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North America

Disney Opening First U.S.-Based Pixar-Themed Hotel

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
May 28th, 2023 at 3:07 PM EDT

Skift Take

  • Hotel industry news: Renovations, expansions, and openings across various cities, states, and countries.
  • Notable updates include the completion of a multi-million-dollar renovation at The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa in Georgia.
  • Exciting developments include the opening of the first fully Pixar-themed hotel, Pixar Place Hotel, in Anaheim, California, and the debut of Six Senses Crans-Montana in Switzerland.

Ahead of the long holiday weekend, the DJIA was up 329 points on Friday while Nasdaq was up 278, the S&P 500 was up 54 points and the 10-year treasury yield was somewhat flat at 3.81%. Lodging stocks were higher. SOND popped by 13% but SLNA dropped another -10% to another all time low. VCSA was up 5%.

In observance of Memorial Day in the U.S., there will be no Daily Lodging Report on Monday, May 29.

The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa in Savannah, GA announced the completion of an $8 million renovation to refresh its public spaces. The renovation began in July 2022 and was completed in May 2023. The resort features 403 rooms, five onsite food & beverage destinations, a Heavenly Spa by Westin, 18-hole golf course at The Club at Savannah Harbor, riverside pool, cabanas, tennis courts and croquet lawn, fitness facility and a variety of indoor and outdoor event spaces.

Interval International announced the expansion of its Latin America resort network with the affiliation of Multivacaciones Decameron. The agreement introduces 27 hotels and resorts across Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Panama, El Salvador, Jamaica, and Mexico to Interval’s growing exchange network of over 3,200 properties. Decameron’s hotels are located in the region’s alluring beaches, jungles, mountains and cities. 

Quadrum Global, owner of The Williamsburg Hotel in Brooklyn, NY, announced the boutique property will operate under the Arlo Hotels portfolio starting September 2023, marking Arlo Hotels’ fourth property in New York City. Arlo Williamsburg features 147 guestrooms including 8 suites, a rooftop pool & lounge, multiple food & beverage venues and a 6,500 square foot ballroom.

Hyatt Regency Irvine, previously known as Hotel Irvine, announced plans to reopen this summer after extensive enhancements. Located in Irvine, California, the redesigned 516-room property will reopen in two phases with the first 175 guestroom available in August 2023 and a full hotel renovation concluding in spring 2024. The comprehensive update will include fully re-imagined public spaces, including an artisanal marketplace; a new seasonal restaurant set to open in spring 2024 as well as new rooftop pool experience; and the Regency Ballroom. The property will feature more than 50,000 square feet of flexible indoor/outdoor meetings and events space including its signature sprawling outdoor lawn.

Pebblebrook Hotel Trust closed on the sale of the 125-room Hotel Vintage Seattle in Seattle, Washington for $33.7 million to a third party. Proceeds from the sale will be used for general corporate purposes, which may include reducing the Company’s outstanding debt and repurchasing common and preferred shares.

AKA announced further expansion in New York City’s Midtown with the opening of Hotel AKA NoMad. The property offers multiple food and beverage venues, a guest library, and a fitness center.

The Mayor of Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey unveiled renderings of a proposed 58-room Wyndham boutique hotel to be built at 501 Arnold Avenue, along with a luxury apartment complex with ground floor retail spaces. The hotel will replace the old Ocean County Bank building and will cost $30 million to complete.

The Kimpton Brice, in Savannah, Georgia, announced the completion of a full-property refresh. The renovations included the hotel’s 145 guestrooms, lobby, corridors, meeting rooms, pool terrace, Secret Garden, and onsite restaurant.

IHG Hotels & Resorts announced the opening of the avid Hotel Tuscaloosa – University Area. The 87 room property is just four miles from the University of Alabama. The avid property operates under the ownership of Ascent Hospitality Group, LLC. The hotel includes an onsite business center, gym and more. 

Blue Water Development announced the completion of a $2 million renovation project of 102-room The Inn at Pine Knoll Shores located in Pine Knoll Shores, North Carolina. The investment made significant upgrades including expanding the lobby, exterior upgrades, improved sound system for the outdoor pool, room appliances, technology improvements in the meeting spaces as well as creating a tropical oasis vibe throughout the property. In addition to property enhancements, Blue Water Development is bringing on chef Fred Oberfell to elevate the dining experience at The Clam Digger Restaurant. This renovation represents phase one of Blue Water’s development plan for The Inn at Pine Knoll Shores, with phase two set to begin this fall. 

Lafayette College has a deal in place to buy the Lafayette Inn, in Easton, Pennsylvania, from Steele Andrews. Closing is scheduled for August 31 on the 18-room Georgian mansion. Lafayette College will assure the historic property will remain a boutique hotel. 

Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, in Anaheim, California, is currently transforming into the Pixar Place Hotel, the first fully Pixar-themed hotel in the U.S. The hotel, located at the Disneyland Resort, is expected to open this winter. The hotel will remain open during its transformation. Beginning this summer, guests will have access to the new “Finding Nemo”-inspired water place area that includes a waterslide, splash pad and more. A family play court will also be added to the pool deck area. The hotel will also be home to a new restaurant. According to Disney officials, more details about the hotel and amenities offered will be shared at a later date.

An empty property in Livonia, Michigan is set to become a four-story hotel. City council narrowly approved plans for a Staybridge Suites Hotel proposed by the Nofar Hotel Group. Developers will demolish the vacant building on the property. The new building will include 94 suites, a pool, fitness center and laundry.

South Pier at Temple Town Lake, a mixed-use project in Phoenix, Arizona, has secured $223 million of funding from Banco Inbursa for phase one to proceed. The multibillion dollar mixed-use project from developer McBride-Cohen Managementis being developed across 18 acres on the Tempe lakefront. McBride-Cohen and partners Cantor Fitzgerald and Silverstein Properties started construction on the first phase earlier in the year. The three apartment towers in the first phase are expected to be completed in the next 42 months. McBride-Cohen will build more than 2,500 units across rentable apartments and condominiums, along with senior housing, two luxury hotels, more than 600,000 square feet of high-rise office space and a multi-acre entertainment district. Construction costs are estimated at $4 billion for the complete build-out of South Pier. The project will total 18 buildings and construction is expected to last over the next 8 to 12 years. 

The Faust Hotel in New Braunfels, Texas will be receiving a $1 million renovation expected to begin this fall. The scope of the work includes a remodel of the first floor and an entry addition. The existing kitchen and bar is being stripped back and remodeled and the dining room is being maintained. The newly renovated Magnolia Patio Bar also reopened at the Faust Hotel at the end of April. Construction is expect to last about six months with a start date of September 18. The renovations are anticipated to be completed by April 1, 2024.

Seattle, Washington’s first carbon-negative hotel is coming to Pioneer Square next summer. Urban Villages plans to open Hotel Westland inside a 1907 building that will become a 120-room hotel with a restaurant, coffee bar, meeting spaces, penthouse suites for events and an open-air rooftop bar, Pioneer Square’s first. 

Wayfinder Waikiki, a new boutique lifestyle property in Honolulu, Hawaii, has officially opened. The hotel has been completely re-imagined by its new steward, Dovetail + Co. Wayfinder Waikiki is the second Wayfinder property under the company and features 228 rooms as well as a distinctive selection of food & beverage venues, entertainment, and shopping experiences and a saltwater lagoon pool. The property is managed by Springboard Hospitality.

Personnel Moves

Peachtree Group announced the appointment of Melissa Ross Smith as Chief Operating Officer. Smith will be responsible for the overall performance, strategy and organizational development of Peachtree and its operating businesses. Before joining Peachtree, Smith held several high-level positions, most recently as managing director for OS National.

Cayuga Hospitality Consultants announced Joseph Cozza has joined the team of managing partners of the global network of independent consultants. Joe’s focus is on producing event experiences that are more interactive and meaningful that result in financial success for owners and operations, and loyalty and preference from their customers. Joe is a consulting member of Cayuga as well. 

Dorchester Collection announced Christopher Cowdray, chief executive officer of Dorchester Collection, will become company president on July 1, 2023. Cowdray’s new role will ensure that the incisive vision, deeply embedded culture, robust financial performance and strategic growth of Dorchester Collection are maintained, while spearheading all development and renovation projects. The company’s chief customer experience officer, Helen Smith, and chief culture and operations executive, Eugenio Pirri, have been promoted to the positions of joint chief executive officer from the same date.

Europe Highlight

Six Senses Crans-Montana has officially opened, marking the brand’s debut in Switzerland. The new property features 78 rooms and suites, Six Senses Spa, and two restaurants, a bar and lounge.

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
May 28th, 2023 at 3:07 PM EDT

Companies: AKA, Arlo Hotels, Avid, Blue Water Development, Cayuga Hospitality Consultants, Disney Parks, Dorchester Collection, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Hyatt Regency, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Interval International, Kimpton, Korman Communities, Marriott International, Nofar Hotel Group, Peachtree Group, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, Selina, Silverstein Properties, Six Senses, Sonder Holdings Inc., Staybridge Suites, Vacasa, Westin Hotels & Resorts

Locations: Alabama, California, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honolulu, Jamaica, Los Angeles, Mexico, Michigan, New Jersey, New York City, North Carolina, Panama, Pennsylvania, Phoenix, Savannah, Seattle, Switzerland, Texas

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