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March Madness® Inspires Travel Experiences

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Marriott International is gearing up for game day in its third year as the Official Hotel Partner across all 90 NCAA® championships. The is a multi-year partnership with Marriott International, NCAA, Turner Sports and CBS Sports. As Spring signals the start of March Madness®, fans will prepare to travel to this year’s Men’s Final Four® championship in Minneapolis from April 6-8 and the Women’s Final Four® championship in Tampa from April 5-7. Across the country, Marriott International hotels will welcome students, alumni, families and fans as they cheer on their favorite teams throughout the tournament.

Marriott International offers loyalty members elevated sports, food, music and entertainment experiences through Marriott Bonvoy Moments. Members have the opportunity to use their points to bid on exclusive Moments at the Men’s and Women’s Final Four® games, including the Ultimate Men’s Final Four Weekend Experience in Minneapolis and the Ultimate Women’s Final Four Weekend Experience in Tampa.  One package is available for each Men’s Final Four and Women’s Final Four including tickets, VIP access and overnight accommodations.

“We are passionate about the spirit of community and comradery felt by so many when traditional boundaries are broken through sports. This resonates with our hotels, as we too place a strong focus on serving all guests around the world,” said Steve Heitzner, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Marriott International, Americas. “March Madness® and NCAA® represent more than a collegiate competition and we feel honored to be the meeting place for so many fans, students, alumni and athletes to continue the celebration after that final buzzer rings.”

“This is always one of the most exciting months for our collegiate athletes and their fans who travel near and far to watch our NCAA tournament games,” said Ellen Lucey, NCAA director of championships and alliances. “We are excited to have Marriott International as our corporate partner as Marriott supports our student-athletes and their achievements. The synergies between our brands are strong, which allow us to create memorable experiences for our colleges and universities and our fans.”

As fans travel from Louisville, Washington, DC, Anaheim and Kansas City to Minneapolis, Marriott International hotels look forward to being the home base for the many emotional moments experienced during March Madness®. In addition to the games, here are a few reasons why hosting cities are some of the top places to visit this Spring.

Louisville, KY isn’t just home of the Kentucky Derby’s Churchill Downs, but it also has an incredible art scene, booming with charming local shops. Those who stay at the Aloft Louisville Downtown, a modern hotel with retro-inspired interiors, can explore the best of the city. Those musically inclined can stroll down to Fourth Street Live! and enjoy live music by new and seasoned artists.

Anaheim, CA appeals to travelers of all ages and those planning to visit Disneyland® Resort and beyond. Anaheim Marriott is located in the city’s resort district offering the perfect location to explore. Guests can also head to the beach to try surfing or sailing and enjoy that California sunshine.

Washington, DC welcomes visitors to explore its many vibrant neighborhoods.  Experience the District through the eyes of a local and go beyond the traditional sites on The National Mall. The luxurious JW Marriott Washington, DC on the famed Pennsylvania Avenue is located near the Capital One Arena, making it a prime home base for gameday travelers.

Kansas City, MO is a hotspot for some of the best barbecue, has a prominent jazz heritage, and fountains galore – there are more than 200 fountains throughout the city. Between the Sweet Sixteen® and Elite Eight® games, fans can hunt down as many fountains as they can or hit up some barbecue hotspots including the famed Joe’s Kansas City Barbecue, born out of a gas station. Sports fans can rest their heads after the big game at The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center.

Tampa, FL is hosting the Women’s Final Four® games, and is a city to watch over the next couple of years. The city boasts many new areas to explore like Sparkman Wharf which uses shipping containers for shops and restaurants, the new Tampa Riverwalk, a 2 mile stretch – brought more to life within the last year, including Armature Works, an upscale European food hall, as well as Water Street which is close to the championship games. Part of the National Register of Historic Places, the century-old Historic Federal Courthouse has been transformed into Le Méridien Tampa in the arts and entertainment district of downtown.

Minneapolis, MN is not only an unexpected foodie haven but it is also the host of the Men’s Final Four® championship. This year, in partnership with Marriott International, Buick will bring its fan favorite “Grab A Buick” fleet of vehicles to the Twin Cities in record numbers, providing fans free transportation during the Final Four® Festivities. The “Grab A Buick”  will shuttle fans around and allow them to experience the new Buick lineup while exploring all that the Twin Cities has to offer. “Grab A Buick” hubs will be set up at more than 10 Marriott International hotels, the Mall of America and local hot spots around the city to enhance the fan experience. Travelers can check the Final Four App for additional details. After the excitement of the Final Four® games, sports fans can rest easy at the W Minneapolis – The Foshay, which merges Art Deco decadence with modern urban chic and take in 360-degree views of the city from the 30th floor observation deck.

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Andaz Brand Debuts in Dubai With the Opening of Andaz Dubai The Palm

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Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced today the official opening of Andaz Dubai The Palm. Joining Andaz hotels in top destinations around the world, such as Amsterdam, London, New York, Tokyo, Seoul and Shanghai, the latest addition marks the first Andaz-branded hotel in Dubai and the second in the United Arab Emirates, following the opening of Andaz Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi in 2018.

Andaz, Hyatt’s luxury lifestyle brand, is rooted in local culture, immersing guests in elevated sensory experiences that celebrate the uniqueness of each property and its surroundings. Located in the heart of Palm Jumeirah, the hotel rests on the world’s most iconic man-made island and offers travelers inspiring local programming, reflecting Dubai’s rich culture and heritage. Andaz Dubai The Palm gives guests access to a private beach, as well as to several of Dubai’s attractions, including the Nakheel Mall, Dubai Mall, Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Beach and Mall of the Emirates.

“The bustling Palm Jumeirah island serves as the ideal location for guests to immerse themselves in the sights and sounds of Dubai,” said Kifah Bin Hussein, general manager, Andaz Dubai The Palm. “The hotel is created for the inquisitive traveler. Set in a vicinity known for luxury and exclusivity, Andaz Dubai The Palm reflects the city’s eclectic style, showcased through local artist exhibitions and unique culinary offerings.”

Concept & Design

Andaz Dubai The Palm is home to local art, embellished on the walls of the hotel in pop-up style exhibitions. The property breaks the mold with its unscripted check-in and check-out experience, without the barriers of a front desk or a queue. The journey of modern refinement commences from the moment guests arrive and transcends into every service offered. 

Rooms & Suites

Encompassing 217 guestrooms, including 34 suites, and 116 residences, the property incorporates the sights, scents and textures of Dubai into every aspect of the room design. The ideal space to relax, unwind and entertain, the guestrooms are inspired by the Emirati culture with bespoke artwork and luxury amenities.

The hotel features 31 Andaz Suites, one Terrace Suite, one Prince Suite and one Royal Suite, each made with modern, minimalistic interiors and fitted with premium amenities, including separate living and dining areas, a terrace, a rain shower and a deep soaking tub.

Dining & Drinking

Home to five distinct dining venues that offer an abundance of local flavors and sensory experiences, Andaz Dubai The Palm creates a vibrant social scene through a medley of global and traditional Middle Eastern influences.

The Locale, a neighborhood eatery on the hotel’s ground floor featuring an alfresco terrace, combines culinary stories from around the city and weaves a blanket of flavors that only Dubai has to offer. The restaurant is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The sleek and stylish Hanami is a contemporary take on Japanese Izakaya, inspired by cherry blossom-gazing parties popular in Japan during Sakura season. Artfully crafted cocktails and sharing plates can be enjoyed against a backdrop of inspiring music and unobstructed skyline views from the 15th floor.

For the discerning guest, Knox is an underground speakeasy bar that challenges the status quo with a heady mix of contemporary mixology in an industrial-esque space with vintage rugs and vibrant furniture.

Expected to open in the second half of 2020 and taking its name from the friendly Macaw parrot, La Coco is a neighborhood beach club and lounge that offers casual bites and drinks poolside, so guests can enjoy a leisurely day, be it families on a fun day out or couples enjoying a sunset moment.

Guests can seek solace at The Andaz Lounge, the ‘anti-office’ that evokes the coziest of dens with plush seating, large tables, a library of books and a full-service bar. Decked in loud colors and featuring striking art pieces, the space stimulates engaging conversations over coffee or cocktails.

Wellness

Nestled on the 14th floor is the hotel’s spa, Ora, a tranquil haven of relaxation with a carefully curated menu of facial and body treatments. On the same floor, guests will discover the adults-only Cabana pool area and state-of-the-art fitness center that completes the wellness experience.

Events

Offering approximately 6,350 square feet (590 square meters) of fluid, eclectic studio spaces, Andaz Dubai The Palm is a vibrant setting for both stylish social and corporate events.

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The Luxury Collection Unveils Debut Property in the Seychelles

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Honeymoon Beach on North Island, a Luxury Collection Resort, Seychelles

The Luxury Collection today announced the arrival of North Island, Seychelles into their portfolio of world-renowned hotels and resorts. With just 11 villas, Africa’s most exclusive private island is located 30 kilometres from the mainland and is accessible by a scenic helicopter flight or an hour boat ride, giving guests an immediate sense of escapism.

Following its history as a coconut plantation, the granitic island is now a sanctuary for endangered species; luminous beaches and clear blue seas welcome nesting sea turtles, and the Palm forests are home to giant Aldabra tortoises and rare Seychelles white-eye birds. The island has been expertly designed and with pioneering conservation programs, offers the highest standards of hospitality, earning them status as an award-winning sustainable travel destination. With a mission to demonstrate that luxury with a conscience can co-exist, sustainability lies at the heart of North Island’s philosophy and will be further embraced and supported with The Luxury Collection. The operational responsibility of the resort will remain with ASMALLWORLD, the world’s leading travel & lifestyle community.

North Island has always skilfully combined a sustainable and environmentally conscious management philosophy with the ambition to provide a truly immersive, barefoot-luxury experience. Whilst maintaining our identity and ethos, our work with The Luxury Collection will allow us to maximise our awareness in our continued efforts in pioneering sustainable luxury travel.” – Jan Luescher, CEO of ASMALLWORLD

Eleven private guest and family villas line the island; each villa has been created using local materials harvested during the island’s rehabilitation process, expertly balancing luxury and simplicity. An haute-couture Robinson Crusoe aesthetic has been applied through interiors celebrating the sheer indulgence of volume and space.

North Island is one of the most rare and luxurious destinations in the world, making it a natural fit for The Luxury Collection and our global explorers who seek authentic experiences and connections to both pristine nature and elevated personalization,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, The Luxury Collection. “This is the first private island within The Luxury Collection portfolio, and we’re delighted to be expanding our footprint of captivating destinations with storied pasts and protected futures.”

The island not only offers a calming refuge from the modern world, but also an invigorating, refreshing getaway connected to the island’s natural beauty. Aquatic explorers can take part in snorkeling, diving, fishing, sunset cruises, kayaking, paddle boarding and surfing. Bespoke guided excursions for those looking to explore the granite peaks or coral reefs are also available. Whilst on land, forest trails can be explored by foot, bicycle or private buggy, or guests can simply relax on one of the island’s four pristine beaches located at each end of the compass. The island is also the ultimate playground for families and children, with a Beach Buddy program tailormade to interests and hobbies. Parents are invited to take part, or can find their own relaxation whilst children remain supervised.

As part of a new culinary concept, Michelin-Star Chef Akira Back, brings his fine dining concept to the Piazza at North Island. The various dining venues lend themselves to a range of outstanding epicurean experiences with menus changing daily according to the latest island harvest. The Piazza is situated on the ocean front and offers candlelit, private dining utilizing the freshest ingredients from both land and sea. The more relaxed Sunset Beach Bar offers tapas and cocktails during sunset. In-villa dining centers on a comfort food menu featuring local Creole curries or classic dishes, complemented by a generously stocked villa pantry.

The North Island Spa is dwarfed by giant granite peaks, enjoys an open sea breeze and overlooks turquoise waters. Guests are invited to the spa on arrival where they are immediately immersed in ‘island life’ with each tailor-made treatment starting with a ‘barefoot ritual’. A private consultation to create a bespoke spa experience is then formulated as part of a holistic journey of visual and textural contrasts, arousing the senses and rejuvenating mind, body and soul.

With2020 rates from US$6000 per night, North Island offers an inimitable experience that seeks to offer a contrasted way of life; rough and smooth, old and new, wet and dry, casual and refined, where footprints are the only evidence on the island’s vast, untouched beaches.

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The Park Hyatt Brand Celebrates the Debut of Park Hyatt Doha

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Hyatt Hotels Corporation today announced the opening of Park Hyatt Doha in Qatar. The hotel occupies a prime location within the heart of Doha’s new commercial and residential downtown district, Msheireb, and integrates the best elements of Doha’s  heritage with refined accommodations that provide a luxurious oasis amidst the pulsating capital.

“We are delighted to bring the Park Hyatt brand to the culturally and creatively rich city of Doha,” said Kurt Straub, Hyatt’s vice president of operations for the Middle East, Africa, and South West Asia. “The Park Hyatt brand is dedicated to creating exceptional and memorable experiences, and we are thrilled to welcome guests from around the world to this very unique location. The introduction of Park Hyatt Doha in Qatar strengthens Hyatt’s vision of being the preferred brand for global travelers and enhances the brand footprint of Hyatt’s luxury portfolio in the Middle East.”

Located in Msheireb Downtown Doha, the hotel is less than 10 miles (16 km) from Hamad International Airport, and a stone’s throw away from a Light Rail stop that runs through the development, as well as a short walk from the city’s points of interest, including the Museum of Islamic Art and the National Museum of Qatar, Souk Waqif.

“We are thrilled to be part of the Msheireb development, Doha’s first sustainable regeneration project,” said Stefan Gaessler, the hotel’s general manager. “Sustainability runs throughout the design of the project and all its buildings to reduce the project’s carbon footprint and generate less waste, aligning with Hyatt’s sustainability efforts to use resources thoughtfully, build smart, and innovate and inspire for a more sustainable future.”

Guestrooms

The hotel features 187 elegant guest rooms, including 28 Park Suites, three Park Executive Suites, one Diplomat Suite, and one Presidential Suite. All rooms artfully combine a residential quality and understated luxury with the mystique of Qatari-inspired details; featuring floor to ceiling windows, luxury window seats, and a designer marble bathroom with deep soaking tub, rain shower and double vanity sink. The Presidential Suite, an extraordinary 4,305-square-foot (400-square-meter) two-bedroom space, and the Diplomat Suite, a capacious 2,690-square-foot (250-square-meter) one-bedroom space, both offer guests a private terrace with magnificent views over the Doha Corniche.

Dining

Home to rare and immersive culinary experiences, Park Hyatt Doha offers a world-class culinary journey. Sora, a stylish Japanese restaurant and lounge, offers magical views of Doha’s skyline and boasts an ultra-modern space where guests can share small plates and enjoy the distinctive art of Robata. In Japanese cuisine, Robata refers to a method of cooking, similar to barbecue in which food items are cooked at varying speeds over hot charcoal.

The open-kitchen concept of Opus offers the freshest in local ingredients and a mix of Qatari and French cuisines with menus curated by Qatari celebrity chef, Shams Al Qassabi, and Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme’s Michelin-starred chef, Jean-François Rouquette.

With meals that please the eye and the soul, Anis is an all-day eatery serving as a social hub for health-conscious locals, passers-by and in-house guests to enjoy healthy to-go options, a variety of coffee, fresh juices and smoothies. 

Events

A premier location to host inspiring and sophisticated corporate and social events, Park Hyatt Doha boasts a range of elegantly presented spaces, from a 376-square-foot (35-square-meter) intimate study lounge to a luxurious 3,196-square-foot (297-square-meter) pillarless ballroom.

For wedding celebrations, the hotel’s in-house events manager offers expert consultation to make guests’ dream weddings come true with meticulous attention to detail. Event and meeting spaces include a private entrance where guests are welcomed into a luxurious and intimate, apartment-style reception. Menus are also curated to satisfy every taste with the eloquent matching of culinary delights and the finest of drinks.

Wellness

Park Hyatt Doha’s luxurious spa covers two floors, with one floor dedicated to women and another for men. Here, guests are greeted to a tranquil space, thoughtfully curated mood-inducing treatments, and a luxurious wet area featuring mood showers, a whirlpool, sauna, a steam room and an ice room. The spa also offers a post-treatment virtual reality headset which will leave guests with a carefully designed experience to complete their wellness journey. 

The fitness center provides separate facilities for ladies and gentlemen with ample space and panoramic views over the Doha Corniche, coupled with the latest in weight training and cardiovascular equipment.

The year-round, semi-covered pool offers magical views over the city from the sixth floor, and is perfect for both business and leisure guests to catch up on work or unwind with a book, while enjoying hand-crafted healthy beverages.

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