China slashes quarantine time: China has significantly reduced the mandatory quarantine period for international visitors, after two years of strict travel restrictions amid the pandemic. International travelers will now be required to quarantine at a centralized facility, like a hotel, for seven days after arriving into mainland China and will have to spend three more days at home before venturing out. So far, international visitors were mandated to spend 14 to 21 days in centralized quarantine. Government officials also announced that close associates of confirmed COVID-19 cases would be required to spend seven days in centralized quarantine, followed by monitoring health for three days of health at home. COVID-related isolation earlier lasted for at least 14 days.
Four Seasons adds in China: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Spring Garden Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Xi’an, China-based Vanzhong Group, have announced plans for the upcoming Four Seasons Hotel Xi’an. The new-build resort-style hotel, which will open in 2026, will comprise 250 rooms and suites and be part of a mixed-use development project.
LA approves hotel worker protection measures: The Los Angeles City Council has approved the ordinance mandating hotels to provide workers with personal security devices to protect them from sexual harassment, and it also extended minimum wage requirements to smaller hotels. The Workplace Security, Workload Wage and Retention Measures for Hotel Workers also limits the daily workload of housekeepers by doing away with policies that forgo daily cleaning of rooms. Many hotels had stopped daily cleaning claiming it lessened the risk of spreading COVID-19 between guests and hotel workers. Hotels with over 45 rooms will have to pay wage premiums when assigning workloads which surpass specified limits and obtain written consent from workers who work over 10 hours per day. Hotels that demonstrate economic hardship will be exempt. The measure came to the council after a petition drive that collected over 100,000 signatures and was approved on a 10-2 vote. Similar hotel worker protections have been approved in California cities like Long Beach, Santa Monica, Glendale and West Hollywood.
Cross signs 2 in Indonesia: Cross Hotels & Resorts has signed a management deal with Indonesia-based PT. Origin Resorts Lombok to add two properties in Indonesia to its portfolio — the Away Lombok Mandalika and Amber Lombok Beach by Cross Collection. The signings will grow the number of Cross-branded boutique hotels in Indonesia to six. Cross’ portfolio currently consists of 26 hotels under five brands across Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Japan.
Accor restoring more Orient Express carriages: Accor, now-developer of the Orient Express hotel brand and also the fabled train line, has announced it is restoring the 17 train carriages of the Nostalgie-Istanbul-Orient-Express route, which ran between Zurich and Istanbul in the 1920s and 1930s. Beginning in 2024, these Orient Express cars will start transporting passengers once again on a route to be announced at a later data. It has hired architect Maxime d’Angeac to revive the well-preserved carriages, which were recovered in Poland and brought back to Paris for restoration. On the hotel side, the Orient Express La Minerva in Rome and Orient Express Palazzo Donà Giovannelli in Venice open in 2024. An additional project has been announced in Riyadh.
Hospitality debt market outlook: There is a big disconnect between hospitality fundamentals, which are quite strong for many assets while the debt markets have been falling, revealed JLL’s Hospitality Debt Market Overview report. Credit markets are concerned that aggressive monetary tightening by the Federal Reserve is likely to tip the economy into a recession. Until the concerns of inflation die down the report said volatility will continue in the debt markets. However, once markets have better clarity on inflation and visibility on future economic performance, there will be a substantial tightening trend. The hospitality debt markets will remain open for business and there will be around US$4 billion on hotel loans in 2022.
Floridan Palace Hotel rebrands: 1754 Properties, Weston City, Florida, has announced that the 212-key Floridan Palace Hotel in Tampa, Florida, will be rebranding and joining the Tapestry Collection by Hilton brand. As part of the rebranding process, the hotel will undergo a US$25 million renovation. Jane Finkel Levin, president of Levin Investment Realty, has been brought in as retail leasing broker for the project.
Churchwick, Rockledge close Sonesta portfolio acquisitions: Churchwick Partners along with David Kaye and Joe Listhaus of Rockledge have completed the acquisition of their Sonesta portfolio and added 347 keys across three hotels — Sonesta ES Suites in St. Louis, Missouri; Sonesta ES Suites Minneapolis in Eagan, Minnesota; and Simply Suites Detroit Southfield in Southfield, Michigan. Churcwhwick and Rockledge in May completed the first portion of the Sonesta portfolio acquisition comprising seven hotels, accounting to 1,085 keys in six states. Churchwick and Rockledge currently own 1,519 keys in the U.S. and are looking for extended-stay hotels in dense markets.
TFE Hotels grows Collection portfolio: TFE Hotels, Sydney, Australia, will open in 2024 a Collection property, the brand’s first in Sydney, in partnership with Ultimo, New South Wales-based TOGA Group. The 102-key boutique hotel will be the fifth Collection-branded property and follow the opening of The Calile Hotel in Brisbane and The Hotel Britomart in New Zealand. The hotel will be part of the Surry Hills Village, a mixed-use development which will be spread across 1.2 hectares. The development will consist of a new 517 square meter public park and up to 12,000 square meter of commercial and retail space.
Marriott Bonvoy launches credit cards in China: Marriott Bonvoy has introduced three Marriott Bonvoy China CITIC Bank Co-branded Credit Cards, offering residents of mainland China additional benefits and value-added services. The cards, issued by China CITIC Bank and powered by China Union Pay, are available in three different levels — gold, platinum and premium platinum — and offer benefits like faster accumulation of Marriott Bonvoy points. Consumers who sign up to Marriott Bonvoy’s first credit card in China will automatically be enrolled in the Marriott Bonvoy travel program and can avail benefits related to Marriott Bonvoy Elite status.
Wellness drives hotel revenues: Hotels with wellness revenue surpassing US$1 million generated 126% more in TRevPAR in 2021 compared to those with wellness revenues less than US$1 million, as per the latest Wellness Real Estate Report by RLA Global. Average TRevPAR at properties with major wellness offerings was 35% below pre-COVID figures in 2019 but this gap was 44% and 55%, respectively, at hotels with fewer and no wellness offerings. Properties with minor wellness offerings outdid bigger wellness hotels in average monthly occupancy levels through 2021 and hotels with no wellness had 6% wider GOP margins in average. Two industry trends that are expected to last are branded residences (which pulls in renewed customer interest as a result of growing global wealth and post-COVID demand for real estate in non-urban, less crowded places) and the growing popularity of experiential holidays.
Fitness, wellness concept club in LA: RSG Group, Berlin, Germany, has announced the opening of Heimat, a fitness and wellness concept club in Los Angeles, California. Heimat has also partnered with Michelin-starred chef Michael Mina to launch Mother Tongue, which will also be open for the general public. The property will also include a restaurant, rooftop with pool, jacuzzi, cabanas, an outdoor bar with panoramic views of the Hollywood Hills, a boutique spa, juice bar and coworking and event spaces. Spread across 75,000 square feet, the wellness club has transformed a 1930s industrial building to bring fitness classes under the same roof. Al memberships will include cycle, run, bootcamp, barre, boxing, dance, cardio, kinesis, TRX, yoga and reformer pilates. The club will also provide custom weight and circuit training machines from gym80.
Wyndham’s new revenue management system: Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has launched RevIQ, the cloud-based, mobile-first revenue management system for franchisees to further optimize their revenue strategies and grow market share. RevIQ, which is created along with IDeas, will leverage real-time data and analytics to make automatic pricing recommendations and adjustments and will integrate with Wyndham’s property management system, enabling franchisees to optimize their plans based on their own market insights. Hotel owners can create custom pricing plans based on market conditions and competition, switch between their own property management and revenue management systems across any device and update pricing, manage inventory and switch between multiple hotels. The platform is currently available for franchisees running Sabre SynXis Property Hub and will be available for hotels on Oracle’s OPERA Cloud Property Management, with portfolio-wide implementation by 2024.