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Hotel News in Brief
Some current conversation starters...
The Hyatt Regency Chicago, the city's largest hotel and the largest Hyatt in the world, will unveil a $168 million renovation this April focusing on high tech improvements throughout the property.
New tech improvements include check-in with a lobby ambassador using iPads, or with kiosks, placed throughout the lobby. Operating on Micros' OPERA Property Management System platform, guests will be able to use kiosks to select their room, inquire about upgrades and obtain a RFID room keys. The property's public areas will be blanketed in HDMI over IP based high-megapixel cameras. Using software called Avigillon, the security team can monitor these public areas from any location on the property using their mobile devices, or from the security base. There will also be 106 large-format plasma television displays, many of which contain interactive touchscreen technology powered by FourWinds Interactive software. Digital signage, rotated daily, signifies meeting spaces, displays the weather and guides guests around the hotel. Interactive displays featuring touchscreen technology will allow guests to use Google Maps to find their way around the city, inquire about hotel services and locate meeting spaces.
Australia-based Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (BMIHMS) is planning to open four hotel management schools in India.
Two schools will be rolled out by 2Q2014 as part of the first phase, with two more to come later. Although the location and opening date for the first school has not been confirmed, industry sources say the schools may be built in New Delhi, Chandigargh, Pune or Mumbai. The schools will offer two-and-a-half-year bachelor's and two-year master's degree programmes in hotel management, with majors in hotel and resort management, and also international event management. Guy Bentley, CEO, BMIHMS, said: "Students from India constitute 10-12 per cent of the total number of students at our schools. We see it as a great opportunity to launch our schools in India. "In addition, the growing Indian hospitality industry shows a lot of career avenues for students. The various hospitality courses that our schools offer not only ensure a successful career, but at the same time, bridge the human resources gap in the hospitality industry." Currently, BMIHMS runs courses in Australia, Chile, China, Japan, Latin America, Malaysia, Mexico and Thailand. C Nagendra Prasad, chairman, Travel Express said: "There is a severe dearth of well-trained manpower in India's hospitality sector and the whole tourism industry in general. Considering that tourism is likely to be India's largest employment generating sector, it is imperative that reputed management schools like BMIHMS open campuses in India and grow the pool of skilled labour."
Manhattan is likely to stay the top global hotel investment market, according to a just-released report by Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels.
JLLH predicts that New York will take the top spot in 2013 with up to $2.4 billion in deals. Private equity funds are expected to remain the largest buyer group in 2013. REITs are also expected to be major acquirers of core properties. Off-shore capital from Asia and the Middle East, meanwhile, will continue to target trophy properties in Manhattan as well, according to JLLH.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments...
CordeValle, A Rosewood Resort, has named Timothy Wetzel as Executive Chef of the widely-acclaimed luxury golf resort in San Martin, CA. Tim heads the culinary team at CordeValle, overseeing the resort's three restaurants: Il Vigneto, Lion's Peak Grill and One Iron Bar. He was most recently the Executive Chef of Crow Canyon Country Club in Danville, CA, and he previously served as CordeValle's Executive Sous Chef. Throughout his years at CordeValle, Tim was a top consultant in the kitchen openings of other notable Rosewood Hotels & Resorts in the collection.
The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC), announced last February 22nd the appointment of Mr. Robert Mercure to the Canadian Tourism Commision (CTC) Board of Directors. Robert Mercure, brings over 30 years of hospitality experience, including his current position as General Manager, Fairmont Le Château Frontenac. From 1999 to 2002, he was Director of Food and Beverage at the Fairmont Royal York. He then moved on to become Hotel Manager at the Fairmont Monte Carlo and Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth. Mr. Mercure holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics/Accounting from the University of New Hampshire and a diploma in Hotel Asset Management from Cornell University.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Today, Rosewood announces that the company will open Rosewood London in October 2013, marking the next step in Rosewood's ambitious, international expansion plans. Following an extensive $130 million renovation, Rosewood London will convey the feel of a stylish London residence, blending English heritage with contemporary sophistication from New York-based designer, Tony Chi and Associates. The 1914 Edwardian Belle Époque building is conveniently located on Central London's High Holborn road, housed in the original headquarters of the Pearl Assurance Company.
The Hassler Roma has debuted a new penthouse suite on the property's eighth floor. The Hassler Penthouse suite includes two large bedrooms as well as a butler room, which includes access to a video surveillance system to monitor the apartment's hallways and terraces. Both master bathrooms have panoramic windows overlooking the city center, black quartz countertops and floors, chromatherapy showers, and his/her sinks in hand-hammered stainless steel; the suite also includes a guest bathroom and a bathroom for the butler's room.
Ireland's first DoubleTree by Hilton hotel opened as The Morrison Dublin, a DoubleTree by Hilton. A renovation of the Morrison hotel, in partnership with operators Martinez Hotels & Resorts, saw the property's 138 rooms and suites re-designed with a new concept centered on music and sound. Overseen by Dublin-based Nikki O'Donnell, the hotel's new look incorporates lyrics from nearly 30 Irish songwriters and the work of a dozen Irish artists. The décor pays homage to the hotel's traditional status as a destination of choice for the great and the good of Irish music. Each guestroom is adorned with a line from songs made famous by local acts, such as The Script and Paul Brady. A revamp of the drinking and dining options sees Bar Quay 14 and the adjoining Morrison Grill opening to the public this February.
Sage Hospitality and Optima Fund Management announced that The Westin Cleveland Downtown is scheduled to open in Spring 2014 after the completion of a $64-million renovation. The contemporary 484 room hotel is located in Cleveland's downtown financial district, adjacent to the new Cleveland Convention Center and Medical Mart, steps from Brown's Stadium and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Ohio-based Marous Brothers Construction, design/builder on the project, began remodeling the property in December, with the plans including the renovation of all public areas, event space and guestrooms. The new exterior façade will have metal panels and LED lighting that rotates through a range of colors. Once completed, the hotel - which is expected to earn LEED certification - will include a fitness center, a business center and a Starbucks. Designed by McCarten, a New York-based design firm, the property will offer a natural light throughout and use patina wood, leather and steel in its construction.
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