Check in! – latest hotel highlights from across EMEA

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

  • Hilton adds to its exclusive Canopy lifestyle brand with second Paris property
  • Hyatt launches three global initiatives to significantly reduce single-use plastics
  • The ‘Up’s and ‘Down’s of hotel construction across EMEA
  • Can you cover my room ceiling with a sky of candy floss clouds? Can you get me a unicorn pedal boat and arrange for a rainbow? – bizarre Travelodge guest hotel requests
  • Latest industry news and developments

Hilton adds to its exclusive Canopy lifestyle brand with second Paris property

Hilton has confirmed plans to introduce a second Parisian hotel to its Canopy lifestyle brand as it prepares to debut its first property in the French capital. The Canopy by Hilton Paris Trocadero is scheduled to open in 2020, and two years later in 2022 will be joined by the 150-room Canopy by Hilton Paris Quartier Latin, which will be located on rue Lacepede, close to the city’s Jardin des Plantes. The second Paris property will be housed within a new seven-storey building, combined with a renovated historical mansion which it describes as featuring an “Eiffel-style industrial roof”.

Hyatt launches three global initiatives to significantly reduce single-use plastics

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced a series of initiatives to reduce waste at Hyatt hotels globally, including introducing large-format bathroom amenities and reducing single-use water bottles. By no later than Jun-2021, it confirms its properties will transition to large-format bathroom amenities to replace traditional small bottles of shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and lotion; will increase the number of water stations in key public spaces at hotels for guests who wish to refill reusable water bottles; and will serves water in carafes or other containers for meetings and events, with bottled water only available by request. These new initiatives represent a significant step in Hyatt’s global sustainability program and underscore Hyatt’s commitment to wellbeing.

The ‘Up’s and ‘Down’s of hotel construction across EMEA

Latest hotel pipeline data from benchmarking specialist STR for the EMEA region shows significant variations. The company’s Oct-2019 hotel pipeline data showed 434 projects accounting for 119,991 rooms in construction in the Middle East and 135 projects and 24,939 rooms in construction in Africa. The Middle East total represented a -5.7% year-over-year decrease in the number of rooms in the final phase of the development pipeline. The Africa room construction total was down -4.0% year over year. Meanwhile, STR’s hotel pipeline data for Europe showed 1,620 projects accounting for 205,383 rooms in construction as of Oct-2019. This represented a +44.3% year-over-year increase in the number of rooms in the final phase of the development pipeline. A majority of the region’s rooms in construction are in three segments. Of those three, unaffiliated projects represented the largest percentage increase (+88.7%) in activity year over year, ahead of Upscale, 40,750 rooms (+30.9%), and Upper Midscale, 32,945 rooms (+30.6%). Four countries reported more than 8,000 rooms under construction. Germany led with 51,544 rooms, which represented 7.6% of the country’s existing supply, followed by the United Kingdom (40,867 rooms, 6.0% of existing supply), then Spain, 26,166 rooms (3.9%), and France, 8,247 rooms (1.5%).

Can you cover my room ceiling with a sky of candy floss clouds? Can you get me a unicorn pedal boat and arrange for a rainbow? – bizarre Travelodge guest hotel requests

UK budget hotel chain, Travelodge, has revealed the most bizarre requests that some of its 19 million customers have asked whilst staying in one of its 570 UK hotels during the last 12 months. Travelodge says its hotel teams across the length and breadth of the UK receive thousands of strange requests throughout the year and some of the oddities during the last 12 months include:

  • Can you tell the ducks to go to sleep, they are keeping me awake?
  • Where can I find the wall between platform 9 & 10 to get the Hogwarts Express?
  • Where can I moor my barge?
  • Can you ensure the Northern Lights pass the hotel tonight?
  • Can you set up a spare bed for Vera, my pink Vespa?
  • Can you arrange for a full moon to come to my room window at 10pm as I want to propose to my girlfriend in the moon light?
  • Can you glue Swarovski crystals all over my ball gown?
  • Can you baby sit my Silkie chicks called Kit Kat, whilst I attend a black tie event?

While a budget chain, Travelodge is seeing a year on year increase in more business customers staying across its UK hotels. Today over 50% of the company’s customer base are people staying for business purposes and many bizarre requests have also been received from business customers:

  • Can you arrange for a water taxi to take my boss from Dover directly to Paris?
  • Can you do 100 voxpox interviews to test ideas ahead of a client meeting?
  • Can you write out 1,000 Christmas cards to my clients?
  • Can you teach me how to play golf?
  • Can you place a Chinese waving cat either side of the bed – facing the door?
  • Can you empty the car park as my boss will be arriving in a private jet?
  • Can you be part of my sales team for an important team meeting?
  • Can you sort out six months of receipts in date order and then complete my expense form?
  • Can you stand in the queue as I have to have the new iPhone to impress my colleagues?

News briefs

  • Marriott has debuted its Delta Hotels by Marriott brand in the UK with three properties in total planned in 2019 and five more in 2020. These include the Delta Hotels by Marriott Milton Keynes, a 138 room property near junctions 13 and 14 of the M1 motorway; the 122-room Delta Hotels by Marriott Cheltenham Chase in Brockworth on the outskirts of Gloucester; and the 120-room Delta Hotels by Marriott Nottingham Belfry, due to open later this year. The brand currently has 67 properties in North America, five in Europe and one in the Middle East.
  • Travelport is working with IBM to use blockchain technology to automate hotel commission settlement. The company is setting up a private blockchain among hotels and their agents to set up a method of settlement.
  • Moscow Domodedovo Airport has announced plans for the construction of a 35,000 square metre hotel complex at Moscow Aerotropolis by Granelle Group and InterContinental Hotels Group. The project comprises a five star Crown Plaza Hotel and three star, 148-room Holiday Inn Express. The 450 room hotel complex and the terminal building will be joined by a skyway.
  • Expedia Group has reported that changes to Google’s search algorithm has reduced the visibility of Expedia on search results, forcing the company to turn to paid advertising. The change favours Google’s own Google Flights and Google Hotels, putting them higher in the search results, and is expected to be persistent through 2020. This has created “a sizeable headwind” for the company, says Expedia CFO Alan Pickerill.
  • The Design Hotel Levi luxury design hotel will open in the village of Levi in Finnish Lapland on 30-Nov-2019. Levi is one of the Nordic’s largest winter sports areas offering both extensive downhill ski and snowboarding as well as cross country skiing, snowshoeing and fat biking with the season long-lasting running well into May. The GBP10 million project is the largest in the Arctic region this year with a particular focus on Nordic art and design. Located adjacent to its sister hotel, Levi Hotel and Spa and has 77 rooms and suites which combine Arctic nature into the design.
  • The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) has announced that the Hilton Hotels’ LightStay corporate responsibility management system has achieved ‘GSTC-Recognized Standard’ status. The platform, launched ten years ago in 2009 to enable the company to track its environmental and social impact across its entire global portfolio of nearly 6,000 managed and franchised hotels, is the first among major hotels to secure this recognition. Currently, 11 destination standards, 30 hotel standards, and 30 tour operator standards have achieved ‘GSTC-Recognized Standard’ status.
  • Budget hotel chain, Travelodge, has opened the second of three hotels it’s opening in Kent this year. Rochester Travelodge is the company’s first hotel in the town and 14th in Kent. Located in the town centre at Rochester Riverside, Countryside and Hyde’s GBP419m regeneration scheme, the new purpose built 81-room hotel is close to the railway station, castle and cathedral.
  • Accor Hotels has expanded its partnership with Onyx CenterSource, a global provider of B2B payments and business intelligence solutions to the hospitality industry. The partnership was launched back in 2010 as a solution to streamline and optimise Accor’s commission payment process.