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Scandic acquires Rica Hotels to add 72 new hotels in Norway and Sweden
Scandic has entered into an agreement to acquire Rica Hotels, which adds 72 Rica hotels to its existing portfolio and strengthens its position across the Nordic region.
Currently Scandic has 151 hotels in the Nordic region, including 19 in Norway, while Rica Hotels' portfolio currently includes 65 hotels in Norway and 7 in Sweden.
The Rivelsrud family, which currently owns Rica Hotels, will continue its involvement in the hotel sector through Rica Eiendom Holding. This company owns 20 of the hotel properties in the Rica Hotels portfolio, which will continue to be operated with Scandic as leaseholder.
Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard, London to open in May
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts announced Shangri-La Hotel, at The Shard, London will open 6 May 2014. Located on the historic South Bank of the River Thames in the 306-metre-high, glass-clad Shard, the hotel will be the Hong Kong-based luxury hotel group's third in Europe, following debuts in Paris in 2010 and Istanbul in 2013.
As the tallest hotel in Western Europe and the first high-rise hotel in London, the Shangri-La occupies levels 34 to 52 of the 72-storey Shard. Its contemporary interior design complements Renzo Piano's masterful architecture and the breathtaking views unfold in all directions revealing iconic landmarks such as St. Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge and the Houses of Parliament.
Every detail of the hotel environment has been taken into consideration - from the extensive collection of original artworks on display to the spectacular grand staircase sweeping across double length floor‑to‑ceiling windows, linking levels 34 and 35 within the hotel's sky lobby.
Guests will be escorted in a high-speed elevator from the hotel's dedicated entrance on St. Thomas Street to the sky lobby on level 35. Subtle Asian touches in the lobby and lobby lounge will reflect Shangri-La's heritage, while modern and classic art with pieces from a mix of acclaimed Asian and British artists are showcased throughout public areas.
The hotel's 202 guestrooms and suites will open from levels 36 to 50 and are amongst the largest in London. Because of The Shard's spiral shape, each of the guestrooms and suites, which range from 30 to 188 square metres, is individual in layout and design. All feature floor‑to‑ceiling windows and views across the city, marble-clad bathrooms with heated floors, separate bathtubs, Acqua di Parma amenities and mirrors with integrated television screens. Over a third of these bathrooms have city views.
Deluxe, Premier and Grand Premier guestrooms and suites offer northerly views towards the City and London's most famous landmarks. Superior guestrooms and suites enjoy vistas over the vibrant areas of the south and towards the historic counties of Kent, Surrey and Sussex.
Some of the most stunning views are from the hotel's three signature suites that will be unveiled in September. All signature suites overlook St. Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge and down river towards the O2 Arena. The jewel in the crown is the Shangri-La Suite, situated on level 39, providing 180-degree views of London. From the Palace of Westminster and Big Ben to the Tower of London, the view encompasses the River Thames with the Canary Wharf, Tate Modern, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and Maritime Greenwich dotted along the meandering waterway.
The hotel will feature three wining and dining venues. GŎNG, London's highest bar on level 52, takes its name from 'dougong' - an ancient Chinese structural element of interlocking wooden brackets that will be a component of the bar's interior. TĪNG, derived from the Chinese word for a living room, is the signature restaurant and lounge on level 35 and LÁNG - the Chinese word for 'pathway' - is an artisan deli on the ground floor. Level 52 will also be home to a 24-hour gym and London's highest infinity pool, and along with GŎNG, level 52 will duly open from 1 July.
Three river-facing event spaces on level 34 offer views and state-of-the-art conferencing technology along with catering services. The largest of the venues, Ren, accommodates up to 140 guests; the other two, Yi and Li, can hold up to 10 and 35 guests, respectively. The grand staircase connecting levels 34 and 35, with its vista of St. Paul's Cathedral and beyond, will be a picture-perfect location for wedding photography.
TI'ME adds hotels in Luxor, Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Ajman
TI'ME Hotels Management has added another three locations to its rapidly expanding portfolio of local and regional properties with new openings planned over the next 18 months in Luxor, Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Ajman.
In total the growing mid-scale TI'ME group, now consists of 11 properties in three countries, totaling 1,245 rooms.
"Demand for modern, well managed and competitively priced accommodation is rising in all of the major resorts and cities throughout the region. In this respect local independent hospitality brands are more readily accepted in the value chain. We have a grassroots understanding of the regional markets, our overheads are modest and we are flexible when it comes to respecting an owner's aspirations," said Mohamed Awadalla, CEO, TI'ME Hotels.
In Luxor TI'ME is to manage the 154 bedroom TI'ME Tut Hotel, comprising of 116 standard rooms and 38 suites. The hotel has four dining outlets, gym, swimming pool and meeting facilities and is situated in a secluded suburb along the banks of the Nile, close to the town centre and the spectacular Luxor Temple. The hotel is due to be handed over later this year.
In the UAE, TI'ME is opening a further two properties in Abu Dhabi and Ajman. The 42-storey Al Jawhara TI'ME furnished apartments is scheduled to open in 2015. The new-build property will feature 265 studio and one-bedroom furnished apartments with facilities including a health club with swimming pool, all-day dining restaurant, retail space and basement car park.
The TI'ME Capital Hotel Apartments situated in downtown Ajman is due to be handed over in March 2014. It has 120 apartments and will feature a restaurant, coffee shop and gym.
The nine-storey TI'ME Rako Hotel will be located in the rapidly emerging industrial belt of Wakra, close to the capital, Doha and is set to open in mid-2015. The 114-room property will feature a grand lobby, two restaurants including one all-day dining outlet, banquet space with capacity for 500 guests, a gym, rooftop swimming pool and sauna along with individual male and female treatment rooms, several retail outlets and 460-square metre penthouse suite.
Starwood Hotels' Aloft brand to open second hotel in the UAE
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has announced it has signed an agreement to open a new 172-room Aloft hotel in Al Ain, the second largest city in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, UAE. Scheduled to debut in 2016, Aloft Al Ain will be the first Starwood property to open in Al Ain and the second Aloft hotel in the UAE joining Aloft Abu Dhabi, which opened in 2009.
Aloft Al Ain will be a part of the city's 500,000 square metre mixed-use development surrounding the 25,000-seat Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium, poised to be the most advanced sporting arena in the Middle East. The development will include office space, residential units, family entertainment, retail shops and dining.
Aloft Al Ain will feature 172 loft-like rooms, including two presidential suites, all featuring the brand's signature loft-like ceilings, oversized windows, an ultra-comfortable platform bed and large walk-in showers with complimentary Bliss Spa products. The newly constructed Aloft will also offer the brand's signature W XYZ bar, an atmospheric public space where guests can mix and mingle. Additional amenities will include the RE:Charge fitness center and RE:Fuel by Aloft, a convenient grab-n-go kiosk with an array of sweet, savoury and healthy food, snacks and drinks available 24 hours a day. For meetings and presentations, the new Aloft will offer two creative spaces equipped with the latest audiovisual technology.
Starwood is set to open another four new Aloft hotels in the region in the next three years in Al Ain and Sharjah in the UAE, Riyadh in Saudi Arabia and Erbil in Iraq.
Alex. Brown Realty JV to develop Marriott Residence Inn in Hillsboro, Oregon
A joint venture formed by Alex. Brown Realty, Hillsboro Hotel Development and Huntington Hotel Group has acquired a 4.93-acre site in Hillsboro, Oregon, approximately 15 miles northwest of downtown Portland. The joint venture plans to develop a Marriott Residence Inn on the site. Upon completion of the new hotel, ABR Chesapeake Fund IV, a real estate fund sponsored by ABR, expects to have approximately $8 million invested in the venture.
The joint venture has executed a franchise agreement with Marriott and intends to develop a 140-room Marriott Residence Inn on the site. It anticipates construction will take approximately 13 months. Upon opening, the hotel will be managed by the Huntington Hotel Group.
The site is immediately west of Intel Corporation's Ronler Acres campus, which currently employs 7,000 and is undergoing a $3.0 billion expansion.
SpringHill Suites Hotel opens in Oceanside, California
The 149-suite SpringHill Suites by Marriott in Oceanside, California is officially open for business. Located at 110 North Myers Street, the SpringHill Suites San Diego Oceanside/Downtown will operate as a Marriott franchise, owned by GF Properties Group, LLC and managed by Sage Hospitality of Denver, Colorado.
Located in downtown Oceanside, the hotel offers guests convenient access to Camp Pendleton, Oceanside Pier, Mission San Luis Rey and Legolandò California. Only steps away from the beach, guests can experience spectacular ocean views from inside their rooms or out on their balconies. Travelers are invited to relax at the roof top pool or dine at Hello Betty, a unique fish house concept by restaurateur, Peter Karpinski. Rates are seasonal.
The SpringHill Suites San Diego Oceanside/Downtown has been designed to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards. It is the newest SpringHill Suites to join the portfolio of Marriott properties that are designed to LEED standards, a voluntary rating program developed by the U.S. Green Building Council that provides third-party verification of green building.
Cobblestone Hotels signs newest addition to the Boarders Inn and Suites
Cobblestone Hotels signed a franchise agreement for their newest conversion - the upcoming Boarders Inn and Suites by Cobblestone Hotels, located in Shawano, Wisconsin, is currently a Comfort Inn and Suites.
The Boarders Inn and Suites has 62 rooms and is just off Highway 29. Amenities in each room will include coffee service, upgraded bedding and free high speed internet. Guests of the hotel will also enjoy guest laundry, indoor pool, onsite lounge, and daily hot breakfast.
Cobblestone Hotels currently has ten hotels under construction and over forty-five new build projects in development. The Boarders Inn and Suites by Cobblestone in Shawano will be its ninth property in Wisconsin.
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