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BLLA International Boutique Lifestyle Leadership Symposium
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Early-Bird registration NOW OPEN! Secure your spot at this conference where worldwide industry executives and global hotel owners will gather to network and present the most important topics and opportunities within the boutique & lifestyle hospitality community. Click here for registration information.

BLLA welcomes new members
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Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town — Albuquerque, New Mexico
Hotel Chimayo de Santa Fe, New Mexico
Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces, New Mexico

Actum Hotel — Kranj, Slovenia
Brown Urban Hotel — Tel Aviv, Israel
Ellington Hotel — Berlin, Germany (renewal)
Hotel Astor Saint Honore — Paris, France

 Industry News

Company wants to makeover world's luxury hotel gift shops
Business Insider    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
While wealthy travelers can enjoy almost any amenity at the world's most luxurious resorts, Lee Ann Sauter didn't see any acceptable shopping options. "There was a place in the market for redesigning resort retail," said Sauter, who in 2008 founded Seaside Luxe, a company that helps luxury resorts open profitable retail outlets or redesign existing stores.

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Kimpton gets financing to reposition Hotel Palomar
San Diego Busines Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A unit of San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants has obtained a $46 million loan to finance the repositioning of two hotels, including Hotel Palomar San Diego. The loan was made by PCCP LLC. Financing was provided to KHP Fund II LP, a real estate private equity fund sponsored by Kimpton. More

Related story: Kimpton buys Canary Santa Barbara (Los Angeles Times)

China's Hawaii to face hotel slump as supply triples
Bloomberg Businessweek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
China's resort city of Sanya is expected to face a "huge correction" in its hotel market in the next two years as the supply of luxury accommodation triples by early 2013, the head of its tourism association said. The average hotel occupancy rate in Sanya, located on the tropical island known as China's Hawaii, will drop about 10 percentage points from last year's 65 to 70 percent, a tourism official said. More

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Luxury corporate retreats are back
Forbes    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Corporate group travel is heating up again as companies are slowly resuming retreats and conventions in luxury resort locations. Group business travel fell off dramatically during the recession and has been slower to rebound than individual business travel, according to the Global Business Travel Association. But that's changing. Group travel spending went up nearly 8 percent in 2011 and is expected to continue to rise in 2012. More

San Francisco's Hotel Milano to get revamp, new name
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
San Francisco's boutique Hotel Milano is about to get an upscale revamp and a new name. Pebblebrook Hotel Trust announced this morning that it bought the neo-classic style Hotel Milano for $30 million and plans to spend as much as $10 million on renovations. It brought on boutique operator Viceroy to manage the hotel. More

Also from USA Today: Hotels revamp in-room reading options

 What's Developing

Kentucky landmark to become a 21c Museum Hotel
The Lexington Herald-Leader    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Louisville philanthropists and art collectors Steve Wilson and Laura Lee Brown announced plans to buy the old First National Building in downtown Lexington and convert it to a 21c Museum Hotel — a combination boutique hotel and contemporary art museum. They opened Louisville's acclaimed 21c hotel in 2006, and Lexington's will be the fourth in the 21c group of hotels.

In China, an underground luxury hotel
Smart Planet    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
While many architects and engineers have been vying to construct the world's tallest tower, a group in China has looked to build in the opposite direction. Construction has begun on Shanghai's first "groundscraper," a structure built almost completely below the surface. The massive project will eventually take form as the InterContinental Shimao Shanghai Wonderland, a 19-story, 380-room luxury hotel surrounded by a theme park. More

Motor Row development, hotel plans rev up in Chicago
Chicago Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
There's a gap between popular convention spot McCormick Place and the rest of Chicago. Out-of-towners are whisked in and out of the center by shuttle bus or taxi, few even thinking to take a look at the surrounding areas, the South Loop and Motor Row. Plans to develop the area call for a six-story warehouse to become a 150-room boutique hotel branded the Cadillac. More

Australian boutique hotel a tribute to Aboriginal artist
The Advertiser    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A $106 million, nine-story boutique hotel named after Aboriginal artist Tommy Watson is scheduled to open in Walkerville, Australia. The Watson, due to accept guests in September 2013, will be part of the Art Series Hotel Group, which already operates three hotels named after artists John Olsen, Adam Cullen and Charles Blackman in Melbourne. More

Newly renovated South Beach boutique hotel to debut
Breaking Travel News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Lord Balfour hotel rocks into a late Spring debut with an Apple iPod Nano giveaway preloaded with 25 songs from British rockers, welcoming guests to Miami. The new face on South Beach gives a wink and a nod to the irreverence of the original Lord Balfour himself, himself a bold British figure. Lord Balfour is managed by Trust Hospitality, as part of its collection of independently created boutique hotels. More

Miami group to restore Gulf Coast hotel
The Miami Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A Miami partnership plans to restore the historic Belleview Biltmore Hotel near Clearwater. Plans call for construction of a new wing with 153 rooms and restoration of the existing 260-room hotel and three cottages. The Cabana Club area would become a 38-room boutique hotel, The Biltmore Golf Club, which is still operating, would also get upgrades. More

 Industry Insight

Pet-friendly hotels raise the welcome sign
Advertising Age    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Luxury hotel groups such as Fairmont and Kimpton, and properties such as the DoubleTree by Hilton Asheville-Biltmore, are taking notice of travelers like the Ramseys and offering pet-related amenities to gain their business.

Travel companies see potential in scrapbooking site Pinterest
Travel Weekly    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Yet another social media tool has emerged, one that the travel industry in particular is being advised to take note of. Pinterest, the much-buzzed-about scrapbooking website, might be the social media tool best suited to agents and suppliers alike, because it is all about images. Members "pin" photos and other visual representations of things they like and set them up on various themed boards for their followers to see and share. More

The world's most outrageous hotel amenities
Departures via CNN    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Now that ultra-plush bathrobes, high-thread-count linens and designer toiletries are de rigueur at upscale hotels, top properties are offering innovative and extravagant perks to ensure a distinctive experience. Some, like the Ritz Carlton South Beach's tanning butler and Hotel Monaco's pet psychic, trend toward the whimsical. More

 Beyond the Edge

Lagerfeld to design Chanel helicopter for A-list
Daily Mail    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
There are not many things to which Karl Lagerfeld can't turn his hand but, thus far, his collaborations haven't included helicopter design. But now aircraft company Agusta Westland has tapped the polymatic Lagerfeld to design a fleet of VIP choppers. The AW139 twin-turbine helicopter is to get the Lagerfeld treatment both inside and out.

Angler's boutique resort wants guests to take home their room keys
Hotel Chatter    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Anglers Boutique Resort is encouraging guests to take their room keys home with them, and has redesigned said keys for this very reason. As the staff at the South Beach property know, Miami guests love to take home trinkets representing the beach's Art Deco past, so they turned to their own history when redoing their room keys. More

 An Eye on the Big Brands

Sofitel Agadir Thalassa Sea and Spa, Morocco, opens its doors
Incentive Travel & Corporate Meetings    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Sofitel Luxury Hotels has announced the opening of the Sofitel Agadir Thalassa Sea and Spa, a new thalassotherapy and well-being destination in Morocco. The Sofitel Agadir Thalassa Sea & Spa is the brand's second hotel in the bay of Agadir alongside the Sofitel Agadir Royal Bay resort.

On the Edge
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Christine Kraly, Content Editor, 469.420.2685   
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Frances Kiradjian, BLLA Founder/Chair/Publisher, 818.883.4363

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