Posts Tagged :

    Worldwide

    ModeGreen - Case Study

    Case Study: Mode:Green – the death of the hotel lobby

    1000 659 Daniel Fountain

    “In a world where customer service has evaporated, Mode:Green is still holding on to being proactive in maintaining high levels of customer service; they show up when needed, and you’re confident that they’re going to stand behind their installation” — Fergal Hayes, project director for Capital Expenditures with Starwood Hotels

    In all markets, millennials are causing businesses to reinvent themselves. In retail, brands are forced to improve their online shopping experience. Fashion is speeding up. Workplaces are becoming more social and tech savvy. Now, hotels, too, are meeting the high expectations of millennials by using technology to transform their lobbies and take guest experiences to the next level.

    As younger generations frequent hostels, dorms, and coffee shops, hotels are trying to attract them by injecting life into their formerly stagnant common areas. For example, as the lobby transforms into a destination where guests and locals can interact, the bar has now become a part of the front desk.

    ModeGreen - Case StudyNew York’s W Hotel created a space like this and styled it as a tribute to Times Square, offering a lively atmosphere that could shift from daytime to parties with a custom DJ booth and features of the legendary landmark.

    Putting Times Square Indoors
    The iconic sights and sounds of Times Square originate from the lights, graffiti, interactive displays, and energy from tourists, street performers, and busy New Yorkers.

    “The design of the living room at the W Hotel was leveraged from a design narrative that drew inspiration from its Time Square location,” said Fergal Hayes, project director for Capital Expenditures with Starwood Hotels, who contributed to overseeing the vision and completion of the W Hotel’s new lobby space. With Times Square as the motif for the W Hotel’s new lobby, a group of design teams working in cooperation with integration firm, Mode:Green, were tasked with capturing the New York landmark’s atmosphere and recreating it indoors.

    Adding to the modern décor, neon lighting, vibrant signs, and graffiti were custom-designed for the space and were given digital life by Mode:Green: a digital countdown clock takes up a wall reaching about seven feet tall, and the lobby-lounge teems with vibrant sound from 32 independent zones and hidden, custom speakers. But it’s not just the bright lights that make the lounge so lively – the lounge has its own digital brain, capable of shifting its atmosphere for different guests and events.

    Reinventing an Iconic Scene
    All the Times Square advertisements, interactive billboards, and skyscrapers come from many different companies and the individual pieces weren’t designed to work together initially. In the same way, aesthetically, W Hotel’s team of designers were challenged to create a cohesive, yet diverse space as a tribute to the Big Apple’s famous landscape. For Mode:Green, this meant taking the technology from dozens of different manufacturers and making them all communicate with one another as a singular system.

    Mode:Green was the technology expert for the project, collaborating with the design team to connect all of the dozens of LED lights and custom speakers throughout the lobby and inside the private booths with one another, as well as with the wall-sized countdown clock.

    Doing so involved careful planning. The wiring and speakers are all hidden among the décor, where an invisible automation system makes everything simple to control. Using a touchscreen, the staff can activate and adjust every light and speaker to create the right atmosphere from a selection of presets, including Happy Hour, Morning, and Fire Alarm, which shuts off the music and brightens the lights for a safe exit. Guests in the private booths also have control over their own audio zone, so they can pump the music from the custom New-Year’s-Eve-Ball inspired DJ booth or turn it down for a quiet conversation.

    Mode:Green specialises in this type of complex audio and lighting systems, geared towards a hotel environment that accepts rotating guests. “To bring the highly customised Times Square-themed lighting into the hotel lobby and DJ area, Mode:Green was hands-on from the beginning with the design team,” said Hayes. “The W Hotel is a completely custom space and Mode:Green was instrumental in helping to deliver the brand.”

    The Final Countdown
    In large, complex construction projects like the W Hotel’s lobby-lounge, a giant timer – much like the one that sits in the finished lobby today – ticks down to the collision between final days of construction and the opening day that welcomes guests.

    Design work is completed early on, but the technical team races to get everything working, fine-tuned, and ready for prime time.

    “Every project gets compressed towards completion, and Mode:Green completed the installation in a short amount of time and was quick to solve issues,” said Hayes. Mode:Green’s approach to creating a smart space like this involves detailed collaboration with the hotel’s teams, as well as the manufacturers. While unseen by guests, the technology is as important a fixture as the custom décor.

    New problems often arise while working in the balance between design and technological smarts; Mode:Green had to make last-minute changes to accommodate the space as it came to life. “At the end, last-minute changes of speakers being switched out from the original design to more appropriately fit the space were required, and Mode:Green reacted quickly to make it work in time for the reveal,” said Hayes.

    The W Hotel’s Times Square lobby-lounge welcomed guests on the deadline for its opening, without a glitch — despite New-York-fast changes that had to be made in the final construction days. “In a world where customer service has evaporated, Mode:Green is still holding on to being proactive in maintaining high levels of customer service; they show up when needed, and you’re confident that they’re going to stand behind their installation,” stated Hayes.

    Hotels face a new challenge to create lobbies that are immersive, social environments. It’s a design and, now, a technological challenge, but the result can differentiate a brand and nurture a crop of new, young guests who will become loyal patrons.

    Mode:Green has quickly become the trusted leader in providing integrated solutions to today’s top hotels. Landmarks like The New York Palace, and the flagship St. Regis New York have both undergone major renovations with Mode:Green at the forefront of technology integration.

    modegreen.com

    Bouteco Sustainable Tourism Report

    Stylish and Sustainable: High-end hotels get green

    920 540 Daniel Fountain

    Social enterprise Bouteco has released their first ever global trends report ‘Stop, Think, Discuss’, offering an industry overview on sustainability for stylish hotels in the boutique-hotel sector.

    Key findings include:
    • 42% of respondents would pay more for a sustainable hotel but would not compromise on comfort or luxury.
    • 64% of respondents consider environmental and green issues the most important when choosing a sustainable hotel. The remaining 36% prioritise social and community issues.
    • 63% of respondents look for a dedicated or prominent section on a hotel website when considering the integrity of a hotel’s sustainability.
    • 46% of respondents consider an international certification to be important, and these tend to be the more mature traveller.

    It is the youngest and oldest travellers who care most about sustainability when choosing a hotel.

    Partnering with Insignia, the Bouteco Trends Report surveyed hotel lovers worldwide — gaining valuable insight into travel preferences and offering ideas to hoteliers on how best to engage with and inspire today’s travellers.

    Bouteco Sustainable Tourism Report

    Highlighting stories of sustainability, Bouteco is designed to assist travellers in finding the luxury and boutique hotels making a positive change to their communities and the wider world. Travel expert and founder Juliet Kinsman along with the former editor of Green Hotelier, Holly Tuppen, set up the social enterprise to celebrate those inspiring positive change.

    Bouteco Sustainable Tourism ReportSays Kinsman: “A sense of purpose and belonging — of spiritual reward, not just material wealth — are motivating consumers more and more. Bouteco wants to get the good guys noticed with our genuine, algorithm-free recommendations. Marketers have long been assiduous in applying insight when it comes to influencing what we buy; we hope our survey’s findings will spur all to proudly shout about sustainability stories and distinguish the stylish hotels with soul and substance.”

    Adds Tuppen: “This survey confirms that ethical consumption is not the reserve of millennials; when it comes to travel, all age groups are turning towards more responsible and authentic experiences. We hope that this report persuades the luxury hospitality sector that there’s never been a more prudent time to implement and promote sustainable and social initiatives. Not only for the sake of employee retention and community wellbeing, but to generate better press coverage, more direct bookings and enduring guest loyalty.”

    www.bouteco.co

    Marriott International to open 40 luxury hotels in 2018

    Marriott International to open 40 luxury hotels in 2018

    850 541 Daniel Fountain

    Marriott International has reported that it will open almost 40 luxury hotels in 2018, catering to what it calls a new ‘affluent traveller’.

    Marriott also said it will expand its luxury footprint further with 200 hotels in the development pipeline, including 25 new countries, from Iceland and Nepal to Cuba and the Philippines.

    Marriott’s luxury brands include The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, W Hotels, The Luxury Collection, EDITION and JW Marriott.

    “We see luxury as a launchpad for self-actualisation, with bucket lists evolving from where you want to go to who you can be,” said Tina Edmundson, global brand officer.

    “With data showing a global shift in perception around luxury, we are uniquely positioned to provide personalized and truly differentiated experiences that resonate with this net-generation jet-setter,” she added.

    Marriott completed its acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide in September 2016, bringing its total hotel properties to more than 5,700 worldwide.

    www.marriott.com

    Preferred Hotels and Resorts expands portfolio

    1000 500 Daniel Fountain

    The world’s largest independent hotel brand, Preferred Hotels and Resorts, has added 25 new properties to its international roster of luxury hotels and resorts.

    The newest members of the Preferred Hotels and Resorts portfolio are located across the globe in eight different countries in some of the world’s most desirable destinations, from Hawaii to India and Mexico.

    These new hotels were integrated into the consortium’s collection between August and October of this year and the move was announced via a press release on the group’s website at the beginning of November. Preferred Hotels and Resorts is a sales-centric organisation that partners with independent hotels across five branded sectors that has a membership of over 700 properties. The luxury properties that are part of the group’s umbrella offer guests unique experiences in coveted destinations that surpass the expectations of the ordinary traveller.

    Among the new raft of hotels are the Cala de Mar Resort & Spa Ixtapa in Guerrero, Mexico, The Commonwealth in Virginia, United States, Myconian Naia in Mykonos, Greece, Turyaa Chennai in Chennai, India and The Longemont Hotel Shenyang in Shenyang, China. Preferred Hotels highlighted some specific hotels in the press release, which are located in Lebanon, Hawaii, China, India and Spain.

    Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii is slated to open in December 2017 after extensive refurbishment. The 839-room luxury resort will feature breathtaking oceanfront views, a pool deck with a saltwater infinity pool and cabanas, and five exciting culinary concepts. A 280,000-gallon saltwater Oceanarium that will be home to a multitude of indigenous marine life is one of the main features of this stunning hotel.

    10 METROPOLITAN in the Catalan capital of Barcelona, Spain is located in the city’s Eixample District. This historic 85-room hotel evokes the charm of 19th century industrial Barcelona and some of the city’s best shopping and dining options are a short stroll away, as well as famous local attractions like the Sagrada Familia.

    Shahpura House in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India was once the royal palace of the ruling Shekhawat clan of the Rajputs and this magnificent 65-key heritage hotel presents a mixture of Mughal and Indian architecture. Located in a residential area of Jaipur, the hotel is flanked by a web of lanes that offer up their secret stash of colorful stalls, temples, verdant gardens and lakes. There is also an on-site spa offering specially curated signature treatments and massages.

    preferredhotels.com

    UNWTO condemns Donald Trump's travel ban

    Room prices plummet at Donald Trump’s hotels

    1023 581 Daniel Fountain

    It’s more bad news for Donald Trump and his presidency’s impact on his business empire, as it has emerged the average price of a room at Trump hotels across the world have dropped by as much as 64% in some locations.

    Just over 300 days after becoming the 45th US President in January, the price of a luxury room at his hotels has dropped by an average of 20 per cent, FairFX reveals.

    Out of 13 Trump hotels and resorts researched around the world, the cheapest room can be found at Trump Las Vegas, where prices have dropped to £232 for two nights. This is over £400 cheaper for the same room type than in January, a 64% reduction. The second least expensive room is at the Trump Panama, priced at £234, a 32% decrease since January.

    The most expensive room is the Trump Townhouse at £37,907, however this will cost £10,000 less than during inauguration weekend. Two night stays at the Trump Vancouver, Canada, at Macleod House and Lodge in Scotland, at Trump Doonbeg in County Clare Ireland or at the Trump Doral in Florida will fall just short of £400.

    The average cost for the best available room this weekend is down by £1,374 since January from £6,821 to £5,447, a 20% decrease since Trump’s inauguration.

    Ian Strafford-Taylor, CEO of FairFX, said: “When it comes to holidays timing is everything, and just 300 days after Trump’s inauguration, prices for a weekend in one of his hotels have for the most part decreased.

    “Whilst the big events, like the inauguration in Washington, will usually cause prices to rise in that city for a particular weekend, the decreases in other places suggest that it doesn’t necessarily pay to be presidential.”

    Eight new Hotels join Worldhotels group

    Eight new hotels join Worldhotels group

    999 634 Daniel Fountain

    Worldhotels is welcoming eight new hotels to its global portfolio. From a boutique hotel in the 7th arrondissement in Paris, to a luxury 5-star accommodation in Shanghai, these new Worldhotels provide authentic guest experiences for both leisure and business travelers.

    Hotel Juliana, Paris, France (main image)
    Hotel Juliana is located on a quiet street in the heart of Paris, only half a block from the Seine riverfront. Beautiful artwork, extravagant chandeliers and statues from around the world decorate the interior of the intimate Art Deco hotel. All rooms and suites offer plenty of luxurious comforts including espresso coffeemakers, Japanese toilets and Jo Malone toiletries.

    Hongqiao Jin Jiang Hotel , Shanghai , China
    The Hongqiao Jin Jiang Hotel is located strategically between downtown and Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport. The hotel is inspired by a timeless European-Oriental appeal. Multiple dining options include a restaurant on the 27th floor with astounding city views, as well as, five other award-winning restaurants and bars.

    Eight new Hotels join Worldhotels groupBai Hotel Cebu, Cebu, Philippines
    Nestled between the bustling cities of Mandaue and Cebu, Bai Hotel Cebu will open its doors soon. With its ultra-modern amenities and facilities, the hotel offers everything for the discerning business traveler. Over eight different dining options cater all culinary needs, including authentic Japanese dishes, a steakhouse and the Twilight Roof Deck with spectacular views.

    Hotel Erzgiesserei Europe, Munich, Germany
    A 5-minute drive from Munich’s central train station, the modern Hotel Erzgiesserei Europe provides a tranquil oasis on a quiet street close to the charming Old Town. The relaxed atmosphere continues at the hotel’s international restaurant and its summer terrace. Some of the rooms have balconies or a terrace.

    IH Hotels Milano Watt 13, Milan, Italy
    IH Hotels Milano Watt 13 with its minimalist, artistic vibe is within easy reach of the historic city center and all the main attractions of Milan. The hotel offers spacious and soundproofed rooms which are elegantly furnished and decorated in subtle, calm tones. The modern lobby showcases contemporary art.

    ARTE Seminar- und Konferenzhotel, Olten, Switzerland
    Surrounded by shops and restaurants and close to the banks of the Aare River, the ARTE Seminar & Konferenzhotel features a modern vibe and superb conference facilities. The hotel allows easy access to the surrounding cities of Basel, Bern and Zurich. Featuring colorful, art-inspired décor and box-spring beds, its trendy rooms provide a peaceful retreat.

    Eight new hotels join Worldhotels groupPoint Hotel Ankara, Ankara, Turkey
    Art plays a big role in the décor of Point Hotel Ankara. Over 200 exhibits enhancing the hotel’s public areas. Guests start the day with breakfast and a side order of panoramic city views from the top floor restaurant. A perfect night’s sleep is guaranteed in the soundproof rooms thanks to its complimentary chillout CDs and 101 Secrets to a Quality Sleep guides.

    Warwick Hotel Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, United States
    The perfect blend of yesterday and today, the Warwick Hotel Rittenhouse Square features sleek décor and furnishings, vibrant colours, and modern technology within in a historic building. Everything says ‘impressive’ at this legendary downtown hotel, from the classic limestone façade to the grand, two-story lobby, and from the designer décor to the huge, 24-hour fitness centre.

    www.worldhotels.com

    Showcase: EDITION launching 8 hotels in 2018

    900 450 Daniel Fountain

    SHANGHAI | BODRUM | TIMES SQUARE | BARCELONA | BANGKOK | ABU DHABI | WEST HOLLYWOOD

    With seven new properties scheduled to launch across three continents, and many more in the pipeline, 2018 will mark a pivotal moment for EDITION.

    Created through a ground-breaking partnership between boutique hotel creator and innovator Ian Schrager and the global hospitality powerhouse Marriott International, the EDITION brand is slated to grow exponentially from a collection of four to eleven properties by the end of 2018.

    2018 is expected to see EDITION firmly positioned as the travel industry’s first truly global luxury lifestyle hotel brand. With each hotel distinctive in its own right, EDITION will continue to break new ground and take the hospitality industry into bold, uncharted areas. Its timeless design, uncompromising quality, true originality and impeccable modern service, has defined the boutique hotel category.

    Following The Sanya EDITION’s launch in December 2016, EDITION’s Asian presence is scheduled to expand with two additional properties launching in Shanghai and Bangkok in 2018. In addition, the brand’s second and third European hotels are set for launch in Bodrum and Barcelona. EDITION will launch its first outpost in the Middle East in Abu Dhabi, whilst EDITION’s plans to increase its US presence with two properties located in New York’s Times Square and West Hollywood.

    The brand’s rapid expansion is expected to continue with the addition of nine further hotel launches planned across five continents by 2020, reaching a 20-strong property portfolio by the end of the decade and many more to come.

    The Shanghai EDITION
    LAUNCHING MID 2018
    The Shanghai EDITION, to be located at the northeast corner of Nanjing Road East and Henan Road in Puxi, West of Huangpu River and just a 5 minute walk from The Bund, is a unique combination of two separate towers featuring 147 guest rooms. The hotel’s design includes 10 levels of public space including 5 meeting studios and 2 forums, totalling to over 2,800 sq. ft. Food and beverage outlets include a signature Japanese restaurant on the 23rd floor, a Cantonese dining venue featuring 5 private dining rooms, an all-day dining venue, a lobby bar, a member’s club bar with a screening room, an indoor nightlife venue and a rooftop bar. www.editionhotels.com/shanghai

    The Shanghai EDITIONThe Bodrum EDITION
    LAUNCHING MID 2018
    The Bodrum EDITION will be located just 3 kilometers from Plamarina in Yalikavak at the western point of the Bodrum peninsula. The hotel features 99 guest rooms, suites and villas all with views of the Aegean Sea — some with private pools, balconies and gardens. The hotel’s design includes an infinity pool, garden lounge, state-of-the art spa facilities with Turkish Hammam and fitness centre, kids’ club and an exclusive beach club with jetty that houses private cabanas. Unique food and beverage outlets include a library bar, gourmet specialty grill overlooking the bay, night club, and an all-day dining venue. The hotel also has over 4,000 sq. ft. of indoor/outdoor meeting and event space including meeting studios, a ballroom and boardroom. www.editionhotels.com/bodrum

    The Bodrum EDITIONThe Times Square EDITION
    LAUNCHING MID 2018
    The Times Square EDITION, to be located at 701 Seventh Avenue on the corner of 47th Street, features 457 guest rooms with four levels of public space including a 5,000 sq. ft. performance venue, a 1,900 sq. ft. meeting studio, state-of-the-art fitness centre and a lobby lounge at check in level. The hotel also boasts distinctive food and beverage outlets including a signature restaurant leading out onto a 5,800 sq. ft. beer garden and event deck overlooking Times Square, and an all-day dining venue also featuring terraces with views of Times Square. www.editionhotels.com/times-square

    The Barcelona EDITION
    LAUNCHING MID 2018
    The Barcelona EDITION will be located in the Ciutat Vella District on the edge of El Born District, only 15 minutes from the beach. The hotel features 100 guest rooms, a signature restaurant, lobby bar/café., Sky bar, swimming pool and state-of-the-art fitness centre and a night club. www.editionhotels.com/barcelona

    The Barcelona EDITIONThe Bangkok EDITION
    LAUNCHING MID 2018
    Known as Thailand’s tallest building, The Bangkok EDITION will be located along Naratiwat Road, close to North Sathorn Road junction. The hotel features 155 guest rooms and 5 levels of public space, offering over 5,500 sq. ft. of combined meeting space including a boardroom, main function room and outdoor banquet terrace. Food and beverage outlets include two signature restaurants, a lobby bar and pool bar. A pool, state-of-the-art fitness centre and spa with 4 treatment rooms will also be available for hotel guests. www.editionhotels.com/bangkok

    The Bangkok EDITIONThe Abu Dhabi EDITION
    LAUNCHING LATE 2018
    The Abu Dhabi EDITION will be situated in the downtown district on the waterfront of Al Bateen in the Abu Dhabi Marina. The hotel features 244 guest rooms and 57 exclusive residences. Unique food and beverage outlets include 2 signature restaurants, a gourmet market, lobby bar, tea lounge, pool bar and 3-story nightclub. A pool, state-of-the-art fitness centre and spa with 7 treatment rooms are also available for hotel guests. The hotel also has over 107k sq. ft. of meeting and event space including several meeting studios, ballrooms and boardrooms. www.editionhotels.com/abu-dhabi

    The West Hollywood EDITION
    LAUNCHING LATE 2018
    The West Hollywood EDITION, to be located at 9040 West Sunset Boulevard on the east corner of West Sunset Blvd. and North Doheny Drive, features 190 guest rooms, 20 luxury residences and over 5,200 sq. ft. of meeting space. Food and beverage outlets include a signature restaurant, a lobby lounge, rooftop venue and a nightclub/bar. Also available will be a rooftop pool/pool deck and a 4-treatment room spa. http://www.editionhotels.com/west-hollywood/

    www.editionhotels.com

    Hilton

    Hilton recognised as best hospitality company to work for

    526 300 Daniel Fountain

    Hilton has been named the highest ranked hospitality company on the list of the World’s Best Workplaces by Great Place to Work, joining a group of 25 elite global companies recognized for high-trust, high-performing workplace cultures in 2017.

    This is the second consecutive year that Hilton’s employees have placed the company’s workplace culture among the world’s best increasing the ranking to 9 from 17 last year.

    “Together with our more than 360,000 Team Members across the globe, we’ve built a truly special culture at Hilton that’s all about exceptional hospitality,” said Christopher J. Nassetta, president and CEO, Hilton. “We know that our people are our greatest asset, and we are committed to showing them this same hospitality by creating an environment where they can thrive and be at their best every day. From back-of-house, to front desk, to our corporate offices – our Team Members are the heart of our success, and I’m incredibly proud of each and every one of them.”

    Each year, Great Place to Work compiles the list based on global assessments, asking employees about their jobs, managers, coworkers, culture, opportunities for training and support for work/life balance. Hilton also ranked on 14 of Great Place to Work’s country lists in the past year, including number one rankings in Italy, Peru, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

    Five to Watch: Virtuoso's luxury hotel openings

    Five to Watch: Virtuoso’s luxury hotel openings

    1024 557 Daniel Fountain

    Travellers in the know seeking the next great upscale hotel look no further. Luxury and experiential travel network Virtuoso, along with its more than 16,000 travel advisors worldwide, has revealed the hottest hotel openings around the globe for this autumn and beyond. From relaxing resorts to iconic urban landmarks, these five properties are sure to make an indelible impression on guests when they open or reopen over the next several months:

    Bulgari Hotel Shanghai, China – Opening late 2017 (Main Image)
    Situated in a tranquil riverside location in the heart of the city, Bulgari Hotel Shanghai will feature contemporary, spacious rooms and exceptional guest amenities including Maserati transportation. Offering stunning views of the city’s dramatic skyline, the hotel is located just minutes from attractions such as the iconic Bund and the museums of People’s Square. Virtuoso guests will enjoy an upgrade at arrival if available, breakfast for two daily offered 24 hours a day, hotel credit valued at $100 USD, complimentary Wi-Fi, and early check in and late check-out if available.

    Montage Los Cabos, Mexico – Opening spring of 2018
    Perched upon 39 acres of white-sand beachfront, Montage Los Cabos will feature 122 expansive rooms and suites when it opens. The resort will offer spectacular views and unique walk-in access to the finest swimming, diving and snorkeling in the region. Guests can take advantage of wellness programs and treatments at Spa Montage, and fitness offerings including two pools and tennis and recreational lawn facilities. Virtuoso guests will receive an upgrade when they arrive if available, daily breakfast for two, special amenity, complimentary Wi-Fi, and early check-in and late check-out subject to availability.


    Raffles Europejski Warsaw, Poland – Reopening spring of 2018

    Originally opened in 1857, the legendary hotel in Warsaw’s historic district has recently undergone restoration to preserve its heritage and character. Raffles Europejski, Warsaw will offer 106 elegant guestrooms and suites, a restaurant with an outdoor terrace showcasing Poland’s cuisine, a bar and cigar lounge, a patisserie and a spa. Virtuoso guests will enjoy an upgrade upon arrival, based on availability; daily buffet breakfast for two; hotel credit worth $100 USD; complimentary roundtrip private airport transfers; complimentary Wi-Fi; and early check-in and late check-out, subject to availability.

    Five to Watch: Virtuoso's luxury hotel openings
    Hotel Lutetia, France – Reopening spring of 2018

    The hotel on the Left Bank in Paris, opened in 1910, has attracted celebrities from the worlds of arts, culture and politics over the years. The Art Nouveau gem will offer 184 rooms and suites, a spa, fitness facilities, and jazz and cigar bars. Its esteemed Lutetia Brasserie will feature a bar, terrace, show kitchen and private dining room. Virtuoso guests will enjoy an upgrade upon arrival, based on availability; daily breakfast for two; $100 USD equivalent credit to be used during stay; complimentary Wi-Fi; and early check-in and late check-out, subject to availability.

    Five to Watch: Virtuoso's luxury hotel openings

    Six Senses Bhutan, Bhutan – Opening late 2018
    Five unique resorts in different locations will unite under the Six Senses name to offer an intimate new lodging experience with only 82 suites among all the properties. Each resort focuses on a specific theme, such as culture, and will feature the signature Six Senses qualities, including eco-friendly design, personalized service, world-class cuisine and wellness. Virtuoso guests will receive a daily buffet breakfast for two, special amenity, complimentary Wi-Fi, and early check-in and late check-out if available.

    Six Senses Bhutan

    www.virtuoso.com

    Five luxury brands to watch

    Guest Blog: TOPHOTELS – Five luxury brands to watch

    1000 500 Guest Blog

    As summer ends, TOPHOTELS takes a look back over the year so far and round up our pick of the top five luxury hotel brands of 2017, selecting the ones that have impressed us the most with their services and properties.

    FAIRMONT HOTELS
    Recently acquired by Accor Hotels, who have seen their profits rise 0.9% since the 2016 acquisition, the name Fairmont is synonymous with luxurious accommodation in some of the world’s most desirable destinations. With over 70 properties worldwide, Fairmont combines impressive architecture and opulent interiors with unique experiences that can only be found in locations as diverse as Hawaii or Shanghai. Fairmont can claim the operation of some of the world’s most iconic hotels, including the Savoy in London and the Plaza in New York, bastions of luxury in the hospitality industry since luxury got a name.

    Fairmont HotelsMANDARIN ORIENTAL
    Favoured by celebrities worldwide, the Mandarin Oriental brings a different level of class to the luxury hotel. With hotels located in some of the most idyllic destinations on the planet, Mandarin Oriental channels the beguiling nature of the east to exotic shores from the Indian Ocean to New England. Renowned for having some of the best spa and wellness facilities the hospitality industry has to offer, each stay in a Mandarin Oriental hotel is more memorable than the last.

    Mandarin Oriental
    W HOTELS AND RESORTS

    The fashionable W Hotels collection appeals to the well-connected traveler who wishes to be seen among the movers and shakers in whichever city of in-demand destination he or she decides to rest their head. Known for their convergence of hospitality, music, food and fashion, these trendsetting hotels are high on the hot list, as well as being some of the most luxurious accommodations in the business. W Hotels are also riding high on the technology wave, so their hotels and spaces are super social media friendly.

    W Hotels and ResortsAMAN HOTELS AND RESORTS
    Aman Hotels and Resorts is the king of the exotic getaway, perfect for that special occasion such as a honeymoon or anniversary. Located in areas of pristine natural beauty that each hotel aims to amplify by the architecture and amenities of the hotel itself, Aman’s hotels give each guest serenity and privacy, and a sense that they are having a once in a lifetime experience in one of the most beautiful places in the world. You don’t get much more luxury than that.

    Aman Hotels and ResortsSIX SENSES
    Six Senses Hotels, Resorts and Spas are the ultimate fusion of luxury hotel, natural setting and unforgettable experience. Encapsulating everything that a luxurious hotel stay should embody, Six Senses really does offer each guest the opportunity to discover an additional sense they didn’t know they had, by awakening in them sensations they have never felt before. Indulge in the prestigious spa facilities and dine in world class restaurants in some of the most incredible locations known to man.

    Six Senses

    Read the original article in full at TOPHOTELSNEWS

    Celebrating 30 Years of Jean-Michel Gathy

    Spotlight: Celebrating 30 years of Jean-Michel Gathy

    1000 400 Daniel Fountain

    Jean-Michel Gathy, the legend behind some of the world’s most iconic luxury hotel and resort design celebrates more than 30 years of achievement in 2017 as Principal Designer at Denniston Architects.

    For more than three decades, Jean-Michel Gathy has been the architect responsible for consistently pioneering and redefining the design of leading luxury hotels and resorts world-wide such as The Chedi Muscat, Aman Resorts, The Setai, One&Only, Park Hyatt and LVMH Hotels to name a few.

    Pioneering Design
    Denniston Architects believes that it is important to address all the components of architecture, interiors and landscape at once in a synergistic seamless flow when building a hotel. Working alongside many of the pioneers of luxury hotels, Jean-Michel Gathy has conceptualised and created some of the most internationally recognized ground breaking designs for the industry’s top hoteliers and owners.

    Water Features Abound
    Dramatic water features are evident in all of Jean-Michel’s designs and play to a strong visual narrative. “The best way to create scenery is by using water. It produces reflective surfaces, which have a space-doubling effect and create drama” shares Gathy. Examples of signature design which pay homage to water include the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore’s largest rooftop infinity pool overlooking the city’s skyline the world’s most extravagant Gold Energy Pool at the St. Regis Lhasa and The Setai Miami.

    Celebrating 30 Years of Jean-Michel Gathy
    A Creative Approach to Spa Design

    With the rise of well-being and healthy living, we never speak of a luxury hotel now without also speaking of its spa. At LVMH’s Cheval Blanc Randheli in the Maldives, Jean-Michel Gathy conceived an intimate “house”, the perfect holiday residence beside the sea. He incorporates matching elements with the island landscape, luxuriant vegetation and its views over the blue lagoon. Positioned in its own island, the journey begins upon sailing to the idyllic spa on board a traditional dhoni. Alongside treatments, guests can enjoy a traditional hammam bath or a yoga session in the dedicated pavilions as a prelude or interlude to their treatments.

    Positioned on the shores of a pink-sand private beach, Aman Sveti Stefan in Montenegro is known to be one of the most beautiful resorts in the Adriatic. Constructed out of a 15th-century fortress, Jean-Michel Gathy drew inspiration from historical features and contemporary reinterpretations while preserving cultural and heritage elements. The property features a 1,600sqm spa offering treatments following a holistic personalised approach with natural Aman products and outdoor terraces for relaxation.

    Celebrating 30 Years of Jean-Michel Gathy
    Restaurants & Bars, the new heartbeat of a hotel

    Whether it is celebrating special occasions or relaxing and socialising, restaurants and bars are the most popular venues and gathering point in a hotel. Tapasake at One&Only Maldives is one of those restaurants that you will always remember. Suspended over water, Gathy has designed a gloriously stylish showcase of glass, stone and stainless steel, with its black terrazzo floor, oyster-grey mother of pearl tables with whalebone-effect legs – and captivating views of the ocean for every diner. Gathy comments “The feeling I’d like people to take away with them as they leave Reethi Rah is fulfilment in every sense: aesthetically, because they have just spent time in one of the world’s beautiful places, and spiritually, because they have had the most marvellous, refreshing, fun time.”

    Celebrating 30 Years of Jean-Michel GathyA forerunner of luxury tourism to Oman
    The Chedi Muscat, an architectural and design masterpiece is a particularly significant and impactful creation of Jean-Michel Gathy as its launch in 2003 served to open the doors to luxury travel to Oman. With the concept of luxury evolving over time, Jean-Michel’s idea remains timeless. “If I have to qualify a good hotel, I would only use one word: comfort,” shares Gathy.

    Celebrating 30 Years of Jean-Michel Gathy

    Denniston International is currently working on more than 40 projects globally, including those for One&Only in China and Montenegro, Jumeirah in Bali and Rio de Janeiro, Mandarin Oriental in Bali, Four Seasons Bangkok and, a hotly anticipated green project with Leonardo DiCaprio in Belize.

    denniston.com.my
    oneandonlyresorts.com

    Virtuoso Collection Awards

    Awards: ‘Best of the Best’ named at 2017 Virtuoso Travel Week

    961 506 Daniel Fountain

    International luxury travel network Virtuoso announced the winners of the eagerly awaited 2017 Best of the Best awards at the 29th annual Virtuoso Travel Week.

    The 11th annual ceremony celebrated this year’s top 11 hotels and hoteliers before 1,600 of luxury travel’s crème de la crème attending the Hotels & Resorts Dinner. Of particular note, Palazzo Seneca in Italy received the sought-after “Hotel of the Year” honour.

    Virtuoso received input from its 800-plus travel agency partners and more than 16,000 professional travel advisors to name the winners in each category, from best dining experience to best wellness program.

    Editors of VIRTUOSO LIFE, the network’s multi-award-winning magazine, offered their expert insight and hotel savvy to select the nominees on which the advisors voted. This year’s Best of the Best award recipients will be highlighted in the publication’s September/October.

    With a broad-ranging portfolio of more than 1,200 hotels, resorts, villas and private island retreats in over 100 countries, Virtuoso Hotels & Resorts is revered as the industry’s most prestigious hotel program,e. Founded in 1992 with just 20 hotels, Virtuoso Hotels & Resorts is marking its 25th anniversary in 2017, celebrating the remarkable growth, quality and diversity that have become trademarks of the program over the past quarter-century.

    2017 Virtuoso Best of the Best categories and winners:

    Hotel of the Year: Palazzo Seneca, Norcia, Italy
    “The Bianconi family doesn’t just own a lovely hotel. They are beautiful people indeed, who care for others less fortunate, love the land where they were born, and take good care of this land.” – Julia Kostina, Renshaw Travel, a Virtuoso Agency

    Best of the Best Award Winners Named at Virtuoso Travel Week
    Best Achievement in Design
    : Six Senses Douro Valley, Lamego, Portugal
    “What sets this resort apart is that it retains the charm and beauty of a large country manor set among rolling hills and vineyards. There’s a prevailing sense of quiet, calm and relaxation as soon as you enter.” – Linda Zelisko, Travel Experts, a Virtuoso Agency

    Best Dining Experience: La Terrazza – Hotel Eden Rome, Rome, Italy
    “Have you ever eaten pasta surrounded by vapored dry ice? It is simply the most innovative dish I have ever seen.” – Jonathan Phillips, Camelback Odyssey Travel, a Virtuoso Agency

    Chef Fabio Ciervo in his kitchen

    Chef Fabio Ciervo in his kitchen

    Best Bar: Bar Hemingway – Ritz Paris, Paris, France
    “Walking into Bar Hemingway is like stepping back in time. Head bartender Colin Field is a book of stories. You can sit back, listen and just imagine.” – Liora Manilof, Forest Travel Agency, a Virtuoso Agency

    Best Family Programme: The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, Naples, Florida, USA
    “They have great options for families to visit local museums, bird sanctuaries, and a special program with a local artisan who leads their glass blowing classes. They really go out of their way to make the experiences as engaging as possible for the kids.” – Nick Cutrone, Vista Travel Consultants, a Virtuoso Agency

    Best of the Best Award Winners Named at Virtuoso Travel Week

    Best Wellness Programme: Canyon Ranch, Tucson, Arizona, USA
    “The combination of four areas – physical, emotional, spiritual, and medical – is very unique in the wellness community. Most spas will cover a couple of the areas. Canyon Ranch can do it all. It has a wider range of options for the consumer than any other spa and the quality is outstanding!” – Peggy Purtell, Travel Experts, a Virtuoso Agency

    Best of the Best Award Winners Named at Virtuoso Travel Week
    Best Virtuoso Experience
    : Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen, Mexico
    “From the moment you arrive in the Sanctuary Lounge and make a wish by throwing a little stone in the cenote, you know you are in a special place. Everything in the hotel is an experience so that makes it unique.” – Areli Guzman, Viajes Terranova, a Virtuoso Agency

    Best of the Best Award Winners Named at Virtuoso Travel Week
    Best Virtuoso Newcomer
    : Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown, New York, New York, USA
    “The large wrought iron front doors give a luxurious first impression. But the standout feature is the beautiful spiral staircase and long hanging cascading sculpture on the ground level.” – Sylvia Betesh Lebovitch, Ovation Vacations, a Virtuoso Agency

    Best of the Best Award Winners Named at Virtuoso Travel Week
    Sustainable Tourism Leadership
    : Cavallo Point – the Lodge at Golden Gate, Sausalito, California, USA
    “Sustainable tourism can sometimes lead to unexpected opportunities. It’s a tale of tourism helping transform swords into plowshares.”- Costas Christ, Global Strategist, Sustainability, Virtuoso, of the former military base now transformed into an urban eco-resort

    Best of the Best Award Winners Named at Virtuoso Travel Week
    Best Virtuoso Hotel Ambassador
    : Kees Hogetoorn – Grand Hotel Amsterdam, an Accor Hotel
    “I knew nothing about his hotel prior to meeting Kees and he truly allowed the property to come to life. His passion and enthusiasm is unmatched.” – Jessica Renshaw, Renshaw Travel, a Virtuoso Agency

    Best of the Best Award Winners Named at Virtuoso Travel Week
    Hotelier of the Year
    : Susanne Hatje – Mandarin Oriental, New York, New York, New York, USA
    “There is a peace of mind when I send clients her way because I know they will be taken care of by her amazing team that lead by her example. She makes every client stay memorable. She has an incredible vibrant and energetic personality, always engaging with guests.” – Miriam Omphroy, Forest Travel Agency, a Virtuoso Agency

    Best of the Best Award Winners Named at Virtuoso Travel Week

    www.virtuoso.com

    Leading Hotels of the World

    Hotel Group Focus: Leading Hotels of the World welcomes eight new members

    850 531 Daniel Fountain

    The Leading Hotels of the World is pleased to announce the addition of eight new members to its collection of over 375 independent, luxury hotels. Of these, six are also new to the hospitality scene in 2017. Spanning the globe from Canada to Spain to Korea, these distinguished properties offer varied styles of architecture and design, and immersive cultural experiences delivered by passionate hoteliers.

    “We are delighted to welcome these celebrated new members to The Leading Hotels of the World,” said Deniz Omurgonulsen, Vice President, Membership, The Leading Hotels of the World. “Our guests are in search of quality and distinctiveness when staying with us and these global properties deliver both seamlessly. With the exciting new additions, our travelers can stay in a Venetian palace on the Grand Canal, a shikumen lanes home in Shanghai, a historic mansion in Montreal or St. Petersburg, or the fifth tallest high rise in the world in Seoul.”

    Le Mount Stephen opened its doors in May 2017, proudly embracing the dynamism of today’s Montréal, while paying homage to the city’s rich heritage. The property isin the Golden Square Mile and the entrance and dining venues are withinthe George Stephen House, a historical monument and mansion built by Lord G. Stephen, the first president of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Beyond the entry the present is celebrated in a sleek contemporary tower that houses 90 prestigious rooms and sky-loft suites which all feature floor-to-ceiling windows. The interiors exude timeless elegance, showcasing a unique style and character while offering state-of the-art amenities.

    Leading Hotels of the WorldBürgenstock Hotel (Obbuergen, Switzerland)
    The newly built Bürgenstock Hotel will officially open August 28, 2017, boasting modern architecture, contemporary design and incomparable views over Lake Lucerne and the Alps. The property is part of the legendary Bürgenstock Resort, located in Central Switzerland, 500 meters above Lake Lucerne. Hospitality is a tradition here and famous guests like Audrey Hepburn and Charlie Chaplin have visited since the first Grand Hotel opened in 1873. Explore the expansive grounds, that include a 10,000-square-meter spa, a healthy living center, 12 restaurants, numerous boutiques, and a 9-hole golf course. Opportunities for active recreation also await, with tennis, golf, curling, water sports, hiking and bike trails all nearby.

    Leading Hotels of the WorldLesante Blu Exclusive Beach Resort (Zakynthos, Greece)
    True to its name, Lesante Blu Exclusive Beach Resort is surrounded by spectacular views of the Ionian Sea, offering privacy and peace of mind to the experienced traveler. The property opened in May 2017, with 65 guestrooms all facing the sea. Lesante Blu’s “it’s all about you” mentality is exhibited through its adults-only concept, private pools, state-of-the-art suites and discreet staff. Fine dining restaurants with Mediterranean flavors prepared by the Executive Chef George Plotas enhance the culinary offerings, while complete tranquility and rejuvenating moments can be enjoyed in the Essence Spa with a Germain de Cappucini treatment. For a picturesque arrival and departure, guests can arrange a helicopter transfer directly with Lesante Blu and take in all the sights of the Greek islands.

    Palazzo Venart Luxury Hotel (Venice, Italy)
    The stunning Palazzo Venart Luxury Hotel began welcoming guests through its 16th-century doors in August 2016, following a nearly 50-year closure of the historical edifice. The property is centrally located right on the Grand Canal and each of its 18 fastidiously decorated rooms and suites is based on an aspect of Venetian history and culture. Original features, including Renaissance frescoes and marble fireplaces, have been expertly restored by local specialists and are complemented with antiques and custom furnishings to display the Palazzo’s noble past. Helmed by an award-winning chef, Enrico Bartolini, GLAM Restaurant serves exclusive menus designed by the exceptionally talented culinary artist.

    Gran Meliá de Mar (Mallorca, Spain)
    Set in its own exclusive cove, Gran Meliá de Mar is surrounded by a magnificent garden of pine trees under the beautiful blue palette of the Mediterranean sky. Unique to Mallorca, Gran Meliá de Mar is an adults-only resort. It is inspired by an indulgent culture of relaxation where exquisite service and contemporary elegance meet. Guests will find spacious rooms and exceptional suites, all with balconies andspectacular views overlooking the sea.Fine dining with surprising Majorcan cuisine is available at four dining venues, and a Luxury Spa by Clarins offers the latest beauty and well-being treatments.

    Leading Hotels of the WorldLotte St. Petersburg (St. Petersburg, Russia)
    Lotte Hotel St. Petersburg is located onSt. Isaac’s Square with an enviable view of the city’s famous cathedral, the Moika River, the Blue Bridge, and in walking distance to the Hermitage Museum, Nevsky Prospect and Mariinsky Theatre. The hotel opened in July 2017 and is a piece of history unto itself, occupying a mansion built for the honorary citizen Mrs. Yakunchikova. The first traces of the building appeared in the beginning of 19th century. John Quincy Adams, the first ambassador of the U.S. to Russia and the sixth President of the U.S., lived in the house from 1810 to 1811. The hotel features 150 classic and modern rooms, including seven suites. It features smart technology, state-of-the-art facilities and haute cuisine. Enjoy a meal at the Lounge restaurant or the premium Japanese MEGUmi restaurant. Two banquet halls and a Balinese Mandara Spa are also on site.

    Leading Hotels of the WorldCapella Shanghai, Jian Ye Li (Shanghai, China)
    Located in the cultural preservation zone of Xuhui District, Capella Shanghai, Jian Ye Li will open in September 2017, following a highly anticipated restoration and conversion project. The compound houses 22 rows of shikumen lanes, connecting more than 200 two-story houses dating back to the 1930s. Set against the glistening skyscrapers of Shanghai, original shikumen houses, which first appeared in the 1860s are a cultural rarity. Sensitively restored for discerning modern travelers, the striking buildings blend traditional Shanghainese and French architectural styles. The hotel portion of the luxury, urban resort consists of 55 three-level villas. The property will also be home to three-Michelin star chef Pierre Gagnaire’s only restaurant in Mainland China, Le Comptoir.

    Leading Hotels of the WorldSigniel Seoul (Seoul, Korea)
    Set in the greater Gangnam area, the Signiel Seoul opened in April 2017 and is located in the landmark Lotte World Tower, the fifth tallest high rise in the world. Soaring above the city, all rooms offer mesmerizing skyline views and combine classic and contemporary design, harmoniously blending influences of East and West. Guests can indulge in cuisine created by Michelin-starred chefs or sip on some bubbly at BAR 81 with the largest champagne collection in Korea, both located 342-meters up in the air. An impressive Evian spa, fitness center and a swimming pool are also available for some rest and relaxation after a bustling day in Seoul.

    Leading Hotels of the WorldReopening after renovations:
    Hôtel Barrière Le Fouquet’s Paris
    reopened in July following a six-month renovation. The 81 spacious rooms and suites boast refined materials and delicate fabrics and lighting, reflecting the distinctive signature of interior designer Jacques Garcia. Fouquet’s famed brasserie is also back on center stage on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées, with Chef Pierre Gagnaire reinvigorating bistro cuisine.

    Leading Hotels of the World

    www.lhw.com

    Hilton crowned most valuable hotel brand

    Hilton pips megagroups, hospitality trends to be named ‘most valuable’ hotel brand

    853 500 Daniel Fountain

    Global hospitality giant Hilton has been crowned the world’s most valuable hotel brand. The 2017 annual report Brand Finance Hotels 50 has ranked the Hilton group as leaders in the hospitality field in terms of their net worth, which is valued at $8.4 billion (£6.4 billion).

    The brand is AAA rated, putting it among the top names in the hotel industry, along with Marriott, Sheraton and the Holiday Inn. North American brands are placed in the top four spots of the leader board by the report carried out by the valuation and strategic consultancy firm Brand Finance, cementing North America’s position as a commercial heavyweight in an increasingly competitive industry, with alternative markets such as China and Asia Pacific growing steadily.

    The news will be welcomed by Hilton, whose worth up 7% on 2016. The hotel brand has staved off competition from new trends in hospitality in the form of temporary accommodation such as AirBnB, poshtels and boutique hotels, who appeal more to a younger demographic such as millennials. Hilton has built a loyal client base since its foundation nearly 100 years ago, surely a contributing factor to its sustained popularity. The power of the Hilton brand has been bolstered by new initiatives in sustainability and recycling, and also by new brand partnerships and acquisitions.

    Premier Inn was listed at the top of the report as the world’s most powerful hotel brand. The UK group’s draw lies in the sheer quantity of hotels it operates, and the reliability of the brand in terms of economy and service it provides. Holiday Inn and Days Inn follow suit in the power brand category, pointing to a steady demand for mid-range accommodation that serves a wide range of customers.

    Historic Hotels of the World

    17 properties join Historic Hotels family

    999 528 Daniel Fountain

    Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide have inducted 17 ‘historic hotels’ into membership during April 2017. Some of the hotels joining date back to the 13th century. The 17 iconic hotels represent different independent hotels, brands, and collections from around the world and from 10 countries.

    Historic Hotels of America has inducted these hotels through April 2017:

    Inn at Willow Grove (1778) Orange, Virginia
    Hotel fun fact: During the Revolutionary War Generals Wayne (Georgia) and Muhlenberg (Pennsylvania) camped at Willow Grove during the southern campaign to assist Marquis de Lafayette in forcing the British to surrender. Inn at Willow Grove was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 and the Virginia Landmarks Register in 1978.

    Penn Wells Hotel (1869) Wellsboro, Pennsylvania
    Hotel fun fact: The Philadelphia Inquirer called it “the gem of the Roosevelt Highway.” During World War II, Corning Glass Works, the predecessor to today’s Corning Inc. celebrated its Christmas party at the hotel, and in appreciation, presented the iconic American flag made of 1,438 Christmas ornaments which can be seen today in the lobby.

    Hotel Saranac, Curio Collection by Hilton (1927) Saranac Lake, New York
    Hotel fun fact: An iconic landmark in the Saranac Lake village, the hotel has been thoughtfully restored and renovated while maintaining its historic charm and fascinating architecture, including the Great Hall, inspired by a 14th century Italian palace.

    17 properties join Historic Hotels familyAlpenhof Lodge (1965) Teton Village, Wyoming
    Hotel fun fact: The Alpenhof Lodge, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2016. Alpenhof, the first lodge built in Teton Village, preserves its Bavarian-heritage style similar to those in many Alpine ski resort destinations.

    17 properties join Historic Hotels familyHistoric Hotels Worldwide has inducted these hotels through April 2017:

    NH Collection Florence Porta Rossa (13th Century) Florence, Italy
    Hotel fun fact: The windows of the hotel bear an inscription in Italian, Per non dormire “[A reward] For not sleeping,” the motto of the Salimbeni family, the first owners of the ancient palace. This hotel is thought to be among the oldest in Italy.

    17 properties join Historic Hotels familyOld Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa (1400) St. Andrews, Scotland
    Hotel fun fact: The Old Course at St. Andrews is one of the oldest golf courses in the world. Golf became popular in the Middle Ages, so much so that the game was banned in 1457 by King James II of Scotland, who felt it was distracting young men from archery practice. Succeeding monarchs repeated this ban until James IV became a golfer himself.

    17 properties join Historic Hotels familyNH Collection Amsterdam Barbizon Palace (15th Century) Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Hotel fun fact: Located across from Amsterdam Central Station, the heart of the hotel is built from several 17th century Dutch townhouses that have been seamlessly combined. The hotel’s predominant meeting space is the 15th century St. Olaf Chapel. The chapel, named for the Norwegian monarch from 1015 to 1028, is believed to be one of the oldest standing structures in Amsterdam and is accessible through an underground passageway.

    Domus Renier Boutique Hotel (1608) Chania, Crete, Greece
    Hotel fun fact: For centuries, Chania Harbor served as the first defense against invading armies from the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Peninsula, and the Ottoman Empire. The entire Chania area, including its classic architecture, spectacular towers, awe inspiring gates, tranquil monasteries, opulent palaces, clandestine underground exits and entrances, and historic fortifications, is pending approval and designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The hotel complex that houses the palazzo, constructed in the beginning of the 15th century, is also home to a small family chapel, the Panagia of Renier, which is located on the back side of the mansion itself. This chapel, as well as the gate to the palace, have remained untouched. They have been preserved and are in magnificent condition.

    Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden (18th Century) Dresden, Germany
    Hotel fun fact: Taschenbergpalais had a prominent role in the history of the Saxony region and the city of Dresden. Originally built by a celebrated patron of architecture, and King of Poland, Augustus II the Strong, the palace became the home for generations of Crown Princes and their families. Following an incredible restoration that began in 1992, the palace was transformed back into a luxurious celebration of its royal past and opened as a luxury hotel.

    17 properties join Historic Hotels familyNH Collection Madrid Palacio de Tepa (1808) Madrid, Spain
    Hotel fun fact: Located in Barrio de las Letras, Madrid’s literary district, and first built for the last Viceroy of Spain in Mexico, the hotel is a former, neoclassical palace. Genuine 16th century artifacts are displayed behind glass panels at the reception desk. The hotel sits in front of the Church of San Sebastian, built in 1554.

    17 properties join Historic Hotels familyNH Collection Amsterdam Doelen (1815) Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Hotel fun fact: Overlooking the beautiful Amstel River and dating from the 15th century, the original building, The Swych Utrecht tower, was built in 1481 as part of the complete defense wall that protected the city. The tower was used as a military training space, or a “doelen,” for the Kloveniers, who were civic militia guards. In 1642, the civic guards assigned Rembrandt van Rijn to produce a group portrait of their militia company. This painting was later called The Night Watch and became one of the most famous paintings in the world. By the 17th century, the tower had been expanded into the City Hall, and in 1815, it was transformed into a hotel. The hotel’s Rembrandt Suite is along the wall where The Night Watch was first displayed.

    17 properties join Historic Hotels familyNH Collection Venice Palazzo Barocci (1890) Venice, Italy
    Hotel fun fact: The hotel is located in a former Venetian palace, overlooking the Grand Canal and the Rialto Bridge, and built on the site of the former Teatro San angelo (1676). Renowned composer Vivaldi premiered many of his famous operas in this theater. Today, the images that line the walls of the hotel are all historic Venice from the Alinari collection; Fratelli Alinari being the world’s oldest photography studio dating back to 1852.

    Grand Hotel Kempinski High Tatras (1894) Strba Strbske Pleso, Slovakia
    Hotel fun fact: Grand Hotel Kempinski High Tatras consists of three parts, all of which were established in different periods. The oldest is the Jánošík, which was completed in 1894, followed by the Kriváň, which was completed in 1906, and finally the Hviezdoslav, completed in 1923. All of these buildings were eventually linked together to form one hotel complex.

    NH Collection Roma Palazzo Cinquecento (1900s) Rome, Italy
    Hotel fun fact: Originally built as a post office in the early 1900s this historic hotel overlooks an idyllic garden. In front of this garden is a section of the Servian Wall, which was constructed to protect “The Eternal City” in the 4th century BC.

    Hotel Adlon Kempinski (1907) Berlin, Germany
    Hotel fun fact: Hotel Adlon Kempinski is one of the most legendary hotels in Germany. The list of famous guests that stayed at the original Hotel Adlon is a virtual “who’s who” of celebrities and entertainers. Albert Einstein could often be seen in the window of his corner suite, which overlooked the Brandenburg Gate, waving to pedestrians on the Pariser Platz below. Suite 101-114 was the preferred room of Charlie Chaplin. Other famous guests include industrialists Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, Presidents Herbert Hoover, Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt; and Hollywood luminaries Mary Pickford and Josephine Baker. The second Hotel Adlon re-opened on August 23, 1997 and celebrates over 100 years of history.

    17 properties join Historic Hotels familyNH Collection Brussels Centre (1926) Brussels, Belgium
    Hotel fun fact: This Art Deco hotel near the Rue Neuve, was built for visitors to the 1930 World Exposition. In honor of its centennial, Belgium welcomed guests from around the world to two massive fairs in Liege and Antwerp. The hotel was designed by Michel Polak (1885-1948), a famous Belgian architect recognized for his art deco, classicism, and modernism architectural styles. He is credited with numerous projects within Europe including the renovation of the personal Villa for Henri Nestlé, founder of the Nestlé Company, in Montreux, Switzerland.

    17 properties join Historic Hotels familyTivoli Lisboa (1933) Lisbon, Portugal
    Hotel fun fact: The Tivoli Lisboa is just a short walk from traditional Portuguese neighborhoods such as the Bairro Alto and Chiado. The hotel’s name is from the landmark music hall/cinema (Teatro Tivoli) that still occupies the western corner of the Avenida da Liberdade. Beatriz Costa was the biggest star of musical theatre in Portugal and Brazil. She lived the last 30 years of her life in room number 600 and is the “soul” of the hotel.

    17 properties join Historic Hotels family“We are delighted to have inducted these four legendary historic hotels into Historic Hotels of America and these 13 iconic historic hotels into Historic Hotels Worldwide through April 2017,” said Lawrence Horwitz, Executive Director, Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. “We are very pleased to announce new partnerships with NH Collection Hotels and with Kempinski Hotels and look forward to inducting additional historic hotels in 2017 from each of these companies. We commend these companies for their tremendous stewardship of their historic hotels. Based on nominations currently in review, we expect to announce later this year the induction of many more independent historic hotels as well as historic hotels representing many brands and collections into both historic programs.”

    www.historichotels.org

    Viero expanding its global presence

    Viero increasing its global presence

    1024 615 Daniel Fountain

    It’s easy to see that traditional Italian plaster is emerging as a worldwide trend. As well as our growing portfolio here in the UK, the Viero brand is very much increasing its global presence.

    Just this year, six new showrooms have opened for business. Established in 1967, the company has a great history and tradition for manufacturing high-quality specialist paint and plaster coatings, but the future looks bright too with venetian plaster finishes becoming a very popular choice with interior designers and architects everywhere.

    Today, the firm has a presence in more than 50 countries with showrooms across many of these locations. We talk about Viero being an inspiring brand in the world of design and just a quick glance at some of the newly opened showrooms sets the perfect tone for this statement.

    We talk about Viero being an inspiring brand in the world of design and just a quick glance at some of the newly opened showrooms sets the perfect tone for this statementViero UK is proud to be the official Viero Distributor in UK. Director Chris Walters said: “Operating as Viero UK, we are just one part of the business’ larger global presence.

    “Our designers are always looking at projects completed elsewhere to gain an insight into other possibilities of what can be achieved with our products.

    “It’s important to never stand still and constantly look at gaining inspiration from the work going on around us so we can deliver new and exciting finishes to our clients.”

    www.viero.co.uk

    Soori Bali

    LHW introduces eight new members to its ‘curated collection’

    1000 635 Daniel Fountain

    The Leading Hotels of the World is pleased to announce the addition of eight new members to its curated collection of over 375 luxury hotels. From the blue water and pristine white sand of Bali’s south-western coast, to the snow-capped peaks of the French Alps, each new member is as authentic and vibrant as the location in which it is found.

    “For over 80 years The Leading Hotels of the World has been committed to providing unforgettable and authentic travel experiences,” said Deniz Omurgonulsen, Vice President, Membership, The Leading Hotels of the World. “We are pleased to welcome these eight distinguished new members that will offer our guests an array of unique travel experiences and enhance our portfolio’s global offerings.”

    Sun Gardens Dubrovnik, Croatia
    With its enviable seafront location and extraordinary Mediterranean gardens, Sun Gardens Dubrovnik, a modern beachfront luxury resort on the Dalmatian Coast, offers understated elegance and supreme comfort. Located in Orašac, seven miles from the UNESCO World Heritage City of Dubrovnik Old Town, Sun Gardens Dubrovnik features 177 hotel guestrooms, all of which boast amazing views from a private terrace or balcony, and 231 one, two or three-bedroom fully appointed suites and residences. Resort facilities include a private beach, three freshwater pools, a world-class spa, sports center, retail shopping area, conference facilities and a broad range of gastronomic offerings in 16 restaurants and bars.

    Sun Gardens Dubrovnik Joins The Leading Hotels of the WorldAn uncommon experience not to miss: Guests can make the most of the “al fresco” way of life by renting bicycles from the resort’s sports center and discovering Dubrovnik’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or cruising the stunning Elaphite Archipelago. If guests prefer a guided bike tour, Sun Gardens Dubrovnik can arrange specialty sightseeing excursions with a private guide.

    Le K2 Altitude, Courchevel, France
    Situated in an intimate village at the base of the French Alps, the exclusive Le K2 Altitude is made up of a series of eight luxurious, interconnected chalets. Each of the 14 rooms and 18 suites is unique in its own right, appointed with handcrafted furnishings from Italy, Portugal and Spain. With direct access to the Pralong slope, guests can conquer Les Trois Vallées, the kingdom of skiing with 370 miles of marked runs. In addition, the hotels plays host to incredible gourmet and Mediterranean dining options, including a two-Michelin star restaurant, a renowned spa and a kid’s club for both children and teens.

    Courchevel Le Altitude K2An uncommon experience not to miss: With the hotel’s incredible location directly on Les Trois Vallées, the largest ski area in the world, guests can enjoy the best of the slopes with guidance from Le K2 Altitude’s experienced concierge team. Ready to make winter wonderland dreams a reality, they will help guests suit up in their on-site ski shop and arrange private ski lessons, heli-skiing, snowmobiling excursions and much more.

    Hotel Camiral at PGA Catalunya Resort, Catalunya, Spain
    Set in the beautiful Catalonian countryside, Hotel Camiral is less than an hour from Barcelona, and within easy reach of the beaches of the Costa Brava, and the historic town of Girona. The hotel is the ideal location for sports enthusiasts, culture lovers, foodies and their families. Panoramic views over two award-winning championship golf courses, make Hotel Camiral a golf lover’s dream vacation. For adventure seekers, Hotel Camiral can arrange everything from sky diving over Empordá to snorkeling in Costa Brava. Designed by the internationally renowned talents Lázaro Rosa-Violán, Hotel Camiral provides the perfect combination of contemporary architecture, striking urban-chic interiors, generous space, comfort and luxury. A range of dining options includes a mix of Mediterranean and international cuisine with a focus on Catalán specialties, created from locally sourced produce, and accompanied by regional wines.

    PGA Catalunya - Hotel CamiraAn uncommon experience not to miss: Play golf like a Tour Pro on one of Europe’s most famous courses, PGA Catalunya Resort’s Stadium Course. Guests can learn how to best approach each hole with resident expert Enric, who will guide them through the course, providing the knowledge and tools to make it the perfect round.

    Soori Bali, Kerambitan, Indonesia
    Located on Bali’s south-western coast, Soori Bali sits within the picturesque Tabanan Regency, where volcanic mountains perch above lush rice fields and remarkable black sand beaches. Designed, owned and operated by renowned architect Soo K. Chan, the resort features 37 mountain, beach and ocean villas, each with its own private infinity pool and sweeping vistas. Also, included within the resort’s offerings are three dining options, all of which use fresh produce from nearby farms and spices from the resort’s own garden, as well as a full-service Soori Spa, infinity pool, bar, 24-hour gym and library.

    Soori BaliAn uncommon experience not to miss: Guests can take advantage of ‘Journeys by Soori,’ a series of customized experiences exclusively offered at the resort. Travelers can choose between half or full day bespoke experiences which focuses on spa and wellness, Balinese culture, arts and crafts or environmentally conscious excursions.

    Thanda Island, Shungimbili Island, District of Mafia Island, Tanzania
    Thanda Island, considered one of the most exclusive tropical getaways in the world, is located between the mainland of Tanzania and Mafia Island. Surrounded by its own coral reefs, which protect it from heavy storms, the Island features only one private villa with five suites and two rustic Tanzanian Bandas. With ample sunshine, the Island is powered by sustainable energy with no negative environmental footprint, and is a sanctuary to enjoy in complete seclusion with family and friends. On the Island, guests can rejuvenate and enjoy a variety of water sports or island activities as they explore this remarkable destination, where shades of turquoise infuse the days, and tropical spices the nights.

    tHANDIAn uncommon experience not to miss: Located in Tanzania’s Shungimbili Island Marine Reserve, marine conservation is at the core of the Island’s offering. Through ongoing partnerships with the Tanzanian Marine Parks and the leading NGO, Sea Sense, guests are encouraged to get involved in a range of educational projects, such as marine wildlife monitoring or awareness workshops with villagers on neighboring Mafia Island.

    Alvear Icon Hotel & Residences, Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Located on the banks of the Río de la Plata River, the Alvear Icon Hotel & Residences is a striking, futuristic building that is a focal point of the dynamic Puerto Madero neighborhood. The hotel features 159 luxurious rooms and suites decorated in a sleek, modern style, and state-of-the-art technology. With an eye towards design, a line of contemporary furniture was developed exclusively for the hotel and the rooms are appointed with arabescato marble walls and warm-toned French and Italian fabrics. The property’s eight dining venues are a culinary enthusiast’s playground, from Sunny Yard, perfect for a relaxing breakfast set in the hotel’s garden Courtyard, to Mike & Co., a kosher dairy bar where guests can enjoy childhood- inspired treats. The property also boasts two pools, a spectacular spa & fitness center, 8 meeting rooms and two ballrooms that can accommodate up to 1,200 attendees.

    An uncommon experience not to miss: It’s all about dining with a view at the Alvear Icon Hotel & Residences. Start the evening with bold drinks and good music at the Crystal Bar, located on the 32nd floor of the hotel. Follow drinks with dinner at The Grand View restaurant on the 31st floor, an open-kitchen concept design with magnificent city skyline and river views from its sprawling windows.

    UNICO 20°87°, Riviera Maya, Mexico
    For an unmatched adults-only Mexico vacation, look no further than UNICO 20°87° Hotel Riviera Maya. Set on the stunning white beaches of the Riviera Maya, it offers guests the opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture of the region through dining, décor and activities. Five unique dining options range from elevated fine cuisine, to a casual café setting, each offering a menu inspired by ingredients sourced from nearby producers. An extensive, expertly curated selection of spirits can be found at each bar and restaurant, accented by a mixologist-driven cocktail program. Travelers can relax in modern Mexico luxury, in UNICO 20°87°’s 408 rooms and 39 suites, all designed with indigenous inspiration and handcrafted details. In addition, there are three pools; Esencia Wellness, a holistic spa offering signature treatments; a full-service beauty salon and barber shop, and a state-of-the-art fitness facility. Select spa treatments, golf and tours are included in the guest’s stay. Exciting pop-up events, such as mezcal tastings, art competitions and acoustic sunset jams, insert a touch of spontaneity into travelers’ experiences.

    An uncommon experience not to miss: UNICO 20°87°’s rotating chef restaurant, Cueva Siete, is sure to surprise guests with exciting tastes throughout the year. Cueva Siete’s current partnership with celebrity chef Christian Bravo, a competitor on Top Chef Mexico, showcases a gourmet Mexican menu drawing inspiration from the region and local ingredients.

    Soon to open:
    Palácio Tangará, São Paulo, Brazil

    Situated in the heart of São Paulo, adjacent to a lush tropical park, Palácio Tangará offers an unparalleled and exceptional location in the desirable Panamby Morumbi neighborhood, just minutes from some of the city’s most notable attractions. Palácio Tangará’s 141 spacious guestrooms, including 59 suites, offer beautiful views overlooking the rich flora and fauna of Burle Marx Park. Outstanding dining experiences, led by legendary chef-restaurateur Jean-Georges Vongerichten, include signature Restaurant Tangará Jean-Georges, a chef’s table, and a bar. In addition, the hotel boasts state-of-the-art recreational facilities including the Spa by Sisley Paris, heated indoor and outdoor pools and a kids’ club. Palácio Tangará will begin welcoming guests in June.

    An uncommon experience not to miss: Guests at Palácio Tangará can enjoy stunning views of the famous Burle Marx Park right from the comfort of the hotel. The Park is home to a wide variety of rare tropical birds, butterflies and flora, which can be admired from Palácio Tangará’s private terraces while enjoying fine dining or simply lounging by the pool. Following some R&R, guests can take a shady stroll through The Park, to experience the flavor of Brazil’s tropical forests – look out for opossums and white tufted marmosets.

    Reopening after renovations:
    Villa Del Parco & Spa, Forte Village Resort, Sardinia, Italy

    Sardinia’s Villa Del Parco & Spa, Forte Village Resort will re-open for the 2017 season in late May, following a complete restructuring and renovation. The EUR 5 million investment includes the 25 Luxury Rooms of the main building, the external facades, public areas, reception and bar patio, plus a new all-weather covering for the Thalasso pools of the spa.

    Relais & Chateuax

    Relais & Châteaux announces three new members

    555 400 Daniel Fountain

    Relais & Châteaux is established around the globe, from the Napa Valley vineyards and French Provence to the beaches of the Indian Ocean.

    Its ambition is to be much more than an association – to champion the principle of sharing the arts of gracious living and culinary expertise, and preserving local culture and diversity. It is this spirit – the celebration of both L‘Art de Vivre and joie de vivre – that lies at the centre of Relais & Châteaux that separates it from the rest.

    From the United States, Colombia, France, Denmark, Switzerland, Netherlands, Italy, Greece, Spain, China, Japan and New Zealand, these are the latest establishments to carry Relais & Châteaux’s indistinguishable golden fleur de lys serve as the living embodiment of their locale and its history, environment and culture; respect the people who participate in the life and culture of their region; share a passion that endures from the head of the establishment through to the Maîtres de Maison and staff; and are committed to building on the legacy of hospitality and cuisine.

    ——

    Zanzibar White Sand Luxury, Zanzibar (Tanzania)
    Located on Zanzibar’s Eastern coast, Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa is spread over four hectares of tropical gardens and 200 meters of beachfront on Paje beach. The property was designed in a spirit of sustainability. The architecture was designed to be unobtrusive to the flora and fauna; the hotel is powered by wind and solar energy thanks to solar panels and a wind turbine, recycles and grows organic fruits and vegetables onsite. The restaurant serves a cuisine which blends local Zanzibari inspired dishes with international accents and flavours. The spa is set in a tropical garden and offers a variety of treatments and massages. Numerous activities are available onsite, including snorkelling, fishing, cycling, tours and excursions. The property has its own water sports centre.

    Zanzibar

    ——

    Gabriel Kreuther, New York (United States)
    Owners: Gabriel Kreuther and Eben Dorros
    Chef: Gabriel Kreuther

    Located near Bryant Park, Gabriel Kreuther is the newly opened eponymous restaurant of Chef Gabriel Kreuther. The interior design blends tradition and modernity, featuring cream leather seating, timber columns and a glass-walled display kitchen. The menu reflects Kreuther’s culinary journey, from his childhood in Alsace to his experiences in first-class New York restaurants. Signature dishes include foie gras terrine with black truffle praline, cardamom-roasted Alaskan king crab, and a tableside-torched crème brulée frappée. Wine pairings are selected from the 42-page wine list.

    Relais

    ——

    The Ring, Vienna (Austria)
    Maître de Maison: Eugenio Rigo

    The Ring is situated right in the centre of the historic Viennese Ringstraße Boulevard, 200 metres from the Opera. The 19th century façade as well as historic details, such as the listed elevator, stuccoed walls and old tiling are combined with a more contemporary interior design. The rooms likewise mix contemporary and classic furniture. The spa is located on the 7th floor and offers panoramic views over Vienna’s rooftop. The Eight Restaurant, serves aroma cuisine, featuring a variety of spices and sauces, fresh herbs and ingredients.

    www.relaischateaux.com

    Sheraton to expand with nearly 100 hotels

    Sheraton to expand their reach with nearly 100 new hotels

    995 609 Daniel Fountain

    Sheraton Hotels and Resorts are set to expand in the coming years with nearly 100 new hotels.

    One of Marriott’s most important and recognised brands, Sheraton already operates more than 400 hotels worldwide with a key count approaching 153,000, meaning that this upcoming spate of openings will substantially increase its portfolio. The brand plans to open 93 new hotels which will add an impressive 25,240 new guest suites and rooms to the brands collection.

    Sheraton prides itself on offering a service of excellence to upscale business travellers and tourists, and can be found in everywhere from the world’s most cosmopolitan cities to idyllic beachfronts. This proposed expansion will see their global influence swell, with projects intended to be situated across all of the industry’s key markets. Investment by the company seems to be concentrated in the ever-growing Asia Pacific region, with Sheraton choosing to locate 64 hotels and resorts there, giving a total of 17,989 new guest rooms. Africa, Europe and North America average 8 projects each, all seemingly solid markets. The Middle East and Latin America will get 3 and 2 new openings respectively, creating more brand presence in these areas.

    28 of these projected openings are set to happen this year alone, and TOPHOTELPROJECTS reports that the more than half of these 93 developments are currently under construction, which bodes well for the future openings of 23 hotels next year, 25 in 2019 and 15 from 2020 onwards. Sheraton’s vision for the future of their brand will no doubt continue along the path that has been so successful for them, and nearly a quarter of the proposed hotels and resorts to open over the next few years are already in the planning and pre-planning stages.

    hotel-development.marriott.com/brands/sheraton

    Viceroy Hotel Group introduces three brand tiers

    954 551 Daniel Fountain

    Viceroy Hotel Group (VHG) has announced the segmentation of its portfolio into three tiers: The Viceroy Icon Collection, The Viceroy Lifestyle Series and Urban Retreat Collection. This new structure is a natural evolution for the modern luxury hotel brand. As it continues to create unique and diverse experiences, the tier structure will help guests find what they are looking for more easily.

    “We celebrate the differences in our portfolio and know that our guests love diversity, authenticity and personality,” said Kelly Kang, AVP of Brand Management at VHG. “The introduction of our new brand architecture offers an intuitive way to choose a Viceroy destination that fits the unique personality of our guests and their vibe.”

    The Viceroy Icon Collection: Epic in Every Sense
    The Icon Collection has endless dramatic flair, and luxury knows no bounds. With properties set in breathtaking destinations, guests can expect a sense of adventure and anticipation at every turn. There is equal opportunity to engage in active pursuits beyond one’s wildest dreams or simply relax in the most scenic of settings. The Icon Collection properties encompass exclusive experiences and resort-style offerings including, but not limited to: Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort – The star of the Caribbean located on an acclaimed UNESCO World Heritage site. The epitome of glamour, Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills, which is a Forbes 5-star hotel and celebrity haven. Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai (opening March 2017), the most sought-after Palm Jumeirah address with theatre at the heart of every guest interaction.

    Viceroy

    The Viceroy Lifestyle Series: Provocative & Progressive
    The Lifestyle Series hotels revolve around the needs and desires of the modern traveler. Stylish and provocative, these attitude-led destinations bring a playful edge to the luxury category. The Lifestyle Series hotels include: Viceroy Santa Monica, a scene maker with buzzing nightlife and Santa Monica’s beach and culture at your fingertips.
    Among the bustle of midtown with a rooftop bar overlooking Central Park, Viceroy Central Park New York harnesses the city’s remarkable energy and provides limitless opportunities for exploration.

    Urban Retreat Collection: Bold & Eclectic
    The Urban Retreat Collection is made up of boutique hotels, each with their own identity. They encapsulate local spirit and energy, and wink at rebellion. And while they carry Viceroy’s signature style and service, they also delight by disrupting the norm. The series includes: Hotel Zelos San Francisco, a downtown residential retreat with the buzzed-about Dirty Habit restaurant and bar social scene. Hotel Zeppelin San Francisco, a mischievous fusion of San Francisco’s counterculture tradition and contemporary hospitality. Illuminated by the lights of Times Square, Cassa Hotel New York is a stylish, modern haven for travelers that like to stay at the city’s pulse.

    Viceroy

    http://www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/

    Paris 'hot spot' for hotel investment

    Paris revealed as number one ‘hot spot’ for hotel investment in Europe

    960 477 Daniel Fountain

    Paris has reached the top of Colliers International’s inaugural Hotel Investment Attractiveness Index, an analysis of the investment climate of 20 European cities, despite predictions that investors and tourists would lose faith in the city due to political uncertainty and the perceived threat following various national security breaches.

    Paris’ lead ranking is due to its high demand growth, strong hotel performance, high investment returns and market depth from 2012-2016.

    Dirk Bakker, Head of EMEA Hotels, Colliers International

    Dirk Bakker, Head of EMEA Hotels, Colliers International

    Dirk Bakker, Head of EMEA Hotels, Colliers International said: “Investors are regularly requiring the latest information on cities where they will receive high returns, which in a politically and economically uncertain world, is often difficult to predict. Our index provides us with something more than anecdotal evidence through which to advise our clients.

    “According to our latest data, Paris scored highly in terms of valuation exit yields and hotel investment volume between 2007 and 2016. Paris also saw over 15 million international tourists visit the city in 2015 and witnessed average hotel occupancy levels of over 77 per cent from 2012-2016.”

    The Colliers index uses twelve metric components, weighted to give each of the 20 locations a score of up to 400, including population; GDP per capital; total workforce; commuting workforce; tourist arrivals; room occupancy; Average Daily Rate (ADR); Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR); Land site prices; Building costs; Valuation exit yields and investment volumes. These scores were then consolidated into a single figure and ranked to show which markets are hot in terms of overall demand, their recent operating performance and how this ties into the attractiveness of each market with regards to the acquisition of existing hotels and for the development of new ones.

    Here are some of the highlights:
    • London and Barcelona came out as the second and third most interesting cities to invest in, closely followed by Amsterdam and Berlin.
    • The story for the top two cities, London and Paris, is very similar, but Paris pips London to the top by virtue of having slightly lower development costs. Low development costs is one of the areas in which Barcelona excels, increasing the overall attractiveness of the city ahead of Amsterdam sitting in fourth place. In all other areas, these two cities have very similar performance ratings.
    • At the other end of the scale, although the development cost component scores very highly for Bucharest, this is not enough to compensate for low demand appetite and the lack of a hotel investment market, so it has been ranked the lowest.
    • Istanbul has been ranked relatively low at number 17, despite the size of the market, helping drive a good overall demand score and low development costs. However, the operational performance lags behind due to low occupancy rates, leading to lower returns on investment. The current political and economic climate is not particularly conducive to a robust investment market.
    • Zürich is the most interesting city to watch out for in the future, as its operational performance has been excellent in the last few years, suggesting an under-supply of quality hotel stock. Hotel investment interest is high, and if demand for the city continues to increase, it may become one of the most popular cities for new development and investment, despite the high development costs.
    • Manchester and Dublin also perform highly, where hotel performance exceeds demand. The case for an increase in business demand growth in both cities looks very strong in the coming years, which should increase their attractiveness to developers and investors alike.

    Damian Harrington, Director Head of EMEA Research at Colliers International adds: “With the Hotel Investment Attractiveness Index, we were able to create a unique analysis of a very dynamic market. By combining the twelve variables, we can generate far more of an insight into the current hotel industry and even predict what could lie ahead.”

    Jo&Joe by Accor

    AccorHotels launches Jo&Joe brand for millennials

    726 476 Daniel Fountain

    AccorHotels will be launching a new hospitality brand called JO&JOE. Its aim is to blend the best of private-rental, hostel and hotel formats to reinvent and provide a disruptive experience in terms of design approach, catering, service and the customer journey.

    AccorHotels plans to expand rapidly by opening 50 venues by 2020, with locations including Paris and Bordeaux (2018) as well as Warsaw, Budapest, Rio and São Paulo.

    Jo&Joe by Accor

    Accorhotels has released visuals of the new design of the hotels, along with descriptions of what guests may expect. In general, Jo and Joe properties are described as “a vibrant living space, a home that is open to the external world and designed to meet the expectations of Millennials and all those who value sharing, spontaneity and experience”.

    The design for the new hotels has been in collaboration with UK design company Penson (also known for flagship designs including campuses for Google, YouTube, Jaguar Land Rover and interiors of the world’s 5th tallest building, Lotte World Tower).

    Jo&Joe by Accor

    “Break with tradition, forget old habits, be surprising, authentic, unexpected, bring a breath of fresh air to AccorHotels. Do it quickly and do it well. It wasn’t an easy brief to put into practice, particularly when you’re primarily targeting Millennials, who can be very difficult to win over,” said Sebastien Bazin, CEO of AccorHotels.

    “But with the launch of our new brand, JO&JOE, we have now more than met that challenge. I’m extremely proud of the work accomplished by the AccorHotels teams in mobilizing the energy necessary – both inside and outside the Group – to bring this enormous project to life. JO&JOE represents the very essence of hospitality: welcoming, exciting and beyond our guests’ expectations,” he added.

    Hyatt Hotels

    Hyatt Place and Hyatt House brands continue strong growth

    1000 596 Daniel Fountain

    The Hyatt Place and Hyatt House brands continue growth in new markets with the opening of 10 hotels across the globe during the second quarter of 2016.

    Of the 10 Hyatt Place and HYATT house hotel openings in the second quarter, 40 percent were in the Asia Pacific region, including the first dual-branded Hyatt Place and HYATT house hotels in Shenzhen, China, which create a combined experience that enables guests to enjoy the benefits of both brands under one roof. Additionally, HYATT house Shenzhen Airport marks the first HYATT house hotel in Asia.

    “The openings of four Hyatt Place and HYATT house hotels in Asia Pacific are a testament to our commitment to strategic growth for these brands throughout the region and the world,” said Steve Haggerty, Hyatt’s global head of capital strategy, franchising and select service. “We are proud that Hyatt Place and HYATT house hotels continue to meet travelers’ needs in key cities globally, further demonstrating the overall strength and resonance of the brands with developers, owners and guests.”

    The newly opened Hyatt Place hotels include:
    – Hyatt Place Phuket Patong (161 rooms), Phuket, Thailand
    – Hyatt Place Washington DC/Georgetown/West End (168 rooms), Washington, D.C.
    – Hyatt Place Kansas City/Lenexa City Center (127 rooms), Lenexa, Kan.
    – Hyatt Place Shenzhen Airport (167 rooms), Shenzhen, China
    – Hyatt Place Luoyang (248 rooms), Luoyang, China
    – Hyatt Place London Heathrow Hayes (170 rooms), Hayes, United Kingdom
    – Hyatt Place Cleveland/Lyndhurst/Legacy Village (135 rooms), Lyndhurst, Ohio
    – Hyatt Place Chicago/O’Hare Airport (200 rooms), Rosemont, Ill.

    The newly opened HYATT house hotels include:
    – Hyatt House Shenzhen Airport (112 rooms), Shenzhen, China
    – Hyatt House Chicago/Evanston (114 rooms), Evanston, Ill.

    Additionally, the HYATT house brand has been recognized by J.D. Power as “Highest in Guest Satisfaction among North American Upper Extended Stay Hotel Chains.” As a result of guest ratings in the recently released J.D. Power 2016 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index StudySM, the HYATT house brand led the upper extended stay segment with 856 points, scoring 12 points higher than the segment average.

    To learn more about Hyatt Place hotels or to make a reservation, visit www.hyattplace.com, and for more information about HYATT house hotels or to book a reservation, visit www.hyatthouse.com.

    Sanctum Hotel Group

    Karma Group – Sanctum Hotel Group join for new venture

    1000 585 Daniel Fountain

    John Spence, Chairman and Founder of award-winning international travel and lifestyle brand, Karma Group and Mark Fuller, top London hotelier and CEO of Sanctum Hotel Group have announced a joint venture to develop a series of authentic luxury rock styled and orientated hotels in strategic locations around the world, accompanied by an exclusive private membership club.

    Combining the ultimate in luxury and comfort with a rock edge, the hotels will be the number one destination for the discerning traveller accustomed to a stylish and vibrant lifestyle. Boasting the finest quality furnishings and impressive attention to detail, the hotels will feature top of the range facilities such as recording studios, cinema screening rooms, spas, world-class restaurants and bars.

    Additionally, there will be a highly aspirational and exclusive membership club based around these properties, providing members not only great rates and discounts at the properties, but also ‘money cant buy’ benefits such as preferential tickets to rock concerts as well as VIP experiences like meeting bands and back stage tours. Initially the members club will focus on the existing Sanctum Hotel Group properties in England, as well as Karma Group’s stable of resorts, but the partnership is currently investigating options to roll out new hotels, primarily in major music hubs visited by leading touring artists, such as New York, Los Angeles, Melbourne and Berlin.

    Karma Group
    “Bringing together our enormous collective experience, in both the music and hospitality industries, to plug the gap in the market for authentic, quality rock and roll inspired hotels seems only natural,” said John Spence. “Both Mark and I feel that our brands are ideally aligned to create an extremely successful venture and, above all, we share the mantra is that we are not in the accommodation business, but rather the entertainment business. Our global partnership uniquely opens the world’s finest locations to lovers of music and followers of our philosophy of life being a celebration of hard work followed by hard play.”

    “We’ve created a strong brand in the UK and our existing hotels, year upon year continue to achieve fantastic success,” said Mark Fuller, CEO of The Sanctum Hotel Group. “We provide a unique offering; a five star hotel experience, a twist of rock ‘n’ roll and an abundance of incredible facilities. We’re thrilled to be working with Karma Hotels to bring our vision to 20 key cities across the world.”

    Spence and Fuller have both enjoyed extensive and successful careers in both the music and hospitality industries. In the early ‘80s, John cut his teeth as a music agent in London and it was during this time that he formed a friendship with Fuller who has had huge experience over the years setting up and running some of the leading clubs and venues in London. Mark’s partners at Sanctum Hotel Group, Rod Smallwood and Andy Taylor are two of the most prominent managers in the music business who have looked after many high profile bands and artists, including Iron Maiden.

    Project Spotlight: Innovative hotel projects by Kudos Dsign

    1000 624 Daniel Fountain

    Kudos Dsign is a leading luxury interior design agency for hospitality developments, designing innovative projects across the globe, from the iconic Burj Al Arab Terrace in Dubai to ‘Hotel With’ in Stockholm, the world’s first purpose-built underground hotel.

    Based in Turku, Finland, Kudos prides themselves on their creativity and attention to detail in every aspect of the process, specially sourcing and custom-designing each element to fully explore the creative brief and deliver a unique and distinctive project through skillful design and beautiful materials.

    Pia Litokorpi, CEO, founder and architect at Kudos Dsign, explains: “Kudos was born of a passion for fine design and craftsmanship, and is inspired by the elements of nature. Kudos works closely with its clients to share their vision, and bring conceptual ideas into reality through the combination of beauty and function, which makes each Kudos project unique and special.”

    Case Study: Hotel With, Stockholm
    Located in the heart of Stockholm’s city centre, Hotel With has been built deep underground, with all 106 en-suite bedrooms sitting beneath the city’s renowned, bustling Urban Deli. Constructed within a former utilities basement this custom designed hotel delivers a modern experience, with no exterior walls and windows which guarantees total darkness and silence in soundproofed guest rooms.

    Working within the restraints of this unusual location, Kudos introduced design elements to both enhance and compliment the underground experience. Corridors and public areas mimic a city street – complete with letter boxes and door knockers – for the illusion of outdoor space, while custom-designed carpets act as markers for hotel guests to avoid becoming disorientated while underground.

    Kudos Dsigh - Hotel With Urban Deli, Stockholm

    The special lighting scheme simulates natural light, while allowing for total darkness during the night. High specification soundproofing provides an urban haven of silence and a powerful sound system which allows guests to enjoy music or television to any desired volume with no disruption to other guests.

    Case Study: Resorts World Bimini, Bahamas
    Resorts World Bimini is a brand new hotel on the remote Bimini Island of the Bahamas, opened in June 2016. This pristine natural location offers limited land, and required all aspects of development to have a minimum impact on local environment and marine life. Working within environmental challenges of construction on a remote island, the guest rooms were built and outfitted using a pre-assembly construction process not used before in the hotel industry.

    Kudos Dsign - Hilton at Resorts World Bimini

    Kudos Dsign introduced a number of unique design elements, one of the highlights being a rooftop infinity pool with a dramatic wraparound walkaway, along with the hotel’s signature swim-up suites. Special features created bespoke by Kudos include the lobby wine bar with a specially designed glass wall that doubles as wine storage, a two-sided reception desk which also acts as the lobby bar and a unique lobby lighting feature with 75 individual handmade pennant lamps.

    Case Study: Burj Al Arab Terrace, Dubai
    Dubai’s iconic Burj Al Arab hotel recently unveiled ‘The Terrace’, opened to hotel guests in May 2016, Kudos designed the one-of-a-kind space which features pools, beach, cabanas and a restaurant and provides guests and members with a unique over-water beach experience.

    Kudos Dsign - Burj Al Arab Terrace

    Kudos was involved in every aspect of the terrace’s design and interior architecture, including shape of the spaces, specification of surface materials, as well as custom-designed indoor and outdoor furniture, soft furnishings and interior details.

    www.kudosdsign.com

    Hilton Hotels

    5 facts to know about…Hilton Hotels

    800 542 Daniel Fountain

    In spite of the impending Marriott-Stwarwood merger, Hilton Hotels is still one of the behemoths of the hotel industry and remains one of the most well-known hospitality companies in the world. In light of 2016 marking their presence in 100 countries and territories, we have found five things you might not know about the company…

    • In 2015, Hilton signed over 100,000 new rooms for development, creating a global pipeline of 275,000 hotel rooms. Half this number are currently under construction, and represent almost 20% of the total hotel rooms under construction globally.
    • Around the world, Hilton manages 3,843 hotels with 596,765 rooms. That’s up some 39% since the company last reported earnings publicly in June 2007. It owns 4% of the hotels in its system.
    • Hilton’s loyalty scheme, Hilton HHonors, added six million new members in 2015. This is the brand’s highest number of enrollments ever in a single year. The number now accounts for 50 million members, who represent 52% of the occupancy for the company.
    • Hampton by Hilton is expected to open an additional 400 hotels in the next few years, including the first KSA property, due to open in 2018. Hampton by Hilton also passed its 200,000th room milestone in 2015 and now has a pipeline of more than 50,000 rooms.
    • Way back in 1971, a young John Lennon was lounging in one of the company’s hotels when he decided to do some brainstorming. He ended up writing the word “Imagine” on a piece of the hotel’s stationary.
    Raffles - FRHI

    AccorHotels finalises purchase of FRHI group

    1000 388 Daniel Fountain

    Following the approval of shareholders at the General Shareholders Meeting last week, AccorHotels Group officially announces the acquisition of FRHI Hotels & Resorts (FRHI) and its three prestigious luxury hotel brands: Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel.

    This addition of three remarkable brands instantly positions AccorHotels as a leading player in the global luxury hotel market, increases long term growth potential and profitability, and significantly expands the company’s footprint in North America, the world’s largest and most influential consumer market.

    “Today is a great day for our group,” says Sébastien Bazin, chairman and CEO of AccorHotels. “The acquisition of these three emblematic luxury hotel brands is a historical milestone for AccorHotels. It will open up amazing growth prospects, lift our international presence to unprecedented heights, and build value over the long term.”

    FRHI
    Joining AccorHotels’ global network is a portfolio of globally admired brands, which includes management of many of the world’s most iconic and historic hotels located in key strategic cities around the world, including: The Savoy in London, Raffles Singapore, Fairmont San Francisco, New York’s The Plaza, Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City, and Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris.

    FRHI
    Combining FRHI’s proven track record and deep expertise in operating and marketing luxury hotels, with AccorHotels robust global operating platform, extensive loyalty base and industry leading digital capabilities, means the Group is uniquely positioned to deliver the most profitable returns and best growth potential across all market segments.

    “We remain committed to providing guests with unparalleled service, while also keeping the ambition to deliver exceptional return on investment for our shareholders and hotel owners,” adds Bazin. “By leveraging the operational synergies between FRHI and AccorHotels, we are well-positioned to accelerate the growth of our luxury brands and offer guests even more exciting hotel choices and destinations to explore.”