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Hotel News in Brief
Some current conversation starters...
In the lush hills of northern Thailand, a herd of 20 elephants is helping to excrete some of the world's most expensive coffee.
Trumpeted as earthy in flavour and smooth on the palate, the exotic new brew is made from beans eaten by Thai elephants and plucked a day later from their dung. A gut reaction inside the elephant creates what the developer calls the coffee's unique taste. Stomach turning or oddly alluring, this is not just one of the world's most unusual specialty coffees. At $1,100 per kilogram ($500 per pound), it's among the world's priciest. For now, only the wealthy or well-travelled have access to the cuppa, called Black Ivory Coffee. It was introduced last month at a few luxury hotels in remote corners of the world - first in northern Thailand, then the Maldives and now Abu Dhabi - with the price tag of about $50 a serving.
Talk about a power-building workout: Guests of Element Hotels now can pedal their way to a fully charged tablet or smart phone.
First announced at the spring 2012 launch of its Miami hotel, the eco-wise, trailblazing brand of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. has installed a stationary bike with a pedal-powered generator in each of its fitness centres. The initiative marries two Element brand principles: providing health and fitness options for travellers and a commitment to green design.
Hampton Hotels has launched an updated guest appreciation initiative at its U.S. hotels, enhancing the guest experience and rewarding loyal Hampton guests and Hilton HHonors members.
Beginning in mid-December, loyal Hampton guests and members with Gold and Diamond status in the Hilton HHonors guest loyalty program will be offered a special snack delivery package immediately at check in at U.S. Hampton Hotels. Snack packages will include granola bars, mixed nuts, flavoured water, chocolate and fruit snacks. "Not only are we hearing positive feedback from our guests about the updated offering, but we are also seeing an upward trend in our guest loyalty scores since the snack delivery launched in our test markets," said Phil Cordell, global head, focused service and Hampton brand, Hilton Worldwide. "We expect that those positive results will only continue to increase as these items are rolled out across our nearly 1,900 Hampton hotels worldwide."
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments...
In support of its steadfast commitment to further expand its hotel offerings in Latin America, Wyndham Hotel Group has announced the appointment of Luis Mirabelli as vice president of development for Latin America, effective Jan. 1, 2013. In this newly created role, Mirabelli will be responsible for leading Wyndham Hotel Group's development efforts in the region, including executing strategic deals in key markets, establishing and maintaining a strong network of multi-unit development partners and strengthening synergies between Wyndham Hotel Group and sister company RCI to help further growth in the region. He will be based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Mirabelli joins Wyndham Hotel Group from RCI Latin America, where he served as vice president of business development for South America. There, he focused on the development of the shared ownership industry and business alliances in South America, including expanding affiliated resort and new member bases, increasing new member acquisition and helping create and grow the South American Shared Ownership Investment Conference (SASOIC), an annual event for the shared ownership industry in Latin America.
Andaz 5th Avenue announces the appointment of Cornelia Samara to the position of General Manager. Ms. Samara brings sixteen years of hotel operations experience and a true passion for hospitality management that will continue to lead the award-winning property to new levels of service, style, and quality. Cornelia Samara has spent almost ten years with Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, where she has held managerial positions at properties such as Park Hyatt San Francisco and Park Hyatt Washington D.C. Ms. Samara has also held leadership positions at various other urban and resort properties, allowing her to experience all aspects of hotel operations across a variety of nation-wide destinations.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Small Luxury Hotels of the World has added two hotels to its roster in New York, bringing the total to five. The 197-room Refinery Hotel is an adaptive re-use of a former, 1920s-era hat factory on West 38th St. in the neighbourhood formerly known as the Garment District. The 200-room Quin is a conversion of the former Buckingham Hotel on West 57th St. & Sixth Ave. Also a 1920s-era building, The Quin reopens following an extensive renovation. Small Luxury Hotels already represents The Hotel Chandler, the Inn at Irving Place and the Iroquois.
Just opened in October, Hotel Mancino 12 is the brand new jewel by Roberto Naldi Collection. It is located in the very centre of Rome a few steps from Piazza Venezia, walking distance from the Trevi Fountain, the Roman Forum and the Colosseum but also from the shopping district of the Spanish Steps and the most famous Italian boutiques of the city. Hotel Mancino 12 is a five storey palace with arcades built with the typical in peperino volcanic stone. At the ground floor guests are welcomed in an elegant ambience which recreates a sense of comfort and familiarity with a cosy living room, the breakfast room and the "Mancino Office" with internet connection which can also be set up for small board meetings. Only three guestrooms per floor, Hotel Mancino 12, bestows, on the top floor, a very exclusive suite with a private terrace and a view on the characteristic rooftops of Rome. Various shades of grey are the leitmotif of rooms and suite where one can feel a sense of equilibrium, serenity and elegance. All of them are perfectly equipped with plasma screen TV, mini-bar, air conditioning, free WI-FI internet connection.
The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts, part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., announced the opening of Twelve at Hengshan, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Shanghai. This newly built hotel joins the legendary Astor Hotel in Tianjin, The Royal Begonia in Sanya and The Hongta Hotel in Shanghai as The Luxury Collection brand continues to grow its footprint in China. In the last year alone, the brand made its debut in key destinations throughout Asia Pacific with hotel openings in Chennai, India; the Blue Mountains, Australia; and Jakarta, Indonesia.
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