New Center of the Universe

New York is one of the world’s great cities for luxury hotels. Most of these properties are major luxury brands housed in historic buildings, but last fall the city’s newest five-star hotel debuted in a brand-new skyscraper on West 57th Street in a neighborhood that is quickly becoming known for its new wave of very tall buildings.Entertainment

The Park Hyatt New York, the brand’s first hotel in the city, is located at 153 West 57th Street, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, diagonally across from Carnegie Hall and just two blocks south of Central Park. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Christian de Portzamparc, the property features 210 guestrooms, including 92 suites designed by Yabu Pushelberg. Guestrooms are among the largest in the city, starting at 525 square feet, and decorated with a residential feel and innovative modern art.

The hotel itself is part of a 90-story mixed-use tower that features 94 Thomas Juul-Hansen designed luxury spaces with views of Central Park and the New York skyline, though the hotel is housed only in the first 25 floors and only a few rooms have partial park views. Even before it opened, however, the property was designated as “one to watch” by Virtuoso travel

Family Rooms

Family RoomsAll Inclusive Collection: This collection contains Hard Rock all-inclusive resorts that feature a family-friendly vacation experience. These resorts include the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, and Hard Rock Hotel Cancun, Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya and Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta in Mexico. Hard Rock hotels in Los Cabos and Riviera Cancun are set to open in 2016 and 2017, respectively. In addition, Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya offers two resorts within the resort: an adults-only and a family-friendly section. Call 888-680-7625 or visit

Barceló Hotels & Resorts: This company has all-inclusive properties in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Mexico that can accommodate all clients, from value-oriented guests to upscale travelers seeking luxury accommodations, including families. Call 800-227-2356 or

Beaches Resorts: This is Sandals’ all-inclusive resort product for everyone, including families. Guests of Beaches resorts in Jamaica and Turks & Caicos get properties with some of the finest beaches of the Caribbean, deluxe accommodations, premium-brand wine and spirits, nightly entertainment, and land and water sports. From the Beaches Resorts Caribbean Adventure with Sesame Street to the Xbox Play Lounge, and from candlelight dinners to Red Lane spa treatments, there is

Outrigger’s New Strategy

Outrigger's New StrategyOutrigger Hotels & Resorts, which has been in business since 1947 as a family-owned company, has long been a major player in Hawaii, with resorts and condominium properties on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island. In the last 10 years, however, it has expanded internationally, with resorts opening or under development in Australia, Guam, Fiji, Thailand, China, Mauritius, Maldives and Vietnam. Now, it is engaged in a rebranding of those resorts with the Outrigger name being used only for premier beachfront properties. We spoke with David Carey, Outrigger’s president and CEO, about the new branding scheme and the company’s plans for global growth.

Features & Advice

What do you think has changed with Outrigger over the years?

What’s changed is the quality of the product. When I first started, we were really targeted at the budget market. Our founder, Roy Kelly, had the vision that he would build affordable properties for people in Hawaii. In the 1980s, the Japanese bubble hit and that stepped up the game for us. So, now, our properties are in the four-star category on the beach. Before, we were really aimed at providing principally budget resorts, but now

A Resort for Everyone

“Better than Disney World.” Those were the words of one nine-year old guest upon his return from Atlantis resort for a getaway weekend. Granted, children are impressionable and every movie, video game, ice cream flavor, fill-in-the-blank is usually the “greatest ever” — until the next one.

Suffice it to say, it still takes a lot to wow a child, but kids seem to be sufficiently impressed by Atlantis no matter how old they are. This resort review is based on three days at Atlantis to check out the property’s partnership with the Cartoon Network. In part, the assignment was to “see” Atlantis through a kid’s eyes, given that kids are right smack dab in the middle of the demographic Atlantis targets when it markets to families.

Adults can be sufficiently wowed by Atlantis as well. In many ways, the resort has fashioned itself into a world of its own that caters to every age group — youngsters will be easily entertained by the plethora of Cartoon Network activities. Tweens and teens can enjoy the pools, the beach, the water slides (and teens even have their own night club).

Twenty- and 30-somethings will still find their haunts at the

American Horror Story, Hotel’s opening sequence alone is chilling

American Horror Story: Hotel hasn’t even premiered yet, but we’d bet that it’s already inspiring nightmares. Co-creator Ryan Murphy posted the show’s opening credits on YouTube today, and it’s frankly impressive just how chilling the roughly 1-minute sequence manages to be.

Between spooky music and flashes of strange goings-on, it’s enough to make you consider sleeping with the light on, especially if you happen to currently be staying in a hotel. The title sequence shows blood dripping down walls, hands reaching and grabbing at people, heads emerging out of mattresses, and ghost-like figures wandering down hallways. All the while, there are quick cuts to the Ten Commandments, including “thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain” and, of course, “thou shalt not kill.” (Somehow, we think at least one character will break the latter.)

Related: First American Horror Story: Hotel trailer introduces cast in the hallways of the hotel

The credits have their risqué moments as well. Throughout the sequence, there are handful of shots of lingerie-clad characters, as well as peeks through door peepholes. “Thou shalt not covet” and “thou shalt not commit adultry” may be other commandments that the characters don’t bother to follow.

As the next installment in the American

Non smoking hotel rooms still expose occupants to tobacco smoke

Non-smokers should give hotels that allow smoking in certain rooms a wide berth, say the authors, and instead choose completely smoke free hotels.

The researchers analysed the surfaces and air quality of rooms for evidence of tobacco smoke pollution (nicotine and 3EP), known as third hand smoke, in a random sample of budget to mid-range hotels in San Diego, California.

Ten hotels in the sample operated complete bans and 30 operated partial smoking bans, providing designated non-smoking rooms.

Non-smokers who spent the night at any of the hotels, provided urine and finger wipe samples to assess their exposure to nicotine and a cancer causing agent found specifically in tobacco smoke — known as NKK — as measured by their metabolites cotinine and NNAL.

The findings showed that smoking in hotels left a legacy of tobacco pollution in both smoking and non-smoking rooms. A partial smoking ban did not protect the occupants of non-smoking rooms from exposure to tobacco pollution.

Compared with hotels operating total smoking bans, surface nicotine and air 3EP levels were higher in both non-smoking and smoking rooms of hotels operating partial bans.

Surface nicotine levels were more than twice as high in non-smoking rooms of hotels operating partial bans as

Green hotels lower environmental impact, increases profits

Hotels certified in the sustainable building program Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, helps the environment and boosts revenue for the hotel, according to a new Cornell University School of Hotel Administration study.

By comparing 93 LEED certified U.S. hotels with a competitive set of non-certified hotels, the study found substantial increases in average daily rates and revenue per available room for the LEED hotels.

“The hotel industry has embraced environmental sustainability and several hotels have registered for or earned ‘green’ certification under the LEED program,” said Rohit Verma, professor at Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration. “The question was whether there is also a revenue benefit from LEED. We found that the answer is, absolutely yes.”

Developed by the United States Green Building Council, the LEED certification process gives commercial buildings a scorecard for meeting standards for location and transportation, materials and resources, and water efficiency, among others. The more points under the program, the higher the certification level.

The reviewed report, “The Impact of LEED Certification on Hotel Performance” was co-authored by Rohit Verma and graduate students Matthew Walsman and Suresh Muthulingam. It can be accessed at:

Hotel industry recovers as travelers fill rooms

Terranea, a Tuscan-themed luxury resort on the bluffs of Rancho Palos Verdes, couldn’t have opened at a worse time.

The sprawling seaside resort had 582 rooms to rent, a fancy spa, eight restaurants and bars, plus one of the largest ballrooms in the region — and, at its debut two years ago, faced the coldest hospitality market in decades.

The owners hired 50% fewer employees than they had planned, launched generous discount promotions and prepared for the worst.

In 2009, the hotel industry was in the roughest shape since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Business and leisure travelers drastically cut back on hotel stays, and many owners including Terranea’s faced the threat of foreclosure.

Hundreds of California hotels did go into financial default, but the tide turned this year as travelers ventured forth again, industry analysts said. Terranea alone expects to have more than 740,000 paying hotel and restaurant guests this year, a 22% increase over 2010.

“There is a huge difference” at the resort these days, said Robert J. Lowe Jr., co-president of Lowe Enterprises, developer and co-owner of Terranea. “When we opened in the teeth of the recession, we had 600 associates.

MLT’s Growing Family

MLT Vacations is well positioned to capture the family travel business with new products that travel agents can offer to clients, says John Caldwell president of MLT Vacations. As the operator of Delta Vacations, MLT works closely with the all-inclusive resort brands and also has introduced self-catering vacations.Tour Operator

A 29-year travel industry veteran, Caldwell recently discussed family travel trends with Vacation Agent.

Is MLT doing a lot of family travel business?

Yes we are. When you take a look at MLT’s business and the brands and where we go, a majority of our travel is family-based travel, with a vast majority of trips taking place in Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico and Hawaii. Those all are huge family destinations. And within the ecosystem of families moving around, the demand is growing.

And it’s not just families in general, but multigenerational families. We hear this a lot — that the multigenerational family business is growing, in terms of family reunions and friends and families getting together at a destination. As a result of this trend, we are extremely well positioned with our partners. But we’re also recognizing that this trend is driving new needs for our products.

What kind of new needs are being driven