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Boutique Lifestyle Leadership Conference
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More information about the conference can be found here.

BLLA sponsoring Cornell Awards
BLLA    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Join us for the 4th Annual Cornell Hospitality Icon & Innovator Awards, June 5, at the American Museum of Natural History as the hospitality and travel world's elite come together in New York to recognize our industry's most visionary leaders. More than 800 senior leaders in the hospitality and travel industry are expected to attend. The 2012 winners of the Cornell Hospitality Icons of the Industry Award are the Tisch Family. We also celebrate Kathleen "Katie" Taylor, President & CEO, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts as the winner of the 2012 Cornell Hospitality Innovator Award. Eight-time Emmy Award winner, former CNN news anchor and media luminary Paula Zahn will be on hand to emcee. To date, more than 70 corporate sponsors are supporting the I&I Awards. To partner with Cornell on this premier industry event, please contact Rachel Ash, manager, corporate & foundation affairs at or Kathleen Bolton, corporate & foundation affairs associate at

 Industry News

'Sex' and 'romance' inspire Richard Gere's boutique hotel
CNN    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When Hollywood star Richard Gere selected the decor for the Bedford Post — the boutique hotel he co-owns with his wife and actress Carey Lowell — there was one thing above all else that he wanted to embody in the design. "Sex — every choice in here was about sex," joked Gere, as he took CNN on a tour of the eight-bedroom luxury inn.

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Thompson relinquishes management of Donovan House to Kimpton
Hotel Management    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Donovan House in Washington, D.C., is now being managed by Kimpton Hotels, which, with the addition, gives Kimpton eight hotels in or around the nation's capital. Kimpton will only give Donovan House minor renovations to the interior spaces and rooftop bar area. The hotel group, known for its lifestyle boutique hotels popular with the young and hip, has been busy shedding hotels as much as adding them. More

Detox getaways: Check in, zone out
The Street    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
By the onset of spring, most weight-loss resolutions have long since failed. There's still time to attain that summer swimsuit body with the assistance of a destination spa that often comes with resort-like luxury and price tags on par with a seven-day cruise. More

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Spotlight on Milan's green hotel
Hotel News Now    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Milan is known for many things — art, design, decor and most importantly, fashion — but when it comes to hotels, Milan continuously fights for the spotlight against its sister cities of Rome and Venice. So when Starhotels' boutique E.c.ho. opened in September 2011, it brought not only a new energy to the hotel industry in the trendy Italian city, it added a new trend: green. More

 What's Developing

Developer brings boutique hotel to New York's South Bronx
The Real Deal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The developer of the Lucerne and Belvedere boutique hotels in Manhattan is planning a similar lodging project, set to open soon, for a property in the South Bronx. The New York Daily News reported Jay Domb is transforming the old Bronx Opera House in the Hub section of the Bronx, into a $10 million, 61-room boutique hotel called the Bronx Opera House Hotel.

Hemingway Hotels will celebrate author
Hotel News Now    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Hemingway, Ltd., a corporation owned by the estate and family of Ernest Hemingway, announced it has entered into a worldwide license agreement with Hemingway Hotels & Resorts to develop luxury hotels and resorts based upon the life of Ernest Hemingway. The company has had interest from and is targeting developers and existing owners who are building new, or converting existing, hotels in destinations inspired by his work, travels and appetite for life, all representing the best of the Hemingway lifestyle. More

Bouygues to refurbish Paris Ritz
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Bouygues has won a contract to refurbish the Ritz Hotel in Paris for $183 million, as the city's old guard of luxury hotels struggles to maintain standards and win clients under increased competition. The hotel, to close this summer and reopen in 2014, will be completely refitted, Bouygues said, and furnished with a new summer restaurant with a sliding roof, additional suites, an extension of the ballroom and new technology. More

Indian firm eyes purchase of New York's Plaza
Travel Weekly    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
New York's Plaza Hotel may change hands for the second time in eight years, as India-based Sahara India Pariwar is in discussions to buy the century-old property from Israel-based Elad Group for about $600 million, India's Economic Times reported. More

 Industry Insight

Hidden ways hotels court guests faster
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
VideoBriefHotels are amping up their efforts to make a good first impression. The goal: Dazzle guests during the first, crucial 15 minutes of their stay — or at least avoid annoying them. Some hotels train front-desk employees to glean information during check-in chitchat that they can later use to impress guests.

The Hot List: Best new hotels, spas and restaurants of 2012
Conde Nast Traveler    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For Condé Nast Traveler, a good hotel is more than just a blissful temporary roost: It's also a bellwether, an important peek at what you, our readers, are really looking for in your travels, not to mention in the very destinations you're traveling to. This year's Hot List, includes 121 properties in 49 countries, with three countries making their debut: Kuwait, Montenegro and Serbia. Best represented on the list? The United States leads the pack with 12 entrants, followed by the United Kingdom, China and Italy. More

Hotels, recreation centers try to slow pool access regulations
The Associated Press via CBS News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Owners and managers of swimming pools at hotels, city recreation centers and public parks are scrambling to install mechanical chair lifts to comply with new federal requirements that all public pools be accessible to disabled swimmers. Some hotels fear the cost of the equipment or fines for noncompliance could put them out of business. More

JCPenny turnaround is helping luxury brands like Saks
Business Insider    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The luxury market has been steadily making headway in the past few months. In a UBS note, analysts said that premium retailers like Saks have a promising outlook for 2012, as the "expanding economy creates new aspirational customers" and that the "SKS premium positioning protects it from the mid-tier share battle caused by JCP's turnaround strategy." More

Launching a lifestyle brand with Asian flair
Hotels Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When Kerry Hotel Pudong, Shanghai, opened in February 2011, it marked the debut of a completely new brand for Hong Kong-based Shangri-La International Hotel Management. Designed to appeal to travelers who want a relaxed luxury experience without compromising on service or quality, the Kerry brand is looking to be a pioneer in a number of areas. More

 Beyond the Edge

Luxury apps pamper high-end shoppers
CNBC    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Luxury retailers inhabit an elegantly lit world of richly paneled walls, sleek stone floors and plush goods. For them and their upscale customers, digital commerce is a foreign land, full of flashing offers to download a printable coupon. Slowly, however, high-end merchants like Neiman-Marcus and luxury brands like Burberry and Stella McCartney are adapting to the new virtual shopping scene, incorporating mobile apps and iPad link-ups that extend, rather than sully, the plush experience of their stores.

Mercedes-Benz launches furniture collection
High Gear Media via Fox News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Mercedes-Benz is indelibly linked to luxury in the automotive world, but now the brand is hoping that association pays off in a new market. In cooperation with Italian furniture manufacturer Formitalia, Mercedes-Benz is launching a line of designer furniture at the upcoming Milan Furniture Fair. More

Lexus creates 'Genius Bar' of tech specialists
Forbes    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Lexus has long been known as the king of customer service in the auto industry. Last year when supply-constrained Lexus couldn't come through with enough of the right vehicles to hold on to its lead in the U.S. luxury market, the brand and its dealers focused even more on doing right by the customers they already had. Now, Lexus is extending itself even more on behalf of its customers. The Toyota-owned upscale marque is taking a page from Apple and creating its own Genius Bar of sorts. More

Philippe Starck says Apple to debut 'revolutionary' product soon
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If French designer Philippe Starck is to be believed, Apple is getting ready to launch a "revolutionary" product soon. Starck told French newspaper Le Figaro he had teamed up with the company to design the product but declined to give more details. Starck has designed mass-produced consumer goods such as toothbrushes, furniture and houses. He created a line of products for Target and has also worked as an interior designer on projects including Hollywood restaurant Katsuya. More

Titanium $329,000 phone seeks watch-loving deep pockets
Bloomberg    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Thomas Pruvot's frequent requests for the time while his mobile phone was switched off on a long- haul flight to Hong Kong in 2005 led the then 25-year-old Frenchman on a quest for the ultimate accessory. Together with a childhood friend, Pruvot envisioned a luxury phone that would fuse modern technology with centuries-old Swiss timekeeping. The resulting startup developed a limited-edition titanium and sapphire crystal handset featuring a complicated mechanical watch that retails for $329,000. More

Starwood, Bentley announce partnership
Elite Traveler (press release)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Bentley Motors is entering a global partnership with St. Regis and The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts, part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. The partnership underpins the heritage and world-class excellence of both brands, creating signature experiences for guests, residents and customers with driving programs, special events, brand initiatives and house fleets at flagship hotels around the world. More

Private pop-up members-only club, apartment during London Olympics
Haute Living    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
To escape the chaos expected to ensue at London's 2012 Olympics, a developer has created a private pop-up members club and live music space called "The Fringe." Inside a Victorian warehouse, "The Fringe" is 300 feet away from the Olympic Stadium. "The Fringe" pop-up private club will feature a courtyard space able to fit 1,000 people in addition to two more levels for food and entertainment. More

 An Eye on the Big Brands

Hilton creates yoga, cardio room types
Hotels Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Hilton McLean Tysons Corner, Va., has created two new room types that cater to fitness enthusiasts — a Yoga Room and a Cardio Room. Each room is equipped with a king bed and all the resources necessary to workout. A Hilton spokesperson said the rooms will be priced at a $30 rate premium.

Hotel Indigo opens Edinburgh property
Business Traveller    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Intercontinental Hotels Group has opened its second Hotel Indigo property in Scotland, a 60-room hotel housed within a listed 18th century building in Edinburgh's city center. Five residential properties have been combined to create the hotel, with original features retained including decorative stairwells and cupolas. More

Maui's Grand Wailea hotel to get $250 million expansion
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Maui's luxurious Grand Wailea resort — part of Hilton's Waldorf Astoria brand — is officially moving forward with a $250 million renovation and expansion. The Maui News reported that the Maui Planning Commission granted the resort approvals to proceed with its project. More

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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