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.

  • The Industrialist Hotel in Pittsburgh is latest arrival to Marriott International’s Autograph Collection
  • Meliá shows confidence in European summer travel by bringing forward opening of flagship Balearic Islands hotels
  • IHG expands the Kimpton brand in South East Asia with the signing of Kimpton Koh Samui
  • JW Marriott Monterrey Valle makes its debut in the heart of Mexico’s ‘City of the Mountains’
  • Data metrics – latest performance insights from STR
  • News briefs – bitesize updates of latest industry news and developments

The Industrialist Hotel in Pittsburgh is latest arrival to Marriott International’s Autograph Collection

The Industrialist Hotel, Autograph Collection has opened in Pittsburgh’s Central Business District, a key development in the renaissance of the city’s historic downtown. The 124-room hotel, owned by HRI Properties and managed by HRI Lodging is housed within the iconic, 18-storey landmark Arrott building and blending old and new by design. The building, constructed in 1902 for James Arrott – known as the “Bathtub King of Pittsburgh” for being the first in the region to offer enamelled iron bathtubs through his manufacturing business ─ was added to the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation Historic Landmarks list in 2000. The hotel, inspired by Pittsburgh’s resilient history as a steel capital, has been meticulously restored and renovated by Desmone Architects and designed by Stonehill Taylor, and features a dynamic lobby bar, social lounge with fireplace and communal seating, fitness centre and signature modern American restaurant, The Rebel Room. Stonehill Taylor has designed the hotel’s interiors to reflect themes of smoke and molten metal juxtaposed with meticulously preserved details from the turn of the century, including original marble walls, ornate ceilings and iconic arched windows. This is highlighted in the focal point of the ground floor entrance where there are two modern metal sculptural chandeliers inspired by machinery and steel fabrication.


Meliá shows confidence in European summer travel by bringing forward opening of flagship Balearic Islands hotels

Meliá Hotels International is optimistic about the summer season in the Balearic Islands, where strong growth in bookings is expected from May due to the expected elimination of travel restrictions, progress with the vaccination programme and pent-up demand for travel. Together with the creation of safe travel corridors, the company has been encouraged enough to bring forward the reopening of its flagship properties across the islands: the Meliá Calviá Beach and Hotel de Mar Gran Meliá in Mallorca, Meliá Cala Galdana and Sol Falcó in Menorca, and the ME by Meliá and Sol Beach House hotels in Ibiza. ​The first to reopen its doors will be Meliá Cala Galdana on the south coast of Menorca on 07-May-2021, ahead of the all-inclusive Sol Falcó on Son Xoriguer beach on 27-May-2021. In Mallorca, where the company currently has two city hotels open in Palma (Meliá Palma Marina and INNSiDE Palma Centre), it expects to reopen the Meliá Calviá Beach in Magaluf on 14-May-2021 and the Hotel de Mar from 20-May-2021. Finally, the company has also announced the opening of Sol Beach House Ibiza and ME Ibiza on 26-May-2021 and 27-May-2021, respectively, both debuting many new features.


IHG expands the Kimpton brand in South East Asia with the signing of Kimpton Koh Samui

IHG Hotels & Resorts has outlined the further expansion of its Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants brand with the signing of Kimpton Koh Samui, the second Kimpton hotel in Thailand following the brand’s debut in October 2020. The 138-key luxury boutique beachfront property on Choengmon Beach is due to open later this year just a short drive from Chaweng Beach, Fisherman’s Village walking street and Koh Samui International Airport. Two-thirds of the guest accommodation will be suites or villas and the vast majority of the hotel inventory will offer spectacular views over the Gulf of Thailand. This signing is part of the Kimpton brand’s continued momentum into new urban markets and resort destinations across Asia, following Kimpton Da An in Taipei, Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok in Thailand and Kimpton Shinjuku Tokyo in Japan. Upcoming openings across Asia will include properties in Bali, Suzhou, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Nanjing, Sanya and Kuala Lumpur, while the brand will also be expanding in Germany, Mexico and the Netherlands.


JW Marriott Monterrey Valle makes its debut in the heart of Mexico’s ‘City of the Mountains’

JW Marriott has confirmed the opening of JW Marriott Monterrey Valle, the brand’s newest luxury property and fifth in Mexico. Acquired by Fibra Inn and operated by Grupo Hotelero Prisma, the hotel is set in an unparalleled location, flanked by the majestic Sierra Madre mountain range and in the heart of San Pedro Garza Garcia, one of the most prestigious economic centres of Latin America. Taking its inspiration from the principles of mindfulness, the hotel features 250 rooms and suites that surround guests in tranquil luxury, with modern decor that evokes a residential feel for business or leisure travellers. The property is located in the heart of Monterrey’s business centre and will make it a strong contender to host events, from intimate and private gatherings to business meetings or grand-scale events.


Data metrics – latest performance insights from STR

  • Hotel occupancy across the Middle East hit 54.0% for Mar-2021, a +52.4% increase in comparison with Mar-2020, but still a -26.0% decline from the pre-pandemic Mar-2019 performance. At the country level, Qatar posted the highest absolute occupancy (71.2%) and came closest to the 2019 comparable (-0.4%). The United Arab Emirates (62.0%) ranked second in absolute occupancy, sitting -23.9% below the 2019 benchmark. Bahrain was third in occupancy (54.4%) but the second closest to recovery (-13.8%). On the other side of the spectrum, Jordan was the lowest occupancy performer in both absolute terms (21.3%) and comparison with March 2019 (-65.0%).
  • Hotel performance growth in the United States of America (USA) appears to be on hold when compared with the solid gains seen during the spring break period, according to STR. In a week-over-week comparison, US hotel occupancy was flat during the week ending 24-Apr-2021 at 57.3%. On a total-room-inventory (TRI) basis, which includes temporarily closed hotels, occupancy was 54.4%. Weekly room demand increased slightly and remained above 21 million for a sixth consecutive week. Like in the previous week, weekend occupancy was above 70% (67% TRI). The emerging story though is the gain in weekday occupancy, which has been growing steadily over the last month. In reviewing the room demand growth in the past four weeks versus the previous four weeks, STR notes weekday demand increased an average of +16% over the period versus a +10% increase on weekends.

News briefs – bitesize updates of latest industry news and developments

  • Luxury serviced apartment brand Cheval Collection is to unveil an extension to its Old Town Chambers property in Edinburgh this summer, one of its three properties in the Scotland’s capital city. Housed on Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile, the expanded facilities will see a 50% growth in apartments (from 50 to 75), as well as the addition of a new reception area and guest lounge.
  • Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts says 90% of upcoming openings and pipeline developments include a residential component. This year, following the very successful opening of Twenty Grosvenor Square, Four Seasons will unveil three new standalone residential projects, including the first Four Seasons residences in Los Angeles, as well as new residential offerings in San Francisco and Marrakech.
  • Over a quarter of hospitality asset managers are contemplating brand or management changes as part of their recovery strategy, with approximately 5% believing they would change brands, 10% foreseeing changing management companies and roughly 15% believing they would change both, according to the Hospitality Asset Managers Association (HAMA) bi-annual survey of asset managers. The HAMA Spring 2021 Outlook Survey indicated that the majority of members (50%) believe RevPAR will return to 2019 levels by 2023. Less than 10% are optimistic it will occur as early as 2022, while more than a third (37%) believed it will not happen until 2024.
  • Marriott International’s experiential brand for young and young-at-heart, Moxy Hotels, has opened its latest property in the Norwegian city of Bergen, a world heritage city and gateway to the fjords. The hotel consists of 199 guest rooms and is located in the Solheimsviken area, a business park and knowledge cluster of finance and technology companies.
  • The family-owned Ocean Park Inn, in the heart of San Diego’s Pacific Beach neighbourhood, has reopened after a year-long property-wide renovation. The beachfront hotel has unveiled a refreshed exterior, pool deck and lounge area as part of the latest phase of a property-wide renovation. The Lai family has operated the landmark hotel since 1967, introducing the Ocean Park Inn brand and its current location in 1991. Its fourth and final phase of renovation is set for 2022.
  • Following a USD80 million transformation, and a traditional Hawaiian blessing, the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort has reopened to guests on the golden sands of Waikīkī Beach. The first phase of the property’s extensive makeover is complete, including upscale residential-style rooms and suites, chic poolside furniture and a fully reimagined Kani Ka Pila Grille – the home of Hawaiian music. The second phase of the property, including the Diamond Head Tower, Waiola Wellness Wing, Coral Kids Club and ‘Ōlelo Cultural Center is due to be complete this autumn.
  • A top-to-bottom multi-phase renovation of the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown, Arizona’s largest hotel, has become one of the first to display Sheraton’s new signature key brand elements that aims to create “an intuitive and holistic experience with places to connect, be productive and feel part of something”. The 1,004 room high rise convention hotel is located on 3rd Street north of Van Buren Street in Downtown Phoenix, Arizona, adjacent to the Arizona Center office/retail complex and the Phoenix Convention Center.
  • SiteMinder, the open hotel commerce platform, is growing its metasearch and hotel payments programmes to give hotels more choice to manage and protect their revenue in unpredictable travel markets. Supporting this it has added hotel price comparison website, trivago, to its metasearch program, ‘Demand Plus’.
  • SOVA Hotels aims to bring a new experience to the US market with the debut this month of its Downtown Dallas property on the city’s Commerce Street. Developed by 27-year-old twin brothers, Blake Shirk and Brandon Shirk, SOVA was born out of the pair’s passion for traveling with the need to also save money. It offers high-end, minimalist rooms with guests staying in micro-rooms but with luxurious elements.
  • The iconic Waldorf Astoria New York has revealed the new interiors of its Grand Ballroom – an Art Deco room with a profound history, having hosted some of the world’s most famous faces from Queen Elizabeth II to Mick Jagger and countless legendary events. The 15,000 square foot room is one of the largest ballrooms in New York city and will accommodate over 1,000 people once renovations are completed in 2023. The Waldorf Astoria New York is currently in the midst of a full restoration.
  • Yotel will this month open its new Yotel Glasgow property, its second in Scotland, fifth in the United Kingdom and 17th in the group’s portfolio. The converted property, located on Argyle Street opposite Glasgow’s busy Central Station, will feature 257 cabins, a mix of Premium Queen, Triple, First Class and VIP suite categories.
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