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Hotel News In Brief
Some current conversation starters…
Demand for spa and wellness travel is on the rise, according to a recent survey conducted by The Affluent Traveller Collection.
Of the agents surveyed, 75 percent reported increases in spa and wellness travel demand in 2013 versus the same time last year. The survey also provides insight on what today’s luxury travellers are looking for when booking a spa and wellness vacation. Healthy meal choices, in-depth spa treatment menus, a fitness centre and on-site yoga and Pilates classes are top priorities, while outdoor activities, nutrition classes and personal training are not in high demand. The most popular destinations for such vacations are in the United States and the Caribbean, and most clients prefer to share the experience with a significant other rather than with group of friends. Spa and wellness vacations average four to seven nights.
FlyersRights.org, the largest U.S. airline passenger organization, surveyed its 30,000+ members in late July and asked them to pick their three most important air travel issues.
The top three are:
Rounding out the top ten in rank order were- Tarmac Delays and Strandings, TSA Complaints, Shrinking Leg Room & Seat Size, Airline Mergers & Competition, Compensation for Excessive Flight Delays, Bumping or Oversales, and Airport Related Issues. "For the first time, airline passengers now place deceptive and unfair ticket pricing and advertising as their top priority," said Paul Hudson, FlyersRights.org president, "with delays and customer service complaints being a close second."
The Blackstone Group is reportedly set to sell the 10-hotel Deutsche Interhotel portfolio to its creditors Starwood Capital, Brookfield Financial Management and iStar Financial for €600 million (US$802 million).
Bloomberg reported on Friday that The Blackstone Group, New York City, is letting go of the insolvent chain at a loss in a debt-for-equity swap after buying the hotels in 2007 for €750 million (US$996 million). The Deutsche Interhotel consists of independently managed hotels, some of which are under franchises with major brands, that were formerly run by the Stasi under the communist East German government. The portfolio includes the 1,012-room Park Inn by Radisson Berlin Alexanderplatz, the 400-room The Westin Grand Berlin and the 340-room The Westin Bellevue Dresden as well as other Carlson Rezidor, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Wordwide and Accor-branded properties in Dresden, Leipzig, Erfurt, Potzdam and Chemnitz.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments…
Veracity Hospitality, a newly formed independently held hotel and resort management company, announces the appointment of Mukund (Mac) Rao as Chief Financial Officer. As CFO, Rao is responsible for all aspects of corporate accounting, finance, and budget planning, as well as information technology and purchasing for Veracity Hospitality managed properties. Rao has spent the last 26 of his 35-year career in hospitality finance and accounting. Positions included: Director of Finance for KeyLime Cove, a role he will continue to fill; Regional Controller for eight Waterford Hotels; and Controller for several different internationally branded hotels and resorts including Radisson, Holiday Inn, Sheraton, and Hilton.
Outrigger Enterprises Group, which has been contracted by Hilton Grand Vacations to provide comprehensive onsite property management services for the new resort, is pleased to announce the appointment of Pam Yagi as General Manager. Yagi will oversee all pre-opening activities as well as ongoing operations of the outstanding 14-story resort, which is scheduled to open its doors in late 2013. Yagi has been the assistant general manager at the Outrigger-managed Holiday Inn Waikiki Beachcomber Resort for more than seven years. During that time, she also acted as interim general manager at the Courtyard by Marriott Waikiki Beach, which was managed by Outrigger Hotels and Resorts at the time. Prior to the Holiday Inn Waikiki Beachcomber, she was hotel manager at the former OHANA Royal Islander.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. has announced its iconic Sheraton® brand has arrived in Memphis, Tennessee, following the strategic conversion of a prime downtown property. Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel is connected to the Memphis Cook Convention Center at the heart of the city's vibrant downtown. Owned by Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc., the former Marriott property is in the midst of a major renovation in order to implement all of the Sheraton brand's signature amenities and services.
The Benjamin, a luxury boutique hotel in midtown Manhattan situated on 50th Street and Lexington Avenue, concludes the final phase of its full-scale, multi-phase $10 million dollar renovation. Under the guidance of Lauren Rottet, the namesake and founder of Rottet Studio, the aesthetic of the accommodations are reflective of her philosophy to create environments that feel personalized, energetic and residentially glamorous. The room re-design is completed, and the renovated and restyled guestrooms and suites are now available for guests. Some of Rottet's favorite design details were reserved for the final pièce de résistance, The Benjamin's premier suite, which will be unveiled in early 2014.
A new £12m hotel and office development for Newry is the latest in a line of big announcements in the hospitality industry in Northern Ireland. Newry and Mourne District Council endorsed the proposal for a 120-bed hotel, over 22,000 sq ft office development, landscaping and car parking. The project is to be located at the former ATS Garage at Downshire Road in the city and was last week given planning approval. Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said it could provide hundreds of jobs in the border town.
Marriott International’s first extended stay property in South China, the 155-unit OCT Harbour, Shenzhen Marriott Executive Apartments, has opened. Marriott Executive Apartments cover a total area of over 27,000sqm. The property has accommodation of 155 units encompassing studios, one, two and three-bedroom suites. Each apartment offers a separated warm-coloured bedroom, contemporary living room and office area and a fully equipped, state-of-the-art kitchen.
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