Jurys Inn rebranding: Jurys Inn, the Irish hotel chain across Ireland and the U.K., will be rebranded as Leonardo hotels later this year as part of a wider expansion plan, which could also include new hotels coming up in Dublin, Cork and Galway. All 35 hotels in the portfolio were acquired by the Fattal Hotel Group, owned by Israeli entrepreneur David Fattal, in 2017. The Jurys brand has operated under the Fattal group’s umbrella, along with its Leonardo, Royal and Nyx properties. Currently, there are 145 Leonardo properties across 13 countries, including 16 in Ireland and the U.K. The company said the rebranding will enable guests to access benefits like international loyalty program and allow employees to work overseas within the group.
Benchmark Pyramid adds Provenance management: Benchmark Pyramid has agreed to acquire the management of 12 independent hotel assets with about 2,000 keys from Portland, Oregon-based Provenance Hotels, led by Founder and Chairman Gordon Sondland, who more recently served as Ambassador of the United States to the European Union during the Trump administration. Terms of the deal expected to close this quarter have not been disclosed but it brings Benchmark Pyramid’s portfolio to more than 240 properties across the U.S., Europe and the Caribbean. Sondland is reportedly moving the real estate assets of Provenance into a new venture soon to be announced and following the close of the transaction is expected to join the Benchmark Pyramid board of directors. “This combination presents a great opportunity for Provenance to become part of a company with a global portfolio and a non-stop growth trajectory,” Sondland told HOTELS on Monday. “The benefits for our employees and guests are clear – greater resources and wider reach. I plan to remain invested in the combined company and play an important role in its ongoing growth as a member of the board.”
Business travel outlook: Business travel is still two years away from reaching its pre-COVID levels, while travel spend is likely to reach 25% of 2019 figures by the end of Q2 2022, rising to 55% by the year-end and 68% by the end of 2023, predicted ‘Reshaping the Landscape: Corporate Travel in 2022 and Beyond’ report by Deloitte. The different variants of COVID-19 halted plans for a swifter recovery of business travel. While 34% of travel managers surveyed in June 2021 hoped to reach half of 2019 spend by the year-end, only 8% have reached that figure. Two-thirds of the respondents said the Delta and Omicron variants have forced them to delay travel return timelines. Remote workers will go on more trips to the headquarters, the study found. Due to flexible work arrangements, one out of four respondents expect increased number of trips to their company headquarters despite decreased travel overall. Industry events are gradually becoming a bigger draw are now among the top-five reasons for business travel, providing renewed opportunity for suppliers to, from and in event location hot spots. Despite the easing of restrictions in some international destinations, international travel for business still has challenges like testing requirements, quarantines and unpredictable regulations. International travel represents one-third of 2019 spending, while predictions are still conservative than for domestic travel. Geopolitical developments might lead to more curtailed international travel, especially to Europe.
Sentral adds in Arizona: Sentral, prop-tech company backed by ICONIQ Capital, has announced the addition of its 12th community to its portfolio — Sentral Old Town in Scottsdale, Arizona, which offers designer-furnished and unfurnished apartment homes with flexible lengths of stay. The 160-unit property will feature living and workspaces and direct access to the walking path along Arizona Canal. Residents and guests can access the common areas and private rooms for remote work, resort-inspired pool, outdoor spa area, fitness center, top-floor sky lounge, bike repair station, pet spa and electric vehicle charging station.
Sandals announces investment plan for St. Lucia: Sandals Resort International has announced its plans and investment strategy for its luxury all-inclusive resorts in St. Lucia, which includes Sandals Halcyon Beach, Sandals Regency La Toc and Sandals Grande and Sandals St. Lucia Golf & Country Club. Sandals Halcyon will see the addition of 25 rooms in February 2023. These new rooms comprise 20 beachfront, two-story villa rooms with balconies and five Rondoval suites, the signature Sandals category featuring conical ceilings, big bathrooms and private water features. In Sandals Regency La Toc, the first phase of expansion will see the introduction of a new Sandals Resorts innovation, a village consisting of 20 Rondoval suites with seven properties featuring open air rooftop decks. Slated to open in 2023, the village will be a “resort within a resort” concept of the highest category. The suites will be located adjacent to the golf course, with each having their own golf cart and featuring luxury amenities like Sandals Resorts’ butler service and dining and entertainment options. Later phases of expansion will see the launch of more spa facilities, new suite categories and a reenergized golf course.