CHECK OUT! – 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 second offering of the week.

  • Choice Hotels reveals new Rise & Shine prototype for Comfort upper midscale brand
  • Mandarin Oriental adds to its China footprint with new Hangzhou property
  • Wyndham grows its Trademark Collection in Europe with new Brussels hotel
  • TIME Hotels expands into the Egyptian market with initial 300+ key offer
  • Data metrics – latest performance insights from STR
  • News briefs – bitesize updates of latest industry news and developments

Choice Hotels reveals new Rise & Shine prototype for Comfort upper midscale brand

Choice Hotels International has unveiled the new Comfort Rise & Shine prototype as the next milestone for its flagship, upper midscale brand. The prototype celebrates the successes of the iconic franchise brand as Comfort marks its 40th anniversary this year, and positions the brand “for continued performance and system growth,” according to Choice Hotels. The new Comfort Rise & Shine prototype will debut from 2023 and builds on many of the features that have made the brand a favourite for developers in the upper midscale segment. The new design will encompass an efficient footprint with reduced square footage, include a welcoming outdoor porch and innovative new flex room versatile public space, plus City, Sea and Sun design palettes. The new prototype has been designed in response to evolving guest needs with tailored spaces proposed for travellers to relax, work, sleep and get ready for their day.


Mandarin Oriental adds to its China footprint with new Hangzhou property

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group will manage a new luxury hotel in Hangzhou, China, scheduled to open in 2025 after teaming up with Hong Kong-based real estate developers Hang Lung Properties. Hangzhou, a leading centre of tourism, culture, science and education in the province of Zhejiang, and is undergoing significant expansion and rejuvenation. Mandarin Oriental, Hangzhou will be part of the Westlake 66 mixed-use commercial and luxury retail complex owned and being developed by Hang Lung Properties. The development will be a leading attraction in the city, located close to the West Lake, an UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of China’s primary leisure destinations, with easy access to the city’s principal business hubs, Binjiang and Qianjiang. The hotel will comprise 194 guestrooms and suites as well as four restaurants and bars. Significant meeting and event space will ensure it is well positioned for business and social gatherings, while extensive spa and wellness facilities will provide a comprehensive range of wellness, beauty and massage treatments.


Wyndham grows its Trademark Collection in Europe with new Brussels hotel

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has confirmed the opening of Hotel Avenue Louise Brussels, its first Trademark Collection by Wyndham hotel in Belgium. Launched in 2017, Trademark Collection by Wyndham is designed for travellers seeking distinctive, attainable accommodations in sought-after destinations, with each Trademark hotel maintaining its own unique attributes. Alongside Belgium, further properties are planned to open in 2021 in Budapest, San Francisco, as well as an additional property in Belize later this year. The new property is situated in the heart of Brussels, close to many of the capital’s landmarks and attractions, making it the ideal destination for travellers looking to explore the history and culture of the city, as well as those visiting on business. Owned by Atom Hoteles and managed by Hotel Collection International (HCI), the hotel has undergone a EUR2.6 million refurbishment. Featuring classic decor, the hotel boasts 78 guest rooms, the cosy Louise Bar serving breakfast and snacks throughout the day, a patio, as well an English-style lounge with fireplace. The property’s rooftop features a new business centre.


TIME Hotels expands into the Egyptian market with initial 300+ key offer

UAE-based TIME Hotels will this year open its first two hotels in Egypt – the five-star TIME Coral Resort Nuweiba in the Red Sea resort of Nuweiba and the four-star TIME Marina Hotel & Conference Centre near Al Alamein on the Mediterranean coast, which is being hailed as Egypt’s second capital. Mohamed Awadalla, CEO, TIME hotels revealed work is “proceeding well” at TIME Marina Hotel and that property should be ready to open in Aug-2021. As for the TIME Coral Resort, that hotel is already open and operating, so it is only a case of re-flagging the hotel and opening under TIME’s management, planned for this summer. The 130-room TIME Marina Hotel & Conference Centre is situated just ten minutes from New Al Alamein City on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast and intends to support the increasing number of corporate companies that are basing their operations in the area, some new, some relocating from Cairo, as well as an increasing amount of general commercial activity. It will accommodate more than 350 delegates theatre style and also features a rooftop lounge, a restaurant, coffee shop, gym and pool. The five-star 203-key TIME Coral Resort Nuweiba, is situated in the Red Sea resort of Nuweiba on the east coast of the Sinai peninsula, approximately 140km from Sharm El Sheikh. Overlooking the Gulf of Aqaba, the hotel features three restaurants and bars with extensive gardens and palms with a private sandy beach, ideal for diving enthusiasts.


Data metrics – latest performance insights from STR

  • The hotel industry in Canada reported slightly higher performance in Feb-2021 when compared with recent months with the country’s occupancy level its highest since Nov-2020, while ADR and RevPAR were the highest since Oct-2020. Year-on-year declines remained significant but will improve in future months due to comparisons with pandemic-affected months last year. In comparison with Feb-2020, occupancy was down -53.0% to 27.3%, ADR declined –25.2% to CAD112.90 and RevPAR fell -64.8% to CAD30.86. The highest occupancy among provinces was reported in British Columbia (-45.7% to 34.7%), while at market level, the highest occupancy was reported in Vancouver (-54.4% to 33.3%).
  • Hotel occupancy in the United States of America jumped almost seven points from the previous week to the highest level in the country since early Mar-2020, according to data for the week ending 20-Mar-2021. The 58.9% absolute occupancy was a +93.9% increase from the comparable, pandemic-affected week last year, but more importantly, represented almost 85% of occupancy regained from the 2019 benchmark. There was also more improvement in ADR, which reached 81% of the comparable 2019 level at USD108.07, while RevPAR was USD63.62. Positively, every Top 25 Market experienced week-to-week improvement in occupancy. Outside of the major markets, destinations in Florida and Texas continued to advance with those like the Florida Keys, Sarasota, McAllen/Brownsville and San Antonio even surpassing 2019 levels.

News briefs – bitesize updates of latest industry news and developments

  • AIG Travel has introduced optional lodging expense coverage for travellers barred from boarding a commercial aircraft back to the US as a result of receiving a positive COVID test. The upgrade is a response to the CDC requirement that international travellers get a COVID-19 test within three days prior to entering the US and show a negative result before boarding their flight. AIG Travel’s Lodging Expense Bundle – part of its Preferred or Deluxe travel insurance plans –covers up to a total of USD500 per person for certain additional lodging expenses.
  • Hospitality platform AvantStay has made its debut in the Florida market in the US with the introduction of 12 properties along Florida’s popular 30A among a collection of small, unique, beautiful beach towns nestled between the much busier areas of Panama City and Destin. The properties range from four- to eight-bedrooms and are expected to be popular supporting the working from anywhere phenomenon.
  • The Hyatt House Rochester / Mayo Clinic Area has opened to guests. The 172-room hotel, owned by PEG Companies and managed by In-Group Hospitality, is located in Rochester in southern Minnesota. The hotel adds value to the City of Rochester as the first ever Qualified Opportunity Zone project, as part of the Destination Medical Center initiative to revitalise the downtown area and fills the need for extended stay accommodations for Mayo Clinic patients and their families.
  • IHG Hotels & Resorts has revealed its premium voco Hotels brand has reached the milestone of 50 signed and open hotels, marking IHG’s fastest ever global expansion. The brand’s footprint now extends across more than 20 countries after first debuting with its first signing and opening in Australia in 2018. Its milestone 50th signing, voco Brisbane City Centre in Australia, is set to open its doors later this year.
  • Majid Al Futtaim, a shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, has become the first and only conglomerate in the world to be awarded the prestigious LEED Platinum certification for its entire portfolio of 13 hotels. The internationally accredited certification underlined each hotel’s commitment to sustainability and resource efficiency. The certification bolsters the UAE hospitality industry’s burgeoning reputation as a leading destination for sustainable eco-tourism.
  • RightRooms.co is a new UK travel platform that showcases the Covid-safer features of hotels to help overcome any concerns travellers continue to hold about catching coronavirus when travelling. It aims to give travellers more confidence to users by giving them more information about the Covid-safety practices and features of individual hotels – and the steps that different hotels are taking to soothe the worries of the Covid-anxious.
  • Rixos Hotels has confirmed the opening of the Rixos Premium Magawish Suites and Villas in Egypt’s beach resort town of Hurghada on the Red Sea Coast. The five-star, all-inclusive property offers an accommodation of 410 suites from 53 square metre in area on a one kilometre stretch of beach in the popular resort destination.
  • Visual Matrix, a hotel property management software platform providing an all-in-one PMS with revenue management, channel management, and operational tools, has partnered with Shift4 Payments to offer enhanced payment processing capabilities to its hotel customers. As part of the enhanced integration, Visual Matrix’s more than 2,000 hoteliers can now access Shift4’s end-to-end payment solution, a key offer as secure EMV payment processing become a priority for hoteliers seeking mobile and touchless experiences for customers.

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