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 offering for this week.

  • Kempinski Hotels resurrects historic hotel icon in Southern Brazil for South American debut
  • Anantara adds third luxury lodging option in Bali
  • Accor’s first Hungarian TRIBE hotel to debut in Budapest in 2023
  • W Philadelphia offers ‘rich and diverse’ setting within downtown city skyscraper
  • Millennium Hotels opens first M Social in Europe with M Social Hotel Paris Opera debut
  • EVEN Hotel Manchester Airport opens its doors to wellness-minded travellers
  • Gold Tree Hospitality combines its lifestyle brands under new identity’ as lifestyle aparthotel concept readies for launch
  • ROOST Apartment Hotel partners with Bedrock to open new Detroit and Cleveland extended-stay properties
  • Data metrics – latest performance insights from STR
  • News briefs – bitesize updates of latest industry news and developments

Kempinski Hotels resurrects historic hotel icon in Southern Brazil for South American debut

Kempinski Hotels will introduce its first resort with residences and a hotel in South America with the renovation of the Laje de Pedra hotel in the Brazilian resort town of Canela. Situated on a cliff in Canela with views over the Vale do Quilombo Eco Reserve, the modernised resort is expected to welcome its first guests by 2024. The property was originally built in 1978 according to plans by Oscar Niemeyer´s disciple Edgar Graeff and was the location of the signing of the Mercosur Treaty in 1992. According to Bernold Schroeder, interim chief executive officer and chairman of the management board of Kempinski Hotels, the property has “fallen into a slumber, so to speak, in recent times”. Kempinski Hotels aims to bring this historic and architectural icon back to life with a “commitment to first-class quality combined with timeless European elegance and to position it as a top destination at the highest level,” says Mr Schroeder. The Serra Gaúcha Region has a strong German and European culture and attracts over six million visitors per year.


Anantara adds its third luxury lodging option in Bali

Anantara Hotels Resorts & Spas has confirmed plans for Anantara Ubud Bali Resort, the brand’s third resort on the popular Indonesian island of Bali. Located in the traditional hillside village of Payangan, a 1.5-hour drive from Bali’s international airport and 35 minutes from the centre of Ubud, well-known as the centre of Balinese culture and home to many of the region’s artisans. The exclusive development is scheduled to open in mid-2022 and will house 85 guest rooms and one and two-bedroom pool villas. Those who would like to stay longer have the opportunity to own their own slice of paradise with a choice of 15 Anantara residences. The resort’s design is inspired by the study of local vernacular architecture that is influenced by Hindu traditions and juxtaposed with Javanese elements and interpreted into a contemporary silhouette. Natural, native materials have been used in harmony with the environment, symbolic of an authentic experience of hillside village dwellings that are unique to Ubud.


Accor’s first Hungarian TRIBE hotel to debut in Budapest in 2023

Hospitality group Accor has confirmed the signing of its first TRIBE hotel in Hungary in partnership with Futureal a leading real estate developer in Central and Eastern Europe. The 250-room TRIBE hotel will open in Budapest, Hungary at the end of 2023. The project is a major milestone in Futureal’s operation as part of its new business line focusing on hotel developments. Accor is stepping up its ambition in the lifestyle market with the expansion of the TRIBE hotel brand. This new property will be located in Budapest’s city centre in Kertész Street, one of the capital’s most frequented tourist areas. The construction work of the complex is expected to start at the end of 2021 with opening forecast for 2023. TRIBE is an alternative lifestyle hospitality brand with modern, unique and urban spaces designed in collaboration with local designers. The brand aims to surprise travellers with an original, exciting and carefully curated experience that focuses on style rather than price.


W Philadelphia offers ‘rich and diverse’ setting within downtown city skyscraper

Marriott International has confirmed the growth of its W Hotels Worldwide portfolio with the opening of W Philadelphia, located in the heart of the city’s downtown in a 51-storey skyscraper. The property is described as “a celebration of the city’s street art, musical legacy and historic embrace of originality” as seen through the “provocative lens of the W brand”. From The Sound of Philadelphia and the city’s legendary 1970s nightlife scene to its famed urban grid richly juxtaposed with vibrant greenspaces, the design of W Philadelphia is certainly as rich and diverse as the city itself. Punctuated throughout the hotel is an extensive artwork collection, much of it exclusively commissioned by the hotel using the talent of local artists, featuring abstract murals celebrating urban gardens to oil and digital print portraits of the city’s most famous musicians of the past and present. The property features 295 guest rooms including 39 suites, which offer floor-to-ceiling windows and panoramic city views. Nods to traditional Pennsylvania craftsmanship can be seen in entry way and bathroom tile patterns as well as Shaker-style chairs at each workspace. Illuminated in the guestrooms are the words of the Declaration of Independence, etched in graffiti font on a custom light fixture. The signature W Bed is made with a bespoke bedspread print – “Philly Toile” – featuring both modern and historical city icons. A throw pillow features the iconic Robert Indiana LOVE statue on one side and, for a playful twist, the word LUST on the opposite side. Spanning three floors, W Philadelphia also has over 45,000 square feet of event space inspired by the brand’s long-standing passion for music.


Millennium Hotels opens first M Social in Europe with M Social Hotel Paris Opera debut

Millennium Hotels and Resorts this month (Sep-2021) debuts the M Social brand in Europe with the opening of M Social Hotel Paris Opera. The new lifestyle offering will merge the elegance of the historical Parisian lifestyle with contemporary design, vibrant art and inviting rooms to create what is described as “an enchanting retreat for guests to gather, work and discover all that Paris has to offer”.The 163-room hotel is located at 12 Boulevard Haussmann, in the heart of Opéra making it within walking distance to some of the city’s most famous landmarks including the Louvre, the Sacré-Cœur and the Moulin Rouge. To cater to a new diverse community of travellers, EUR5.4 million was spent on refurbishing the former Millennium Paris Opera into more contemporary lodgings for the rebrand. “People are in search of new and exciting experiences. M Social is all about creativity and passion,” says Mr Kwek Leng Beng, executive chairman of Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Limited. The property offers a step back in time to the 1920s with an Art Deco foyer, made of marble surfaces, ornate chandeliers and a glass-roofed cupola. Each room holds the history of Les Années Folles (in English “The Roaring Twenties”) with “an authentic Parisian experience within the comforts of today’s modern world”. Accommodation choices range from cosy yet spacious Signature rooms that give views into the hotel’s peaceful inner courtyard to Grande to Sweetie suites that offer separate living areas and views of the Opera Garnier or the Sacré-Cœur. M Social Hotel Paris Opera is the fourth location for the brand with other outposts in New York, Singapore and Auckland.


EVEN Hotel Manchester Airport opens its doors to wellness-minded travellers

IHG Hotels & Resorts has announced the opening of EVEN Hotel Manchester Airport, managed by Jamsan Management. and the first and only wellness hotel in the greater Manchester area. The hotel’s restorative offerings are expected to be popular with guests staying the night before or after a flight, while the premium rooms and onsite amenities are better-suited for visitors wishing to stay a bit longer to explore the area. Each of the guestrooms at the New England property houses an in-room fitness zone, allowing guests to enjoy a solo workout at any point in the day. A large fitness studio offers additional equipment for cardio, core strengthening and weight training.


Gold Tree Hospitality combines its lifestyle brands under new identity’ as lifestyle aparthotel concept readies for launch

Gold Tree Hospitality (GTH) has unveiled a new look, website, and future mobile app, combining its two distinct lifestyle brands under what it describes as “a new cohesive identity”. The real estate development and hospitality firm acquires and manages a large scale portfolio of properties across Europe’s major cities under two brands – Stay&Co, design-minded and technology powered serviced apartments, and a new lifestyle aparthotel concept launching in 2023. Following an extensive five-year acquisition plan, GTH has continued expanding its global real estate portfolio this year by adding 420 units in London, Dublin, Lisbon, Stuttgart, and Basel. These units will be developed into GTH’s future aparthotel lifestyle brand. In parallel, GTH has executed a complete redesign of its 200 serviced apartments that operate under the Stay&Co brand within London, Lisbon, Sydney, and Melbourne. In the next 5-6 years, GTH aims to open over 10,000 aparthotel rooms and operate over 3,000 serviced apartments, mainly in Europe’s largest cities.


ROOST Apartment Hotel partners with Bedrock to open new Detroit and Cleveland extended-stay properties

ROOST Apartment Hotel, the high-design extended stay concept, will debit in new locations in Detroit’s historic Book Tower redevelopment and Cleveland’s historic May Company building, in 2022 having been selected as hospitality partner by real estate developer Bedrock for both projects. The partnership will introduce two long-term-stay hotel experiences to these markets. The ROOST Book Tower will feature 118 furnished apartments as part of the rehabilitation of one of Detroit’s oldest and most beloved architectural landmarks and is scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of 2022. It will be spread across four floors of the new Book Tower redevelopment, in a project which will also include two restaurants, a hotel lobby bar and lounge, a bread and pastry bakery, and a rooftop event space with sweeping views of the city. ROOST Cleveland will introduce 62 apartments within The May, an adaptive restoration of a historic 1915 department store, expected to open in early 2022. The offer will span three floors of the iconic building, located across from downtown Cleveland’s Public Square. The ROOST brand, a concept known for bridging a boutique hotel with apartment-style living, offers spacious studio, one and two-bedroom apartments equipped with full-sized kitchens and modern appliances married with contemporary furnishings, antique elements, custom lighting, and unique artwork.


Data metrics – latest performance insights from STR

  • A progressive approach to vaccinations in India has led to an increase in travellers and hotel demand, especially in the leisure segment. But, beyond the noticeable improvement, the country is showing a different trend in which markets are regaining occupancy, according to STR. The country’s recovery after the first COVID-19 wave was concentrated in leisure destinations such as Goa and Udaipur. But in this latest round of recovery, heavily populated markets and metro cities such as New Delhi and Mumbai have seen much improvement. India’s monthly occupancy reached a pandemic-era high in Feb-2021 (53.7%), roughly 73% of the 2019 comparable, according to STR data. By May-2021, occupancy had fallen to 18.7%, but has since then consistently regained occupancy, and in Jul-2021, reached 48.0%. At the same time, ADR has also trended upward in recent months. India’s ADR came in at INR4,173.40 in Jul-2021, which was up from Jul-2020 (INR3,251.47), although, substantially below Jul-2019 levels (INR5,012.94).
  • Estimated hotel gross operating profit in the United States of America (USA) for Jul-2021 came in at 111% of the 2019 comparable, according to STR‘s monthly P&L data release. In addition to total GOP estimates above Jul-2019, EBITDA was 116% of the pre-pandemic comparable. On a per-available-room basis, each of the key profitability metrics, aside from labour, came in higher than any month since Feb-2020. GOPPAR was USD62.33, TRevPAR was USD156.58, EBITDA PAR was USD41.81 and LPAR (Labour Costs) was USD46.24. STR describes the Jul-2021 numbers as “less impressive when focusing in on just the major markets,” which are mostly below 50% of 2019 revenue.

News briefs – bitesize updates of latest industry news and developments

  • Cambria Hotels has opened a second property in California’s wine country with the arrival of Cambria Hotel Napa Valley Silverado Trail. The four-storey, 90-room hotel is the brand’s fourth property in California and second among the state’s wine regions, following the opening of the Cambria Hotel Sonoma Wine Country. Located in the heart of one of the world’s premier wine regions, the hotel is within close proximity to some of the region’s largest employers, including Allied Universal Security Systems and the Department of State Hospitals – Napa, Queen Valley Medical Center and Napa Valley College.
  • Choice Hotels International is to bring back its ‘Your Community, Your Choice’ local business grant programme to recognise and support hotel owners’ service efforts. Originally launched in 2019, it is doubling its contribution and the number of recipients this year by awarding USD5,000 grants to the local charity selections of the 10 winning franchisees, for a total of USD50,000 in grants, helping them to make a positive impact in their community.
  • Hyatt Hotels has launched a collaboration between its Hyatt Place brand and Gopuff, a go-to platform for consumers’ immediate everyday needs, such as drinks, snacks, over-the-counter medications, home and baby products and more, including alcohol in select markets. Available at a dozen US hotels across Chicago, Denver, Nashville and Phoenix, the pilot provides guests with items in just 30 minutes delivered from Gopuff’s local micro-fulfilment centres. The collaboration expands Hyatt Place’s Necessities programme, which offers guests a wide range of essentials to keep, borrow or buy, such as toothpaste, phone chargers or headphones.
  • Hyatt Hotels and Prism Hotels & Resorts have confirmed the opening of Hyatt Regency Houston West representing a full circle movement for a property that originally opened as a Hyatt Regency hotel in the early 1980s. The premium hotel, owned by L+R Hotels, sits on Katy Freeway within Houston’s Energy Corridor and features 400 rooms, including 44 suites, 25,000 square feet of meeting and event space, and three food & beverage outlets – a three-meal restaurant, an eclectic lobby bar, and an expansive coffee market.
  • The Los Angeles Airport Marriott and Torrance Marriott Redondo Beach have debuted renovated interiors as the Greater Los Angeles area prepares for a venue’s lineup of concerts and sporting events, including the upcoming 56th Super Bowl in Feb-2022, college football’s national championship in 2023, and the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028. A USD50 million transformation of the 1,004 Los Angeles Airport Marriott has included reinventing guest rooms and indoor/outdoor meeting spaces, while the nearby Torrance Marriott Redondo Beach now incorporates an elevated lobby and coastal-inspired guest rooms and suites.
  • ProfitSword, a developer of business intelligence and data integration software, has completed the relocation of its corporate headquarters to a new facility in Alpharetta, Georgia. The newly established headquarters follows ProfitSword’s strong market growth over the last year. The new headquarters is also set to play a central role in the company’s ongoing aggressive expansion efforts and commitment to developing new business intelligence solutions that address latest hotelier needs and market conditions.
  • Accor has boosted its African portfolio with the addition of Safari Hotels & Conference Centre, a prominent two-hotel complex in Windhoek, its first property in Namibia. The iconic city resort, conveniently located next to Eros Airport and just 10 minutes from the city centre, features the 215-key Safari Court Hotel, the 199-key Safari Hotel, and the country’s most prominent conference centre, with 16 venues including a 1,600-square-metre ballroom catering to 2,400 delegates. Upgrades, which will be conducted while the property remains open, will span the entire complex and improvements will include the addition of new dynamic dining venues and hospitality concepts.
  • Scandic Hotels is again seeking to supplement demand by attracting students to use its accommodation on a long-stay basis. After a period of distance learning, many university students are now returning to student cities. Scandic Hotels offers a bed and breakfast special for students at selected hotels in student cities in in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Poland and Germany for up to 120 days. The offer was first launched ahead of the autumn semester 2020 and students have reportedly spent more than 24,000 hotel nights at its properties while seeking or waiting for other student housing.
  • Six Senses is introducing a new luggage service to guests allowing them to send their bags ahead of time to any of the brand’s properties worldwide. In partnership with Luggage Free, the offer provides a door-to-door shipping service that also covers a wide range of items including golf clubs, skis and snowboards.
  • The Georges, a restored, 200-year-old boutique hotel in Lexington, Virginia, USA, has added three new luxurious suites to its accommodation, expanding its room offerings to a new location in the Lexington Historic District on Courthouse Square. The two-room suites offer a sitting room and a king-size bedroom with views overlooking Courthouse Square. They – like all the property’s rooms – have been designed by owner, Ann Parker Gottwald.
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