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.

  • Wyndham reaches into fast-growing upper-midscale segment with La Quinta deal
  • Country Inns & Suites drops Carlson name in favour of Radisson brand
  • Yotel expands into extended stay market with new Yotelpad properties
  • Swedish Lapland home to innovative floating Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa concept
  • Radisson Blu opens its doors to second Vienna hotel… plans new Timisoara property… builds its presence in Jeddah… and opens third Nigerian hotel with second Lagos property

Wyndham reaches into fast-growing upper-midscale segment with La Quinta deal
Wyndham Worldwide has entered into an agreement with La Quinta Holdings to acquire its hotel franchise and management businesses for USD1.95 billion, including a repayment of a USD715 million debt. Under the terms of the agreement, which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018, Wyndham will acquire La Quinta’s 900 managed and franchised hotels, after which the hospitality company will have a stake in 21 brands and more than 9,000 properties across 75 countries. In addition, the La Quinta Returns loyalty programme will be combined with the Wyndham Rewards programme. The deal to acquire La Quinta, one of the largest midscale brands in the industry, will build upon Wyndham Hotel Group’s own strong presence in this area and expand its reach further into the fast-growing upper-midscale segment. The transaction, which has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies, is expected to close upon the completion of the planned spin-off of La Quinta’s owned real estate assets into the separate entity.

Country Inns & Suites drops Carlson name in favour of Radisson brand
Leading upper midscale hotel brand, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson has changed its name to Country Inn & Suites by Radisson. This strategic name change will allow the brand and the individual hotels to leverage the global recognition and strength of the Radisson brand, according to parent Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. The consumer-facing changes will be made in stages throughout the first half of 2018 and will include a new visual identity, updated logo and refreshed marketing and hotel collateral. The brand has over 480 hotels in the United States, Canada, Latin America and India and will maintain its signature brand amenities such as free Wi-Fi, complimentary hot breakfast, fitness centres and its Read It & Return Lending Library. “By aligning with our Radisson brands, Country Inn & Suites hotels will benefit from increased name awareness among new and prospective guests, while retaining its brand essence of modern country warmth enjoyed by our current guests,” says Ken Greene, president, Americas, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group.

Yotel expands into extended stay market with new Yotelpad properties
Yotel has already delivered on the compact and comfortable concept with its city centre hotels integrating the elements of luxury hotels into cleverly designed spaces, while its YotelAir capsule concept has brought an alternative accommodation offering at major airports across Europe. Now its says ‘Mini’s the next big thing’ as it makes its debut in the extended stay market with the launch of YotelPad. With rising real estate prices forcing purchasers to rethink space and technology making it easier to build intuitive intelligence into a floorplan, Yotel says its efficient private PADs concept, based on a service apartments concept, is “equipped with the essentials, and common social spaces with plenty of wow factor,” delivering guests and homebuyers with a home-from-home offering. Initially launching at two locations at Park City, Utah and in downtown Miami, Florida, there are already plans to grow the portfolio to five locations and debut across Europe and Middle East with two properties in the Lake Geneva region (Plan-les-Ouates and Étoy) in Switzerland and one in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Swedish Lapland home to innovative floating Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa concept
Inspired by the success of its Treehotel enclave in a pine forest in nearby Harads, Sweden, the Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa will take hotel accommodation to a new level. Opening in autumn 2018, the property will actually freely float on the Lule River during the summer months and freeze into situ during the colder winter season. Housing six separate guest rooms, the open centre of the facility is designed for tranquil relaxation and activities such cold water baths, an Arctic tradition, while providing a location to capture the Northern Lights.

Radisson Blu opens its doors to second Vienna hotel…
Radisson Blu has opened a second hotel in Vienna, Austria. The modern 233-room Radisson Blu Park Royal Palace Hotel, Vienna, a rebranding of an existing hotel, is located next to Schönbrunn Palace – one of the most important cultural and historical monuments in the country. The new property, which features 233 guest rooms, including 21 suites, brings the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group portfolio in Vienna to three hotels – two Radisson Blu properties and one Park Inn by Radisson – with nearly 500 rooms.  “The capital of Austria remains a focal market for our growth journey,” says Elie Younes, executive vice president & chief development officer of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. “We will continue to look for further opportunities in this city.”
…plans new Timisoara property…
Rezidor Hotel Group has confirmed plans to open a new Radisson Blu Hotel, property in Timisoara, Romania, boosting the group’s portfolio in the country to four hotels. Radisson Blu and Mulberry Development will create an international upper upscale hotel in Timisoara, the main social, economic and cultural hub in western Romania – and the European Capital of Culture for 2021. “Timisoara is a very attractive destination for us; it has significant development potential, and there are major investments with attractive new concepts,” says Ms Younes. Due for completion in 2020, the hotel will feature 160 rooms, a signature restaurant and bar concept, 1,000 square metres of meeting space (including a ballroom), and a 24/7 fitness centre The property will be an integral part of the ambitious development of the most important combined real estate project in the ISHO neighborhood of Timisoara.
… builds its presence in Jeddah…
Radisson Blu has opened its fifth hotel in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The 150-room property, Jeddah Corniche, has a prime location close to the popular North Corniche, which overlooks the Red Sea and is within the city’s newest waterfront development. It is one of 38 hotels the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has in operation and under development in Saudi Arabia offering a combined 10,000+ rooms. The new hotel has an excellent location, and is within walking distance to the corniche promenade, the Red Sea Malland major theme park Atallah Happy Land Park. King Abdulaziz International Airport is just 6.2 kilometres away. It has a range of rooms and suites, from standard and business-class rooms to one and two-bedroom suites. All rooms include free high-speed wireless Internet and guests also have complimentary access to two separate health clubs for men and women, which include a fitness gym, sauna and massage rooms – in addition to a outdoor swimming pool.

… and opens third Nigerian hotel with second Lagos property
A new Radisson Blu property in Nigeria, its third in the country and second in its largest city, Lagos has officially opened its doors. The 155-room Radisson Blu Hotel Lagos Ikeja offers a choice of contemporary standard and business-class rooms, as well as a range of one, two and three-bedroom loft suites. The hotel is centrally located in Ikeja, the capital of the Lagos State – home to many corporate headquarters, government offices and large manufacturers. It is situated next to Mobolaji Bank Anthony Highway, a main highway linking Ikeja with the rest of Lagos, also just a few kilometers away from Murtala Muhammed International Airport, and close to the suburb’s cultural and tourist attractions. Radisson Blu is part of Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group which has a portfolio of 85 hotels, and over 17,800 rooms in operation and under development in Africa. The company has identified Nigeria specifically as a key country for scaled growth. “We are confident the appeal of the international upper upscale Radisson Blu brand and the excellent location of the hotel will attract strong business from both international and domestic travellers,” says Tim Cordon, area senior vice president, Middle East, Turkey and Africa, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group.