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Hotel News In Brief
Some current conversation starters…
Hoteliers on the lookout for what’s trending in fitness centre equipment can expect to see a distinct push toward increased technology in a variety of pieces.
According to Marty Weinbaum of Gym Source, “More and more equipment is being installed with Internet capabilities, not necessarily interactive, but working off the Internet, getting information.” He noted such technology is showing up on all types of equipment: “Everything from cardio equipment to strength equipment. It gives people the ability to see how machines are used, as well as getting information, newsfeeds, etc. from the Internet while they’re working out.” The technology also allows for the workout experience to be personalized. For example, Weinbaum noted he could hook up his iPad Touch to any of the Gym Source machines and view videos or watch a seminar he might have recorded and listen to the information while working out. Beyond technology, Weinbaum is seeing a trend toward smaller facilities and hence, smaller pieces of equipment, such as an elliptical machine less than six feet in length or a single station multigym that takes up a three-foot by three-foot space. In a smaller space, hoteliers looking for a single piece of equipment are going for “a cardio piece because that’s what most people use,” said Weinbaum. “But even in facilities as small as 500 sq. ft., they’re going with one or two pieces of cardio and a multigym.”
During the Opening Ceremonies of the 97th annual International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show (IHMRS) and 3rd annual Boutique Design New York (BDNY), 10 exhibitors received Editor's Choice awards, which recognize the best new products in various categories. The winners were chosen from nearly 150 submissions.
The Kenneth F. Hine Best of Show award was given to MTI Baths for the Teak Shower seat, an ADA-compliant, wall-mounted seat designed for safety, comfort and aesthetic appeal. This also won in the design category. BKI, a Standex Company, won the equipment and supplies category for CombiKing, a combination oven offering the flexibility of moist heat, dry heat, or combination heat. JS Fiber Co., Inc received the award in the guest amenities category for Fossfill 2 featuring Ultra Fresh, which inhibits the growth of bacteria and other organisms. The tabletop category was won by Ready Check Glo, for the Illuminating Guest Check Presenter & Cocktail Menu, which is designed to improve guest service and staff efficiency by alerting staff when a check is ready for payment. B4Checkin won the technology category, for B4Checkin Online Checkin, a cloud-based guest-facing system that allows for online check in before arriving. The awards were also given out for eco-friendly products in these same categories. The Green Design award went to Apaiser Bathware for Apaiser Stone Composite Baths, a bathware range that combines stone with contemporary luxury. T&S Brass & Bronze Works, Inc. received the award in the category for green equipment and supplies, for their Low-Flow Spray Valve, which is designed to save energy without compromising power. LATHER Hotel won in the green guest amenities category for the Bamboo Lemongrass Collection, a line of skin and hair care products. The green tabletop category was won by Your Green 2 Go for Your Green 2 Go, which are 100% natural plant fiber Grab n' Go containers made from corn. And the award for the green technology category was given to VTech Telecommunications for the Cordless Phone with Battery Backup, which enables hotels to offer an all-cordless room configuration with the added security of phone service during a power outage.
A consortium led by Foncière des Murs is buying the 165-hotel B&B Hotels portfolio in France from ANF Immobilier, Paris.
Foncière des Murs will own 50.2% of the fund purchasing the portfolio, while Credit Agricole’s assurances unit will control 40% and a unit of Banque Federative du Credit Mutuel will control 9.8%. The portfolio sold for €476 million (US$606 million), ANF Immobilier said in a press release. B&B Hotels Group will lease back the hotels from the new ownership group. Investment firm Eurazeo, Paris, holds the majority stake in ANF Immobilier as well as an 8.9% stake of Accor, Courcouronnes, France. Eurazeo sold B&B Hotels Group to Carlyle Group for €480 million (US$602 million) in 2010.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments…
BridgeStreet Residences, Serviced Apartments and Suites, Vancouver, announces the recent appointment of Walter “J.R.” Dembiec, Jr., as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Human Resources. In this role, Dembiec’s responsibilities include overseeing organizational effectiveness, providing strategic insight and counsel to senior leadership, monitoring internal policies, ensuring corporate compliance in federal, state and local law and regulation, and overall management of the legal and human resource functions for the global corporate housing company. Dembiec brings more than 20 years of expertise in litigation and risk management, human resource and employment law, corporate governance, franchise disclosure, registration and sales, corporate transactions, M&A, intellectual property and e-commerce to BridgeStreet. He joins the company most recently from Open Hospitality, Inc., where he served as general counsel. Dembiec’s extensive industry knowledge stems from roles as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Realogy Franchise Group; Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Title Resources Group; Group Vice President at Cendant; and Vice President and General Counsel of Century 21 Real Estate Corporation.
Los Angeles’ Terranea Resort presents a new leadership structure and strategic direction, led by Executive Vice President and Managing Director Terri A. Haack. Shawn Jervis has been promoted to the newly created role of general manager. As general manager, Jervis will report directly to Haack and will be responsible for all aspects of Terranea’s operations and guest services. Jervis brings more than 20 years of experience in the hotel and hospitality industry to the role. He joined the resort as director of operations and food and beverage, in advance of the $450 million property’s opening in June 2009, and successfully launched and developed the resort’s food and beverage landscape. Prior to his role at Terranea, Jervis spent nine years at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua in Maui, and has also held leadership positions at prestigious properties such as the Grand Wilea, Maui; The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Dearborn, MI; Adams Mark Hotel, CO; and Renaissance in Washington, DC.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Rezidor, a member of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, announce the Park Inn by Radisson Zalakaros in Hungary. The property featuring 236 rooms is the third Hungarian Park Inn by Radisson hotel, and further strengthens the presence of this young and dynamic mid market brand in the country. The opening date for the hotel is scheduled for Q1 2015. Besides 236 comfortable rooms, the new built Park Inn by Radisson Zalakaros will offer an all-day dining restaurant, a lounge bar as well as meeting facilities including a ballroom of 400sqm, making the hotel a popular conference location. The building will be located in the city centre, next to the famous spa complex Gránit Thermal & Medical Spa. Guests will have direct access to the thermal spa and the new Aquapark featuring a massive 5,000sqm of water surface area. Zalakaros is one of the most visited destinations in the country. It is situated in proximity to Lake Balaton, Hungary’s largest tourist destination after Budapest. The region is renowned for its vineyards and has an excellent reputation and long tradition of hydrotherapy, making use of the area’s famous thermal spring water for treatments.
Entering the market as London's newest upscale hotel brand, the UK's first Pullman hotel is a cosmopolitan home of style and modernity, while paying homage to Pullman's rich history in luxury train travel, with the hotel's restaurant named the Golden Arrow, after one of the UK's most famous Pullman trains. The hotel features 312 bedrooms, with panoramic views of the London skyline. Its close proximity to both St Pancras and Kings Cross stations provides easy access to numerous locations around London, the UK and the European Continent. The hotel offers Pullman's best signature services: Welcomer, Pullman bed, docking station, free Wi-Fi, Connectivity Lounge in partnership with Microsoft®, Co-Meeting offer for the MICE market, Nespresso® services, Vinoteca by Pullman wine selection and Open Kitchen in the restaurant, Golden Arrow. There are also 17 spaces for events and business meetings, including a 446-seat tiered theatre for arts and corporate use.
ME by Meliá will open its flagship hotel, ME London, next month. The 157-key hotel occupies Marconi House, once the London home of BBC radio. Foster + Partners designed all of the interiors and exteriors; the project is the firm’s first in the U.K. The design features a monochrome palette and contemporary details. In addition to guestrooms, ME London will offer suites, the Suite ME, and a two-floor penthouse in the building’s turret.
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