Category Archives: Hotels

IHG signs two new properties in Dubai


InterContinental Hotels Group has announced signing two new properties in Dubai: Crowne Plaza Dubai Business Bay and InterContinental Residence Suites Dubai Business Bay. Both properties are in partnership with API Hotels & Resorts. Expected to open in 2019, Crowne Plaza Dubai Business Bay will be situated on the Business Bay Canal, near the Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Mall, as well as other developing commercial and residential communities. With 290 rooms and suites, the hotel will offer guests all day dining options, as well as a gym and an outdoor infinity pool. As a major draw for business bookers and travellers, Crowne Plaza Dubai Business Bay will include a ballroom as well as several meeting rooms to host conferences and events. Pascal Gauvin, Chief Operating Officer, India, Middle East & Africa, IHG, commented: “In the Middle East, we are currently engaged in the strategic expansion of the Crowne Plaza brand, as well as growing the footprint of our InterContinental Residence Suites. In support of these goals, we are delighted to be working with API Hotels & Resorts, an eminent partner with a proven track record in high quality hotel developments across the UAE.” Jassim Al Ali, CEO of API Hotels & Resorts, added: “In order to maximise further growth opportunities in the Middle East, we believe that we need to add a global operator with an internationally recognized brand to our portfolio and IHG, as a market leader with over 5,000 hotels worldwide fits this profile perfectly.”

Read More »

Hyatt Regency Delhi unveils business club


Hyatt Regency Delhi has recently launched a by-invitation, members-only business club for leaders of the industry. Known as The Council, the club aims to cater to a network of entrepreneurs and professionals from across the business world. Aseem Kapoor, General Manager, Hyatt Regency Delhi, says, “Increasingly we have guests who desire an exclusive space outside their office environment for conducting their business productively in a comfortable and luxurious setting. Located at the lobby level, The Council offers a restaurant, private meeting rooms, social working space and an exclusive wine and cigar room.” Exclusive Club Benefits Membership allows one to do private meetings in a dedicated creative boardroom with state-of-art facilities without prior reservation Exclusive access to wine and cigar room Club at Hyatt membership Valet service – 50 vouchers per year Two Business meetings in a year with no meeting room rental & up to 10 guests per meeting An annual members party Exclusive F&B menu offering within the club Access to special deals on art from renowned artists Preferential pricing when booking social events Special events hosted from time to time– wine dinners, cigar aficionados evening etc One point of contact Personal Manager with concierge services Priority reservations and special deals at the hotel’s award winning restaurants and spa Special offers for member’s celebratory occasions – birthday, anniversary etc

Read More »

Alibaba Group and Marriott International enter into a joint venture


Alibaba Group and Marriott International have announced the establishment of a joint venture to redefine the travel experience for the hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers travelling abroad and domestically every year. Drawing on resources from both Marriott and Alibaba, the joint venture will manage Marriott’s storefront on Fliggy, Alibaba’s travel service platform. It will also market directly to Alibaba’s customer base, provide a link between Marriott’s loyalty programmes and Alibaba’s loyalty programme, and support Marriott hotels globally with content, programmes and promotions customised for the Chinese traveller. This new venture is designed to satisfy consumers’ expectations for seamless, integrated, personalised, and convenient travel solutions that connect travellers directly to Marriott’s portfolio of international hotel brands. The travel industry is an important growth opportunity as China’s travellers are expected to take an estimated 700 million trips over the next five years. Marriott’s owners and franchisees globally will benefit from the joint venture by capturing a greater share of this growing Chinese travel market and lower distribution costs associated with the joint venture. “We are proud to join forces with Marriott International – combining our large-scale consumer base, leading-edge technology and consumer insights with their unparalleled hospitality expertise,” said Daniel Zhang, Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group. “Together, we are elevating and redefining the travel experience for Chinese consumers to be more seamless and personalized as they embark on adventures to discover the world.” Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Marriott International, said, “By forming this partnership, we are pairing our hospitality expertise with Alibaba’s digital travel platform, retail expertise and digital payment platform, Alipay, and driving membership to our loyalty programs. With the growing number of Chinese consumers exploring …

Read More »

The Westin Kolkata Rajarhat to open its doors for business travellers from Oct 1


The Westin Kolkata Rajarhat, perceived as a retreat for business and leisure travellers, will be unveiled on October 1, 2017. Located in dynamic Kolkata near the International Convention Centre and airport, the hotel will have 158 rooms. With abstract artwork harmonising with the ivory colour palette, the Deluxe Rooms invite you to relax in contemporary style. Ample natural light fills the space through double-glazed floor-to-ceiling windows framing spectacular views of the pool, Eco Park Lake, or the Kolkata skyline. If achieving productivity is a priority, the spacious writing desk with ergonomic chair and multi-jack connectivity helps you stay focused.

Read More »

MICE crisis in hotels post GST: HRAWI

H RA Western India logo (002)

Post the Goods & Services Tax (GST) roll out earlier this month, the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) related activities have been hit hard. One of the anomalies that emerged post GST roll-out was that MICE activities and other events held in hotels outside of home state are not eligible for Input Tax Credit (ITC). This has been leading to cancellations and postponements for pre booked events. Given the emergence of MICE Tourism as one of the fastest growing segments, and its potential to disrupt growth, the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) has appealed to the Government to revisit this particular aspect of the GST. “There is an overall reduction in MICE bookings across hotels in India as compared to the same period last year. Advance bookings are being cancelled and new bookings are not happening. Most companies are considering holding events in the same State where they are registered under GST. Businesses may still have digested the high GST, but without ITC, it just becomes unviable. MICE tourism is too important a segment for the nation to overlook,” says Dilip Datwani, President, HRAWI. Talking about the GST slabs for the industry he adds, “The 28 per cent GST rate for rooms with tariff of Rs. 7500/- and above is one of the highest in the world and will seriously affect cash flow. Moreover, the tax percentage will be determined based on the published or declared rate which is creating a lot of hardship for the industry. The association has appealed the Government to remove this condition and determine the tax percentage based on the actual transaction value and has also requested to review the ITC …

Read More »

‘GST will make India uncompetitive as a MICE destination’

Mr. Neeraj Govil (002)

The recent announcement of the Goods and Services Tax slab is predicted to reduce chances of the Indian MICE market as a destination globally.  Neeraj Govil, Area Vice President-South Asia, Marriott International, says, “We are complying with the GST. Most of our big hotels are under 28 per cent space and the rest are under 18 per cent space. We haven’t had any adverse impact at this point of GST but I think it will make international MICE all the way more difficult to get because India will become uncompetitive as a destination with our GST at 28 per cent. While other destinations like Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Dubai have significantly lower GST rate.”

Read More »

Sofitel Dubai Wafi offers 1115 sqm ballroom for meetings, events

sofitel dubai wafi

Sofitel has announced the largest Sofitel property in the Middle East with development partner MKM Commercial Holdings LLC. Expected to open in early 2019, Sofitel Dubai Wafi will join the luxury brand’s growing portfolio of 14 hotels and 4,400 rooms in operation and under development in the Middle East. Sami Nasser, Chief Operating Officer, Luxury Brands, AccorHotels Middle East, commented: “Within the United Arab Emirates, we’ve established a strong presence with four operational hotels across landmark locations including Abu Dhabi Corniche, Downtown Dubai, the Palm Jumeirah, Jumeirah Beach Residences, and now Wafi – a major shopping destination set to undergo a comprehensive retail and leisure expansion.” Sofitel Dubai Wafi will feature 501 luxury guestrooms, inclusive of 86 suites, ranging in size from 55 square meters to 625 sqm. Business travelers will have access to 10 meeting rooms in addition to a 1,115-square meter ballroom. Guests of Sofitel Dubai Wafi will enjoy close proximity to Wafi Shopping Mall, Downtown Dubai, Business Bay and the Dubai International Airport. Corporate clientele will have convenient access to primary business and exhibition centers including the Dubai International Financial Center, Dubai Healthcare City and the Dubai International Conference and Exhibition Centre. Located adjacent to the iconic Raffles Dubai, both properties will form a luxury cluster within Wafi offering guests a range of shared amenities and services. AccorHotels has 39 existing properties in the UAE, in addition to 23 others under development. In the Middle East and Egypt, AccorHotels currently operates 95 hotels encompassing 28,800 rooms across the luxury to economy segments. The Group’s regional network is expected to double in number, bringing over 25,000 additional rooms and nearly 2,400 branded residences to the Middle East.

Read More »

Marriott International’s SPG introduces mobile check-in for members


Starwood Preferred Guest, a loyalty programme of Marriott International, is launching SPG Mobile Check-In for members at 22 hotels in the United States. More hotels will begin offering this feature exclusively on the SPG Mobile app with the global rollout completed by the end of 2017. Marriott first launched mobile check-in, checkout and room ready alerts in 2013. It is now available at all hotels that were in the Marriott portfolio before the company’s acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts. “Mobile check-in is incredibly popular among our Marriott Rewards members with more than 200,000 check-ins occurring each week and that’s why we wanted to extend this convenient app feature to SPG members as well,” said David Flueck, Senior Vice President for Global Loyalty, Marriott International. “Mobile check-in is another example of how we are taking the best of our loyalty programmes to make the travel experiences for all of our 100 million members even better, with unmatched benefits and services rolled out at scale.” The new mobile check-in feature is available exclusively for members who have downloaded the SPG mobile app and booked their stays directly with SPG on its website or in the app. Members will receive a notification approximately 48 to 72 hours before their stay asking if they would like to check-in using the SPG app. On the day of arrival, a notification will be sent to their mobile device alerting them that their room is ready and their key is waiting for them at the front desk, and when they checkout using the SPG app, their folio will be emailed to them. With the SPG app, members can also Make A Green Choice® and request early …

Read More »

Park Inn by Radisson Kigali offers adaptable meetings concept


Park Inn by Radisson has announced its debut in Kigali, Rwanda. This marks the fifth hotel in East Africa for The Rezidor Hotel Group. Park Inn by Radisson Kigali’s Smart Meeting and Events concept offers adaptable and versatile meetings, training and conference rooms, suitable for focused meetings for 2 to 18 people, or large groups up to 400. The four modern meeting rooms offers flexible seating accommodation, event space, complimentary Wi-Fi internet, natural daylight, air conditioning, well trained staff and an environmentally conscious carbon offset programme. “The Park Inn by Radisson Kigali is a great new choice for corporate and leisure travellers seeking an international hospitality experience in Africa, with great value, uncomplicated and friendly service,” said Thomas Stene, General Manager of Park Inn by Radisson Kigali.

Read More »



Chander Mansharamani, Vice Chairman, ICPB, shared that the GST slabs announced for hospitality industry will negatively affect inbound tourism immediately. “The MICE industry will be terribly hit as most of the convention facilities are only available in 5-star hotels which have room rates of Rs. 5000 or above. The high tax rate of 28 per cent will negatively impact conventions and conferences in the pipeline as well. I feel scope for manipulation has been left for the hotels where one can charge Rs. 4990 for a room and pay only 18 per cent instead of 28 per cent. Also, there is confusion whether the tax will be charged on rack rate, published rate or on the negotiated rate. The whole purpose of one tax one India is defeated,” he added.

Read More »