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Hotel News In Brief
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MGM Resorts International announced on Tuesday that it converted six of its transportation vehicles to burning compressed natural gas (CNG).
MGM Resorts International, Las Vegas, said the six Cadillac Escalades will service ARIA Resort & Casino and Bellagio Resort & Casino. The SUVs join a family of other CNG vehicles in MGM Resorts' transportation portfolio, including the company's 26 CNG stretch-limo fleet. U.S. Department of Energy research shows that compared to vehicles fueled with conventional diesel and gasoline, natural gas vehicles produce significantly lower amounts of harmful emissions as well as approximately 25% fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
Virtuoso names Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong "Hotel of the Year" at 2013 Best of the Best Hotel Awards
International luxury travel network, Virtuoso, continued its week of celebration by announcing the highly-anticipated winners of the 2013 Best of the Best hotel awards last night at its 25th annual Virtuoso Travel Week conference. Drawing some of the biggest names in the industry, the Best of the Best winners were revealed before a record audience of 1500 attendees during the Hotels & Resorts Dinner. Virtuoso selected only 10 winners from the network's renowned Hotels & Resorts Program, an amazing portfolio of 983 hotels, resorts, villas and private island retreats in 100 countries. The first hospitality program of its kind, Virtuoso created the group's hotel program to serve the needs of its member travel agencies and their discerning clientele. It ranks as the industry's most prestigious and longest-running hotel program, all of which elevate the network's status as an industry trailblazer and trusted innovator.
China targets rapid expansion of cruise tourism
China targets to increase their revenue from cruise industry with new terminals – along with big plans for more facilities and a luxury ship – to bring more foreign tourists ashore and capitalize on domestic travellers wanting to sail the high seas. Since cruise tourism was introduced in China less than 10 years ago, five terminals have been built at an estimated cost of more than 4.5 billion yuan (473 million pounds). Three are under construction and another six are in the pipeline. The Chinese government made development of the cruise sector a priority in 2011 as part of a five-year economic plan. In the southeastern city of Xiamen, more than 16 billion yuan were earmarked for 10 projects that include construction of a 100,000-tonne luxury liner, a cruise terminal and a shipping business centre, the official Xinhua news agency has reported. In Shanghai and Tianjin, the combined investment in cruise infrastructure has topped 12.3 billion yuan, Royal Caribbean International estimates.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments…
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, the premier manager of ultra-luxury properties throughout the world, is pleased to announce the appointment of Sandra Finlay as Managing Director of Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Finlay joins Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi with over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, including six years with Rosewood Hotels & Resorts. Most recently, Finlay served as Hotel Manager for Rosewood Hotel Georgia in Vancouver, BC, Canada, where she oversaw the development and implementation of all departmental strategies.
Ross Harrison has been promoted to general manager of the Hilton Garden Inn Islip in New York. Previously, Harrison was the assistant general manager at the same location. Harrison joined White Lodging in 2006 as a guest service representative, night auditor and housekeeper at the Hilton Garden Inn Islip. Since then, he has held various roles at the same location, including housekeeping manager, front office manager and operations manager. In his previous role as assistant general manager, Harrison was responsible for the oversight of all daily operations across all departments. During his time with White Lodging, Harrison has received numerous achievements, including the Shining Apple Award for Overall Hotel Performance in 2009.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Hilton Worldwide announced the expansion of its Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts brand into Latin America with the opening of Waldorf Astoria Panama. With a commitment to personalized service and delivering a new sense of luxury to the booming Panama market, Waldorf Astoria Panama blends the distinguished sophistication of the luxury brand with the warmth of the local Panamanian personality. Featuring 248 guest rooms, suites and luxury residences, Waldorf Astoria Panama boasts an exquisite timeless elegance and inviting ambiance displayed throughout the hotel's public areas and accommodations.
Banyan Tree Shanghai on the Bund has unveiled its newest bar: Tops, located on the hotel's rooftop. Tops is an outdoor space with a 180º view of Shanghai's skyline. The space has a cozy décor with sofas and a DJ. In the daytime, Tops serves afternoon tea. Bar tapas, such as Bloody Mary oysters and foie gras mini burgers, are on the menu until 10 p.m, while cocktails are available throughout the night.
Colorado-based Timbers Resorts, one of the largest independent developers and operators of private boutique resorts and residence clubs, will replace the Ritz-Carlton Management Company as the manager and operator of the former Ritz-Carlton Club – Bachelor Gulch, effective November 1, 2013. Situated in Colorado’s Vail Valley slopeside on Beaver Creek Mountain within the acclaimed Bachelor Gulch community, the iconic mountainside residence club will be renamed and added as the thirteenth property to the Timbers Collection. Contingent on approval from the board, Timbers Resorts will embark on an extensive remodelling of the property in 2014. The ski and mountain adventure services located at the base of Bachelor Gulch and powered by Venture Sports will continue offering exceptional experiences to Owners and guests under management by Timbers Resorts.
Hear the name Kimpton and you immediately think of the quintessential urban boutique hotel. But the hotel owner/operator has taken strides recently to expand into resort and leisure destinations. Its most recent news was the July announcement of Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants’ first Caribbean resort via the development of a 263-room hotel on Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. Developer Dart Realty awarded Kimpton the management contract for what it is calling Grand Cayman’s first design-driven, boutique-style hotel. The project, set for completion in 2016, was a natural transition for the brand, said Kimpton’s CEO Mike Depatie. “Expanding into the Caribbean was an easy decision for us because of our already strong presence in the major feeder markets such as South Florida, New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Dallas,” he said. The move outside the U.S. is a first for Kimpton, but not a first in the resort game. In June Kimpton purchased the Amara Resort and Spa in Sedona, Ariz. The property was acquired through the company’s proprietary KHP-III fund. The 100-room resort joins two other Kimpton hotels in Arizona, Hotel Palomar Phoenix and another resort property, the FireSky Hotel & Spa, in Scottsdale.
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