CHECK OUT! – latest hotel highlights from across the globe

8 April, 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 second offering of the week.

  • SLS debuts in Middle East with opening of SLS Dubai Hotel and Residences
  • The El Capitan brings the theme of a nearby train depot into the jdV by Hyatt collection
  • Hilton London Metropole readies for summer unveiling of interior transformation
  • US leads the world in hotel openings in 1Q 2021 but construction activity is on the decline
  • Data metrics – latest performance insights from STR
  • News briefs – bitesize updates of latest industry news and developments

SLS debuts in Middle East with opening of SLS Dubai Hotel and Residences

Accor has confirmed the expansion of the international SLS Hotels & Residences brand to the Middle East with the opening of SLS Dubai. Developed in partnership with World of Wonders Real Estate – the new property is one of Dubai’s tallest buildings and officially started welcoming guests and residents from 05-Apr-2021. Located in the Downtown district, SLS Dubai offers 360-degree views over the city, with unobstructed views of the iconic Burj Khalifa, along with a clear overhead of the calming Dubai Creek. Developed in collaboration with international architecture firm Aedas, the property features 254 hotel rooms by acclaimed designer Paul Bishop, 371 residential units and 321 hotel apartments. With seven properties in Beverly Hills, Miami, Bahamas, Cancun, and Dubai, SLS is set to open two additional properties in Puerto Madero, Argentina and Hallandale Beach by 2022.

The El Capitan brings the theme of a nearby train depot into the jdV by Hyatt collection

The JdV by Hyatt collection of vibrant, independent hotels that are deeply rooted in homely neighbourhoods has made an on-time arrival in the Californian city of Merced in the United States of America. The El Capitan, a JdV by Hyatt hotel can be found in the heart of the state’s lush Central Valley in a historic property originally built to serve train passengers and guests traveling to Yosemite National Park. It contains 114-guestrooms, including three one-bedroom suites and nine junior suites, spread across the restored Arbor Lane Wing and newly constructed Main Street Wing. The frontier spirit of early California and the American West come to life in the property’s eclectic design with architectural and design elements inspired by the nearby 19th century train depot underscoring the history of Merced as a transportation hub. Following the JdV by Hyatt brand’s intent to celebrate locals and guests alike, artwork celebrating the agricultural and cultural traditions of the region adds to the accommodation.

Hilton London Metropole readies for summer unveiling of interior transformation

The Hilton London Metropole, the largest Hilton property outside of the US market, aims to maintain its position as one of Europe's most popular conference and events hotel with a multimillion-pound refurbishment that will radically transform and upgrade the guest experience. The renovation is due to be completed by summer 2021 and will provide visitors with a completely new and upgraded stay and through which no element of the hotel will be left unchanged. The 1,096 guestrooms and suites have already undergone a striking transformation, the venue’s four restaurants and bars will be relaunched with exciting new drinking and dining concepts. Extensive renovations are being made to the hotel’s 35 event spaces and meeting rooms, including two dedicated hybrid meeting rooms and three ballrooms, which total over 4,600 square metres in size. The hotel has embraced the latest in technology to ensure a seamless guest stay, from upgraded Wi-Fi to the introduction of Digital Key, which allows check in and room choice through personal devices via the Hilton Honors app.

US leads the world in hotel openings in 1Q 2021 but construction activity is on the decline

The United States of America led the world in new hotel and room openings during 1Q 2021, according to global pipeline data from benchmarking specialist STR’s AM:PM platform. At the same time, the country’s construction activity continues to decline in comparison with pre-pandemic levels. Over the three-month period, the US opened 220 properties accounting for 26,057 rooms. Only four other countries opened more than 2,000 rooms during the same period: China with 12,418 rooms; Japan with 2,499 rooms; Australia with 2,382 rooms; and the United Kingdom with 2,214 rooms. The number of rooms currently in construction in the US is down almost 34,000 from the country’s all-time construction peak of 220,207 rooms in Apr-2020). There are currently 186,269 rooms in construction across the US, 237,703 rooms in planning and 214,287 rooms in final planning, according to the STR platform. Among key US markets, New York (21,055 rooms) and Las Vegas (8,579 rooms) have the largest construction pipeline with Los Angeles (6,395 rooms) and Atlanta (5,407 rooms) the others with more than 5,000 rooms in that final phase of the pipeline.

Data metrics – latest performance insights from STR

  • The short-term rental industry in London, United Kingdom recorded a month-over-month increase in occupancy but continued decreases in ADR and RevPAR in Feb-2021. Occupancy for the sector was 55.6% for the month, which represented a +3.4% increase from January. Amid a continued COVID-19 fuelled lockdown across the UK, short-term rental occupancy was also significantly higher than the 24.2% recorded by hotels in the market. Short-term rental ADR was down -11.3% from Jan-2021 to GBP84.87, while RevPAR for the sector dropped -8.2% to GBP47.22. London hotels experienced a decrease in ADR month over month but an increase in RevPAR, according to STR’s data.
  • Hotel gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) in the United States of America in Feb-2021 reached its highest absolute level since Feb-2020. GOPPAR had come in no higher than USD12.69 for any month since the pandemic’s initial impact on industry performance from Mar-2020. In addition to improved absolute levels in the profitability metrics, year-over-year comparisons were less steep. In comparison with Feb-2020 the 12 month GOPPAR high of USD17.35 was down -83.3%, while TRevPAR fell -67.4% to USD85.11 (-67.4%), EBITDA PAR halved, falling -99.8% to USD0.14 and LPAR (Labour Costs) declined -60.2% to USD34.26.

News briefs – bitesize updates of latest industry news and developments

  • AC Hotel Missoula Downtown has opened marking the arrival of the AC Hotel brand in Montana. Located in the heart of downtown Missoula among the tree-lined streets and riverfront paths, on the corner of Main and Pattee Street, the property, managed by Aimbridge Hospitality, features 105 guest rooms distributed over six floors.
  • Accor has confirmed it will bring its Novotel and ibis brands to the GBP260 million NewcastleGateshead Quays regeneration scheme in the North East of England. The agreement with Gateshead Council, its development partners Ask Real Estate and independent investment manager, PATRIZIA, will see the dual branded 14-storey hotel established on the River Tyne quayside, forming a central part of the arena-led, mixed-use scheme on Gateshead’s waterfront. Vine Hotels will undertake the management of the hotels which are planned to open in 2024. The 187-room Novotel will feature the global brand’s newest public space and bedroom design concept, due to be launched later this year, while the ibis will feature 140 rooms.
  • Cambria Hotels is collaborating with Cambria Estate Winery, part of Jackson Family Wines, to offer the latter’s Julia’s Vineyard Pinot Noir and Katherine’s Vineyard Chardonnay at Cambria Hotels restaurants and bars across the country, as well as in its self-serve marketplace. Cambria Estate Winery was named one of Wine & Spirits top 100 Wineries of 2020 and a Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines of 2019.
  • Carton House in Kildare, Republic of Ireland, has reopened its doors as a Fairmont Hotels & Resorts property. the new chapter in the centuries-old property follows an extensive two-year, multimillion-euro, complete refurbishment. One of Ireland’s most historic country houses, Carton House was the home of the influential and aristocratic FitzGerald family, and is now in the proud ownership of the Irish-American Mullen family. The property features 18 luxurious and unique staterooms and suites within the House and 151 contemporary bedrooms in the Garden Wing.
  • Diamond Resorts reports bookings for the winter and spring are up +51% this year compared to 2Q 2020 with travellers seen to be eagerly plan for post-vaccine travel. Guest arrivals since mid-Feb-2021 are reported to be up a sixth (+17%) on the pre-COVID 2019 performance. Known for providing its members with exclusive entertainment experiences, Diamond Resorts is also seeing strong demand for live private concerts in late 2021 and early 2022. This demand is being largely driven by millennial travellers attracted by Diamond's experiences offer with “strong demand” being seen for live private concerts in late 2021 and early 2022.
  • The Hyatt Place Fayetteville/Springdale has opened in the US state of Arkansas. The four-storey property houses 107 guestrooms which include separate spaces to sleep, work and play, as well as the brand’s Cozy Corner sofa-sleeper. The hotel will appeal to both business and leisure travellers and is located in an important business district.
  • Malmaison will opening the doors to its first boutique hotel in the city of York, and the seventeenth of its ever-growing UK portfolio on 20-May-2021. Housed in the former Aviva insurance building, Malmaison York will offer 150 guest bedrooms and suites with views across York Minster and the famous City Walls. The property will also be home to new rooftop skybar, Sora, an Asian fusion tapas and cocktail bar, a brand new offering from the Malmaison group.
  • Marriott Executive Apartments has made its debut in Qatar with the opening of Marriott Executive Apartments City Center Doha. Owned by Al Rayyan Tourism Investment Company (ARTIC), the serviced apartments aim to meet the rapidly growing demand for longer stay accommodations in the Gulf city. The building features 254 modern residential apartments, a mix of studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartments.
  • Quorum Hotels & Resorts assumed management of the Hyatt Place Fort Worth/TCU upon its opening in Feb-2021. Quorum had assisted the ownership since 2018 in the design and development of the 150-key hotel which is the first and only hotel to be located on the campus of Texas Christian University (TCU). The hotel provides 3,500 square feet of meeting and event space, two Top Golf Swing Suites and Lot 12, a rooftop outlet that includes a 6,500 square foot terrace overlooking the TCU campus and downtown Fort Worth.