|Hyatt’s upscale Andaz brand is creating some buzz with recent openings in the United States (Napa and Savannah) and a new build project scheduled to open soon overseas in Amsterdam.
Andaz Napa officially opened to the public on September 7 in the former Avia Napa hotel, located in the wine destination’s West End.
“A lot of the preparation leading up to the opening was just seeing what this hotel needed,” says Greg Nomura, general manager of Andaz Napa. “The property has only been around for about three years. The rooms were in phenomenal shape, so we didn’t have to touch them. It was really about understanding the scope of the work.”
Although the property didn’t need a major overhaul, there were some changes made to fit in with the aesthetic and flavor of the Andaz brand. Nomura explains that the lobby area of the hotel was transformed from a traditional space to a more interactive space with areas to meet, relax, and check in. Associates use iPads and check guests in at pods spread out through the new lobby area.
Nomura also explains that, like many other Andaz properties, the Napa location has worked hard to highlight the local culture of its location. The restaurant, Andaz Farmers Table, and the bar, Mercantile Social, source food and drink ingredients from local purveyors and highlight spirits, such as Charbay Vodka, made regionally. And since Napa is such a big destination for wine lovers, Nomura explains that the hotel couldn’t have just any ordinary house wine.
“John Anthony Winery is right next door to our hotel,” says Nomura. “When you go to other Hyatt properties, they always have a standard wine called Canvas, but it didn’t make sense here in Napa. We have one of the best ‘house wines’ because of the relationship we’ve built next door.”
Nomura explains that the opening of the property was well timed with the busy harvest season in California wine country known as “crush season.” During crush season, wineries host harvesting and grape-crushing events that attract a large number of tourists to the area.
“Our occupancy rate for September is 97 percent, and we are estimating that next month will be even higher,” he says. “There is so much demand in the area and expectations are very high.”
Luxe City Center—This Los Angeles by Luxe Hotels is located in downtown Los Angeles across from L.A. Live and the Staples Center. The hotel features custom-designed room accommodations, meeting and events spaces, two spa treatment rooms, and a new modern Italian restaurant, FigOly, helmed by Top Chef Alumni, Alex Reznik.
Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central— Starwood Hotels and Resorts debuted the largest Sheraton in the world with the opening of the Sheraton Sky Tower at Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central. The tower features 1,829 rooms, the 13,000-square-foot Sheraton Club Lounge, the Kashgar Grand Ballroom, Palms Lounge, the Sala Pool, Shine Spa, and Sheraton Core Performance fitness facility. The second tower will open in early 2013 and bring the room count up to 4,000 for the entire property.
Holiday Inn Express Utrecht Papendorp—Interstate Hotels & Resorts opened this 118-room hotel in Utrecht on September 20. Hotel amenities include lobby level lounge spaces for work or relaxation, a lobby bar, complimentary Wi-Fi, and continental breakfast served daily. A 24-hour market is also available for snacks and sundries. The hotel is the fourth to open of a nine-hotel portfolio, owned by Interstate Hotels & Resorts and the Vincent Hotel Group, being developed across the Netherlands.
Ramada Encore Guadalajara—This property in Mexico, which opened on September 10, marks Wyndham Hotel Group’s 100th property in Latin America. The Ramada Encore Guadalajara is a 130-room hotel which provides free wireless internet access, complimentary continental breakfast, 24-hour complimentary business center services, lounge area, and fitness facility. Guestrooms include wooden floors, bathroom pods featuring a walk-in power shower, and The HUB, the Encore tier’s multipurpose space where guests can eat, work, or relax.