Briefs: Aimbridge unveils concept for Frenchman’s Reef resort; Kirkwood expands portfolio 

Aimbridge unveils concept for Frenchman’s Reef resort: Aimbridge Hospitality has unveiled the concept for the second resort at Frenchman’s Reef in the U.S. Virgin Islands, which will open as part of a $425-million rebuild project on the property. Managed by Aimbridge, the Morningstar Buoy Haus Beach Resort, an Autograph Collection Hotel is a new resort which is expected to open in spring 2023. The resort will offer 94 rooms, including two suites, a lobby, several dining venues, a pool and 13,00 square feet of event space. Guests will also be able to access amenities at The Westin Beach Resort & Spa at Frenchman’s Reef, which is scheduled to open in spring 2023. The two properties will be connected through a shared stretch of Morningstar Beach, which will offer additional social and event spaces.  

Rendering of Centrella Hotel in Monterey Bay, Calif.

Kirkwood expands portfolio: Kirkwood Collection, a family-owned boutique hotel group based in Beverly Hills, Calif., has added a new hotel to their portfolio — Centrella Hotel in Monterey Bay, Calif.,. Opened in 1889 as a boarding house, the Victorian building has grown into four buildings offering 26 rooms. The hotel was launched as a bed and breakfast in 1981 following a complete renovation and was listed on the National Historic Landmarks Registry in 1982. This is Kirkwood’s second acquisition in Monterey Bay, followed by the acquisition of the oceanfront Seven Gables Inn in 2021. Currently, Kirkwood’s portdolio includes seven boutique properties across California.   

WorldHotels adds in Japan: WorldHotels has announced that Villa Fontaine Premier Haneda Airport in Tokyo, Japan has joined its portfolio under the Elite collection. The luxury airport hotel will open on Wednesday. The hotel features 160 rooms, conference facilities and dining venues. WorldHotels has partnered with Sumitomo Realty & Development Co. Ltd. for the hotel. 

U.S. performance update: The hotel industry in the U.S. reported lower performance from last month and weakened comparisons with 2019, showed November data from STR: 

  • Occupancy: 59.4% (-3.2%) 
  • ADR: $144.46 (+15.2%) 
  • RevPAR: $85.74 (+11.4%) 

Among the top 25 markets, New York City experienced the highest occupancy level (79%), which was down 8.8% from the market’s 2019 benchmark. Markets with the lowest occupancy for the month included Minneapolis (51.2%) and St. Louis (52.2%). San Francisco reported the steepest decline in occupancy when compared with 2019 (-21.8%). Reflecting continued improvement in business travel and groups, the top 25 markets showed higher occupancy and ADR than all other markets.  

Aloft grows presence in Mexico: Aloft Hotels, part of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of 30 brands, has debuted in Playa del Carmen in Mexico with the opening of Aloft Playa del Carmen. This marks the third Aloft hotel in the Mexican Caribbean. The hotel comprises 167 rooms, a bar, a restaurant, two pools along with three meeting rooms and two private spaces for videoconferencing. Aloft Hotels currently has over 215 hotels in 29 countries.  

Lemon Tree expands Indian portfolio: Lemon Tree Hotels, based in New Delhi, India, has opened its eighth property in the Indian state of Uttarakhand with the Lemon Tree Hotel, Mukteshwar. The 41-room hotel includes a restaurant and bar, conference room, pool, spa and fitness center. The hotel will be managed by Lemon Tree’s wholly-owned subsidiary and management division, Carnation Hotels Pvt. Ltd. Lemon Tree has signed a license agreement for another 42-room hotel in Tezpur, Assam in northeastern India, which is scheduled to open by March 2025.   

New restaurant at Thompson Playa del Carmen: UMI Rooftop + Tokyo Kitchen, a new Japanese Izakaya-style restaurant by Chef Román Osamu, has opened at the Thompson Playa del Carmen in Mexico. Inspired by the North Pacific Ocean, the restaurant offers a local, seafood-based menu with views of the Caribbean Sea. The restaurant is the third dining venue at Thompson Playa del Carmen, joining Cinco and Alessia Rooftop and Dayclub. Part of Hyatt’s Boundless portfolio of hotels, Thompson Playa del Carmen is a two-in-one adults-only resort.