and a cafe worktable in front of cozy built-in window seating with city views. Additionally, all rooms feature integrated tech capabilities, including controlling lighting, thermostats, TVs and ordering room service directly via the LUCY mobile app.
Incorporating a Southern residential feel peppered with local art, historical detailing and Art Deco-inspired elements woven throughout, the hotel’s creative array of dining and drinking outlets includes the ground-floor Commons Club, the brand’s flagship restaurant, bar and lounge; the Funny Library Coffee Shop, and two 13th-floor rooftop venues: the Dreamboat cocktail bar and The Pool Club, overlooking the Crescent City skyline.
Walt Disney World Swan Reserve (Orlando, Fla.)
Last month, the 14-story Walt Disney World Swan Reserve became the third and newest property to join the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. Featuring 349 guestrooms, including 149 suites, the new resort offers 16,000 square feet of indoor and 14,000 sq. ft. of outdoor meeting and event space, including two ballrooms and 12 meeting rooms. It also offers a rooftop event space capable of accommodating 350 and features incredible views of Walt Disney World and nightly theme park fireworks.
Groups holding events within the Walt Disney resort complex can enjoy the benefits of all three properties, which now collectively boast 2,619 guest rooms and 350,000 sq. ft. of meeting and event space that includes 99 meeting rooms, including two executive boardrooms, six ballrooms, 110,500 sq. ft. of contiguous convention and exhibit space, outdoor function areas and three business centers, not to mention the resorts’ 22 restaurants and lounges.
Other amenities include redecorated lobbies, a luxurious Balinese-inspired Mandara Spa, six pools, three health clubs, jogging trails and the benefit of numerous Disney special benefits, including complimentary theme park transportation, early theme park entry as well as extended evening hours, and advance tee times on nearby championship golf courses at Walt Disney World Resort.
Renovations and Expansions
Miramonte Resort & Spa (Indian Wells, Calif.)
Located in the heart of the Coachella Valley in Greater Palm Springs, the Miramonte Resort & Spa is currently undergoing a $9 million property-wide renovation and reimagining project designed to transform the 11-acre desert resort into a contemporary version of a classic Mediterranean retreat.
Along with 215 redesigned guestrooms, suites and villas, three pools, an award-winning spa, a signature restaurant and bar, fire pits, bocce ball courts and flower gardens, the resort boasts more than 35,000 square feet of recently renovated, multipurpose indoor and outdoor meeting and event spaces suitable for up to 500 guests.
Set to debut in spring 2022, the most recent phase of the renovation includes updates to many of the resort’s outdoor spaces that are available for event groups, including a conference space on the lawn, an olive tree grove, a new dining patio, an outdoor fire wall and a social sitting area backed by picturesque mountain views.
Taylor House Conference Center (Aurora, N.Y.)
On Nov. 8, the Inns of Aurora, a luxury lakeside boutique resort in New York’s Finger Lakes Region, opened the Taylor House Conference Center, a two-floor, 3,500-square-foot meeting and event space inside of a historic building that was built in 1838 as a magnificent home.
Featuring charming views of the Village and Cayuga Lake, Taylor House is situated in the center of the historic Village of Aurora, a National Historic District comprising more than a dozen properties that were part of a 20-year restoration and preservation project designed to return them to their former glory. Many of these buildings now make up the Inns of Aurora, which includes five boutique inns, two restaurants, a demonstration kitchen, a programming center, a world-class spa and, now, the Taylor House Conference Center.
Intertwined with state-of-the-art technology and original modern artworks from the collection of Inns of Aurora Founder Pleasant Rowland, the conference center offers the following:
- 2,000 sq. ft. of indoor space with maximum capacity of 50 guests, including three grand parlors for social gatherings and breakout meetings
- Five original fireplaces
- A dining room with a barrel-vaulted ceiling can accommodate up to 30 guests for plated dinners. Added to the home in 1871, original design elements include the fireplace, floors, and hardware
- Adjacent to the dining room, an outdoor patio with firepit offers seating for up to 50 guests
- Dedicated parking area with electric vehicle charging station
- 1,500 sq. ft. of modern boardroom space
- Amenities include seven 65-inch television screens, magnetic walls for brainstorming and presentations, airwalls to create up to three separate meeting spaces, wireless microphones, automatic light and projection system
- Primary boardroom table accommodates up to 36 guests
- Two additional breakout meeting spaces accommodating eight guests each
- Over a dozen windows with expansive views of the Village and lake, able to open for fresh air and natural lighting
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