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Hotel News in Brief
Sep 18, 12 | 12:09 am
Some current conversation starters...
Designers are turning to the walls to find new ways to make hotel spaces stand out.
One of the biggest trends right now in wall coverings involves using designs that add texture and dimension to the area. "Using a material that pops can help you create a memorable space," said Nancy Jackson, president of Architectural Systems. Three-dimensional designs can range from sculpted MDF panels to hand-made shell mosaics or even wood from reclaimed wine bottles. "People are more accepting of louder, poppy looks," said Cliff Goldman, president of Carnegie Fabrics. "Walls used to look like an envelope, a beige tint. Now they present an opportunity to make a big statement." Goldman compared the stylistic trends of wall design to the trends that dominate clothing. "It goes in and out, but right now things don't have to be perfect and symmetrical anymore," Goldman said. "Hotels and guests both want something more authentic and not exactly even." Another option to create an impactful feature wall is with reflective surfaces such as channeled and fused glass, which can be frosted or backlit. Some areas best designed for these wall coverings include the entrances to restaurants, near the headboard of the guestroom bed and at the lobby reception desk. "It's a bad idea to have these materials everywhere because while they aren't fragile, they also aren't cheap to replace," Goldman said. "Depending on the type of covering you are working with some have pieces that, if they get scratched or damaged, they can be difficult if not impossible to repair." Though both designers were enthusiastic about using specialty materials and designs to make a wall stand out, they both warned against overuse. "I wouldn't say you have to use them everywhere, but I would instead recommend them for important focal areas," Jackson said. "You don't want your exciting design lost in a back corridor, you want it seen, where it can be part of the experience."
Wyndham Worldwide, Parsippany, New Jersey, announced on Friday that it bought the privately held Shell Vacations LLC and its subsidiaries in a US$255 million deal.
The purchase price for the equity of Shell Vacations LLC, Chicago, was US$102 million in cash. The acquisition also includes US$153 million of debt, which is primarily related to consumer loan receivables. Under the terms of the agreement, Wyndham Vacation Ownership assumes property management operations at 19 Shell resort locations in Hawaii, California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Wisconsin, Texas, New Hampshire and Canada. WVO will now also operate Shell Vacations Club, a points-based reservation and exchange system. "This tuck-in acquisition is immediately accretive to earnings and generates meaningful cash flow as well as a healthy rate of return. With strong fee-for-service revenues, this acquisition is consistent with our capital-light strategy," said Stephen Holmes, Wyndham Worldwide chairman and CEO.
Hyatt Regency Atlanta is offering a memorable meeting break or team-building activity: a beer-tasting seminar with Martin Pfefferkorn, the hotel's executive chef and resident beer expert.
The seminar is a 60-minute event for groups of 25 to 50 people. The first half of the program reviews the raw product - ingredients and the brewing process - while the second half is a tasting. Six beer types are featured along with small snack pairings, and there is time for questions and answers. The seminar costs US$45 per person, and each participant can choose one beer to take back to their room.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments...
Denver's Oxford Hotel is thrilled to announce that Afsi Bird has been appointed as General Manager of the historic 80-room hotel. Bird joins The Oxford from Hotel Terra Jackson Hole in Teton Village, Wyoming, a luxury eco-boutique hotel where she had served as General Manager since it opened in 2007. Prior to that, she served as the Director of Rooms at the Four Seasons Resort San Diego Aviara, the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara and the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North. She also held several management positions over nine years at the Four Seasons Hotel Newport Beach. Fluent in both German and Farsi, Bird is a graduate of Hoeher Handel Schule in Aachen, Germany.
The new General Manager of The Hotel School Sydney, Tony Patterson, is himself a graduate of THSS and Southern Cross University. Mr Patterson is a dynamic business leader with a track record of adding value to organisations by developing strategic vision and delivering results. His career has spanned over 20 years within senior management teams in the hospitality and tourism industries. Most recently Mr Patterson transitioned his experience into the Vocational Education Training sector where he was the NSW/ACT State Training Manager & Campus Manager with MEGT Institute and prior to that as Manager, International Academy, Hostec International Pty Ltd. He holds a Bachelor of Business in Hotel Management (SCU) and is currently undertaking a Masters in Education (Educational Management & Leadership) at The University of Sydney.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Agora Place Asakusa, the first limited-service hotel operated by Agora Hospitalities had its grand opening on Friday, July 27, 2012 and is proving a hit among travellers from overseas. Having opened its doors only two weeks ago, the hotel is already earning high commendations specially from guests from outside Japan for its newly developed "style MY stay" concept, which features minimalist guests rooms which hotel guests can personalize with their own preferred range of items. The decor and amenities of each room are extremely simple but of the highest quality. In limited-service rooms, items such as sleepwear and other amenities are omitted, and guests can select only the things they need and purchase or rent them with a few coins. The casual atmosphere and freedom of choice, which distinguish the new hotel from traditional Japanese budget hotels, is finding popularity among both leisure and business travellers from abroad.
Frasers Hospitality debuted it third brand with the opening of Capri by Fraser hotel residences in Singapore's Changi Business Park. The 313-suite property is geared toward "tech-forward" travellers. Suites feature large work desks, Herman Miller chairs, walk-in wardrobes, and large bathrooms with rain showers. Some have private terraces with tables, chairs and square hammocks. All suites include a "kitchen wall" with cooktop and hood, microwave oven with convection and grill, refrigerator, and sink. Capri by Fraser, Changi City/Singapore tries to make laundry more social by equipping the "Spin & Play" laundry facilities on each floor with amenities like Nintendo Wii, Xbox Kinect, foosball, iPads, punching bags, suspension training and cycling machines. On the food and beverage side, the property's Ripples pool bar serves beers and cocktails along with miniature burgers and truffled fries. Delite grab-and-go offers light meals, snacks, beverages and specialty cakes. Caprilicious serves international fare all day, while the lobby bar, Drinx, has a menu of tapas and beers, ciders and cocktails. In-room dining is available, as are TV dinners.
Accor has announced the opening of its first Pullman branded hotel in the UK, the Pullman London St Pancras. Accor is establishing this international upscale brand in the UK in a move to widen its hotel brand portfolio in the UK, which currently includes Sofitel, MGallery, Novotel, Mercure, ibis, ibis Styles and ibis budget. Pullman London St Pancras, previously home to Accor's Novotel brand, officially opens this month (September) following a comprehensive refurbishment which has seen the complete transformation of the hotel into one of London's most contemporary and stylish hotels. Entering the market as London's newest upscale hotel brand, the UK's first Pullman hotel is a cosmopolitan home of style and modernity. Situated just three minutes from King's Cross St Pancras, the hotel features 312 bedrooms, with panoramic views of the London skyline, and a restaurant and bar named Golden Arrow. There are also 17 spaces for events and business meetings, including a 446-seat tiered theatre for arts and corporate use. The hotel offers Pullman's best signature services: Welcomer, Pullman bed, docking station, free Wi-Fi, Connectivity Lounge in partnership with Microsoft®, Co-Meeting offer for the MICE market, Nespresso® services, Vinoteca by Pullman wine selection and Open Kitchen in the new restaurant, Golden Arrow.
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