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What’s on Tap for Hard Rock Hotels in 2020



The year ahead for the Hard Rock Hotel brand will be one dominated by continued portfolio expansion, particularly in the domestic market, which is trailing behind the brand’s international growth.

During a recent interview with TravelPulse, Hard Rock’s Senior Vice-President, Global Sales & Marketing, Danielle Babilino, shared highlights surrounding the many notable projects the company in the pipeline across the world for 2020 and beyond.

The brand is embarking on or already midway through projects in international destinations such as Dublin, Budapest, Amsterdam, and Madrid. Domestically meanwhile, Hard Rock hotels are in the works for such U.S. cities as New Orleans, New York City, and Sacramento.

In 2020 alone, the brand is planning for about nine openings.

“We want to grow the brand. We think there is value in that,” said Babilino. “We certainly want to be in up and coming areas internationally, but we are also looking at domestic markets because we have more international presence then we do domestic.”

PHOTO: The lobby of the new Hard Rock Hotel London (Courtesy Hard Rock International)

Hard Rock’s current portfolio in the United States includes San Diego, California; Tampa, Florida; Hollywood, Orlando, and Daytona, Florida; Atlantic City, New Jersey; Biloxi, Mississippi, and Tulsa, Oklahoma. There are also locations in Lake Tahoe, California; Sioux City, Iowa and Las Vegas, Nevada.

Adding New Orleans to the domestic portfolio is a perfect match for such a music-centric brand, said Babilino, given the city’s deep musical roots.

Babilino also noted that the 2020 project pipeline is less gaming-oriented and more resort-oriented, given that many of the gaming jurisdictions are outside the United States.

“We need to grow the brand in the United States and we will continue to add to properties in Mexico and the Caribbean,” Babilino continued. “Over the next five years we will double in size.”

Highlights of the international projects for 2020 and beyond:

-Hard Rock Hotel Amsterdam American: A 173-room property that’s a mix of an existing hotel and plus a new building, said Babilino. The property is located on the lively Leidseplein Square, in one of the city’s most famous Art Nouveau style buildings built in 1903 and formerly known as the American Hotel.

-Hard Rock Hotel Barcelona: Slated to open in 2022 overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, Hard Rock Hotel Barcelona will have 504 rooms. It will be located adjacent to Fòrum beach and Marina in Sant Adrià del Besòs.

-Hard Rock Hotel Budapest: A property that’s expected to come online in March, said Babilino, Hard Rock Hotel Budapest is a new build that will include 136 rooms. The property, located in an area known as “Budapest’s Broadway,” because of its variety of theaters, clubs, and restaurants, will also offer a notable rooftop venue that can be used for events or as a bar, said Babilino. It neighbors Budapest’s famed Opera House.

-Hard Rock Hotel Dublin: Hard Rock’s upcoming Dublin property will be made up of two structures, one an existing building from the turn of the 20th century (and currently the site of the Parliament Hotel) and another the current site of the adjacent Fashion House building. The Fashion House side of the project is to be entirely rebuilt and transformed. When finished the property will offer 120 rooms.

-Hard Rock Hotel Madrid – Expected to open in 2020, Hard Rock Hotel Madrid will include 159 rooms and is located opposite the historic Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, in Madrid’s Atocha district.

The Hard Rock Hotel in London meanwhile is undergoing an expansion, said Babilino. About 100 Rock Royalty rooms and meeting space are being added, work that is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.

Beyond the development of new properties, the Hard Rock brand is also celebrating recently having been named by J.D. Power the number one hotel in the upper-upscale market for 2019.

And as it continues with growth around the world, the brand does so with an eye toward ensuring a quality experience for guests, said Babilino.

To that end, Hard Rock as a partnership with Forbes, who conducts quality assurance for all the properties.

“We want to make sure that our hotels are adhering to standards necessary for our ranking,” said Babilino. “We are very cognizant that we are a lifestyle brand and we want to ensure that the experience across all properties is consistent.”

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Family Fun Abounds in Ocho Rios at Moon Palace Jamaica



All-inclusive resorts are an amazing option for families in search of the perfect shared getaway.

Parents looking for relaxation and a reprieve from daily pressures can certainly appreciate not having to sweat every individual expenditure while on vacation and instead settling on an up-front cost that allows adults and kids alike to go hog wild when they reach their destination.

At Moon Palace Jamaica, a Palace Resorts property situated near the celebrated seaside town of Ocho Rios, all-inclusive really means that it’s all covered, from luxurious accommodations and upscale amenities to world-class dining, 24-hour room service, minibar, premium satellite TV channels, wireless internet access, free calls within North America and a whole host of on-site activities designed to appeal to every age group.

The 700-room resort is located directly on Jamaica’s north coastal beach, where the sparkling Caribbean Sea virtually calls out to guests to come splash in its dazzling waters and warm themselves on the tropical sands.

With use of non-motorized watersports equipment included in their stay, kids and grown-ups might want to try boogie-boarding, snorkeling, paddleboarding, kayaking or sailing a Hobie cat as a family. Once the tribe has had their sand and saltwater for one day, there’s always more aquatic fun to be had at any of four family-friendly outdoor swimming pools.

PHOTO: A family enjoying time on the water at Moon Palace Jamaica. (photo via Palace Resorts)

The resort’s kids’ club, called the ‘Playroom,’ houses state-of-the-art activity spaces that cater to kids whose ages are four and up. They’ll stay entertained for hours in areas filled with building blocks, creativity areas, kitchen play area, ball pit, indoor playground, movies, video games and even a mini-stage to host kids’ karaoke.

Outdoors, there’s a dedicated kiddie pool and children’s water park, plus areas for taking out bikes and rideable cars.

The trendy ‘Wired’ teen lounge is designed especially for kids twelve and over, featuring flat-screen TVs, video games, arcade games, billiards, air hockey and foosball tables, and serving up slushies and frozen virgin cocktails.

Moon Palace Jamaica
PHOTO: An outdoor restaurant at Moon Palace Jamaica. (photo via Palace Resorts)

With all this on offer, it’s possible that parents will find their teenagers spending more time on their own, with their peers, than they’d have guessed.

Parents who prefer to enjoy a little adults-only downtime who have children under four are also able to arrange for babysitting services through the resort for an additional fee.

Where kids are concerned, what’s on the menu at their next meal can also be a pressing question. Guests of Moon Palace Jamaica will find abundant options available to keep youngsters satisfied, with everything from poolside pizza and snacks to gourmet dining included in their stay.

Boulangerie, Moon Palace Jamaica
PHOTO: Boulangerie, Moon Palace Jamaica (photo via Palace Resorts)

The Boulangerie, reminiscent of a Parisian café, is particularly convenient, serving up fresh pastries, crepes, sweet treats, ice cream, flavored coffees and more, 24 hours a day. Gourmet Corner also dishes out a variety of quick-serve favorites, like pizza, paninis and even sushi, for casual dining or to take on-the-go.

Five other sumptuous, dine-in restaurants on the property offer a mouth-watering variety of cuisines with options to please the palates of adults and minors alike.

Right now, Moon Palace Jamaica is offering a special deal that provides free airport transfers, up to $1,500 in resort credit, and free stays for kids and teens.

For more information, contact a travel professional or visit

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