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. Here’s our first offering of the week.

  • IHG to debut its lifestyle brand Hotel Indigo in Saudi Arabia’s capital city
  • Marriott’s independent Tribute Portfolio celebrates Hiyori Chapter Kyoto’s debut in further Japanese expansion
  • First Radisson property opens in Ukraine’s historic port city of Odessa
  • Hyatt continues its North Africa growth with Hyatt Regency Taghazout opening
  • nhow Brussels Bloom Hotel takes the brand to seventh heaven with unconventional art experience for guests
  • Data metrics – latest performance insights from STR
  • News briefs – bitesize updates of latest industry news and developments

IHG to debut its lifestyle brand Hotel Indigo in Saudi Arabia’s capital city

Expanding its presence in the capital city of Saudi Arabia, IHG Hotels & Resorts has confirmed plans to bring its boutique hotel brand to the Kingdom with the signing of the Hotel Indigo Riyadh King Abdallah Road. This development also marks the first hotel to be signed under the Master Development Agreement (MDA) between IHG and RIVA Development Company via its wholly owned subsidiary RIVA Hospitality for Hotel Services Company. A new built property, it will feature 228 design-led rooms and will open to guests in March 2025. Offering authentic local experiences combined with a modern design, the hotel will also feature two dining options, a pool and a fitness center. Additionally, the hotel will offer 353 square metres of meeting and events space to cater to the demands of business travellers visiting Saudi Arabia’s capital city. Established in 2004, Hotel Indigo now has a presence in more than 20 countries with over 120 hotels, and over 100 hotels in the pipeline. IHG currently operates 38 hotels across 5 brands in Saudi Arabia, including: InterContinental, Crowne Plaza,  Holiday Inn , Staybridge Suites and voco with a further 20 hotels in the development pipeline due to open within the next three to five years.

Marriott’s Marriott’s independent Tribute Portfolio celebrates Hiyori Chapter Kyoto’s debut in further Japanese expansion

Marriott International’s Tribute Portfolio, a growing collection of characterful, independent hotels, continues to expand its footprint in Japan with the opening of Hiyori Chapter Kyoto. Located in Japan’s historical and cultural hub of Kyoto, the 203-room new hotel is the second Tribute Portfolio hotel in Japan and is set to showcase the hidden gems of Kyoto for travellers. The property sits near Kawaramachi-dori adjacent to one of Kyoto’s main shopping streets and the scenic Kamo River. It features 203 elegantly appointed guestrooms including two signature suites. Drawing inspiration from Japanese tea ceremonies, the guestrooms feature key elements of Japanese tea rooms and are reimagined with a modern interpretation to offer functional beauty and comfort with a sense of tradition. Meanwhile, the Chapter Factory located in the hotel lobby presents a unique way for guests to connect with the local community. Acting as the hotel concierge, it showcases a selection of curated travel stories from local insiders and hotel staff.

First Radisson property opens in Ukraine’s historic port city of Odessa

Radisson Hotel Group now has seven hotels and approaching 1,500 rooms in operation and under development in Ukraine following the opening of the Radisson Hotel City Centre Odessa, located on the Black Sea port city’s famous Derybasivska Street. This latest arrival is a key landmark for the group as it represents the first Radisson-branded property in the country. It offers an accommodation of 90 rooms decorated in a soft Scandinavian style as well as conference space for up to 85 delegates. The property is housed in the heart of Odessa along the main street of the city.

Hyatt continues its North Africa growth with Hyatt Regency Taghazout opening

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has confirmed the opening of Hyatt Regency Taghazout, representing the third Hyatt-branded hotel in Morocco. The 190-room hotel is located directly at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, and offers ocean views from every room. The beachside property, caters to business and leisure guests alike with 190 exquisitely decorated guestrooms, including 12 Regency Suites, six Executive Terrace Suites – four of which include private swimming pools – and 10 Terrace Suites. Each guestroom offers high-speed complimentary Wi-Fi and streaming ability.

nhow Brussels Bloom Hotel takes the brand to seventh heaven with unconventional art experience for guests

nhow, NH Hotel Group’s lifestyle and design brand, has opened a seventh property with colourful arrival of the nhow Brussels Bloom hotel. Located in the Botanique area, the cultural centre of Belgium’s capital city, the hotel aims to bring business and leisure travellers together into a creative environment with art as its central theme. “Anyone who appreciates unconventional creativity will feel at home in this hotel,” its says in its marketing promotion and each floor is inspired by a different art form. The rooms are decorated like an artist’s studio: upon entering, there is an explosion of colours and prints, while the sleeping area is just like a blank canvas waiting for its art to arrive. Each of the 305 guestrooms has a unique painting, which steals the attention due to its neutral surroundings. The bathrooms are inspired by the photographer’s workplace, the darkroom: mysterious, dark, and with a splash of colour here and there. Creativity is added by various Polaroid photos on the wall. The new arrival adds to nhow properties already trading in Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Marseille, Milan and Rotterdam, while the 375-room nhow Frankfurt is due to open in 2022. Other nhow hotels are planned for the next three years in Lima, Rome and Santiago de Chile.

Data metrics – latest performance insights from STR

  • Occupancy levels in hotels across the entire Mainland China hotel market have recovered significantly. In the case of Qingdao, China, a key business travel and seaside leisure resort market in the northern region, after mid-March, with the loosening of the local government’s management and control policies for large conferences, coupled with the effective drive of the Qingming Festival, occupancy levels have continued to increase. During the recent Labor Day holiday, Qingdao’s peak occupancy day so levels reached 91.2%, compared to 95.8% on the same day in 2019.
  • Saudi Arabia had moderate success promoting domestic travel while borders remained closed. In the case of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia leisure travel has never been a primary demand driver. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, weekday occupancy and ADR outpaced weekend performance, a result of both climate and location as well as the Kingdom’s tight control over tourist visas. COVID-19 reversed the long-term trend and narrowed the gap between weekday and weekend performance. However, weekday rates have spiked almost immediately after the Kingdom reopened its borders in May-2021.

News briefs – bitesize updates of latest industry news and developments

  • Hyatt Hotels Corporation has confirmed the opening of Alila Hinu Bay in Oman which joins Alila Jabal Akhdar as the brand’s second hotel in the country, joining 15 other Alila properties worldwide. The 112-key hotel includes 16 villas and is nestled on a secluded beachfront in Oman’s southwest region of Dhofar.
  • The Ascott Limited and its hospitality trust Ascott Residence Trust will jointly invest and develop a freehold student accommodation asset located in South Carolina, USA. The 678-bed student accommodation will serve over 35,000 undergraduate and graduate students from the nearby University of South Carolina. Construction of the student accommodation asset is scheduled to start in 3Q 2021 and complete in 2Q 2023.
  • Online accommodation and ancillary products platform Bedsonline has launched a new automated tool to improve the booking experience for travel advisors in North America. The new ‘Admin Fee tool’ in its self-service toolkit gives travel advisors the ability to automatically add fees for the services they provide to travellers.
  • Flight Centre Travel Group has selected HotelHub to provide a seamless, global hotel booking and distribution solution for its global corporate brands, including FCM and Corporate Traveller. The HotelHub platform aggregates hotel content from multiple GDS and non GDS sources and includes an intuitive tool for agents that fully automates the hotel booking workflow and includes an application programming interface (API) integrated with the industry’s online booking tools. This ensures all hotel bookings, regardless of how they are booked, are manageable within the HotelHub platform.
  • IHG Hotels & Resorts is growing its Premium & Essentials Collections in France with the recent openings of the 129-room Crowne Plaza Nice – Grand Arenas and 131-room Holiday Inn Express Nice – Grand Arenas in partnership with HPVA HOTELS. Located on the French Riviera, both hotels are less than a five-minute tram ride from Nice Côte d’Azur Airport and just ten minutes from Nice city centre.
  • The Marriott Cancun Resort on the shores of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is offering a redefined welcome to guests following the renovation of its lobby area. Designed by international architecture and interior design firm Rottet Studio, the new entryway is steeped in chic sophistication and has been compartmentalised into several spaces, each with its own function and personality.
  • Preferred Hotels & Resorts has confirmed the addition of 11 new member hotels to its global portfolio during the four months between Feb-2021 and May-2021. These new additions comprise: ModernHaus SoHo – (New York, United States); The Fives Oceanfront Puerto Morelos (Puerto Morelos, Q.R., Mexico); Haycock Manor (Wansford, United Kingdom); La Esperanza Granada (Andalucia, Spain); Ultima Gstaad (Gstaad, Switzerland): Pendry Chicago (Illinois, United States); Ultima Corfu (Corfu, Greece); Hotel Villa Barbarich Venice Mestre (Venice, Italy); Artiem Madrid (Madrid, Spain); Parkhotel Quellenhof Aachen (Aachen, Germany); and THE Park Kolkata (Kolkata, India).
  • Newmark Hotels, a well-established Cape Town based hotel operator, has been selected to manage the newly refurbished The Winchester, formerly known as Winchester Mansions Hotel, on Sea Point’s picturesque promenade. The property, an iconic hotel dating back to the 1920s, built in mock Cape Dutch architecture, has seen a full refurbishment of all its 76 bathrooms, passages as well as the entrance and its secluded courtyard. It is due to re-open to guests under its new guise from Oct-2021.
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