CHECK OUT! – latest hotel highlights from across the globe

27 October, 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 offering for this week.

  • InterContinental Hotels & Resorts expands Spanish portfolio with InterContinental Barcelona opening
  • Minor Hotels to debut in Egypt with new-build Oaks property
  • The Reykjavik Edition promises ‘a new standard’ as city’s ‘first truly luxury hotel experience’
  • Radisson Hotel Group set to double its West and Central Africa portfolio by 2025
  • Historic Anantara Palazzo Naiadi Rome Hotel marks Italian debut for Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas
  • Former Hotel Clayton and Hotel Marshall now a Hyatt Centric in downtown Sacremento
  • Rosewood arrives in Spain with Villa Magna opening in Madrid’s Salamanca district
  • ClubMed shines a light on accommodation offer at new Club Med Québec
  • Data metrics – latest performance insights from STR
  • News briefs – bitesize updates of latest industry news and developments

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts expands Spanish portfolio with InterContinental Barcelona opening

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts has confirmed the opening of InterContinental Barcelona in the heart of the city’s Montjuïc district. Located southwest of the city, Montjuïc is a scenic hill that overlooks the harbour offering stunning views of Barcelona. The rich influence of the city's Jewish roots can be seen all over this thriving, cultural destination for visitors from around the globe, complete with national treasures including the Palau Nacional, an iconic palace built in 1929 that now houses the National Museum of Catalan Art. Taking inspiration from the Mediterranean Sea and the striking architecture that the city is famous for, the property’s 273 rooms offer an elegant space. Following an extensive renovation, guests will find nods to the richness of a European city built on unique Catalan culture, including the use of natural wood interiors with hues of blue, ochre, and neutral tones woven into the soft furnishings. The hotel also houses a 180 square metre Presidential Suite, as well as 17 Junior Suites.

Minor Hotels to debut in Egypt with new-build Oaks property

Minor Hotels will make its debut in Egypt with the launch of a new build Oaks property. Scheduled to open in 2025, Oaks Egypt New Capital Apartments & Suites will be located in the heart of the Egyptian New Administrative Capital and will begin construction early next year. Egypt’s New Administrative Capital is a large-scale masterplan launched by the government in 2015. Located 45 kilometres to the east of central Cairo, the new city will house the entire government, ministries, foreign embassies and the local headquarters of many international companies. The property will bring a total of approximately 400 apartments and suites to the market in this fast-developing new administrative and financial capital. The property’s modern residential-style accommodation offering a home away from home concept for both corporate travellers and leisure tourists, will be housed across two wings, connected centrally at the rooftop and on the ground floor with a spacious retail area. One wing will feature a mix of suites and studios, in addition to one-bedroom and two-bedroom branded apartments. The other will feature 203 branded suites. Minor Hotels currently has 31 hotels and resorts in operation and in the pipeline in the MENA region across its Anantara, Avani, Tivoli and Oaks brands, with the pipeline including the launch of two new brands to the region – NH Collection and NH Hotels.

The Reykjavik Edition promises ‘a new standard’ as city’s ‘first truly luxury hotel experience’

Opening in preview in Nov-2021, The Reykjavik Edition aims to set a new standard as the city’s “first truly luxury hotel experience,” combining the best of the Icelandic capital with the personal, intimate and individual experience that the EDITION brand is known for. “Reykjavik is a really cool, young city -perfect for our brand,” says Ian Schrager, the visionary pioneer of the boutique hotel concept, PUBLIC and Edition creator. “We think this is Reykjavik’s time and we’re right here at the very heart of it and at the perfect time.” The property, designed in partnership with local architecture firm, T.ark and New York-based studio, Roman and Williams with guidance of ISC (Ian Schrager Company) design, subtly captures the spirit of Reykjavik from its harborside perch at the heart of the city: adjacent to Harpa, Reykjavik’s landmark concert hall and conference centre. Its ebony façade of shou sugi ban timber has been charred to be blacked using an ancient Japanese technique, and blackened steel frames is a clear nod to Iceland’s dramatic lava landscape. It features 253 rooms and suites with their beds facing floor-to-ceiling windows that frame various views of the surrounding neighbourhood.

Radisson Hotel Group set to double its West and Central Africa portfolio by 2025

Radisson Hotel Group has identified West & Central Africa as key markets in its African development strategy, growing its portfolio from one hotel in 2008 to the current portfolio of 25 hotels in operation and under development. With its robust expansion strategy, the Group is on track to double its portfolio to 50 hotels by 2025. In Apr-2021, the Group launched its first Radisson Individuals property in Africa, with the signing of Earl Heights Suites Hotel, a member of Radisson Individuals, in Accra, Ghana, due to open during the first quarter of 2022. Radisson has identified six countries for growth in West & Central Africa and eight of what are described as “pro-active cities”: Abuja, Lagos, Accra, Abidjan, Dakar, Yaoundé, Douala, and Kinshasa. The group currently has nine properties open and under development in Nigeria, five which are operating in Lagos and Abeokuta and spread across its upper upscale brand, Radisson Blu, the upscale Radisson brand and the upper midscale brand, Park Inn by Radisson. Four properties are currently under development in Abuja and Lagos: Radisson Collection Hotel Ikoyi Lagos, Radisson Collection Hotel Emerald Grand Hotel & Spa, Radisson Blu Hotel Abuja City Centre and Radisson Hotel Abuja Gudu. In Ghana, the group aims to enter the international luxury market with Radisson Collection, develop thier flagship Radisson Blu portfolio, the upscale segment with their Radisson brand, the upscale lifestyle segment with Radisson RED and the midscale segment with Park Inn by Radisson. The focus of expansion is the capital city, Accra, the Gulf of Guinea as well as Kumasi, one of the largest cities of the country. Other key country markets will be the Ivory Coast, one of the fastest economies in French-speaking Africa, Senegal, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Historic Anantara Palazzo Naiadi Rome Hotel marks Italian debut for Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas

Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas announces the addition of Anantara Palazzo Naiadi Rome Hotel to its portfolio, marking the brand’s debut in Italy. The addition of this historic property, which is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, heralds the continued growth of Anantara’s European footprint. This strategic expansion in Europe will continue in 2022 with the addition of properties in Amsterdam, Budapest, Nice and Dublin, complementing the existing European portfolio – Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort on the southern coast of Portugal and Anantara Villa Padierna Palace in Marbella, Spain. Immersed in the splendour of ancient Rome, Anantara Palazzo Naiadi Rome sits at the heart of Piazza della Repubblica and has a fascinating architectural history with original elements commissioned by Pope Clement XI for the Vatican in 1705. The building is suspended over the ancient Diocletian Thermal Baths, whose excavated foundations, pools and mosaics can be seen through the lower ground floor. The hotel is also home to one of the largest rooftop terraces in the city, affording stunning views over the skyline. The 238 guest rooms and suites of this luxury five-star property blend old-world glamour and elegant comfort with the ease of modern amenities with interior design ranging from contemporary to neoclassical.

Former Hotel Clayton and Hotel Marshall now a Hyatt Centric in downtown Sacremento

The new Hyatt Centric Downtown Sacramento, located in the heart of the city, aims to provide a launchpad for travellers to discover all that Sacramento has to offer. Located adjacent to the Golden 1 Center and Downtown Commons (DOCO), the hotel boasts 172 guestrooms and suites and 2,000 square feet of meeting space. It is owned by Presidio Companies and managed by Evolution Hospitality, the lifestyle operating division of Aimbridge Hospitality. The original hotel’s history dates back to 1911, when it first opened as the five story Hotel Clayton. In 1939, it became Hotel Marshall, named after James W. Now, standing at eleven stories high, the new hotel has preserved two of the original facades and celebrates the property’s past throughout, from Marshall amps stacked behind the front desk, to hand-painted murals of famous musicians in guestroom closets and music studio inspired light fixtures throughout the hotel.

Rosewood arrives in Spain with Villa Magna opening in Madrid’s Salamanca district

Following a comprehensive refurbishment and redesign, one of Madrid’s most iconic and venerable properties, has launched a new chapter of its life as the pioneering property for the ultra-luxury Rosewood Hotels & Resorts flag in Spain. Located on Madrid's most coveted boulevard, Paseo de la Castellana, amidst the city’s finest shopping, dining and cultural attractions, the historic property has been a beloved local landmark since it originally opened in 1972. Newly infused with a dynamic design scheme that honours the original hotel and the vibrant city in which it sits while simultaneously incorporating contemporary style and comforts, the revived Rosewood Villa Magna has been conceived to usher in a new phase of ultra-luxury hospitality to the city of Madrid and Spain at large. The property’s 154 keys, consisting of 101 guestrooms, 49 suites and four signature suites, have been built to balance the “ambiance of a contemporary Spanish villa” with “the signature aesthetic of the original Villa Magna hotel,” according to Rosewood. It also features eleven event venues, able to house an intimate group of 10 or a large party of 570 with an entire floor of the property configured into different modular areas, with several private rooms and spaces on offer to accommodate any size or scope event.

ClubMed shines a light on accommodation offer at new Club Med Québec

Club Med, the pioneer of the all-inclusive concept, has revealed the first images and details of the rooms and suites at Club Med Québec, the brand’s first all-inclusive Canadian resort. Due to open on 03-Dec-2021, the resort will be spread across 300+ acres of preserved natural landscape with sweeping views of the scenic St Lawrence River. The 302-room resort will feature a mix of Superior and Deluxe rooms as well as a private Exclusive Collection (5-Star) luxury space with 25 dedicated suites, all designed to echo the character of Canada. The latter, nested at the top of the resort, will offer incredible views, exclusive amenities, and all-inclusive premium services, such as dedicated concierge, breakfast room service, a private bar with daily evening champagne service, and an exclusive lounge with a roaring fireplace and cozy seating options surrounded by picturesque views of the St Lawrence River.

Data metrics – latest performance insights from STR

  • Events have offered a much-needed lifeline to hotels as the industry emerges from the pandemic and STR notes that its Forward STAR platform is seeing just that measuring the advance impact of the 2022 Commonwealth Games on accommodation in Birmingham, England for Jul-2022 and Aug-2022. The Birmingham Centre submarket, as is the case with many UK submarkets, is not yet showing signs of high bookings in 2022 with occupancy on the books as low as 2% for days in Jan-2022 and Feb-2022, but there is already a significant spike around the Commonwealth Games with forward hotel occupancy peaking at 55% on 05-Aug-2022. This is most notable in the Upscale segment. Knowing that booking windows have shortened because of the pandemic, “there is reasonable expectation for levels to grow higher as we get further into 2022,” says STR. The last time the event was held in the UK was in Glasgow in 2014 when occupancy levels peaked at 98% and didn’t drop below 93% while the games were in progress.
  • A partnership with Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority for the Republic of Ireland means STR is able to provide an insight into hotel performance in the country. Looking at Jun-2021, when hospitality businesses in Ireland were able to trade again after over five consecutive months of restrictions, room occupancy for the month was 46.4%, down on the pre-pandemic level of 87.2% in Jun-2019. This reduction was “due to travel restrictions limiting international tourists as well as the public’s avoidance of larger urban destinations,” according to STR. Dublin’s hotels, which are even more reliant on international arrivals and corporate business demand, also contributed to the low performance with occupancy of just 32.3% in Jun-2021 (versus 91.7% in Jun-2019). Reflecting the low room occupancy during the month, bedspace occupancy, which is the proportion of available bedspaces sold each month, was just over 40% during the month.
  • During the early weeks of autumn, RevPAR on a total-room-inventory (TRI) basis across the United States of America (USA) looked like 2019 for more markets, according to STR’s latest 51-chart map, designed to show recent national/regional trends as well as the general pace of the industry’s continued recovery. For the four weeks ending 16-Oct-2021, 18 states outperformed their comparable 2019 RevPAR. That number was down from 21 states the previous month, but 37 states showed at least respectable returns toward their normal RevPAR. Compared with 2019, the best recent four-week RevPAR surpluses occurred in Montana and Maine (both indexing 138) followed by Mississippi (123). In terms of month-over-month change, Washington DC experienced the sharpest average RevPAR percent/dollar upturn, rising +63% from USD69 to USD113.

News briefs – bitesize updates of latest industry news and developments

  • Banyan Tree Group will manage the Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe Resort, Spa and Winery, which is set to open on the hills of Mexico’s emerging food and wine region in Baja California during the 2023 harvest season. The 30-villa ultra-luxury resort will mark Banyan Tree Group’s fourth hotel in Mexico. Situated 90-minutes from the US border, Valle de Guadalupe is a rapidly growing tourism market that continues to gain international recognition as one of Mexico’s emerging destinations.
  • Occupying prime real estate along the coveted shores of Medano Beach in Cabo San Lucas, the Corazón Cabo Resort & Spa, will mark the latest addition to Noble House Hotels & Resorts’ elite collection. Expected to debut in early 2022, this USD100 million reveal will feature a new-build tower with 204 rooms and suites, contemporary meeting space and the highest rooftop bar in Cabo. Currently, guests can experience the modern guestrooms, pools, lobby and rooftop bar, while next year’s grand reveal will encompass the complete unveiling including the signature restaurant and fresh meeting space.
  • Badrutt’s Palace Hotel is to manage the iconic El Paradiso mountain restaurant and club in St Moritz, the luxury alpine resort town in Switzerland’s Engadin valley. The famed venue has a reputation as a favourite slope-side hotspot for St Moritz jetsetters to spend winter afternoons soaking up the mountain views, sipping champagne and letting their hair down.
  • Travel tech company Holidu has taken over holiday home platform Spain-Holiday and merged the business with its subsidiary Bookiply with a common goal of making the search and booking of holiday rentals as easy as possible. The merger of the businesses gives the Holidu Group's ongoing growth a further boost as its presence reaches 21 markets.
  • The Residence Inn by Marriott Playa del Carmen has officially opened its doors, located on the Federal Highway Cancun, Chetumal, and in close proximity to many world-renowned beaches. The hotel, located in the Playacar complex, marks the arrival of the third Residence Inn in Mexico. It features 149 spacious suites with fully equipped kitchens complete with a refrigerator, cooktop, microwave and dishwasher for a home away from home experience.
  • Hawai‘i specialist real estate investment firm BlackSand Capital has selected Highgate to operate the Royal Lahaina Resort on Maui when BlackSand completes the purchase of the resort from Pleasant Travel Service, which is expected to occur in Dec-2021. The 500-room property is located on 27 acres of beachfront land on Maui’s famed Ka‘anapali Beach, the first Highgate-managed property on the Valley Isle, but its eighth hotel across Hawai‘i.
  • Saba Rock, an island resort destination in the British Virgin Islands, reopened to guests from 15-Oct-2021, debuting a fresh design concept and unveiling new guest experiences. The much-anticipated event comes five years after the destination was hit by Hurricane Irma, leaving the iconic island destroyed. The property’s new contemporary aesthetic features a fresh take on the destination's nautical lifestyle and features seven guestrooms and two suites designed as a chic retreat that plays up the island’s reputation as a kiteboarding and sailing destination.
  • The Cadence Hotel in Niagara Falls, New York, a boutique luxury property within walking distance of the Niagara Falls State Park, has implemented the BeyondTV content streaming and guest services solution from Hotel Internet Services (HIS). The solution allows guests throughout the property’s 58 rooms to enjoy personalised entertainment content options.
  • Hotelbeds has agreed a preferred deal with YaVas, the OTA created by Mexican ULCC Volaris that will provide a simplified travel experience for users. YaVas is a one-stop-shop booking engine that offers travellers the opportunity to buy airline tickets, accommodation, check in and carry on luggage, as well as transfers tickets and unique experiences. It will now have full access to the Hotelbeds portfolio of 180,000 hotel properties in 140 countries worldwide, many of which are contracted under special terms and conditions.