News Archive Search
Hotel News In Brief
Some current conversation starters…
Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc across the nation's air travel system Monday, grounding thousands of flights, stranding travellers from the East Coast to Los Angeles and threatening to disrupt air travel through the week.
Airlines cancelled more than 8,900 flights Sunday and Monday, and 4,800 more scheduled for Tuesday. The vast majority of the cancellations were at airports serving the nation's busiest airspace, hitting Philadelphia International Airport, LaGuardia Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport especially hard. The ripple effects of the storm were felt across the country, with about 160 flights in and out of Los Angeles International Airport cancelled Monday. Despite the cancellation of thousands of business and leisure trips, airline analysts say the financial impact on the airline industry may not be severe, because the storm won't interrupt the heavy holiday travel period and many flights could be back on schedule within a week.
The battle for control and ownership of three of London’s most storied hotels – Berkeley, the Connaught and Claridge’s – continues as Patrick McKillen, who lost a court battle in September with the billionaire Barclay brothers, has won the right to appeal.
On October 25 the Court of Appeal in London accepted the case with a hearing expected to take place sometime between this December and April next year, according to a story on Tuesday in Irish Times. The exact nature of the grounds for appeal has not been published, but speculation centers around the justice’s interpretation of the shareholders’ agreement signed by investors in Coroin Ltd. Coroin, which was established by financier Derek Quinlan, was used as the vehicle to buy the hotels in 2004. The September ruling that the shareholders’ agreement had not been broken when Quinlan transferred control, if not ownership, of his stake in the company to the Barclays. Equally, McKillen is expected to argue that pre-emption rights allowing existing shareholders to buy out others had been triggered because security held by a number of Quinlan’s creditors had been triggered for non-payment of debts. McKillen has paid millions in legal bills, according to the Irish Times, including nearly €1 million to the National Asset Management Agency to comply with an order made in September – though the majority of the bill has yet to be assessed by a costs judge. The bill for the case so far is expected to top the £20 million mark. This would make it one of the most significant legal actions in London this year.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments…
ITS RezExchange, a premier provider of global distribution services for the hospitality industry, is proud to welcome a respected veteran of the hotel distribution sector to its executive team. Edwin Leenheer will serve as managing director of ITS RezExchange. Leenheer has more than 20 years experience in the international hotel industry. He has served in front office management and revenue management roles with the Sheraton, Kempinski, Forte and Hilton brands, in addition to a stint in the sales department at Hotel Theater Figi. Most recently, Leenheer managed a large hotel portfolio in the Netherlands and Scandinavia for HRS.com, a major international online hotel reservation service. In his new role as head of ITS RezExchange, Leenheer will use his experience in rate and inventory distribution to ensure client hotels always benefit from the most accurate and current data. "ITS RezExchange has shown steady growth since its inception in 2008 and we're very confident that Edwin will continue that trend," says Erik Weller, marketing director for ITS RezExchange. "With GDS services in his portfolio of responsibilities, Edwin is determined to see that not only are all of our customers aware of the GDS representation we offer, but all potential customers as well."
Kimpton’s oceanfront Vero Beach Hotel & Spa is pleased to announce the addition of Kimpton veteran Duncan Clements as the hotel’s new general manager. With more than 20 years of experience in various segments of the hospitality industry, Clements will oversee the sales, marketing and day-to-day operations of the 113-room hotel located along Florida’s Treasure Coast. At the helm for just a short time, Clements is already planning a variety of endeavors to further augment the overall guest experience at Vero Beach Hotel & Spa, including the addition of family-friendly offerings, an enhanced beach service program, interactive culinary experiences, and more. No stranger to the Kimpton brand, Clements previously served as general manager of the Hotel Burnham Chicago and Hotel Lumen Dallas. He also served as the assistant general manager of Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco Chicago. Prior to joining Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Clements worked both internationally and domestically for InterContinental Hotels starting in London, England, then Abu Dhabi UAE and Budapest, Hungary before coming to the U.S.A. In addition to hotel management, Clements also has an extensive background in food and beverage.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Andaz Napa is open in California’s wine country. The property, which had previously been Avia Napa, has been rebranded with an “agri chic” design inspired by local agricultural practices. The 141 guestrooms and suites have modern furnishings, earthy hardwood floors, and bathrooms with white marble floors and walk-in showers. The lobby has become the Andaz Lounge with rustic furniture, a wall-length map of Napa Valley, and other regional design elements from the firm Bishop Pass. The signature restaurant, Andaz Farmers Table, serves Executive Chef Sarah Linkenheil’s menu of foods designed for sharing with local ingredients. The bar, Mercantile Social, also shares the “Napa to table” philosophy with Caitlin Laman’s cocktails that use liquors from small-batch distilleries. In addition to locally made snacks, Andaz Napa serves Napa Valley wines, focusing on limited production and artisanal producers. In-room dining meals arrive packaged in antique toolboxes with beverages served in glass jars.
Hyatt Hotels Corp. announced Tuesday that a Hyatt affiliate has signed a management agreement with IHHR Hospitality Private Limited for five Ista hotels in India to be rebranded by Hyatt. Under the agreement, the fully operational Ista hotels will be known as Hyatt Bangalore, Hyatt Pune, Hyatt Hyderabad, Hyatt Ahmedabad and Hyatt Amritsar. The rebranding effort is expected to be completed by March 2013. "As a company we see a perfect fit with IHHR's forward-thinking philosophy and vision," said Ratnesh Verma, senior vice president, real estate and development, for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts in Asia Pacific. "This opportunity allows Hyatt to further consolidate its distribution in India and offer its customers a choice in new markets such as Bangalore, Amritsar and Ahmedabad." The re-branding of the five Ista hotels as Hyatt Hotels will mark the entry of the fourth brand from the company's portfolio into India, Hyatt said. Currently, India has five Hyatt Regency hotels in Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata; two Grand Hyatt hotels in Mumbai and Goa; and three Park Hyatt hotels in Goa, Chennai and Hyderabad.
The Hotel Carl Gustaf, the 14-suite luxury property located on a hill overlooking Gustavia Harbor in St Barths, has announced that all of the guestrooms will be renovated during the hotel’s annual closure in September and October, and will be finished for the re-opening for the fall/winter season this October. Overseen by French designer Isabelle Blanchère, all of the one- and two-bedroom suites will be refreshed with new flooring, new furniture and accessories, all new soft-goods and a new lighting scheme. The individual private outdoor areas will be updated as well, including replacing the tiles in the individual plunge pools and outdoor furniture. The existing floral and striped motifs will be replaced with natural, soft, textured fabrics in three different color schemes (greys, chocolate brown and aubergine). Rattan and wooden furniture will be replaced with soft pieces. Sight lines will be changed and enhanced by adding a taller high-top table made of ceramic and teak, which will afford views of Gustavia Harbor below while dining. Blanchère will be using Elitis fabrics (French) and Navone-designed (Italian) furniture in the redesign, as well as carpets and accessories from Designers Guild. Italian-designed Marazzi ceramic tiles will be used for accents.
Elsewhere in the hotel, a new boutique will be added, which will carry island-inspired clothing, jewelry and also home goods by Welton London, Elisabeth Riveiro and others. The Hotel Carl Gustaf’s last renovation project took place in 2008, which included the addition of the four-bedroom Royal Suite and Boutique Spa as well as the full renovation of Victoria’s, the hotel’s fine dining restaurant.
Visit our sponsors