New leadership at Steigenberger: Steigenberger Hotels announced that Professor Wilhelm Bender has been elected as the company’s chairman and Oliver Bonke has joined the company and will serve as the CEO. Bender earlier served as chairman of the Executive Board of Fraport AG for 17 years and since then has been in various supervisory boards and company advisory boards. Bonke has been in the hospitality industry for more than 30 years and most recently served as CEO Middle East, Europe, India, Americas for Shangri-La Group based in New York and then as president and COO based in Hong Kong. Prior to that, Bonke acted as chief commercial officer of Loews Hotels & Co. André Witschi had recently resigned from his position as chairman, while previous CEO Marcus Bernhardt has left the company.
Swissotel Singapore rebrands: Paradox Hotel Group and TA Global Berhad announced that the 476-room Swissotel Merchant Court in Singapore will be rebranded to Paradox Singapore Merchant Court at Clarke Quay from April 1.
US performance dips slightly: Hotel performance in the U.S. fell slightly from the last week with lower Spring Break travel volume, according to STR’s latest data through March 26.
- Occupancy: 65.5% (-5.5%)
- ADR: US$149.38 (+13.5%)
- RevPAR: US$97.92 (+7.3%)
The weekly ADR level was the third highest for any week on record, behind the previous week ending March 19 and the week of Christmas in 2021. Although none of the Top 25 Markets showed an occupancy increase over 2019, Tampa came closest to its 2019 comparable (-0.1% to 84.7%). Minneapolis saw the largest occupancy decrease from 2019 (-21.8% to 51.8%).
Dream Hotel in Louisville: Dream Hotel Group, New York, will move ahead with the construction of the 168-room Dream Hotel in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, which is slated to open in 2025. During a meeting on Wednesday, Louisville’s West Main Street Architectural Review Committee unanimously approved a request to demolish parts of the Main Street buildings while keeping intact almost 60 feet of the original buildings and the historic facades for the proposed hotel. Developed by Alex Marks, owner of Royal Investments, the hotel will be the second Dream Hotel for the developer, after Dream Nashville. Designed by Louisville-based Joseph & Joseph architects and Miami-based CUBE3 architects, the interiors will be designed by New York-based Wimberly Interiors. Construction is expected to begin later this year. Dream Hotel currently has 15 hotels in its portfolio and 25 more locations globally in various stages of development.
Apple Leisure Group announces resort in Punta Cana: Apple Leisure Group announced the signing of Dreams Flora Resort & Spa in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. The Dreams Resorts & Spas by AMR Collection-branded resort will be its sixth in Punta Cana and the 29th overall. Slated to open later this year, the resort will consist of 520 rooms each with a private terrace or balcony with ocean, garden and pool views.
Procaccianti acquires in Cranston: Procaccianti Companies, Cranston, Rhode Island, has acquired The Chatham Wayside Inn in Chatham, Massachusetts, from owner David Oppenheim. The 56-key independent property will be managed by TPG Hotels, Resorts & Marinas, Procaccianti’s hospitality management affiliate. CBRE hotels was the exclusive advisor to the seller. The purchase price and transaction details were not disclosed. The property is spread across two buildings — the Main Inn consists of 24 rooms and the upscale 300-seat Wild Goose Tavern, while the second building features 32 rooms.
HEI grows luxury portfolio: HEI Hotels & Resorts, Norwalk, Connecticut, has acquired the 136-key Hotel Ivy, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Minneapolis, Minnesota, through a joint venture between one of its affiliates and Monarch Alternative Capital. This is the second acquisition by the joint venture, after the purchase of Westin Minneapolis in October 2021, and HEI’s fifth Luxury Collection Hotel. Built in 2008 as an integrated part of the Ivy Tower, the hotel includes a spa, fine dining restaurant, cocktail bar and speakeasy lounge.
Time & Place acquires in Melbourne: Australian property developer Time & Place announced the acquisition of Hotel Lindrum in Melbourne. The triple-fronted hotel was sold with a permit in place for a 30-story mixed-use hotel and residential project. Time & Place plans to review the plans and has not ruled out the addition of an office component. The acquisition was part of a strategic acquisition phase for Time & Place across Melbourne, Sydney and Queensland.
Outrigger acquires in Maldives: Outrigger Hospitality Group, Honolulu, Hawaii, has acquired the newly renovated 5-star Maafushivaru Resort in the Maldives. The luxury resort, located on the private island in South Ari Atoll region, will be renamed as Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort. The resort comprises 81 luxury villas style, including beach, pool and duplex accommodations along with overwater bungalows. John Allanson, who has served Outrigger previously, has been appointed as the resort’s general manager. The private island resort includes seven restaurants, bars and cafes.
Asia Pac outlook: The easing of border restrictions to help reboot business and leisure markets across the Asia Pacific region has helped the region’s hotel sector, said CBRE’s Asia Pacific Hotel Market Outlook- Trends to Watch in 2022. Occupancy rates ended the year at around 50%. However, despite the gradual relaxation of travel norms, recovery of air traffic in the region will lag in the U.S. and Europe, mostly due to China’s strict border controls. Global travel demand is also set to be affected by increasing oil prices due to the Russia-Ukraine war. A recovery in gross operating profits lags the recovery in total operating revenue by almost two years, the report said. The lag in the recovery in gross operating profits is expected to be exacerbated by structural labor shortages. Improvements in visitor arrivals and room occupancy is likely to start emerging from Q2 2022, with Southeast Asian leisure markets projected to outperform as travelers prefer open-air environments. The region saw a robust transaction comeback in 2021 with deals totaling US$12.1 billion, up from US$8.3 billion in 2020.
Peninsula’s next-gen wellness: The Peninsula Hotels, Hong Kong, will launch “Life Lived Best,” a program that elevates physical, mental and nutritional well-being with services available at all times at the touch of a button. The program, which launches from April 1, lets guests select goals, such as increased strength, boosted energy, jet-lag relief and mindful rest. Highlights include plant-based menus; best-sleep experiences that include aromatherapy and spa-style baths; local experiences related to fitness, spiritual customs; and virtual fitness and mindfulness programming. Guests can connect with their 24-hour Wellness Concierge to have gear delivered to their room or communication of their health goals to the hotel’s chefs, spa managers and fitness experts to ensure full personalization of services.
Radisson commits to be net zero by 2050: Radisson Hotel Group has made a commitment to decarbonize its business by setting an emission reduction target to be net zero by 2050, in line with the STBi Net-Zero Standard, as the group released its 2021 responsible Business Report. Radisson is committing to set science-based emission reduction goals to reach net zero value chain GHG emissions and will be a part of the Business Ambition for Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign. The company will join the UNFCCC Race to Zero campaign as part of a globally coordinated attempt to reach its sustainability goal. In 2021, the group’s carbon footprint decreased by 23% per square meter and water footprint went down 13% per square meter as compared to 2019.
Rocco Forte launches spa: Rocco Forte Hotels announced the launch of Irene Forte Spa. Villa Igica, the Rocco Forte hotel in Palermo, will launch its new spa with the concept along with Verdura Resort in Sicily, Masseria Torre Maizza in Puglia, and Hotel de la Ville in Rome. The spas work with Sustainable Spa Association and have partnered with positive change agents, like First Mile, to recycle professional products and B Corp-certified company WAMI to supply water. Along with offering regular body treatments, the newly launched spa has partnered with The Amethyst Trust, a Standards Authority for Touch in Cancer Care, to provide therapies for those recovering from and living with cancer.