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Hotel News in Brief
Some current conversation starters...
Donald Trump, the U.S. billionaire real-estate developer, is seeking to put his name on hotels in Argentina and Brazil as he expands his brand in Latin America.
Uruguay, Costa Rica and Mexico are also possibilities for hotel development as trade growth for the region equals China, said Eric Trump, executive vice president of development and acquisitions at Trump Organization Inc. The Trump Ocean Club in Panama City, the company's first hotel (2706) outside the U.S., is attracting guests even after a boom in hotel construction in Latin America's fastest-growing economy, he said in an interview in Panama City yesterday. "We play at such a different level than all those other hotels, it's not really affecting us," said Trump, who is Donald's 28-year-old son. "If you look at the hotel guests, it's all executives." Newland International Properties, the Ocean Club developer, is continuing "friendly discussions" with bondholders after defaulting last year on $220 million of debt to construct the 70-story hotel and apartment complex, he said. Panama's gross domestic product expanded 10.4 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier on construction and a $5.25 billion widening of the Panama Canal. The International Monetary Fund cut its economic growth forecast for Latin America and the Caribbean for this year and next as the global environment deteriorates. The region will expand 3.2 percent this year and 3.9 percent in 2013, compared with the previous estimates of 3.4 percent and 4.2 percent, the Washington-based lender said Oct. 9 in its World Economic Outlook. Brazil will expand 4 percent next year, compared with a 4.6 percent estimate in July, while Mexico's forecast was lowered to 3.5 percent from 3.6 percent.
With winter on the way, Switzerland's Gstaad Palace is taking the unique approach of encouraging guests to head out into the cold.
The hotel is offering an Igloo Experience that includes a night in an igloo suite made of ice and snow in the village of Saanerslochgrat more than 6,000 ft (1,829 m) in the Bernese Alps. Just 6.2 mi (10 km) from Gstaad Palace, Saanerslochgrat is made entirely of snow. The village's igloo suites are kept at a constant temperature of 32 degrees F (0 degrees C) and feature decoratively carved bed and furnishings and a private whirlpool with mountain views. Guests also can enjoy the village's bar, lounge, restaurant and sauna.
Three-quarters of Chinese travellers to the U.S. are choosing to stay at 1-star to 3-star hotels and paying an average ADR of US$144, according to new data from Expedia.
Chinese travellers have a booking window that is nearly 40% longer than domestic U.S. travellers, with a hotel stay that is nearly 30% longer, on average. More than ever before, Chinese consumers are travelling to the US, as the number of Chinese travellers visiting the US is expected to grow nearly 120% by 2016 to reach 3.25 million annual visitors. China is the sixth-highest spending country among countries with the most visits to the U.S. Last year, China surpassed Germany to become the sixth-highest spending among countries with the most visitations to the US. Prices for brand name consumer and luxury goods can be up to 50% cheaper in the U.S., making shopping a primary focus for wealthy and middle-class Chinese travellers. Approximately 1.1 million Chinese tourists visited the US in 2011 and collectively spent US$7.7 billion during travel. Cities boasting major leisure attractions are the most popular with Chinese travellers, as the top five destinations for Chinese travellers that booked via Expedia, Inc. sites) are Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco and Oahu, Hawaii.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments...
Alila Jakarta has announced the appointments of Executive Chef, Tom Drange. Drange, a 43-year old Norwegian national, brings over 20 years of extensive cooking experience with postings throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle-east with a recent stint at the prestigious Torch hotel in Doha. As a highly regarded chef with a proven international track record, Drange will head Alila's four food and beverage outlets and executive lounge. "The plan is not to steer too from its current and successful gastronomic formula by offering fresh, quality ingredients with cooking approach that's uncomplicated and balanced, yet creative and with a few surprises of my own," said Drange.
The Dow Hotel Company, LLC, a hotel ownership, investment and management company, today announced the promotion of Howard Gottlieb to general manager of the Chicago Marriott Suites Deerfield, Ill. In his new role, Gottlieb will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the 248-suite hotel. Prior to his promotion, Gottlieb was the hotel's director of sales and marketing, responsible for increasing the property's RevPAR from 109 percent to 122 percent over three years and growing top account production by 21 percent. Gottlieb's hospitality career has been centered on sales and marketing, with director of sales and sales management positions at various full-service and extended stay properties, most recently including Homewood Suites by Hilton Linconshire.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced on October 1, 2012 in Chicago, the opening of Park Hyatt Chennai, marking the 30th hotel in the Park Hyatt collection and the first Park Hyatt hotel to be introduced in the city of Chennai, known as the gateway to Southern India. Designed as a serene and tranquil retreat for the astute business traveller, Park Hyatt Chennai is located next to the prestigious Governor's residence and is also adjacent to the thriving green area of the Guindy National Park. A 15-minute drive from the city's domestic and international airport, Park Hyatt Chennai enjoys close proximity to the new developments of OMR (Old Mahabalipuram Road), Sri Perumbudur and the Guindy Industrial Estate. "The opening of Park Hyatt Chennai is a great day of pride for us," said Yann Gillet, General Manager, Park Hyatt Chennai. "The hotel is truly a reflection of this great city, with the art and design thoughtfully encompassing Indian heritage and culture. We're thrilled to join the Park Hyatt portfolio as the 30th hotel and look forward to providing guests with an ambience of sophistication with service that is gracious and truly personalized."
Worldhotels' branded hotel concept continued its expansion in China with the grand opening of Worldhotel Grand Dushulake Suzhou on October 26, 2012. The latest Worldhotel in China's historic south-eastern city renowned as the ‘Venice of the East' is the 2nd to join the branded portfolio, following its debut last year with Worldhotel Grand Juna Wuxi. The Worldhotel brand is scheduled to extend to ten hotels in China in 2013, with more luxury and upscale hotels in the pipeline for Beijing, Shanghai, Xi‘an Chengdu, Xiamen, Guangzhou, Ningbo, Chongqing, Shanxi and Hainan. In traditional Chinese style twinned with cutting-edge contemporary design, Worldhotel Grand Dushulake Suzhou overlooks picturesque Dushu Lake from the thriving commercial, residential and entertainment hub of Suzhou Industrial Park. It is just 15-minutes from both the historic centre of Suzhou - one of China's top tourist attractions famed for its UNESCO World Heritage-listed canals, stone bridges, pagodas and ornamental gardens.
Casa San Agustín has opened within the walled city of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. The boutique property offers 22 individually decorated guestrooms and eight suites and occupies three Colonial buildings. The hotel also preserves an ancient aqueduct. Interiors feature arched windows, wood-beamed ceilings as high as 25 ft (6 m), flowered terraces, and a series of ironwork chandeliers designed for the restaurant, bar and outdoor terraces. K.S. McRorie Interior Design drew inspiration from the Caribbean Sea to formulate the color palette of whites, deep blues and shades of green. Some guest accommodations include a plunge pool or a whirlpool.
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