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Hotel Industry News In Brief
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The Miami Herald yesterday reported the luxury Setai Resort & Residences in Miami Beach are under new management, thanks to an overnight operations change.
Setai Owners LLC is affiliated with Lehman Brothers Holdings. According to a statement from the company, it ousted former operators Singapore-based General Hotel Management and GHM (South Beach) LLC and installed Trevi Luxury Hospitality Group, a Dallas-based management company specializing in luxury properties. In related developments, Setai Owners LLC announced that is has commenced an international arbitration against GHM, amid allegations that the Singapore-based management company violated the terms of a management agreement, dated March 20, 2000. Trevi's management portfolio includes The Lanesborough in London and many Rosewood properties, including Little Dix Bay, Las Ventanas Al Paraiso and Caneel Bay. The Setai was the only North American property under GHM's management. Other properties in its portfolio include the Chedi Muscat in Oman and the Chedi Chiang Mai in Thailand. On Friday GHM announced it would manage a property under development in Mumbai under the Setai brand and owned by the Kohinoor Group.
Marriott International Inc. may sell its three Edition properties to fund an expansion of the boutique, luxury brand, incoming Chief Executive Officer Arne Sorenson said.
“We already have interested buyers,” Sorenson said in an interview yesterday at the company’s JW Marriott in downtown Los Angeles. He will replace J.W. Marriott Jr. as CEO at the end of the month, and Marriott will remain chairman. The Edition brand, a joint venture with hotelier Ian Schrager, is Marriott International’s attempt to break into the boutique segment in which Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (HOT)’s W chain operates. Marriott, based in Bethesda, Maryland, would continue to operate the Edition properties after they are sold, Sorenson said. “We’re willing to put in more money to expand Edition,” he said. Marriott agreed in October to buy the Clock Tower office building near Madison Square Park in Manhattan for an Edition hotel. The company, which mostly operates hotels without owning properties itself, used its own money for the transaction after little expansion since the brand was announced in 2008. Marriott plans to have six Edition hotels by 2015. Marriott is considering adding Edition properties in Abu Dhabi, Bangkok and Gurgaon, India, and may add one in West Hollywood, California, adjacent to Beverly Hills, Sorenson said. The hotelier also is adding Courtyard and Residence Inn hotels across its JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton property at Anschutz Entertainment Group’s L.A. Live entertainment complex in the city’s core. “Downtown L.A. still has room for more Marriott brands,” Sorenson said.
Sofitel Luxury Hotels has partnered with TV5MONDE, a French language network broadcasting in the United States, to create a new channel called Tivi5MONDE, a French language children's channel.
Children at all eight Sofitel properties in the United States can begin watching it this year. It will broadcast - commercial-free, 24 hours a day, every day - educational programs for children 3 to 13. Called the Le Petit Prince series, it will offer animated films, cartoons and original series. The new channel is part of Magnifique Family, Sofitel's children's program. As part of the program, each day the Sofitel donates 2 euros (about $2.66) to the Saint-Exupéry Foundation, which helps children in difficult environments in France and worldwide.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments…
Dorchester Collection is delighted to announce the appointment of Denise Flanders as general manager of Hotel Bel-Air , effective March 12, 2012. Reporting to Ed Mady, west coast regional director USA, Denise brings to the company a wealth of experience, joining the team from her most recent position as general manager of The Four Seasons Chicago where she held the role since 2008. Spanning a long career with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Denise was previously general manager at The Four Seasons Atlanta from 2002 to 2008 and prior to this, held hotel manager roles at both The Four Seasons Olympic in Seattle, Washington and The Four Seasons Houston, Texas. Her experience also includes positions at The Pierre, New York and The Helmsley Palace, New York, where she was director of front office operations.
Bringing a wealth of international hospitality experience to his new role with Rosewood Hotels in Saudi Arabia, Erich Steinbock has been appointed regional vice president for Rosewood Hotels in the Kingdom, and managing director of the ultra-luxury Al-Faisaliah and Al-Khozama Hotels. Formerly area director for Rosewood Hotels & Resorts in the US, Steinbock also maintained responsibility for the group's five-star Carlyle property in New York and its ultra luxury resort, Rosewood Tucker's Point in Bermuda. Before joining Rosewood Hotels & Resorts in 2009, Steinbock worked for Ritz-Carlton for nine years, most notably spearheading the opening of 14 Ritz-Carlton Hotel properties in the US and internationally.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
The new Courtyard by Marriott Mexico City Airport, connected to Benito Juarez International Airport, is officially open for business. The new 288-room hotel is Mexico City’s first Courtyard by Marriott property and features the Refreshing Business lobby. The lower lobby level, also known as the atrium, features a central large contemporary fountain and plenty of seating for socializing.
When the Beach House, a Holiday Inn Resort, unveiled its $5 million re-branding in March, it left the Crowne Plaza as the only one of Hilton Head Island's five beachside hotels without a recent major renovation. That won't be the case much longer. The resort's new management promises an overhaul and re-branding beginning April 27. On that day, the hotel will become Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island, in the first of what Sonesta president Stephanie Sonnabend said will be extensive changes to the property. "We'll be embarking on a full renovation," she said, adding that her Boston-based company will change all of the hotel's 340 rooms and halls. She declined to speculate how much Sonesta would invest in the property, saying that much of the overhaul remains unplanned. Architects and designers will visit the hotel in the coming weeks to determine the company's options, she said. Meanwhile, Sonesta said it will retain all of the Crowne Plaza's employees, which number 275 during peak tourism season. Sonnabend said it was important to re-brand the hotel in April, before the height of the tourist season, although its renovation may not begin for several months.
Hilton Worldwide will complete its "Project Glow" remodelling of all hotels under the Hilton Garden Inn brand by the end of 2013, with more than 400 properties expected to have finished Phase I by the end of this year, said Alan Roberts, a company vice president. The project includes updating lobbies, including new bars to highlight the space to guests. The company hopes to boost its food and beverage revenue from the brand through the renovations.
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