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Archive for March, 2011

Jumeirah opens hotel in China

Thursday, March 31st, 2011
Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel Shanghai

Jumeirah Group will open its first hotel in China today, tapping into the burgeoning hospitality industry of the world's second-largest economy.

The new 401-room Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel Shanghai in Pudong used the interior designers behind the Burj Al Arab, and is themed on "ancient Chinese elements of feng shui".

The luxury hospitality group had originally planned to open a separate hotel in the city, in a twin-tower development, as part of a management agreement signed five years ago. But that agreement was scrapped after a change in the building's ownership.

"We decided to exit," said Gerald Lawless, the executive chairman of Jumeirah Group, which is part of Dubai Holding and manages hotels including the Burj Al Arab.

"It will happen but not in our brand. We have chosen to go to another property."

China is a market Jumeirah Group has increasingly focused on recently. It has five other luxury properties under … Read the rest

Sunstone To Acquire Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011
Hilton San Diego Bayfront

Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc., said Tuesday it has agreed to take a 75% controlling stake in the Hilton San Diego Bayfront for $475.0 million. The company's first quarter-to-date revenue per available room increased about 5.4 percent as its gateway markets and recent acquisitions continued to outperform expectations.

For its 32 hotel Comparable Portfolio, which excludes the Royal Palm Miami Beach Hotel, Sunstone expects RevPAR or revenue per available room to rise 5.4 percent for the first quarter.

Sunstone revealed a definitive agreement of $475.0 million to acquire the 75% majority interest in a joint venture that owns the 1,190-room Hilton San Diego Bayfront located in San Diego. The valuation translates into about $399,000 per key.

After the acquisition which is expected to close during the second quarter, Sunstone said it expects to enter into $240.0 million of non-recourse senior mortgage debt with an expected maturity in April 2016, which will bear … Read the rest

The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel Enjoys a Social Renaissance

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011
Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

Thompson Hotels' Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel has completed a renovation that redesigned the historic Cabana Rooms and added three entertainment venues — the Public Kitchen & Bar, The Spare Room and Beacher's Madhouse.

Like any classic Hollywood star, Thompson Hotels’ Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel has continuously reinvented itself over the years, and the iconic 300-room hotel has once again seen a rebirth with the redesign of the historic Cabana Rooms and the debut of three innovative entertainment venues: Public Kitchen & Bar, The Spare Room and Beacher’s Madhouse.

Since 1927, the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel has been the playground of luminaries including Clark Gable, Carole Lombard and Marilyn Monroe and the birthplace of the Academy Awards. As Hollywood continues to redefine itself, so does its landmark hotel, offering the ultimate luxury guest experience in-room and out, while paying homage to its roots. With the addition of these new spaces to the hotel's existing … Read the rest

Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island offers deal to Michigan residents

Monday, March 28th, 2011
Grand Hotel Mackinac Island

There’s something new under the sun at the Grand Hotel Mackinac Island.

The island’s grand dame lodge is debuting the Laura Bush suite, which joins six other first lady guest rooms. The suite is among features guests will experience during the hotel’s third Celebrate Michigan promotion, during which residents of the state can stay for half the hotel’s usual rate.

The package costs $95 per person, per night (taxes and fees are extra), and is offered May 8, 10, 15-16 and 24. It includes one night’s lodging, a full breakfast and five-course dinner daily, Michigan-themed reception and complimentary golf green fees.

Similar offers in May and September of 2010 sold out the hotel’s entire 385 rooms for several nights within a few hours. It has been so popular, the hotel plans to bring in extra staff to handle reservations. Ten phone lines have been added.

“We booked more than 4,600 room … Read the rest

Waikiki hotel occupancy eases

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

Hotels on Oahu, including those in the fabled Waikiki tourist district, have seen occupancy fall five percentage points in one week on lower Japan arrivals.

For the seven days to last Sunday, Oahu occupancy was 79%, down from 84% the week before and one point lower than the same time last year, Hospitality Advisors LLC reported Friday. Average room rates were 8% higher than last year.

Kauai hotels were 59% full, Big Island 62% full, and Maui County 83% full, all higher than last year, reflecting the fact that Japanese visitor traffic is a small component on neighbor islands while U.S. mainland visitor traffic is up 15% to Maui and up 22% to the Big Island, compared to last year.

For the same period, U.S. hotel occupancy was 65%, Smith Travel Research LLC reported.… Read the rest

Mayfair Hotel Is Looking to Cash in on the Royal Wedding

Saturday, March 26th, 2011
Millennium Mayfair Hotel

The Royal Wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton will take place on April 29th but there are hotels throughout the world that are going out of their way to celebrate and commemorate that historic day and time in history. A lot of places are going out of their way and offering William and Kate travel and hotel packages.

Hotels from all over the world are giving patrons services that try to make it as much as possible that the people are in England and getting ready to part in a historical event.

Many hotels are offering things such as tea for two in the mornings and afternoons to having wedding parties in suites. There are those hotels though that are going out of their way to help celebrate the Royal Wedding. One is the Kensington Hotel in San Francisco. Here a person can get the 'Shag Like Royalty' package … Read the rest

Helmsley Hotel to become a Westin in $313.5M purchase

Friday, March 25th, 2011
The Westin New York Grand Central

Host Hotels & Resorts said today that it closed on the $313.5 million sale of The Westin New York Grand Central, which will be reflagged under the Westin Hotels & Resorts brand in mid-2012 after an extensive renovation.  

Host Hotels, based in Bethesda, Md., said it will renovate the hotel, at 212 East 42nd Street, with a complete overhaul of its 775 guest rooms as well as a meeting space upgrade.

Starwood Hotels and Resorts, parent company of Westin, has already taken over management of the hotel. The deal appears to signify a renewed sense of strength in the New York luxury hotel market.

"It's part of a number of transactions that have had happened and likely to happen in terms of the turnover of New York City hotels," said John Fox, senior vice president of PKF Consulting.

Fox said the sale went for about $400,000 per room, $40,000 less per … Read the rest

Half of Sheraton’s North American hotels newly renovated

Thursday, March 24th, 2011
Sheraton Park Tower

Have you noticed that the old, tired Sheraton that you used to stay in has been freshly updated – or no longer is a Sheraton?

If so, don't be surprised.

Since Starwood in 2007 kicked off a $6 billion global revamp of the chain, Sheraton has refashioned its image.

Sheraton removed 41 of its North American hotels that didn't meet Sheraton's new standards, Hoyt Harper, Starwood's SVP of brand management, tells me. That's a full 20%.

Of today's 202 Sheraton hotels in North American hotels, 103 have been recently renovated.

"Sheraton is seeing light at the end of the tunnel," he says.

The chain's makeover has made Sheraton more competitive with other full-service brands in the eyes of both developers and customers, Harper says. Sheraton competes with chains such as Marriott, Hilton, Radisson and Hyatt.

Guests survey scores indicate that Sheraton guests today are more satisfied with their stays and … Read the rest

Marriott inks deal to operate two Abu Dhabi hotels

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

US hotel chain Marriott International has signed a management deal with Abu Dhabi’s Real Estate Group, a subsidiary of Bloom Properties, to manage two properties in the UAE capital.

The company will operate the 315-room Abu Dhabi Marriott Hotel and a 64-unit serviced apartment hotel, Marriott said in an emailed statement Tuesday.

The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The properties, which are scheduled to open in 2014, will form part of the 16,200 sq m Bloom Central development in Abu Dhabi and will swell Marriott’s UAE portfolio to nine hotels.

Marriott last week said it would open three hotels in Doha in the second quarter of 2011, in a bid to tap into Qatar’s growing tourism market.… Read the rest

Disaster claims first Tokyo hotel closing

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011
Mercure Hotel Ginza Tokyo

In the days since the 9.0-magnitude earthquake that rocked northern Japan, the country has received no mercy from the elements. A subsequent tsunami rinsed coastal areas of structures and human life and now the area is at risk of radiation from nuclear reactor meltdowns.

The earthquake’s magnitude was revised upward 14 March by the United States Geological Survey.

Amid the crisis, there is news the Tokyo hotel industry has survived and continues to serve its community. will provide updates as more information becomes available.

Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo

The hotel management released the following statement 21 March: “Following the natural disasters in Japan on 11 March and the resulting logistical difficulties and hazards, Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo will not be accepting any new guests until further notice. Bookings will resume as soon as the energy supply and normal hotel operation can and has been restored.

“We appreciate your understanding as our thoughts remain with … Read the rest

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