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Hotel News In Brief
Greg Brown has been named general manager of the 385-room Hilton Boston Back Bay . A veteran Hilton employee for 26 years, Brown arrives in Boston after a five-month temporary assignment as general manager of the Doubletree Plymouth Meeting. Prior to that, he had served since 1999 as general manager of the 496-room Hilton Alexandria Mark Center. Brown started his career with Hilton in 1979 as director of guest services at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. From there, he held successively challenging positions at the Hilton Rye Town (New York), Hilton McLean (Virginia), Fontainebleau Hilton in Miami and Hilton New Orleans Riverside. In 1992, he became resident manager of the Hilton Atlanta and Towers before landing his first general manager role with the Flamingo Casino in Kansas City, a riverboat casino. In 1997 he became general manager of the Hilton San Francisco Airport, and then assumed a position in corporate management with Hilton Hotels Corporation as director of front office systems, where he led a user project team developing new front office systems for Hilton. In 1999, he returned on-property as general manager of the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center. A native of Virginia, Brown attended the United States Naval Academy and the University of Maryland. He served as a midshipman for the United States Navy from 1975 to 1978. "We are pleased to welcome Greg to Boston, and wish him much luck in his new role with the Hilton Boston Back Bay," said Roger Swadish, area vice president - Northeast, Hilton Hotels Corporation.
Hospitality veteran Mark Lesser has joined the historic Eastland Park Hotel in Portland, Maine, as general manager. The Eastland Park is managed by the Rhode Island-based Magna Hospitality Group LC. Lesser most recently served as general manager of the Holiday Inn at JFK International Airport in New York. In his new role at the Eastland Park, he will oversee the hotel’s day-to-day operations. The hotel features 18,000 square feet of meeting space, 202 newly renovated guest rooms, an upscale restaurant called Adeline’s Grille, the renowned Top of the East Lounge, and a Concierge Club Level with a complimentary business center. The top-floor lounge offers breathtaking views of Portland’s waterfront. “My goal is to help take the Eastland Park to the AAA Four Diamond and Mobil Four-Star level,” Lesser said. “This hotel has been a treasured landmark in downtown Portland for 75 years. It’s the ideal gathering place for business and leisure travelers, as well as meeting and social groups. The hotel’s elegant ballroom has become Portland’s premier location for weddings.” Lesser began his career in 1974 as a sales professional for a California resort. After that, he served as general manager for the Helmsley Carlton Hotel and the Doral Park Avenue Hotel in New York City. During his stint at the Holiday Inn at JFK Airport, which began in 2004, Lesser led the property to an occupancy of 88.5 percent. Lesser has served as a member of the PR Committee for the New York Hotel Association. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Monmouth College in New Jersey and studied advertising and public relations at The New School in New York.
Beverly Hilton Plans Hotel And Condo Expansion The Beverly Hilton Hotel has commissioned Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects, LLC, to develop a plan that will add regular hotel rooms, condo hotel units, and pure condo residences to the site of the existing 570-room hotel. The initial draft of the plan will be completed by next month, when the hotel plans to submit it to the Beverly Hills planning board, according to Theodore Kahan, president of Oasis West Realty, asset manager of the property on behalf of Beverly Hilton owner Alagem Capital Group.Plans for the nine-acre site are likely to include construction of a tower that will accommodate a mix of additional hotel rooms, condo hotel units that would participate in the hotel inventory, and pure condominium residences that would be owner occupied. Owners would have access to hotel services, ranging from room service to spa and fitness facilities. A final decision has not yet been made on the number of each kind of unit that will be submitted to the planning board for approval. The site currently includes an above-ground parking garage and other low-rise structures that could be demolished to allow further space for new construction. Kahan also declined to speculate as to when the proposed project might break ground or be ready to open. Like other high-visibility destinations, Beverly Hills has high barriers to entry that include a dearth of land available for development and aggressive zoning restrictions.
The Radisson SAS Alcron Hotel rewarded for its excellent food With the end of the year approaching, we received great news. The Czech gourmet guide, Grand Restaurants 2006, listed the fine-dining Alcron Restaurant in second place in the Top 20 Best Restaurants in the Czech Republic. The Alcron restaurant was especially acknowledged for its excellent food, which is superbly prepared by Executive Chef Jiri Stift and his team. The restaurant, which specializes in fish and seafood, has received many awards since its opening in 2000, including the prestigious Five Star Diamond Award from the American Hospitality Sciences in New York. The restaurant has also been previously listed among the Top 20 restaurants in this same guide.The Alcron’s inclusion in this guide is not the only good new we received. The Art Deco La Rotonde Restaurant, featuring international and local dishes and offering special seasonal and other dining promotions throughout the year, was listed in the same Grand Restaurants 2006 Guide in fifth place in the Top 20 Best Restaurants within the country.
Aristocrat Hotel In Dallas To Become Hotel Indigo The Aristocrat Hotel— on the corner of Main Street at Harwood Avenue— will become Hotel Indigo, a boutique hotel chain franchised by InterContinental Hotels Group, according to published reports. Under the Hotel Indigo flag, hotel rooms will cost $130 to $140 a night— at the higher end of the downtown hotel market. Renovations began soon after the 14-story Aristocrat was acquired by Richmond, VA-based Bijoy L.L.C. in August. Bijoy is spending $5 million on the hotel conversion, which will be complete by spring 2006. Texas is set to have several Hotel Indigos, including one in downtown Fort Worth, where the Clarion Hotel is being converted to a Hotel Indigo by Lubbock-based Pearl Investments. To date, the only other cities with Hotel Indigos are Atlanta, with one, and Chicago, with two. The Aristocrat is an ideal match for the hotel chain, which targets existing hotels, Anhut said.
First extended-stay hotel for Elkhart brings 65 suites to community InterContinental Hotels Group announced today that the new Candlewood Suites Elkhart North has opened, representing another addition to the midscale brand's portfolio of extended-stay hotels. This is the first Candlewood Suites hotel to be built in Elkhart and the first extended-stay hotel for the community. There are now two Candlewood Suites hotels with nearly 200 guestrooms in the state of Indiana with the addition of the Candlewood Suites Elkhart North. The InterContinental Hotels Group portfolio in Indiana is represented by five of its brands, including the full service, limited service, upscale extended stay and mid-scale extended stay segments with more than 70 hotels and nearly 8,000 rooms. Guests at the new Candlewood Suites Elkhart North can take advantage of the hotel's just-like-home complimentary amenities, including high-speed internet access, free local phone calls, free on-site guest laundry and a 24-hour fitness center. Unique to Candlewood Suites, guests can also enjoy the convenience of the Candlewood Cupboard®, where a variety of beverages, breakfast items, snacks, frozen entrees and sundries can be purchased on the honor system at any time, as well as the Gazebo Grill where guests can enjoy cooking out as they would at home. Additionally, guests of the Candlewood Suites Elkhart North can visit the Lending Library, where movies and music are available for use in guestrooms, which all feature a VCR/DVD and CD player. "Candlewood Suites hotels are carefully designed to meet the particular needs of longer-staying guests," said Gina LaBarre, vice president, Brand Management, Candlewood Suites. "When business or personal matters require travel for a week or more, guests find that the design of our guest suites and the amenities we provide allow them to live comfortably and keep a daily routine similar to that of home." Standard Candlewood Suites guestrooms feature studio or one-bedroom suite floor plans with a full kitchen, large workspace with comfortable desk chair and overhead lighting, overstuffed recliner, VCR/DVD and CD player and two-line telephones with voice mail. Other hotel amenities include a fitness center, business center, 24-hour front desk, express checkout, complimentary parking, same day laundry and valet and complimentary USA Today newspapers.
“Chisun Inn Sendai Izumi Inter” Opens The First Newly Constructed Hotel for the Solare Hotels & Resorts Group On December 2, 2005, Solare Hotels & Resorts Co. Ltd. (Head Office: Minato Ward, Tokyo; President: A. G. Virili) officially opened the group’s first newly built hotel, “Chisun Inn Sendai Izumi Inter” in Izumi Ward, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture. The new opening brings the Solare Group’s Portfolio to 40 hotels with 7,914 guestrooms. “Chisun Inn Sendai Izumi Inter” offers specialized roadside accommodations and is located near the large heavily used interchange where Tohoku Expressway and the Route 4 intersect. The surrounding area has a number of new and on-going developments, which include a new indoor baseball stadium and a large industrial estate. “Chisun Inn Sendai Izumi Inter” will become one of a relatively small choice of accommodation options in the vicinity targeting business travelers and route salesmen. The hotel also hopes to attract families and younger people traveling on a limited budget. Placing the needs of the guest first, functionality and convenience have been prioritized in the design of the hotel and its’ facilities. For the business traveler, automatic check-in is available and some guestrooms are complete with bunk beds for family use. Car parking is available for 60 cars adjacent to the Hotel. While the Hotel offers breakfast service only, two restaurants will be opening adjacent to the hotel in mid December –a Sushi restaurant and an Italian restaurant – “Chisun Inn Sendai Izumi Inter” offers the following differentiating facilities: Automatic check-in machine - Large bath tub - Double and Queen size beds - Free broadband Internet connectivity - Video on demand (VOD) TV (pay-per-view) - Odor absorbing wallpaper - Bunk beds in some guestrooms. Solare Hotels & Resorts foresees high growth in the roadside accommodation market and looks ahead to developing this highly profitable category into the future as demand increases.
InterContinental Hotels Group announced today that the Crowne Plaza Muscat can offer its guests access to a private beach . The development, which stretches the hotel’s upmarket 5-star service beyond the lush green surrounds, down to the water’s edge, is a first in the stunning beachfront property’s long history. With the private beach open for visitors from the beginning of November, it is planned that the hotel will offer a variety of beachfront activities in the near future. The first major development to occur on the waterside will be the addition of comfortable sun lounges and the inclusion of restaurants and restaurant service. In the next few months, the overall appearance of the beach will be upgraded with fresh sand to be deposited before the end of the year. With the private beach now part of the unique cliff-top hotel’s portfolio, the magnificent property – which boasts the most breathtaking views of the Gulf of Oman – expects the secluded new beach to be extremely popular with guests looking for relaxation and amazing views from their holiday. “The Crowne Plaza Muscat is one of the country’s best known properties and our guests regularly tell us that we have a reputation for being one of the ultimate holiday destinations in the Gulf. As one of the longest-serving hotels in the country, we are thrilled to be able to provide our guests with a new, secluded and private beach.” said Kevork Deldelian, General Manager of Crowne Plaza Muscat. Having spent the day enjoying the sun, sand and sea on the private beach of the Crowne Plaza Muscat, guests can return to the hotel, set in 10 acres of lush landscaped gardens, and unwind in one of the 200-plus elegantly appointed and refurbished rooms.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announces a construction commencement on a $40-million 203-room Westin Beale Street Hotel in Memphis, TN . Located directly across from the FedExForum, home of the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA and the University of Memphis Tigers basketball team, The Westin Beale Street will be Tennessee's first Westin and the first upper-upscale branded hotel to be built in the Memphis metro area in more than twenty years. The hotel will be managed by Senate, franchised as a Westin under a long-term license agreement and is expected to be completed during the first quarter 2007. "We are thrilled to add The Westin Beale Street to our fast-growing portfolio of hotels and to be present in such a vibrant and energetic section of Memphis," said Sue Brush, senior vice president of Westin Hotels & Resorts. "We look forward to offering Westin's distinctive renewal experience to business, group and leisure travelers." "This is going to be an exceptional hotel in an exceptional area of Memphis," said Dave Jones, president and CEO of Senate Hospitality Group. "We selected the Westin brand because it has by far the most to offer - their amenities are incomparable in the industry. And, of course, everyone appreciates the significance of Beale Street and its impact on the American scene. It's easy to understand why we are so obviously excited." The hotel has been planned by its developers to be an oasis for NBA teams who spend so much time on the road and spend too many nights in hotels unequipped to provide special amenities for athletes many of whom stand at least 6-6 and weigh more than 240 pounds. Special provisions have been made to appeal to NBA teams including a special floor with taller ceilings and doors, shower heads mounted to accommodate NBA players and a configuration of suites to serve the special needs of an NBA team. Representing the best of service, style and comfort for today's affluent professional business and leisure travelers, The Westin Beale Street will boast a glass and natural stone lobby, communicating classic elegance immediately upon arrival. Guests will continue this luxurious experience with elegantly styled guest rooms featuring the brand's signature Heavenly Bed(R), a spacious work area and contemporary flat screen HDTV's. The oversized, elegantly appointed four fixture bathroom features a frameless glass shower with dual showerhead, granite and chrome vanity and slate flooring. Other guest services include a WestinWORKOUT(R) Powered by Reebok fitness facility and WestinWORKOUT guest rooms.
Listed hotelier Tourism Hotels & Leisure has announced it will add two new hotels to its Australian operations. The company has secured the operating rights to the 75-room Pacific International Suites Warrnambool in Victoria and will also rebadge Melbourne's 86-room Cosmopolitan St Kilda Hotel. THL will operate the St Kilda hotel as the Tulip Inn Cosmopolitan. The company secured the rights to the Golden Tulip brand in January when it took a 30 per cent stake in the Netherlands' Golden Tulip Hotels, Inns & Resorts. At the same time Golden Tulip took a 19.9 per cent holding in THL. As previously announced, THL has also contracted to operate the refurbished 280-room Golden Tulip Melbourne hotel, which is expected to open early next year. THL joint managing director Simon Wan said the company would have 57 properties in Australia and Asia following the announced rollout. ''The new signings are evidence of the company's faith and commitment in the Australian economy,'' Mr Wan said. THL also announced yesterday that it would open a 244-room resort south of Bangkok, Thailand, in May next year. In October, THL announced it had contracted to operate and manage the Grand Pacific resort in north Queensland's Port Douglas. The 288-room resort is being developed by the Coral Garden Ventures partnership and is expected to open in late 2007. Mr Wan said the combined portfolios of THL and the Golden Tulip Group made up the 14th-largest hotel network in the world, controlling more than 500 hotels across 42 countries.
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