Tag Archives: hotel chains

harrods night

Harrods to open chain of luxury hotels

harrods night

The Qatari owners of Harrods are planning to launch a line of hotels under the name of the famous luxury London store.

“The target plan is to open Harrods hotels at sites in key cities such as Kuala Lumpur, New York and Paris as well as in China.

“Preference will be given to construct on sites already owned by Qatar Holding or its affiliates, for example at Chelsea Barracks in London or Costa Smeralda in Sardinia.
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Shangri La hotel website

Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts unveils new website

Shangri La hotel website

Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts has recently unveiled a revamped website. New features, which include sharing the best of the group’s photography, aim to help travellers get closer to their destinations.

To commemorate the new site, the group is set to launch the ‘#LovingTheMoment’ Instagram initiative to encourage everyone to share photos of their location.
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paramount pictures logo

Paramount Pictures to build hotels

paramount pictures logo

Movie firm Paramount has announced plans to launch a chain of hotels. The hotels will be luxury properties with ‘elements of the California lifestyle’.

The firm, one of the most active studios in Hollywood and the name behind movies ranging from Breakfast at Tiffany’s to Mission Impossible, plans to create up to 50 hotels and resorts themed around Hollywood and California.
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Ritz-Carlton iPhone App

Ritz-Carlton Launches iPhone App

Ritz-Carlton iPhone App

Hotel chain Ritz-Carlton has launched a mobile app that incorporates QR codes and location-based services, designed to provide users with special in-hotel offers and experiences.

Expanding upon basic hotel search and reservation functionality, the new app integrates with other social platform, such as Foursquare and World Concierge, and provides location based recommendations.
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Mama Shelter hotel bedroom

Hotel brand Mama Shelter to expand internationally

Mama Shelter hotel bedroom

French hotel brand Mama Shelter, voted among Europe’s trendiest properties, has announced it will expand internationally.

The company confirmed earlier this month that it plans to open a property in Los Angeles, California next year and Istanbul, Turkey this year, with further French expansion also planned in Lyon and Bordeaux over the coming months.
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Masai Maara Kenya

Virgin joins other chains with new Africa hotel

Masai Maara Kenya

As African hotels continue to boom, Virgin has announced that it is to become the latest name to move into the continent.

Virgin Limited Edition, Richard Branson’s luxury travel brand, is set to open a 12-tented camp in the Masai Maara Game Reserve next year.

The Mahali Mzuri camp will hold double-occupancy tents, meaning a maximum of 24 people at one time, with fully inclusive services set to include meals, drinks and daily game drives around the area.
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Hualuxe teahouse

How is China changing the world’s hotels?

Hualuxe teahouse

This week, InterContinental Hotels announced plans for a China-specific chain which will eventually set up shop outside of the country, highlighting yet again that China’s growing economic might is having an interesting effect on the way we travel.

Thanks to the staggering statistics (outbound trips from China alone are projected to grow from 10 million to more than 100 million in the next 10 to 15 years), hotel chains are keener than ever to ensure that Chinese guests feel at home in their properties.

Fortunately, many travelers will find that all of the concepts identified by chains such as IHG make for a nicer hotel stay anyway — here, a handy guide to what you’ll soon find at Chinese-friendly hotels.

Food

Expect rice, and lots of it. Many hotels outside of China are now opting to serve congee for breakfast and throughout the day — it’s basically a rice-based porridge, served with accompaniments such as fruit or honey.

Many hotels are also opting to plump for noodle dishes — IHG’s chain Hualuxe will offer a late-night noodle joint, while Starwood is offering its Chinese guests instant noodles in rooms.

Drinks

Tea — especially green — is a favorite of Chinese-friendly hotel chains. Expect to find in-room kettles with a selection of Chinese tea on offer in Hilton hotels offering the ‘Huanying’ Chinese welcome package, as well as Starwood properties and Campanile in France.

Some brands will take this even further, with Hualuxe promising ‘Tea Lounges’ where guests will be invited to entertain visitors or business partners. If you’re partial to the mini-bar, you could be in for a shock — reports suggest that Hualuxe will skip alcoholic beverages in favor of tea.

Hospitality

Status and respect underpin many Asian cultures and chains operating outside the country are making it abundantly clear that they are keen to serve Chinese visitors, rolling out Chinese-speaking front-desk staff and plenty of literature in Chinese, for instance.

For those running hotels inside China, it’s a race to localize — with Accor-owned Mei Jue promising staff in elegant Qipao evening dresses and Hualuxe promising ‘hosts’ dotted around the hotel to ensure a high level of service for guests.

Decor

‘Modern Chinese’ styling is coming to dominate hotels inside China, as well as influencing the design of those outside the country. This means eschewing replicas of ‘traditional’ Chinese objects such as Ming vases in favor of clean lines and a modern style which only hints at its forebears.

Look out for decor inspired by natural themes such as woodland, water and mountains, especially in conjunction with the growing ‘green’ trend enthusiastically embraced by properties around the world.

Services

Specific services designed to appeal to Chinese travelers will become standard in the coming years — Tai-chi sessions, for instance, are a popular way for hotels to connect with their guests.

In a similar vein, expect more hotels to embrace Chinese-style relaxation aids, whether that means lobby gardens or lavender-scented bathroom amenities.

As hotels are regularly used for business meetings in China, expect to see more ‘multi-purpose’ areas that can be used for meeting, entertaining and unwinding — and perhaps even a karaoke bar along the way.

Swiss ball gym

Swissotel’s new gym room service

Swiss ball gym

Swiss hotel chain Swissotel chain is to offer fitness equipment in guest rooms in its hotels around the world.

The chain announced March 12 that as part of its new ‘Vitality’ program being rolled out this year, guests will have the opportunity to order gym equipment to be set up in their rooms, complete with instructions.

Equipment options for healthy travelers include a Swiss ball, Aero Step, yoga mats, Thera-Bands, or Pilates rings, Swissotel said.
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Starwood SPG

Starwood launches ‘Richest Elite’ traveler benefits

Starwood SPG

International hotel chain Starwood has unveiled a major revamp of its Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program, targeting elite travelers with a host of new benefits.

The chain, which operates Sheraton, Westin, W Hotels, Le Meridien and St Regis, says that it’s responding to the global uptick in travel to target the ‘sophisticated’ market, which it believes has become ‘jaded’ about traditional schemes.

Among the most notable aspects of the change is a new service called Your24, which will let frequent travelers pick their own check-in and check-out times within a 24-hour timeframe — so if you check in at one property at 10 PM, you won’t have to check out until 10PM the next day.
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savoy

Fairmont Teams with Abbey Road Studios

savoy

Luxury hotel chain Fairmont has partnered with Abbey Road Studios, the iconic recording studio made famous by the Beatles.

Guests at the hotel chain will be offered exclusive experiences at Abbey Road, which famously featured on the front of the 1969 Beatles album of the same name.

They will be able to enjoy ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ experiences ranging from behind-the-scenes studio visits to recording their own songs at the studios.
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Hilton Frankfurt Airport

Hilton opens two properties at Frankfurt airport

Hilton Frankfurt Airport

Hilton has announced the opening of two new properties in a landmark development at Frankfurt Airport.

The hotels are part of the new SQUAIRE building, a huge center built within Frankfurt’s Airport, continental Europe’s second-busiest terminal.

Comprising a five-star Hilton and a three-star Hilton Garden Inn, the chain’s new developments offer a total of 583 rooms.
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Four Seasons Maldives Portable Food

Four Seasons launches 15-minute room service

Four Seasons Maldives Portable Food

Four Seasons has announced a new in-room menu designed for travelers who are tight for time. The option guarantees a delivery to the room within 15 min of ordering.

The fast food service will be rolled out across all Four Seasons hotels by the end of the year, with each hotel offering a different twist on rapid cooking.

Examples of the menus include wonton noodle soup with Chinese greens from the Four Seasons Hong Kong.
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Banksy no ball games

Hotel chain invites guests to steal artwork

Banksy no ball games

As research has proved, guests will steal plenty of things from hotels given the chance — but most would draw the line at a piece of art valued in the thousands.

One hotel, however, is inviting guests to steal art, in a clever promotion drawn up by Art Series Hotels, an Australian chain, for the summer.

Guests who book a room at the chain’s properties between December 15 and January 15 are being challenged to ‘steal’ a Banksy print worth AU$15,000, with the promise that they can keep it if they successfully pull off the heist.
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Fairmont Le Labo

Fairmont teams up with Le Labo

Fairmont Le Labo

Luxury hotel chain Fairmont, which operates 60 hotels around the world, has announced a partnership with New York perfumer Le Labo for its in-room amenities.

The brand announced Novermber 3 that Le Labo’s Rose 31, a Wallpaper magazine Best Perfume of the Year, would be the base of its amenity kits from this fall.

The “warm, spicy floral and woodsy” products included in the lineup will be shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion and soap products.
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Crowne Plaza in New York Times Square

InterContinental confirms new hotel brand next year

Crowne Plaza in New York Times Square

InterContinental, the world’s largest hotel firm and the name behind hotel brands such as Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza, is set to launch a new chain next year.

In a speech at the firm’s annual conference in Las Vegas, IHG’s America’s boss confirmed to staff that a new hotel brand was on the way.

“If you’re on a cereal aisle, and you’re Post (Foods LLC) or Kellogg (Co.), you want to dominate as much as you can of that shelf space,” Kirk Kinsell said.
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Waldorf Astoria Salvatore Ferragamo amenity kits

Waldorf Astoria, Ferragamo team on amenity kits

Waldorf Astoria Salvatore Ferragamo amenity kits

Luxury hotel chain Waldorf Astoria has announced a partnership with high-end fashion brand Salvatore Ferragamo to produce a new range of guest amenities.

The kits, which will be available exclusively from Waldorf Astoria properties, are Salvatore Ferragamo’s first venture into beauty and grooming and are comprised of Eau de Toilette, amenities and bath products.

Featuring exclusively Italian ingredients, the set of products will be distributed under the name ‘Tuscan Soul’.
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Renaissance Courtyard Doha

Marriott launches triple property in Doha

Renaissance Courtyard Doha

International hotel chain Marriott has confirmed the opening of three new hotels in Doha, Qatar.

The company debuted its Renaissance, Courtyard and Executive Apartment brands for in Qatar October 4, adding nearly 600 rooms to the capital city in two skyscrapers.

The hotels are located in two 48-storey skyscrapers, part of the Doha City Center Mall complex, a huge shopping and tourism complex in Doha’s West Bay district.
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Caesars Palace Longmu Bay

Caesars plans luxury resort in Hainan, China

Caesars Palace Longmu Bay

Casino giant Caesar’s Entertainment has announced the start of construction on its first non-casino luxury resort, in the Chinese holiday destination of Hainan.

The Caesars Palace Longmu Bay will be a 5-star resort with 1,000 rooms, a Las Vegas-style attraction which will set a ‘global luxury standard’ in China.

The first phase of the project is expected to cover a total of five square kilometers, Caesars confirmed September 27, with a planned opening date of 2014.
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Avani Bentota Resort

Minor Launches New Hotel Brand Avani

Avani Bentota Resort

Asian hotel operator Minor has launched a new luxury brand to be rolled out across Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and Africa.

Avani Hotels & Resorts launched last week and is intended to draw heavily on the Minor’s Asian roots, offering a ‘grounded personality’ and ‘a simple sense of style’ — Avani stems from the Sanskrit word for “earth.”

The first outpost for the new brand will open by the end of the year in Sri Lanka as the Avani Bentota Resort & Spa, a beachfront resort in the south of the country.
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InterContinental Moscow Tverskaya

InterContinental, Hyatt head to Russia

InterContinental Moscow Tverskaya

InterContinental has announced ambitious plans to open 100 hotels in Russia by 2020, an expansion of almost ten times the number operating there today.

The hotel chain announced September 12 that it aimed to capitalize on growing tourism to the country by significantly adding to the number of hotels it operates, across brands such as InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Hotel Indigo.

Among the new properties will be Europe’s largest Holiday Inn, a 1,000-room behemoth in Moscow set to open in 2014.
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