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Hotel News In Brief
InterContinental Hotels Group announced today that the newly renovated 64-room Holiday Inn Express Detroit-Birmingham, recently opened, representing another addition to the mid-scale brand's portfolio of limited-service hotels. There are now nearly 50 Holiday Inn Express hotels with more than 4,100 guestrooms in the state of Michigan with the addition of the Holiday Inn Express Detroit-Birmingham. The InterContinental Hotels Group portfolio in Michigan is represented by five of its brands, including the upscale, full service, limited service, upscale extended stay and mid-scale extended stay segments with 85 hotels and more than 10,000 rooms. Guests of the Holiday Inn Express Detroit-Birmingham will be able to take advantage of the Stay Smart® experience which is unique to the Holiday Inn Express brand of hotels. The Holiday Inn Express Detroit-Birmingham will offer the brand's hallmark features including the Express Start® breakfast bar, which has re-defined the meaning of "free" breakfast bars, Smart Roast® In-Room Coffee, Smart ConnectSM Telecommunications, Priority Club® Rewards and the SimplySmart(tm) shower, which is raising the bar on guest expectations of a hotel shower experience. The revamped Express Start breakfast bar sports a modern branded look-and-feel that delivers a complete breakfast experience similar to that of a breakfast café. A standard at all Holiday Inn Express hotels, the breakfast bar offers Smart Roast 100 percent Arabica coffee and warm indulgent cinnamon rolls prepared with an exclusive recipe developed especially for the Holiday Inn Express brand - as well as traditional morning favorites including fruits, juices, cereals, selected low-carb and protein options and more.
Arcadia-Hilton split denied A representative of the owners of the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa has denied widespread rumors that the Hilton brand will be dumped next year. Hilton International took over management of the Phuket Arcadia Beach Resort on October 1 last year, and the property was rebranded. The rumors posited that the Arcadia owners were unsatisfied with Hilton’s performance, and planned to take over management themselves. However, Maitree Narukatpichai, Owners’ Representative, told the Gazette this morning that the rumor was not true. He said he was perplexed as to how the story had arisen. “We have had no thought of canceling Hilton’s management contract. Last night many people asked me about the rumors, and I denied them. If it were true, then you would hear it from my mouth,” K. Maitree added. General Manager Peter Hourigan agreed that there was no fact behind the tale. “There’s nothing that I’m aware of,” he said. A hotel employee, speaking under condition of anonymity, was more expansive. “I think there are concerns, because everyone has had a bad year. But don’t forget that there is a contract [between Hilton and Arcadia]. “Some staff are intensely loyal to the GM, and when he leaves next January, then obviously they’re going to be upset. “But as for the rumors going around, they are nothing more than that – rumors.” Asked about the owners’ plans to build another Arcadia on 180 rai of beachfront land in Khao Lak, K. Maitree said that construction work is currently suspended. “We started to build the resort before the tsunami and, luckily, the damage from the tsunami was light. We decided to stop construction so that we could wait and see how the situation develops.“I have heard that about 80% of businesses there will be open again next year in time for the [2006-2007] high season. I would like to wait and see,” he added.
New Twelve Hotels Brand To Emphasize Hi-Tech Amenities The new Twelve Hotels and Residences brand, which will premier with its first property in Atlanta in February 2006, will offer its guests diverse and innovative technological amenities and services that will be brand standards. The backbone of the technology will be the Guest Hotel Operating System Terminal, which is an in-room application that will allow guests to request various services online. Using the flat-screen monitor and keyboard that will be standard in every Twelve hotel suite, guests will be able to order room service, make housekeeping requests, contact the concierge, request their car from the valet and make other requests. Each suite will also be equipped with a voice over Internet protocol telephone system, two flat-panel televisions with high-definition IPTV and a top-of-the-line energy management system. In a Twelve Hotel lobby, a touch-screen monitor can be used to check in. Also, a virtual art gallery will be on display that features works from local galleries. Those works will be digitally displayed on flat-screen monitors that will line lobby walls.
Champion Rejoins Noble House As GM Industry veteran Greg Champion has rejoined Noble House Hotels and Resorts as general manager of LaPlaya Beach and Golf Resort. He will oversee all operations of the 189-room, boutique-style resort located directly on the Gulf of Mexico here. With more than 25 years of luxury experience, Champion most recently served as chief operating officer of Tiburon Hospitality Management, where he managed operations of the company’s three properties. Prior to that position, Champion was evp/Noble House Hotels and Resorts, where he oversaw seven properties and served as managing director of The Adolphus in Dallas, TX.
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) announced the opening of the much anticipated Crowne Plaza Asuncion in Paraguay's capital. Under a franchise agreement with Karmar, S.A., IHG now has a hotel in new territory -- adding to its portfolio of global destinations. "We are very proud to open the Crowne Plaza Asuncion in Paraguay as it marks our entry into a new country in Latin America," says Alvaro Diago, Area President, InterContinental Hotels Group Latin America. "This opening demonstrates our commitment to establishing a presence within new markets such as Asuncion, as well as our dedication to raising the bar in terms of the caliber of hotel brands available to travelers in Paraguay and throughout the region." Owned by Karmar, S.A., whose major shareholder is Osvaldo Dominguez Dibb, the Crowne Plaza Asuncion is located in the city's historic district. The two-tower hotel has a total of 74 guestrooms. The first tower, formerly the "Hotel Estella Italia" building, was fully renovated and consists of 28 guestrooms; the newly built second tower has 46 guestrooms. They are luxuriously decorated and offer the city's best views of its historical center. The Crowne Plaza Asuncion hotel amenities include two Crowne Club floors, swimming pool, fitness center, 24-hour room service, and a unique lobby bar with outdoor cafe. All guestrooms are equipped with wireless Internet access, and dual-line telephones with voice mail.
Sofitels to open in Chongqing and Qingyuan Accor has announced two new management contracts for China. They are the 230-room Sofitel Forebase Chongqing and the 360-room Sofitel Riverside Qingyuan. Both are scheduled to open in 2008. As part of a four-tower development with the city's flagship International Convention and Exhibition Center (ICEC), Sofitel Forebase Chongqing will have a 2,000m2 split-level lobby, three restaurants, a bar, business centre, swimming pool, fitness centre, spa and a multi-function meeting space. Accor claims that Sofitel Riverside Qingyuan will be the first internationally managed five-star hotel in the destination. The hotel is being developed as a weekend retreat and MICE centre for southern China and is located one hour from Guangzhou International Airport. Facilities include a 6,000m2 entertainment complex, three restaurants, two bars, two meeting rooms, two swimming pools, fitness centres, spas and a business centre.
Stephanie Mehail named Hotel Manager for The Langham Boston Stephanie Mehail has been named hotel manager for the Langham Hotel, Boston. “As Langham continues to strive to be a five star property, it is important to have a hotel manager with strong hospitality industry understanding,” said Serge Denis, managing director of the Hotel. “Stephanie’s extensive experience in hotel management and operations will enable her to be a key contributor.” Mehail brings over 15 years of experience to her new position. She joins Langham from Wyndham International, where she worked for twelve years in a variety of Wyndham locations. Most recently, she served as hotel manager at the Wyndham Boston. Mehail’s previous experience includes opening the Wyndham New York, where she was selected to oversee and convert the first Wyndham property in New York City and serve as general manager. Prior to that, she managed a variety of other Wyndham properties. Mehail attended the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She lives in Charlestown, Mass.
The new Radisson SAS EU Hotel opens in Brussels On January 16th 2006 the new Radisson SAS EU Hotel will open its doors in the heart of Brussels. Conveniently located in the heart of the European area, the newly built four-star Radisson SAS EU Hotel offers fantastic design and first class service throughout. Located immediately behind the European Parliament and Schumann area, the hotel is within walking distance of one of the main shopping districts, the exclusive “Avenue Louise” area.The new Radisson SAS EU Hotel has 149 luxurious rooms and suites with three different room styles to suit all tastes. Designed by the renowned interior designer Matteo Thun, Fresh, Chic and Fashion range from warm, contemporary and classic to daring and unconventional – combined with an unforgettable, awe-inspiring panoramic view, there is a room to suit every guest.The trendy Willards Restaurant and Bar, named after the infamous diplomatic Willards restaurant in Washington DC, will serve international specialties alongside cocktails and unique selections of wine by the glass.Furthermore the hotel offers six fully equipped meeting rooms with capacity for up to 130 delegates. Guests will have access to the fitness club with sauna, and free broadband including high-speed and wireless Internet access, which is available throughout the hotel.Nicolas Meylan, General Manager Radisson SAS EU Hotel comments: “Located in the heart of the European business area, during weekdays the Radisson SAS EU Hotel will mainly focus on European and corporate business travellers, whilst at weekends it will offer a pleasant and welcoming place to stay for tourists.”
Radisson SAS 1919 Hotel, Reykjavik has been accepted into Virtuoso Hotel & Resort program for the year 2006 !The mission of the Virtuoso Hotel & Resort Program is to bring the world´s finest properties and the best they have to offer to the world´s most knowledgeable travel agents, while representing the interest of these agents and their valued clientele to their member properties. Virtuoso is an exclusive network of more than 7,000 elite travel specialists worldwide, proving marketing, sales, technology, support and exclusive products & services to leading luxury travel agencies and the world´s best travel suppliers. Comprising more than 300 independent member agencies and their combined consumer database of one million affluent travelers, Virtuoso members generate some $3 billion annually in travel sales, making our network the most powerful in the luxury travel segment. To meet the needs of these demanding travelers, the Virtuoso Hotel & Resort Program embraces a variety of hospitality providers, each in their own way “the best of the best”.Radisson SAS 1919 Hotel, Reykjavik on the ranking list over the top 20 best business hotels in Europe!
James Courtney Appointed General Manager of the 381-room Radisson Hotel Salt Lake City Downtown in Utah Radisson Hotels & Resorts today announced that it has appointed James Courtney as the new general manager of the 381-room Radisson Hotel Salt Lake City Downtown in Utah. In this role, Courtney is responsible for the overall planning and management of guest services, product quality and financial goals. He was selected for this top position for his outstanding leadership skills and many years of experience in the hotel industry. Most recently, Courtney served as the general manager of the Radisson La Crosse in Wisconsin, in which he was directly responsible for all facets of the hotel's operations, including an offsite catering business incorporated into the adjoining Civic Center. While at this property, Courtney received the prestigious Radisson Managed Hotels & Resorts General Manager of the Year award in 2003 for increasing revenues and customer service scores while holding down employee turnover. The hotel was also honored with Radisson's managed hotel awards for highest RevPar index in 2003; customer service excellence in 2001 and 2003; and a repeat-guest rate higher than 78 percent in 2003. "The majority of my hotel industry experience has been helping hotels succeed at the local level," said Courtney. "By personally guiding hotel management teams as a general manager, and having served in a variety of operations and food and beverage roles, I have a great appreciation and understanding of what it takes for a hotel to move from good to great. My plan for this new role is to use my 25 years of hotel experience to make the Radisson Hotel Salt Lake City Downtown the hotel of choice for visitors to the area."
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