Invest Islands unveils Meliá in Indonesia: Invest Islands, Lombok, Indonesia, announced their new project — Gran Meliá Lombok Resort & Spa in Torok Bay in South Lombok. Overlooking the Indian Ocean, the resort will comprise 110 pool villas, including beachfront duplexes, more than 80 one-, two- and three-bedroom hillside sanctuaries all featuring private pools and a two-story beach club and restaurant. The resort is slated to open in 2024.
Four Seasons grows in Mexico: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has announced Naviva, A Four Seasons Resort, Punta Mita, Mexico. Set to open later this year, the property is an expansion of the existing Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita and will offer 15 luxury tents in the forests of the Riviera Nayarit with views of the Pacific Ocean. Prior to their arrival, resort guides will be assigned to guests to create a personalized itinerary. The restorative resort will feature a pool, private access to the beach, spa pods, cliffside yoga pavilion, outdoor gym and the onsite restaurant, Copal. Luxury Frontiers has been selected to help bring the Naviva Resort to life and create a sustainable, low-impact sanctuary. The design of the property will allow for seamless movement between indoor and outdoor living.
China rates higher than 2019: The hotel industry in Mainland China exceeded its 2019 ADR comparables in Lunar New Year despite considerably lower occupancy, according to preliminary data from STR. ADR reached CNY766.95 (US$120.60) during this year’s holiday period (from January 31 to February 6), rising 9.6% than the pre-pandemic comparable in 2019 (CNY699.47/ US$109.99). This year, while occupancy increased by 31.6%, RevPAR touched CNY242.46 (US$38.12). While the Lunar New Year has traditionally lesser demand in tier 1 cities as most travelers visit family or vacation to suburban or rural areas, this year the overall rates were driven by the upper classes with the Beijing Olympics and continuing COVID restrictions. On February 2, the market’s ADR peaked at CNY830.21 (US$130.55). Daily occupancy in the market hovered in the 30% range for most of the holiday period then rose to as high as 36.6% on February 4, which was up from the comparable day in 2021 (34.5%) but substantially below 2019 (71.4%).
ASAP International gets funding for Hawaii deal: ASAP International Hotel has reportedly secured US$58.1 million in bridge funding to acquire the 191-key Maui Seaside Hotel in Kahului, Hawaii. Stonehill originated the three-year, nonrecourse senior loan. ASAP International plans to transform the hotel into an upscale Tapestry Collection by Hilton property. Once renovations are complete, the hotel will be the only Hilton property in Maui.
Northwestern acquires Chicago Hyatt: Northwestern Memorial Healthcare has acquired the 419-key Hyatt Centric Chicago Magnificent Mile for an undisclosed price from a venture of real estate trust Sunstone Hotel Investors. The deal for the hotel located adjacent to Northwestern’s flagship hospital campus brings an important property into the fold of the 11-hospital system. In 2012, Sunstone acquired the hotel, then known as Wyndham Chicago for US$88 million. Sunstone is also selling its two remaining hotels in Chicago — Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago and the Hilton Garden Inn Chicago Downtown/Magnificent Mile. Together, these two properties consist of 725 keys and are expected to sell for around US$130 million.
Sotherly completes sale of Sheraton Louisville: Sotherly Hotels, Williamsburg, Virginia, has completed the sale of the Sheraton Louisville Riverside Hotel in Jeffersonville, Indiana, for US$11.5 million. The company said the hotel was identified as asset that no longer fit its long-term strategic objectives. The sale will allow Sotherly to “streamline its management efforts and focus on growing its core portfolio to maximize value for shareholders.” According to its 2019 earnings report, Sotherly plans to use the proceeds of the sale to repay the exiting mortgage on the hotel and other corporate purposes.
Ovolo commits to plant-based menus: Ovolo Hotels, Hong Kong, has commit to a vegetarian-lead offering, Plant’d, across its hotel restaurants. The news comes after the success of its ‘Year of the Veg’ campaign, which launched in October 2020, where venues transitioned to a vegetarian only offering for an initial 365 days. “We believe that the world changes, therefore we continue to evolve – we want to ensure we are doing our bit to help preserve our environment, promote healthy eating and enhance the image of amazing vegetarian and plant-based dining,” said Ovolo Group’s Founder and CEO Girish Jhunjhnuwala. To share its learnings, Ovolo has created a Plant’d Playbook white paper, which will be available via Ovolo’s Plant’d webpage on ovolohotels.com.
International arrivals in Asia Pac to increase: Annual changes in international visitor arrivals across Asia Pacific is set to increase, with growth rates ranging between 84% and 126%, according to the PATA Asia Pacific Visitor Forecasts 2022-2024 Full Report. The increase in the number of international visitor arrivals is projected to range from 72.5 million to 175.7 million under the severe and mild scenarios respectively, boosting the total volume of visitor arrivals to between 159 million and 315 million, under those same scenarios respectively. However, the projected increases in inbound numbers this year will return to 23% to 45% of the level of foreign arrivals received in 2019. International arrivals in 2024 are expected to become positive, with the volume being the same as in 2019.
Bayshore, Crescent team up in Florida: Bayshore Capital and Crescent Hotels & Resorts in April will introduce Max Beach Resort in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida, as a short-term rental featuring enhanced resort amenities. The property will offer 72 one-, two- and three-bedroom residence-style suites. It’s a 12-story, newly constructed building, solely owned by Bayshore, and managed by Crescent Hotels & Resorts. All accommodation styles will include private baths and functional outdoor living space. Amenities will include full-service dining, an oceanfront pool with private cabanas, and a sky-level training center and lifestyle lounge area.
Legendary sponsors El Paso deal: Legendary Capital, Fargo, North Dakota, has sponsored the acquisition of the 90-room Courtyard El Paso Airport in a US$15.2 million transaction. The deal was materialized through a 721 UPREIT in which previous ownership of the property contributed their equity in exchange for common limited partnership units. Through its affiliated entities, Legendary Capital has acquired 30 hotels, primarily targeting 80- to 200-room limited-service, select-service, full-service and extended-stay hotels in America’s heartland.
DelMonte acquires in Saratoga: Rochester, New York-based DelMonte Hotel Group has acquired from Turf Hotels the 123-room Hampton Inn & Suites Saratoga Springs Downtown located close to Saratoga Racetrack. The purchase price was not disclosed. The hotel was built in 2008, renovated in 2019 and boasts more than 2,649 square feet of event space. It is integrated with a larger, mixed-use development that includes 45 apartment units.
Westgate launches new loyalty program: Westgate Resorts has launched World of Westgate, a ‘Vacation More. Get More’ themed loyalty program with benefits for both its timeshare owners and resort guests. Free enrollment of membership earns upgraded status and rewards with owners eligible for highest tiers on the program. Loyalty tiers are automatically assigned based on combined purchase prices for active timeshare accounts. Benefits include experiences and privileges redeemable after enrollment. Elite members vacationing at Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino get invited to an annual ‘Executive Meet & Greet’ event. The program offers on-property food and beverage, spa service discounts, complimentary annual credit, discounted, complimentary resort and destination fees, waterpark admission and up to 40% discounts on additional travel.
Search windows lengthen, lodging bookings up 50%: Although global search volume in Q4 remained flat quarter-over-quarter, it rose more than 70% YOY, indicating that consumers are eager to travel, revealed the Q4 2021 Travel Recovery Trend Report from Expedia Media Solutions. Search windows have lengthened as more international borders reopen, the report said. Around 40% of global searches fell within the over 31-day search window, a 15% rise over Q3, with EMEA seeing the highest swing toward longer search windows (with the +31-day search window increasing more than 30% over Q3). There is a sustained demand for long-haul destinations, with travelers looking and booking international destinations. Paris, Dubai, Mexico City, Tokyo, and Madrid all saw double-digit quarter-over-quarter growth in hotel bookings. Vacation rentals’ popularity has remained the same, with global lodging bookings (for hotels and vacation rentals combined) rising over 50% YOY. Latin America had a strong quarter for vacation rental bookings, which were up over 100% quarter-over-quarter.