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 introduce first upscale international hotel brand to South Korea’s Gyeonggi-do province
  • New Hard Rock Madrid plays tune to the vibrancy and spirit of Spain
  • Pendry Cincinnati to emerge from historic Gwynne Building in 2023
  • Paris will be first house new co-living group travel concept from Adagio
  • Hilton opens seventh Indonesian property with Hilton Garden Inn debut in country
  • Data metrics – latest performance insights from STR
  • News briefs – bitesize updates of latest industry news and developments

IHG to introduce first upscale international hotel brand to South Korea’s Gyeonggi-do province

IHG Hotels & Resorts and Seraphim Development have announced a landmark partnership to sign the first voco hotel in South Korea. It will be IHG’s 10th hotel in South Korea and its fourth brand in the country, alongside InterContinental, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express. The new-build 280-room urban resort voco Pyeongtaek City will also be the first upscale international hotel brand in Gyeonggi-do province when it opens to guests in 2023. The arrangement marks the latest milestone for the premium voco brand, which was launched in 2018 and quickly reached 50 signed and open hotels in more than 20 countries, marking IHG’s fastest-ever global brand expansion. Pyeongtaek was founded as a union of two districts in 940, during the Goryeo dynasty and was elevated to city status in 1986. The South Korean government plans to transform Pyeongtaek city to an international economic hub and the new property will be housed within the mixed used development International Market Place and in close proximity to the Pyeongtaek Special Tourism Area and Naeri Cultural Park, meeting the needs of both business and leisure travellers. Pyeongtaek is also home to a South Korean naval base and a large concentration of United States troops and the developing US military base Camp Humphreys. Within the new property, the brand’s signature ‘voco Life’ concept will be featured strongly, with the hotel offering the city’s only rooftop pool with a 360-degree view of Godeok city and Ansung River. Facilities at voco Pyeongtaek City will also include a restaurant, lounge and bar, fitness centre and 1,300 square metres of meeting space.

New Hard Rock Madrid plays tune to the vibrancy and spirit of Spain

Hard Rock Hotels today announced the opening of the much anticipated Hard Rock Hotel Madrid. Located at the Golden Triangle of Art in the Spanish capital, the hotel is the newest addition to the brand’s international portfolio and compliments recent growth throughout Europe. The first Spanish metropolitan hotel, Hard Rock Hotel Madrid brings a distinctly different personality to the beach resort properties currently open in Ibiza and Tenerife. The new hotel caters to both business and leisure travellers, with 161 rooms and suites (from 194 square feet) offering diverse views over the lights of Madrid or overlooking the property’s lush garden. Additionally, more than 21,000 square feet of event space including garden and rooftop venues set the stage for world-class immersive events. At the heart of the property guests will find a dramatic architectural hanging guitar sculpture above the welcoming, amber-hued sofas of the lobby. Vibrant artwork is featured throughout the hotel, including a life-size pink ‘Las Meninas’ adorned with Rosalía lyrics, inspired by Diego Velázquez’s masterpiece hanging in the Prado Museum and mural in GMT+1 bar inspired by the La Movida movement in Madrid. The colourful artwork is complemented by a memorabilia collection that showcases Madrid style and culture, as well as international music legends. comprising over 70 pieces of memorabilia, with notable pieces including an acoustic guitar from Madrid-native singer-songwriter, Antonio Vega; blue denim jeans outfit worn by Elvis Presley during an NBC TV special in 1968; and platform boots worn by David Bowie.

Pendry Cincinnati to emerge from historic Gwynne Building in 2023

Pendry Hotels & Resorts, the luxury hospitality brand from Montage International, has revealed plans to open a property in Cincinnati in partnership with NuovoRE. The Pendry Cincinnati will be located within the historic Gwynne Building, located at the intersection of Main Street and East 6th Street in the city’s downtown area. The historic 1913 Beaux-Arts building, which for decades housed Procter & Gamble Company’s global headquarters, has been awarded a USD5 million historic tax credit by the Ohio Services Development Agency. This is a large step forward in the rehabilitation of the property and will preserve the unique history of the building while also providing an array of new offerings and opportunities as it emerges into its new form. The property will feature approximately 168 guestrooms, including “spacious suites, four unique lounge, restaurant and bar experiences—including a rooftop beer garden and café,” according to promotional literature. It will also include 6,500 square feet of indoor meetings and event space, including a 3,000-square-foot ballroom.

Paris will be first city to house new co-living group travel concept from Adagio

Aparthotel specialist Adagio is to introduce a new co-living concept designed for group accommodation and is on track to debut this autumn. The first co-living flat is currently being built in the Aparthotel Adagio Paris Bercy, with the brand hoping to rollout the concept across its international portfolio soon after. The concept is designed to support larger groups travelling together and is described as more than just a new form of accommodation but rather as an attitude. The co-living apartment model, built in collaboration with the design studio Numéro 111, will be designed around four to six rooms and able accommodate up to twelve people. It is aimed at both corporate and leisure travellers with a turnkey room layout that provides a separate area within the flat that can be used as a shared multifunctional space. The Coliving concept “adapts to guests needs and architecturally combines community and privacy,” says Adagio, with a mixture of “flexible communal areas for meeting and working and private rooms where residents can retreat in peace”.

Hilton opens seventh Indonesian property with Hilton Garden Inn debut in Jakarta

Hilton Hotels has confirmed the opening of its seventh hotel in Indonesia, the Hilton Garden Inn Jakarta Taman Palem. Launching as the first hotel under Hilton’s focused service brand, Hilton Garden Inn, in Indonesia’s capital city of Jakarta, the hotel is owned by the Agung Sedayu Group company and managed by Hilton. The property is located in the heart of West Jakarta’s central business district around a 20-minute drive from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. It is connected to Green Sedayu Mall which features a range of retail outlets, restaurants and bars and entertainment options, while the hotel is also a short 10-minute drive to the residential area of Pantai Indah Kapuk which is locally renowned for its vibrant nightlife. The accommodation features 168 guest rooms and suites, all of which come with a 43-inch high-definition television, mini-fridge, USB charging ports, a dedicated work desk and walk-in shower. The Hilton Garden Inn’s promise is it to make each guest’s stay “better and brighter” with an offer to business and leisure guests of “upscale, affordable accommodations and unexpected amenities for an experience that is ‘simply on another level.’”

Data metrics – latest performance insights from STR

  • Amid recent COVID-19 outbreaks and lockdowns, key markets in Australia are showing noticeably lower levels of occupancy on the books for the coming weeks, according to data from STR’s Forward STAR. Most notable, Sydney’s occupancy on the books is down an average of -13.8% when comparing the 28-Jun-2021 data update with the release just one week earlier. Australia had been one of the highest-performing countries during 2021 with improving midweek demand alongside continued strength across weekends, notes STR. Year-to-date through May, RevPAR had reached 74% of 2019 levels.
  • In Spain, there is a generally mixture picture but with some improvement in two key hotel markets in the Mediterranean country: Barcelona and the Balearic Islands (Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca). Barcelona has been “heavily impacted” by a lack of its usual demand drivers, such as international travel and events, says STR, but for the summer months of Jul-2021 and Aug-2021 are “trending higher” than previously seen and looking ahead to 2022, occupancy on the books spikes in Feb-2022 alongside the Mobile World Congress. Meanwhile, at the end of 1Q 2021 hotel occupancy on the books for the Balearic Islands was building up gradually toward the summer months, but “a lack of confidence in booking travel on a long lead time with the uncertainty around restrictions” has impacted bookings, says STR. Lead times remain short, it says, but the outlook is more positive with occupancy on the books “looking healthier, reaching almost 30% for the summer months,” albeit tailing off around Oct-2021 as the summer season ends.

News briefs – bitesize updates of latest industry news and developments

  • The two largest hotel and lodging associations in America, the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) and the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) have jointly established the American Hospitality Alliance (AHA) to promote the hospitality industry at state and local levels. AHLA and AAHOA will co-chair AHA, and an advisory board of 17 industry representatives and staff serving one-year terms will steer the alliance’s priorities and policy initiatives.
  • The north Georgia mountain town of Helen has become home to America’s first Budgetel Plus Inn & Suites, which opened as a two-floor, 54-room conversion of the former Jameson Inn. The town becomes the first to operate a hotel under each of the three flags offered by Hospitality Lodging Systems (HLS), adding to the already trading 32-room Haven Inn & Suites and 57-room AmeriVu Inn & Suites.
  • The Canopy by Hilton Portland Waterfront has become the first Hilton lifestyle hotel to open in the New England region. Located on the corner of Center and Commercial Streets in the Old Port neighborhood, the waterfront hotel is owned and managed by Fathom Companies and features 135 guestrooms. The property is home to Luna, the first indoor/outdoor rooftop bar overlooking Casco Bay, and Salt Yard, a café and restaurant that pays homage to Portland’s pottery history and Old Port building icon, E Swasey & Co.
  • Curator Hotel & Resort Collection, an owner-centric hospitality platform for independent lifestyle hotels, has selected Sabre Corporation to help members boost guest loyalty and increase revenue. Under the agreement the members will be able to access Sabre’s next-generation retailing and distribution solutions to help provide more personalised experience and offer deeper engagement with guests while increasing profitability and revenue opportunities.
  • Groups360 has released a raft of product enhancements to its GroupSync online marketplace for sourcing and booking hotel rooms and meeting space. Among these enhancements are redesigned menus and navigation to improve the user experience and a quick search feature for planners who have preselected their preferred hotels. GroupSync has almost 200,000 searchable RFP-connected hotels worldwide, approaching 5,500 hotels with instant group booking, and close to 1,000,000 guest rooms available for instant booking.
  • MGM Resorts International has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Infinity World Development Corp’s 50% interest in CityCenter Holdings for a reported USD2.125 billion. The agreement will make MGM Resorts the outright owner of CityCenter on the Las Vegas Strip, which is comprised of the Aria Resort & Casino and Vdara Hotel and Spa.
  • Thailand’s integrated lifestyle real estate group Asset World Corp Public Company has entered into a partnership with Nobu Hospitality, the global lifestyle brand founded by Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, to open multiple Nobu Hotels and Restaurants, including Bangkok’s first ever Nobu restaurant, expected to open in time to serve as a spectacular New Year’s countdown viewpoint at the end of 2021.
  • Designed by South African architecture studio SAOTA, the Ritz-Carlton Residences, Bodrum are the first stand-alone branded residences for Marriott International in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region. Set on a 126,000 square metre private peninsula in Yalıkavak, a coastal resort town of Bodrum, the property offers 74 private villas across three types with ten different options.
  • Viceroy Hotels & Resorts has brought its modern luxury hotel offer to Europe for the first time as the Viceroy Kopaonik Serbia opens. Located in Serbia’s largest mountain range, it is described as “a luxe mountain resort rich in culture, natural beauty and boundless adventure”. The 119-room retreat is also part of The Viceroy Icon Collection. Called ‘mountain of the sun’, Kopaonik is a biodiversity hotspot located in Šumadija in western Serbia.
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