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Hotel Industry News In Brief
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Royal Plaza on Scotts, “Best Independent Hotel” in the 23rd TTG Travel Awards 2012 for six years running.
Royal Plaza on Scotts (RP) continues to raise the bar in the travel and hospitality industry as it is once again voted as “Best Independent Hotel” at the prestigious 23rd TTG Travel Awards 2012. This accolade marks the sixth consecutive year that RP has been honoured by TTG for its exemplary service and dedication in delivering the best services and facilities. RP takes into consideration guest feedback and refreshes its products to include the best range of value-added benefits. The adept sales team also continually creates extraordinary experiences for customers through innovative ideas and servicing. Winners of various award categories emerged after votes were cast by a panel of judges compromising of Asia-Pacific’s most prominent travel suppliers and TTG readers across the region. Mr Patrick Fiat, General Manager of RP, said “It is a great honour to be selected as the best by professionals in the industry for the sixth time. We will continue to give our best and meet the evolving needs of our guests.” When asked about the recipe to outshining ourselves year after year, Mr Fiat shared that it is the passion and genuine warmth of the staff that distinctly differentiates the class of service delivered to guests. “We are pleased to share the success with all our employees, business partners and guests who have supported us through the years. It has been a rewarding year and we extend our heartfelt appreciation to everyone who has been a part of it,” added Mr Fiat.
HBAA launches White Paper on SMMPs
The HBAA has launched its latest study in a series of downloadable White Papers for the conference, meetings and accommodation sector. Under the title ‘Strategic Management Programmes’, the paper proposes a set of recommendations on best practices and how to maximise relationships to support the aims and objectives of the SMMPs. The paper also provides a starting point for the debate concerning the adoption of SMMPs from the corporate, agency and venue point of view. Researched and written by respected business travel journalist Gill Upton, the paper highlights the benefits, detriments and challenges involved with the usage of eRFP tools and includes case studies to demonstrate how differently corporates are utilising SMMPs in the UK. eRFP suppliers, buyers, agents, hotels and venues involved in the research included Cvent, StarCite, ABC Connections, Venue Directory, BSI, Brief to Event, Conference Care, Grassroots HBI, Hotelscene and Zibrant. Venues represented in the White Paper include Hilton, Marriott, De Vere, The Belfry; corporate research was carried out with global procurement managers, Linklaters and IBM, who are recognised for their major international meetings and events programmes. The HBAA’s head of marketing, Andrew Deakin, oversaw the project: “I’m delighted with the HBAA’s latest White Paper; we are able to publish an informative document looking at the tools we have in the industry today, while also analysing the challenges we face in the future. We understand that, for our agent members, making events and accommodation reservations is their core business, and have created the paper to demonstrate the synergy between the four involved parties: the RFP Provider, the Agent, Corporate, and the Supplier.” The HBAA is respected for its thought leadership and guidance in emergent issues in the meetings and events sector. Previous White Papers have included TOMS, Agency Commission Models and Meeting Cards. Follow the link below to download a copy of the HBAA's White Paper: http://hbaa.org.uk/whitePapers.aspx
Hilton Worldwide Has Plans to Open 800 Restaurants in the Next Three Years
Three New Concepts - Herb n’ Kitchen, Made Market and Brickstones Grill - To Debut in 2013
Casual dining is on the rise. According to a recent Mintel survey, sales at quick service restaurants have increased to nearly $30 billion in the past five years. This trend is being echoed throughout our hotels as guests spend less time in fine dining restaurants, opting for quick and convenient items instead. In response, Hilton Worldwide has reinvented the dining model at Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton and Embassy Suites brands and is introducing three new casual concepts - Herb n’ Kitchen, Made Market and Brickstones Grill – to debut in the U.S. in early 2013. “We surveyed 22,000 guests, owners and operators and we learned that the way people eat at home is translating into the way they eat on the road. “We surveyed 22,000 guests, owners and operators and we learned that the way people eat at home is translating into the way they eat on the road,” said Beth Scott, vice president of food and beverage concepts, Hilton Worldwide. “As a result, we decided to reinvent the hotel dining model to better serve the needs, wants and lifestyle of our customers.” A concept created for Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Herb n’ Kitchen, infuses gourmet items into a retail experience and gives guests a transparent view of the kitchen. Additionally, the self-service model offers hotels flexibility to transition from lunch to dinner and may include a variety of options from a live-action station to made-to-order or pre-made salads and sandwiches or the bar and barista zone, depending on location. Made Market, a concept created for DoubleTree by Hilton, is synonymous with the brand – fun, approachable and convenient. This all-day eatery combines the ease of a market with the allure of a brick oven gastro pub. From fresh coffee and pastries to a pint of artisan beer, Made Market offers a contemporary, yet relaxed, comfortable environment. The first Made Market is slated to debut in January 2013 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Tulsa Downtown in Oklahoma. Infusing value and smart design with comfort food, Brickstones Grill offers a contemporary experience that seamlessly transitions cooked-to-order breakfast to a-la-carte for lunch or dinner. Exclusive to the Embassy Suites brand, Brickstones Grill’s menu will feature American dishes, served in single or family portions, created within the iconic brick pizza oven, open pit grill and rotisserie. The open display kitchen is a staple in Brickstones Grill’s simple, yet sophisticated design along with comfortable booths and organic surfaces with quarried stone and reclaimed wood. Select locations are currently being considered. All three concepts are optional to owners and among more than 30 additional concepts featured on HiltonRestaurantConcepts.com — a website that pairs hotels and owners with preferred food and beverage concepts to meet a variety of property’s needs. Hilton Worldwide has plans to open 800 restaurants in the next three years.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments…
The Regency Kuwait is delighted to announce the appointment of Mr. Aurelio Giraudo as its new General Manager. Italian-born Giraudo is a seasoned professional and has been in the hotel industry for more than 30 years in all corners of the globe. In 2010 he played a key role in organizing the World Economic Forum’s first ever summit held in Morocco while working as Area Manager for Palmeraie in Marrakech. Mr. Giraudo has previously worked as Group Corporate Director of Food and Beverage and General Manager of the Imperial Hotels Group in Thailand, and headed the Imperial Angkor Palace Hotel in Cambodia, now known as Le Méridien Angkor. In Taiwan he was appointed as General Manager by Four Seasons, Taipei and spent some years in Bangkok with the Fairmont Group as General Manager of Nailert Park Bangkok, a Swissôtel. Prior to his appointment at The Regency Kuwait he was General Manager of Best Western Premier Dua Sentral, Kuala Lumpur – the flagship hotel for Luxury Collection in Malaysia. On his arrival Mr. Giraudo said “I am delighted and honoured to be joining my new associates at The Regency Kuwait! I am also very excited to be spearheading The Regency’s long-held mission for sustainability and diversity within its operations. I look forward greatly to the exciting future plans for the hotel which include a fantastic spa, state-of-the-art fitness studio and expanded exhibition space.”
SBE Hotel Group, Los Angeles, announced the appointment of a new president, Sam Bakhshandehpour, and new chief marketing officer, Veronica Smiley. Bakhshandehpour spent the last 12 years with J.P. Morgan Securities' Real Estate, Lodging & Gaming Investment Banking practice on the West Coast. While at J.P. Morgan, Sam focused on mergers and acquisitions and capital raising for the Lodging & Gaming companies, as well as REITs, homebuilders and real estate private equity funds. Prior to J.P. Morgan, Bakhshandehpour was in the Real Estate, Lodging & Gaming Investment Banking Group at Deutsche Bank and based out of New York City. Prior to SBE, Smiley served as vice president of corporate marketing for Caesars Entertainment. During her time with Caesars, Smiley was instrumental in the highly re-launch of the company’s global loyalty program, developing a strategic partnerships platform and launching an integrated VIP concierge service for group business.
Glen Winsor Appointed as Hotel Manager for the 1,000-room Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek in Florida. Glen Winsor has been appointed hotel manager of Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, a premier hotel resort accessible from within Walt Disney World property, according to Ted Ratcliff, senior vice president operation eastern U.S. for Hilton Worldwide. Winsor most recently held the position of general manager for DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Orlando - Lake Buena Vista. In his new capacity, he will oversee operations for the 1,000-room hotel surrounded by a 482-acre nature preserve and including a Rees Jones-designed golf course, full fitness center, nearly a dozen dining options and a three-acre lazy river pool. “Glen possesses a strong knowledge of the Orlando market and proven ability to increase market share and financial performance”, said Ratcliff. “He has a passion for customer service, offering strong operational management experience with expertise in business analysis, strategic sales planning and marketing as well as client relations and team member development.”
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Hyatt Announces Plans for a Hyatt Place Hotel in Republic of Armenia. Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced that a Hyatt affiliate has entered into an agreement with Ginekar Limited Liability Company for a Hyatt Place hotel in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. Hyatt Place Yerevan is the third Hyatt Place hotel under development in Europe, joining Hyatt Place Amsterdam Airport and Hyatt Place Zurich Airport. Slated to open in the spring of 2013, Hyatt Place Yerevan will offer 96 guestrooms, in addition to more than 1,300 square feet of meeting space, an open market with made-to-order meals and snacks around the clock, a restaurant offering breakfast, lunch and dinner; a bar; a four-station e-room, and a well-equipped fitness center. “We are pleased to introduce the Hyatt Place brand to a city that is undergoing major commercial and development enhancements and transformations,” said Peter Norman, senior vice president – acquisitions and development for Hyatt International – Europe, Africa, Middle East) LLC, in an announcement. “The opening of Hyatt Place Yerevan will mark a significant milestone for Hyatt as we begin to introduce the brand worldwide.” In addition to Hyatt Place Yerevan, two Hyatt Place hotels are slated to open outside of the United States in 2012 in Hampi, India and San Jose, Costa Rica.
Swissotel continues Chinese expansion. Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts is to extend its portfolio in China with a luxury hotel in Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province. The resort is set to have 400 rooms and suites as well as five restaurants and bars and more than 2,000sq m of meeting and banqueting space. Opening at the end of 2014, facilities at the hotel include a Pürovel spa - the hotel group's recently launched full-service wellness offer. The Pürovel Spa centres use natural materials and resources such as stone, wood, water and flowers as a reminder of the pure and natural mountain air of the Swiss Alps. To read more about the Pürovel brand, which launched last year, click here for Spa Business issue 3/2011. The Swissôtel Changsha will be just steps away from a new metro station, which will be operational in 2014, connecting the eastern and western parts of the city. The resort will be part of a mixed-use development featuring an office tower. Meinhard Huck, President of Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts said: "Changsha is one of the most important economic centres in the country, and as the 'entertainment capital of China' it is a year-round attraction for visitors. "Swissôtel Changsha is another important step in our expansion in China, where we already manage several five-star hotels, and it is significant for the growth of our brand recognition in Asia." By Aoife Dowling.
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