CHECK IN! – latest hotel highlights from across the globe

The CTC – Corporate Travel Community brings you the first of this week’s round up of some of the latest accommodation news from across the globe.

  • IHG to open Thailand’s largest Crowne Plaza in the heart of Bangkok
  • Strong domestic and holiday demand is helping Asia Pacific hotels see performance improvements
  • Newly renovated Hyatt Regency West Hanoi marks Hyatt’s debut in Hanoi
  • Data metrics – latest performance insights from STR
  • News briefs – bitesize updates of latest industry news and developments

IHG to open Thailand’s largest Crowne Plaza in the heart of Bangkok

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has signed an agreement with Sukhumvit Centre Point Co to take on management of Grand Sukhumvit Bangkok hotel in 2021. The 386-room hotel will rebrand as Crowne Plaza Bangkok Grand Sukhumvit by end of next year following an extensive refurbishment, before adding additional rooms by 2023 which will make it the country’s largest Crowne Plaza hotel and the flagship for the brand. The centrepiece of the property will be the ‘Plaza Workspace’ – a new take on the traditional hotel lobby. Situated 30 kilometres from Bangkok’s international Suvarnabhumi Airport, the hotel is conveniently located near the Nana BTS Station, offering easy access to embassies and corporate offices, as well as nearby shopping, dining, and entertainment amenities. IHG has 31 hotels in Thailand operating under seven brands: Six Senses, InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Staybridge Suites, with another 29 in the pipeline, which includes brand entries for Kimpton and voco.

Strong domestic and holiday demand is helping Asia Pacific hotels see performance improvements

The Asia Pacific hotel industry reported continued performance improvement from COVID-19 low points thanks to strong domestic demand and holidays, according to the performance outlook presented during HICAP 2020 by STR’s Jesper Palmqvist, area director for the region. Unlike the declines we’ve seen in the US after Labor Day weekend or Europe after the summer holidays, Asia Pacific markets have continued seeing growth, according to Mr Palmqvist. Data for Sep-2020 reveals 70% or better occupancy levels were registered in key China markets such as Sanya, Shenzhen, Chengdu and Xi’an. “What is more noteworthy is that these markets are showing year-on-year growth in the metric, which is not common for most of the world right now,” says Mr Palmqvist. China’s demand has grown consistently over the months due to strong domestic demand and national holidays. During the extended Golden Week period (where National Day coincided with Mid-Autumn Festival), the market posted an 83% occupancy, almost reaching levels seen in 2019, according to STR data. Meanwhile, during Silver Week in Sep-2020, Japan saw an occupancy boost driven mainly by domestic demand, hitting an occupancy high of 67% during the period. According to Mr Palmqvist, similar to other markets around the globe, regional and leisure markets like Hokkaido and Okinawa have begun to see more substantial occupancy growth, while Tokyo and Osaka are starting to see gentle initial growth. While both Australia and New Zealand also continues to improve, New Zealand occupancy is just 25% behind 2019 levels, according to the data. In many of the key markets in Asia Pacific, “weekends continue to produce the highest occupancy levels,” says Mr Palmqvist. The STR data shows that resort locations in Vietnam have posted occupancy as high as 40% during the weekends, while weekdays in South Korea are still showing low occupancy levels (20-25%) compared to weekends (60%) in the market.

Newly renovated Hyatt Regency West Hanoi marks Hyatt’s debut in Hanoi

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has confirmed the opening of Hyatt Regency West Hanoi, the first Hyatt hotel in Hanoi and the third Hyatt hotel in Vietnam. Located in Nam Tu Liem district, Hanoi’s new business district near major sporting and convention venues, Hyatt Regency West Hanoi offers over 500 modern guestrooms. The property, a rebrand from an existing hotel, has undergone an extensive renovation throughout all guestrooms, public areas, event and meeting spaces, and culinary venues, as well as a redesign of its tranquil landscaped garden. The property is situated a few minutes by car from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Convention Center, and various business districts home to global companies, making the property a convenient base for corporate guests.  Spanning two towers, the hotel offers guests a bright, stylish urban retreat with 519 guestrooms, including 114 suites and 129 long-stay rooms with kitchenettes and washing machines. The refreshed interiors feature a contemporary palette with natural wood and marble accents, coupled with modern facilities and floor-to-ceiling windows that allow in natural light and impressive views.

Data metrics – latest performance insights from STR

  • Hotels performance in Africa showed continued occupancy improvements but at overall low levels, according to Sep-2020 data. Despite month-over-month improvements, the region saw its lowest absolute occupancy and RevPAR levels for any September on record. In comparison with Sep-2019, occupancy was down -61.2% to 25.6%, ADR rose +2.7% to USD99.99 but RevPAR declined -60.2% to USD25.57.
  • The hotel industry in Central and South America reported slight performance improvement over the previous month but at overall low levels, according to Sep-2020 data. The absolute occupancy and RevPAR levels were the highest in the region since Mar-2020 but still the lowest for any Sep-2020, while ADR also came in lower than any other Sep-2020. In comparison with Sep-2019, occupancy was down -58.1% to 24.9%, ADR declined -26.7% to USD58.94 and RevPAR fell -69.3% to USD14.67.
  • Reflecting a post-summer lag in demand, the hotel industry in Europe reported slight performance decreases in Sep-2020. Each of the three key performance metrics were down from Aug-2020, and the occupancy level was the lowest for any September on record in Europe. In comparison with Sep-2019, occupancy was down -51.7% to 38.9%, ADR fell -27.2% to EUR90.78 and RevPAR declined -64.8% to EUR35.31.
  • Hotels performance in the Middle East showed continued occupancy improvements but at overall low levels, according to Sep-2020 data. Despite month-over-month improvements, the region saw its lowest absolute occupancy and RevPAR levels for any September on record. In comparison with Sep-2019,  occupancy fell -30.8% to 43.3%, ADR slipped -13.5% to USD98.54 and RevPAR declined -40.1% to USD42.64.

News briefs – bitesize updates of latest industry news and developments

  • Blue Safari Seychelles has announced the re-opening of Cosmoledo Atoll and Alphonse Island, two protected tropical paradises in the heart of the Indian Ocean. The idyllic Cosmoledo Atoll is situated over 1,000km from Mahe and a 90-minute plane journey, plus and an additional 90-minute boat trip from the Astove Atoll, while Alphonse Island is a one-hour flight from Mahe.
  • In the heartland of Ohio, the new Fairfield Inn and Suites Dayton North offers visitors convenient access to The Dayton Art Institute, Rose Music Center at the Heights, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, National Museum of the US Air Force, Dayton Dragons, and the University of Dayton, just six miles from Dayton International Airport. The Marriott franchise is owned by development and investment firm The Witness Group.
  • InterContinental Hotels group (IHG) has confirmed the opening of the newly built 162-room Holiday Inn Lusaka, Zambia. Located in the Embassy District and with close proximity to Lusaka National Museum, the hotel is located at the corner of Birdcage Walk and Haile Selassie Avenue. It is housed on the Western Wing of the InterContinental Lusaka Building in close proximity to most embassies, government and corporate offices.
  • The Indigo Road Hospitality Group has added The Skyline Lodge in Highlands, NC to its growing portfolio of F&B-driven boutique hotels. It will completely renovate the entire property of the winter with a mid-May-2021 planned reopening date. The 47-room property, is situated on top of Flat Top Mountain.
  • Vision Hospitality Group has debuted the Kinley Cincinnati Downtown, a newest lifestyle hotel as part of The Tribute Portfolio. Nestled between Cincinnati and the historic Over-the-Rhine neighbourhood, this boutique property provides a 94 guest rooms property in a central location in the heart of the Queen City.
  • Oyo Hotels and Homes has added over 1,000 rooms to its UK portfolio in the past six months. New additions include Oyo Hampton Court Hotel in Surrey, Oyo White Horse Hotel in West Sussex, Oyo Cedar Villa Guest House in Inverness, Oyo The Townhouse in Durham, Oyo Albert View in Manchester, Oyo Maggie Jones Guest House in Cardiff and Oyo Marine Parade Hotel in Eastbourne.
  • Pendry Hotels & Resorts confirmed its further US expansion with the Pendry Chicago, a creative rebirth of the Burnham Brother’s iconic, bold and playful art deco Carbide & Carbon Building Chicago landmark, which dates back to 1929. The renovation is already underway and will be concluded in spring 2021 with the delivery of 364 guestrooms and suites.
  • Radisson Hotel & Conference Center Green Bay has outlined details of an extensive USD23 million renovation that has been completed over the past two years. The renovation was completed in three phases with updates to the lobby, corridors, guest rooms and suites, conference rooms and the exterior. The guest rooms now feature the latest Radisson brand design. The hotel offers 391 guest rooms and suites.
  • The Residence Inn Providence Lincoln has opened to guests operating as a Marriott franchise, owned and managed by Brandt Hospitality Group. The Lincoln, Rhode Island all-suite property has 107 keys and is located 18 miles from TF Green International Airport and 10 minutes from downtown Providence, close to the offices of numerous local corporations including CVS, Fidelity Investments and Amica Mutual Insurance.
  • Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) CEO Arshad Mahmood Malik has advised Pakistan’s Senate Standing Committee on Aviation that PIA is not going to sell the Roosevelt Hotel in New York, however plans to close the hotel by 31-Dec-2020 for “renovation and future utility plans”. The hotel’s financial position is “in the red” due to debt servicing, unionisation, deterioration of the building and infrastructure and need for major repairs. Mr Malik said the declining business of the hotel is further aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic, which could increase the loss to USD6 million per year.
  • Accor has debuted its first Tribe property in Europe. The Tribe Paris Batignolle, formerly operated as the Abrial Hotel, has emerged following a refurbishment of the original property into a 79-room hotel. The midscale brand will grow across Europe with new properties already confirmed for Amsterdam, Glasgow and Manchester.
  • This winter season, Ultima Gstaad, a five-star hotel located in the upscale resort town of Gstaad, will debut a new partnership with globally renowned Peruvian restaurant group COYA, to bring the flavours, colours and energy of Latin America to the Swiss Alps. From 12-Dec-2020 through 01-Mar-2021, the luxury lifestyle group will takeover Ultima Gstaad’s restaurant, lobby bar and shisha lounge each evening, transforming the space into a Latin American adventure.