Briefs: Aleph to Rwanda; inaugural FILA-branded hotel in Shanghai

Aleph signs first hotel in Rwanda: Dubai-based Aleph Hospitality has signed a management agreement to operate Accor’s MGallery hotel along with all facilities at the new Century Park Hotel and Residences, a mixed-use residential and leisure development in Kigali, Rwanda. This will be the first MGallery hotel in Rwanda. The destination also marks Aleph’s first property in the country and the first Accor-branded hotel in in its portfolio. The development also includes luxury villas, two- and three-bedroom apartments, four- and five-bedroom duplexes and penthouses, and three restaurants and bars. Aleph has 10 operating hotels and a pipeline of 50 hotels in the Middle East and Africa.

Rendering of FILA House Shanghai

Hyatt announces first FILA-branded hotel: Hyatt Hotels Corp. and ANTA Sports Production Co. Ltd. have announced FILA House Shanghai, the first FILA-branded hotel in the city. The hotel will also be the first FILA-branded hotel globally and will join the JdV by Hyatt brand. FILA, the Italian sports brand, is owned and managed by ANTA in China. The hotel will be developed as part of the new headquarters of ANTA in Shanghai’s West Hongqiao District. The complex, which will also feature shops, F&B outlets and sports retails shops across five independent buildings, is slated to open by 2024.

Hyatt to add Austria Haus to portfolio: Hyatt Hotels Corp. has announced the upcoming addition of the 25-key Austria Haus Hotel in Vail, Colorado, to its Destination by Hyatt portfolio. Slated to open under the brand this spring, the hotel features an outdoor heated swimming pool overlooking the famed covered bridge over Gore Creek.

Marriott’s plans for Greater China: Marriott International has announced plans to grow its presence in Greater China with the upcoming additions of over 50 hotels in more than 30 destinations this year. The company also expects to open its 500th property in Greater China early next year. In the past three years, Marriott has grown its portfolio in the region by adding an average of 40 hotels per year. The company currently has 448 hotels across 23 brands in over 110 cities in Greater China. The company hopes to focus on ‘brand + destination’ strategy this year. Among luxury brands, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve is expected to open in the Jiuzhaigou Valley, a W-branded property is slated to open in Macau and a JW Marriott-branded hotel will open in Changsha this year.

IRHG adds first property in Miami Beach: The Indigo Road Hospitality Group (IRHG), Charleston, South Carolina, has added the 229-unit The Alexander Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, to its management portfolio. The all-suite oceanfront resort is the company’s first managed property in the city. Formerly known as Millionaire’s Row, the hotel first opened in 1964 and in 1991 converted into condominiums with hotel operations on site becoming a condo-hotel operation. Displeased with the on-site hotel management, several unit owners purchased the hotel’s commercial spaces in 2021. Gabriel Perez has been appointed as the property’s general manager. IRHG will start renovating the condo units which is expected to last for 18 to 24 months.

Sandpiper adds 2 in Orlando: Sandpiper Lodging Trust, Richmond, Virginia, has acquired two WoodSpring Suites extended-stay hotels — WSS Clarcona and WSS Clermont — in Orlando, Florida, for an undisclosed price. The hotels were initially developed by Liberty Investment Properties and have been owned most recently by Hotel Management Services. Sandpiper, with 21 hotels in eight states, will immediately assume management of both the properties.

International travel volume to US rises: The total international inbound travel volume (visitor arrivals) to the U.S. in December 2021 jumped 199.7% YOY to 3,413,421, yet it was only 49.6% of the arrivals in December 2019, revealed data released by the National Travel and Tourism Office. The international outbound travel volume (U.S. citizen visitor departures) from the U.S. in December 2021 increased 89.2% YOY to stand at 6,060,417, which was 68.3% of December 2019 departures. The total non-U.S. resident international visitor arrivals of 22,100,453 increased by 15% from 2020 but was 28% of the total arrivals in 2019. The highest number of non-U.S. resident international visitor arrivals were from Mexico (10,396,724), Canada (2,529,022), Columbia (1,063,659) and the U.K. (460,749). At 49,096,891, the total U.S. citizen international visitor departures from the U.S. rose 48.1% from 2020, but was 49.5% of total departures in 2019.