CHECK OUT! – latest hotel highlights from across the globe

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

  • Scandic Hotels introduces a ‘playful, slimmer concept’ to meet growing demand in the economy hotel segment
  • A new LIFE – Luxe Hotels’ first branded property in New York City comes with history
  • IHG signs with Cycas Hospitality to bring Holiday Inn Express & Suites concept to Europe
  • Gulf Air and Gulf Hotels collaborate to manage and operate upcoming Bahrain Airport Hotel
  • News briefs – bitesize updates of latest industry news and developments

Scandic Hotels introduces a ‘playful, slimmer concept’ to meet growing demand in the economy hotel segment

Scandic Hotels, a leader in the Nordic region, has announced plans to launch a new brand to position itself to meet consumer trends. Its new Scandic GO concept, which will debut from the fourth quarter of 2020 is described as offering “a playful, slimmer concept within the growing economy hotel segment”. The new brand will become a large point of the Scandic offer with properties planned for city locations across all of the Nordic markets. It will initially launch with five hotels that will be refurbished. These are the Scandic No.53 and Scandic Upplandsgatan in Stockholm; Scandic Karl Johan and Scandic Grensen in Oslo; and Scandic Webers in Copenhagen (the Danish property will open in 2Q 2021). Scandic says full-service restaurants, meeting facilities and gyms will be removed, to deliver the offer of “a great night’s sleep at a great location for a great price”.

A new LIFE – Luxe Hotels’ first branded property in New York City comes with history

Luxe Life Hotel New York – Luxe Hotels’ first branded property in New York City – was officially opened earlier this month in Manhattan’s NoMad neighbourhood. The 98-room boutique hotel is housed in the former headquarters of the famous general interest title LIFE Magazine. From its prohibition era bar in the basement to art collection from local artists, the hotel pays homage to the talented artists, writers, and creative staff who lived and worked in the building during the time of the publication, which dates back to 1895. The opening forms part of an exciting growth for the Luxe Hotels brand. Less than a year ago, Rose Garden Palace Hotel in Rome rebranded to Luxe Rose Garden Roma, and is now the first hotel in Europe to carry the Luxe namesake. In addition, the company’s flagship in Beverly Hills, Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel, will complete a USD4+ million renovation this spring. The brand’s other hotels include Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel in the chic Brentwood neighbourhood of Los Angeles and Luxe City Center Hotel in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles.

IHG signs with Cycas Hospitality to bring Holiday Inn Express & Suites concept to Europe

Extended stay hotel management company Cycas Hospitality has signed a lease agreement with Van der Linde Architecten and Development company to manage InterContinental Hotel Group’s (IHG) first new Holiday Inn Express & Suites concept in Europe, which is expected to open in The Netherlands in early 2021. Whilst the concept of pairing a Holiday Inn Express hotel with additional branded suites has proved increasingly popular with travellers in North America and Asia over the last decade, this is the first signing of IHG’s expanded Holiday Inn Express brand concept in Europe. The 99-key Holiday Inn Express & Suites Deventer will comprise 83 standard rooms plus 16 suites, providing the first aparthotel facility in the area. Whilst each suite includes a kitchenette, living space and separate sleeping area to cater for longer-staying travellers, guests will still benefit from the hotel’s wider facilities, The property is located adjacent to the De Weteringen business park, whose mix of engineering, manufacturing and logistics service providers is expected to drive corporate demand for the property’s extended-stay capabilities. The new-build hotel will become Cycas’s fourth Benelux property, and first in the region with IHG.

Gulf Air and Gulf Hotels collaborate to manage and operate upcoming Bahrain Airport Hotel

Gulf Air Group Holding and Gulf Hotels Group have joined hands to establish the Bahrain Airport Hotel Company, which will manage and operate the upcoming Bahrain Airport Hotel at Bahrain International Airport’s new passenger terminal building. The airport hotel is an important element of the new terminal where it will support growing levels of transit passengers. With “an authentic Bahraini character and intimate atmosphere,” the property will offer passengers a variety of accommodation types and facilities, including 17 family rooms, 24 standard rooms, and 17 compact rooms. There will also be a dedicated separate gyms for men and women which will include various other services.

News briefs

  • All-inclusive hotel brand, Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, is pushing ahead with its commitment to sustainable hospitality with a USD11 million investment toward its Integral Coastal Management Plan that promotes sustainable planning and management of the territories and natural resources where the brand operates. It currently has properties in Dominican Republic, Mexico, Jamaica and Spain.
  • The Bay Gardens Rodney Bay Hotel is completing renovations offering a “newer, fresher look” as part and parcel of “soft” refurbishments to the higher room categories at the St Lucia property, as it celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The property features 87 rooms, including standard and superior rooms, and junior executive suites. To date, nine junior executive suites and ten superior rooms have been completed at a cost of approaching USD100,000 – the 13 remaining superior rooms and four remaining junior executive suites are expected to be completed by the end of Sep-2020.
  • CityBlue Hotels will add its first property in Kenya’s capital city and commercial hub of Nairobi, the seventh CityBlue in Africa. The 235ft tall Skynest Residences by CityBlue developed by Elegant Properties will be the largest internationally branded aparthotel in Kenya and marks CityBlue’s second property in Kenya, complementing the CityBlue Creekside Hotel & Suites in Mombasa. Located in the heart of the new business district of Westlands, it will have 247 serviced and furnished apartments with one, two and three bedroom configurations.
  • Two new Comfort Suites properties have opened in Texas, franchised by Choice Hotels International. The 78-room Comfort Suites in Cedar Park is located at 900 Arrow Point Drive, a short distance from downtown Austin, while the 70-room Comfort Suites in San Antonio is located at 4630 Hitt Drive, midway between San Antonio International Airport and the city’s downtown area.
  • Accor is expanding its presence in Ethiopia after signing a management agreement to open a new property under its design-led economy brand, Ibis Styles. The group has partnered with private conglomerate, Yuluch Elyano Trading, to operate the 150-key Ibis Styles Addis Ababa, its fifth upcoming property in the capital, with a scheduled opening date of 2023. The property is located in a secluded location just off the city’s main thoroughfare, Bole Road, a short distance from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport.
  • Hospitality brand Locke will open its second hotel in the capital on the Thames at London’s Millennium Bridge. The 113-room Locke at Broken Wharf is located minutes from both Cannon Street and Blackfriars on the north bank stretch of the river path. It sets the stage for two more London openings in Bermondsey and Dalston later this year, in addition to international projects in Dublin, Munich, Berlin, Lisbon and Copenhagen. These openings build on the success of Locke’s existing hotels in East London, Manchester and Edinburgh.
  • The Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai has unveiled its palatial Royal Penthouse, a luxurious addition to its signature suites. that is located on the top floor of the beachfront resort, accessed by a private lift. The glamorous and lavishly appointed one-bedroom suite is complemented by a large, bright and generous living space and includes a private landscaped rooftop terrace with panoramic sea views.
  • Resort operator Soneva recently launched its Namoona Baa initiative, marking the first major step towards reducing waste in the Maldives. Soneva unveiled its ‘Eco-Centro’ waste-processing complex on the island of Maalhos in the Baa Atoll, establishing a major shift in how the island recycles and manages waste. The facility is modelled on an established system at its Soneva Fushi flagship resort.
  • Latest data from STR paints a positive picture for room growth across the Caribbean/Mexico region. The hotel pipeline data shows 152 projects accounting for 31,787 rooms in construction as of the end of Jan-2020. This represents a 26.9% year-over-year jump in the number of rooms in the final phase of the development pipeline.  A majority of the region’s rooms in construction are in the upper-tier segments.
  • Marriott International has celebrated the opening of the TownePlace Suites by Marriott Edmonton Sherwood Park this week. The new 105-suite hotel is located at 1001 Provincial Avenue is owned and managed by PHI Hotel Group of Surrey. It is designed for travellers who need accommodation for longer stays and offers studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom suites with fully equipped kitchens, as well as separate living/working and sleeping areas.