CHECK IN! – latest hotel highlights from across the globe

CTC – Corporate Travel Community brings you a round up of some of the latest accommodation and hospitality news from across the globe.

  • Accor launches global partnership with Faena Group to grow its luxury lifestyle portfolio
  • Radisson Blu bring its stylish space promise to downtown Fargo
  • Hyatt’s three Story Hotels in Sweden marks debut of JDV Hotel independent collection brand in Europe
  • New Pennsylvania property adds to Hilton’s Tapestry Collection number
  • Data metrics – latest performance insights from STR
  • News briefs – bitesize updates of latest industry news and developments

Accor launches global partnership with Faena Group to grow its luxury lifestyle portfolio

Accor has signed a global strategic partnership with Faena Group that will further grow its presence in the luxury lifestyle market and allow the latter to expand its brand around the world. The partnership will see the companies jointly manage Faena Buenos Aires and Faena District Miami Beach, as well as developing new Faena Districts in select global destinations – Dubai is to the be the first location under the new agreement. Argentine hotelier and real estate developer Alan Faena describes Accor as a “perfect partner” with a “shared vision and passion” that will allow the venture to “continue rethinking hospitality lifestyle and shaping the path for ground breaking concepts”. Sébastien Bazin, chief executive of Accor, describes Faena as a “clear leader in the luxury lifestyle sector” with his “transformative concepts” with “Faena Districts “shifting the gravitational centres of the cities where they reside, making a true difference in their communities”.


Radisson Blu bring its stylish space promise to downtown Fargo

Radisson Blu, the upper upscale hotel brand that promises a positive and personalised service in stylish spaces, is now active in downtown Fargo, North Dakota, USA. The Radisson Blu Fargo is centrally located among the city’s attractions and just four miles from Hector International Airport, its downtown location serving as the perfect home base for business and leisure travellers alike. Originally a Radisson, the hotel has undergone an extensive renovation to join the ranks of the stylish Radisson Blu brand. The six-month process totalling approximately USD11 million included full remodels of the hotel’s 151 guest rooms, modernising spaces with open floor plans, along with incorporating locally inspired design elements to bring the Fargo experience to life. Each guest room also features views of downtown Fargo or the Red River separating North Dakota and Minnesota. The opening comes amid a period of impressive growth for the Radisson Blu brand, which has expanded its footprint with several hotels throughout the Americas in recent months. These openings include Radisson Blu Resort and Residence Punta Cana, Radisson Blu Anaheim and Radisson Blu Toronto Downtown. Additionally, Radisson Blu Aruba is set to open in the first quarter of this year.


Hyatt’s three Story Hotels in Sweden mark debut of JDV Hotel independent collection brand in Europe

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has revealed an affiliate has entered into franchise agreements with Story Hotels Holding to bring three hotels in Sweden under the JDV Hotel brand, helping to grow Hyatt’s independent collection brand in Europe. The three boutique hotels – Story Hotel Riddargatan and Story Hotel Signalfabriken in Stockholm, as well as Story Hotel Studio Malmö, Sweden – will all retain their individual hotel names and unique identities. The three Story Hotels will be available for reservation through Hyatt’s booking channels and for World of Hyatt members to earn and redeem points for stays starting 15-Apr-2021. Hyatt’s independent collection portfolio is a collection of brands that embrace the locations in which each hotel resides. All three Story Hotel properties are located at the heart of their destinations and each will celebrate the unique neighborhoods in which the properties reside with modern, Scandinavian design that reflects the nature of both cities. The Story Hotel Riddargatan, Stockholm, is an 83-room property widely believed to be one of Stockholm’s original boutique hotels; the Story Hotel Signalfabriken, Stockholm, will feature 83 individually designed guestrooms and a vibrant bar and restaurant, which will host regular DJ performances, in what was formerly a fire station and town hall; the Story Hotel Studio Malmö will feature 95 unique guestrooms situated on the top floors of a high-rise building offering spectacular views overlooking the city and water.


New Pennsylvania property adds to Hilton’s Tapestry Collection number

The Tapestry Collection by Hilton represents a portfolio of original hotels that offers a unique style and vibrant personality to guests and encourages them to explore their local destination. The latest addition to its portfolio is Scholar Hotel State College, located in the heart of downtown Pennsylvania and just one block from Pennsylvania State University. The property features 72 extended-stay guest rooms, 1,250 square feet of meeting space, a state-of-the-art fitness centre and a lobby marketplace. Scholar Hotel Group specialises in hotels on or near college campuses and this latest offer is housed in the historic Glennland Building, built in 1933 and on the National Register of Historic Places. It acquired the site in 2019 and after extensive renovations, the newly purposed property has been designed for both overnight guests and those with extended-stay hotel needs. Each guest room contains a kitchen with refrigerator, dishwasher, cooktop or oven, microwave and cabinet space.


Data metrics – latest performance insights from STR

  • The hotel industry in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) reported its highest performance levels since the start of the pandemic, according to preliminary Dec-2020 data. Although down in year-on-year comparisons, Dubai’s three key performance metrics also pulled closer to pre-pandemic levels. Absolute ADR and RevPAR were the highest in Dubai since Jan-2020, while occupancy was the market’s highest since Feb-2020. In comparison with Dec-2019, occupancy fell -10.0% to 71.0%, ADR slipped -9.1% to AED608.92, while RevPAR declined -18.2% to AED432.34.
  • Preliminary Dec-2020 data for London, United Kingdom hotels showed slightly higher performance levels compared with the previous month, but year-on-year declines remained significant. Each of the three key performance metrics were up from Nov-2020, thanks to higher performance towards the beginning of the month. In comparison with Dec-2019, occupancy was down -70.3% to 24.0%, ADR declined -46.2% to GBP85.58 and RevPAR fell -84.0% to GBP20.57.
  • The hotel industry in Melbourne, Australia reported its highest performance levels since early in the pandemic, according to preliminary Dec-2020 data. Each of the three key performance metrics were the highest in the city since Mar-2020, although year-on-year declines remained significant. The market was helped particularly by weekend leisure demand as the local economy began to reopen post-lockdown. In comparison with Dec-2019, occupancy was down -48.3% to 40.9%, ADR declined -19.4% to AUD149.90 and RevPAR fell -58.3% to AUD61.35.
  • The short-term rental sector in Miami, United States of America posted its best overall performance since the beginning of the pandemic, according to Dec-2020 data as short-term rentals reported occupancy levels higher than hotels in their respective markets. Miami short-term rental occupancy came in above 83.0% for the third month in a row at 83.2%, a +1.5% rise on Nov-2019. The ADR (USD155.80; +28.4%)and RevPAR (USD129.61; +30.3%) were the market’s highest since Mar-2020.

News briefs – bitesize updates of latest industry news and developments

  • The Alila Napa Valley in St Helena, California will mark the further expansion of the Hyatt luxury lifestyle brand when it formally resumes operations from Mar-2021 following its transformation from the Las Alcobas, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Napa Valley. The exclusive 68-room adults-only retreat is built around a stately, Georgian-style guesthouse that was originally constructed in 1907. Surrounded by the home vineyards of the Beringer Estate, Alila Napa Valley plans to offer guests an exclusive, curated and truly luxury travel experience in the heart of California’s Wine Country. The room count includes seven suites with all guestrooms having oversized balconies or wrap-around terraces with fireplaces.
  • Aparthotels Adagio, a joint venture between Accor and the Pierre and Vacances Center Parcs Group, has announced plans for its first property in the German city of Stuttgart, adding to existing locations in Berlin, Bremen, Cologne, Frankfurt and Munich. The Aparthotels Adagio Stuttgart, located in Neckarpark, next to the Daimler and Mercedes Benz headquarters, is scheduled to open in 1Q 2024. It will feature 199 apartments with kitchens.
  • Strand Hospitality has announced the opening of the Courtyard by Marriott Pensacola West, a 124-room hotel that offers guests convenient access to 5 Flags Speedway, the National Naval Aviation Museum, Cypress Lakes Golf Club, Pensacola Beach and serving the Navy Federal Credit Union’s Heritage Oaks Campus. Each guestroom in the six-storey property offers either a king-size bed with a sofa-bed or two queen-size beds; it also features a light desk on wheels, allowing guests to work from anywhere in the room.
  • The latest launch in Aparium Hotel Group’s ambitious pipeline of six openings through early 2022, will be the Daxton Hotel, designed by Booth Hansen architects from a vision from its owner Mark Mitchell, a lifelong, metro Detroit area. Located in Birmingham, MI the hotel joins the ranks of acclaimed properties such as Kansas City’s Crossroads, the recently opened Hotel Haya and the Detroit Foundation Hotel credited as a catalyst in Downtown Detroit’s revitalisation. The property features a minimalist-luxe design and houses a 400+ piece collection of cutting-edge, original art curated by world-famous Saatchi Art. It will open in Mar-2021.
  • The Don CeSar, at St Pete Beach in Florida, has officially unveiled its multi-million-dollar renovation which has dramatically enhanced and expanded the historic resort, managed by Davidson Resorts. The top-to-bottom renovation embraces its 93-year history as a beloved Gulf Coast icon while fusing modern amenities, sleek design and new experiences. The transformative redesign of the Pink Palace began in 2018 with a fresh look introduced to meeting spaces, guest corridors alongside modernising the property’s exterior and the 71-room, all-suite Beach House Suites. The final phase sees a redesign of the beachfront resort’s 277 rooms and suites and introduces a new pool bar with a rooftop deck, new full-service restaurant and a complete restoration of the iconic, palm tree lined front drive.
  • Fairmont Chateau Whistler has confirmed the opening of a luxurious 96-room Fairmont Gold with private concierge, exclusive lounge with culinary offerings, and spacious renovated guestrooms. Designed by Hirsch Bedner Associates, the USD14.2 million project injects a new level of luxury that takes inspiration from the surroundings, including a light fixture in the lounge that reflects ski poles and snowfall.
  • SaaS-based management solutions hospitality tech company, Jurny, has reached agreement to operate Hotel Brexton, a historic hotel located in the famous Mount Vernon District situated near Baltimore’s Inner Harbour. Jurny will integrate its proprietary technology and management services to operate the newly remodelled 25-unit hotel originally built in 1881. The company specialises in turnkey management solutions for independent hotels and multi-family building owners designed to enable a contactless guest experience and streamline operational efficiencies, including booking services, cleaning management and customer support.
  • Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced that all 19 Hyatt resorts in Latin America have arranged for complimentary on-property COVID-19 testing through 31-May-2021 for guests traveling to the US. This is valid for up to two registered guests per guestroom per stay at 19 participating resorts in Mexico, Costa Rica, the Caribbean, and South America. In addition, Hyatt hotels in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and South America are extending a Travel Delay Rate to guests who cannot complete their travel due to test-related reasons.
  • Whitbread, the owner of the Premier Inn and hub by Premier Inn hotel brands, is gearing itself up for increased demand for UK staycations with four new hotels due to open in Scotland in the coming months. The new hotels comprise a new super-sized, 249-room Premier Inn in Glasgow city centre, a new hotel on Edinburgh’s Princes Street, a new Premier Inn and Beefeater in Hamilton town centre and the most northerly Premier Inn in the UK at Thurso in the Highlands. Together the hotels will add more than 550 new bedrooms into Premier Inn’s growing network in Scotland.
  • The Radisson Hotel Grand Rapids Riverfront in Grand Rapids, MI has opened, well positioned near the DeltaPlex Arena & Conference Center and just two miles from the city’s downtown. Around 20 minutes from Gerald R. Ford International Airport, the hotel features 162 guest rooms and suites with many offering picturesque views of the Grand River.
  • Sheraton Hotels & Resorts has confirmed the initial hotels around the world that will advocate the brand’s new vision: Sheraton Phoenix Downtown, USA; Sheraton Denver Downtown, USA; Sheraton Tel Aviv, Israel; Sheraton Grand Dubai, UAE; Sheraton Guangzhou, China and Sheraton Mianyang, China. Following Marriott International’s announcement in 2018 of its plans to refresh the iconic brand, the completion of the renovations at these hotels marks an important milestone in the brand’s reinvention journey. Sheraton expects over 40 hotels around the world to reflect the new brand vision by the end of 2022.
  • Villas of Distinction has revealed an increased demand for US domestic villas, an uptick in long-term rentals and a shift in the time from booking to travelling. In 2020, there was a +7% increase in people wanting to get away within 0-60 days, creating more close-in bookings than its seen in years’ past, according to booking data. There was also a +5% increase in people booking more than a year in advance even into late 2022 and 2023, according to its data.
  • ASG, a portfolio company of Alpine Investors, has acquired Visual Matrix, a hotel property management software providing an all in one PMS with revenue management, channel management, and operational tools to maximise hotel profitability and efficiency. This deal marks the 31st acquisition for ASG and the third in the ASG Hospitality Technology vertical, following Transcendent in 2019 and ProfitSword in 2020.
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