Category Archives: Hotels

Wyndham Hotel Group builded 370,000 sqft of meeting space in 2017

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Wyndham Hotel Group, this year, has added more than 370,000 sqft of meeting space and opened several notable additions to its portfolio. The group have announced an addition to its expanding Dolce Hotels and Resorts brand: Cheyenne Mountain Resort Colorado Springs, a Dolce Resort. The new addition becomes the fourth resort to join the Dolce brand since it was acquired by Wyndham Hotel Group.  Cheyenne Mountain Resort Colorado Springs, offers 316 guest rooms and suites with mountain views across 200 scenic acres of southern Colorado landscape. A true Rocky Mountain retreat, the resort is home to more than 40,000 sqft (3,700 square meters) of flexible event space alongside a 35-acre private lake and golf course. Barry Goldstein, Wyndham Hotel Group’s Chief Marketing Officer, said, “As demand for meetings travel continues to grow, we will continue expanding our unsurpassed portfolio with unique and flexible spaces in the most coveted destinations.”

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FHRAI’s Annual Convention underway at the Garden City

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The 52nd FHRAI Annual Convention is underway at Shangri-La Hotel, Bengaluru. At the three-day event, being held between September 14 and 16, delegates will get a chance to attend panel discussions on relevant topics and be able to network with fellow hoteliers. The theme chosen for this year’s convention is “Hospitality 2025 – The Future is NOW”. The inauguration ceremony was presided over by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who blessed the function. Ananth Kumar, Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers; Ashok Chandra Panda, Minister of State, Department of Tourism, Government of Odisha; R.V. Deshpande, Minister for Large & Medium Industries & Infrastructure Development, Government of Karnataka, and many other dignitaries are also present at the event.

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Supreme Court’s clarification on highway liquor ban brings in respite for city hotels

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The Supreme Court has clarified that the ban on sale of alcohol within 500 metres of state and national highways does not apply within city limits, granting relief to the liquor and hospitality industry. The apex court’s directive that no liquor shop shall be visible and directly accessible from the highways nor it should be situated within 500 metres of the outer edge of the national or state highway or of the service lane, created chaos in the hospitality industry. While lakhs of people lost their jobs, the MICE business impacted a great deal in the country. Terming it as a landmark order, Dilip Datwani, President, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) says, “This was a much needed clarification as millions of jobs and the very survival of the nation’s tourism industry was at stake. It has been HRAWI’s contention right from the start that the original order could not have been directed at hotels and liquor vends within city limits. We are thankful to the Bench and the Hon’ble Justices for unequivocally clarifying this. The order will bring relief to almost 70 per cent of the affected hotels.”

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IHG signs two new properties in Dubai

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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.”

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Hyatt Regency Delhi unveils business club

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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

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Alibaba Group and Marriott International enter into a joint venture

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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 …

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

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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.

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MICE crisis in hotels post GST: HRAWI

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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 …

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‘GST will make India uncompetitive as a MICE destination’

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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.”

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Sofitel Dubai Wafi offers 1115 sqm ballroom for meetings, events

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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.

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