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Hotel Industry News In Brief
Oct 29, 12 | 12:09 am
Some current conversation starters…
A year after it first announced a plan to refresh the Crowne Plaza brand, particularly in the Americas, IHG outlined details of the next phase of the Crowne Plaza initiative during the 2012 IHG Americas Investors & Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida.
IHG has said the revamped Crowne Plaza is targeting “strivers,” “new-school” business travelers looking for “purposeful quality” that is clean, crisp and modern rather than luxury for the sake of luxury, according to Janis Cannon, global brand portfolio leader for Crowne Plaza. “We have an opportunity to own the softer side of business, something we’re calling ‘relaxed formality,’” Cannon said. The first phase of the Crowne Plaza refresh, dubbed “Freshen up,” has been started at all the brand’s hotels in the United States and Canada, according to Gina LaBarre, IHG’s vice president, brand delivery, for the Americas, and will be underway at all Crowne Plaza properties in the Americas by early next year. The first phase focused on six areas — quality, service, sleep, meetings, brand identity and Green Engage, IHG’s sustainability program — with specific initiatives including a new bedding program and sleep amenities, a new employee training program and a new meetings sales tool. The next phase of the Crowne Plaza refresh, titled “Move up,” focuses on four phases of the guest experience at hotels: arrival and check-in, the guestroom, F&B and fitness and recreation. All initiatives must build on things hotels are already doing, add no or low cost to operations, be easy to implement and execute and be relevant and valuable to guests, Cannon said.
The Rezidor Hotel Group announced on Thursday that it is exiting seven leased hotels in France due to their consistent unprofitability.
The hotels are located in secondary French markets. To exit from the leases, Rezidor agreed to a payment to the owner, Hibernia France, Paris, of €11.5 million (US$14.8 million) in 2012. The seven hotels will remain under their existing brands and will be operated by Rezidor for the next few years under management agreements. Should Hibernia France sell the properties, the management agreements will be terminated thereafter. The hotels include:
The Rezidor Hotel Group, Brussels, said the decision to exit these hotels was made after determining that the hotels' financial situations were unlikely to turnaround and their positioning and locations are not commensurate with the future direction of the brands.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments…
Former Kilmarnock, Dundee and Ajax Cape Town goalkeeper Chad Harpur has embarked on a new career after quitting football to take on a new role at the world-renowned La Manga Club resort in Spain. The 30-year-old South African has been appointed international sports manager at the award-winning Spanish complex after confirming his retirement from the game earlier this month. La Manga Club is regarded as the best sports and leisure destination in Europe with three 18-hole championship golf courses, a 28-court tennis centre, football and cricket pitches among its first-class facilities, and Harpur will be responsible for helping to develop new business opportunities, not just with football but from the wider European sporting spectrum.
Mr. Patrick Manthe has been appointed as Hotel Manager of the Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn in Bangkok. Patrick, a Swiss national, joins the Eastin from his previous position as pre-opening General Manager at the 5-star Fusion Alya Resort in Hoi An, Vietnam. Prior to his last appointment he spent 3 years as pre-opening Executive Assistant Manager and then General Manager of the Moevenpick Hotel in Hanoi and possesses a solid background in both Rooms Division and Food and Beverage having gained vast experience at the Conrad Maldives and numerous Hilton hotels throughout Europe and Asia. Patrick will be responsible for overseeing all operational departments within the Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn whilst the hotels sales and marketing and reservations teams will continue to report directly to Mr. John Westoby, jointly Absolute Hotel Services Managing Director for South East Asia, and General Manager of the Eastin Grand Sathorn.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach is renovating its 375 guestrooms and suites. Diego Gronda from Rockwell Group Europe and interior designer Linda Zarifi are leading the US$10 million project, which incorporates local inspiration while maintaining the hotel’s historical architecture. The décor features ocean blue, sea mist green and coral tones, while aqua walkway carpets are reminiscent of light reflected on water. The circular elements of Morris Lapidus’ original design are echoed in new hanging pendants, orbital lamps, and lounge furniture. Guestrooms also feature found objects, a library of Taschen books and contemporary artwork from commissioned artists such as Xawery Wolski and Cecelia Paredes.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. Trinity Investments, LLC and Terra Investments S.R.L.C.V. today announced the debut of the first Le Méridien Hotel in Mexico City with the opening of Le Méridien Mexico City. Situated at Paseo de la Reforma 69 in the heart of the city’s vibrant financial and cultural district, Le Méridien Mexico City combines timeless chic design and a love of the arts and cuisine, offering travellers a distinctive and compelling experience. Le Méridien Mexico City features 160 rooms – all suites – with breathtaking skyline views, timeless chic design and the brand’s signature Le Méridien Bed. The hotel also houses a state-of-the-art fitness center, pool, and C’est la Vie— a full-service restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, offering a unique culinary experience for guests and locals alike. Le Méridien Mexico City features the newly-developed Le Méridien Hub™ experience which re-interprets the traditional lobby into a social gathering place for creative people to converse, debate, and exchange. Le Méridien Hub offers both guests and locals a creative atmosphere where contemporary, curated artwork sets the environment. Le Méridien Hub further builds on the brand’s award-winning arrival experience and coffee culture, curated by Le Méridien brand’s Cultural Curator Jérôme Sans. Le Méridien arrival consists of four elements: large-scale artwork in high impact areas to reset the mind and stimulate dialogue and curiosity; the sensory experience, illustrated through Le Méridien signature scent, sound and use of light, creating a unique and distinctive atmosphere; UNLOCK ART™ programme, featuring LM100 ™ artist designed key card collections that not only offer access to the guestroom but also to Le Méridien affiliated contemporary cultural centers in the city; and a 24-hour soundtrack curated by Sans.
DoubleTree by Hilton has announced the opening of the seventh London property to join the upscale, full-service hotel brand. DoubleTree by Hilton London – Marble Arch, was officially unveiled by Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association. Formerly known as the Best Western Premier Mostyn Hotel, the interior of the 121-room property underwent a full renovation in 2011. The building was originally a private residence for Lady Black, lady in waiting to King George, and features ornate ceilings crafted by John Adams in 1800. All guestrooms and suites offer a flat-screen satellite TV; high-speed WiFi; minifridge; laptop safe; in-room tea and coffee making services; marble bathrooms with rain showers; and Crabtree & Evelyn Citron® bath and body products. Two suites, named ‘Hanover’ and ‘Cavendish’, feature duplex bedrooms and spacious lounge areas. The property also features Texture, a modern European restaurant and champagne bar with Scandinavian influences, as well as two other dining options; a fitness suite; three meeting rooms and boardrooms which can accommodate up to 130 people; a complimentary, 24/7 business center; and concierge services.
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