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Hotel Industry News In Brief
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How legal was The Setai South Beach Owner Takeover? Here is a statement from General Hotel Management…
At 2:30 AM on Saturday, March 31, 2012, owner representatives of The Setai South Beach arrived at the hotel and informed GHM they were taking over the property. According to Hans R. Jenni, President and Director of GHM, “Representatives from Lehman Brothers arrived at the hotel with armed guards and off duty sheriff officers in uniform in the early morning hours on March 31st. They informed us that they were taking over the property and that General Hotel Management (GHM) was no longer welcome on the property. These actions took us by surprise, as we had no prior indication they were intending to do this, nor were we under the impression that they were unhappy with our performance. We had just achieved the second best financial performance year since the inception of the hotel, not an easy accomplishment in the current economic environment.” Jenni further comments, “At this time we are not in a position to comment on the specifics of their allegations. We are in conversations with our lawyers and will take the necessary steps to ensure that Lehman Brothers complies with the requirements of the management contract in place. The allegations shared by Lehman Brothers' council are defamatory, damaging and without basis. Lehman Brothers have ignored a valid contract, stormed the hotel and have taken the law into their own hands. Their lawless behaviour is sending the message that no contract is enforceable.” Since the opening of The Setai South Beach in August 2005, the hotel has been recognized as one of the top hotels in the world. Founder of Aman Resorts, one of the world’s most luxurious hotel brands, Adrian Zecha, Non-Executive Chairman and Director of GHM, said “GHM is an industry leader with tremendous brand recognition in our industry. It was GHM that created the Setai concept and experience, leading the hotel to achieve numerous industry recognitions.” These have included prestigious awards such as 2012 Condé Nast Traveler "Platinum Circle Award" for inclusion in Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List for 5 consecutive years; 2012 U.S. News & World Report “Best Hotels in the USA,” “Top 50 Hotels in the USA,” and “#1 Best Hotel in Florida;” Travel & Leisure World's Best Large City Hotels (2009, 2010, 2011) and Condé Nast Traveler UK Gold List (2007 to 2011).
Almost half of Americans are not taking all of their vacation time, a new national survey commissioned by the Radisson hotel chain found.
According to the survey conducted by Kelton Research for Radisson, Americans have an average of 18 vacation days per year, but in 2011, 48% chose not to take half or more of their vacation time. Workload and a reluctance to play catch-up were cited as reasons, according to the survey of 1,000 adults, ages 18 and over. Nonetheless, nearly one in four said they'd give up their next promotion or 5% of their salary to get five more days of vacation this year. Other things they'd give up for more vacation that they apparently don't take all of: office-sponsored events (52% of respondents), a favorite beverage (30%), an hour of sleep every day (20%), listening to music (25%), and lunch breaks (23%). As a compromise to not taking time off, more business travelers are combining business with pleasure. According to the survey, about 63% bring family along on a business trip.
As part of its strategy to give its upscale extended-stay hotels a residential feel, Residence Inn by Marriott continues to add design elements to its guestrooms to make guests feel more at home.
One of the most recent improvements is the addition of a Shed the Day shelf that is part of a custom-designed mirror unit hanging by the entry door in guestrooms. It has been incorporated into the design of recently opened Residence Inn properties, including the 107-room Residence Inn here. According to Diane Mayer, VP/global brand manager, people in their homes typically have a drawer or table top where they leave their car keys, cell phone, wallet and other personal items when they return at night. At an extended-stay hotel like Residence Inn, many people stay anywhere from a week to a month or longer, so the Shed the Day shelf is intended to be a convenient away-from-home replacement. Combining it with a mirror also allows people to check their appearance when they gather their personal items before leaving for the day. With more than 620 properties worldwide, Residence Inn is Marriott International's third largest brand after Marriott Hotels & Resorts and Courtyard by Marriott. The brand expanded to Europe last year with a hotel in Munich as well as the one in Edinburgh. Others are in the pipeline. The Edinburgh property is part of an ambitious mixed-use development in downtown Edinburgh. The $500 million Quartermile project also includes residential, office, restaurant,and retail components.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments…
Asia’s fast growing hotel group Kosmopolito Hotels International (KHI), whose brands include Boutique Series by Kosmopolito, Grand Dorsett, Dorsett Regency Hotels & Resorts, and Silka Hotels has recently appointed Kevin Sun as the Vice President of Development. Reporting directly to Winnie Chiu, President and Executive Director of KHI, Kevin in his appointed role will be responsible for exploring the group’s development including acquisition and management contract opportunities as well as assisting in the implementation of the operational technical manual for KHI. Kevin brings with him more than 17 years of hotel advisory, development and consultancy experience in the hospitality industry in Asia Pacific. Prior to his appointment with KHI, Kevin was the Managing Director of Prolink Hotel Development Limited where he was responsible for acquisition of hotel assets in China and; negotiating hotel management contracts for Pan Pacific Hotels Group of Singapore and Dusit International, Thailand. He was also the Vice President of HVS Global Hospitality Services and Director of Development for Marco Polo Hotels.
Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco is pleased to announce the appointment of Loga Nathan as Hotel Manager. Nathan comes to the San Francisco property with more than 16 years of experience with the Four Seasons family. In his tenure with the company, Nathan has held positions at properties around the world, including Four Seasons Hotel Singapore, Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris, Four Seasons Hotel Washington D.C., and most recently The Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel. In his new role at Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco, Nathan will be responsible for managing and overseeing all aspects of hotel operations, with an emphasis on guest services. Most recently, Nathan held the position of Director of Rooms at The Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles. There, he was responsible for hiring, training and implementing policy and product development for the rooms division, which resulted in an impressive jump in the hotel’s occupancy rate. As the newly appointed Hotel Manager at Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco, Nathan brings his knowledge of the Four Seasons standard and his commitment to flawless service and hospitality.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. has announced it is gearing up for rapid expansion of its Westin brand in Asia Pacific. The hotel company plans to open six new Westin hotels in China in 2012 and 11 new hotels under the brand in total. Westin will also add new hotels in Indonesia, Panama City, New York and Snowmass, Colorado. The new Westin hotels will open in fast-growing cities across China including Ningbo, Xiamen, Changbaishan, Taiyuan, Qingdao and Xian. The new openings will bring Westin’s total portfolio in China to 19 by the end of 2012. These openings will be followed by four more Westin hotels in China by the end of 2013.
The Los Angeles Ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel Los Angeles has emerged from a $1.3-million renovation. The 25,000-square -foot space is one of the largest ballrooms in Los Angeles. The renovated space features all new carpet, paint and wall coverings throughout the California Level which includes the 25,000 square-foot Los Angeles Ballroom, the 23,000-square-foot California Showroom exhibition space, and a series of breakout rooms totalling 7,500 square feet of event and meeting space. Additionally, a complete overhaul of the hotels’ original 1966 chandeliers has been done. The renovation was masterminded by Design 360 Unlimited based in Santa Monica, California, which was said to have found inspiration for the new design in the works of Ernst Haeckle, a late 19th century zoology professor known for his detailed illustration of organic forms.
YTL Hotels, the hospitality arm of Malaysian conglomerate YTL Corporation, will open the Gaya Island Resort, Borneo on July 1, 2012. Located just off the coast of Kota Kinabalu on Pulau Gaya, the largest island in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, the property will comprise 121 standalone hill villas offering views of the ocean and Mount Kinabalu. Facilities at the resort will include several dining outlets, a pool bar & lounge, a 40-metre infinity swimming pool, and a spa centre featuring six treatment rooms with outdoor decks, a walk-in theatre and a yoga retreat space. The resort is a 30-minute combined car and speedboat ride from Kota Kinabalu International Airport.
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