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Hotel News In Brief
Some current conversation starters…
New York is still the Big Apple, leading the global list of favourites for a big night out, followed by Vegas, London, and Paris, says the new Hotel Price Index from Hotels.com. But Las Vegas was the top destination overall.
While cost is important, though, more than half of the travelers surveyed chose free Wi-Fi as their number-one criteria in choosing a hotel, even on leisure stays, and two thirds chose it as the amenity they wish would become standard at all hotels in 2013. US international travelers most often headed to London, Paris, and Rome, but the rising star on the list was Istanbul, which jumped from the number 33 spot to the 19th. Island destinations were the most expensive. The most expensive countries, with average daily rates over $375, were all islands (the Maldives, French Polynesia, the Seychelles, Turks and Caicos, and Anguilla), as were eight of the 10 most expensive cities. California's Big Sur, however, ranked as the most expensive city overall, with an average daily rate of $771. The average price of a hotel room around the world rose by 3% during 2012 compared with the previous year, slower than the 4% rise in 2011 and still below the 2007 peak and just ahead of 2005, the survey says. Prices fell slightly in 2012 in Europe and the Middle East, but rose in the Caribbean, North America, and the Pacific.
Today, travellers carry phones, laptops, tablets and e-readers, as well as all the attachments to keep their tec gadgets running smoothly. But a New York hotel is aiming to eliminate the burden of toting technology on trips.
Kimpton's Eventi, a luxury hotel located in Manhattan's Chelsea district, has launched a complimentary "business bar" stocked with the latest technology for guests to use during their stay, including full-size and mini iPads, MacBook Pros, Kindles, Nooks and digital cameras. Adventurous guests can also try out a head-mounted GoPro camera. For those who forgot their charger or other accessory, Eventi's bar has plenty of those for use, too. The business bar is Eventi's latest attraction for tech-savvy travelers. The hotel was one of the first to offer iPads for guest use and features an outdoor 35-foot-tall LED screen in its plaza that shows events such as big football games and movie premieres. While Kimpton has four NYC hotels, the business bar is an Eventi-only perk and will stay that way for some time. Guests can reserve their gadgets of choice ahead of their arrival or visit the concierge during their stay.
When the comet Pan-STARRS takes a rare flight from the Oort cloud to within 100 million miles of Earth, 88 lucky customers of a German travel agency will fly up into the sky to meet it.
Passengers on Air Berlin flight 1000 will get to spend two hours closer to the comet than anyone else on Earth. They will pay an average ticket price of about $500 for the privilege. Eclipse Travel of Bonn, Germany, is partnering with charter agency Air Partner and Air Berlin to organize the March 16 trip-of-a-lifetime. Just 88 of the 144 seats on the Boeing 737-700 will be occupied, so everyone can see out the window and no one has to sit in a middle seat. Even from Earth, "most experts expect Pan-STARRS to become a naked-eye object about as bright as the stars of the Big Dipper," NASA.com says. "Unaltered by warmth and sunlight, distant comets of the Oort cloud are like time capsules, harboring frozen gases and primitive, dusty material drawn from the original solar nebula 4.5 billion years ago."
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments…
Mr. Didier Gourmaud, General Manager of Le Grande, Pecatu, Bali, is delighted to announce the appointment of Ms. Amanda Natascha Snell as Jakarta Sales Manager for Le Grande Bali, effective immediately. Amanda, of Indonesian nationality, will be responsible for Jakarta sales activities, online and offline travel agents, corporate, group segments and MICE for Le Grande Bali. She graduated Bachelor Degree in Communication Studies STIKOM at London School of Public Relations Jakarta and has been in hospitality industry for almost 5 years, with professional experience including sales and guest relations from many companies in Jakarta. Prior to joining Le Grande Bali, she was Sales Manager at Grand Sahid Jaya Hotel, Jakarta. “With years of experience in the hospitality industry, Amanda has a very strong background in Sales & Guest Relations we certain that she will implement many successful solicitation strategies to targeted customers that meet and exceed our revenue goals.” said Didier Gourmaud, General Manager.
Red Roof Inn has named Brendan P. Foley the company’s new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) effective immediately. Foley brings twenty-five years of CPA and executive experience in both finance and accounting. Previously, he served as CFO of Navigator Management Partners, an IT and management consulting firm. Foley graduated from the University of Notre Dame and has held a series of important leadership roles throughout his career including serving as Vice President, Financial, Planning & Analysis for The Ohio State University and held an array of integral leadership roles at Wendy’s International, Inc. including his tenure as Senior Vice President, Controller and Principal Accounting Officer.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Choice Hotels International, Inc. and Concord Hospitality have begun construction of an 182-room Cambria Suites hotel in Washington, DC. The hotel will be situated above newly constructed retail at CityMarket at O, a mixed-use development one block from the Washington Convention Center. The all-suite hotel features larger than standard hotel rooms, a rooftop pool, fitness center and outdoor urban terrace with open green space featuring views of the U.S. Capitol and the national monuments. The hotel will also offer an LED lit red terrazzo stairway housed in two stories of glass in full view of two streets. The hotel will incorporate artwork from local artists depicting scenes from the neighbourhood.
Swissôtel Hotels and Resorts opened the Swissôtel Métropole, Geneva. The property's design follows an alpine inspiration, with parquet floors and colorful wallpapers that symbolize seas of flowers as encountered in the Swiss Alps. The wallpapers were designed for the hotel by the Swiss textile manufacturer Jakob Schlaepfer, a silk and embroidery company that supplies luxury fashion designers such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Vivienne Westwood.
Thistle Piccadilly completed a recent refurbishment as part of a $67-million investment across the Thistle London property portfolio. The renovation of Thistle Piccadilly transformed all of the property's 82 bedrooms, with all bedrooms benefiting from brand new en-suite facilities with rainforest showers, specialist mood lighting, LCD TVs and tea and coffee-making facilities. The lobby has also been remodelled. Thistle Piccadilly is located near many of London’s attractions, including Leicester Square, Covent Garden and Trafalgar Square.
This year will see the final stage of a multi-phase renovation of the Hotel Guanahani Hotel & Spa, St Barth’s, completed. The luxury hotel, which is the largest on this secluded French-speaking Caribbean island, features 67 rooms, including 36 suites. Architect David Schwartz and the interior design firm of Luis Pons D-LAB have been in charge of the renovations. The hotel's last 22 guestrooms and suites are currently being updated. Pons has chosen a palette of turquoise, blue and orange to bring a sense of freshness to the rooms and has made use of large mirrors to create a feeling of the outside coming in. Earlier phases of the work saw the addition of deluxe butler suites to the property's suites inventory.
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