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Downtown Chicago has 12 Hotel/Condominium Projects in the Works ; A Grand Gamble Getting Under Way Luxury hotel proposals are popping up in Chicago like so many desert flowers after a long drought, and it seems almost every developer is betting on the same virtually untested concept: hotel condominiums. At least 12 downtown projects will include hotel condominiums, which are rooms or suites sold to individuals, who have the option of placing them in rental pools when they aren't using them. More than 2,100 of these pricey dens will be marketed here over the next five years, mostly to affluent Baby Boomers looking for a second or third home. None of the units have come to market yet, so there is no test case. And looking elsewhere in the nation doesn't help much, either. "There is very little track record," said Pat Ford, president of Lodging Econometrics in Portsmouth, N.H. And so a grand gamble is getting under way. For the trend to succeed long-term, there will need to be a winnowing out of the weaker contenders, a deep and renewable pool of well-heeled buyers, as opposed to short-term speculators, and a sustained recovery in downtown luxury-hotel business. Other factors could derail the vision as well, among them rising interest rates or a pullback of tax deductions allowed on second homes. "I have my doubts that all the projects will be built or that all will be successful," said Arthur L. Buser Jr., managing director at Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels. "There will be some that are winners, and some that are last-to-the-party, or not as well done, or only half sold out. ... There will be some failures." The proliferation of proposals stems from hotel developers' continuing difficulties in obtaining more traditional financing.
Hotel group Golden Tulip UK has promoted Lorraine Smith to the new post of operations manager of the Tulip Inn Newcastle Gateshead. She originally joined the £5.2 million Tulip Inn Newcastle Gateshead as reception manager before being appointed deputy general manager Lorraine has 15 years hotel experience gained mainly at Newcastle’s Thistle Hotel where she held a number of posts including reception manager and front office manager. She was also human resources manager responsible for the recruitment, training and welfare of nearly 90 staff. Andrew Silver, commercial director at Golden Tulip UK, said: “As we expand the Tulip Inn brand in the UK, our general managers will take on additional responsibilities such as assisting with new hotel launches. In their absence, the operations manager will be fully responsible for running the hotel. Lorraine has demonstrated both commitment and initiative since she joined us and I am confident she will prove a success in this new post.”
Simpson House Inn, for the ninth year in a row, has been bestowed the AAA Five Diamond Award. It is one of fifteen properties in all of California and the only bed and breakfast in all of North America to receive the honor. The AAA Five Diamond Award is the highest and most prestigious rating by the organization. The Simpson House Inn consists of the Victorian Estate, Historic Barn and Garden Cottages. Each has been restored and is the personification of the historic elegance so popular in Santa Barbara. Each room is unique, even having different names such as The Abbeywood, The Carriage, and The Hayloft, with some offering wood burning fireplaces, private decks, patios and jetted baths. All rooms include a daily gourmet breakfast and complimentary wine tasting and hors d’oeuvres prepared by Executive Chef Leah Varrone. The property is also gratuity free. According to Nicholas Davaz, Managing Partner, "Our guests enjoy a high level of personalized service in a magical, private setting. And just steps away from all that beautiful Santa Barbara has to offer. It’s an extraordinary delight.” To be considered for AAA rating and approval, restaurants and lodgings must undergo a thorough inspection by one of AAA's 65 full-time, trained, professional evaluators. Five Diamond establishments go through more extensive inspections and final committee review. AAA evaluates nearly 57,000 properties and publishes their ratings in the AAA TourBooks(R), on Internet TripTik at www.aaa.com , and in part on www.AAAmaps.com . For more information about AAA Diamond Ratings visit www.aaa.com/Diamonds . The Simpson House Inn, located on an acre of English-style gardens at 121 East Arrellaga Street, Santa Barbara, CA, is a privately owned Victorian Estate located within walking distance of downtown Santa Barbara. It was built in 1874 by Robert Simpson and restored by the Davies family in 1976. It has been honored with a Structure of Merit Award and Landmark status by the Landmarks Commission for its unique architecture and period setting.
Horst Schulze and the West Paces Hotel Group Taking Charge of the 42-year-old Carefree Resort and Villas near Scottsdale; Bill Eider-Orley Named General ManagerFormer Ritz-Carlton president Horst Schulze was in town this week checking out the Carefree Resort and Villas in the foothills north of Scottsdale. Schulze, who founded the West Paces Hotel Group with several other former Ritz executives earlier this year to create and operate luxury hotels around the world, is taking charge of the 42-year-old rustic-but-upscale retreat at 37220 Mule Train Road. He was in Carefree to take stock of the old hotel before deciding what physical changes may be needed, but Schulze said the most important characteristics of all his hotels are "immaculate surroundings, great food and caring employees." He said he had already begun employee training and next week will send a West Paces crew to tackle the menu and kitchen operation. Carefree Resort's setting, tucked between Carefree and Wild Western-flavored Cave Creek, sets the tone for the resort, Schulze said. "The most important thing is the setting. Customers want a unique, distinct Western experience," he said. West Paces also is pegged to manage Montelucia, the planned $200 million makeover of Paradise Valley resort La Posada, scheduled to debut in 2007. Schulze, who had already signed on to Montelucia, first said no when tapped by Carefree Resort owners to consider taking on their property.
John Q. Hammons Developing a 280-suite Embassy Suites Hotel and Adjoining 80,000 Sq Ft Conference Center in Murfreesboro , Tennessee Mr. John Q. Hammons today announced his plans to develop a 10-story, 280-suite Embassy Suites Hotel(R) and adjoining 80,000 square-foot conference center in Murfreesboro, Tenn. The first development of its kind for the city, the hotel will be owned by Mr. Hammons, and the hotel and conference center will be managed by Springfield, Mo.-based John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts, LLC, the nation's leading independent builder, developer, owner and manager of upscale, full-service hotels, resorts and suites. The all-suite, luxury property and conference center are scheduled to open in the fall of 2007 with construction slated to begin by Q1 2006. Located in Rutherford County, the Murfreesboro Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center marks the second full-service hotel and the first convention center Mr. Hammons has built in Tennessee. "Serving as the county seat for Rutherford County, Murfreesboro is located in one of the fastest-growing counties in the state and has something to offer for everyone who lives in or visits its thriving community," said Mr. John Q. Hammons, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts, LLC. "We have built a strong relationship with Rutherford County and the city of Murfreesboro, and we support their commitment to cultivate this ever-growing community. With a variety of businesses, historical attributes, major attractions and cities surrounding its perimeters, the location is an ideal site for an upscale hotel and state-of-the-art conference center that can accommodate both small and large groups."
Hilton Beijing to add 125 suites in new Tower In keeping pace with the rapid changes occurring across Beijing and the increased need for stylish, contemporary hotel living, working and dining options, the Hilton Beijing is on the move - totally remodeling itself over the coming months to provide guests with a fresh, modern new space.The first phase of the renovation, which saw the existing 375 guest rooms receive a huge facelift, cost more than US$8million. State-of-the-art conveniences include high-speed Internet access and plasma screen TVs in all guest rooms, as well as Bose sound systems, individual espresso machines, personal home office systems and LCD TV screens in the bathrooms of executive floor rooms and suites. Wood paneling, spacious glass-topped desks and designer lighting also make the rooms a warm, yet stylish environment to relax and work. The ultra-modern bathrooms feature oversized vanity basins, separate bathtub, a glass encased shower and floor-to-ceiling mirrors.
Timothy O’Driscoll Appointed As New GM For Sheraton Dongguan Hotel Mr. Timothy O’Driscoll has been appointed as General Manager for Sheraton Dongguan Hotel. Previous to this appointment, Mr. O’Driscoll was the General Manager for Sheraton Timika Hotel in Irian Jaya Island, Indonesia. Mr. O’Driscoll is taking over from Mr. Charlie Dang who is now in Westin Beijing Financial Street. Sheraton Dongguan Hotel is centrally located in Dongguan’s bustling Houjie District. It is the region’s most opulent address for business, entertainment and shopping pleasures. It is less than one hour from Guangzhou International Airport, 35 minutes from Shenzhen Baoan International Airport and just a 90 minute ferry ride from Hongkong and Macau.
Viceroy Resorts & Residences brand partners with Related Group of Florida on new five-star hotel-condo complex in Miami's Brickell neighborhood - Kor Hotel Group, the Los Angeles-based luxury hotel operator, has entered into a significant joint venture with developer Jorge Perez and his Florida-based The Related Group that will bring the Viceroy brand's signature fusion of innovative design elements, luxury amenities and impeccable service to a momentous new hotel-residence project in Miami - Viceroy Icon Brickell. The Related Group is currently the largest developer in Florida's luxury condominium market. Kor's participation will enhance the premiere project with an array of design-savvy lifestyle amenities and the service luxuries for which Kor's Viceroy Resorts & Residences concept is widely known. The project also partners Kor with some of the most creative forces in the industry today, including the architecture firm Arquitectonica and prolific designer Philippe Starck. "Kor's discerning style will help mark a distinction for this luxury project against other comparable projects in Miami," said Brad Korzen, CEO of Kor Hotel Group. "Viceroy's high-end luxury concept retains an intimate, boutique quality that is highly appealing to today's consumers. Viceroy Icon Brickell promises to be an exquisite rendition of the Viceroy brand and will contribute a distinctive new luxury option to Miami's urban destination appeal." As Kor Hotel Group continues to expand its boutique hotel portfolio with properties both nationwide and overseas, it reserves the Viceroy identity for projects of only the highest standard. By imparting Viceroy's luxurious design and the service hallmarks that distinguish its flagship Viceroy Santa Monica to only select properties, Kor succeeds in carving out a unique niche in the boutique luxury-hotel and resort-residence markets. "The world's most sophisticated travelers know the Viceroy brand for its bold design and unique sense of modern luxury, as well as its superb services and amenities," said Bill Thompson, Senior Vice-President, The Related Group of Florida. "With Viceroy Icon Brickell, we will offer a unique style of luxurious living never before seen in Miami."
VEGAS 888 - The Ultimate Resort Condominium Residence to Launch in the Heart of Las Vegas Unprecedented Design Meets Astonishing Strip Views - 50 Levels of Spectacular Pacific-blue Glass Del American, a nationally recognized and award-winning developer of multifamily communities, announced today that it is launching VEGAS 888, The Ultimate Luxury Resort Condominium Residences. VEGAS 888 is a 50-story tower located between the Las Vegas Strip and the Palms Resort Casino at Flamingo Road and Hugh Hefner Drive, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Vegas 888 is now accepting individuals to register to be the first on the exclusive VIP reservation list. These luxury Condominiums residences will offer 50 levels of spectacular Pacific-blue glass in one-, two- or three- bedroom Penthouse Lofts, Sky Villas and High-Life Suites ranging from 800 to more than 8,000 square feet of living space with astonishing Las Vegas Strip views. This vision was embraced for VEGAS 888 by Del American and its award-winning architectural team, to create three original interior design styles: Tech Italia®, Trada Eleganta® and Pacifica Exotica® with lavish finishes from Snaidero, Vitraform, Miele, Wolf, Sub-Zero, Poliform, Dornbracht, Lutron, Raydoor and Toto. Sumptuous Spa Baths®, steam rooms, soaring 20-foot, floor-to-ceiling glass, stone to wood flooring, private balconies, granite to stainless steel counter tops and sleek glass stairs.
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