CHECK OUT! – latest hotel highlights from across the globe

18 September, 2020

The Corporate Travel Community (CTC) brings you the second of this week's round up of some of the latest accommodation news from across the globe.

  • IHG's voco brand arrives in the Americas with a first location planned for New York City and others confirmed for Florida and Missouri
  • Hyatt Regency Lanzhou blends local culture and international flair beside China's Yellow River
  • Radisson arrives in Russia's UNESCO City of Literature
  • Data metrics - latest performance insights from STR
  • News briefs - bitesize updates of latest industry news and developments

IHG's voco brand arrives in the Americas with a first location planned for New York City and others confirmed for Florida and Missouri

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has launched its newest upscale hotel brand, voco, in the US market with first locations planned for New York City; St Augustine, Florida; and Columbia, Missouri, all distinct markets in the country which support the brand's philosophy. The debut property in the US will be the voco The Franklin Hotel (New York City), located in a prime location on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, and conversion of a hotel that has served travellers from around the world for a century. The hotel is owned by Andrew and Stephen "Chip" Weiss Jr of Flintlock Construction and will be managed by Aimbridge Hospitality. The other confirmed sites comprise the voco St. Augustine (Florida), a three year-old property owned by Axis Income Fund; and voco The Tiger Hotel (Columbia, Missouri), one of the tallest and most recognisable buildings in Columbia and owned by Glyn Laverick of Columbia Hotel Investments. IHG created and launched voco a little over two years ago, focusing on conversion opportunities that combine the informality and charm of an independent hotel, with the quality and reassurance of a respected global brand. Since then, a mix of 12 conversion and new-build voco hotels have opened across the UK, Continental Europe, the Middle East and Australia. There are now 36 open and pipeline hotels across IHG's EMEAA region, with 24 conversion and new-build hotels due to open in key cities such as Paris, Sydney, Melbourne, Frankfurt, Edinburgh, Krakow, DaNang and Den Haag over the next five years.

Hyatt Regency Lanzhou blends local culture and international flair beside China's Yellow River

Hyatt Hotels Corporation last week announced the opening of Hyatt Regency Lanzhou, a 711-foot-tall landmark beside the Yellow River and the first Hyatt hotel in Lanzhou, the capital of China's Gansu Province. In what is considered a gateway to China's west region, Hyatt says the hotel "is designed for productivity and peace of mind through its anticipatory service," a signature of the Hyatt Regency brand. The Hyatt Regency Lanzhou is certainly a new riverside landmark offering spectacular views of the willow-lined Yellow River, urban skyline and mountains, alongside convenient access from Lanzhou Railway Station, Lanzhou West Railway Station and Zhongchuan International Airport. It houses 300 guestrooms, including 15 suites, with a dedicated Regency Club Lounge for business guests. Known as the City of Waterwheels, Lanzhou's history is intrinsically linked to China's mighty Yellow River that flows through the city centre. The hotel is near popular attractions including Lanzhou Waterwheel Expo Park, which honours ancient irrigation devices, and Zhongshan Bridge, regarded as the 'First Bridge across the Yellow River.' For corporate guests it provides convenient access to the city's government and business districts.

Radisson arrives in Russia's UNESCO City of Literature

The Radisson Hotel Ulyanovsk, located in the heart of the historic centre of the western Russian city of Ulyanovsk has a lot to write about, after all Ulyanovsk has a rich connection with leading Russian writers and painters and has been designated a UNESCO City of Literature since 2015. The newly opened property is a conversion of an existing hotel offering 172 rooms and suites, an all-day restaurant offering a variety of Russian and international dishes, a lobby bar, an outside terrace, and a selection of meeting rooms. The upscale, full-service property is located close to the main administrative and business centres and offers a central location to discover this historic city located on the banks of the Volga River. Radisson Hotel group now has 37 hotels in operation and three in the pipeline across Russia, and this new opening further strengthens its position as one of the leading international hotel group's in the country.

Data metrics - latest performance insights from STR

  • Performance data in Canada for the week commencing 30-Aug-2020 indicates a slightly lower result from prior weeks for the country's hotel industry. Year-over-year declines, while improved, also remain significant. In comparison with the week commencing 01-Sep-2019, occupancy was down -36.5% to 41.9% slipping from 42.1%, 42.9% in previous weeks), ADR declined -26.7% to CAD128.13 and RevPAR fell -53.4% to CAD53.65. Only two provinces reached a 50% occupancy level - Prince Edward Island (53.2%) and British Columbia (52.3%), while Ottawa (46.2%) was the only major market at or above the 40% mark.
  • The Labor Day weekend in the United States of America (USA) influenced hotel performance for the week commencing 30-Aug-2020. Hotel demand grew to 18 million room nights sold (+500,000 week over week) and on 05-Sep-2020 occupancy came in at 69.0%, just 2.6% less than the comparable Saturday in 2019. In comparison with the week commencing 01-Sep-2019, occupancy was down -18.9% to 49.4%, ADR declined -17.1% to USD100.97 and RevPAR fell -32.8% to USD49.87. Aggregate data for the top 25 markets in the country showed lower occupancy (44.3%), but higher ADR (USD101.82) than all other markets. Norfolk/Virginia Beach, Virginia, was the only one of those major markets to reach a 60% occupancy level (60.6%).

News briefs

  • Airport Dimensions, a global provider of premium shared-use lounges, has recently acquired sleep lounge innovators sleep 'n fly, and is now ready to launch its first non-traditional lounge at Doha's Hamad International Airport, its first premium lounge offer in the Middle East. Located in the airport's transit area it will feature a selection of sleep pods and cabins with accommodation - 24 FlexiSuite Pods and 13 Sleep Cabins - for up to 50 guests, which can be rented by the hour.
  • Hotel development, management and investment firm Midas Hospitality is set to open St. Louis' new Element by Westin property on 30-Oct-2020. The USD40 million Element St. Louis Midtown is a seven-storey hotel with 153 extended stay rooms and will feature the rooftop UPBAR - Midas Hospitality's first owned and operated bar in its 15-year existence.
  • The luxury, boutique Hotel Haya is due to open next week in Ybor City, a district just northeast of downtown Tampa. The property will house 178 guest rooms, most of which feature balconies, with some overlooking 7th Avenue, known for its shops, bars, parades and celebrations. It is part of the Aparium Hotel Group portfolio whose other properties include Kansas City's Crossroads Hotel, Detroit Foundation Hotel and Minneapolis' Hewing Hotel.
  • The Mandarin Oriental, Santiago has implemented a wide range of advanced security access platforms from ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions. These include VingCard Signature RFID locks on 310 guestroom doors as well as for several doors within public areas, VingCard elevator controllers, panic bars and Elsafe Sentinel advance safes safeguarding guests and their belongings.
  • Marriott International has launched Escape to Luxury with Marriott Bonvoy, a new offering for guests who book at participating hotels in North America, the Caribbean and Latin America, which includes up to a USD300 credit available to be used toward a range of experiences and exclusive specialty offers. Launching at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, and EDITION properties, Escape to Luxury with Marriott Bonvoy will be an ongoing offer available for a limited time each month to both Marriott Bonvoy members and non-members as a way to enhance their trips and vacations.
  • Travel technology provider Qtech Software and Vervotech have entered in a strategic partnership to provide Vervotech's UNICA hotel and room mapping platform as an integrated solution within its OTRAMS travel ERP Platform. Customers of Qtech Software will now have the option to choose a mapping solution of their choice.
  • Scandic Hotels is confident it will see occupancy levels of around 30%-35% during Sep-2020. The largest Nordic hotel operator saw average occupancy rise during Jun-2020 and Jul-2020 to 42%, but decline again to 34% in Aug-2020. In general, the hotels with the highest occupancy were those in smaller towns, it observed, while demand in the big cities was still very weak. Norway was noted as the Nordic market with the highest level of activity during the summer months.
  • The 123 all-suite SpringHill Suites Hartford Cromwell opened on 11-Sep-2020, a Marriott franchise, owned and managed by Titan Hotel Group. Located directly off exit 21 on I-91, the property is minutes away from Middletown, Rocky Hill, Berlin, downtown Hartford and approximately 25 minutes drive time from Bradley International Airport.
  • The recently launched STORY Hotels & Resorts brand has confirmed the opening of STORY Rabat, after completely refurbishing and converting the former Villa Diyafa Boutique Hotel & Spa. The property boasts 37 rooms and suites, and one private villa, a newly decorated restaurant, a garden area and recreation facilities including spa, swimming pool and fitness centre.
  • The Lodge at Tiburon, an upscale craftsman-style hotel located in a sailing village 8 miles from Sausalito and 16 miles from San Francisco has upgraded its internet services through a partnership with Hotel Internet Services. The upgrade of its WiFi platform lodge is now supports the most demanding of online guest behaviours such as content streaming to ensure full user satisfaction.