The exterior of Loews Boston Hotel // © 2014 Loews Hotels and Resorts
Travelers ready for a world without exorbitant hotel Wi-Fi fees can take heart. Earlier this year, Loews Hotels rolled out complimentary wireless Internet access in every one of its guestrooms.
“Prompt, reliable Internet access is a necessary and expected hotel amenity,” said Paul Whetsell, president and CEO of Loews Hotels and Resorts. “We’re delighted to be one of the first hotel brands in our category to offer complimentary Wi-Fi access to each and every one of our guests.”
Free wireless Internet access isn’t the only way Loews is changing the guest experience, however.
Last year, Loews, which operates 19 four- and five-star properties throughout North America — 17 in the U.S. and two in Quebec, Canada — also rolled out a brand-new reservations program powered by Twitter.
Through Loews Hotels Social Reservations, guests can book their hotel stay by tweeting #BookLoews to @Loews_Hotels for any Loews properties (with the exception of those located in Orlando, Fla.).
“We are focused on meeting the needs of travelers throughout each stage of the travel continuum,” said Piper Stevens, director of social media for Loews Hotels and Resorts. “When it comes to reservations, we recognize that giving consumers the option to book efficiently on a network where they are already engaging on a daily basis is going to set us apart and grow our consumer base in a meaningful way."
Beyond meeting its guests’ growing demand for more and better technologies, Loews is also making a dedicated effort to grow and renovate its brand. Since 2012, Loews has committed nearly $1 billion to the industry between newbuilds, new acquisitions and renovations.
Loews began its efforts to grow its portfolio in key urban and resort markets in 2012, with the acquisition of the high-profile Renaissance Hollywood Hotel & Spa, a property known for its proximity to the Dolby Theatre, the site of the annual Academy Awards.
After Hollywood, Loews established a presence in two additional major American markets, Washington D.C. and Boston, with the acquisition of the Loews Madison Hotel in January 2013 and the Loews Boston Hotel in February 2013.
Additionally, Loews will soon be completing construction on two all-new properties. Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando — Loews’ fourth Orlando property — is set to open this March, while Loews Chicago Hotel should open in January 2015.
“Loews Chicago and Cabana Bay Beach Resort … are important steps in our plan to expand the Loews brand in major cities across North America,” said Whetsell.
Perhaps even more significant than its new properties is Loews’ full-scale commitment to refreshing the properties already in its portfolio. Nearly half of the brand’s properties have recently completed or are currently undergoing large-scale renovations.
The most talked about renovation is the Loews Regency New York Hotel, Loews flagship property. Located in Manhattan on prestigious Park Avenue, the property recently reopened after a yearlong, $100 million transformation.
In particular, New York’s movers and shakers have welcomed the return of the Loews Regency’s heavy-hitting “Power Breakfast.” The breakfasts — which started in the 1970s when Bob and Larry Tisch, the hotel’s founders, invited the city’s business and political leaders to breakfast to discuss ways to help the city recover — continue to attract top businessmen and politicians from around New York.
Now, however, the Power Breakfast has a new face, as the Sant Ambroeus Hospitality Group, owners of famed New York eateries Sant Ambroeus, Casa Lever and Felice, manage the restaurant.
The focus on top-notch culinary offerings is another new direction for Loews, which has also inked deals with Wolfgang Puck at the Loews Hollywood Hotel and “Iron Chef America” star Jose Garces at the Loews Madison Hotel.
So what’s next for Loews?
“Over the next several years, Loews Hotels and Resorts will continue its efforts to grow its portfolio of hotels, targeting gateway cities and resort destinations,” said Sara Murov, senior director of public relations for Loews.
Loews Hollywood Hotel
Los Angeles, Calif.
Acquired June 2012
In June 2012, Loews purchased the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel & Spa. Rising 20 floors above the famed Hollywood and Highland intersection, the hotel provides direct access to the Dolby Theatre (formerly Kodak Theatre), where the Academy Awards are held each year. The hotel is now in the midst of a $33 million renovation.
Loews Madison Hotel
Acquired January 2013
After the property completed a $23 million renovation in 2012, Loews Hotels acquired The Madison, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Located a short walk from the White House, the Smithsonian museums and numerous historic landmarks, the hotel’s Jefferson Suite was recently listed as one of the top 101 Suites in the World in Elite Traveler.
Loews Boston Hotel
Acquired February 2013
In February 2013, Loews entered the Boston hospitality market with the acquisition of Loews Boston Hotel. Located in the historic Boston Police Headquarters building, the property is one block from the South End, the theater district and the Back Bay’s Newbury Street. Loews Boston Hotel is now embarking on a $10 million renovation. Until the renovation is completed next month, the property is hosting a nightly reception with complimentary appetizers and bar specials.
Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando
Opens March 2014
Set to open in March, Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando Resort is Loews’ fourth hotel in partnership with Universal Parks & Resorts. Located a short walk from Universal Orlando’s theme parks and CityWalk, this is the largest hotel under construction outside of China. On-site features will include a 10-lane retro-style bowling alley, two pools and Universal Orlando’s first lazy river.
Loews Chicago Hotel
Opens January 2015
Scheduled to open in January 2015, Loews Chicago Hotel is located within a highly visible 52-story tower just one block north of the Chicago River and two blocks east of North Michigan Avenue. Boasting city and lake views from every guestroom, the property will house a signature restaurant, a spa, an outdoor pool and multiple outdoor terraces.
Uniquely Local Programs
In addition to Loews signature experiences, each property is encouraged to develop Uniquely Local packages that capture the distinct flavor of its host city. Here are some examples.
Loews Atlanta Family VIP Aquarium Package
The Family VIP Aquarium Package includes two adult and two children’s VIP admissions to the Georgia Aquarium, as well as free transportation to the site and free self-parking at the hotel. Kids also receive a free “Loews Loves Kids” amenity upon arrival. Valid through Dec. 31.
Loews Don CeSar Romantic Sunset Sailing Package
Explore the shoreline of scenic St. Pete beach with the Sunset Sailing Package, which includes two tickets on a sunset or dolphin-watching cruise as well as breakfast for two in the hotel’s Sea Porch Restaurant. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Soothe Our Souls charity. Valid through March 1.
Loews Ventana Canyon Birds & Bees Package
The Birds & Bees package encourages guests to explore the 100 acres of beautiful desert landscape at Loews Ventana Canyon in Tucson, Ariz. The package includes a two-night stay, a romantic in-room amenity, a $100 hotel credit and a picnic lunch for two that can be enjoyed on a hike of the resort’s grounds. Valid through May 1.
Loews New Orleans World War II Package
Explore the powerful and moving stories of World War II in the Big Easy. Guests receive two free tickets to the National World War II Museum, including two tickets to the Victory Theater for a showing of “Beyond All Boundaries, a 4D Experience.” Complimentary valet parking and a 10 percent discount in the museum store are also included. Valid through Dec. 31.
Loews Vanderbilt Fit as a Fiddle
Experience the sights of Music City while enjoying an entertaining workout. The Fit as a Fiddle package includes an exclusive 5K guided sightseeing running tour with Nashville Running Tours and a $10 food and beverage credit. Valid through March 31.
Loews Santa Monica ‘Double Your Sunset’
With the Double Your Sunset Package clients can enjoy a few extra hours at the beach. The offer includes a 6 p.m. checkout, as well as a $75 credit at the Ocean Spa and Fitness Center. Valid through March 31.