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Research by the holiday site TripAdvisor showsthat the Russian capital, Moscow, is the most expensive city for tourists when it comes to ordering on room service or similar extras.
Their TripIndex Room Service survey looked at the cost of common incidental items while staying in hotels and compared the price across a range of destinations around the world. The items ordered included: a club sandwich, ordered on room service; a packet of peanuts, bottle of water, miniature of vodka and can of coke from the mini-bar; and dry cleaning for one shirt. The combined total was by far the highest in the Russian city, where they came to $80.66, with Paris ($67.16), Stockholm ($66.86), Oslo ($65.61) and Zurich ($65.23) making up the five most expensive destinations, while London was ranked eleventh. Conversely, the best value for money tended to be found in Africa and Asia, with Cape Town proving to be the cheapest – at $19.17– with Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt coming in second place ($23.22) and Mumbai in India, third ($24.74). The only European destinations among the ten least expensive were Budapest in Hungary ($27.75) and Sofia in Bulgaria ($27.98).
New York City’s 282-room The Plaza hotel is celebrating "The Great Gatsby" with period-inspired affairs that began Wednesday and continue throughout the spring, in honor of its role in Baz Luhrmann’s new film adaptation of the novel, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan.
The hotel is the setting for the most climactic scene in the novel and the upcoming film. This spring, guests and visitors can embrace the famous novel with a collection of experiences throughout The Plaza. In tribute to the great American author, The Fitzgerald Suite will be a new addition to the historic New York hotel, which opened in 1907. The 900 sq ft (83 sq m) suite on the 18th floor of The Plaza will be an art deco space with authentic, period-inspired pieces from luxury home furnishings brand, Restoration Hardware. Photos from the 2013 film, images of Fitzgerald and his wife, the author’s complete works and coffee table books invoking languorous summers on the Gold Coast or the vibrant New York of the Roaring 20s to create an atmosphere where Fitzgerald and his infamous character Jay Gatsby would feel at home.
Travel spend data from Visa has shown that China knocked the UK out of the top three inbound countries to the US last year, for the first time since 2009.
According to its 2012 Travel Snapshot, released this week, spending by visitors from China grew a massive 30% compared to 2011. Another big mover was Argentina, which made the list of top 15 inbound spending countries in the US, increasing travel spend by an impressive 50.5% compared to 2011. In 2012, international travelers spent a total of $42.6B on tourism-related purchases on their Visa accounts in the US, an almost 6.4% increase compared to 2011. Visa said the positive upswing was not as high as the 17% recorded between 2010 and 2011. The coastal states of Florida (+10%), California (+7%) and New York (+5%) remained favorite destinations for international travelers, representing more than half of all inbound tourism revenue in 2012. But America's Dairyland, Wisconsin, showed impressive growth with a 31% increase in spend compared to 2011. Hawaii (+14%), Washington (+12%), Texas (+7%) and Nevada (+6%) followed close behind in terms of total dollar volume spent on Visa accounts. The top 10 inbound markets were
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments…
Trump Hotel Collection™ has appointed veteran hotel executive Jie "Robby" Qiu to Vice President of development and acquisitions & chief country executive for Greater China. Qiu takes the helm of the brand's newly opened representative office in Shanghai. Qiu joins the Trump team from Accor, where he was most recently Senior Director of development for Greater China. Over his seven-year tenure, which saw his rapid promotion through the ranks, Qiu dealt with leading developers throughout the region on the expansion of Sofitel and other prominent Accor hotel brands. His diverse career has also included several years as senior legal associate in the Shanghai office of one of Australia's top hotel law firms, Blake Dawson Waldron.
Benchmark Hospitality International, a leading U.S.-based hospitality management company, has appointed Darren Nicholas director of food and beverage for Hotel Contessa. Les Utley, general manager for the hotel, a Benchmark Resorts & Hotels property located on the Riverwalk in San Antonio, made the announcement. Darren Nicholas was most recently the director of food and beverage for the Heathman Hotel in Kirkland, Washington, including its critically acclaimed farm-to-table restaurant, Trellis. Previous to this, Mr. Nicholas served as general manager for the fine dining restaurant at the Woodmark Hotel, also located in Kirkland, which was operated by MTM Luxury Lodging at the time, a company Benchmark Hospitality International purchased in 2011.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts plans to open its first London property, the 202-room Shangri-La London at The Shard, this summer. The Shard is a 95-story mixed-use project on the South Bank of the River Thames. The hotel will occupy floors 34-52. The building, which will be the tallest in Western Europe at 1,016 ft., was designed by architect Renzo Piano. The project's developers are a consortium led by the Qatar National Bank. The tower replaced a 24-story office building that was demolished. In addition to the hotel, The Shard will include office, residential, dining and spa components. The hotel itself will feature four destination restaurants and bars, an indoor swimming pool, fitness center and meeting and event space. The project is close to the Tower of London, St. Paul's Cathedral and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.
Hyatt Place plans to open a 151-room hotel here in 2014 that is part of the CostaBaja planned resort community. Hyatt Place guests will have access to the resort's amenities, including restaurants, a championship golf course and marina. La Paz, located at the southeastern end of the Baja California section of Mexico, is known for its fishing, scuba diving and sailing. The hotel will operate under a long-term franchise agreement between CostaBaja and Hyatt Place's parent, Hyatt Hotels Corp.
Those who fly by private jet can now land five minutes from paradise. Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa is the first five-star resort in the Maldives to open its own private executive airport terminal. Located at Gan International Airport in Addu Atoll, the terminal is for the exclusive arrival and departure of the resort’s guests, including those on commercial flights to and from Malé International Airport. The private terminal is just five minutes by speedboat from the resort and features two lounges and a VIP room. A private lounge is reserved for guests arriving by private jet and offers one-stop immigration, custom and baggage screening services for a seamless arrival experience. Shangri-La’s all-villa Villingili Resort and Spa is the first luxury resort located south of the equator in the Maldives and also the first in the country to introduce its own nine-hole recreational golf course plus cultural bicycle tours on neighbouring islands. Surrounded by a striking coral reef, the luxurious hideaway resort is a lush, picturesque paradise with six kilometres of coastline and two kilometres of white sand beaches.
CostaBaja, the first five-star resort development in La Paz, announced today the newest addition to the master-planned community, Hyatt Place La Paz. The new hotel will be built on a 53,000 square foot parcel of land adjacent to the 550-acre CostaBaja complex, and Hyatt Place guests will have access to the resort’s amenities, including several restaurants, an 18-hole Gary Player signature golf course, world-class marina and the white sand beaches along the Sea of Cortez. Expected to open in 2014, Hyatt Place La Paz will offer 151 guestrooms each showcasing panoramic views of the marina or the Sea of Cortez. The hotel will be situated in close proximity to the Carretera a Pichilingue highway, just minutes away from downtown La Paz and less than 30 minutes from Manuel Marquez de Leon International Airport. La Paz is located at the southeastern end of Baja California, and is a destination known for fishing, scuba diving and sailing, as well as Isla Espiritu Santo, a UNESCO World Heritage site with one of the greatest marine reserves north of the equator.
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