Hilton, Swissôtel expand in Russia

Both Hilton Worldwide, McLean, Virginia and Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts, Zürich, Switzerland, announced expansion deals in Russia this week.

On Thursday Hilton announced that it signed a management agreement with Expoforum JSC, St. Petersburg, Russia to manage two new build hotels, expected to open in 2014 in St. Petersburg that will be adjacent to a new convention and exhibition center.

“Russia is a very exciting strategic development market for Hilton Worldwide,” said Patrick Fitzgibbon, Hilton’s senior vice president of development in Europe and Africa. “This will be our first dual branded project in the country.”

The hotels will include the 241-room Hilton St. Petersburg Expoforum and the 210-room Hampton by Hilton Expoforum.

In an update on the US$15 billion in resort development happening in Sochi, Russia in the lead-up to the 2014 Winter Olympics, Swissôtel signed a management contract for 158-room mountain resort Gorky-Gorod in the Krasnaya Polyana winter sports area. Despite Switzerland’s status as a major ski tourism destination, this will actually be Swissôtel’s first ski resort.

“Most of our company’s hotels are primarily city or business hotels in large metropolises, and this will be our first ski resort. It’s an exciting project, especially given that Krasnaya Polyana is going to be comparable in terms of infrastructure and atmosphere to the most famous mountain resorts in the Alps,” said Meinhard Huck, Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts president.

The resort, which will be comprised of two ski villages, is currently under construction and scheduled to open by 2014. The resort is one of several in the Sochi area under development by NBB-Development, Moscow.