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.

  • LXR Hotels & Resorts ripens its luxury collection with Mango House Seychelles addition
  • Accor signs with Xiamen Airlines to bring the first Fairmont property to China’s southeastern coastal city of Xiamen
  • North American hotel guests want breakfast back among post-COVID return of amenities
  • Sheraton Hotels & Resorts unveils new vision in China with Sheraton Mianyang opening
  • Around 500,000 American hotel jobs still won’t return by year’s end as 2021 room revenues set to be down USD44 billion on 2019
  • Data metrics – latest performance insights from STR
  • News briefs – bitesize updates of latest industry news and developments

LXR Hotels & Resorts ripens its luxury collection with Mango House Seychelles addition

LXR Hotels & Resorts, Hilton’s collection of independent luxury properties, has expanded with the opening of Mango House Seychelles, an intimate and exclusive island oasis promising a captivating, yet refined Seychellois experience on southern Mahé’s unspoiled beachfront. Originally built as a family dwelling by celebrated Italian photographer Gian Paolo Barbieri, this idyllic hideaway stretches along the edge of the Anse Aux Poules Bleues, a sparkling calm bay around 30-40 minutes distance by car to and from the Seychelles International Airport and approximately 60 minutes from the capital Victoria. It features 41 guest rooms, suites, and villas offer unobstructed ocean views, adorned with distinctive natural décor echoing the rugged beauty of Seychelles.

Accor signs with Xiamen Airlines to bring the first Fairmont property to China’s southeastern coastal city of Xiamen

Accor and Chinese carrier Xiamen Airlines have signed a deal to bring the first Fairmont to Fujian Province for the city of Xiamen. An economic powerhouse that has become a favourite of entrepreneurs, developers and tourists alike, Xiamen is one of the fastest developing and most prosperous cities in China. With a continued increase in the sophistication of business and travel needs, the property will debut as the demand for high-end accommodation dramatically escalates. Accor and Xiamen Airlines have engaged Foster + Partners, founded by Norman Foster, winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, as architects for the mixed-use project. Hospitality design specialists Cheng Chung Design have been selected for interior design and American firm SWA Group, known for their concepts creating harmonious natural systems, will head up the urban landscape design. The property is described as a 31-floor “landmark hotel” and will be part of the Cross Strait Financial Center in the newly developed Wutong high-end business zone within Huli district in the northeast part of Xiamen Island.

North American hotel guests want breakfast back among post-COVID return of amenities

The hotel industry overall maintains a strong overall customer satisfaction score in the 2021 edition of the J.D. Power North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index (NAGSI), but now that the pandemic is waning across the region, hotel guests have made it clear they want breakfast and other hotel amenities back. The research shows that as we transition to a more normalised travel environment, guest expectations are growing rapidly and certain must-haves, such as smart TVs, pleasant views and balconies, are becoming increasingly important to maintaining high levels of guest satisfaction. It is also clear that guests expect breakfast service to resume, especially in limited-service hotels that usually provide complimentary hot breakfast, notes the report. Satisfaction with breakfast offers has declined during the pandemic. In all but one hotel segment, guests were particularly dissatisfied with reduced variety and quality – if breakfast was offered at all. Through the study fielding dates, 36% of hotels eliminated buffet-style serving. Overall hotel guest satisfaction across the study was ranked at 830 (on a 1,000-point scale), which is unchanged from 2020 and 10 points higher than in 2019. The strong performance is driven in large part by the overall hotel staff experience, which increases slightly in 2021. Hotel guests also had higher satisfaction with value for money, reflecting the reduction in room rates many hotel properties undertook to stimulate demand, according to J.D. Power. The NAGSI, now in its 25th year, analyses guest responses to more than 150 questions regarding branded hotel stay experiences and benchmarks the performance of 104 brands across six market segments. This latest edition is based on responses from nearly 33,000  hotel guests for stays between May-2020 and Jun-2021.

Sheraton Hotels & Resorts unveils new vision in China with Sheraton Mianyang opening

Sheraton Hotels & Resorts this month (Jul-2021) opened the Sheraton Mianyang, a 342-room hotel and the first in the Asia-Pacific region to bring to life the brand’s new vision. This is part of a worldwide transformation which focuses on design and experience signatures that foster community, gathering, and productivity, according to its brand guidelines. The property is located in the heart of the Xianhai Scenic Area in Sichuan, a China national AAAA tourist attraction, which consists of 46 islands and stunning mountains. As part of the brand vision, the hotel’s lobby has been re-imagined as the community hub of the hotel; a holistic, open space that invites people to join together or be alone amongst others, creating a sense of energy and belonging. The guestrooms and suites range from 41 to 240 square meters in area and most boast either a lake or mountain view from large French windows, with selected rooms featuring a large balcony.

Around 500,000 American hotel jobs still won’t return by year’s end as 2021 room revenues set to be down USD44 billion on 2019

A new report and state-by-state job loss breakdown released by trade association American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) has illustrated that while leisure travel is starting to return, the hotel industry’s road to recovery from the pandemic is long and uneven, with urban markets disproportionately impacted. Industry projections have improved since January with the uptick in leisure travel, but the industry remains well below pre-pandemic levels. Key findings of the research are that more than one in five direct hotel operations jobs lost during the pandemic—nearly 500,000 in total—will not have returned by the end of the year. It forecasts that hotel occupancy will drop ten percentage points from 2019 levels and hotel room revenue will be down USD44 billion this year compared to 2019. States and localities will have lost more than USD20 billion in unrealised tax revenues from hotels over the past two years, it notes. COVID-19 has been the single worst economic event in the history of the American hotel industry. While the recent uptick in leisure travel for summer is encouraging, business and group travel, the industry’s largest source of revenue, will take significantly longer to recover.

Data metrics – latest performance insights from STR

  • The delayed 2020 European Football Championship had a clear impact on hotel performance in London, England, which alongside hosting various games was the location of both semi-finals and the final of the tournament. Italy’s semi-final victory over Spain on 06-Jul-2021 helped occupancy reach 47.8%, however, it was England’s 2-1 defeat of Denmark on 07-Jul-2021 that had the most noticeable effect during the semi-finals as London hotels reported 50.6% occupancy, ADR of GBP113.19 and RevPAR of GBP57.29. Occupancy improvement was more even pronounced on the day before the final, a Saturday, at 58.7%. Occupancy then dipped to 51.6% the day of the final (11-Jul-2021). ADR was also higher the day before the final on 10-Jul-2021 (GBP126.55), which was the highest in the market this year. For comparison, the day of the final, London posted an ADR of GBP114.21.

News briefs – bitesize updates of latest industry news and developments

  • The Ascott Limited, CapitaLand’s wholly owned lodging business, has secured over 8,300 units across more than 30 properties in the first seven months of 2021, achieving over 40% year-on-year (y-o-y) growth compared to the same period in 2020. To date, Ascott has more than 128,000 units globally and is on track to achieve its target of 160,000 units by 2023.
  • hihotels by Hospitality International, a franchiser of conversion and new build hotels for economy lodging, has activated six properties during the second quarter of 2021. These comprise Red Carpet Inns in Leavenworth, IN; College Park, MD (a former Econo Lodge); Lancaster, PA (a former Travelodge); and Lester, PA (a former Econo Lodge); a Scottish Inns in Ashland, OR (a former Rodeway Inn) and a Scottish Inns & Suites in Spring, TX, (a former Econo Lodge).
  • Hotelbeds has signed a preferred partnership with RedDoorz to expand its portfolio in South-East Asia. This agreement will provide Hotelbeds with exclusive offers and benefits for its clients at almost 900 RedDoorz properties across the region. In return, the partnership will give RedDoorz the ability to expand its global reach by gaining access to Hotelbeds’ 60,000 travel trade buyers based in more than 140 source markets worldwide.
  • US hotel owner-operator MCR has acquired the 725-room The Lexington Hotel for USD185 million, which equates to USD255,000 per guestroom in a joint venture transaction with Island Capital Group and Three Wall Capital. The iconic property, part of the Autograph Collection By Marriott, was landmarked in 2016 as one of the most architecturally significant properties in Manhattan. It is due to reopen to guests under its new management in Aug-2021.
  • Accor’s premium brand has become the newest landmark in the skyline above the Pinghu CBD, a county-level city in the east of Jiaxing’s administrative area, in China’s northeast of Zhejiang Province. The new Pullman Jiaxing Pinghu Excellence Hotel is located in a dynamic business and leisure centre between Shanghai, Hangzhou and Suzhou.
  • Economy lodging specialist Red Roof has announced the opening of the Red Roof PLUS+ Dallas – Addison in Addison, Texas. The 107-room property launches following a renovation of what had formerly been a Red Roof Inn. Key features of the overhaul include a full lobby renovation, full room renovation, fresh interior and exterior paint and upgraded FF&E (Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment).
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul, located in Süzer Plaza, has become home to a world-famous NOBU restaurant, from chef Nobu Matsuhisa and actor Robert De Niro. The launch represents the restaurant group’s first venture in Istanbul, with the menu featuring exclusive dishes that will showcase Nobu’s signature style with a Turkish twist. The Nobu Istanbul will be housed alongside a new lobby lounge, open-air terrace, and bar. Designed by Severine Tatangelo of PCH Design Studio Architect, NOBU Istanbul will feature a 1,000 square metre two-storey restaurant with its own entrance offering stunning views of the Bosphorus and Istanbul skyline.
  • Urgo Hotels & Resorts has revealed it added 10 management contracts over the past 12 months in deals that brings the company’s total hotel portfolio to 50 properties with approximately 7,000 rooms across the US and Canada. The new hotels include the 149-room Courtyard Toledo Airport Holland; the 146-room Courtyard Dayton South; the 202-room Moxy Miami South Beach; the 64-room MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa; the 72-room Buck T-4 Lodge; the 177-room Humaniti Montreal, Autograph Collection; the 142-room Hilton Garden Inn Montreal Midtown; the 120-room Homewood Suites Montreal Midtown; and the 210-room Delta Hotels by Marriott Monte Sainte Anne, Resort & Convention Center; and a 59-room private club hotel.
  • The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas, USA is updating to the property’s 2.25-million square foot convention centre and expo, the largest private convention facility in the county. From Sep-2021, The Sands Expo & Convention Center will be known as The Venetian Expo, while The Venetian Congress Center will now be referred to as The Venetian Convention Center. The name change is designed to “better reflect the function of the space” and align with customer expectations.
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