“Euphoria Actress Nana Jacqueline’s Halo Resort 2024 Collection Launch Celebration: A Must-See Celeb Event – Entertainment Tonight”

"Euphoria Actress Nana Jacqueline's Halo Resort 2024 Collection Launch Celebration: A Must-See Celeb Event - Entertainment Tonight"

Mark Hunter/@thecobrasnake On June 12, the Euphoria actress celebrates the launch of Nana Jacqueline’s Halo Resort 2024 Collection in the brand’s Claudia Dress at LADiDA Rooftop at the SLS Beverly Hills in Beverly Hills, California, where attendees enjoyed custom cocktails, lite bites from LADiDa’s new menu, and a synchronized water show from the Aqualillies.

“Jason Kelce Addresses Fanbase Shift, Kids’ Choice Awards, and Retirement Rumors – Newsweek Exclusive”

"Jason Kelce Addresses Fanbase Shift, Kids' Choice Awards, and Retirement Rumors - Newsweek Exclusive"

Jason Kelce is embracing a totally new fanbase thanks to his brother Travis Kelce’s relationship with pop icon Taylor Swift. The former Philadelphia Eagles star shared how his public interactions have shifted dramatically over the last year on the Wednesday, June 12 episode of his and Travis’s New Heights podcast. “Before, it was mostly fat,…

“Virgin Hotels Set to Open Their First London Location in Shoreditch this Summer”

"Virgin Hotels Set to Open Their First London Location in Shoreditch this Summer"

Returning to Virgin’s roots, Virgin Hotels will open its first London hotel on August 1, 2024. 

The 120-room hotel is situated in the beating heart of Shoreditch, and is set to become an eye-catching addition to the East End landscape. The hotel will offer a suite of elevated experiences; from a glittering rooftop bar, pool, restaurant, private members club, and treatment rooms managed by Ibiza’s Blue Marlin. BiBo, an existing Spanish restaurant on the property, will remain open in association with world-famous chef, Dani Garcia. Similarly, the existing lobby bar and cafe – Christina’s – will remain open, before being re-concepted into a unique (and very Virgin) eatery in 2025.

Turning to the interiors, the hotel will be fitted out with Virgin Hotels’ patented beds and mattresses, red Smeg fridges, and a top category suite called Richard’s Flat. All guests will have access to the innovative Lucy App, giving you complete room control through your phone.

Commenting on the announcement, Richard Branson said: “We’re all absolutely delighted that Virgin Hotels Collection will be opening a Virgin hotel in London. Since the inception of Virgin Hotels, we’ve had our sights set on London; a place that so many of our customers either call home, or name as one of their favourite destinations – and of course where Virgin’s story started. 

“At Virgin, we’ve been disrupting the travel industry for more than 40 years, from land to air to sea – even to space. Our success comes from identifying where we can make a difference. Virgin Atlantic customers have always said to me that we give them a wonderful experience in the sky, but they don’t have the same Virgin experience when they land. Well, we’ve sorted that in Las Vegas, New York, Edinburgh and now London too. I can’t wait for everyone to experience it.”

Virgin Hotels London

Virgin Hotels

Continuing its strategic global expansion, the property will become Virgin Hotel Collection’s 17th location – bringing another touchpoint to the city where it all began for Richard Branson and the Virgin Group. This announcement comes hot on the heels of the new Finch Hattons property in Kenya joining the Virgin Hotels Collection, following the launches of Virgin Hotels Edinburgh and Virgin Hotels New York in 2023. 

Richard Branson cutting the ribbon of Virgin Hotels New York City

Steck Studios

Virgin Hotels London-Shoreditch will form part of a long-term agreement between Virgin Hotels and Reuben Brothers – global leaders in real estate investment and development. It will bring Virgin’s iconic brand and unrivalled travel experience to one of London’s most vibrant neighbourhoods, known for its tech, fashion, culture and creative arts scene.  

Speaking of the news, Virgin Hotels Collection CEO, James Bermingham, said: “This year will mark 10 years of Virgin Hotels and what a way to celebrate it as we announce our newest hotel in one of the world’s most famous cities.

“I am truly delighted Shoreditch, London will be home to the next location for Virgin Hotels and what an extraordinary one it will be. We pride ourselves in having hotels in the very best locations across our key cities and Virgin Hotels London-Shoreditch will be in the epicentre of one of London’s most cultured and creative areas.   

“I am thankful to Reuben Brothers for entrusting us to bring the Virgin Hotels brand to life in this incredible building and to bring a splash of red to Shoreditch by showcasing our innovative, heartfelt and personal hotel experience, led by our wonderful people, to our future London guests.”   

Richard Branson and James Birmingham

Kami White

The London hotel will also provide a home for Virgin Hotels’ The Know loyalty program and Virgin Red members in London. Virgin Red members will be able to earn seven points per pound spent on nightly room rates, to spend on extraordinary experiences across the Virgin Group and beyond.

Virgin Hotels London-Shoreditch will be open at on 45 Curtain Road on 1 August 2024. Find more information right here.

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“Steve Carell Opens Up About His First Encounter with Taylor Swift and Their Fandom Connection – Newsweek”

"Steve Carell Opens Up About His First Encounter with Taylor Swift and Their Fandom Connection - Newsweek"

Steve Carell recounted his experience with Taylor Swift and shared the reasons behind his continued admiration for her during his appearance on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon. On the Monday, June 10 episode, Carell delved into their initial meeting and the particular event that solidified his fandom over the years.

Culinary Union Members and Virgin Hotels Las Vegas at Standstill Over Contract Negotiation: No Deal Reached Amid Labor Dispute, Strike Looms

Culinary Union Members and Virgin Hotels Las Vegas at Standstill Over Contract Negotiation: No Deal Reached Amid Labor Dispute, Strike Looms

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – After a year of working without a five-year contract, there still doesn’t appear to be any movement in contract negotiation between union members and Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

Culinary Union officials just told FOX5 there are no new negotiations set between it and Virgin Hotels. Union members held a two-day strike in May outside the hotel casino.

Asked if employees would strike again, the Culinary Union said there are no plans to announce as of now.

Wages have been a main sticking point between union members and Virgin Hotels. In May, Virgin Hotels announced it made a “Last, Best and Final Offer to the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165.”

RELATED: ‘A horrible proposal’: Culinary Union rejects Virgin Hotel’s ‘final offer’

FOX5 reached out to Virgin Hotels for comment on negotiations but so far has not hear back.

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Boxing Star Garcia Arrested for Felony Vandalism Amidst Mental Health Concerns

Boxing Star Garcia Arrested for Felony Vandalism Amidst Mental Health Concerns

Boxing star Ryan Garcia was arrested Saturday for felony vandalism after a Beverly Hills hotel accused him of causing an estimated $15,000 in damage, a Beverly Hills Police Department watch commander told ESPN.

Garcia, 25, was arrested at 5:45 p.m. after a driver who dropped him off at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills phoned police, according to police.

The hotel decided to press charges once police arrived, though the specific nature of the damage and Garcia’s behavior wasn’t immediately clear. After he was booked at the Beverly Hills Police Department jail, police said Garcia complained of a medical issue and was subsequently transferred to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for evaluation and treatment.

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“Travel Agencies and Hotels Now Offering Sensory Guides for Neurodivergent Travelers and Families”

"Travel Agencies and Hotels Now Offering Sensory Guides for Neurodivergent Travelers and Families"

The Atlantis in Dubai provides an extensive downloadable sensory guide for neurodivergent families. Christopher Pike/Bloomberg

On a family trip to Walt Disney Co.’s. Orlando theme parks, Nicole Thibault’s 2.5-year-old son began experiencing meltdowns-and not in the standard toddler sense. Everything he had previously loved became deeply distressing, from his favorite characters to familiar foods setting off tantrums that could stretch for more than 30 minutes. Something felt amiss, Thibault recalls of the weeks before her son was diagnosed with autism. Determined to continue showing her son the world-sans meltdowns-her next step was to solicit travel tips from experienced parents of neurodivergent kids. One after another, the responses poured in, variants on the same idea: “We don’t go anywhere. It’s just too hard.”

A decade later, Thibault has built her New York-based travel agency, Magical Storybook Travels into a thriving business that caters specifically to neurodivergent families. In pre-travel counseling sessions for her clients, she studies their daily routines and preferences before discussing potential destinations. Then she’ll offer detailed briefs for each suggested hotel, including video tours, floor plans and potential sensory triggers (such as possible fireworks displays in the vicinity or strong scents in the lobby) to set expectations on a very granular level.

In the United States, approximately 20% of the population (66 million people) experience a form of neurodivergence. These often-invisible conditions range from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder to dyslexia and Tourette’s syndrome.

Each diagnosis-and each individual-is unique, and so are their destabilizing triggers. A child who thrives in playgrounds may prove intolerant of mulched wood chips on the ground. Another may love the stimulation of big cities-until the raspy sound of a subway announcement rattles them. Some may subsist primarily on chicken nuggets, but only if they’re not deemed “too scratchy.” Add a decreased ability to communicate verbally in unfamiliar or stressful environments, and it’s easy to see how travel can amount to a series of land mines.

The concerns are so overwhelming that, according to a 2022 survey, 78% of families or individuals with autism forgo traveling entirely. The findings are from the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards, which trains education, health-care and corporate professionals on neurodivergent inclusivity. While that figure represents a drop from 87% in 2018, it’s still too large a number, the organization’s president Meredith Tekin said in an emailed statement.

But hotel brands are now wising up to the untapped economic opportunity of catering to this substantial segment and brushing up on how to extend a sensitive welcome. Up for grabs: tens of millions of prospective guests that currently stay home.

EDUCATION FIRST, THEN AMENITIES

The first step, and the bulk of what these hotels are doing now, is training. Certifications such as those offered by Ibcces help employees to anticipate neurodivergent needs and handle guest interactions sensitively. Rather than stop to stare at Thibault’s toddler in a tantrum-or worse, offer gratuitous advice-trained staff are prepared to respond to parental requests for help while encouraging bystanders to move along quietly.

The board’s conversation with hotels, said Tekin, is shifting. “I have noticed a change from organizations asking ‘why’ this is a need to asking ‘how’ to better welcome these guests,” she wrote.

Close to 200 travel and tourism companies have received Ibcces’ Certified Autism Center or Advanced CAC designations since the program’s inception in 2017. Recent examples include Atlantis Dubai, JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa and Legoland Korea Resorts. More are listed on the Autism Travel website alongside hotels that have adopted similar certifications from other organizations.

Some of these hotels have followed by offering smart amenities such as cue cards and fidget tools to help travelers work through stressful moments. At Karisma’s all-inclusive resorts in Mexico and the Dominican Republic, guests can pre-fill an “autism passport” with details on sensitivity triggers, food preferences or calming strategies for the reservations team to share with hotel staff. In some cases, they can share the requests with airline and airport partners, too.

In recent months certification interest has grown to include multiproperty efforts from larger brands such as Hyatt Hotels Corp, Karisma Hotels & Resorts, Margaritaville Enterprises LLC resorts and Virgin Hotels Group Ltd. In late 2023 the latter announced it was partnering with Autism Double-Checked, an education and awareness organization catering to the travel industry. In an emailed statement, Chief Executive Officer James Bermingham of Virgin Hotels said the brand was committed “to foster a welcoming space where all guests, including those with neurodiverse needs, can feel truly at ease.”

All this comes with cost to hotels. While several accreditation organizations called the process inexpensive, none would disclose pricing.

“One of the things that holds people up is they can’t figure whether it’s the right thing to do, from the point of view of social inclusion, or whether it’s a commercial opportunity to open up to a bigger audience,” says Alan Day, co-founder and CEO at Autism Double-Checked. “In reality, it’s both.”

A DIVERSE SEGMENT WITH UNIQUE NEEDS

Rachel Lipson, the founder of Brooklyn Family Travelers and mother of two boys, one of whom has ADHD, describes travel planning as if it were a rigorous full-time job. Details she needs to know about hotels are rarely available online. Do the rooms connect? Is the pool open to children? Are there adults-only swim times to consider? How cold is the water? “A lot of my time is spent asking all these questions,” she explains.

Doing so is critical. Children with ADHD often need to expend lots of energy in the morning, Lipson has learned; a half-hour morning swim has opened the door to stress-free travel for her family. Also critical for her kids is being able to bounce from one activity to the next: bookstores, ice cream shops, museums and so forth. If one pursuit is a miss, she says, it’s easy to pivot to the next.

Travel adviser Thibault, meanwhile, says her son’s diet is very limited and that he has sensitivity to noise. The questions she asks of hotels before booking are entirely different than Lipson’s concerns.

Therein lies the issue for hotels: Neurodivergence is an especially wide spectrum. Few amenities work across the board.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT

Caitlin Meister, founding director of the neurodiversity-affirming education consultancy Greer Meister Group, says hotels have many ways to rise to the occasion. She says kids like Lipson’s, who are buoyed by a concentrated burst of sensory activity (“sensory seekers,” she calls them), are common; meeting their needs can be as simple as adding a trampoline, swing or climbing wall to kids clubs or play spaces. Similarly, a designated quiet space can offer great comfort to those with noise sensitivities.

Creating walk-through videos should be easy, given how many hotels have social media directors that create in-house video content. Filling these with details on sounds, sights, tactile textures and smells at every location can help families prepare for each aspect of their stay.

Take a client of Thibault’s, whose autistic son became fixated on what the toilets would be like on vacation. A room tour she found on YouTube proved a perfect solution, she recalls. Showing him what the bed, bathroom, sink, shower and toilet would look like-and how they were all laid out-made a tremendous difference. “It calmed him enough that he could think about the fun things that they were going to do,” she says, rather than continuing on a stress-fueled downward spiral.

Such content can extend to common spaces. “If you have multiple pools at your resort, and one has a smooth bottom and the other has a prickly textured surface, you might put that on a sensory guide,” says Meister.

TheAtlantis Dubai recently published one such guide that guests can download before their stay. It offers numeric ratings for the intensity of taste, touch, sound and smell in every area of its resorts, on a 1 to 5 scale.

Ultimately, the most important way to cater to neurodivergent travelers-and their stressed-out parents-might be a simple show of empathy.

On a recent trip, Lipson recalls, her kids were being wild and loud in the lobby of the Andaz Amsterdam. She felt mortified. But staff was quick to pick up on her stress.

“They said something like, ‘Make yourselves at home; this is their home, too,’” she recalls of the simple, effective interaction. “It gives me chills when I think about it.”


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