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Hotel News In Brief
Some current conversation starters…
Boom in beds
China’s rapid economic surge has created a fast-growing middle class and a resurgent explosion in domestic travel that is set to fuel the creation of the world’s biggest hotel market. Over the past 10 years, incomes in urban areas have quadrupled and skilled management salaries are now similar to those in developed countries, according to Hays 2012 Salary Guide. According to the United Nations World Travel Organization, increased business traffic and larger disposable domestic incomes will see China’s hotel market overtake the United States’ as the world’s largest market by 2025, with around six million hotel rooms. Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide is at the forefront of this expansion within China with another 100 hotels in the pipeline. The company is also set to have more hotels on China’s Hainan Island than on the US’ Hawaiian Islands by the end of 2013. The Sheraton brand is leading Starwood’s growth within China and is on track to reach 90 hotels in mainland China by 2016.
Luxury hotels at the cutting edge of technology
Luxury hotels have had a history of being innovative when it comes to technology, and that tradition continues to this day. In Thailand the Aloft Bangkok – Sukhumvit 11 is using touchscreen technology from Fingi that is loaded on to Samsung Galaxy smartphones so that guests can control everything from in-room mood lighting to setting up their own WiFi hotspots when out on the move. By Paul Johnson.
UAE leads Middle East's online travel race
The UAE is leading a surge in Middle East online tourism with 60% of all web-based travel bookings originating from the Emirates. Online travel bookings in the UAE represented $4.7 billion in 2011 and are expected to double to $9.4 billion by 2014. Saudi Arabia follows the UAE as the second largest country for online travel sales in the Middle East with 13% of all online bookings made in the Kingdom and Qatar is third with 9%. The Travelport co-sponsored research carried out by global travel market research company PhoCusWright show that total web sales in the region are expected to reach $15.8 billion by 2014. Travelport says population demographics and high internet adoption in the region have a key role to play in online travel growth. Middle East and Africa president and managing director Rabih Saab said: “In the recent years, we have seen the online industry grow at an incredible rate and there are a number of factors fuelling this growth. “One of these is the high level of internet penetration in the region – in the UAE alone 78% of people are online. This, coupled with the predominantly young and highly diverse population in the Middle East, provides an ideal environment for online travel to flourish.” By Phil Davies. Click Here to read on....
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments…
Benchmark Hospitality International, a leading U.S.-based hospitality management company, has named Jim Mauer general manager of Bonaventure Resort & Spa, located in Fort Lauderdale. Greg Champion, Benchmark’s chief operating officer, made the announcement. Jim Mauer brings significant experience within the Fort Lauderdale and southern Florida markets to his new position. He was previously general manager of the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa in Fort Lauderdale. During this time, he simultaneously served as executive liaison to the company’s franchised properties throughout the Fort Lauderdale area. Mr. Mauer, who began his hospitality career working within food & beverage, has also held general manager positions for hotels and resorts in Ohio and Michigan.
Donald Bowman has been appointed as General Manager of the Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco. Mr. Bowman first joined Mandarin Oriental in 1997 and has held a variety of hotel management positions within the group, including at Elbow Beach, Bermuda; Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco; and the former Kahala Mandarin Oriental, Hawaii. Mr. Bowman was also instrumental in the successful launch and positioning of Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas as Hotel Manager from 2008 to 2011. He left the group in 2011 to take up the role of General Manager opening Ian Schrager’s new hotel, PUBLIC Chicago, before moving back to California for his most recent role as General Manager of Carmel Valley Ranch in Carmel, California.
The Latest in Hotel Opening
Tibet’s first international luxury hotel, complete with blinging pool. Standing on the “Roof of the World” at 12,000 feet above sea level, The St. Regis Lhasa Resort offers refined luxury and superlative service in a storied city. The resort boasts awe-inspiring views of the Himalayas and the Lhasa Valley from each of the 162 guest rooms, suites and villas which feature distinctive architectural details and décor that entwine modern luxury with traditional Tibetan elements. As well as the signature St. Regis Butler Service, no less than three world class restaurants, a signature tea room, wine bar and an expansive 11,700 square foot Iridium Spa. The latter comes with an ornate, gold-tiled pool… what could be more soothing than floating in a shimmering pool of liquid gold?! The hotel opens on 1st April 2011. By Paul Johnson.
WATG has announced the debut of the W Singapore – Sentosa Cove, and The Residences at W Singapore – Sentosa Cove, owned and developed by an affiliate of City Developments Limited. The first W Hotel in Singapore has been described as “an urban oasis that blends the cosmopolitan energy of Singapore with the tropical landscape and ivory beaches of Sentosa Island.” City Developments Limited envisioned a mixed-use marina development in Sentosa Cove, Singapore. The design therefore offers a fully integrated lifestyle experience, including a W Hotel, W residential condominiums, Quayside Isle’s dining and retail experiences, and a private deep-water yacht marina. Imagined as a “place of earth, water and sky”, the property is located on the island of Sentosa. Waterfront promenades, gardens and waterways merge to form a “modern interpretation of Sentosa's lush tropical landscape.” According to Bradford J. McNamee, senior vice president, WATG and lead designer of W Singapore, The Residences at W Singapore, and the adjacent Oceanfront at Sentosa Cove residences, the contemporary architectural design “references the sea with architectural forms reminiscent of the marine life gliding effortlessly through the underwater world of the South China Sea.” The architectural details include lifestyle amenities, including tranquil pool plunge terraces, floating glass terraces, glass façades that reflects light like the sea, and windows that frame panoramic views. The curvaceous silver roof line hovers above the guestrooms and dips through the architectural façade to mimic waves in the modern structures.
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