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Hotel News in Brief
Some current conversation starters...
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has launched an interactive website dubbed "Taste," and last night offered actual samples at its Manhattan hotel of what site visitors will see when they log on.
"We designed Taste as a gathering place for fellow lovers of food and drink," said Susan Helstab, EVP/marketing, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. "Taste is our virtual kitchen table-an extension of the lively conversations that happen in our restaurant kitchens and bars around the world-a place where everyone is invited to pull up a chair, pour a glass of wine and join the conversation." The global journey of one ingredient as it passes through the kitchens of world-class chefs is the inspiration behind taste.fourseasons.com. To mark the event in The Big Apple, chefs at the event used and transformed apples in the recipes. The Four Seasons Boston offered a Berkshire Pork Taco with Honeycrisp Apples, while The Four Seasons Riyadh chef presented Heirloom Apple and Lobster Carpaccio. The Four Seasons St. Petersburg chef created Granny Smith, Yuzu and Kaffir Lime Bubble Tea. Taste, which will look to be a resource for an online community, will present the work from top chefs and more than 200 gourmet kitchens. Photography and recipes are offered on the site.
Late last week, technicians were still working hard to put back in electricity in the islands of Koh Samui and Koh Phangan.
The black-out started three days ago when an underground high-voltage cable broke down. The cable supplies electricity from Nakhon Si Thammarat province. The system so far failed to start again following also a power failure due to maintenance in Nakhon Si Thammarat. The blackout affects particularly the Island of Koh Samui, one of Thailand's most popular destinations. The three-day power blackout has forced thousands of tourists to flee the islands. Many tourists left their resorts, crowding Koh Samui's only airport in tumultuous scenes, indicated the daily Bangkok Post. At this time of year Koh Samui hosts about 20,000 tourists. That number shrank to about 1,000 foreign holiday-makers yesterday. Fortunately, the airport has not been affected by the power shortage with all the flights landing and starting according to the normal schedule. Tourism officials said the blackout should not chase away tourists in the long term, as most holiday-makers have yet to arrive for what is the local high season, starting in the middle of the month.
Hundreds of flights cancelled as heavy snow hits Europe.
Heavy snow across northern and central Europe is causing flight major delays and cancellations. KLM has cancelled all of its European flights - nearly 300 - due to heavy snowfall at its Amsterdam hub. Its flights to and from Heathrow, Aberdeen, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Newcastle, Cardiff, Bristol and Manchester have all been cancelled. Passengers wanting to travel to Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany and Paris are being offered replacement ground transportation. All Intercontinental flights from Amsterdam are due to depart as scheduled but KLM said de-icing aircraft may also delay departures. EasyJet has warned passengers that its flights might be impacted and said it is taking proactive measures to minimise the disruption. "We strongly advise that passengers allow extra time for their journeys to the airport, check the status of your flight before leaving and closely monitor local weather forecasts," it said. Ryanair warned of disruption to operations across Northern France, Belgium, Holland and Germany and urged passengers to check the status of their flight. Air France said snowfalls at Paris-Charles De Gaulle and Paris Orly have now stopped and operations are resuming normally, but said delays and cancellations are still possible in Amsterdam. "Air France flights schedule has been adapted: the schedule of some long haul flights have been modified and some medium-haul flights cancelled or delayed," it said.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments...
Hayman resort in the Great Barrier Reef has appointed Scott Murray as their new General Manager to lead the five-star hospitality team. Australian-born, Scott brings extensive international experience to Hayman having held senior hotel positions in Dubai, Bangkok, Singapore and London, after having commenced his hotel career in Australia with The Regent Sydney and InterContinental Sydney. Prior to joining Hayman, Scott was with One&Only Royal Mirage, Dubai for six years, most recently as Hotel Manager, responsible for three individual hotels within the resort and managing close to 1000 team members representing 45 different nationalities. Before this, he was Director of Food & Beverage at InterContinental Dubai overseeing a large and diverse operation. In Thailand, Scott was with Banyan Tree and played an important role in the future development of the brand.
Benchmark Hospitality International, a leading U.S.-based hospitality management company, has named Les Utley general manager for Hotel Contessa, located on the picturesque Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas. Prior to joining Hotel Contessa, Les Utley was general manager of The Heathman Hotel, located in Kirkland, Washington, near Seattle. He has served as general manager for multiple luxury hotels and resorts throughout his productive career. Mr. Utley began his hospitality career working in sales and marketing in Cincinnati, and has held director of sales & marketing and general manager positions at luxury hotels in Los Angeles, New York City, Vail, Houston, and previously in San Antonio.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Less than a year after premiering the Aloft brand in Latin America, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. forges ahead with its expansion plans to open four new Aloft hotels: Aloft Panama, which will debut in 2013, Aloft Merida and Aloft Asuncion slated to open by 2014, and Aloft Montevideo in 2015. The expansion of the Aloft brand in Latin America is part of Starwood's accelerated growth strategy. The company is strengthening its existing portfolio of 71 hotels in the region by 25 percent with 17 new Starwood properties already scheduled to open by 2016.
The Royal Suite at the InterContinental London Park Lane has been renovated with a decor inspired by Queen Elizabeth II. The suite debuted during the queen's Diamond Jubilee year; in addition, the queen spent part of her childhood living in a building on the site now occupied by the hotel. HBA London's The Gallery studio designed the suite's new look, which juxtaposes opposite aesthetics such as soft with hard and feminine with masculine. Examples of such juxtapositions include silk-effect wall coverings with brass nailhead borders and a floral chandelier made of rigid glass rods.
Hampton Hotels , the global brand of nearly 1,900 mid-priced Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, and Hampton by Hilton hotels, announced the official opening of its newest property, the 101-room Hampton Inn & Suites Ocala located at 3601 SW 38th Avenue. The Hampton Inn & Suites Ocala is owned by Neil Luton and operated by Summit Management. It is the second Hampton property in Ocala, ahead of 19 more Hampton hotels slated to be opened in Florida and more than 250 Hampton properties in the pipeline in the U.S. Located just off I-75, the brand new Hampton Inn & Suites Ocala is just minutes from the College of Central Florida and the historic Downtown Square, known for its fine dining and boutiques. The hotel is also located near a variety of activities that business or leisure travellers can enjoy, such as horseback riding or touring area horse farms of famous Derby winners in 'The Horse Capital of the World,' golfing or visiting nearby Silver Springs. As a gateway city, Ocala also offers easy access to popular Florida attractions, including Walt Disney World, the Daytona 500 and Gator Nation Football Frenzies.
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