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Starwood first to launch user ratings and reviews on its hotel websites

Starwood first to launch user ratings and reviews on its hotel websites Oct 25th, 2011 at 1:00PM: Reader-generated hotel reviews - and the sites that host them - have gotten a bad rap lately. But, it's for a good reason. In July, TripAdvisor came under scrutiny when it was revealed that some hotels were paying TripAdvisor users to post positive reviews of their properties. There have also been concerns that hotel employees and management were posting positive reviews of their properties in...

Enjoy Chinese hospitality at Hilton and Starwood hotels

Enjoy Chinese hospitality at Hilton and Starwood hotels Aug 2nd, 2011 at 10:00AM: In an effort to cater to the surge of tourism from China, both Hilton Hotels and Resorts and Starwood, which includes the Sheraton, Westin, and W brands, are launching Chinese hospitality services in their hotels. The welcome program includes special breakfast items, such as congee rice porridge, fried rice, and dumplings; in-room amenities like tea kettles, a selection of Chinese teas, and...

Bliss spas discounting for college students

Bliss spas discounting for college students Sep 2nd, 2010 at 9:00AM: When I was in college, relaxation came from the best six-pack of beer I could find for under $5. But, it looks like times are changing. The W's Bliss spa chain is kicking in 20 percent discounts on spa treatments for college kids this year. With fewer business travelers on the road, it looks like Bliss wants to get at least some cash from someone. For Bliss, targeting the coed demographic is a...

W New York Downtown opens on Wall Street

W New York Downtown opens on Wall Street Aug 23rd, 2010 at 3:00PM: Downtown New York has been slowly building up its reputation for years, but 2010 seems to be the year of openings. In June we showed you the exclusive images of the first hotel to be open in the Wall Street area with views of Ground Zero, and now more planned hotels are finally opening their doors to travelers in an effort to help rebuild the downtown New York area. The W New York Downtown -...

Shaq's shacking up at posh Boston digs

Shaq's shacking up at posh Boston digs Aug 10th, 2010 at 12:00PM: Basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal bounced his way into Boston today to meet with his new team, the Celtics. While he's on the court, his reps are hitting the streets looking for a place tall enough to accommodate the 7' 1" athlete when he's here. The Celtics signed Shaquille O'Neal to help win another NBA title, but The Boston Herald is reporting one luxury address could also score big with...

The Dealmakers' Ballroom: Where the future is conceived

The Dealmakers' Ballroom: Where the future is conceived Jun 15th, 2010 at 3:30PM: The seeds of economic recovery will be sewn in the travel industry. No, it will not be the hotels that pump new jobs out onto the market, and it certainly won't be the airlines, which seem locked in perpetual battle against any positive influence the economy can have on them. Rather, the future will come from inside the hotels – specifically their lobbies. Historically, this venue has been...

Feds Try to Halt Starwood Suit of Hilton to Chase Criminal Charges

Feds Try to Halt Starwood Suit of Hilton to Chase Criminal Charges Feb 25th, 2010 at 2:00PM: Usually, it's what goes on inside the hotels that is mysterious. Illicit trysts, quiet business deals and the occasional rendez-vous of spies (very occasional, I suspect) are what we'd love to believe happens in behind the closed doors of hotels up-market and down. The reality, however, is far more interesting. There is plenty of espionage going on in the hotel world, but it's the hotels...

Starwood bets on Hollywood allure

Starwood bets on Hollywood allure Feb 23rd, 2010 at 2:00PM: What do you do when lenders take over two of your hotels, as your coping with the worst recession in seven decades? Well, if you're Starwood Hotels, you make a $350 million bet with a single property from your W line. The hotel opened on January 15, 2010, and it's banking on the reputation of Los Angeles as the center of the entertainment world. Located on Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street, the...

Starwood accuses Hilton of corporate espionage

Starwood accuses Hilton of corporate espionage Jan 16th, 2010 at 12:00PM: Two of the largest hotel chains in the world are locked in battle -- legal battle. Starwood Hotels has accused 44 of Hilton's top executives of stealing trade secrets. Christopher Nassetta, the CEO of Hilton, is alleged to have known about this activity, according to an amended complaint that Starwood filed with the Manhattan federal court. The object of affection thievery was the luxury category...

W Hotel's "Extreme Wow Suite" of the future

W Hotel's Sep 2nd, 2009 at 3:30PM: Every W Hotel in the world has an Extreme Wow Suite; a modern interpretation of the conventional Presidential Suite. Well, currently in Sao Paulo, Brazil, they are exhibiting a fresh design -- "THE 'EXTREME WOW SUITE' OF THE FUTURE" at the "Le Paris De Patrick Jouin" Exhibition (at Instituto Tomie Ohtake through September 27). The suite was designed by Jouin Manku and will be traveling to Europe...

W Fort Lauderdale saves turtles from suicide

W Fort Lauderdale saves turtles from suicide Aug 4th, 2009 at 11:30AM: The W Fort Lauderdale had a little problem -- turtles kept crossing the road in front of their hotel. To get to the other side. And getting hit by cars on the way. The issue was the hotel lights. Apparently, when choosing between their current side of the road and the certain death of crossing the street, turtles have a habit of "going towards the light." What this says about the psychological...

Some hotel futures at risk

Some hotel futures at risk Jul 26th, 2009 at 12:00PM: The number of hotels defaulting on their loans surged 125 percent in May and June this year. Travel is down (no shit), which has an obvious effect on the top line. When there's no money coming in, it's hard to send cash out to meet some pretty hefty obligations. So, if none comes in, none can go out ... and defaults start to rise. Some high-profile properties have defaulted already, including...

The new W Hotel in Washington, DC

The new W Hotel in Washington, DC May 16th, 2009 at 12:00PM: Just steps from the White House, behold the new, the glorious, the totally awesome W Hotel in Washington, DC, opening in July. Yes, you can make reservations now. There are so many jokes I could make about "W in Washington" that I don't know where to start -- I'm just glad they waited until we had a new president so I don't have to. So, what's special about this new hotel? Well. Start with the...

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