After a $50 million renovation, Renaissance Cincinnati Downtown opens in 1901 Bartlett Building by Daniel Burnham. The historic office building is now a Marriott brand Renaissance hotel featuring 283 guest rooms and 40 executive suites in the 19-floor hotel. The hotel restaurant is named D. Burnham’s. The grand opening ceremony was held August 26, 2014.

Renaissance Cincinnati Downtown Hotel is Marriott Rewards category 6.

Renaissance Cincinnati Downtown

The hotel is within walking distance of downtown Cincinnati’s major Fortune 500 firms such as Procter & Gamble, Fifth Third Bank, Great American Insurance and Kroger, as well as international data company dunnhumby. It also is conveniently located a block from the heart of the city, Fountain Square, and is near Paul Brown Stadium and Great American Ball Park. It is 15 minutes away from the Greater Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport, ten minutes from the University of Cincinnati and Xavier University and 15 minutes from Northern Kentucky University.

Renaissance Cincinnati

Cincinnati-based FRCH Design Worldwide was responsible for the hotel’s architectural renovation. The 1901 office building, also known as the U.S. Trust Building, was designed by Chicago architect Daniel Burnham as the tallest building in Cincinnati and Ohio when built. The 1901 Bartlett Building is listed on the U.S.Register of National Historic Places. The Renaissance Cincinnati Downtown Hotel involved a $50 million redesign of the historic building space, vacant since 2010.

Daniel Burnham Architect

As a frequent visitor to Chicago over the past four years, Daniel Burnham is a prominent name in Chicago’s architectural history. Several Burnham buildings are featured on the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise on the First Lady.

Earlier this summer I read The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson.

The book is set in Chicago, circa 1893, intertwining the true tales of Daniel H. Burnham, the architect behind the 1893 World’s Fair, and Dr. H. H. Holmes, the serial killer who lured his victims to their deaths in his elaborately constructed “Murder Castle.”

The book is based on real characters and events. Leonardo DiCaprio purchased the film rights in 2010.

Wikipedia

I love to read about historic buildings being repurposed into hotels. These older buildings have architectural style and spaces with an interior design elegance not seen in modern hotel buildings. And of course, modern features to make a guest room comfortable.

FRCH said it was careful to pay homage to the history of the building and to preserve its heritage in the midst of the renovation.

Company officials said they also paid specifically employed environmentally friendly practices and products to earn a LEED certification for the project.

WCPO News Cincinnati (better hotel photos than Marriott site)

*****

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.

Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

There are 15 days remaining to enter the Starwood Hawaii Define Your Aloha Sweepstakes for 100,000 points. Simply submit an eligible photo via the SPG Hawaii Facebook page. Read the rules carefully for all aspects of a photo that make it ineligible.

Please note the following important Entry requirements:

  • You must be the only person featured in your photo if a person is depicted at all.
  • Your Entry cannot include any other people in your photo.
  • The Entry must not have been submitted previously in a Sweepstakes or promotion of any kind.
  • The Entry must not contain any content that infringes or may infringe third party rights.

Promotional Period:  The Sweepstakes begins at 12:00 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time (“HST”) on August 15, 2014 and ends 11:59 p.m. HST on September 15, 2014.

Eligibility:  SPG Define Aloha (the “Sweepstakes”) is open only to legal residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, Canada (excluding Quebec), who, as of date of entry, are 18 years of age (or the age of majority under applicable law, whichever is older) and have a valid Facebook, Instagram or Twitter account.

How to Enter: You can submit your photos via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for one entry on each social media channel one time each day during the promotion period.

There are links to promote your photo and receive votes, however, this is a sweepstakes and not a contest, so votes do not appear to offer any competitive edge for winning the grand prize of 100,000 points.

Starwood Aloha Sweepstakes

Starwood Hawaii Define Your Aloha, #DefineAloha Sweepstakes

Choice Hotels has announced its new promotion for 8,000 Choice Privileges points every two stays September 4 to November 12, 2014.

You must maintain an address in the U.S. (including U.S. territories) or Canada to be eligible for this promotion.

Choice Privileges offers over 1,500 hotels with reward nights at 6,000 or 8,000 points. One of the highest redemption values for Choice Privileges points is for hotels in Europe.

I recently redeemed over 200,000 Choice Privileges points for two weeks of hotel stays in Norway in September. While the typical Quality Inn may have an average room rate under $100 per night in the USA, in Norway I redeemed 16,000 points per night for high category rooms like a 3-bedroom villa at Quality Resort and Spa Holmsbu with room rates near $600 per night. I redeemed 40,000 points for two nights at The Thief, Ascend Collection, the #1 ranked hotel on TripAdvisor of 88 hotels in Oslo, Norway with room rates near $500 per night.

Read More…

One of Florida’s biggest hotel transactions announced this week is the sale of The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, Florida for $460 million. Affiliates of Thayer Lodging Group purchased the hotel, golf course and land properties for a total $535 million. This is the biggest real estate transaction in Florida this year.

One of the immediate effects is this announcement, The Westin Diplomat leaves Starwood October 30, 2014.

PLEASE NOTE:
The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, Hollywood, Florida will be leaving the Starwood system on October 30, 2014.  Reservations for dates on or after October 30, 2014, will not be eligible for Starwood Preferred Guest membership benefits, award redemption or accrual.

The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa

The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa is the largest hotel in Broward County, Florida at 998 rooms. The Westin Diplomat Resort was built for $800 million and opened in 2002. The hotel occupies the land of the former historic Diplomat Hotel, a luxury hotel opened in 1958 and closed in 1991.

Westin Diplomat-old hotel demolition

Historic Diplomat Hotel Hollywood, Florida opened in 1958 and closed in 1991. The 39-story Westin Diplomat opened on this site in 2002.

Starwood Hotels’ Westin Diplomat page has a history of the hotel from 1958-2002. Grab that page while you can.

Thayer owns several other hotels in South Florida: the Sheraton Miami Airport Hotel & Executive Center, the Marriott Courtyard Miami South, the Miami Airport Marriott and the Residence Inn Miami Airport South, all in Miami-Dade, as well as the DoubleTree Hotel and Executive Meeting Center in Palm Beach Gardens.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/08/29/4316334/historic-westin-diplomat-resort.html#storylink=cpy

None of the news stories state a new brand for the Westin Diplomat with the October 30 changeover. On FlyerTalk, this poster reveals a potential answer, stating the hotel staff were told the Diplomat will become a Hilton brand.

Westin Diplomat

Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa hotel Starwood Hotels website. Will it be a Hilton brand October 30, 2014?

Looks like Hilton is grabbing up Florida Hotels north and south.

Related Loyalty Traveler post: Crowne Plaza Jacksonville Riverfront rebrands to DoubleTree next year (August 30, 2014)

News sources for Westin Diplomat Sale:

Hollywood’s Westin Diplomat hotel sold in $535 million deal – Sun Sentinel (Aug 29, 2014)

Westin Diplomat properties sell for $535M – BizJournals.com (Aug 29, 2014)

Historic Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood sold for $460 million – Miami Herald (Aug 29, 2014)

Another story for the ‘crazy f#@king s#@t that happens when you are a wasted traveler’ category. I see so many of these odd hotel happenings that I will now categorize them as Loyalty Traveler GrawliX-Files.

Tatted Temptress takes Thai tourist at Hyatt Times Square

From the New York Daily News yesterday,

“He thought he was about to score, but instead got duped by a busty blond who slipped something in his drink and then made off with cash, a necklace and his $14,000 Rolex.”

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/seductress-takes-tourist-ride-article-1.1921612#ixzz3BsteF3u5

A 45-year old traveler from Thailand was out drinking with friends August 23 when he met Sarah. The tatted temptress and the Thai tourist headed back to his Hyatt Times Square New York hotel room, but then she talked him back out of the Hyatt to another bar where she bought him a beer. He thought the beer tasted off. In consideration of her generosity, he drank the beer she bought him.

Back at his Hyatt Times Square hotel room, the Thai tourist passed out before getting off. Presumably he was drugged. Sarah’s evening climaxes as she got off with his $14,000 Daytona Rolex, a $6,000 Versace necklace, a $400 iPhone 5s and $2,000 in cash.

Hyatt surveillance aka Sarah

Police ask anyone with information to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers tip line at (800) 577-TIPS.

All calls are confidential.

Just another ‘crazy f#@king s#@t that happens when you are a wasted traveler’ case for the GrawliX-Files.

Previous GrawliX-Files posts: Cocaine, booze and W Hotel 16 floor chair drop

*****

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.

Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

Crowne Plaza Jacksonville Riverfront rebrands to DoubleTree Jacksonville Riverfront September 1, 2015. As an aside, I started writing this piece after seeing an article in Florida Times-Union newspaper stating the Crowne Plaza rebrand was happening this Monday, September 1, 2014. Then, I noticed other news sources, including SoTHERLY Hotels website, state the rebrand is actually scheduled for September 1, 2015.

SoTHERLY Hotels, owners of the property, purchased the 292-room hotel for $22 million in 2005 when it was a Hilton brand and SoTHERLY Hotels was called MHI Hospitality Group. They rebranded the hotel to Crowne Plaza in 2006. MHI became SoTHERLY Hotels last year and they have decided to reattach the hotel to Hilton Worldwide as a DoubleTree with a 10-year franchise agreement.

The hotel is currently undergoing a $5 million renovation to be complete in 2015.

The riverfront location on the south bank of the St. Johns River is opposite the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront on the north side of the St. Johns. The first night of my Jacksonville, Florida to Norfolk, Virginia coastal road trip in May on a National Car Rental $15 all-in per day ‘drive out of Florida’ special rate was spent at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville with a view across the river to the Crowne Plaza.

Crowne Plaza Jacksonville

Crowne Plaza Jacksonville Riverfront on south bank of St. Johns River, Jacksonville, Florida (May 2014)

Crowne Plaza Jacksonville Riverfront on the south bank of St. Johns River Jacksonville, Florida will be rebranded DoubleTree by Hilton Jacksonville Riverfront on September 1, 2015 after $5 million renovation.

Jacksonville, Florida is a location I briefly enjoyed to start my road trip. The city is a great place for a loyalty traveler with all the major brands and low hotel rates and low hotel category reward nights. Aloft Jacksonville Airport is one of only seven Starwood Hotels in the USA listed as a SPG Category 1 hotel. The Hyatt Regency Jacksonville is a category 2 hotel. I stayed a Saturday night using Hyatt’s “My Elite Rate’ and dropped the rate to $71. Parking was free in the garage across the street connected to the hotel by an elevated walkway. The Regency Club lounge was closed and I received 2,500 bonus points as a Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond member and free breakfast buffet.

Loyalty Traveler posts:

Hotel Reviews: Florida Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront

Jacksonville and the St. Johns River

I wonder which HHonors reward category DoubleTree Jacksonville will be placed in?

That Florida rental car deal is such a good value that I hope to take another ‘drive out of Florida’ road trip in May 2015. I will need to find another way to extend my HHonors Gold status for 2015 to get elite treatment.

Loyalty Traveler – Drive North! $15 to $20 per day one-way car rentals from Florida.

*****

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.

Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

Five days since the 6.0 earthquake shook Napa hard last Sunday morning, August 24. Over 20% of the town’s hotel inventory is shut down. Andaz, Marriott and Westin Napa, California are closed for repairs. Westin Verasa Napa and Marriott Napa are located on opposite sides of the city with Hyatt’s luxury Andaz in central downtown Napa between them.

Andaz Napa suffered some extensive damage during the quake.

Here is a first person experience from @Frenchie2Kiss telling me about the experience on Twitter Monday, the day after the quake.

Napa Quake Twitter Sizzle

Here are the tweets in chronological order from August 25, the day following the quake.

The first tweet to me states “My room [at Andaz Napa] was destroyed! Very much doubt it would be fully operational in a week!”

“TV was mounted to a wooden wall bolted to the wall. Heavy & thick! The whole wooden wall crashed onto desk then onto my bed!”

“The wood framed full size mirror by the entryway was knocked down then fell sideway and completely block the narrow walkway”

“Another big mirror on the side of the bed also fell and shattered”

“The space between the desk/TV wall and bed was narrow (one person wide) so the whole wall hit the bed where my leg was!”

“Physically we are ok just minor bruise on my feet. Whatever hit my feet saved my legs from the heavy wall panel.”

“Bathroom is completely destroyed as well with glasses everywhere! Water was dripping.. It will take them a while to fix up.”

“I am surprised any hotel in downtown area is open! Westin is closed so is Marriott which isn’t in downtown.”

“I am thankful that the ceiling in room did not collapse!!! There was no where to hide if that happened.

Twitter – @Frenchie2Kiss (August 25, 2014)

“Andaz Napa just called me.. They are closed until 9/30 as they clean up and remodel!” (August 28, 2014)

Andaz Napa is closed until September 30. That is a true hardship as September is wine crush and peak tourism season and the highest rates of the year.

Westin Verasa Napa has this statement on their website.

Please note:
  • Federal Flood Control Project Until September 8, 2014
  • Minor Earthquake Damage

Westin Verasa Napa is located on the Napa River on the east end of town.

Marriott Napa is about 3 miles west of the Westin.

Napa Google Maps

Napa Valley Marriott and Westin Verasa Napa on Google Maps.

Napa Valley Marriott website states the hotel will be closed until further notice.

The hotel is currently closed due to damage sustained by the 6.0 magnitude earthquake on August 24. The hotel will remain closed until further notice. We regret any inconvenience this may cause. For updated information please visit our Facebook page. If you are a guest with an existing reservation or if you have any questions related to the hotel closure, please call Marriott Global Reservations at 1-800-228-9290.

Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa

650 rooms at these hotels out of 3,000 rooms is a major impact on Napa in peak season for the wineries.

According to the Downtown Napa Association, several hotels in the city of Napa are currently closed due to damage, including Andaz, the Napa Marriott and the Westin. Smith said that’s about 650 of the city’s 3000 rooms, but added that but other hotels are helping out and honoring previously quoted prices to accommodate as many visitors as possible.

KTVU.com

Napa County officials increased the damage estimate of Sunday’s earthquake to $362 million Thursday and formally sought federal financial assistance to help begin rebuilding the crumbled structures, shattered windows and damaged economy.

The Press Democrat Santa Rosa

The city of Napa is a residential city and the wineries are primarily located in Napa Valley to the north. Most wineries are open for business. You may need to adjust your hotel plans and stay somewhere a little more distant and a lot less expensive like Fairfield or Vallejo, California.

Wishing all a quick recovery in Napa.

*****

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.

Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

Carlson Hotels in the Americas have a real deal with 35% off Best Available Rate for 2-night stays September 19 – November 29, 2014. These rates must be booked by September 9.

This post lists participating Country Inns, Park Inns and two USA Radisson Blu hotels with available dates.

Yesterday, I posted the list of Radisson Hotels for this hotel rate discount. This is truly a good 35% rate discount and unlike Hyatt and Starwood sales that are mostly prepaid and nonrefundable rates, this 35% off rate has a  flexible cancellation policy, up to day of arrival at most hotels.

Carlson Hotels 35% Off links

Also be sure to check out my post on the Club Carlson Great Escape Face-Off for your daily chance to win a free vacation through September 8.

Radisson 2-for-35off

Read More…

181,250 buys a King Bed and other Marriott Rewards FlashPerks Aug 28 are available now for the next 24 hours.

Marriott bed

The bed item comes up with a Marriott Concierge contact message.

Our Concierge would be glad to assist you in checking the availability of a Marriott FlashPerks deal. Please dial 1-888-784-7296 to be put in contact with the Concierge.

The Concierge is available from 8am until 5pm CST, every Thursday and Friday.

If you should require further assistance please e-mail us at www.flashperks@maritz.com.

Thank you,

Marriott Rewards Flashperks

Marriott’s Queen bed is only 168,750 points. Up to 20 available in each size, Queen, King and Cal King.

Hotel Rate Discounts with Perks

The JW Marriott Camelback Inn Package

• 30% off Ambiente and Ambiance Golf Package
• Unlimited golf for two on the Ambiente Golf Course
• Breakfast for 2 daily at Acacia at Camelback Golf Club
• $50 resort credit
Stay Dates: Sep 10-14, 19-21, 25-27; Oct 29 – Nov 1, Nov 5 – 9
• Up to 10 rooms available per night
• Prepay in full, non-refundable, no changes

The Curacao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Casino Package

• 40% off of leisure rates on oceanview and beachfront rooms
• Includes complimentary internet and 20% off spa treatments
Stay Dates: September 28 – October 18
• Up to 10 rooms available per night
• Prepay in full, non-refundable, no changes

The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach Package

  • Three day/two night package and three 50-minute spa treatments *Treatments include: The Ritz-Carlton ocean based products facial, a mango-guava scrub and massage, and the Ritz-Carlton Signature massage which includes customized aromatherapy and massage techniques
  • Stay Dates: October 5-9 and 12-19
  • Up to 10 rooms available per night
  • Prepay in full, non-refundable, no changes

The Jordan Valley Marriott Dead Sea Resort & Spa Package

• 30% Off Regular Rates
• 30% discount off spa treatments
Stay Dates: October 10 – 31
• Up to 10 rooms available per night
• Prepay in full, non-refundable, no changes

The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua Package

  • Enjoy the third night complimentary in a Deluxe Ocean View guest room
  • Includes complimentary daily breakfast
  • 20% savings on treatments at the Ritz-Carlton Spa®   * Includes The Ritz-Carlton Spa®, Kapalua Blend Bar Experience, where guests can create their own spa salt and lotion using their choice of salts, fragrance etc, then purchase a massage or scrub and use the products they created in their preferred treatment.
  • Stay Dates: October 28 – November 21
  • Up to 10 rooms available per night
  • Prepay in full, non-refundable, no changes

50% off Reward Night Deals

The JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Package

17,500 Points per night

• Half off the regular Marriott Rewards points cost
• $25 spa credit per room per night
Stay Dates: October 1 – 14
• Up to 10 rooms available per night

The Ritz-Carlton, Abama Package

25,000 Points Per Night

• Half off the regular Marriott Rewards points cost
• Once daily access to the spa water circuit for two adults
Stay Dates: December 1 – 14
• Up to 10 rooms available per night

*****

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.

Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

This story goes into the ‘crazy f#@king s#@t that happens when you are a wasted traveler’ category. A naked man tossed chair from 16th floor balcony of W Hotel Fort Lauderdale is a news item that caught my eye this morning from NBC News Miami. Cocaine, booze and W Hotel 16 floor chair drop along with beer bottles are an indicator your ‘keeping it real’ trip has gone bad.

A 33-year old The Woodlands, Texas man was arrested after tossing beer bottles and a hotel room chair off the 16th floor W Hotel Fort Lauderdale in the after-midnight hours early Tuesday morning. The chair and bottles shattered, a contract worker in the pool area of the hotel received minor injuries and when police arrived, the room occupant was naked and a bag of white powder was visible in the bathroom. Turned out to be cocaine.

Austin Ragans was arrested at the hotel Tuesday on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, battery, possession of cocaine and criminal mischief, according to Broward County jail and court records. He has been released on $28,600 bond.

Judge Hurley in the NBC Miami video says Ragans’ bond will be revoked if he drinks alcohol or does illegal drugs while the case is active.

Hurley estimated the chair had traveled about 160 feet from the balcony to the ground.

“You’re fortunate that Mr. Moore’s neck wasn’t snapped and you weren’t here on a manslaughter charge,” Hurley said.

NBC Miami 

Watching Naked Man Tosses Chair From Hotel Balcony: Police http://www.nbcmiami.com/video/#!/on-air/as-seen-on/Naked-Man-Tosses-Chair-From-Hotel-Balcony_-Police/272942671 …

That is some crazy f#@king s#@t that happens when you are a wasted traveler.

*****

By the way, f#@king and s#@t are called a grawlix. I see them all the time, like on The Daily Show, but I just learned today there is a specific word – grawlix – for symbol swearing.

*****

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.

Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

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