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Hotel Industry News In Brief
Some current conversation starters…
Benchmark Hospitality International has announced that Michael Koziol, landscaper and master gardener for Eaglewood Resort & Spa, located near Chicago, is the recipient of the Chairman’s Award of Excellence.
The award, which was created in 2005 by Burt Cabañas, founder, chairman & CEO of Benchmark Hospitality International, annually recognizes an exemplary employee of the global company. Mr. Cabañas presented the prestigious award recently to Mr. Koziol in a special ceremony. Mr. Koziol was recommended for the Award of Excellence by Charles Reece, Benchmark Hospitality’s general manager at Eaglewood Resort & Spa. “Michael is one of the most caring, selfless, dedicated and compassionate persons I’ve known,” said Mr. Reece. “He is a superb employee who always finds time to help those in need within his community, and also in places well beyond the United States’ borders.” Mr. Cabañas said, “I can’t think of anyone better qualified to be honored this year with the Benchmark Hospitality Chairman’s Award of Excellence than Michael Koziol. I am very pleased to have him as a part of our company, and to present this award to Michael.” Mr. Koziol has a history of repeatedly stepping up to help people in need at home and abroad. He tirelessly gave his time and immense talents to the people of Haiti following their disastrous earthquake, doing so with significant personal sacrifice. Last year, through the Friends of Orphans organization, Mr. Koziol went to the Dominican Republic to help plant an extensive vegetable garden and plantain plantation to feed kids in a children’s home. He also beautified their property by planting a vast ornamental garden. Mr. Koziol is currently making plans to return to the Dominican Republic for additional work and assistance, and also to go to Nicaragua to volunteer his time and talent. Closer to home, Mr. Koziol always manages to find time to volunteer his services at multiple non-profit organizations. This includes the Easter Seals Foundation, where he teaches children with Down syndrome how to garden as well as plant ornamental gardens.
If you've checked into a hotel in the last few months, you have probably noticed that rates have leaped upward.
And they probably won't drop any time soon. During June, July and August, the average hotel rate at major U.S. destinations jumped 17%, compared with the same period in 2011, according to a study by the hotel pricing website HotelsCombined. Some of the steepest rate increases this summer were at hotels in California. Anaheim -- home of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park -- recorded the highest price increases, a jump of 43% to an average daily rate of $155.25 in 2012 from $109 in 2011, according to the website. Other big hotel increases in the Golden State were in San Francisco (24%), San Diego (21%), Los Angeles (19%) and Palm Springs (17%). A separate study by TravelClick Inc. -- a New York company that provides booking software for major hotel chains -- looked at bookings made for August to December and compared them with those a year earlier. It found that the average daily rate in big cities in North America had climbed 5% since 2011. Both TravelClick and Hotelscombined attribute the rate increases to increasing demand by vacationers and business travellers. "Business and leisure travel demand through the end of the year is strong" and has pushed up daily rates, said Tim Hart, executive vice president of research and development at TravelClick.
The Micronesian Cruise Association (MCA) is reaching out to major cruise line operators including Royal Caribbean Cruises and Carnival Corporation, as well as niche players such as Orion Expeditions and SeaDream Yacht Club, to bolster cruising options within the region.
Cruise vessels already visit Micronesia on an ad hoc basis with Cunard, Princess, Hapag-Lloyd and several Japanese lines making around 10 calls to the region a year. "Our realistic goal is to increase the number of cruise ship passengers from around 10,000 a year today to around 50,000 in three years," said Ernie Galito, director, business development, Baldyga Group and secretariat for the MCA. According to Galito, local governments and private enterprises on individual islands within Micronesia were investing in cruise tourism infrastructure to put the region "on the (global) cruising map". He highlighted that Guam, Saipan and Palau were ideal ports of call for large ships sailing from Australia, North Asia and South-east Asia. "Marshall Islands, Chuuk and Pohnpei, which have more limited port infrastructure, are perfect for smaller vessels. These islands offer a lot of potential as they are relatively unknown – making them ideal stops for cruise lines that cater to niche markets," he added. The MCA is also looking to engage cruise lines to develop "fly in and cruise out" itineraries. "This will bolster tourism while minimising congestion at ports," said Galito.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments…
Marriott Vacations Worldwide has appointed Cliff Delorey to executive vice president and chief resort experience officer. In his new role, Delorey is directly responsible for the on-site management of Marriott Vacation Club and Grand Residences by Marriott properties around the globe, provides oversight and coordination of the on-site management company for The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club, and is responsible for the development and financial performance of resort-based ancillary businesses. In his role, Delorey will also serve on the executive committee and the corporate growth council for the company. A 31-year Marriott veteran, Delorey began his career in 1981 at the Marriott Boston Newton in Boston, Mass. as a sous chef and later became banquet chef. With extensive global operational experience, he has served in a variety of roles around the world including: banquet chef and specialty restaurant chef at the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, Golf Club & Spa in Marco Island, Fla.; executive sous chef at the former Santa Barbara Biltmore Marriott in Santa Barbara, Calif.; executive chef at the Torrance Marriott South Bay in Torrance, Calif.; executive chef at the JW Marriott Century City in Century City, Calif. and director of food and beverage for the JW Marriott Hong Kong in China. Delorey also served as director of international operations for Marriott International in Bethesda, Md. where he oversaw over 100 hotel openings and served as operational support for 65 countries. In 2003, Delorey served as regional director of operations for the Pacific Islands, Guam and Japan where he was responsible for 23 properties including four Marriott Vacation Club resorts. In 2006, Delorey joined Marriott Vacations Worldwide (formerly Marriott Vacation Club International) where he served as vice president of operations for the East region, overseeing the region’s operations team consisting of 15 resorts. In his most recent role, Delorey served as vice president of operations for the Middle East and Africa region for Marriott International, leading 40 hotels in the region and an additional 46 that were in development within the next 5 years.
Ben Shih brings over 14 years of hospitality leadership to his new position as Director of Sales and Marketing at The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa. Most recently he served as Area Director of Sales for The Fairmont San Francisco and The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa properties. Shih began his hospitality career in 1998 at the Marina Beach Marriott as Restaurant Manager and held progressive positions including Director of Food & Beverage, Outlets and Convention Services Manager before being transferred to the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco as Senior Convention Services Manager. Ben joined Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in 2004 as a Group Sales Manager at The Fairmont San Francisco and was subsequently promoted to Director of Group Sales in 2008. In 2009, Ben further advanced to Director of Sales and in 2010 he was appointed to his most recent position as Area Director of Sales.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
After 14 months of renovations, Aloft San Francisco Airport is open — the first Aloft conversion from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Stamford, Connecticut. Starwood updated the public areas, guestrooms, mechanical systems and infrastructure of the six-story property, a former Clarion that dated to the 1960s. Architecture firm Jonathan Nehmer + Associates Inc. oversaw the project, which also updated all 253 guestrooms and bathrooms. The 5,102-sq-ft (474-sq-m) lobby offers the brand’s w xyz bar, re:mix lounge and re:fuel by Aloft grab-and-go foodservice option. Meeting rooms offer 672 sq ft (62 sq m) of space. The property also has a pool and a fitness center and is located about two miles from San Francisco’s airport.
Hilton Waikoloa Village, the 62-acre Pacific playground located on the Kohala Coast of Hawaii, unveiled a $15-million renovation to the 245 Lagoon Tower guestrooms and main lobby. The newly-transformed lobby features plush furnishings and seating areas and the guestrooms boast a natural interior palette with island-inspired design elements among other exclusive upgrades. Drawing inspiration from the Hawaiian Islands, the transformed Lagoon Tower rooms feature upgrades to the bathrooms, linens and furnishings. The carpet inset has images of Naupaka in colors of lavender, white and beige. New hardware along with a crystalline stone countertop were added to the bathrooms. Beyond the room enhancements, half of the tower continues to offer dolphin lagoon and oceanfront views of the Pacific Ocean, while other views take in Mauna Kea and Hualalai Mountains or Waiulua Bay. The renovated main lobby features a new design complemented by culturally inspired fixtures and hues of tan, purple and gold. Decorated with custom furnishings and a chandelier (or piko design) representing continuity, the main lobby links the design to the Hawaiian concept of Pikowaena, or a place of gathering. The lights that hang from the piko represent the generations of the past, present and future.
Element, the green-focused brand from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide that currently has properties in 10 U.S. markets, has announced it will debut in Europe with Element Frankfurt Airport in 2014. Through an agreement between Starwood and Bari Gruppe GmbH & Co. KG, the new-build hotel will be part of Gateway Gardens, a new business district near the airport in Frankfurt, Germany. The property will feature 133 guestrooms with modular furniture, swivelling flat-screen televisions, large desks with open shelving, custom-designed closets, fully equipped kitchens and spa-inspired bathrooms with rain showers and dual-flush toilets. The hotel also will offer a signature restaurant and espresso bar, 24-hour fitness centre and a meeting room with modular furnishings, flexible layout and state-of-the-art technology.
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