Tag: Hotel Industry News

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The Setai Shakedown Shakes Out in Favor of GHM

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 2001 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
June 16, 2014 at 2:32 PM | by | Comments (0)

More than two years later, the drama at The Setai in Miami Beach has ended. And in favor of the hotel operator, GHM, who was kicked out, literally, in the middle of the night, by the hotel's owners, Lehman Brothers.

Last week, the ICC International Court of Arbitration ruled "that all previous allegations of mismanagement were baseless and have awarded damages to GHM for improper termination of GHM’s hotel management agreement." It seemed that the hotel's impressive RevPAR rate of 76 percent was a key factor in the decision against Lehman. Lehman Brothers now have 30 days to make the compensation to GHM. The Miami Herald reports the damages exceed $10 million. There are also more tort claims against Lehman that are still pending in state and federal court.

However, GHM will not return to the property as manager. Trevi Luxury Hospitality Group., which has managed the hotel since the shakedown, still remains in place. Room rates for this weekend for a studio suite (the starting room category) start at $530 a night but there's a AAA discounted rate and a Florida resident rate available for $488.

[Photo: The Setai]

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Is The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas About To Become a Hilton Hotel?

May 15, 2014 at 3:14 PM | by | Comment (1)

There's always some crazy news out of Las Vegas these days but we were a bit stunned this morning to hear that Blackstone Real Estate had purchased The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas from Deutsche Bank for about $1.73 billion. That's a lot of cash!

But does this mean The Cosmopolitan will stop being an Autograph Collection Hotel by Marriott?

The chances of The Cosmo moving from a Marriott to a Hilton entity are extremely likely as the Blackstone Group pretty much owns Hilton Hotels. Yet Blackstone's real estate division, which is responsible for the purchase of the Cosmo, has a diversified portfolio, which also includes, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, a percentage in Caesars Entertainment. Innnnteresting.

If Cosmo does move from Marriott to Hilton, we don't think it will happen immediately and we are sure Cosmopolitan will keep its Identity, not just the players reward club, but its cool kid persona which had made it a premiere casino resort on The Strip.

[Photo: VegasChatter]

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10 Things Every Hotel Website Needs to Have

May 13, 2014 at 9:34 AM | by | Comments (0)

Now that Thompson Hotels has officially shed some of its older properties, the lifestyle hotel brand has a sexy new website that shows off the allure of their properties (design! art! models!) alongside more practical information like special offers, events and ways to interact with the hotels on social media.

The website work was actually done by Noise, a NYC-based creative agency whose biggest strengths are self-described as "engaging young people," "social content creation" and "disruptive ideas." In a world where bland hotel websites are a dime a dozen, these sound like just the people you want to come in and shake things up. Not to mention if you're a hotelier and you want to target the up and coming millennial crowd, Noise probably can help you with that.

Since we're always looking for examples of great hotel websites and also, how hotels can improve their websites, we asked the folks at Noise to come up with their 10 Commandments for Building Hotel Websites. We think these expert tips could apply to anyone building a website but Noise has a special few steps just for hotels. You're welcome.

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Google Checks Into Room 77; Will License Booking Site's Software

April 9, 2014 at 11:26 AM | by | Comments (0)

Nearly three years after it launched, hotel booking site Room 77 has achieved a major milestone, and at the same time, has pretty much closed up shop by scoring a licensing deal with Google.

The all-powerful search engine is now using Room 77's extensive hotel database which includes details on specific rooms at hotels, including the size, the layout and even the amenities inside. The goal here is obviously for Google to snap up a larger share of the $450 billion that people around the world spend on travel & tourism in a single year (last year to be exact, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council.)

But according to Skift, this means that Room 77 has somewhat given up trying to be a player in the metasearch realm, with several of its engineers transferring over to Google to work on the licensing deal.

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Deep Thoughts on The Next Gen Traveler, By Marriott

March 27, 2014 at 12:09 PM | by | Comments (0)

With Marriott International working on two new hotel brands aimed at Millennials--Moxy and AC Hotels by Marriott--along with revamping their existing properties like Courtyard By Marriott--it's no surprise that they've got a Millennial prototype in mind.

In a LinkedIn Influencers post titled, State of Hospitality: Ask the Next Gen Traveler, Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson revealed the prototype and even her fictional name, Jia. Here's how he described this PYT:

Millennials like Jia define “Service” as “Personalization” and they report far more willingness than older generations to allow access to their personal data when they feel they receive a tangible benefit in return.

Global brands now have the advantage of collecting a tremendous amount of data on travelers. Jia expects that brands will know that she likes a room with a view, one that ends with her lucky number. She wants them to be as technologically-savvy as she is, so she can check-in and checkout with a single press of her thumb.

No doubt that explains Marriott Hotels recent push to offer both mobile check-in and check-out. (Note: this service is only available at the flagship Marriott hotels.)

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Who's Going Where and Doing What: March 2014

March 11, 2014 at 5:33 PM | by | Comments (0)

Here's our (supposedly) monthly feature of recent management announcements at notable hotels* which we put out the second Tuesday of every month. We know many of you dear readers work in the industry and are curious to see who's gone where and when. But due to the overwhelming amount of submissions, we've had to scale back some of our commentary. We'll try to spice it up where we can. As always, we appreciate your feedback so let us know how we can make this more useful for you.

CORPORATE

· KIMPTON HOTELS: Kimpton has promoted two company veterans--Barry Pollard to senior vice president of hotel operations and James Lin to senior vice president of restaurants and bars. In their new roles, Pollard and Lin will oversee operations at Kimpton’s more than 60 hotels and nearly 70 restaurants, bars and lounges. In the past 12 years, Pollard has held a number of senior positions, including general manager at multiple hotels, director of operations for all San Francisco hotels and director of operations for the Mid-Atlantic region. Meanwhile, Lin first joined Kimpton in 2004 and held a number of financial roles including director of corporate finance and development before leaving in 2010 to handle operations for a nightlife and restaurant company in San Fran. Lin returned to Kimpton in 2012, as a senior vice president and treasurer, working closely with the restaurant division.

· FOUR SEASONS HOTELS: Jane Burnell has been appointed Vice President Sales, Americas for the luxury brand. Currently, Burnell, a 14-year veteran of Four Seasons, is the Vice President of Sales for Europe, the Middle East and Africa where she leads Four Seasons sales activities throughout the region. In April, Burnell will move from Dubai to Toronto, where she will begin her new job overseeing sales efforts and client relationships across the Americas.

· COMMUNE HOTELS: Scott Williams has been named Executive Vice President, Chief Creative Officer of Commune. He comes to the hotel group (which is the parent company of Thompson Hotels, JDV Hotels and the upcoming tommie hotels) from the brand development agency Hitchcock Partners, where he served as Founder and Chief Executive Officer since 2010. His clients at Hitchcock Partners included AOL, Univision, The Algonquin Hotel, Renaissance Hotels and David Barton Gyms. Before that, Williams was Chief Creative Officer for Starwood Hotels & Resorts and the Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President for Morgans Hotel Group.

· PREFERRED HOTEL GROUP: Lindsey Ueberroth has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer of the Preferred Hotel Group. She takes over from her father, John Ueberroth, who will continue to serve as Chairman. Since joining the family business in 2004, Lindsey has served in different roles over the past ten years including president from 2010 to the present. She is also responsible for launching the company’s new points-based iPrefer loyalty program as well as introducing Sterling Design and Summit Serviced Residences brand.

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Who's Going Where and Doing What: February 2014 Deluxe Double Digest

February 11, 2014 at 12:42 PM | by | Comments (0)

Here's our (supposedly) monthly feature of recent management announcements at notable hotels* which we put out the second Tuesday of every month. We know many of you dear readers work in the industry and are curious to see who's gone where and when. But due to the overwhelming amount of submissions, we've had to scale back some of our commentary. We'll try to spice it up where we can. As always, we appreciate your feedback so let us know how we can make this more useful for you. *This edition includes December and January hiring announcements.

CORPORATE

· Starwood Hotels: Anthony Ingham has been appointed as Vice President, North America Brand Management for St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels Worldwide and Le Méridien. With more than 13 years of luxury lifestyle brand management experience, Ingham spent the past three years overseeing the strategic and creative direction, guest experience and overall performance of these brands in the European, African and Middle Eastern (EAME) markets.

· Marriott Hotels: Peggy Fang Roe is the new Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for Asia Pacific. Reporting to Simon Cooper, President and Managing Director of Asia Pacific, Peggy is now in charge of orchestrating its sales, marketing, revenue management, public relations and e-Commerce functions to drive business growth. Before being promoted to her new role, Peggy was most recently Vice President, Global Operations for Marriott International, where she spent the last two years leading a global, strategic initiative called Future of Meetings.

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The ALIS Conference Begins Today and Guess Who's Making an Announcement?

January 27, 2014 at 11:14 AM | by | Comments (0)

UPDATE: So not China.

Today, the Americas Lodging Investment Summit, or ALIS as it's called, kicks off in Los Angeles and it's where hotel operators, owners, investors and experts will be convening over the next two days to talk about, well, duh, the latest trends in the hospitality biz. (We're particularly interested in this session tomorrow: "DESIGNING HOTELS FOR THE MILLENNIAL GENERATION")

Big-time conferences like this are also prime opportunities for hotel brands to make some import ants announcements and we've already got word that Trump Hotels is one of them.

We hear the announcement will pertain to Trump's international operations and if we had to guess, we bet it's about China. Last year, Trump designated a VP of development of China and indeed, Ivanka Trump (#HCGirlCrush) posted something about a Beijing hotel and condo project on Facebook (check her schedule at around 3pm.)

Then again, Trump (represented by Donald Trump, Jr. who will break the news today) could have something totally off the radar to announce. Either way, we're excited. We're sure it's going to be the biggest and best thing the world has ever seen.

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The Caribbean is Feeling Confident Heading into 2014

Where: Caribbean Islands
December 26, 2013 at 10:05 AM | by | Comments (0)

If there was any doubt about whether the Caribbean hotel scene was headed in the right direction as far as growth goes, the industry's performance and gains over the past two years have put most questions to rest. Both hotel-goers and investors are feeling optimistic that the recession is indeed a thing of the past, evidenced by a string of new investment and property takeovers in 2013, including Hyatt's entrance into the all-inclusive market.

And it looks like the momentum will continue in the new year. There have been multiple reports about a packed pipeline for the Caribbean in 2014, headlined by the expected opening of the massive Baha Mar at the end of 2014 in the Bahamas. According to one count, 52 hotels with 8,891 rooms are going to open across the Caribbean and Mexico in 2014. That's a lot of hotels!

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Who's Going Where and Doing What: November 2013

November 21, 2013 at 12:04 PM | by | Comments (0)

Here's our monthly feature of recent management announcements at notable hotels which we put out the second Tuesday of every month. We know many of you dear readers work in the industry and are curious to see who's gone where and when. But due to the overwhelming amount of submissions, we've had to scale back some of our commentary. We'll try to spice it up where we can. As always, we appreciate your feedback so let us know how we can make this more useful for you.

· SLS LAS VEGAS: Albert Smith has been named Vice President of Hotel Operations for the upcoming SLS Las Vegas, opening next year. Previously, Smith was Regional Director of Operations for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, where he oversaw the opening of seven Kimpton properties throughout Southern California. In his new gig with SLS, he will develop and oversee multiple departments responsible for enhancing the guest experience, including front desk, housekeeping, bell, valet, public areas, uniform control, PBX and Ciel spa.

· ANDAZ LIVERPOOL STREET, LONDON: Tim Flodin is now the general manager of the Andaz Hotel in London, the first Andaz ever. Flodin has worked with Hyatt Hotels since 1984 but most recently was the GM of the Hyatt Regency Birmingham. Interestingly, the former GM of Andaz London, Arnaud de Saint-Exupéry, who opened the hotel, has left for Tokyo where he will be the opening GM Of Andaz Tokyo in Spring 2014.

· THE MARK NYC: Domingo E. R. Velasco has been appointed the Director of Sales & Marketing for the stylish NYC hotel. Velasco, a native of Spain, comes to the hotel from Rosewood Hotels and Resorts where he was Area Director of Sales and Marketing for both Rosewood Tucker's Point in Bermuda and Little Dix Bay in the British Virgin Islands. But he's totally familiar with the concrete jungle too. Velasco started in hotel sales and marketing gin 1998 at The Carlyle.

· HYATT REGENCY CENTURY PLAZA: We're really excited about this announcement because Susan Santiago is now the first female general manager for the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza. She's also been named Area Vice President, the first ever female Area VP for Hyatt. Santiago was most recent Vice President of Food and Beverage –Americas operations for Hyatt where she launched the brand's Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served philosophy that was lauded as, “industry leading." She also launched Hyatt’s, For Kids, By Kids, and Alice Waters menus which offer fun, fresh, flavorful and interactive food choices for youth aged guests.

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New York Government, Hotels Officially Start Legal Battle Against Airbnb

October 17, 2013 at 9:57 AM | by | Comments (0)

Back in the spring, we took an in-depth look at Airbnb and its appeal to travelers. We saw how its affordability might become a threat to higher-priced hotels, and we wondered how the industry would respond to the up and coming competition. Travelers, it seems, are really liking the idea of playing house at someone else's place, especially when it costs significantly less than a hotel.

Well, it looks like the City of New York has the hotel industry's back. According to the Associated Press, the city is tired of losing what it could be gaining in lodging tax if Airbnb users stayed at hotels, and last week Attorney General Eric Schneiderman demanded the company turn over a list of residents who are using the site on the basis that they are breaking a state law by renting out their apartments. In New York, it is illegal for someone to sublet their apartment for less than 30 days if they are not also present.

Man, this one is going to get ugly, as Airbnb is a fan favorite with the general population to say the least, and has saved travelers mucho dinero across the globe. But when it comes at the expense of the government, we all know how that story ends.

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Who's Going Where and Doing What: October 2013

October 10, 2013 at 4:42 PM | by | Comments (0)

Here's our monthly feature of recent management announcements at notable hotels which we put out the second Tuesday of every month. We know many of you dear readers work in the industry and are curious to see who's gone where and when. But due to the overwhelming amount of submissions, we've had to scale back some of our commentary. We'll try to spice it up where we can. As always, we appreciate your feedback so let us know how we can make this more useful for you.

· ROSEWOOD LONDON: Michael Bonsor has been appointed Hotel Manager of the about-to-open Rosewood London. Prior to this, he was the hotel operations manager at the Claridge's Hotel where he actually started out as manager of food and beverage. He's also built up an impressive resume at Four Seasons Hotels throughout the world. The Rosewood will open on October 15th.

· ME CABO: Jairo Torres is the new director of sales and marketing for the ME Cabo Resort. He was previously the Travel Trade Consultant for Visit Oakland as well as the director of sales and marketing for the Hotel Erwin in Venice Beach and Pacifica Host Hotels in Beverly Hills.

· W SAN FRANCISCO: Jason Rea is now the new executive chef at the W San Fran. Most recently, he was the Executive Sous Chef of Mina Group’s San Francisco urban wine bar and restaurant, RN74, and a Sous Chef of the Michelin-starred MICHAEL MINA San Francisco.He's also worked under chefs Michael Cimarusti, Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Miliken. At the W, Rea will oversee all of the hotel's culinary opertaions including the TRACE restaurant, room service and catering.

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