CHECK IN! – latest hotel highlights from across the globe

15 June, 2021

CTC – Corporate Travel Community brings you a round up of some of the latest accommodation and hospitality news from across the globe. Here’s our first offering of the week.

  • Another Hotel Indigo is ‘well underway’ in The Big Easy as US expansion continues
  • Radisson Blu opens fifth hotel in Riyadh with debut of Radisson Blu Hotel, Riyadh Qurtuba
  • The Scandic Landvetter arrives at Gothenburg’s airport gateway
  • Traxo & BTP Automation launch new hotel programme management system to create ‘maximum, quantifiable savings’ on corporate hotel bookings
  • Data metrics – latest performance insights from STR
  • News briefs – bitesize updates of latest industry news and developments

Another Hotel Indigo is ‘well underway’ in The Big Easy as US expansion continues

IHG Hotels & Resorts has confirmed that construction is “well underway” on the new Hotel Indigo New Orleans – French Quarter as the boutique hotel brand continues its expansion across the Americas and elsewhere. The property, expected to open later this year, is located in the New Orleans Central Business District, directly along the world's oldest continuously operating street railway. It will be the second Hotel Indigo in the city adding to the Hotel Indigo New Orleans Garden District. The new 10-storey hotel features multiple meeting spaces, a fitness centre, and 143 boutique guest rooms that evoke New Orleans's trademark revelry. The unique tradition of the "second line" hotel bar and eatery, Common Interest, will offer guests and locals a contemporary twist on traditional New Orleans cuisine in a vibrant, all-day setting, steps away from the historic St Charles Streetcar line and the world-renowned French Quarter. Hotel Indigo has a global pipeline of 104 new properties and 127 hotels are already open. In the Americas, 29 new hotels are in the brand's pipeline, with construction progressing on multiple new properties such as Lima / Miraflores, Peru; Tulum, Mexico; New York City's World Trade Center area; and Silverthorne, Colorado. Other highly anticipated openings for the brand in North America this year include locations in downtown Vancouver, Washington; downtown Omaha, Nebraska; Houston; and New York City. The 128-room Hotel Indigo NYC Downtown - Wall Street is expected to open by late fall 2021 with a rooftop bar and will be ideally situated off of Wall Street and near South Street Seaport, with all of its luxury shops and restaurants.


Radisson Blu opens fifth hotel in Riyadh with debut of Radisson Blu Hotel, Riyadh Qurtuba

Located within the new upscale Al Jadah mixed-use development, Radisson Blu Hotel, Riyadh Qurtuba has become the latest addition within Radisson portfolio. The hotel boasts a mix of suites and private villas as well as various dining options and flexible meeting room space and brings the group’s portfolio to over 45 hotels, resorts and serviced apartments in operation and under development in Saudi Arabia. Located in the north of Riyadh, within the new upscale Al Jadah development, the Radisson Blu Hotel, Riyadh Qurtuba is within close proximity of the city and around 20 kilometres away from King Khalid International Airport. The hotel boasts 104 rooms and suites, and 16 villas as well as five meeting rooms with state-of-the-art technology including two ballrooms which both span more than 293 square metres and can accommodate up to 200 guests.


The Scandic Landvetter arrives at Gothenburg’s airport gateway

The new Scandic Landvetter has opened to guests adjacent to the terminal building at Gothenburg’s Landvetter airport and satisfying need for an international airport hotel at the gateway to the Swedish airport and playing a supporting role in the rapidly expanding airport city project. The entire façade of the 223-room property, which features 1,308 flags punched into aluminium sheeting, creates an international feeling and the top floor of the hotel includes a gym and relaxation area with a panoramic view of the runway. The lobby shares the aeronautical theme and shares an impressive piece of art – an aeroplane window consisting of 36,000 holiday photos that extends from floor to ceiling. Behind Scandic Landvetter’s unique architecture and design is Wingårdhs architect firm, with Gert Wingårdh as chief architect. The design of the hotel is inspired by the Nordic environment with its colour palette consisting of warm shades, light-hued wood and a mixture of Nordic and international handcrafted details. Scandic Landvetter is Scandic’s second airport hotel in the Swedish market, but its first in collaboration with Swedavia.


Traxo & BTP Automation launch new hotel programme management system to create ‘maximum, quantifiable savings’ on corporate hotel bookings

Corporate travel data capture and pre-trip auditing provider Traxo has entered onto a partnership with Business Travel Performance Automation to launch a new solution for hotel RFP and programme management. The new service – the BTP Index – leverages robotic process automation (RPA) via a robust data analytics platform, and aims to transform the historically complex, cumbersome, and time and resource- consuming ”hotel RFP season” into what is described as “an easier to manage, self-tuning corporate hotel negotiated rate programme”. The BTP Index automatically and dynamically monitors and renegotiates hotel programme terms and conditions, while providing the travel manager with recommended, automated corrective actions that can increase lodging savings, by ensuring hotels remain accountable to the rate commitments they’ve already agreed to, while improving their travel programme’s policy compliance through pre-trip auditing. BTP’s automated creation of the hotel bid list serves to relieve travel buyers of what many see as the single most laborious task in the annual procurement cycle.


Data metrics – latest performance insights from STR

  • After an improved start to 2021, hotel occupancy in India has been on a rapid decline amid the second COVID-19 wave in the country, according to data from STR. The country’s monthly occupancy reached a pandemic high in Feb-2021 (53.9%), which looked to be solid progress toward recovery as the monthly level was roughly 73% of the 2019 comparable. By Apr-2021, however, occupancy in the country fell to 31.0%, and more recently, just 21.5% for the week ending 30-May-2021. While the country as a whole has fallen back to late-2020 levels, some markets are experiencing more promising metrics. During the week ending 30-May-2021, Mumbai saw the country’s highest occupancy level (43.2%) among STR-defined markets, which was 60% of the comparable week in 2019. The market, however, is expected to experience flattened demand levels in 2022. Chennai (38.3%) and Gujarat (32.2%) also saw higher occupancy levels with better 2019 comparisons.
  • Weekly hotel performance in the United States of America (USA) remained relatively flat from the previous week but still reached pandemic-era highs, according to STR data for the week commencing 30-May-2021. Occupancy hit 61.9%, down -14.0% on the same week in 2019, while ADR was USD123.49 and (RevPAR) USD76.44, down -6.7% and -19.7% on 2019. Each of the three key performance metrics were the highest of the pandemic era. Among the Top 25 Markets, Miami saw the largest increases over 2019 across each of the three key performance metrics: occupancy (+9.0% to 77.1%), ADR (+69.1% to USD257.24) and RevPAR (+84.2% to USD198.30). Boston saw the steepest decline in occupancy when compared with 2019 (-45.2% to 47.7%). The largest RevPAR deficits were in Boston (-69.0% to USD64.57) and San Francisco/San Mateo (-68.1% to USD70.28).

News briefs – bitesize updates of latest industry news and developments

  • Acro Suites, a brand new five-star luxury boutique set on the rocky cliffside of Mononaftis Bay in Crete, Greece, will open its doors in Jul-2021. The property features 29 Wave Suites with private pools, 11 Loft Suites with private infinity pools, 7 Cave Suites with private pools, the Sunset Villa with private pool and the ACROTERRA two-bedroom villa with infinity pool. ‘ACRO’ originates from the ancient Greek word ‘Akros/Akron’ which means ‘on the edge’ – where the wellbeing retreat is built.
  • The Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index dipped -2.8% in May-2021 to a level of 5,148 as the stocks underperformed their respective benchmarks for the third consecutive month. Year to date through the first five months of 2021, the stock index was up +12.6%. In May, the Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index fell behind both the S&P 500 (+0.5%) and the MSCI US REIT Index (+0.8%). The Hotel Brand sub-index decreased -2.2% from Apr-2021 to 8,862, while the Hotel REIT sub-index dropped -4.5% to 1,300.
  • Hyatt Centric has made its brand debut in North Carolina with the opening of the Hyatt Centric SouthPark Charlotte. The lifestyle hotel is targeting savvy travellers with an adventurous spirit looking to immerse themselves in the local culture and features 175 guestrooms (including 11 suites) that embrace the city’s rich history.
  • Peachtree Hotel Group has confirmed the opening of the dual-flag Hilton Garden Inn Orlando Downtown and Home2 Suites by Hilton Orlando Downtown. The property is located in Orlando's downtown central business district across from the Orange County Courthouse and close to all major downtown attractions: Amway Center, Camping World Stadium and Exploria Stadium. The eight-storey property includes 224 rooms – 123 Hilton Garden Inn guest rooms and 101 Home2 Suites rooms.
  • Pyramid Hotel Group has completed its 25th hotel portfolio addition since Jun-2020. The company is in the midst of an on-going surge of new business including multiple management agreements, acquisitions, and receivership assignments, with an additional 20 hotels in its immediate pipeline. The company currently is on track to double its portfolio over the next three to five years. The new hotels include multiple select- and full-service hotels from Florida to California, as well as international properties in England and Norway. With a combined room count of 4,851 totalling more than USD1 billion in asset value, the properties range in size from a 76-room, independent resort and spa to a 444-room, big box, branded hotel.
  • Safely.com, an insurtech and guest screening solution for the vacation and short-term rental industry, has announced entered into a partnership with Barefoot Technologies Corporation, a PMS and trust accounting solution for the vacation rental industry. The integration provides Barefoot customers with access to comprehensive, tailored short-term rental insurance and full guest verification backed up by data analytics.
  • Shepard’s Beach Resort in Clearwater, Florida has upgraded its in-room guest-entertainment offering by building upon its relationship with internet solutions and services provider Hotel Internet Services. Having already deployed its BeyondTV platform, the property is now using myRemote for guestroom television functions including powering televisions on or off, adjusting volume, changing language settings, switching between streaming services, requesting hotel amenities or information and more.
  • SiteMinder has launched SiteMinder Multi-Property as it aims to define a new distribution management standard for modern hotel chains and groups. The technology makes it possible for hotel chains and groups of all structures - from brands to clusters - to centralise the management and distribution of their rates, and easily onboard new hotel properties and staff.