Category: hotel

Hotel Millwright revitalizing the ‘lifeblood’ of Iowa’s Amana Colonies

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Jeff Popenhagen wants those who come to the Amana Colonies to stay longer, and he’s pretty confident Hotel Millwright is exactly the way to do it.

“We used a preservation strategy many historic (facilities) have used,” explained Popenhagen, the Amana Society’s director of marketing, during a press event Wednesday. “When a function of a building becomes less optimal, we look for a way to find a business that can come in and bring the building back to life.”

Although the hotel has been operating since early in the month (and the textile mill more than 100 years before that), the facility celebrated its grand opening Oct. 21, the fruition of a conversion years in the planning.

Below an event space mill workers operate machines during the grand opening at Hotel Millwright, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, in Amana, Iowa. (Photo: Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen)

Remodeling a mill

“The history of weaving in the Amana Colonies goes all the way back to Germany,” said David Retting, the executive director of the Amana Visitors Bureau.

The Community of True Inspiration, the religious group that founded the Amana Colonies, first arrived in New York state while fleeing religious persecution. After a time in Buffalo, they moved further west, bringing the tradition of wool weaving with them and building what is now the Hotel Millwright as a textile mill in 1855.

Although the edifice has been largely repurposed, its original intent has not been lost.

On Wednesday, while dozens celebrated the hotel’s opening on the second floor of Amana’s historic weaving building — a 7,000 square foot event center called The Merino Loft — textile workers were still using the first and third floors of the building.

“There’s a lot of synergy between the hotel and the mill,” said hotel general manager Nicole Warner.

Although the need for what was once 13 buildings has diminished over the years for a variety of reasons, new blankets, bags and other materials are still being made. It’s in those portions of the building still dedicated to weaving that bed scarves and other accent pieces for the hotel are made.

Those walking the halls of the hotel will see a variety of equipment from its past life. Things such as fans, drills and other industrial-era machinery furnish the space, displaying its history. Historic photos — both inside and outside the guest rooms — indicate what function that part of the building served in bygone days.

The lobby, for example, used to be a boiler room, and the Electric Thread Social Club is where the physical mill itself met the water.

Although all 65 rooms at the pet-friendly hotel are unique, there are five different types of accommodations. These room options extend from the standard rooms (the Amana King and the Amana Two Queen) 

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Rwanda keeps ‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero Paul Rusesabagina in jail another 30 days

A court in Rwanda has ordered that Paul Rusesabagina, whose story inspired the film Hotel Rwanda, remain in detention for 30 more days to allow prosecutors to gather evidence ahead of his trial on terrorism-related charges.

Rusesabagina faces 13 offences that include financing terrorism, complicity in murder, recruiting child soldiers and forming a rebel group.

The Belgian citizen and US permanent resident denies the charges. He faces a maximum of 25 years in prison if he is convicted.

Paul Rusesabagina, center, whose story inspired the film "Hotel Rwanda", is led out in handcuffs from the Kicukiro Primary Court in the capital Kigali, Rwanda Monday, Sept. 14, 2020
Paul Rusesabagina, center, whose story inspired the film “Hotel Rwanda”, is led out in handcuffs from the Kicukiro Primary Court in the capital Kigali, Rwanda Monday, Sept. 14, 2020 (AP)
A policeman handcuffs Paul Rusesabagina, right, whose story inspired the film "Hotel Rwanda", before leading him out of the Kicukiro Primary Court in the capital Kigali, Rwanda Monday, Sept. 14, 2020
A policeman handcuffs Paul Rusesabagina, right, whose story inspired the film “Hotel Rwanda”, before leading him out of the Kicukiro Primary Court in the capital Kigali, Rwanda Monday, Sept. 14, 2020 (AP)

He has been denied bail pending trial after going missing during a trip to Dubai and then appearing in handcuffs in Rwanda on August 31. The trial date has not been set.

His family has asserted that he was kidnapped, while Rwandan President Paul Kagame has indicated that he was tricked into boarding a plane to the East African nation.

His family and the legal team that seeks to meet and represent him have expressed concern about the 66-year-old’s health.

President Bush awards Paul Rusesabagina, who sheltered people at a hotel he managed during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award in the East Room of the White House, in Washington (Photo: Nov, 2005)
President Bush awards Paul Rusesabagina, who sheltered people at a hotel he managed during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award in the East Room of the White House, in Washington (Photo: Nov, 2005) (AP)

Judge Theodosie Mukarugira ruled that “the fact that he (Rusesabagina) is sick is not alone a ground to release him on bail.”

Rusesabagina’s family and supporters have described the upcoming trial as a sham, calling on Rwanda’s leadership to explain the circumstances under which he was brought to Rwanda. They say he is not able to speak freely.

Paul Rusesabagina, center, whose story inspired the film "Hotel Rwanda", wears a pink prison uniform as he appears for a bail hearing at a court in the capital Kigali, Rwanda Friday, Sept. 25, 2020
Paul Rusesabagina, center, whose story inspired the film “Hotel Rwanda”, wears a pink prison uniform as he appears for a bail hearing at a court in the capital Kigali, Rwanda Friday, Sept. 25, 2020 (AP)

“Rusesabagina is a Belgian citizen who was kidnapped and brought to Rwanda illegally. Before anything else happens in his trial, he should be allowed to talk to his independent lawyers that have been hired for him, not the lawyers the government has enforced on him,” Rusesabagina’s daughter Carine Kanimba told The Associated Press.

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Rwanda keeps ‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero in jail another 30 days

KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — A court in Rwanda has ordered that Paul Rusesabagina, whose story inspired the film “Hotel Rwanda,” remain in detention for 30 more days to allow prosecutors to gather evidence ahead of his trial on terrorism-related charges.

Rusesabagina faces 13 offenses that include financing terrorism, complicity in murder, recruiting child soldiers and forming a rebel group. The Belgian citizen and U.S. permanent resident denies the charges. He faces a maximum of 25 years in prison if he is convicted.

He has been denied bail pending trial after going missing during a trip to Dubai and then appearing in handcuffs in Rwanda on Aug. 31. The trial date has not been set. His family has asserted that he was kidnapped, while Rwandan President Paul Kagame has indicated that he was tricked into boarding a plane to the East African nation.

Judge Theodosie Mukarugira ruled that “the fact that he (Rusesabagina) is sick is not alone a ground to release him on bail.” His family and the legal team that seeks to meet and represent him have expressed concern about the 66-year-old’s health.


Rusesabagina’s family and supporters have described the upcoming trial as a sham, calling on Rwanda’s leadership to explain the circumstances under which he was brought to Rwanda. They say he is not able to speak freely.

“Rusesabagina is a Belgian citizen who was kidnapped and brought to Rwanda illegally. Before anything else happens in his trial, he should be allowed to talk to his independent lawyers that have been hired for him, not the lawyers the government has enforced on him,” Rusesabagina’s daughter Carine Kanimba told The Associated Press.

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New Ski Resorts, Inside The ‘Bachelorette’ Hotel, 2021 Airline Status News And More

Inside the Palm Springs Hotel on ‘The Bachelorette’

Contestants on ABC’s The Bachelorette may be looking for love, but many who watch the reality series have wanderlust on their minds. This season, The Bachelorette is handing out roses at the luxurious La Quinta Resort & Club in Palm Springs, California. The editors of Forbes Travel Guide offer an inside peek at La Quinta, which has 620 casitas, 98 villas, 41 swimming pools, 21 tennis courts, 5 golf courses and plenty of lush gardens.

The Top New Ski Hotels for 2020-21

In a travel year that went downhill fast, there is still plenty of good news—several new ski resorts opened in 2020. Among the best new properties are three hotels in Colorado and one in Montana.

Bucket List Travel: The Top 10 Places in the World

Looking to cross off some destinations from your travel bucket list? Lonely Planet recently published its second Ultimate Travel List, which touts the 500 most thrilling and memorable destinations on earth. Among the top 10 locations are Petra, Jordan (above), Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands, and Lake Bled in Slovenia. Lonely Planet also ranked the top 29 places in the United States, which includes many national parks.

Travel Wise

This week, American Airlines became the first major carrier to announce its 2021 loyalty program requirements. Given the massive reduction in flights and passengers, the mileage and spending limits are considerably lower to achieve elite status tiers.

A Handmade Slipper Collection Inspired by a Legendary New York Hotel

Stubbs & Wootton recently debuted a slipper collaboration with writer and man-about-town Zachary Weiss, inspired by New York’s iconic St. Regis hotel. The new collection celebrates club sandwiches, liquid lunch, and question that may be asked when you purchase a pair—cash or credit?

Passport by ForbesLife chronicles the latest in luxury travel, drinking and dining, fashion—and life’s other indulgences. Click here to sign up for its weekly newsletter.

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Holiday Inn hotel group sees revenue fall as Covid-19 keeps people at home

The owner of the Holiday Inn, InterContinental Hotels Group, suffered a sharp drop in revenue in the third quarter as fresh Covid-19 restrictions kept travellers at home.



the tower of the city: Photograph: Naomi Baker/Getty Images


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Naomi Baker/Getty Images

The company, which also owns the Crowne Plaza, Regent and InterContinental chains, reported a 53.4% fall in revenue per available room (RevPAR) in the third quarter.

Around 3% or 199 of IHG’s hotels were still closed at the end of September. The company operates more than 5,900 hotels in about 100 countries.

While the fall in revenue was smaller than the 75% decrease in the second quarter, it is the latest sign that the travel and hospitality industry is still struggling, as a second wave of coronavirus cases this autumn led to fresh restrictions on travel and gatherings.

“As government-mandated closures and travel restrictions partially eased, leisure-related demand led to the rate of RevPAR decline improving in July and August, before weakening in September,” IHG said in its earnings update.

Video: Zoom Growth Booms With 355% Revenue Gain in Second Quarter (Bloomberg)

Zoom Growth Booms With 355% Revenue Gain in Second Quarter

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Europe was one of the group’s worst-performing regions, with per-room revenue tumbling 72% in the three months to September. That was compared to a 23% drop in China, where occupancy rates have improved to 57% from 32% in the second quarter and less than 10% in February.



the tower of the city: A Holiday Inn in Southampton that was closed in April due to the coronavirus restrictions.


© Photograph: Naomi Baker/Getty Images
A Holiday Inn in Southampton that was closed in April due to the coronavirus restrictions.

IHG and rivals including Premier Inn-owner Whitbread have already been forced to slash costs as a result of lockdown measures imposed earlier this year. IHG is aiming to reduce costs by around $150m by the end of 2020.

However, the chief executive, Keith Barr, reported a slight improvement in overall occupancy levels, which was 44% compared to 25% in the second quarter – thanks in part to domestic travel. “Domestic mainstream travel remains the most resilient, and our industry-leading Holiday Inn brand family positions us well to meet that demand as it slowly returns,” he said.

The company also continued to add new hotels, adding 82 sites and 11,000 rooms to its portfolio. But Barr said he did not expect a quick recovery from the crisis: “A full industry recovery will take time, and uncertainty remains regarding the potential for further improvement in the short term, but we take confidence from the steps taken to protect and support our owners and drive demand back to our hotels as guests feel safe to travel.”

IHG shares were down 2.2% in afternoon trading.

Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said IHG had fared better than many of its rivals, given that it does not own many of its hotels outright, and usually licences brands to hotel owners.

“While it’s offered support to its franchisees through the crisis, not being on the hook for hotel running costs has certainly

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Michigan woman charged in Mackinaw City hotel fire

MACKINAC CITY, MI – A woman turned herself in this week for starting a fire at a Mackinaw City hotel over the summer.



a pair of scissors: Handcuffs used by the alleged fake cops is displayed by investigators during a news conference announcing additional charges and cases for five people charged for impersonating police officers on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 in a conference room at Genesee County Prosecutor's Office in downtown Flint


© Jake May | MLive.com Jake May/mlive.com/TNS
Handcuffs used by the alleged fake cops is displayed by investigators during a news conference announcing additional charges and cases for five people charged for impersonating police officers on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 in a conference room at Genesee County Prosecutor’s Office in downtown Flint

The mid-August fire at Rodeway Inn & Suites was immediately considered suspicious, 9&10 News reports. Firefighters found two rooms in flames with heavy smoke. Everyone was evacuated safely.

Melissa White, of Pinconning, turned herself in on Thursday, Oct. 22. She is charged with two counts of first-degree arson.

READ MORE:

Michigan man convicted of trying to kill wife allowed parole after lengthy court battle

Robbery victim opens fire on fleeing suspects, hitting multiple parked cars, police say

3-year-old shot and killed in Flint

———

©2020 MLive.com, Walker, Mich.

Visit MLive.com, Walker, Mich. at www.mlive.com.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Rwandan court denies “Hotel Rwanda” hero Rusesabagina bail, extends detention

By Clement Uwiringiyimana



a person wearing a pink shirt: Paul Rusesabagina, portrayed as a hero in a Hollywood movie about Rwanda's 1994 genocide, walks inside the courtroom in Kigali


© Reuters/CLEMENT UWIRINGIYIMANA
Paul Rusesabagina, portrayed as a hero in a Hollywood movie about Rwanda’s 1994 genocide, walks inside the courtroom in Kigali

KIGALI (Reuters) – A Rwandan court extended the detention of “Hotel Rwanda” hero Paul Rusesabagina on Friday pending trial on terrorism charges and denied him bail, the judge hearing the case said.

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Rusesabagina, a political dissident who has lived in exile in Belgium and the United States, was arrested in August after returning to the country and subsequently charged with terrorism and other offences.

“The fact that he is sick is not alone a ground to release him on bail,” Theodosie Mukarugira said in a ruling via Skype.

She said the detention would be extended by 30 days starting from Friday so that the prosecution can do more investigations.

At his first court appearance in September, Rusesabagina declined to take a plea on all 13 charges facing him, saying he wanted to plead on a charge by charge basis.

In the past hearings, he admitted sponsoring FLN, a rebel group that wanted to oust Kagame, but denied any wrongdoing.

Early this month, Rwanda’s top prosecutor said he would seek to merge the case of Paul Rusesabagina, with that of former rebels in state custody.

Rusesabagina, who says he was tricked into returning to Rwanda from abroad, has been denied his choice of defence lawyers, his family and their lawyer said in early October.

His defence team was appointed by the government of Rwanda, his family said.

(Reporting by Clement Uwiringiyimana; writing by George Obulutsa; Editing by Gareth Jones, William Maclean)

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Rwandan court denies ‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero Rusesabagina bail, extends detention

By Clement Uwiringiyimana

KIGALI (Reuters) – A Rwandan court extended the detention of “Hotel Rwanda” hero Paul Rusesabagina on Friday pending trial on terrorism charges and denied him bail, the judge hearing the case said.

Rusesabagina, a political dissident who has lived in exile in Belgium and the United States, was arrested in August after returning to the country and subsequently charged with terrorism and other offences.

“The fact that he is sick is not alone a ground to release him on bail,” Theodosie Mukarugira said in a ruling via Skype.

She said the detention would be extended by 30 days starting from Friday so that the prosecution can do more investigations.

At his first court appearance in September, Rusesabagina declined to take a plea on all 13 charges facing him, saying he wanted to plead on a charge by charge basis.

In the past hearings, he admitted sponsoring FLN, a rebel group that wanted to oust Kagame, but denied any wrongdoing.

Early this month, Rwanda’s top prosecutor said he would seek to merge the case of Paul Rusesabagina, with that of former rebels in state custody.

Rusesabagina, who says he was tricked into returning to Rwanda from abroad, has been denied his choice of defence lawyers, his family and their lawyer said in early October.

His defence team was appointed by the government of Rwanda, his family said.

(Reporting by Clement Uwiringiyimana; writing by George Obulutsa; Editing by Gareth Jones, William Maclean)

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These are 6 of the hotel brands I wish would join or create loyalty programs



a view of a city at night


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One of the best things about collecting points and miles is that they provide the opportunity to stay in luxury hotels that would otherwise be laughably out of reach for the majority of people.

Thanks to points, I’ve had the chance to stay in some pretty amazing properties around the world: the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme, the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort in Puerto Rico, among others.

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However, there are so many hotels around the world that are just as — if not more — beautiful and exclusive — but you can’t use points to pay for them in the traditional sense.

When recent headlines began touting a new relationship between Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and The Oberoi Group of India, my heart skipped a beat, thinking that perhaps these brands were joining forces and launching their own loyalty program — or better yet joining one of the existing major loyalty programs.

However, upon further reading, I was disappointed to find out that — as it stands now — this partnership is little more than a symbolic one, and the only real change is that members of each chain’s loyalty programs — which extend their (limited) benefits to anyone who signs up — will receive reciprocal benefits at all Mandarin Oriental and Oberoi properties.

This relatively minor news got me thinking, however, about which hotel chains I’d love to see launch their own loyalty programs (with the ability to earn and redeem points) or — even better — join existing programs. I’m practically drooling over the thought of using World of Hyatt points to stay at a Four Seasons property!

Related: What your hotel stay will look like after coronavirus

Of course, many of the chains I’ll list below don’t have or participate in points programs by design. Part of their allure is their exclusivity, which is all but ensured by the room rates charged at most of these chains’ properties, not to mention the often far-flung locales of many of these high-end hotels.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but if 2020 somehow granted me three travel-industry-related wishes, these would be the brands I’d submit for further points proliferation.

Aman Resorts



a wooden bench in front of a building: (Photo courtesy of Amangiri)


© The Points Guy
(Photo courtesy of Amangiri)

With just 32 properties in 20 countries, Aman is considered by many to be the finest luxury hotel brand on earth. Each property is obsessively designed to draw on — and then blend seamlessly with — their natural setting. Aman has hotels in some of the world’s most-incredible destinations, including Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Sveti Stefan, Montenegro; and Bhutan, among others.

While I haven’t had the chance to stay at an Aman yet, it’s very high on

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