Check in! – hotel highlights across EMEA

The Blue Swan Daily brings you a round up of the latest key hotel news from across Europe, Middle East and Africa.

  • Scandic Hotels takes friendship to a new level for regular guests
  • Al Hamra Fort & Beach Resort reopens under Hilton brand in Ras Al Khaimah
  • Virgin Hotels selects Edinburgh for European debut
  • Marriott joins growing campaign against the use of plastic straws
  • Hilton arrives on the banks of Lake Como
  • One Crown Place to launch new luxury Georgian hotel in London
  • Frasers Hospitality opens its doors to opportunity from Saudi Arabian liberalisation

Scandic Hotels takes friendship to a new level for regular guests
Ten years on from its original launch and Scandic Hotels has relaunched its Scandic Friends loyalty scheme offering users a brand new app, better benefits, exciting new partnerships and more ways of spending accrued loyalty points. While the programme has been continuously developed over the past decade, the new functions will provide more benefits and at the same time enhance the user experiences, says Scandic Hotels Group. Besides the actual reward nights and the ability to now use points for partial payment of reward nights, members will now be able to pay for hotel extras or use the points with the new partners. New redemption partners include American Express, Hertz, SAS Eurobonus and Live Nation, and members can now choose to donate points to Save The Children and support local programmes in their home country. Together with the launch of the new Scandic Friends loyalty programme, the new Scandic app will allow customers to book rooms in any Scandic hotel in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Germany or Poland and is available in English, Danish, Finish, German, Norwegian and Swedish language.

Al Hamra Fort & Beach Resort reopens under Hilton brand in Ras Al Khaimah
Hilton Worldwide has officially opened its 265-room Hilton Al Hamra Beach & Golf Resort, formerly known as Al Hamra Fort & Beach Resort, following an extensive two-year refurbishment. With direct access to an 18-hole championship golf course and with stunning views of the Arabian Gulf and nearby Hajar Mountains, Hilton Al Hamra Beach & Golf Resort features a mix of 181 villas and suites, 75 deluxe guest rooms and nine luxurious suites. With an adjoining newly revamped 800-capacity convention centre boasting state-of-the-art amenities, the property is expected to become a popular choice for conferences, meetings and events. The property is Hilton’s sixth hotel in Ras Al Khaimah and will provide impetus and choice to international travellers, MICE visitors and local weekend guests to visit this increasingly popular destination, the most northern Emirate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Virgin Hotels selects Edinburgh for European debut
Virgin Hotels is to spread across the Atlantic and open its first property in Europe. Adding to its Chicago hotel and under development properties in eight other locations across the United States of America (USA), it has confirmed it will soon open a location in Edinburgh. The 225 room and suite hotel will be located within the India Buildings on Victoria Street in the city’s Old Town near the Royal Mile. It will offer multiple food and drink outlets, including the brand’s flagship Commons Club and will offer numerous meeting spaces for corporate travellers. The property will be completed in partnership with owner Flemyn and developer Jansons Property, and asset managed by Siggis Capital and is due to open in 2020. It is expected to be the first of many Virgin Hotels across Europe as part of a planned portfolio expansion into the 2020s.

Marriott joins growing campaign against the use of plastic straws
As part of efforts to protect the environment, Marriott International has joined the growing campaign against the use of plastic straws and will withdraw them from all of its UK properties. The group has requested its teams at its 60+ properties across the country to begin removing plastic straws from circulation throughout the hotels with immediate effect. Customers who request straws will be offered biodegradable or paper straws instead. The move is an example of the global hospitality company’s commitment to reducing waste, energy use and CO2 at its properties around the world. Marriott says its UK hotels used 300,000 straws last year so this would be a notable step in reducing the volume of plastic that damages our environment and wildlife.

Hilton arrives on the banks of Lake Como
Hilton opened its first property set amidst the rolling hills and crystalline waters of Lake Como. The largest hotel in the area, the newly opened property will deliver Hilton’s signature hospitality to the renowned leisure destination with upscale accommodation and awe-inspiring lake views. Located in the residential heart of the city, between central Como and the Swiss border, the property has 170 guest rooms all with parquet floors, wood and glass furnishings and large windows that invite light to illuminate the guest room space that provide spectacular view of the lakes. The hotel also has 21 suites, three of which offer lake view private terraces complete with private whirlpools and sunbeds.

One Crown Place to launch new luxury Georgian hotel in London
A new luxury hotel set in a restored Georgian terrace dating back to the early 1800s will open in the City of London in 2020. Forming part of the highly-anticipated One Crown Place mixed-use development, Bespoke Hotels has been appointed by AlloyMtd Group to operate 41 bedrooms at the property in Sun Street. The property spans five floors across six Georgian townhouses which were designed by one of the most influential and talented architects of the 18th century, George Dance the Younger. With ambitions to join a select group of five-star hotels in the City, the hotel will combine a 100-cover destination restaurant and bar alongside a private members’ club. The hotel, the name of which will be unveiled later this year, will sit alongside One Crown Place’s striking terracotta-clad residential towers containing 246 luxury apartments and 140,000 square feet of premium office space. Designed by London and New York-based KPF Architects, One Crown Place will occupy a prime position in one of London’s most exciting and dynamic neighbourhoods, nestled between Old Street, Shoreditch, and the City itself, just a stone’s throw from Liverpool Street Station.

Frasers Hospitality opens its doors to opportunity from Saudi Arabian liberalisation
Luxury serviced apartment operator Frasers Hospitality completed the soft opening of its first property in Saudi Arabia with the debut of Fraser Suites Riyadh on 01-Feb-2018. The 95-apartment property will open fully in the spring and joins a Middle East portfolio that includes apartments in Doha, Dubai and Bahrain. Located near Riyadh’s commercial business district, it is set to be joined by two further Fraser Suites Saudi Arabia properties in Al Khobar and Jeddah, which are set to open in 2019 and 2020, respectively.