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Hotel News in Brief
Bulgaria: Half of Sofia hotels unrated. A total of 80 of the 160 accommodation facilities operating in Sofia are illegal because they have not been categorised, found a check by municipal company Tourist Services, Dnevnik a.m. reports. Most of the unrated operations are downmarket small hotels and serviced residences. The municipalities have no jurisdiction to penalise the illegal providers of accommodation due to gaps in the effective regulations. The respective municipality awards the one- and two-star hotel ratings while the State Tourism Agency categorises the more upscale hotels.The oversight authority is the Consumer Protection Commission. Hotels are also not required under the effective regulations to have on record the date on which a particular guest has checked out, allowing them to underreport to the respective municipality the number of bookings and thus pay less in tourist fees. Source: Dnevnik a.m.
Hoi An Riverside Resort & Spa in has been awarded two world awards "Best Superior Hotel" and "Best Family Hotel" by HotelClub, a leading provider of online hotel reservation services. The award was conducted by HotelClub, in coordination with CNN International and a number of companies, namely, Northwest, Insight Guides, Naxos, ctopusTravel.com, Priority Pass, webcarhire.com, RateTogo, Asiahotels.com, TTG Asia Media, Berry Bro & Rudd. Hoi An Riverside Resort & Spa beat 80,000 rivals around the world to be honored as one of the world's top 27 resorts. To celebrate the awards, the resort will offer customers staying there for at least two nights in a row between September 1 and 30 a free dinner. Source: CPV
Home Inns doing pretty well. Home Inns, a leading economy hotel chain in China, has announced its financial results for the quarter ended June 30. Some highlights: Total revenues for the quarter increased 67.8 % year-over-year to RMB232.2 million ($30.5 million). Income from operations was RMB37.3 million ($4.9 million), an increase of 37.4% year-over-year. During this quarter, Home Inns opened 26 new hotels. Which means the Home Inns hotel chain currently consists of 171 hotels in operation with an additional 63 hotels under development, covering 66 cities in China. The occupancy rate for the Home Inns hotel chain was 95% which was a slight drop from the 98% enjoyed during the same period in 2006. RevPAR, defined as revenue per available room, was also down at RMB174, compared with RMB182 in the same period in 2006. David Sun, Home Inn's Chief Executive Officer said, ‘We are pleased with our progress this quarter. With a solid strategy and strong execution, we are maintaining our leadership position in the economy hotel market in China.'
The international Chinese Lifestyle Brand Shanghai Tang opens in Mandarin Oriental, Miami. With its contemporary style and Oriental roots, Mandarin Oriental, Miami is delighted to announce the store opening of Florida's first Shanghai Tang, the luxury brand renowned for its vibrant and witty articulation of Chinese culture translated in its fashion, accessories and homeware items.
Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) is pleased to announce the addition of The Lodge at Woodloch, the first true destination spa to open in the U.S. in more than a decade, to its growing portfolio of more than 400 of the finest hotels in nearly 70 countries. Nestled in Pennsylvania's lake region, just 90 miles from New York City, The Lodge at Woodloch is a complimentary addition to the luxury brand that prides itself on delivering unique and memorable experiences to a very discerning clientele. "We are thrilled to have The Lodge at Woodloch as part of the SLH brand. They have spared no expense in creating a complete oasis able to far exceed SLH guests' expectations - and that's a very high standard," commented Paul Kerr, Joint Managing Director for Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
Hyatt to open 11 more. Grahame Carder VP, Marketing, Hyatt International Asia Pacific, heads Hyatt's Asia operations. In anticipation of the Olympics, the new 66-story Park Hyatt Beijing should be completed by the end of the year. Hyatt plans to open at least 11 more hotels in China during the next three years. Grahame Carder said, ‘The Olympics are dancing all across China. The equestrian event is going to be in Hong Kong. Qingdao is hosting sailing. Shanghai's got some soccer. It's as if an Olympics in Los Angeles had some events in New York and others in Atlanta. That's good news for the hotel industry. We expect to have eight or nine hotels around the country finished in time for the Games. We haven't made this kind of commitment in any other part of the world.' He went on to name the major problem. He said, ‘The biggest challenge is staff. Every company, not just Hyatt, is struggling with finding and retaining a proper labor force. Filling key middle-management positions is very difficult. We hope one of the new hotels we are planning to build will be a mix of a hotel and a training school. The acid test for us is sustaining all this momentum after the Olympics, because the Games will move on and the hotels won't.' Source: Fast Company
All seven Sandals Resorts and three Beaches Resorts in Jamaica report no structural damage as a result of Hurricane Dean. "We are thrilled to report the extraordinary good news that our resorts have weathered the storm," said an elated Sandals Resorts founder and Chairman, Gordon "Butch" Stewart. "We are confident that Dean left no damage beyond landscaping. The resorts never lost power, guests are comfortable and debris clean-up has begun." In St. Lucia, where Hurricane Dean glanced past north of the island as a Category 2 storm on Friday, all three Sandals Resorts are open and operating normally. Since St. Lucia and Jamaica did experience hurricane force winds, Sandals and Beaches enacted their Blue Chip Hurricane Guarantee and every guest staying at the three Sandals locations in St. Lucia and ten Sandals and Beaches locations in Jamaica, will receive a free replacement trip to return. Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts Hurricane Blue Chip Guarantee provides affected guests with a free replacement vacation. The free replacement stay is for the same duration and room category as the originally booked trip and is valid for one year after the original vacation.
Accor Hotels has promoted Greg Erwin to Area Manager, Far North Queensland and General Manager, Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort with immediate effect. Greg joined Accor in 1996 working for Accor in Tasmania and later successfully completed Accor's ‘Vivier National Management Trainee programme'. As part of Accor's VNMT programme, Greg held a variety of assignments in hotels including the Mercure Sydney and the former Mercure Resort Surfers Paradise, as well as the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre. Greg was most recently General Manager, Novotel Pacific Bay Resort in Coffs Harbour. Following Greg's move to Cairns, Dene Zahner has been promoted to General Manager, Novotel Pacific Bay Resort Coffs Harbour, also with immediate effect.
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