Restaurants respond to New York City’s new vaccine mandate, online hotel bookings show positive improvement, and Disney World prepares to go to a galaxy far, far away. All that and more in this week’s Five on Friday.

Disney World plots a whole new dimension

The atrium of Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser; rendering courtesy of Disney/Lucasfilm

The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando is planning to add an immersive Star Wars-themed hotel experience to its plethora of offerings next spring. Fans will board what has been created to feel like a giant spaceship and launch into a two-day, two-night adventure. A stay at the Star Wars: Galactic Starcrusier, which features 100 cabins and suites, will cost two guests staying in a standard cabin (the cheapest room option) $4,809, reports Insider. Packages will also include admission to the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge park at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, valet parking, F&B at the hotel, and a MagicBand. Plus, guests can add activities—including taking a light saber training course, building a model ship, or participating in a droid racing competition—to their itineraries.

NYC restaurants set to enforce vaccination mandate

The Polonsky & Friends-designed Rosella sushi restaurant, located in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan; photo by Charles Roussel

Earlier this week, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio announced that proof of vaccination will be required for individuals working and patronizing indoor restaurants, gyms, and performance venues. The new mandate will be enforced beginning Monday, September 13th. The local restaurant industry, which has navigated more than a year of shutdowns and restrictions due to COVID-19, is largely embracing the requirement, according to Gothamist. “We know that a mandated vaccine requirement will pose economic and operational challenges to restaurants, particularly in communities with lower vaccination rates and hesitancy,” says Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, which has endorsed the order. “However, it will also alleviate the burden that restaurants and bars face when implementing this policy voluntarily.”

Online travel agent Booking sees surge in reservations

The recently opened El Perdido hotel in Baja California Sur, Mexico

Second quarter results released by online travel agent Booking point to improvement in travel confidence, reports Bloomberg. The number of roomnight reservations jumped 458 percent to 157 million in the period ended June 30, and reservations increased 59 percent from the previous period. Furthermore, the quarter’s total gross bookings were $22 billion, and revenue more than tripled to $2.16 billion. The Connecticut-based company CEO’s Glenn Fogel did acknowledge “a minor pullback” in July from June due to an uptick in COVID-19 cases associated with the Delta variant, although “we remain confident that we will see a strong recovery in travel demand globally,” he says.

10 chefs to create plant-based recipes for the Met Gala

Marcus Samuelsson

Chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson has handpicked a group of 10 up-and-coming culinary talents to devise a plant-based menu for the upcoming Met Gala on September 13th, which will celebrate the museum’s In America: A Lexicon of Fashion exhibition. The New York-based group includes Fariyal Abdullahi, Nasim Alikhani, Emma Bengtsson, Lazarus Lynch, Junghyun Park, Erik Ramirez, Thomas Raquel, Sophia Roe, Simone Tong, and Fabian von Hauske. “After a difficult two years for the restaurant industry, this will showcase the work and tell the stories of a dynamic group of chefs while presenting an exciting menu of delicious, plant-based dishes,” says Samuelsson. “The Met Gala offers an incomparable opportunity for emerging talent to elevate their careers and share their perspectives and craft.”

HD Expo reveals 4 design-forward activation spaces

The DesignWell Pavilion, designed by BHDM

Have you registered for HD Expo + Conference yet? With the show only a couple of weeks away, we’re gearing up for a conference that will bring the community we love back together. One of the many exciting things we have planned this year are the show floor activation spaces. The HD Park, featuring a design from Williams-Sonoma Business-to-Business, is a spirited reimagining of lakeside glamping and home to all our CEU-accredited conference sessions. Conceived by BHDM, the DesignWell Pavilion will spotlight talks focused on health and wellbeing with a design scheme inspired by the Nevada desert. Serving as the show floor’s center to recharge and relax, the trademark Social Hub boasts a design by 21c Museum Hotels and will capture the 21c’s sophisticated aesthetic, complete with the art-focused brand’s signature penguins. And don’t miss the VR preview of the HD/Hilton Box Design Competition’s 2019 winning design from Miami-based Urban Robot Associates, a teaser for next year’s full buildout on the show floor.

More from HD:
4 Speakers You Don’t Want to Miss at HD Expo + Conference 2021
Standard Hotels’ Verena Haller Finds Constant Inspiration
Canopy by Hilton Embraces Local Art in Michigan and Arizona

The post Five on Friday: August 6th, 2021 appeared first on Hospitality Design.

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