DiCaprio developing eco-resort in Belize
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio plans to build an eco-luxury resort on his private Belize island, Blackadore Caye, in partnership with wellness architecture and design firm Delos. The 68-villa resort is slated to open in 2018 with a Deepak Chopra Center for Renewal and Anti-Aging and designed to produce as much energy and water as it uses; 48 estate homes will start at $5 million.
New Regent ship will offer Miami cruises
Regent Seven Seas Cruises' Explorer, which enters service in 2016, will sail two roundtrip cruises from Miami after spending its inaugural season in Europe. After a transatlantic repositioning, the Seven Seas Explorer will offer a 14-day cruise departing Miami Dec. 4 and a 10-day cruise departing Dec. 18 before doing a New Year's Panama Canal cruise to Los Angeles.
Pandaw to offer first China cruises in 2016
Pandaw River Expeditions will operate its first China sailings in 2016. The 20-passenger Laos Pandaw will sail from Thailand through Myanmar and Laos and into China on seven-day itineraries, beginning Feb. 29. Cruise-only prices start at $3,150 per person, double, for bookings made by April 30.
Norwegian Star cruise canceled for repairs
Norwegian Cruise Line canceled an April 12 Panama Canal cruise from Los Angeles due to problems with the ship's ABB-manufactured Azipod propulsion. Norwegian said the ship would undergo repairs from April 21 to 26. The Star emerged in late March from a scheduled drydock in which it received a variety of upgrades.
Hotels.com: Searches high in pot-legal states
Hotel-room searches soared in U.S. states where marijuana possession for recreational use is legal or will soon be legal. Hotels.com said searches jumped 61% in Washington and 51% in Colorado after those states legalized marijuana possession. In Oregon, where marijuana possession becomes legal in July, room searches jumped 25%, with searches for Portland up 64%.
First Hilton opens in Rio de Janeiro
The 298-room Hilton Barra opened in Rio de Janeiro, the brand's first hotel in that city. The property is close to Olympic Park, beaches and entertainment and shopping areas. Facilities include the rooftop Champagne House bar and outdoor pool, and there are energy-efficient sensors in each guestroom.
AA-US Airways move closer to integration
American Airlines and US Airways received a single operating certificate from the FAA on April 8, a milestone in their December 2013 merger. It follows the unification of the airlines' loyalty programs at the end of March. Most flight operations, maintenance and dispatch procedures will be identical for all flights. The airlines expect to move to a single reservation system in the fourth quarter.
St. Regis opens its first Istanbul hotel
Istanbul's first St. Regis hotel opened last week. All 118 guestrooms offer views of the Bosphorus Strait. The luxury hotel is located in the city's Nisantasi district next to Macka Park and has the first overseas restaurant under celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck's Spago brand. The hotel also offers a Bentley Suite; its design is inspired by the luxury car brand.
Friends & Colleagues
The Family Coppola Resorts named Myriam Kournaf the new managing director of its luxury hotel group. Kournaf brings with her more than 15 years of experience in the luxury hotel industry; most recently, she has managed the Montalembert Hotel in Paris for the past nine years. She has also served as general manager of the Beau Rivage hotel in Nice, France, and prior to that was with Le Meridien (Starwood), first as director of sales and marketing and later as director of operations. She began her career at the Four Seasons in Atlanta. • • • One&Only Resorts/Kerzner International Holdings appointed Rose Genovese vice president of sales for the Americas. Genovese most recently worked with Langham Hospitality Group as regional vice president of sales and marketing for North America. She previously held leadership roles with leading brands such as Hyatt Hotels, Le Meridien Hotels and Resorts, Club Quarters, Regent International Hotels and the Denihan Hospitality Group. • • • The Los Cabos Tourism Board appointed Luis Palacios Larranaga commercial director, overseeing all international and domestic promotion. Before joining the board, he served as executive director of the Baja California Sur Tourism Board. • • • Rosewood Hotels & Resorts named Shaun Treacy senior vice president of operations for the Americas and Europe and Richard Lehn as vice president of finance for the Americas and Europe. Treacy most recently was senior vice president of product and brand design for Hyatt. Prior to Rosewood, Lehn was with Starwood Hotels and Resorts as director of finances for the southern U.S. and the Caribbean. • • • InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) promoted Jorge Apaez to COO of the hotelier's Mexico, Latin America and Caribbean region. Apaez has been with IHG since 1995 and most recently was senior vice president for its Western U.S. and Mexico hotels. He will oversee 220 hotels throughout 21 countries.