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.

  • Crowne Plaza Albany – The Desmond Hotel opens after full transformation
  • First Radisson Individuals hotel debuts in South-East Europe in Bulgaria’s second city
  • ‘Tech’ is reinventing the hotel space with automation one of the top priorities
  • Cycas Hospitality adds to its management portfolio with new UK and Belgium deals
  • Data metrics – latest performance insights from STR
  • News briefs – bitesize updates of latest industry news and developments

Crowne Plaza Albany – The Desmond Hotel opens after full transformation

The Crowne Plaza Albany – The Desmond Hotel has opened following a full renovation and transformation of the former independent property. Located a half mile from the Albany International Airport and adjacent to shopping and office sites, the family-owned and operated property has been operating successfully since 1974, but has been transformed to meet the evolving needs of modern business travellers and leisure guests. The property consists of 323 guest rooms and suites, including spiral staircase duplexes, suites with private entrances and patios, and ADA accessible rooms. It maintains many of its former charms, but now offering stays backed by a guarantee of quality, consistency and safety as part of IHG Hotels & Resorts. While the hotel has been fully modernised, the celebrated architecture throughout the property designed by the original owner, John K Desmond, Jr, remains intact to his original vision, which was revealed when the hotel opened in the early 70’s. Nods to Desmond’s affinity for aviation and the Capital Region can be found woven throughout the property’s new bright and open spaces. The property will continue to be independently owned and is managed by the third generation of the Desmond family.


First Radisson Individuals hotel debuts in South-East Europe in Bulgaria’s second city

Located in Bulgaria’s cosmopolitan second city and highlighted as European Capital of Culture 2019, Radisson Hotel Group has announced the opening of Hotel Imperial Plovdiv, a member of Radisson Individuals. The newest addition to the dynamic portfolio of the Radisson Individuals brand, which initially launched in Europe in Q4 2020, also marks the group’s return to the Bulgarian market. The property offers 194 guest rooms and suites with views overlooking the city centre, the Plovdiv’s Hills or the charming private garden of the hotel. It boasts six conference rooms with more than 850 square metred of meeting space, including a ballroom on the top floor. The Hotel Imperial Plovdiv is located close to the Kapana district, which features a labyrinth of medieval streets and traditional restaurant options. The creative heart of the city is an attractive place for artists, curators, architects, writers, and musicians from all over the world.


‘Tech’ is reinventing the hotel space with automation one of the top priorities

As travel opens up again, technology will be “an absolute necessity for any hospitality business looking to stay competitive,” says Steve Davis, CEO, Operto Guest Technologies. The companies that make the switch will ultimately deliver “the most memorable and pleasing guest experiences,” with “joined-up, customer-centric technology that changes with guest behaviours, habit changes, and post-Covid expectations,” he says. The observations coincide with the publication of whitepaper from the provider of smart devices and connected technology for the global hotel, vacation and short-term rental industries based on a survey of over 200 hospitality providers. ‘The State of Tech-Enabled Stays from 2021-2023’ highlights that 86% of hoteliers and short-term rental providers identify operations automation as a top priority, while 76% of hoteliers plan to reduce front desk staff significantly in the next 12 months. The research also shows that half of all operators said guests either expect or prefer an automated, contactless check-in; 48% said guests expect keyless door entry; and a third (34%) plan on investing 11-25% more in keyless and automated tech in next two years.


Cycas Hospitality adds to its management portfolio with new UK and Belgium deals

European hotel management company Cycas Hospitality has further expanded its activities in the UK and Belgium after signing three new hotel management agreements already this year. The first property deal is with Eastern & Oriental (E&O) to manage the E&O Group’s inaugural European serviced apartment property; a 54-room luxury property in the heart of London. Expected to open in autumn 2021, The Lincoln Suites will offer 28 one-bedroom suites, and 26 studios with high-end amenities, set within a converted 1920s neo-classical building in Holborn. The hotel operator has also taken over the management of two Qbic-branded properties in the UK and Belgium; the 148-room Qbic Brussels in the vibrant Ixelles neighbourhood, south of the city centre, and the 261-room Qbic Manchester, which is set to open next month on a prominent site in the city centre.


Data metrics – latest performance insights from STR

  • Among the Top 25 Markets in the United States of America (USA) in Mar-2021, Tampa experienced the highest occupancy level (77.1%), which was just -12.2% below the market’s benchmark from 2019. The next highest occupancy level was in Miami (72.7%), which recorded the highest ADR (USD248.26) and RevPAR (USD180.36) levels. Miami’s ADR level was just -1.9% lower than the pre-pandemic comparable. Markets with the lowest occupancy for the month included Boston (35.7%) and Minneapolis (36.1%).

News briefs – bitesize updates of latest industry news and developments

  • Global luxury hotel residences specialist AKA has launched a club exclusive to its New York City residences. Designed to cater to the growing number of travellers opting to stay longer in one place, Access AKA gives residents who book a stay of one month or longer at AKA Times Square, AKA Central Park or AKA Sutton Place the ability to utilise and enjoy the 16 high-end amenity spaces at any of the three properties – all in close proximity to each other – for the first time.
  • Caesars Entertainment has shared details of a USD400 million master plan investment in Atlantic City where it owns and operates three of the region’s preeminent casino destinations – Caesars, Harrah’s Resort and Tropicana Atlantic City. The plans include remodeled room towers and freshly appointed interior design elements. The first phase of the project, a USD170 million renovation of guestroom and suites at Caesars and Harrah’s, will debut in Summer 2021.
  • Palladium Hotel Group this week formally opens the Grand Palladium Palace Ibiza Resort & Spa kicking off the 2021 summer season in the White Isle. Located in the well-known Playa d’en Bossa in Ibiza, this is the first hotel to open its doors for the company this summer and will be followed soon after by the Grand Palladium White Island Resort & Spa (at date to be announced soon) and other properties of the group a little later on in the season.
  • Multinational air mobility company Flapper signed a partnership with Hotel Mari Mari Natural Reserve Experience in Chilean Patagonia to promote international tourists’ access to luxury ecotourism offers in Chile. The exclusive programme provides a flight by private plane from Sao Paulo to Puerto Montt and a helicopter flight to the hotel, plus accommodation in a private villa facing the sea
  • Hyatt Hotels Corporation and Playa Hotels & Resorts have announced plans for a new Hyatt Ziva all-inclusive resort in Mexico’s Riviera Cancun region. due to open later this year, the family-friendly Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun will be situated between Playa del Carmen and the world-famous Cancun Hotel Zone approximately 30 minutes from Cancun International Airport. The property will feature 438-rooms. The Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun debut will bring the total number of Hyatt Ziva resorts to six across Mexico and the Caribbean.
  • Onyx CenterSource, a global provider of B2B payments and business intelligence to the hospitality industry, has joined the Preferred Hotels & Resorts Alliance Partner Program after more than ten years of collaboration which has seen the independent luxury hotel specialist designate the Onyx CommPay service as a Preferred ProTool for its member hotels to facilitate the payment of commissions from hotels to travel agents.
  • The Pueblo Bonito Mazatlán Beach Resort has recently completed an extensive USD27 million renovation project intended to boost the landmark hotel’s status as an international travel and hospitality industry leader. Located along the famous Zona Dorada, or Golden Zone of Mazatlan, the original Pueblo Bonito hotel had set the original bar for luxury travel in Mazatlan when it opened more than 30 years ago. The transformation pays homage to the hotel’s Old World charm while elevating all elements of the property, including totally upgraded guest suites, restaurants, lobbies, and pools.
  • The new Radisson Hotel West Memphis has deployed the BeyondTV guestroom entertainment and service solution from Hotel Internet Services (HIS) to provide its guests with a personalised, convenient, and germ-free stay experience. The 121-guestroom property is due to open on 04-May-2021 and is set to cater to business, transient and leisure travellers.
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