New and Renovated: Urban Style and Sustainable Stays

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Astra Hotel Seattle

The lobby of Astra Hotel Seattle. Large brown light fixtures are above white furniture

In Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, Astra Hotel Seattle by Marriott Tribute Portfolio is open and ready for reservations. Its 16 stories hold 265 guest rooms and 5,000 sq. ft. of meeting space in seven meeting and event spaces. With easy access to downtown and the Amazon and Google campuses, the property caters to the tech hub that it calls home.

Room service and amenity delivery is provided by Sparky, a small robot that rides in elevators with guests. He responds to requests made on guests’ phones through a digital concierge.

As with many modern hotels, Astra Hotel Seattle offers multiple dining options for its guests. Otium Grill & Greens has a locally-focused menu with fresh proteins, vegetables and grains. Caffe Ladro provides coffee in the lobby, while The Take Away Gift Shop stocks a selection of local treats. This August, ALTITUDE Sky Lounge will open with views of downtown and Lake Union, craft cocktails, local beer and wine and a weekly live DJ.

Technology is at the forefront of Astra Hotel Seattle’s offerings. Room service and amenity delivery is provided by Sparky, a small robot that rides in elevators with guests. He responds to requests made on guests’ phones through a digital concierge. Boardrooms have Zoom functionality built in with modern AV tech. Onsite AV staff are available to help meeting planners with any problems. 

The technology trend continues just a block away at an Amazon Go convenience store, a grab-and-go store that automatically charges your card when you walk out. Last-minute necessities can be shipped to any of the ten nearby Amazon lockers. If you need a splash of nature, Denny Park has walking paths between flower beds and trees and hosts a farmer’s market on Saturday mornings. 

Hyatt Regency San Antonio River Walk

A suite at Regency San Antonio. There is a dining room and separate sitting room next to large windows

After six months of work, Hyatt Regency San Antonio River Walk has completed its $38 million renovation. Between local attractions Alamo Plaza and River Walk, the family and business hotel has been updated to reflect the revitalization of the city. It transformed all 630 guest rooms, including 28 luxury suites, and the atrium-style corridors to include more natural light and modern colors.

Each guest room has been updated with hardwood floors, floor-to-ceiling windows and an open floor plan. New 75” flatscreen TVs on wooden stands, mini refrigerators and work center desks are just a few of the amenities guests can expect. In the bathrooms, marble and granite showers and countertops add a luxury touch to the new fixtures. When it comes to meetings and events, 37,000 sq. ft. across two ballrooms and 21 breakout rooms gives planners plenty of space to spread out. 

Dining options are plentiful in the hotel and along the River Walk. Q Kitchen & Bar is open all day for food and drinks at its bar and lounge. MKT. PLACE serves healthy grab-and-go meals. Mad Dog’s British Pub and Bier Garten Riverwalk offer classic bar experiences and entertainment options. For “casually upscale” occasions, On the Bend Oyster Bar & Lounge has fresh seafood and signature cocktail menus on a two-tiered patio. 

Next to the newly renovated Alamo Plaza, Ripley’s Believe It or Not provides kitschy fun for a break from business. A few blocks south, River Center shopping mall has more than 100 shops and restaurants, including clothing, souvenirs, candy and a movie theater. For more dining options, South Bank hosts a series of restaurants around a Hard Rock Café across the river from Regency San Antonio.

Read More: New and Renovated: Austin Exploration and Sunny Shores

The Sea Ranch Lodge

An outdoor banquet table with a cloth tent and orange lights above
Photo Credit: Sarah Falugo

On the rocky coastline of Northern California, The Sea Ranch Lodge has launched a new glamping program with packages for individuals, groups and events. Shelter Co. will provide two-person tents and outdoor event fixtures to complement the newly renovated facilities in the lodge. With 500,000 sq. ft. of land, the Lodge offers plentiful space for all kinds of meetings and events.

The tents themselves lean on the “glam” of glamping. Spacious, bell-shaped tents feature a bed for two, a cowhide rug, wooden bedside tables, wool blankets, leather lounge chairs and Egyptian cotton sheets. Bathrooms and showers also get the luxury treatment, even in portable form.

Event planners have the option of indoor and outdoor event space with the Lodge. Several scenic spaces are available, including the Meadow that fits up to 200 guests. All 10,000 sq. ft. of the Lodge itself are available for use by group events, including the restaurant, solarium, bar and lounge and general store.

There are plenty of modern comforts inside The Sea Ranch Lodge. A new Dining Room restaurant by Chef Eric Piacentine is full of elevated comfort food with local ingredients. Live jazz, yoga classes, craft markets and art exhibits are frequent fixtures that attract locals and guests. If you can’t get enough of the landscape, self-guided tours to various beaches and tide pools let guests explore the coastal environment.

Read More: Taking Ecotourism to the Next Level: Glamping in a Yurt with Only Renewable Energy

Element Philadelphia

A hotel room at Element Philadelphia. There is a corner window and desk, hardwood floors and a TV

Just in time for its one-year anniversary, Element Philadelphia introduced long-term stay amenities and accessible meeting spaces to the Center City District. All 460 guest rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows and sustainable amenities, in line with the eco-friendly Element brand. 

Element Philadelphia’s 26 meeting rooms, totaling 45,000 sq. ft., are spread out across three floors that all have elevator access. Modern AV technology and high-speed Wi-Fi are available for event organizers. As a Marriott property, planners can use the Marriott Meeting Services App to streamline the planning process.

Accommodating the growing trend of extended hotel stays, the hotel offers special amenities that make long stays more comfortable. Fully-equipped kitchens can be found in every room. Business services, guest laundry services, a fitness center and a “Bikes to Borrow” program give guests the opportunity to explore the city while staying productive. Those traveling with pets can use the “Love that Dog” program to receive dog amenities like a bed, treats, bowls and cleaning supplies. 

Sustainability is at the root of Element Philadelphia. Inside guest rooms, the carpets are mostly recycled materials; the walls are painted with low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints; low-flow faucets and fixtures are installed in the bathroom and kitchen; silverware and glassware are provided to minimize waste; recycling bins are in guest rooms and public spaces; filtered water fountains are available throughout the hotel; electric vehicle stations are outside.

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