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Hotel News in Brief
The 15th annual World Travel Awards were held and ‘Finland's Leading Hotel 2008' was awarded to the Crowne Plaza Helsinki. The Crowne Plaza Helsinki, which opened its doors in 2005, has received recognition previously: In the conference hotel survey conducted by the market research house Taloustutkimus Oy, the Crowne Plaza Helsinki topped the list as the capital city area's best unit for its very first year of operations. The InterContinental Hotels Group has also recognized the hotel. In 2005 the Crowne Plaza Helsinki was named ‘Newcomer of the Year' and took the ‘Torchbearer Award' for its high level of customer satisfaction.
Chicago-based Hyatt Hotels & Resorts and its regional partner, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Illinois, an organization that grants the wishes of children from the region with life-threatening illnesses, announced that its Team Stay Fit at Hyatt, a group of marathon runners that include individuals who work in Hyatt hotels and regional offices worldwide, friends and family of Hyatt, and Make-A-Wish supporters, raised more than $62,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Illinois with their participation in the 2008 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Continuing Hyatt's longstanding commitment to making a difference and supporting the community, each Team Stay Fit runner, including three Hyatt marathoners who traveled to Chicago from Hong Kong, raised enough money to cover the cost of 12 wishes for children while training for the 26.2-mile run that occurred Sunday, Oct. 12. Hyatt hosted Team Stay Fit members, their friends and families at a pasta dinner at Hyatt Regency Chicago the evening before the race. Runners were joined by Global Hyatt Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Hoplamazian, Senior Vice President Human Resources and Make-A-Wish Foundation of Illinois Board of Directors member Doug Patrick, Vice President Human Resources - International Katie Carter, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Illinois Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Springs, and a Chicago area Make-A-Wish family. "It is Hyatt's spirit of community service that allows this partnership with Make-A-Wish to make a difference in the lives of so many children around the world including those here in the state of Illinois and the City of Chicago," said Salvador Mendoza, vice president of diversity and inclusion, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts. "This collaboration is a rewarding and life-changing partnership not only for the Hyatt employees, friends and family who raise money to run in this marathon but also for the children who live in our area and will have their wishes granted this year." To demonstrate the level of dedication by Hyatt Hotels & Resorts to its global partnership with Make-A-Wish, each year, the company makes a cash donation to the headquarters offices of Make-A-Wish International and Make-A-Wish Foundation of America, supports the Foundation's business travel by extending Hyatt's employee room rates for hotels in both U.S. and overseas, provides Make-A-Wish with a 25% discount in food and beverage costs when booking catering for office meetings, conferences or special organization events at a Hyatt property, and coordinates marketing initiatives encouraging members of Hyatt's frequent guest program, Hyatt Gold Passport, to donate their points to the organization. Last year, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts introduced "Team Stay Fit at Hyatt", a worldwide team of runners, walkers and riders participating in sporting events to further the company's commitment to health and the community. For more information on Hyatt's diversity and inclusion efforts, visit www.hyattdiversity.com.
At a press conference held at the Corinthia Grand Hotel Royal in Budapest, Hungary, Malta based hotel operator CHI Hotels & Resorts and Oak Valley KFT of Hungary, announced the signing of technical assistance and management agreements for the operation of a Corinthia Hotel and Corinthia Residences being developed as part of the ‘Budapest Gate' project in Bicske, a resort town 38 kilometres west of Hungary's capital Budapest. The agreements were signed by CHI's Vice President - Development Paul Pisani and Oak Valley KFT Managing Director Arie Yom-Tov. Present at the Budapest press conference was CHI's Vice President for Western and Central Europe Stefan Buchs. The two properties, to be named the Corinthia Budapest Gate Hotel and the Corinthia Budapest Gate Residences, are being developed on a resort area that lays within 280 hectares of land in Bicske, Hungary, within easy reach of the Budapest - Vienna motorway. The Budapest Gate Resort will comprise a 200 room five-star deluxe hotel, 700 deluxe serviced apartment suites and villas, an 18-hole championship golf course designed by famous architect Christy O'Connor, a Spa, outdoor sports activities, a 3000 square metre conference facility featuring the largest ballroom in Hungary, breakout rooms and banqueting and exhibition spaces. A casino and an Aqua park are also planned for the latter stages of the project, which is due to open in 2012.
Hilton to build hotel in Honduran Caribbean. Hilton announced the construction of a hotel in the Bahia de Tela in the Honduran Caribbean, a region in which a tourism complex is being developed with nation and foreign investment. The Hilton Hotels Corporation project in the Bahia de Tela will be called "Conrad Los Micos" as it is located around the Los Micos lagoon in the Tornasal sector of the Atlantida department. Source: TRAVEL@LatinAmerica
The prestigious CNBC Asia Pacific Property Awards recently presented to Sepang Goldcoast was hailed by Gavin Faull, Chairman and President of Swiss-Belhotel International, "as an honour that our company is particularly proud to be associated with." Faull was referring to the award recently won by Sepang GoldCoast in the annual television channel's CNBC Asia Pacific Property Awards 2008. A statement from Sepang Goldcoast hailed the coveted award as "sure proof that SEPANG GOLDCOAST not only competes but also triumphs within the highly competitive Asia Pacific property arena," and as a symbol of excellence "recognized and appreciated by the public who are becoming increasingly well informed and discerning about the properties they seek to buy." The 2008 awards were presided over by a panel of professionals whose collective knowledge of the property industry is second to none and unsurpassed by any other property awards, according to the Sepang Goldcoast statement. The panel, chaired by Eric Pickles, British Shadow Secretary of State, comprised some of the leading experts in the global real property industry, including developers from Australia, the UK, France and the Asia Pacific region; and real estate media stalwarts.
von Essen hotels cooked up a storm at Restaurant Magazine's Top UK Restaurants awards with 4 properties listed in the prestigious 100 best places to eat out in the UK. The Elms in Worcestershire, The Royal Crescent in Bath, Sharrow Bay in Cumbria and Seaham Hall in County Durham were all applauded as top UK restaurants. It is no surprise that von Essen hotels keep winning awards for the quality of their dining experiences - each hotel places huge emphasis on its food. Within the von Essen collection there are a total of 3 Michelin stars awarded to restaurants and chefs and a total of 64 AA Rosettes, the highest number of Rosettes in any hotel group. Using local produce and local knowledge, each hotels head chef works closely with their surrounding fields, rivers and seas to gather the finest ingredients. Many properties have kitchen gardens which are presided over by qualified passionate gardeners. Innovation is at the forefront of the von Essen food offering with unique dining experiences such as Purple Carrot at Lewtrenchard Manor where diners tour the kitchen gardens and watch and interact with the chefs cooking up their gourmet creations, all transmitted live via large screens into a private dining area. The Wild Food offering at Ynyshir Hall continues to attract a keen foodie following. Sharrow Bay also recently completed a very successful restaurant take over at Harvey Nichols in London to mark its 60th anniversary and long love affair with fantastic food - the first external restaurant allowed to do this.
The Nikko Hotel Dalian takes a leading role in local cultural activities by allowing artists to display their work in the hotel lobby. The inner garden will be dedicated to monthly art. The Nikko Art Gallery in association with Focus on Dalian present: Wang Shugui, born in 1956 in Shan Dong, an active member of the Dalian art community, he specialises in natural subject and several pieces have been reproduced in books of art. Shugen Zhang is a renowned artist in Dalian. Mentored by masters, he crafts his painting on glass, a novel and unique adaptation in Chinese art. Always an innovator, in 2007 Shueng Zhang went a step further, replacing the fragile glass with Yakeli, a medium better suited to last the ages. Selected piece are on sale in Nikko Art gallery Lobby.
Designer Japanese teppanyaki restaurant Kuromastsu has opened at IVY Shanghai, the hip new boutique hotel in a converted 1950s cinema dazzling the city with flamboyant China-pop design and elegant dining. The signature restaurant brings high-end classic Japanese teppanyaki to newly fashionable Jing'an district, a short stroll from the shopping and business hub of Nanjing West Road.
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