Briefs: Salamander takes over in DC; Valor to manage Marriott in Oman

Salamander takes over in DC: Salamander Hotels & Resorts, Middleburg, Virginia, and London-based PE firm Henderson Park have officially unveiled Salamander Washington DC after the two companies recently acquired the former 373-room Mandarin Oriental hotel there. The deal marks the third portfolio addition for Salamander in less than six months. Salamander takes over management of the property, which will undergo an extensive renovation, including the hotel’s suites, the remodeling and reopening of the club lounge, re-concepting and redesign of its signature restaurant and grand lobby lounge, expansion of the spa to include more treatment rooms and a street-level entrance, and activation of the hotel’s outdoor spaces overlooking DC’s waterfront.

Rendering of Four Points by Sheraton Muscat in Oman

Valor to manage Marriott in Oman: Valor Hospitality Partners, Atlanta, Georgia, has been appointed to manage the first Marriott International property in Oman, a 201-room Four Points by Sheraton Muscat. Valor, in partnership with Mustafa Sultan Enterprise and Marriott International, will launch the property in early 2024. With more than 85 hotels across the Americas, the U.K., Africa and Middle East, Valor is growing its portfolio in the Middle East, CIS and Indian Ocean regions.

Continent Worldwide expands in Vietnam: Continent Worldwide Hotels, Istanbul, Turkey, has signed a master franchise and development agreement with Ritz International Co. Ltd. to launch and develop all six of the company’s brands in Vietnam. Continent Worldwide has been expanding its brands in South Asia and has secured several agreements and opened new hotels in South Asia, Middle East and Africa this year. The company is planning to open more than 20 hotels by 2025. Before signing the agreement, Continent Worldwide opened its first hotel in Hanoi with Ancyra Hotels & Inns brand, with the hotel owner converting his property in Danang to Ancyra brand earlier this year.

Accor sees sustained performance in Western Australia: Accor reported that its hotels, apartments and resorts network in Western Australia have been experiencing sustained recovery. Accor operates 25 properties across the state and employs over 900 people there. Accor’s hotels in Perth recovered to 66% occupancy by the end of June, five percentage points behind the same month in 2019, while the average rate surpassed the pre-COVID level. Perth hotels are expected to return to pre-pandemic levels by March 2023. Regional Western Australia saw higher average rates and an occupancy level of 65% in June, with Pullman Bunker Bay Resort in the Margaret River region reporting performance of more than 29% higher in June compared to June 2019. Since 2019, Accor has opened four new hotels, representing 1,060 rooms, in Western Australia.

Melbourne’s performance falls: Although performance in Melbourne slipped from the previous month, room rates stayed much above the pre-COVID figures, according to preliminary August data from STR.

  • Occupancy: 59%
  • ADR: AU$207.05 (US$142.23)
  • RevPAR: AU$122.10 (US$83.87)

While ADR was higher than in August 2019, occupancy and RevPAR levels remained below the pre-pandemic figures at -27.3% and -16.1%, respectively. In terms of daily data, the highest occupancy level was recorded on August 20 (80.6%). Daily occupancy levels stayed above 50% through the month, with just five days of occupancy in the 40% range.

London performance update: Hotel performance in London was lower than July’s peak season, aligned with seasonal patterns, revealed STR’s preliminary August data.

  • Occupancy: 77.1%
  • ADR: £179.49 (US$209.37)
  • RevPAR: £138.37 (US$161.40)

Despite the decline from July, both the ADR and RevPAR levels remained well above pre-COVID comparables at +19.4% and +6.9%, respectively. Occupancy was 10.5% below August 2019, which was a steeper decline than the previous month. In terms of daily data, Saturdays showed the highest occupancy, including a level of 87.2% on August 13.

Abu Dhabi sees improved occupancy, lower rates: Abu Dhabi’s performance saw an improved occupancy from July but lower room rates, as per STR’s preliminary August data.

  • Occupancy: 65.2%
  • ADR: AED335.49 (US$91.32)
  • RevPAR: AED218.90 (US$59.58)

Despite the month-over-month increase, occupancy was marginally below the pre-COVID comparable (-2.8%). RevPAR was also higher than the previous month and was 2.7% above the August 2019 level. While ADR exceeded the pre-COVID comparable (+5.6%), it was Abu Dhabi’s lowest level for any month since September 2021.

Chicago Title’s new hospitality group: Chicago Title National Commercial Services California has launched a new nationwide Chicago Title Hospitality Group and has appointed hotel industry veteran Steven Senft as vice president, national sales. Senft has over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, including hotel ownership, operations and management, financial analysis, strategic planning, sourcing equity and acquisitions and dispositions. He has been involved in the sale, development, management, financing and advisory of over US$15 billion in hotel assets accounting for more than 1,000 hotels. Senft will be based in the company’s Newport Beach, California office.

Hong Kong yet to take a call on hotel quarantine: Hong Kong is yet to decide on whether it will reduce the hotel quarantine period for incoming travelers before a series of important events start at the end of October. It will make the call based on the pandemic situation closer to the date of the events. The city is hosting a summit for fintech leaders from October 31, followed by a summit for global bankers and a rugby tournament in early November. Chief Executive John Lee said they need to ensure that the public health care system and high-risk groups can be protected. Hong Kong has been planning to scrap hotel quarantine in November. Currently, new arrivals are required to quarantine at a hotel for three days and then monitor their health for four more days. A health tracking app ensures they don’t eat at restaurants or visit entertainment venues during this four-day period.

Hard Rock to spend US$100M to raise wages: Hard Rock International and Seminole Gaming will spend over US$100 million to significantly raise wages for over 10,000 employees, representing half of its workforce in the U.S. The hikes, more than 60% in some cases, have starting wages between US$18-21 per hour for workers across 95 jobs, including cooks, housekeepers, security public space, front desk and call center attendants. In Florida, some of the employees could get US$16,000 more than the state’s minimum wage.