Briefs: Italy’s first Ritz-Carlton; Hilton Garden Inn grows in APAC

THE RITZ-CARLTON ARRIVES IN ITALY: Marriott International has signed an agreement with Grimit S.r.l. to introduce The Ritz-Carlton brand in Italy. The former Hotel Grande Bretagne in Bellagio will be converted and rebranded to open as The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Como, in 2026. The waterfront hotel will comprise 59 rooms and 46 suites, a spa with an indoor pool, multiple restaurants, event space, an outdoor pool, a historical walking trail and a private boat dock. Spanning more than 16,500 square meters, the hotel will undergo a complete conservative restoration and reimagining. Opened in 1850, the Hotel Grande Bretagne fell into disuse at the end of the last century and was later acquired by the Galbusera family.   

HILTON GARDEN INN GROWS IN APAC: Hilton Garden Inn, the upscale brand by Hilton, has opened Hilton Garden Inn Beijing Haidian Daoxiang Lake, its 50th hotel in Greater China. The opening also marks Hilton Garden Inn’s first hotel in Beijing. Hilton Garden Inn debuted in Greater China in 2014, welcomed 900,000 guests in 2022 and plans to triple its footprint in the region in the coming years. The brand is looking towards Asia to fuel its growth as pent-up travel demand continues to drive post-COVID recovery in Asia Pacific, with the expanding middle-class likely to be more price-cautious and value driven. The prototype, lean operating model and kit-of-parts approach of the brand aim to make it adaptable for emerging and established destinations, as well as city and resort settings. The brand expanded into newer markets and gateway cities in South Korea, Japan, Australia and Thailand this year, with plans to open more than 20 hotels across Asia Pacific. Hilton Garden Inn’s global portfolio now includes over 970 hotels in 57 countries. The brand has 65 operational properties in Asia and more than 100 in the pipeline. 

HI EXPRESS ORANGE COUNTY SELLS FOR $29.5M: Heritage Hotel Group has acquired the 161-key Holiday Inn Express & Suites Orange County — Santa Ana in Orange County, Calif., for a reported $29.5 million. The seller was Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Glacier House Hotels. The 10-story hotel opened in 2018. Berkadia Hotels & Hospitality led the deal, which closed on February 23, on behalf of the seller.  

THE KINNEY SLO REBRANDS: The Kinney SLO in California has completed its transformation into The Wayfarer San Luis Obispo. This is the second Wayfarer hotel concept, following the opening of one in Los Angeles, Calif., in 2020. The hotel features 100 college-themed rooms, a newly rebranded restaurant and bar, a pool, a fitness center and 2,000 square feet of event space.   

BRITTAIN RESORTS ADDS TO PORTFOLIO: Myrtle Beach, S.C.-based Brittain Resorts and Hotels, in partnership with MB National LLC, Beach Vacation LLC and the Litchfield Co., assumed management of four new resorts and two vacation rental companies in 2022. The company has taken over management responsibilities, including operations, revenue management, homeowner services, F&B venues, sales and marketing and information technology. The new additions include Monterey Bay in Myrtle Beach; Marriott Courtyard Springhill Suites in Myrtle Beach; vacation rental company Beach Vacations; Litchfield Beach & Golf Resort in Pawleys Island, S.C.; Litchfield Inn in Pawleys Island; and Lachicotte in Pawleys Island. Established in 1943, Brittain Resorts and Hotels operates over 20 hotels and restaurants and more than 40 restaurants and bars across the U.S.