Briefs: Kerten ramps up development; Deutsche introduces House of Beats

Kerten ramps up development: Kerten Hospitality, Dublin, Ireland, is increasing its development with over 40 purpose-driven projects across 12 brand concepts in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and CIS regions. Between now and the end of the year, the ESG-focused lifestyle operator will open one new concept every month. Upcoming openings include hotels in Kuwait, Rome and AlUla, followed by a new opening in Marrakech later this year. Kerten’s pipeline of new projects includes 10 openings in the next eight months, with 10 more signings in progress and over 45 projects in development. The company will be opening urban to resort properties in Georgia, Egypt, Italy, Morocco, Jordan, the U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia.

Rendering of House of Beats in Hamburg, Germany

Deutsche introduces House of Beats: Deutsche Hospitality, Frankfurt, Germany, has launched its lifestyle concept House of Beats in Hamburg, Germany, which will open in 2026 as part of a venture by real estate developers GBI and Nord Project. The 263-room hotel will be part of the “Meltingport” real estate project in HafenCity. The project will have 200 apartments for students and trainees from GBI’s SMARTments brand and nearly 4,600 square meters of office space. The construction of House of Beats will be carried out by GBI and Nord Project and project controller Reos.

IHG owners launch healthcare program: The IHG Owners Association, representing over 4,000 IHG franchise hotel owners globally, has launched a new member benefit — the IHG Owners Association Healthcare Program — which offers nationwide healthcare coverage and benefit options to the staff of U.S. Association members. Powered by HR services firm, Association Strategic Partner Decisely, the healthcare program provides cost-effective healthcare coverage and benefits to help owners retain and attract talent. Developed with support from Association Allied Member Kemmons Wilson Insurance Group, the program leverages the buying power of the association’s membership base, creating a volume that helps reduce premiums and better-quality plans. The program will be available through several major healthcare networks like Cigna and Aetna. The association is currently assessing demand for the program.

Wyndham launches mobile tipping option: Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has unveiled a new portfolio-wide mobile tipping system for its franchisees in the U.S. and Canada. Developed and managed by Béné, the platform allows guests to tip hotel team members digitally through their mobile devices. Guests can identify the team member of their choice by scanning a QR code and choosing how much they would like to tip. These QR codes will be unique to each team member and the tips will be deposited daily either directly to their bank accounts or into the property’s accounts to be distributed with payroll. Platform costs will be covered by guests through a transaction fee. Mobile tipping is part of Wyndham’s ongoing, multi-year, digital transformation.

JLL closes sale of inn and restaurant: JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group has closed the sale of The Waterford Inn & Spindler’s Restaurant, a 15-key inn and a 145-seat restaurant in Provincetown, Massachusetts. JLL marketed the property on behalf of the seller, THG Properties, in the sale to Sawyer Realty Holdings. Sawyer Realty and Meads Bay Hotel Group, its affiliate management company, own and manage seven hotels in Massachusetts. The inn and restaurant is Meads Bay’s third acquisition in Provincetown this year.

Sonnenblick-Eichner loan to refinance Ocean Key Resort: Sonnenblick-Eichner Co., on behalf of Noble House Hotels & Resorts, has arranged US$82.425 million of fixed rate first mortgage financing for the 100-room Ocean Key Resort & Spa in Key West, Florida. Proceeds from the five-year, non-recourse loan priced in the low 5% range will be used to pay off an existing loan and finance a US$10.5 million renovation of the hotel. The insurance company loan is interest-only for the entire term.

Choice Hotels’ new tool for hotel owners: Choice Hotels International, Rockville, Maryland, has launched ‘Your Key to Profit,’ a free resource for its hotel owners. Launching in Q4 2022, the new platform will centralize Choice’s proprietary profitability tools in an on-demand, mobile-friendly system for owners. The platform can be directly accessed from choiceADVANTAGE, the company’s property management system, and includes a portal with the most frequently used franchise resources like profitability benchmarking tools (such as HotStats), the profit playbook, revenue management resources (including ChoiceMax) and Choice University. Your Key to Profit will also feature a new interactive message board option to enable owners to post their successes and share best practices with their peers.

Inspirato’s nonprofit platform: Inspirato, Denver, Colorado, will launch Inspirato for Good, a no-commitment platform that allows nonprofit organizations to offer Inspirato luxury travel packages to accelerate fundraising and simplify benefit events. Inspirato for Good streamlines fundraising by enabling nonprofit organizations to offer Inspirato luxury packages to donors through benefit auctions and other charitable campaign methods. Every package will contain an Inspirato vacation that the donor may choose from a list of trip options, bundled with a six- or 12-month Inspirato Club subscription. Packages are priced at US$4,000 or US$8,000, depending on the value of the trips and terms of the subscription. The model will allow donors a full year to choose their trip from a list of over 60,000 options in more than 75 destinations. Along with the trip, donors will also get a complimentary Inspirato Club subscription worth US$3,600 or US$7,200, depending on the package selected.

CBRE names new president for US: CBRE has appointed Bill Grice as president of CBRE Hotels in the U.S. Grice will lead CBRE’s hotel business which combines investment sales, valuation, finance, research and advisory into a single fully-integrated service offering. Grice, who is based in Atlanta, Georgia, succeeds Kevin Mallory who will retire at the end of the year after over 18 years with CBRE. Before he retires, Grice will work closely with Mallory transitioning leadership responsibilities.