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Hotel News In Brief
Some current conversation starters…
A majority of restaurant users — 65% — favor nutritional labeling in restaurants, with the strongest demand for listing of calories and sodium content, according to a recent survey by Chicago-based foodservice consultancy Technomic.
According to Technomic, 70% of consumers say they care that chain restaurants disclose calorie and other nutritional information on their menus, and 68% want nutritional information on all restaurant menus, not just chains. About the same percentage claim that having this information is helpful in making ordering decisions and believe it has a positive impact on consumer health and nutrition. While only 38% want local, state and/or federal government to play a more active role in regulating health and nutrition in restaurants, 58% expect governments will become more active. "Consumers believe that more readily available information will help them make more informed choices when eating out,” said Technomic Executive Vice President Bob Goldin. “As a consequence, we expect restaurants will face growing pressure for more comprehensive nutritional disclosure."
Australia and Singapore are two of the most coveted Asia Pacific locations for hotel investors, based on a recent survey conducted by HSR Hospitality, a unit of Singapore-based real estate consultancy HSR Property Consultants.
The study evaluated transactions over a five-year period and analysis of more than 50 regional hospitality investors (institutional funds, REITs, private equity and high-net worth investors) in over 120 transactions, taking account of investors purchasing properties outside their country of origin. Other countries making the top 10 include China, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, New Zealand, India, South Korea and Maldives (in order from most favourable to least).
Like it or not, the elegant InterContinental Miami has been transformed into what you might think "the hotel of the future" should look like.
The entrance to the 30-year-old hotel — covered with timeless travertine marble — today sports hundreds of light bulbs that can be programmed to display different colours. You might be greeted with red lighting on Valentine's Day, for instance. During my morning visit on Nov. 7, the lights emitted hot pink — a colour that you'd probably expect to see at a W or another edgy, boutique hotel. The most visible sign of the hotel's digital makeover is its 19-story digital canvas that can be programmed to say things such as "Welcome" or help Miami celebrate a big victory by a sports team. The artofmiami.com blog recently posted a video of the hotel's canvas in action. It's part of the hotel's broader, $30 million renovation. The goal to transform itself from stiff business traveller hotel to a hip downtown destination for guests and locals alike
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments…
Vana Belle, a Luxury Collection Resort, Koh Samui, slated to open in January 2013, has appointed Mark O’Sullivan as general manager. With a career spanning 17 years, O’Sullivan is perfectly suited to take the reins of The Luxury Collection’s most recent property. Prior to joining Vana Belle, O’Sullivan served as Manager of the exclusive Club Coco Palm at Coco Palm Bodu Hithi, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, in the North Malé Atoll of the Maldives and as General Manager at Brooks Hotel, also a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, in Dublin, Ireland. Before entering the luxury hospitality field, O’Sullivan earned a degree in hotel management from Shannon College of Hotel Management in Ireland.
Vivian Gard has been appointed as General Manager of Corporate Traveller’s operations in Victoria and Tasmania. The travel industry professional is a long-time employee of parent company Flight Centre Limited (FCL) and has extensive experience in the business travel market. Vivian started as a retail consultant with FCL in 1991. She then moved into the group’s corporate division where she has forged a highly successful career in operations, management and training. Vivian has extensive senior management experience in the business travel market and most recently has been involved in the deployment of new technology for FCL as well as staff learning and development programs. As General Manager, Vivian will oversee the ongoing development of Corporate Traveller’s operational and sales activities in Victoria and Tasmania.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Robert Todak, whose early career was mentored by Ian Schrager, has launched Tailored Hospitality International and the Vintro boutique hotel brand in Miami Beach with the goal of developing five properties within three hours' airlift of Miami. The 54-room Vintro Hotel South Beach is scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of 2013 two blocks west of Collins Avenue and the beach. Center stage in the hotel lobby will be a towering wine wall — the heart of the Vintro brand. Vintro Hotels is actively seeking developments in major markets that include Washington D.C., New Orleans and New York City. Tailored Hospitality International will manage and assist with the expansion and development of the brand. Scheduled for opening summer of 2015 is the 72-room Vintro Hotel Ft. Lauderdale. Todak, who opened New York City’s Paramount under Schrager and managed the iconic Delano in Miami Beach for five years, said his vision is to “recapture the essence of the classic boutique hotel to differentiate Vintro Hotels, appealing to savvy independent travelers, tired of the homogenization of what once was a dynamic hospitality option.”
Meli Hotels International will open its first two Innside by Meli hotels in Spain in early 2013. The first of them will be the Innside Madrid Gnova, located in the central Alonso Martnez square, which will be based in a fully-renovated historic building to create a lifestyle four star hotel with 65 rooms. The second hotel will be the Innside Madrid Luchana, with 43 rooms. Both hotels are the first in Spain for this lifestyle city hotel brand, one of the best ranked brands in its home country Germany, which joined the Spanish companys brand portfolio in 2007. Since then, Meli Hotels International has pursued an ambitious expansion plan for the brand, which already has several hotels schedules to open in cities such as Copenhagen, Manchester, Lisbon, Barcelona, Hamburg and Dusseldorf.
StayWell Hospitality Group has announced the latest in its global expansion plans with three additional properties in India joining its network. The properties are currently under development in various key areas of India and will be launched under StayWell's Leisure Inn brand with opening dates expected from mid 2013. The new properties comprise an 82 room hotel located in the city centre of Hyderabad which is proposed to open in May 2013, a 192 room serviced apartment hotel in Greater Noida scheduled to open by early 2014 and a 99 room property located in Raipur which is part of the largest retail mall in the region and is expected to open in 2014. The expansion into India complements StayWell's growth in Southern Asia and China as well as leveraging off its established Leisure Inn and Park Regis properties in Australia, Singapore, Dubai and the UK.
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