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Hotel News In Brief
Highland Hospitality Corporation a lodging real estate investment trust, or REIT, announced today the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire the 144-room Churchill Hotel in Washington, D.C . The purchase price for the hotel is $48.75 million. The Company intends to close on this acquisition within the next ten days, and has selected Crestline Hotels & Resorts, Inc. to manage the property as an independent hotel. James L. Francis, Highland's President and CEO, stated, "We are pleased to announce our impending acquisition of the Churchill in downtown Washington, D.C., currently one of the strongest lodging markets in the country. This property is well-located and boasts very large guest room and suites, averaging in excess of 525 square feet. We are acquiring this property on a favorable trailing cap rate for D.C., and with our plans increase room count through conversion of a number of two-room suites in 2006, we expect our all- in investment to be less than $300,000 per key. This hotel is well-positioned to benefit from the favorable economic fundamentals forecasted for the nation's capital." Highland Hospitality Corporation is a self-advised lodging real estate investment trust, or REIT, focused on hotel investments primarily in the United States. The Company currently owns 22 hotel properties with an aggregate of 6,564 rooms in 11 states and Mexico. Additional information can be found on the Company's website at http://www.highlandhospitality.com/ .
Badrutt's Palace Hotel in St. Moritz, Switzerland was recently honored not once, not twice, but three times by the World Travel Awards, which named the legendary grand palace hotel the "World's Leading Ski Resort" as well as "Europe's Leading Ski Resort" and "Switzerland's Leading Ski Resort" for 2005. The prestigious honors, which were announced at the World Travel Awards gala at the London Royal Opera House on November 13, are the result of one of the most comprehensive travel trade polls. According to the World Travel Awards, the results are compiled from "hundreds and thousands" of votes from "tens of thousands" of travel professionals in more than 200 countries. "This brilliant globe speaks of the quality and professionalism we've always strived for at Badrutt's Palace, as well as our close proximity to some of the most challenging Alpine skiing in the world," said Christopher Cox, Director of Sales and Marketing at Badrutt's Palace, who accepted the trophies on the hotel's behalf. "To be acknowledged three times is a tribute to all of Badrutt's hard-working and dedicated employees, as well a nod to the discerning eye of travel professionals around the world."
Macdonald Hotels, the Bathgate-based hotels group, has concluded a [GBP]34m deal to buy Edinburgh's Holyrood Hotel, plus the Cardrona Hotel, Golf and Country Club near Peebles. The acquisition of the two hotels, which Macdonald currently manages and had a shareholding in each, gives Macdonald all the shares in Holyrood Hotels Limited, and a majority holding in Cardrona Hotel, Golf and Country Club Limited. Macdonald has asked one of the original shareholders, Tom Renwick, to remain a partner, while also inviting him to become chairman of the Cardrona company. The group said it intends to invest some [GBP]4m, most of which will be spent at Holyrood, which Donald Macdonald, executive chairman, has called "a jewel in our crown". The makeover will aim at moving the hotel towards becoming a five-star property; the restaurant and bar area will be upgraded and the bedrooms will be refurbished. The 156-bedroom Holyrood is situated in the heart of Edinburgh's Old Town. Built four years ago, it is adjacent to the Scottish Parliament and is within walking distance of Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, and Princes Street. At Cardrona, the ground floorwill be extended with the addition of a conservatory restaurant. New staff accommodation will be created, plus a timeshare development. The 100-plus bedroom hotel is situated on the banks of the River Tweed just three miles east of Peebles. Its golf course was designed by the renowned Dave Thomas, who also designed The Belfry course in Warwickshire.
Days Inn Hotel Opens in Prince Albert A strong 2005 continued for Days Inns - Canada as it opened its sixth property of the year, a new-construction, 80-room hotel in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan."We are proud to be part of such a strong, growing and well recognized brand in Canada, which is why this is our second new construction Days Inn," said Shaun Ng, Owner and General Manager, Days Inn - Prince Albert . "We are also delighted to offer an upscale Days Inn to the corporate traveller. Our guests will enjoy the complimentary business features we provide, including a fully equipped business centre, free high-speed Internet, free local calls and Conference suites with boardrooms."Located at 150 34th Street, the four-storey Days Inn - Prince Albert features an indoor pool with a three-storey waterslide and whirlpool, fitness room, a 24-hour business centre with computers, high-speed Internet access, printer and fax machine. The hotel also features on-site guest laundry and free parking.
WW Group Holdings, Inc. is announcing an agreement with Hyatt Hotels Corporation and Hyatt Development Corporation as a part of its plans to develop and construct a 210-room luxury hotel and condominium building as the center-point of Liberty Harbor, along the Intra-Coastal waterway in historic and scenic Brunswick, Georgia -- the Gateway to Georgia's Golden Isles. Liberty Harbor is a planned multi-use development on a 110-acre parcel on Liberty Point, formerly the home of the J.A. Jones Shipyard, where 99 Liberty and Victory Ships were constructed and launched to aid Allied efforts during World War II.A planned group of 1800 luxury condominiums will rise in two towers, as well as smaller mid-rise clusters on either side of the planned Hyatt Regency, offering breath-taking views of thousands of acres of waterfront, the historic Marshes of Glynn, as well as the Intra-Coastal waterway and nearby Atlantic Ocean. "We went looking for a world-class hotelier to serve as our partner, someone who understands all the best of southern hospitality and who possesses all the international flair and luxury travel expertise represented by Hyatt Hotels," said Gary Waxman, Chairman and CEO of WW Group Holdings, the lead developers of Liberty Harbor. The planned Hyatt Regency at Liberty Harbor will include a full service spa and health club, two destination restaurants, Atlantic Ocean beach access in partnership with the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, and use of a nearby 18-hole championship golf course. The hotel will include approximately 15,000 square feet of meeting and event space, as well as 100 hotel rooms and more than 50 separate branded condo-hotel units. Hyatt Hotels & Resorts will manage and operate the intended four-star property for 15 years.
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, announced its official partnership with the Beijing-based charity organization "Care for Children ". Shangri-La is Care for Children's first and only hotel group corporate partner. Focusing on fostering Chinese orphans into Chinese families, Care for Children's slogan is "One in Ten" - a vision of placing one million Chinese orphans into foster families by 2010. Shangri-La will support Care for Children by leveraging its substantial network, providing financial assistance through guest donation programmes, sponsoring venues for charity's events and workshops, and launching a series of grassroots initiatives through 2006. For further information about Care for Children, please visit its website at www.careforchildren.com.cn .
InterContinental Hotels Group has opened Express by Holiday Inn Causeway Bay in Hong Kong. The new hotel is strategically located next to the popular Times Square mall, in the heart of bustling Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island. The 29-storey newly-built hotel features 269 modern guest rooms equipped with broadband Internet access and satellite TV, as well as a business centre and two meeting rooms. Express by Holiday Inn Causeway Bay is InterContinental Hotels Group's fourth hotel in Hong Kong. The group also manages the Holiday Inn Golden Mile, the InterContinental Hong Kong and the InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong in the Special Administrative Region.
Jinjiang Group, China's largest hotel operator, expects to list its best assets in Hong Kong next year to fund an overseas expansion, according to the China Daily. The newspaper said Jinjiang Group owns three companies listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, including Jinjiang International Hotels Development Co Ltd, which runs 80 hotels and owns a 20 per cent stake in Jinjiang Star Hotels, the country's first budget hotel chain.
Mandarin Oriental to Manage Second Property in Macau A second luxury hotel in Macau will be part of a mixed-use complex, soon to be developed on a prime site on the Macau waterfront. The overall project, which will be owned and developed through a joint venture between Shun Tak Holdings and Hongkong Land, is scheduled to open in 2009. The 2.6 million square foot mixed-use project will comprise a residential development, an extensive upscale retail centre, serviced apartments and a state-of-the-art Mandarin Oriental Hotel. The development will be directly connected to the MGM Grand Casino. Mandarin Oriental's second property in Macau will be designed as a chic, intimate and contemporary hotel, featuring 210 spacious guestrooms including 42 suites, all of which feature panoramic views of Macau.
Emaar And ONA On The Road To Morocco Real estate developer Emaar Properties and industrial and financial group ONA are to make their second trip together to ONA’s native Morocco. They have given themselves five years from the first quarter of 2006 to build another in their series of residential and golfing communities. Bahia Bay is a US$1.2 billion 530-hectare development near the western city of Casablanca that will feature two hotels among the assortment of buildings.
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