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The deteriorating law and order situation in Karachi, the country’s financial hub and the largest contributor to the national economy, has hurt the hotel business that saw the number of international guests – an important revenue source for luxury hotels – decline significantly over the past five years or so.
The latest victim of the violence-stricken metropolis is Sheraton Hotel Karachi, the American hotel chain run by Starwood Hotel and Resorts Worldwide Inc. A city icon, the majestic Sheraton Hotel will exit the country in January next year. Arabian Sea Enterprises Limited, the Kuwait-based owner of Sheraton Karachi, has decided not to renew its contract with Starwood that manages Sheraton hotels worldwide. In response to queries, Starwood confirmed the development.
Occidental Hotels & Resorts has announced that Occidental Grand Papagayo will convert to an Adults Only property beginning November 1, 2013.
This transition will make the property, located on a quiet hillside cove overlooking the lush tropical gardens of Costa Rica's Pacific Coast, the first Adults Only hotel in the luxurious Central American destination. The decision to convert the resort to an Adults Only location grew from a number of significant factors including past guest metrics that proved a growing trend from Papagayo's clientele requesting an Adults Only experience. Occidental Hotels and Resorts saw the shift as a way to meet the needs of its loyal, often repeat, customers and to build upon its proven success of the Adults Only offering at its award-winning Royal Hideaway property, thereby applying best practices across the brand's expansive portfolio. "This transformation is part of Occidental Hotels & Resorts product differentiation and business development strategy," said Jaime Buxo, Managing Director of Occidental Hotels & Resorts. "Having the ability and determination to adapt within a competitive, constantly evolving market is what sets Occidental apart; to welcoming and hosting our guests with this new Occidental Experience."
Pioneering hotelier Sam Barshop will be inducted into the Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor this year at the University of Houston's Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management.
The Hall of Honor, which is housed at Hilton College, was created in 1995 to recognize industry leaders who have made extraordinary contributions to American and international business and society. Barshop, founder of La Quinta Inns & Suites and creator of the limited-service hotel concept, is a Texas native whose lodging career began in San Antonio in 1963. In 1968, he opened the first two La Quinta hotels, just in time for the HemisFair. La Quinta's limited-service model and economical prices appealed to frequent business travelers, and the company took off. Today, La Quinta operates and provides franchise services to more than 800 hotel properties in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments…
Benchmark Hospitality International, a leading U.S.-based hospitality management company, has named Todd M. Felsen vice president of operations. Mr. Felsen will be based in Benchmark’s Home Office in The Woodlands, Texas, near Houston. Todd Felsen’s new appointment exemplifies Benchmark’s commitment to development and promotion from within the company. He was previously general manager of Cheyenne Mountain Resort, a Benchmark Resort® located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Prior to joining the Benchmark organization, Mr. Felsen served as managing director for The Claremont Hotel Club & Spa of Berkeley, California.
Edward French has been named as the Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. As a member of the Corporate Operating Committee, he will oversee the strategic positioning of one of the world's most iconic and powerful luxury hotel brands. In his role, French will serve as the strategic business partner to the President and Global Chief Operating Officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, and play a critical leadership role for the Marketing, Global Sales and Revenue Management discipline. With oversight of Sales, Marketing, Revenue Management, eCommerce, CRM, Public Relations and Social Media, he is responsible for driving top-line revenue for The Ritz-Carlton brand, ensuring the strategic priorities of the discipline are aligned and designed to yield profitable sales, increased market share, and expanded competitive advantage.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
The Oberoi Group announced the opening of Trident, Hyderabad. Located in the heart of the information technology hub, HITEC City, the hotel has an elegant and contemporary design and offers state of the art business and leisure facilities. Mr. P.R.S Oberoi, Executive Chairman of The Oberoi Group said, “Over the years we have added hotels at various locations in India and overseas which have become industry benchmarks. Hyderabad has emerged as a significant business destination and Trident, Hyderabad has been created with the discerning business traveler in mind. This hotel is a testimony of our vision for the “Trident” brand and its standards of excellence.”
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is entering the Korean market with the announcement of the Four Seasons Hotel Seoul, which is currently under construction and projected to open in May 2015. The announcement is made in partnership with Mirae Asset Global Investments, the market leader in real estate investment in Korea. Four Seasons Hotel Seoul will open in the Central Business District of Seoul, where major financial institutions, government offices, shopping venues and historic sites are located. The new hotel will include a 25-story building with seven levels of underground floors in a 44,315-sq.-ft. site in the centrally located Sejongro Square. Four Seasons Hotel Seoul will offer 317 guestrooms, restaurants, meeting rooms and a state-of-the-art fitness centre.
Andaz Papagayo is expected to open on Península Papagayo, located on the northwest Pacific coast of Costa Rica, on December 15th 2013. The new Andaz hotel will be located on a 2,223-acre master planned development set on a jagged pair of peninsulas that slip majestically into the warm waters of the Papagayo Gulf, along the spectacular Bay of Culebra. This project will debut the Andaz brand in Latin America and will mark the second Andaz hotel in a resort destination to open in 2013 following Andaz Maui at Wailea, which opened this month. Andaz Papagayo will bring to life the brand’s mission of creating inspiring, indigenous experiences and immersing guests in the destination’s local culture.
In late 2014, GOCO Hospitality will open a GOCO Spa at the 266-room luxury JW Marriott Resort & Spa on the beautiful island of Sacca Sessola. GOCO Spa Venice marries Italian sensibility and passion for life with modern architecture and design, offering a sophisticated and comprehensive wellness platform to create an exclusive urban oasis.
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