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Hotel Industry News In Brief
Some current conversation starters…
IHG is decreasing its Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts brand portfolio by 41 hotels, about 10% of the brand’s total number of hotels, as part of a larger effort to refresh the brand globally.
Seeking to close a performance gap between the Americas and the rest of the world, where Crowne Plazas are faring better, IHG initiated quality improvement for the brand this year and 16 of the total 41 substandard hotels have already been exited from the brand. All 16 of those hotels were located in the Americas. As part of the brand refresh, IHG, Denham, England, is also planning to invest capital where necessary to develop halo locations for the brand and then in 2013 to begin rolling out differentiated brand hallmarks. “Crowne Plaza today is our highest priority, especially in the Americas,” said Richard Solomons, IHG CEO in a conference call with investors on Tuesday. "There remains a significant opportunity to close the performance gap between the U.S. and the rest of the world.” The upscale Crowne Plaza brand represents 19% of IHG’s gross revenues.
A new whitepaper on faith-based travel says one of the biggest trends in the niche market is fundraising faith cruising.
The paper, written by religious travel authority, Cindi Brodhecker, and offered for free by Group University a Premium Tourism Marketing Company, says that fundraising faith-based cruises are increasingly incorporated by US faith travellers either as destination cruises to sacred sites or for shared onboard group religious programs. Other statistics reported in the paper:
Brits ditch holiday crash diets reports Directline Holidays.
A recent study carried out by popular online travel agent Directline Holidays reveals the pre-holiday diet is dead. Only 5% of over 500 surveyed admitted crash dieting before a holiday and less than 2% are worried about how they look in a bikini. Holidaymakers are instead opting to get in shape over a sensible period of time before their holidays. Commenting on this report Directline Holidays travel expert Gary Mayes said: “It looks like a speedy svelte look is no longer fashionable as people cotton on to the damage of dangerous diets. Our survey reveals whilst women are more body conscious than men, most Brits are taking a more sensible approach by getting in shape over a longer period of time before going away.” Crash diets can weaken the immune system and increase risks of dehydration – most holidaymakers will be keen to avoid both of these. “Nowadays most women recognise that taking a longer approach to getting in shape not only means you are more likely to stay slim, but it's also more enjoyable,” explains Rachael Woolston, founder of FitBitch Boot Camps. “After all, who wants to restrict their diet to juices and egg white omelettes when you can drop over a dress size by eating whatever you want but in smaller amounts combined with exercise?” These results are taken from 500 people surveyed by Bristol based news agency One Poll in June 2012.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments…
Choice Hotels International, Inc. recently announced that it has named C.A. Anderson as vice president of development for Cambria Suites. Mr. Anderson will report to David Pepper, senior vice president of global development. In his new role, Mr. Anderson will oversee the strategic development of the Cambria Suites brand. He will be responsible for leading the franchise sales team in developing and implementing new strategies to increase the brand's distribution among key markets nationwide, capitalizing on the company's commitment to the brand, including $250 million in corporate investments aimed to fuel the brand's growth, primarily in urban markets. Mr. Anderson joins Choice Hotels with more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Most recently, he served as president and chief operating officer of The Dow Hotel Company, a hotel ownership, investment and management company headquartered in Seattle, Wash. Prior to that, his background includes experience at Interstate Hotels & Resorts, Inc., Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers, Inc., Red Lion Hotels, Inc., and Japan Airline Group Companies.
Sonesta International Hotels Corporation has named Carol Bullock as Corporate Vice President of Sales. In this role Carol will manage and provide leadership for the national, regional and hotel-based sales teams. Carol brings to Sonesta more than 30 years of experience in the lodging industry, having held senior management positions with Omni Hotels, Sheraton Hotels, Starwood Hotels, and most recently as VP Sales – North America with Dolce Hotels & Resorts. She has been involved in all aspects of hotel sales, both for hotel companies and for independent marketing consulting companies. Carol is an active member of the National Business Travel Association (NBTA) and Strategic Account Management Association (SAMA), and has an MBA from the Simmons Graduate School of Management.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Today, San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants officially re-launched the eagerly anticipated Hotel La Jolla, bringing coastal-chic design and Kimpton’s culture of care to sun-kissed La Jolla Shores. This marks the third Kimpton hotel in San Diego, following Hotel Solamar and Hotel Palomar San Diego. A $4 million investment transformed this iconic property, with an emphasis on design at the root of the renovation. New spaces such as the lobby, pool deck and lounge, meeting space and fitness center are infused with light and space. Guest room updates, landscape alterations and a new coastal-Mediterranean restaurant reflect an elegant contemporary vibe. Owned by Westport Capital Partners and Cove Equity Group, LLC and designed by Gulla Jonsdottir and Claude-Anthony Marengo, Hotel La Jolla offers 110 guestrooms, each with a patio or balcony, featuring breathtaking views of the sunset. Guests have a choice of a deluxe king or queen room or one of four 900-square-foot apartment-style luxury suites, complete with flat panel TVs, Frette linens, Bigelow bath products and Kimpton’s signature animal-print robes. The new lobby, appointed with contemporary furnishings, offers an elegant yet comfortable atmosphere, while the new ground-floor venue, Hiatus, provides guests with more than 2,000 square feet of open-air relaxation, complete with fire pits, luxe chaise lounges and a bar.
Spanish hotel company Melia Hotels International is set to launch its global flagship hotel, ME London, in the UK capital city in September this year. Designed by Foster + Partners, it is the fifth hotel for the luxury lifestyle ME by Melia hotel brand, which is also planned for Dubai and Doha. Melia Hotels International vice chairman and CEO Gabrial Escarrer Jaume said: “Thanks to its location and outstanding product and service quality, the opening of this hotel after the Olympics will represent a fundamental step forward in our globalisation process and also make a major contribution to the London luxury hotel scene”.
Aqua Hotels & Resorts, www.aquaresorts.com, a full-service Hawaii hotel management company, recently announced the completion of guest room renovations and upgrades totaling $2.5 million at the 51-room Aqua Lotus Honolulu. Currently ranked #3 on TripAdvisor, the boutique Aqua Lotus Honolulu was transformed under the direction of Kory Wong-Oglesby of deZigns Interior Planning. Wong-Oglesby also worked on other Aqua projects including the total renovation of Aqua Waikiki Pearl. "The goal for the Lotus was to create an understated, quiet, yet comfortable environment for guests," commented Wong-Oglesby. "I wanted to bring this small property a feel of urban sophistication." Wong-Oglesby took a minimalistic approach with the use of clean sleek lines on the case goods. A darker wood finish was utilized to help accentuate the white walls and cool color tones. She used subtle tropical patterns on the upholstery and bedding. Custom artwork of local artist/photographer Kaypee Soh, infuses the naturally vibrant reds, pinks and greens found in tropical foliage on the island. The artwork was meant to complement not just the in-room aesthetic but the sweeping views of Diamond Head and the Pacific Ocean.
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