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Hotel News in Brief
Some current conversation starters...
In what was apparently an unexpected move, French-born Hubert Joly resigned without notice on Friday after a four-year stint as chief executive of Carlson to reportedly become CEO of struggling retail electronics chain Best Buy.
Carlson's board moved swiftly and over the weekend promoted CFO Trudy Rautio, a 15-year company veteran, as the fifth president and CEO of the 74-year-old private company. Rautio has been responsible for directing all financial and information technology operations of the Minnetonka, Minnesota-based company and serves on the boards of Carlson Wagonlit Travel and The Rezidor Hotel Group - Carlson's majority-owned hotel group in Europe, Middle East and Africa. "I am very humbled," Rautio told HOTELS. "Carlson is a great organization with extraordinary leaders throughout, and having the support of the Carlson family and board is very important." Rautio said she had no particular ambition to reach this level at Carlson, adding, "I come from a small town and a humble background. I have not aspired to any of the positions I have gotten. I have worked hard and have been lucky to be in the right places at the right times. I had no lofty ambitions and always have seen myself in more of a support role." Nonetheless, Rautio is thrilled with her new opportunity. "It is great time in Carlson's history," she added. "We are progressing on our strategies and executing well against our initiatives. We are poised for an acceleration of our growth assuming the economic headwinds ever slow down."
A new study commissioned by the Four Points by Sheraton brand of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Stamford, Connecticut, reveals the mobile phone habits of global business travelers.
The survey polled a total of 6,000 business travelers globally, - 1,000 each from the United States, the United Kingdom, China, India, Germany and Brazil. The survey's findings included:
As the Boston Harbor Hotel celebrates its 25th anniversary on August 21, it is paying special tribute to the property's 21 original employees.
Long-time workers include doorman Dave Marr, who recalls guests walking on planks just to get to the front lobby on the hotel's chaotic opening day. Maggie Ng, who works in the hotel's laundry department, found her job at the hotel looking through the paper for part-time work, never dreaming she'd find a career spanning a quarter century. The Boston Harbor Hotel interviewed each long-time worker to learn their personal stories, and created a photobook with quotes and memories. Each team member featured in the book will receive the page featuring them as a framed keepsake, and the framed photos will rotate throughout the hotel's public spaces for guests to enjoy.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments...
Todd Handy has been appointed General Manager of East Hotel, Canberra's highly anticipated four and a half star contemporary design and lifestyle hotel. With it's focus on providing a memorable Canberra experience and its premium location between the fashionable retail and restaurant hubs of Manuka and Kingston, East Hotel ups the ante for local guests and visitors to Australia's capital. A native of the USA, Todd studied Hotel and Restaurant management at Johnson and Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina before heading to Australia where he graduated from the Australian International Hotel School with a B.Sc in Business Administration (Hotel Management) in conjunction with Cornell University. Todd began his career in hotels managing the Guest Services department at Four Seasons Resort and Club in Dallas, Texas, where as the youngest department head, he contributed to the resort achieving a AAA 5 diamond rating. After relocating back to Australia, Todd became Hotel Operations Manager at Hotel Kurrajong, the fully operational training hotel at the Australian International Hotel School. He then moved into a senior management role in privately run University Accommodation, before becoming Business Manager of a boutique residential design and construction company. Todd's passion for the industry was evident as he also found time to accept invitations to deliver lectures on Service Industry Management at the University of Canberra and Front Office Management at the Australian International Hotel School.
White Lodging is pleased to announced that Andrew Zinni has been promoted to General Manager of the Marriott Austin South in Austin, TX. Previously, Zinni served as the Director of Food and Beverage at Louisville Marriott Downtown in Louisville, KY. Prior to joining White Lodging in 2011, Andy was the general manager of the Pelican Yacht Club in Fort Pierce, Florida, a 346-member private equity club. Zinni has also held positions with Marriott International, Adam's Mark Hotels and Resorts, and Benchmark Hospitality.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
The lobby space at Affinia Gardens in New York City has been transformed into a "living room." Stonehill & Taylor, the firm responsible for the renovation, took inspiration from the idea of an Upper East Side garden. A fireplace set in a wood-paneled wall faces the entrance; shelves of gardening books from around the world frame the wall, and garden tools are used as accents. Colors of nutty brown, yellow and warm grey give the space an inviting feel, while leather ottomans serve as coffee tables. The garden theme continues through the design, which uses natural materials such as wood and stone. The floor is made of marble, while the reception desk is made from walnut and zinc. Light fixtures are made from copper pots. The Cupboard, another feature of the new space, offers grab-and-go food and beverage options, sundries, and other merchandise from shelves that run along the wall between the entrance and the check-in desk. The newly designed Tea Lounge features chocolate leather chairs and a couch. An Apple computer is available for guest use; the space also offers a flat-screen TV, rotating library, and self-service coffee and tea.
It seems like nothing puts a destination on the map more firmly than appearing in a James Bond film. Phang Nga Bay, on Thailand's Andaman Coast, shot to fame in 1974 when Roger Moore swooped between the distinctive limestone karsts which stick out of the sea in a tiny plane before skimming along the water and landing on the beach in The Man with the Golden Gun. Decades later, travellers still come here to see the iconic location. Now they can stay in appropriately stylish surroundings that James Bond himself would approve of. Opening July 2013, Point Yamu by COMO is set on a private beach on the east side of Phuket and will have 79 rooms and 30 villas, with views across the bay. Designed by Paola Navone, who has worked with the likes of Armani Casa and Gervasoni, the interiors will be contemporary, and with a colour palette inspired by the blue sea and rich oranges of the robes worn by the country's Buddhist monks. Two restaurants will serve Thai and Italian dishes, with an emphasis on health and nutrition. As at its award-winning sister resorts Parrot Cay in Turks & Caicos, and Cocoa Island, Maldives, the food is steamed or grilled rather than fried, and made using organic produce where possible. As well as the 100-metre-long swimming pool, guests can swim in the waters off the beach. A COMO Shambhala Retreat will offer Thai massage, face and body treatments, and yoga and wellness activities.
Strategic Hotels & Resorts, Inc. announced today that it has signed an agreement to purchase New York City's Essex House Hotel from the Dubai Investment Group for a gross purchase price of approximately $362.3 million. The purchase price includes 509 hotel rooms, nine condominium units and significant hotel-level cash reserves. Net of the acquired cash reserves, the transaction equates to a purchase price of approximately $685,000 per unit, based on 518 total units. The transaction, which is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, is expected to close on or before September 7, 2012. The Company has also signed a 50-year management agreement with Marriott International to rebrand the hotel as the JW Marriott Essex House New York.
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