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Ritz-Carlton to Close Lake Las Vegas

Reuters |  The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co will close its five-diamond property in Las Vegas this May, after the hotel struggled with a slide in demand and revenue.

"It's nothing the hotel did. It's a simple lack of business and a decline in the tourism industry," said Ritz-Carlton spokeswoman Vivian Deuschl.

The owners of the 348-room property, Village Hospitality LLC, an arm of Deutsche Bank, will stop funding the Ritz-Carlton Lake Las Vegas day-to-day operations on May 2.

"That was the owner's decision and we reluctantly agreed to go along with it," Deuschl said.

Luxury properties have been hit hard in the past year and a half. Corporate travel and business from associations accounts for the bulk revenue of these hotels, but companies and groups have cut back on travel spending in the past year.

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Finally, Some Good News on Wall Street

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Think for a second: When’s the last time you heard any welcome news—news really worth celebrating—out of New York City’s Financial District? (Here’s a hint: it was likely back in the days when Lehman Brothers was considered a bastion of solvency.)

Once the epicenter of Manhattan’s high-rolling, fat-cat corporate culture, Wall Street has lately been in serious need of a boost. That’s why the opening of the Andaz Wall Street hotel earlier this month couldn’t have been better timed; finally, in their hour of need, both weary business visitors and beleaguered hometown financiers were granted a new sanctuary.

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NYC’s Magnolia Bakery Opens in Dubai

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Move over Carrie Bradshaw, Sheikh Mohammed wants a Red Velvet cupcake, too. Today, New York City’s beloved (and occasionally maligned) Magnolia Bakery opened in the UAE at the Bloomingdale’s in the The Dubai Mall—a big move since its only three other locations (for now) are in Manhattan.

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Hyatt Debuts Two New U.S. Properties

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The Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa opened today off of Florida's West Coast, outside of Tampa. The West Indies-inspired beachside resort features 250 suites with full kitchens. Clearwater guests will also be able to enjoy themselves at an eco-friendly spa, a 24-hour gym, and an eighth floor pool deck with 20 air-conditioned poolside cabanas, in addition to a pool and hot tub on the 16th floor Sky Terrace.

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Great Views (and Prices) at NYC's Newest Hotel—The Strand

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When you’re the new kid on the hotel block, how do you make yourself stand out? If you’re the Strand (33 W. 37th St.), the new Manhattan luxury property that debuted in Midtown this month, you combine hard-to-beat views with old-world glamour.

200912-b-strand-lobbyjpgI recently stopped by the 177-room Art Deco–inspired hotel, and while a lot of the highlights are in the process of being rolled out over the coming months—spacious 19th- and 20th-floor Premier Empire rooms with balconies and knockout views; an outpost of Miami’s popular Fish Called Avalon restaurant—one feature that’s already up and running is the Top of the Strand, a rooftop bar on the 21st floor showcasing New York in all its glittery glory. The bar’s retractable glass roof was closed during my visit, but when it’s pulled back on warm summer evenings, it’ll seem like you can reach out and graze the Empire State Building with your fingertips.

Rooms start at $268 and include a full European style breakfast, along with great details like Egyptian cotton sheets, quirky asymmetrical lounge chairs, Fragonard bath products, and super-soft bathrobes.

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Europe's New Must-See Museum Galleries

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Three museums in European capitals—London, Madrid, Berlin—opened spectacular new galleries this fall/winter. The collections are unrivaled—some of them on view for the first time—and their exhibition design provides visitors with novel perspectives and insights that beg a lingering afternoon.

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Going Overboard: A "Titanic" Museum?

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Planning a roadtrip to Dollywood next year? While you're in the kitschy wonderland of Pigeon Forge in eastern Tennessee, be sure to add the brand-new Titanic Museum to your must-see list. The three-deck replica of the ill-fated ship will guarantee an educational (albeit ridiculous) experience in addition to riding the roller-coasters at the buxom blonde's theme park.

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Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe Opens Today!

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After five years in the making, the Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe finally opened its doors to the public today. (Lucky first guests/skiers at the 170-room property were treated to a fresh snowfall.)

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Why Go Now: Buenos Aires Celebrates 200 Years

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2010 is shaping up to be a great year for Americans to travel to the Argentine capital, which celebrates its bicentennial next year with a wave of new hotels, a grand theater reopening, and one of the best exchange rates of the decade.

HOTELS

Spain-based NH Hoteles is celebrating its 10th anniversary in the country by inaugurating not one but two new Buenos Aires properties: the nominally green, 116-room NH Tango (whose décor, appropriately enough, is themed after that quintessentially Argentine dance); and the sleek, 176-suite NH 9 de Julio, so named for its position on the mammoth 10-lane boulevard traversing the city. Both hotels are located downtown, near such tourist attractions as the Obelisque and the Teatro Colon. Another addition to the city: the luxury 91-room Blue Tree Buenos Aires Ker, in tony Recoleta.

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Miami’s Sexiest New Chillout Spot


Yes, Philippe Starck may be one of the most overexposed hotel designers in the world. But just when you think, “If I’ve seen one room by Philippe Starck, I’ve seen them all,” you step into a space like the Spa at Icon Brickell.

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Something about Starck’s designs just seems to make sense in Miami. And this glamorous new spa, the flagship for Viceroy Resorts, is particularly successful, with water as its central theme.

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