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Hotel Industry News In Brief
Some current conversation starters...
London received global attention during the Queen's Diamond Jubilee as the city hosted festivities over four days in the beginning of June for hundreds of thousands well-wishers, who lined up along the Thames River or along the streets between St Paul's Cathedral and Buckingham Palace. For hoteliers it meant hosting visitors from around the world and the country.
Hotels in London saw occupancy reach 90.5% on Saturday night (June 2) and benefited from the extended weekend to boost the traditionally low Sunday night with occupancy reaching 79.3%, up 20.8%, according to STR Global. Looking at RevPAR performance by class across London, Sunday night saw the biggest RevPAR growth. The economy class saw the largest RevPAR growth, up 54.6% Sunday night compared to the previous year, led by an increase in average daily rate of 52.3% to £64.52 (US$99.77). The upper midscale class increased RevPAR by 30.9% on the same night, led by a 30.9% increase in occupancy to 80%. Sunday night saw the biggest RevPAR improvements in three out of nine London markets. Wandsworth-Southbank-Tower Bridge, Outer London and The City/Shoreditch areas reported increases of 73.5%, 43.2% and 31.4%, respectively. The highest occupancy of the five-day period was achieved June 2 in an area south of the river between Wandsworth and Tower Bridge reporting 98.4%, as guests benefited from the closeness to the River Pageant on Sunday. The highest rate of the five-day period could be found, as it is traditionally, in the Knightsbridge/Pimlico/Victoria market with £227.48 (US$351.76) on Friday night.
Mercure Madrid Santo Domingo Hotel has announced that its vertical garden - measuring 9,086 sq ft (844 sq m) - has obtained a Guinness World Record for its size.
The garden, overlooked by 70 of the hotel's 200 rooms, includes trees, some of which measure more than 33 ft (10 m) tall, as well as a 66 ft (20 m) waterfall. It is also sustainable thanks to its trickle irrigation watering system, supplied by treated wastewater from some of the guestrooms.
Do you ever make the effort to cancel and re-book your hotel room reservation if you noticed the rate at your hotel went down?
Most of us (80%) would say no, according to a study funded by the new hotel booking site Tingo, which tracks customers' hotel reservations and refunds them money automatically when rates drop. Tingo is a division of online review giant TripAdvisor. According to the survey, 80% of the more than 1,000 respondents said they did not cancel and re-book a stay within the past 12 months. The remaining 20% never made the effort. Tingo's survey also found that just more than half of respondents said they never even checked back to see if the rate for their booking had changed. Tingo claims that, if they had checked, nearly 40% could have received a refund. The website's customers receive an average of $35 back for two-night stays, Tingo says. Tingo crunched its data for the month of May to find the cities with the most hotel rooms where prices dropped. Among them: New York, Miami Beach, Atlanta, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Potential savings, naturally, would've been greatest for New York City visitors (about $109) since it's the most expensive hotel market in the USA. But even in Las Vegas, where rates are cheaper, a traveler could have saved about $51, Tingo says.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments...
Patrick-Denis Finet has been appointed s General Manager of the Mandarin Oriental, Milan which is scheduled to open in 2013. Mr Finet has over 30 years of experience in the luxury hospitality industry. He joined Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group in 2003, and has held a variety of senior management positions including General Manager of the group's award-winning resort in Chiang Mai and General Manager of Mandarin Oriental Riviera Maya, Mexico. He joins Mandarin Oriental, Milan from his role as General Manager, Corporate where he has been responsible for providing operational input for Mandarin Oriental, Paris, the group's most recent European opening. Prior to joining Mandarin Oriental, Mr Finet held various General Manager roles with the Khalifa Group and was General Manager of Le Prince Maurice Hotel in Mauritius.
Benchmark Hospitality International, a leading U.S.-based hospitality management company, has named Tom Purcell controller for Costa d'Este Beach Resort in Vero Beach, Florida. Costa d'Este Beach Resort is a part of Benchmark Hospitality's Personal Luxury Resorts & HotelsSM. Ed Riley, Benchmark's general manager at the resort, made the announcement. Tom Purcell was most recently a consultant with the Pyramid Hotel Group in Daytona Beach. He was previously director of finance for Hilton Hotels Corporation and Pyramid Hotel Group, responsible for properties in metropolitan Washington, DC. Mr. Purcell has also served in financial accounting positions for the Millennium Broadway in New York City and for Starwood Hotels & Resorts.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Motel One is set to expand in the U.K. with two properties in England and one in Scotland. Motel One Group, Munich, has said that it will open a 140-room property on Princes Street in Edinburgh in 2013 and a 258-room property near Tower Bridge in London in 2014. The company has also partnered with Lugnao Property Group to develop a 222-room property in Newcastle, England. The budget lifestyle brand has three previously announced properties in its pipeline in Germany, Austria and Scotland. These include the 208-room Motel One Edinburgh-Royal, the Motel One Salzburg-Mirabell and the Motel One Köln-Waidmarkt.
After undergoing a nine-month restoration, Hotel Alfonso XIII, located in Seville, Spain,, has made its debut. Demopolis, a local architect from Seville, led the project. The hotel features Arabic influences in its arches, towers and Renaissance-style windows. The hotel also features 151 guestrooms and suites, including three individually designed signature suites that reflect Seville's artistic history. All guestrooms feature Moorish, Castillian or Andalusian design concept, each with distinctive colour palettes, furniture and interiors. The Reales Alcázares Suite features views of Real Alcázar's gardens and fountains.
Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants has opened Hotel Palomar Phoenix. The 242-room property is part of the CityScape mixed-use development. The design includes touches of the surrounding area, with artwork and furnishings that reference Arizona. Hotel Palomar Phoenix includes an open-air, third-floor pool adjacent to the Lustre bar. In terms of food and beverage, the property includes the American gastropub Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails.
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