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New General Manager at Golden Tulip Manchester Golden Tulip UK, the hotel development and franchise company, has appointed Robin MacGilchrist as general manager of the Golden Tulip Manchester. He joins from the Crown Hotel in Harrogate where he held a similar post Robin has some 35 years experience of hotel management and is a former deputy manager at Gleneagles and general manager at the Royal York Hotel - York. He also spent nine years at De Vere plc as general manager of The Village hotel and Leisure Club in Hyde and Leeds. He has had responsibility for The Lion Hotel Shrewsbury, The Telford Golf and Country Club and the Blackwell Grange Hotel in Darlington. Andrew Silver, commercial director at Golden Tulip UK which is part of Golden Tulip Hotels Inns & Resorts, said: “Robin is a top class hotelier who has held senior posts in the industry. I am confident his extensive knowledge will prove a real asset at the hotel.”
Four Seasons Vail Project Breaks Ground Developers will break ground today on the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail here, the luxury hotel chain's first outpost in Colorado, according to a published report. The $200-million project, located on a 2.7-acre site just southwest of the main Vail roundabout, will feature 120 hotel rooms, 16 private residences and 19 fractional units. Black Diamond Resorts-Vail LLC is the project's developer. The Four Seasons, expected to open in June 2008, will also feature more than 11,000 sf of meeting space, a grand ballroom, a spa, a restaurant and four retail shops. Slifer, Smith Frampton Real Estate in Vail will handle the sale of the wholly owned residences, and Playground Destination Properties, a division of Intrawest Corp., will sell the fractional units. Playground is based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Sales are expected to launch in January. Vail is undergoing a $1-billion revitalization financed by the town, Vail Resorts Inc. and private developers. Vail Resorts announced in June that it plans to build a 108-room Ritz-Carlton Residences, a luxury condominium project, in Lionshead Village. Coincidentally, the published report also revealed that a 50-story Four Seasons hotel and condominium project also is proposed for downtown Denver and would become the second in Colorado. The proposed Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences would be built by Teatro Tower LLC, whose principals are Hotel Teatro developers Jeff Selby and Michael Brenneman.
Shangri-La Seychelles opens in 2007 The luxury resort will occupy its own private island – the nine-hectare Long Island, off the coast of Mahe in Northeast Seychelles. Shangri-La Resort and Spa will be 25 minutes from the airport and 10 minutes by boat to the capital city of Victoria. Not only will Long Island be dedicated to Shangri-La guests, further exclusivity is assured by Shangri-La’s boutique hotel size of 55 villas, with a total of 100 spacious suites. Located on the Western side of the island will be 32 one-bedroom villas; seven two-bedroom villas; 15 four-suite villas; and a presidential villa. All villas, by Budapest-based Fazakas Gyorgy Architects Ltd. and Dubai-based Interior Motives interior designers, will feature infinity-edged plunge pools facing the ocean, spacious sundecks and outdoor showers, all set amidst meandering pathways through lush island foliage. A funicular -- a first for both Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts and the Seychelles -- will transport guests to CHI spa, poised on the island’s central hilltop. CHI, Shangri-La’s signature spa brand, is designed to create a sanctuary of tranquility inspired by the legend of Shangri-La. Therapies are based on the ancient healing traditions, philosophies and rituals of China and the Himalayas. The funicular will also stop at the island’s hilltop wedding chapel, accommodating up to 30 people for weddings, vow renewals and blessing ceremonies. Both spa and chapel will offer 360 degree Indian Ocean views.Waterborne guests will arrive at an open-air lobby with panoramic ocean views. Dining options will include a lobby lounge and bar, all-day coffee shop, specialty restaurant and poolside bar. Additional facilities will include a kids’ club, internet room and fitness centre. An island library will be available for solitary, leisurely reading or small gatherings up to 75 people.
Benchmark Hospitality Assumes Management of Two Historic Long Island Properties Danfords on the Sound and Montauk Yacht Club Resort & Marina The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, December 13, 2005 … Benchmark Hospitality International, which manages 28 award-winning resorts, conference centers and hotels in the United States and Japan, announced the addition of two historic Long Island, New York, properties yesterday: Danfords on the Sound, located in Port Jefferson, New York, and Montauk Yacht Club Resort & Marina of Montauk, New York. "I would like to personally welcome both Danfords on the Sound and Montauk Yacht Club Resort & Marina and their employees into the Benchmark Hospitality family," said Burt Cabañas, founder, chairman & chief executive officer of Benchmark Hospitality International. "Benchmark has a long-standing relationship with the owner of these two properties, and we are confident that we can work toward the long-term goals that have been established for both locations." Danfords on the Sound - Danfords on the Sound is situated in the heart of historic Port Jefferson, New York, on the harbor off Long Island Sound. Just one hour from Manhattan and with direct ferry access to Bridgeport, Connecticut, the elegant property features 86 guestrooms and suites, located in 14 charming lodge buildings. The original building dates to the early 1800s and served a variety of uses before being converted into a lodge in 1986. The property exudes a New England-style ambiance and is accented with exquisite antiques and accessories. Danfords on the Sound features a New American-style restaurant, The American Bistro, which in addition to superb dining offers guests striking views of Long Island Sound. The property provides after-hours activities in the Aqua Nightclub and Blue VIP Lounge. A spa and salon are also available for the convenience and enjoyment of guests. Several meeting and banquet rooms are available for corporate and social gatherings. These include ten stately and beautifully appointed conference rooms, which can accommodate up to 200 guests and offer the most current meeting technology. Complimentary WiFi access is also available to guests of the property.
Opening: Kabul Serena Hotel At the beginning of November, the Aga Khan Development Network celebrated the opening of the restored and expanded Kabul Serena Hotel, formerly the Kabul Hotel, in Afghanistan.
U.S. Virgin Islands Announces Major St. Croix Resort Development St. Croix poised for tourism boom, economic development Lt. Governor Vargrave Richards unveiled plans for a major new hotel and resort development on the island of St. Croix at a news conference at Government House today. The project will encompass more than 2,500 acres and will be valued at more than $500 million at its completion. The new hotel/resort development will be located on the island’s north shore, at Annaly Bay, just west of the Carambola Beach Resort. The Throgmartin Company, a family-owned, Florida-based corporation, will be the lead developer of Annaly Bay. Between 800 and 1,000 new hotel rooms will be constructed in this premier St. Croix resort, which will also feature an equestrian center, golf academy and commercial village containing shops, dining, entertainment and services. The project will broaden St. Croix’s tourist base by offering a unique collection of attractions and services, including a conference center that will attract important business clients to the U.S. Virgin Islands. Lt. Governor Richards also identified the project as a catalyst for economic revitalization of St. Croix. By raising the number of hotel rooms to pre-Hurricane Hugo levels, the development will contribute approximately 1,500 permanent new jobs on St. Croix.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. and Ryan Companies US, Inc. announce the opening of the first Sheraton prototype design hotel in Minneapolis, MN. The 136-room Sheraton Minneapolis Midtown is located in the emerging master development of Midtown Exchange, a $190 million unique mixed-use redevelopment led by Ryan Companies that includes office space, residential units and the Midtown Global Market. Midtown Exchange also houses Allina Commons, the headquarters for Minnesota’s largest not-for-profit healthcare provider, Allina Hospitals & Clinics. The hotel, connected via sky walk to Abbott Northwestern and Children’s hospitals, is owned by Ryan Companies and managed by Wischermann Partners. ”We are thrilled to celebrate the opening of this hotel in such an important market as Minneapolis. This specially-designed hotel is indeed perfect fit for Midtown Exchange and is just the type of development we had in mind for the Sheraton prototype design,” said Joe Gelchion, senior vice president, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. “To actually see and feel all of the great work and planning that our Sheraton design team has put in to this outstanding first hotel gives us a huge sense of pride and confidence in the success of our prototype program.” “The Sheraton Minneapolis Midtown will serve this market very well with its smart and efficient design and its energetic interior,” said Collin Barr, vice president of development, Ryan Companies. “We are so pleased to have the Sheraton name associated with our project as the perfect compliment and an important component to the entire development.” Midtown Exchange, formerly a Sears retail and catalog warehouse, was built in 1928 and is on the national Register of Historic Places. The redevelopment carefully followed the historic preservation guidelines. The Sheraton Minneapolis Midtown features urban architecture with a 19th century American park design boasting vibrant public areas. All guest rooms are graced with Sheraton’s signature Sweet Sleepersm Bed which includes a plush top mattress, down pillows, crisp sheets, and duvets in rich, solid colors with a simple patterned design. Guest rooms also feature an expansive 12-foot work area; LCD televisions; oversized bathrooms with double-frosted glass doors at entry and frameless glass shower stalls. Other guest services will include the Sheraton Club Level with upgraded room amenities and an exclusive Club Lounge. One and two bedroom suites offer a warm fireplace and oversized soaking tub and/or wet bar.
Seasoned hospitality executive Hansjoerg Maissen has been named general manager of The Island Hotel Newport Beach – a luxury 20-story, 295-room property situated in the heart of the Newport Beach and Orange County business districts. Maissen most recently managed Pelican Hill and Oak Creek golf clubs for The Irvine Company – longtime owners and developers of the newly renamed The Island Hotel Newport Beach. As general manager, Maissen will oversee all day-to-day operations for The Island, as well as direct the re-positioning of the property, which until recently was managed by Four Seasons. According to Terry Petty, president of resort properties for The Irvine Company, Maissen was selected based on his extensive expertise and first-hand knowledge of the personalized services and amenities offered in the ultra luxury market. “Hans notices every detail and we are confident that, with his leadership, The Island Hotel will deliver the highest quality experience to its many guests,” Petty stated. Starting his career in his father’s restaurant in Switzerland, Maissen worked his way up the ranks in hospitality positions around the globe. He ultimately managed some of the world’s finest hotels, including Grand Hotel du Cap-Ferrat in the South of France and Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans. Maissen was also regional director for Marriott Hotels-Saudi Arabia; opening general manager for the Athens Ledra Marriott Hotel in Greece; and food and beverage director for the Trusthouse Forte Group of 380 hotels. Accruing numerous awards and accolades over the years, he earned the Medal of Tourisme in 1984 from the French Government; and was named General Manager of the Year by the “Master Guide.” In addition, the “American Travel Digest Publication” has named Maissen one of the “World’s Fifty Best Hoteliers” three times. Swiss-born, he is a graduate of the Zurich Hotel School and speaks four languages.
PT Bintan Resort Cakrawala attains Health Award from Indonesian Government. PT Bintan Resort Cakrawala , an Indonesian - incorporated company responsible for the development and operation of Bintan Resorts, has won the prestigious Health Field Award (for Riau archipelago) by Indonesia’s Health Ministry. The Manggala Karya Bakti Husada Arutala Award is in recognition of PT BRC’s collaborations with Indonesian health authorities in having carried out numerous long-term activities in the field of malaria prevention, improvement of environmental quality and betterment of health in the surrounding areas.Chin Chow Yoon, Vice President-Director of PT BRC, will be receiving the award from Indonesia’s Health Minister, Siti Fadilah Supari, in a presentation ceremony in West Java today. Said Mr. Chin: “We are honoured and delighted to receive the Health Field Award in conjunction with Indonesia’s 41st National Health Day 2005. As a tourism company that understands the importance of environment, health and community development, we have worked well with the local health authorities in implementing significant activities.
Banyan Tree Bangkok recently re-launched its suites and restaurants after four months of major refurbishment. The city’s tallest all suite business hotel now boasts 50 stunning Banyan Tree Club Suites with fresh new looks and two new and trendy restaurants for dining enthusiasts. General Manager of Banyan Tree Bangkok, Mr. Bernold O. Schroeder said, “As the top business hotel in Bangkok and a Sanctuary for the Senses, Banyan Tree Bangkok is moving forward to maintain our competitive edge with world-class facilities and services that will capture the imagination of our guests. With the re-launch of these new restaurants, we offer a unique dining experience at your doorstep, capturing the fusion flavours and authentic cuisines from around the world. We are certain that these new facilities and higher level of service will continue to delight and enthuse our guests.“ Wine and Dine In Style -Taihei , a trendy split- level Japanese restaurant with mesmerising panoramic views, introduces a new dimension to elegant modern Japanese cuisine. With a seating capacity of 90 guests, Taihei offers Sake and exquisite Yakitori dishes on the 53rd floor and Teppanyaki on the 54th floor. The Sake Bar holds an impressive selection of 100 types of sake, which makes it one of the largest collections in South East Asia. At the same time, Banyan Tree Group’s signature Saffron , a contemporary Thai restaurant, will be relaunched on the 51st and 52nd floors. It continues to serve cutting-edge authentic Thai cuisine that finely balances the best of East and West. Its centrepiece is a sky deck on the 51st floor with magnificent views of metropolitan Bangkok. One of the hotly anticipated new restaurants, PIER 59, a seafood haven on the 59th floor, is scheduled to open in January 2006. Inspired by the success of the award-winning Vertigo, the restaurant will offer innovative Asian, Middle Eastern and European cuisine with a unique take on fresh, delightful seafood and an extensive wine list. Flanked by a beautiful jellyfish tank and cool water columns, PIER 59 will provide guests with a unique underwater ambience from its vantage point in the sky. Brand New Facilities - Adding to the formidable array of business and leisure facilities at Banyan Tree Bangkok is a new and spacious ballroom that can accommodate up to 250 persons on the 10th floor. The ballroom is scheduled for completion in early 2007.
Come April 2006, the opening of Banyan Tree Lijiang in China heralds the introduction of Yunnan as the next exhilarating travel destination. The majestic Banyan Tree Lijiang, built in Naxi courtyard style, is the latest addition to the Singapore-based group’s collection of luxury resorts, following the group’s successful launch of Banyan Tree Ringha , Shangri-la in September 2005. An exclusive 5-day Spirit of Yunnan package has been specially designed to introduce guests to the stunning wonders of Lijiang and Ringha, which offer bountiful opportunities to glimpse the legendary culture and rarely explored natural attractions of the mountainous region. Adventure Trail - Attractively priced from US$ 510++ daily per couple, the Spirit of Yunnan package inclusive of accommodation in a beautiful Banyan Tree Lijiang Garden Villa for two nights and a rustic Banyan Tree Ringha Tibetan Suite for the remaining two nights. Guests are greeted and transferred in style upon arrival at Lijiang Airport to Banyan Tree Lijiang, where they embark on a tour of the Black Dragon Pool Park and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lijiang Old Town. The package also includes a pampering 90-minute massage session for each guest at the award-winning Banyan Tree Spa. On the third day, the scenic transfer from Banyan Tree Lijiang to Banyan Tree Ringha includes a stopover at Tiger Leaping Gorge, a steep cliff located between the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain of Lijiang and the Haba Snow Mountain of Shangri-La. This deepest gorge in the world takes the breath away with its echo of gushing rapids from the Golden Sands River below. Upon arrival at Banyan Tree Ringha, guests are presented with a choice of five Banyan Tree Adventure Treks, with varying levels of difficulty and interaction with the local Tibetan folk. On the last day, guests complete the package with a departure transfer from Banyan Tree Ringha to Diqing Airport.
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