CHECK OUT! – latest hotel highlights from across the globe

20 March, 2020

The Blue Swan Daily brings you the second of this week's round up of some of the latest accommodation news from across the globe.

  • La Quinta by Wyndham brand arrives in New Zealand with Auckland and Queenstown signings
  • New technology aims to incentivise guests who want to cancel a hotel booking to instead purchase a discounted stay voucher
  • Mama Shelter brand to debut in Luxembourg and will incorporate its Mama Works concept too
  • Spain closes the door to its hotels in fight against COVID-19
  • News briefs - bitesize updates of latest industry news and developments

La Quinta by Wyndham brand arrives in New Zealand with Auckland and Queenstown signings

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has confirmed its La Quinta by Wyndham upper-midscale brand will be marketed as LQ by Wyndham across South East Asia and the Pacific Rim after confirming the signing of the first two properties across the region. The first hotels set to fly the brand's flag in New Zealand will be located in Auckland and Queenstown under a franchise agreement with Safari Group, Wyndham's long-standing partner in the region. Initially, the 87-key LQ by Wyndham Remarkables Park is set to open its doors in late 2020, nestled next to the scenic Kawarau River, not far from Queenstown Airport and a potential base for visitors who want to immerse themselves in nature in New Zealand's adventure tourism capital. The larger 246-key LQ by Wyndham Greenlane Auckland, located on the Great South Road in the city's Ellerslie district, is scheduled to welcome guests in mid-2022. The announcement of the brand's further global expansion follows its recent European debut in Istanbul - the first La Quinta to open outside the Americas.

New technology aims to incentivise guests who want to cancel a hotel booking to instead purchase a discounted stay voucher

Global technology and hospitality solutions provider Avvio has unveiled new ecommerce functionality aimed at supporting hoteliers in recouping potential losses from booking cancellations as a direct result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The feature aims to ease the burden of unprecedented levels of cancellations by incentivising guests who want to cancel a booking to purchase a voucher, at a discounted rate, for a returning visit in the future. The guest retention voucher has been specially developed to support hotels to tailor exclusive incentives to cancelling guests. In a bid to support the sector as a whole, Avvio says this function will be made available universally even for hoteliers that don't currently use its services.

Mama Shelter brand to debut in Luxembourg and will incorporate its Mama Works concept too

Mama Shelter may have temporarily closed some of its sites across Europe and North America, but the lifestyle brand still plans to open its latest property in Luxembourg. Located in the heart of Kirchberg, the city's business and cultural centre, that Mama Shelter Luxembourg aims to offers guests an ideal "home away from home" in the city when the 145-room property opens in May-2020. This represents a landmark opening for the brand as for the first time it will include a Mama Works concept in one of its building. This will see two floors entirely dedicated to meetings and events, complete with a Cinemama, meeting rooms, a co-working space and a bakery.

Spain closes the door to its hotels in fight against COVID-19

After Italy, Spain has been hit hardest by the coronavirus outbreak in Europe. With more governments advising against non-essential international travel, Spain's own government has revealed plans to close all hotels in the country from 24-Mar-2020. It is thought that some of these empty properties will be turned into makeshift hospitals to ease the pressure on the country's healthcare system. Spain has now recorded over 15,000 cases and approaching 650 fatalities from COVID-19.

News briefs

  • The Baur au Lac luxury hotel in Talstrasse, Zürich, Switzerland is to implement the Knowcross customised management software. The platform offers hotels a suite of software applications that boost efficiency and enhance guest service, directly impacting the bottom-line.
  • Cache House, a new high-end hostel lodging experience, will shortly open in the heart of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Located below the Anvil Hotel outside of the town's central square, the new lodging concept features two shared living quarters with 50 bunks. The shared accommodation is owned by Eagle Point Hotel Partners and designed by Brooklyn-based firm Studio Tack.
  • Accor has confirmed it has reached agreement with Belmullet Hospitality Group to take over the management of Carton House in Ireland. It will rebrand the property, located close to Dublin in Maynooth, County Kildare, as the Fairmont Carton House. The estate dates back to 1176, with the current house built in 1739, and is currently undergoing a multi-million-euro refurbishment, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.
  • GG Hospitality, which is backed by famous former premier league footballers Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs, has confirmed it will close its two Manchester residences Hotel Football and the Stock Exchange this weekend, and will open up all 176 beds to NHS workers and medical professionals fighting the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Radisson Hotel Group has confirmed plans for its first Radisson Red lifestyle brand property in Germany. The 262-room Radisson Red Cologne will open in the second quarter of 2023 and will be located close to the city's Cathedral within an existing listed building which will be combined with a new-build extension.
  • Scheduled to open in the second quarter of 2023, the hotel will offer 262 rooms, "an exciting restaurant and bar concept", a fitness centre, and 300 sqm of meeting and events space.
  • Latest data from Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) shows the emirate recorded a 3% year-on-year growth in hotel guests in 2019, after welcoming approximately 1.8 million guests an occupancy rate of 66%. Six new 5-star and 4-star hotels were inaugurated last year, and more than seven new hotel projects are expected to be unveiled in 2020.
  • The Six Senses Douro Valley has premiered its new Vineyard Wing that enhances the wine estate with seven suites, three additional guest rooms and a meeting and event space accommodating up to 70 people. The 19th century manor house and surrounds, located in Lamego in northern Portugal, is set on a UNESCO World Heritage site within the world's oldest demarcated wine region. The new guest accommodations range in size from from 40 to 106 square metres. The property now features a total of 60 guest rooms and suites.
  • Budget hotel chain Travelodge has expanded in the south east of England with the opening of a first property in the Kent town of Sittingbourne. The 63-room Sittingbourne Travelodge is the company's 589th hotel and its 16th in Kent. The purpose built accommodation is located in the heart of the town centre, at Bourne Place leisure quarter, part of the 'Spirit of Sittingbourne' GBP326 million regeneration programme.
  • The Troulis Royal Collection will expand in Crete with the debut of the Royal Senses property in the picturesque village of Panormos. The brand-new haven, situated next to its sister property, the recently renovated sea-front Royal Blue, will feature 179 rooms, ranging from 35 square metre suites to ultra-luxurious 200 square metre villas.