Inside the Latest in Wellness, Boutique Hotels

Prestige Rooms are among the 42 accommodations at the new Hôtel Barrière Les Neiges in France’s Trois Vallées ski area.

Some of the industry’s top hotel companies are making bold moves while a new collection makes inroads into the boutique market. Here are some details on these developments.

Hyatt Acquires Miraval Group In Wellness Push

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has acquired wellness travel provider Miraval Group, from an affiliate of KSL Capital Partners, LLC. Along with landing the flagship Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa in Tucson, AZ, Hyatt will continue Miraval’s plans to redevelop the recently acquired 220-acre Travaasa Resort in Austin, TX, and pursue the addition and redevelopment of the 380-acre Cranwell Spa & Golf Resort in Lenox, MA.

The transaction also includes the procurement of the Miraval Life in Balance Spa brand, which opened its first location in Dana Point, CA, last year. The acquisition includes an initial investment of $215 million for the Miraval brand and the resorts in Tucson and Austin.

Miraval will form a distinct new wellness category within the Hyatt portfolio of brands. Steven Rudnitsky, president and chief executive officer of Miraval Group, will continue to drive the brand’s growth strategy, reporting to Mark Hoplamazian and working with the existing Miraval leadership team and associates.

These moves continue Hyatt’s holistic health and wellness strategy. For example, since 2014, Hyatt chefs have been highlighting “Food. Thoughtfully Sourced, Carefully Served,” a program with menus created with an eye on sustainable health.

RockStar Debuts With 40 Boutique Properties

Robert Santucci, a hospitality veteran of brands including Marriott and Starwood, has launched the new RockStar Hotels collection of boutique hotels. It already has 40 properties and nearly 3,000 rooms in seven European countries: Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa has 118 casita-style luxury units.

RockStar describes its hotels as having “soul, style and interesting backstories” that will appeal to travelers who want to feel a part of local culture (think Millennials). RockStar uses a team of seasoned hoteliers and world travelers to identify properties across the world that meet the company’s standards in service, décor and amenities. To ensure a quality selection, RockStar executives revisit the hotels within the portfolio every 90 days.

The collection also provides a variety of special perks available to guests at no additional cost. These include free upgrades, early check-in and late checkouts, and a number of complimentary amenities. There are also plans in the works to offer other benefits to those who book through RockStar Hotels.

Golf Resort in China Is First for Ritz-Carlton

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company just opened its first golf resort in China, The Ritz-Carlton, Haikou, on Hainan Island. Set within the 350-acre Blackstone Course that weaves its way around the Mission Hills Golf Club, the new luxury resort has 175 rooms, 16 suites and a rooftop bar and patio, dubbed Flair Bar, that serves cocktails with local fruits such as lychee.

Guests can also check out the Tin Lung Heen Cantonese fine dining restaurant or the Terra, which serves a variety of cuisines from a rotating chef lineup. There is also a spa, indoor and outdoor event spaces, and a special Golfer’s Yoga on the lawn.

Hôtel Barrière Les Neiges Opens in Courchevel

The Barrière group has opened its first mountain hotel, the Hôtel Barrière Les Neiges, in the Courchevel 1850 resort in France’s Trois Vallées ski area. Set on the Bellecôte slopes, Les Neiges has 42 guestrooms and suites, as well as a Ski Room, Petit VIP kids’ club and two restaurants, including a Fouquet’s brasserie. Other onsite amenities include a spa, pool, outdoor Jacuzzi and a private projection room, as well as views of the surrounding mountains. Outside, guests can enjoy the slopes of Les Trois Vallées, the largest ski area in the world.

The interior design by Nathalie Ryan aims for a traditional chalet with a contemporary twist, incorporating wood, stone and fabrics such as cashmere, velvet and fur.

Budapest to Get a W Hotel

The W Hotels brand has signed a deal to move into Hungary. The W Budapest will be housed in the Drechsler Palace on Andrassy Avenue, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Palace will be fully renovated before the hotel opens, when it will have 162 guestrooms and suites, a restaurant and destination bar, the brand’s W Living Room lobby, a spa, fitness center and pool.

Italy’s Armani Hotel Milano is one of 40 properties in the RockStar Hotels collection.

After Cayman Debut, Kimpton Eyes Grenada

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants has announced its second property in the Caribbean with the new Kimpton Kawana Bay Grenada Resort, slated to open in early 2019. The resort will be set between tropical rainforest cliffs and Grand Anse Beach, providing access to the southeastern Caribbean Sea and surrounding mountains. Kimpton’s first Caribbean hotel, the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, opened on Grand Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach in November.

St. Barth Properties Adds Two Luxury Villas

Villa Aqua and Villa Bleu — a “matching pair” of six-bedroom villas — are the latest additions to St. Barth Properties’ expanding luxury portfolio. Per-week rates for Villa Aqua and Villa Bleu start at $32,070 during value season and $40,070 in high season. Guests at these villas also enjoy access and signing privileges at Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa during their stay.

Villa Aqua and Villa Bleu both have views of the sea. Open floor plans include a living room and dining area that open via a bank of French doors onto the pool deck and outdoor living space. Their kitchens are equipped with modern appliances and include a pantry and food prep area.

Their six en suite bedrooms comprise four with French king beds on the beachfront level and two upper-level master suites with king beds and a
living area; each one opens onto a furnished balcony.

Both properties are in walking distance to two casual restaurants, the bars and dining venues of three five-star hotels (with access and signing privileges at Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa) and on-location water sports rentals.

Wyndham to Begin Building New Resort on Nevis

Northern Pointe Resort, a new 30-acre luxury real estate development being built along Long Haul Bay in Nevis, will be the home of a new resort from the Wyndham Hotel Group. Phase one of the planned $160 million project is expected to begin by mid-2017 and when completed in 2019, it will have 170 suites, condominiums and villas ranging from 900 to 5,100 square feet, plus a private beach club, five dining areas, infinity pools and a spa.