Four Seasons to manage Italian icon: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in 2024 will take over management of the famed 204-room Danieli in Venice, which has been operating under Marriott International’s Luxury Collection brand. A reported €30 million plan to restructure and consolidate the building, as well as renovate and refurbish it, has already been put forward. A 200-room property will be designed by Pierre Yves Rochon and open under the Four Seasons brand in 2024.
RLJ finalizes NYC sale, buys in Denver: RLJ Lodging Trust, Bethesda, Maryland, has acquired the 170-key Moxy Denver Cherry Creek for US$51.3 million (approximately US$301,000 per key) from Denver, Colorado-based BMC Investments and completed the disposition of the 764-key DoubleTree Hotel Metropolitan New York City for US$169 million. The buyer of the hotel is reportedly the Beverly Hills, California-based Hawkins Way Capital. RLJ reportedly acquired the property in 2010 for almost US$332 million. Denver-based Sage Hospitality Group will manage Moxy Denver Cherry Creek. The company funded the acquisition with the combination of corporate cash and the assumption of US$25 million of non-recourse secured debt. Following the disposition of the DoubleTree, RLJ owns two hotels in New York City, totaling 550 keys and less than 3.5% of the company’s pro forma 2019 Hotel EBITDA.
DiamondRock acquires two in Florida: DiamondRock Hospitality Co., Bethesda, Maryland, has acquired two luxury resorts in Florida — the 170-key Henderson Beach Resort in Destin and the 103-unit (231 rooms) Tranquility Bay Beachfront Resort in Marathon. The investment for the two individual transactions was US$175.5 million, which include an active year of capital recycling for DiamondRock that shifted the portfolio to about two-thirds destination leisure hotels and resorts. DiamondRock completed six transactions over the last year which saw the company recycling US$220 million from low-yield, encumbered, capital-intensive properties into US$293 million of high-quality, unencumbered, independent hotels and resorts. The company acquired the Henderson Beach Resort for US$112.5 million in an off-market transaction in December 2021. The acquisition also includes income from 46 luxury residences adjacent to the hotel currently participating in the hotel’s rental management program. The Tranquility Bay Beachfront Resort was acquired in January 2022 for US$63 million.
Peter Luger to Vegas: Legendary New York Steak House Peter Luger is coming to Caesars Palace in Las Vegas at the end of 2022. This marks the first domestic expansion in over 60 years for the famed restaurant, which opened its doors in 1887 and is commonly known as New York City’s original steak house. It will be their first U.S. location outside of New York.
Banyan Tree launches HOMM: Banyan Tree Group, Singapore, announced the debut of the HOMM brand. The 71-key HOMM Bliss Southbeach Patong will be the brand’s first property. The newly refurbished rooms feature contemporary beach-inspired accommodations, with 39 rooms boasting of sea-facing private balconies and terraces or ground-floor plunge pools. As part of the group’s Stay For Good program, the hotel lobby will feature an origami creation of the Black Billed Gull to raise awareness of the native bird which is found in nearby rivers an coastal areas.
Schroders, Extendam complete sale of Marriott in Nice: Schroders Capital, London, and Extendam, Paris, have completed the sale of the 143-key AC Hotel by Marriott Nice in France to an unnamed international hotel owner/buyer for an undisclosed price. The 4-star hotel was managed by Schroders Capital under a franchise agreement with Marriott. The company acquired the property in 2017 and has since added a rooftop bar and obtained approvals to add more rooms and meeting space. Extendam co-owns 50% of the hotel. The sale process was overseen by Eastdil Secured.
Germany’s first Radisson Collection hotel opens: Radisson Hotel Group announced the completion of the redesigned Radisson Collection flagship property in Berlin. The 427-key Radisson Collection Hotel, Berlin, which is the country’s first Radisson Collection, opened following a 12-month-long renovation, which included the redesign of all the rooms, front desk space, a new lobby, bar and restaurant design. AquaDom, a large freestanding cylindrical aquarium with 1,600 tropical fish, underwent modernization and continues to be the lobby’s centerpiece. In March, Balaustine Restaurant will open as the hotel’s main dining venue overlooking the Spree River.
Maui County Council passes moratorium on new construction: Overriding the mayor’s veto of the bill, Maui County Council has voted to introduce a controversial two-year moratorium on new hotels that halts permits for new construction. In July 2021, Maui Mayor Mike Victorino vetoed the bill stating that a moratorium wasn’t the correct solution to the island’s problems. A councilmember said the moratorium would not stop tourists from entering the country, but would instead give the country time to think of a way to curb over-tourism, diversify the economy and provide affordable housing. She said the moratorium could end early if the country introduced a legislation which limits transient accommodations. However, according to the Hawaii Hotel Alliance, there will financial fallout for developers whose permits were pending.
Hotel bodies endorse Hochul for governor: Hotel and trade groups Hotel Association of New York City and the New York State Hospitality and Tourism Association announced their joint endorsement of Governor Kathy Hochul, citing her support and comprehensive recovery package to help revitalize New York’s tourism industry. Governor Hochul previously announced a US$450 million package to boost the state’s tourism industry, directing US$100 million worth of incentives to rehire laid-off tourism workers and US$25 million in grants to help convention centers attract events. Vijay Dandapani, president and CEO, Hotel Association of New York City, said: “Governor Kathy Hochul has demonstrated a clear understanding of the unprecedented difficulties faced by the hotel and tourism sector, acting quickly to provide meaningful relief while ensuring her ongoing support for our long-term recovery.”
Wyndham debuts in Poland: Wyndham Hotels & Resorts announced its entry into Poland with the 205-key Wyndham Wroclaw Old Town in Wroclaw. The property is slated to open early next month and will be managed by Mogotel Hotel Group. This is Mogotel’s second collaboration with Wyndham, after the opening of the Wyndham Garden Munich Messe in Germany. The property is the latest addition to the company’s European portfolio, which includes more than 350 operational hotels in 30 countries and a development pipeline of more than 90 properties.
Easton to bring Hilton in Canada’s Distillery District: Easton Group of Hotels, Markham, Canada, will build Canada’s only Curio by Hilton, the first hotel within 1 kilometer of Toronto’s historic Distillery District and will mark the last remaining heritage building to be repurposed in the district. Featuring 392 rooms, the full-service hotel will be a 31-storied building that will preserve the heritage building’s exteriors as the base three floors. The property will be designed by IBI Architects, ERA Heritage Architects and Studio Munge. The original building was built in 1890 and previously stored up to 15,000 barrels of alcohol until it closed in 1990. The building has six storys, which will be converted into three levels for Curio by Hilton. Construction is expected to begin from the middle of the year.
Hotel Indigo in Minneapolis: IHG Hotels & Resorts announced the signing of the 218-room Hotel Indigo Minneapolis Northstar Downtown in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The hotel, which first opened in 1962 as an independent hotel named the Northstar Hotel, is part of the integrated, mixed-use Northstar Center complex which also houses office, retail and a 955-space parking garage. The complex is set to be renovated and upon completion, it will include 220 apartment units and around 500,000 square feet of office space. This is the first Hotel Indigo in Minneapolis. There are currently 129 Hotel Indigo properties globally, with 116 more in the pipeline.
Thailand reopens more Sandbox programs: Thailand will reopen three more Sandbox destinations — Krabi, Surat Thani (Ko Samui, Ko Pha-ngan and Ko Tao) and Phang-Nga — along with the previously approved Phuket Sandbox for international arrivals from January 11. International travelers from any country, regardless of their vaccination status, can enter Thailand under the Alternative Quarantine entry scheme from January 11. New registrations for the Test & Go remains suspended. However, registration for Thailand Pass under the Phuket Sandbox and Alternative Quarantine programs remain open. The Phuket Sandbox program, which was launched on July 1, 2021, allows fully vaccinated travelers to make the island their first or only destination in the country. After applying for a Thailand Pass for the Phuket Sandbox followed by pre-departure and post-arrival testing, travelers will have to stay at a government-approved hotel for the first seven days in Phuket, following which they can explore Phuket and then continue onward throughout Thailand without quarantine.
Hotel Bella Grace sells for US$27.3 million: The 50-room Hotel Bella Grace in Charleston, South Carolina, has been sold by Charleston-based 115 Calhoun Hospitality LLC to Odyssey Propco X LLC, Fort Worth, Texas, for US$27.3 million, according to property records. The boutique hotel opened in 2018. According to original owner Donald Semmler, the boutique hotel’s name was inspired by the families of the nine Black parishioners that were killed in the church near the hotel in 2015.