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Hotel News in Brief
The Mamilla Hotel in Jerusalem has entered UK Conde Nast Traveller's 2010 Hot List - one of the international travel industry's most prestigious selections of the best new hotels of the past twelve months. The Mamilla opened in June 2009 as the first design-led luxury lifestyle hotel in Jerusalem and Israel. The Hot List is the annual barometer of the premium hotel market, awarding properties based on critieria such as design, facilities, innovation and service. Published in the May issue of the UK edition of Conde Nast Traveller magazine - the leading luxury travel publication in the UK and an authoritative voice in the travel industry globally and online - the Hot List is based on anonymous hotel reviews from experts across the world, who heed the magazine's ‘Truth in Travel' policy by paying room rates and not accepting ‘freebies'. The result is a powerful snapshot of current trends, developments and key players in the increasingly competitive high-end hotel industry. The Mamilla Hotel combines spectacular design (by Moshe Safdie and Piero Lissoni), a prime position just minutes from the historic wonders and profound beauty of the Old City of Jerusalem, luxury accommodations, a world-class Rooftop restaurant and - above all - a pioneering approach to service and hospitality that offers something distinct and new to the hotel market in Jerusalem and Israel. The hotel concentrates on providing a lifestyle experience for guests that immediately appeals to the emotional needs of a well-travelled, demanding and in-the-know clientele, be it through design, food & drink, physical and spiritual engagement in the Holistic Wellbeing retreat, or the powerful, uplifting effects of this magical city.
One of Australia's highest profile, trophy retail assets, Marina Mirage on the Gold Coast, has been announced for sale through Jones Lang LaSalle with strong international interest expected. "Marina Mirage is one of the country's best known retail assets, a high-end mix of label fashion, top end dining, waterfront shopping and resort luxury, anchored squarely on prime Gold Coast land overlooking the famous Broadwater, directly opposite the five star Sheraton Mirage Resort & Spa and next door to the world's first Palazzo Versace Hotel. From an investment perspective, it doesn't get much better than this," said Jones Lang LaSalle's Simon Rooney, marketing the centre with colleague, Jacob Swan. "With an asset the quality and calibre of Marina Mirage, in a region as well placed as the Gold Coast, we certainly expect interest to be generated from across the country and internationally as markets all over the world gradually recover, " said Rooney. "There is significant capital from both local and global institutions now looking for placement, and with a lack of quality stock available nationally, we are confident Marina Mirage will create strong market activity, and be one of the first big retail investment market tests of 2010." Marina Mirage is owned and managed by the Sydney based Fenix Real Estate who are divesting of the finished project in line with their development focused business model.
The long-awaited, 2,995-room Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas resort is now finally scheduled for a December opening. Originally under the development of 3700 Associates, the Cosmopolitan project went into foreclosure in early 2008. Its lender, Deutsche Bank, chose to acquire the property fully in August of 2008 and complete the project. Situated at the heart of the Las Vegas Strip, the multi-tower Cosmopolitan will rest on 8.7 acres of land and feature several different dining experiences from some of the U.S.' top chefs. The 50-story East and West towers will be comprised of oversized hotel and condominium-style rooms ranging in size from 730 square feet to 5,400 square feet. There will also be 10, three-story, bungalow-style suites located adjacent to the west pool deck. Each tower is also slated to consist of privately owned condos, but the size, nature and timing of the condo program is dependent upon on the outcome of ongoing litigation. The resort will also feature David Rockwell-designed rooms, a nightclub and lounge, 150,000 square feet of event space, a 50,000-square-foot spa, salon and fitness center, retail stores and three pool environments.
Martin Bookallil, Regional Vice President of Information Resources for Marriott International, and Andre Baljeu, Director, Field Technology Manager, Asia Pacific, traveled to Tokyo recently to present the 2009 Systems Manager of the Year award to Ditie Seydou. Currently the Multi-property Systems Manager overseeing The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo, The Park Residence at Ritz-Carlton, and the GSO and GSA offices for Marriott International for the areas of Osaka, Nagoya & Fukuoka. Mr. Seydou joined Marriott International in 1998 as a member of the pre-opening team of the Courtyard Beijing. His wealth of experience also includes Systems Manager positions with sister Marriott Hotels and positions with the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Tokyo. "Ditie is a dedicated and highly adept IT professional. His solid track record leading many hotel pre-openings, network installations, systems implementation and upgrades, user training & support initiatives in large, multi-platform environments is evident in his skill set," said Mr. Bookallil. "Ditie is known to selflessly apply himself to his assignments 24/7 or whenever needed to assist all Ladies & Gentlemen at The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo and his fellow associates at the GSO offices." A native French speaker who is also fluent in English, Chinese and Japanese, Mr. Seydou consistently energizes and practices The Ritz-Carlton Gold Standards, not only in IT department but throughout every area of the hotel and in the work that he performs.
Marc Cherrier, General Manager of the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth had a tough day at the office today, with the arrival of dozens of Miss Universe hopefuls to audition in front of current Miss Universe Australia Rachael Finch. The official Sydney Registration Day was held at the Sofitel, which was announced as the Official Miss Universe Host Venue for 2010, meaning it will be at the Wentworth that Miss Universe Australia will be crowned in June. The arrival of the bikini-clad beauties brought a smile to the face of many a guest and staff member, with stronger application numbers than ever before, possibly following the huge success of former Miss Universe winner Jennifer Hawkins. "Today it is easy to see why I love my job so much," said Marc Cherrier as he posed with a bevy of beauties on his arm. As official Host Venue, the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth will have access to the current title holder, Rachael Finch, for appearances and will be involved in several events in the lead-up to the crowning ceremony. The Miss Universe pageant provides a platform for Australia's most beautiful, talented, educated and confident young women to compete for the Miss Universe Australia crown and the opportunity to represent Australia in Donald Trump's International Miss Universe finals later this year.
It seems that every decade, Las Vegas produces a few genuine mavericks with the vision to take a new path and veer from the status quo. The 90's saw Steve Wynn, Peter Morton and George Maloof change the way things were done. Now, in 2010, the Las Vegas landscape has changed; business is different and the old paradigm of building bigger and larger no longer works. Today, it is about being different and unique-new ideas, new concepts and that is what makes the timing right for Stephen Siegel, founder and president of The Siegel Group, to jump into the game and create a new category of Las Vegas lodging-the Boutique Chic Retreats. While some of the mega-resorts have tried to describe themselves as having boutique qualities, their claims ring false based on their sheer size and platform. The Siegel Group, the Las Vegas and Los Angeles-based hotel, real estate and business development company, is now setting a new standard by creating the ultimate Las Vegas escape destinations with five distinctive Las Vegas boutique hotel properties: Rumor (opening June 2010); The Artisan; Gold Spike Hotel & Casino; Oasis at Gold Spike and The Resort on Mount Charleston. The Siegel Group's hotels are the new face of the Las Vegas experience: contemporary, stylish and designed with the culturally creative in mind. Located in areas once known primarily by locals, each hotel now stands at the nexus of hip, fun and sexy.
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