CHECK IN! – latest hotel highlights from across the globe

The Blue Swan Daily brings you the first of this week’s round up of some of the latest accommodation news from across the globe.

  • Accor to debut SO/ Hotels and Resorts brand in Australia with new Melbourne property opening in 2023
  • Comfort takes a rise to new heights with Stockholm airport property
  • Grand Hyatt latest big brand to reveal its big Makkah intentions
  • US hotels post solid January performance, but uncertainty over COVID-19 looms large
  • News briefs – bitesize updates of latest industry news and developments

Accor to debut SO/ Hotels and Resorts brand in Australia with new Melbourne property opening in 2023

Located on the corner of William and Franklin Streets within a mixed-use development that also includes office and co-working space, the SO/Melbourne hotel will overlook Flagstaff Gardens and the Queen Victoria Market, also close to key commercial, retail and leisure attractions in the Australian city. The property, with 288 guestrooms and suites will be housed between Level 11 and Level 34 of the development. Accor Group says the SO/Melbourne will bring “a bold and playful energy” to Melbourne “blending the brand’s vibrant luxury services with the heart and soul of the destination”.  This continues the global expansion of the brand’s footprint that already sees properties planned for Kuala Lumpur (2020), Samui (2020), Dubai (2020), Cuba (2020), Mexico (2021), Paris (2021) and Jakarta (2021).

Comfort takes a rise to new heights with Stockholm airport property

Nordic Choice Hotels, the Scandinavian master franchisee of Choice Hotels International, has celebrated the formal opening of the Comfort Hotel Arlanda Airport in Stockholm, Sweden. The 503-room hotel is the largest in the Comfort brand system worldwide and is one of several new hotels that Nordic Choice expects to add to the Choice portfolio over the next three years, including the Comfort Hotel Copenhagen Airport later this year and Comfort Hotel Vantaa Airport in Helsinki in 2023. Located between terminals 4 and 5 at the Stockholm Arlanda Airport, guests have only a two-minute walk to the international terminal – perfect for travellers – but its proximity to Sweden’s train network also offers wider options. Among its facilities is the Anorak Bar on the twelfth floor and a rooftop bar with a mile-wide view where guests can watch planes take off and land.

Grand Hyatt latest big brand to reveal its big Makkah intentions

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced that an affiliate has entered into a management agreement with Umm Alqura for development and construction of a Grand Hyatt branded hotel in the Holy City of Makkah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Located in close proximity to the Grand Mosque, the hotel will be an integral component of the King Abdul Aziz Road (KAAR) mixed-use urban development project, designed to support one of the fastest-growing religious tourism markets in the world. Slated to open in January 2025, Grand Hyatt Makkah will be the first Grand Hyatt hotel in Makkah and the second Grand Hyatt hotel in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, joining Grand Hyatt Al Khobar which is slated to open in 2020. The 756-room property will feature interiors that integrate materials and artwork representing Islamic tradition, whilst maintaining the detailed design and luxurious services synonymous with the Grand Hyatt brand.

US hotels post solid January performance, but uncertainty over COVID-19 looms large

It remains to be seen how hotels worldwide will weather what seems to be an alarming spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, but US hotels posted a sold performance for Jan-2020. STR data show that US hotel performance increased in all three key performance metrics. Occupancy notched up 0.8% to 55.1%, while average daily rate increased 1.4% to USD126.06. Revenue per available room (RevPAR) grew by 2.2% to USD69.47. Breaking down the results among the US’ 25 top markets, STR stated that Super Bowl LIV host, Miami/Hialeah, Florida, posted the largest jump in RevPAR of18.6% to USD215.89, driven by the only double-digit rise in ADR of 14.5% to USD266.32. Hotels located in St Louis, Missouri, posted the largest rise in occupancy of 7.6% to 49.6% and the second biggest increase in RevPAR of 14% to USD49.69. STR noted that Oahu Island, Hawaii posted the only other double digit rise in RevPAR of 12.9% to USD223.33. Overall, said STR 19 of the tope 25 US markets recorded a gain in RevPAR.  Detroit, Michigan registered the largest top in RevPAR, according to STR. Its unit revenue fell by 13.7% year-on-year in Jan-2020 to USD50.60 fuelled by the only double digit decrease in ADR of 12.% to USD96.26.

News briefs

  • TravelSky Technology and Berjaya Hotel & Resorts have implemented the ‘QUICK Passenger Retailing Solution’ to power connectivity by air to Berjaya Hotels & Resorts properties on Redang Island. Flights can be booked effective immediately via a dedicated website and other designated channels. The flights will be operated between Subang Airport and Redang Island with ATR 42 equipment.
  • Hotel Crescent Court has announced the completion of its renovation to The Crescent Ballroom Wing including The Crescent Ballroom, Garden Room, Salons, Executive Boardroom and Crescent Wing Foyer. The property is situated in the heart of Uptown Dallas within the 11-acre Crescent Complex.
  • The newly opened Hyatt Place Bakersfield is centrally located near the heart of the Californian city just minutes from upscale shopping, dining, attractions and California State University, Bakersfield. The property has 120 spacious guestrooms with separate spaces to sleep, work and play, as well as the brand’s trademark Cozy Corner sofa-sleeper.
  • Iberostar Group, the Spanish hotel chain specializing in four- and five-star hotels, has announced it is partnering with travel technology company GIATA to optimise its content management and distribution in one central platform.
  • Malaysia‘s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has reported local hotels will be exempted from a 6% service tax from Mar-2020 to Aug-2020. The measures are in response to falling travel demand due to the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Airport operator, Groupe ADP, has completed a ground breaking for the development of the new Marriott International dual-branded hotel complex at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. Construction is slated for completion in Jan-2022. The complex combines Courtyard Hotels and Residence Inn, with 229 rooms and 106 apartment-style rooms respectively. The new hotel will be developed in partnership with ADIM Paris Île-de-France and Cycas Hospitality, increasing Paris CDG room capacity to almost 4,500 by 2025.
  • Meininger Hotels has secured planning permission for a new 87-bedroom hotel in Liverpool. The property will be located at 1 Union Court and will involve the conversion of an existing office building and the addition of a two storey roof top extension.
  • The Premier Inn brand may be strongest in the UK, but it has big plans in the German city of Hamburg. New properties are set to open in very diverse districts of the city. These comprise the 104-room Premier Inn Hamburg Hauptbahnhof Süd (set to open in 1Q 2020) next to the city’s main railway station; the 102-room Premier Inn Hamburg St. Pauli Messe (opens in 2Q 2020); the 179 room Premier Inn Hamburg City Ost (opens in 2Q 2020) in the city’s historic warehouse district; and the 219 room Premier Inn Hamburg St. Pauli (opens in 4Q 2020) in St Pauli, the city‘s party district and home to the infamous Reeperbahn.
  • Bangalore Airport Hotel Limited (BAHL) reportedly plans to expand Taj Bangalore, a five star hotel located 250 metres from Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport. BAHL plans to develop 220 additional rooms at Taj Bangalore, increasing the total number of rooms to 374.
  • The TownePlace Suites by Marriott Austin South has opened just over seven miles from Austin Bergstrom International Airport and 10 minutes from downtown. The new 103-suite hotel will operate as a Marriott franchise, owned by Scenic Property Group and managed by PM Hotel Group.
  • Budget hotel chain, Travelodge, opened two new hotels in London in Feb-2020 and boosted its portfolio to 589 hotels which includes 77 properties in England’s capital city. These two new properties are located in Beckton (113 rooms) and Dagenham (78 rooms) and represent an investment of GBP22 million by third party investors. Travelodge has opened 10 hotels in London in the last three years and now operates 77 hotels in the city. The company is expecting to open at least 20 more hotels in the Capital over the next five years.
  • YOTEL has partnered with Duetto, a provider of cloud-based revenue strategy applications, to streamline its revenue processes and work to maximise profitability across its European operations.