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Hotel News in Brief
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Thistle Hotel Group's response to a guest that alleged he was mistreated in a homophobic manner by a London hotel's front desk made headlines in the British media this weekend.
It took Thistle more than 12 hours to respond to Nick Hurley's tweet that a front desk staff member at Thistle City Barbican, located in London, had refused to put him and his partner Gavin Maclean in their pre-booked double room, instead putting them in a room with separate beds while treating them rudely. Bolstered by Hurley's more than 3,000 followers on Twitter, the news spread quickly and soon British advocacy group Stonewall was criticizing the hotel company in statements to the press. After its initial slow response, though, Thistle Hotel Group, part of Guoman Hotel Management, Uxbridge, England, eventually called Hurley to apologize and then tweeted that it had done so and announced a staff meeting will be held at the hotel to reinforce that discrimination is not tolerated. Thistle Hotel Group CEO Mike DeNoma issued a public statement of apology to Hunter and his partner. "A full review is taking place at the hotel with staff members on duty Saturday evening. Whatever the outcome it is clear that we failed to appropriately communicate why there were no double rooms available to Mr. Hurley and his partner. We unreservedly apologize again to Mr. Hurley and his partner," DeMona said. The company also said that its initial investigations found that the double room was not offered because of a technical error with an online booking system, not due to homophobic discrimination by the front desk staff. "From our initial investigations it appears that the couple booked through an online booking system which didn't work properly and so when they arrived at the hotel there were no double rooms available. We are very sorry if the couple feel they have been badly treated and we are now looking into the situation. Having spoken to Mr. Hurley we understand that the couple were not to upset that there were no double rooms available, but rather with the manner in which this information was conveyed. We have offered them a free night in one of our hotels but they have refused this offer," said Chris King, Thistle Hotel Group spokesman.
Costa boss donates bonus to Concordia charity.
Costa Crociere boss Pier Luigi Foschi has donated a quarter of his pay package to the Costa Foundation, set up in the wake of the Costa Concordia tragedy. Foschi received almost $4m (£2.6m) for the year to November 2012, according to regulatory filings by Costa's parent company, Carnival, and donated his $969,000 bonus to the charity, reports the Sunday Times. The Costa Concordia cruise ship capsized last January off the coast of Italy, killing 30 people.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments...
CSM Lodging, a division of CSM Corporation, has named Anastasia M. Owens regional director of field sales and marketing for the growing hospitality company. Joel Carver, vice president sales and marketing made the announcement. Anna Owens was most recently the highly successful area director of sales for Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites and TownePlace Suites (all by Marriott®) in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. While serving in this position, Ms. Owens was nominated for the Marriott Director of Sales of the Year award multiple times, and achieved the high honor last year. She held several field support leadership positions across multiple CSM Lodging properties. Prior to joining CSM Lodging, Ms. Owens was lead admissions representative for Le Cordon Blue Culinary College in Minneapolis.
Loews Hotels & Resorts, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Loews Corporation, has promoted Troy Furbay to the position of Chief Investment Officer. In his new position, Furbay will be responsible for leading the company's property acquisitions, real estate development and capital raising. He joined Loews in 2010 and has played an integral role as the company continues to expand its brand. Under his leadership, Loews has recently acquired hotels in Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and Boston as well as hotels under construction in Chicago and Orlando. Prior to joining Loews, Furbay held the position of senior VP, acquisitions and development for Kimpton Hotels, where he played an instrumental role in the company's expansion through acquisitions, management contracts and joint ventures.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
The Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel, situated at 999 9th Street at K Street, NW, announced the completion of the redesign of its 807 guest rooms and suites, a 30 million dollar investment by its owners, Sunstone Hotels. Renaissance Hotels is a lifestyle brand within the Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) global portfolio.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has announced the opening of Vana Belle, a Luxury Collection Resort, Koh Samui. This newly built resort joins Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit in Bangkok and The Naka Island Resort & Spa in Phuket as The Luxury Collection brand's third hotel in Thailand.
Hilton Worldwide announced the opening of Hilton Garden Inn Gurgaon Baani Square. Hilton Garden Inn is the award-winning upscale mid-priced hotel brand that strives to ensure today's busy travellers have everything they need to be most productive on the road. This is the second Hilton Garden Inn brand hotel in the country. With this opening, Hilton Worldwide now managed seven hotels in Delhi NCR.
Meliá Hotels International signed what will become its seventeenth hotel in Brazil, the new TRYP Itaboraí. The newly built hotel will open in 2015 in the center of Itaboraí, a city in the state of Rio de Janeiro. The new facility will be operated under a management agreement and is located at Rua Vinte e Dois de Maio. It will have 272 rooms, a restaurant, pool bar, three meeting rooms, spa and fitness centre. This will be the 17th hotel for Meliá Hotels International in Brazil with a total of almost 4,000 rooms. The company currently has 12 hotels open in Brasilia, Sao Paulo, Campinas and Angra dos Reis, and another five in the process of opening (including the new TRYP Itaboraí).
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