In Brief: JW Marriott opens second property in Germany; NOBU comes to Morocco

SECOND JW MARRIOTT OPENS IN GERMANY: JW Marriott has opened its second property in Germany—JW Marriott Hotel Berlin, which complements a JW in Frankfurt. The 505-room hotel is owned by Al Rayyan Tourism Investment Co. Earlier known as Hotel Berlin Central District, the hotel’s opening marks the completion of the first stage in the property’s transformation to join the JW Marriott brand. The hotel’s interiors have been designed by design firm El Ghoneimi. The hotel features eight dining venues (all of which have undergone a complete transformation), 48 event spaces spanning over 6,290 square meters, a spa and a pool. The hotel’s ongoing development will include its full transformation, which is scheduled to finish by 2025 with the renovation of all rooms.  

VANDERBILT BERKSHIRES ESTATE SELLS FOR $8M: Vanderbilt Berkshires Estate, the 89-acre property located in both Stockbridge and Lenox in Massachusetts, has been acquired by Linda Law, the former owner of the Blantyre Estate in Lenox, MA, for $8 million. The property was sold by Amstar/Travaasa Experiential Resorts, which acquired it in 2012 for $9.8 million, ending the estate’s 137-year history with the family of Emily Vanderbilt Sloane. In 2020, Travaasa marketed the estate for $12.5 million but took it off the market at the end of 2021 due to the lack of viable buyers. Vanderbilt Berkshires Estate, earlier known as Elm Court, comprises additional residences and amenities on the property, including greenhouses and stables. Law and her business partners, Dr. Rick Peiser, are considering alternative concepts for the property, including a luxury resort. The estate is fully entitled for 112 rooms and a 15,000-square-foot spa and a 60-seat restaurant.  

NOBU COMING TO MOROCCO: Nobu Hotels has announced that Nobu Hotel Marrakech will open on January 23, marking Nobu Hotels’ first venture into Africa. The all-suite property will feature 71 suites, destination dining including Nobu Restaurant and Bar, a spa and a rooftop with a pool, restaurant and sushi bar. The luxury hotel is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. The suites will be split across three floors, each embodying the Japanese concept of Kokoro or heart, mind, spirit. The hotel’s spa will be the biggest of any Nobu Hotel with 2,000 square meters of space.  

HEI ADDS TO PORTFOLIO: Norwalk, Conn.-based HEI Hotels & Resorts has assumed management of the 93-room Saranac Waterfront Lodge in Saranac Lake, N.Y., which opened in 2020. Currently, HEI’s portfolio includes more than 95 assets, accounting for more than 29,000 keys across 30 capital partners.  

HARD ROCK’S INITIATIVES AGAINST TRAFFICKING: Hard Rock International is marking National Human Trafficking Awareness Day on January 11 by expanding action to strengthen the industry’s role in preventing and combatting human trafficking. Through a partnership with Covenant House New York, the provider of runaway and homeless youth services in New York City, Hard Rock will provide access to careers to hospitality to help vulnerable youth escape a life of trafficking or avoid risks. Participants will receive employment with Hard Rock Café Times Square and Hard Rock New York. Upon completion of a 90-day transition period, they can work to forge opportunities across multiple roles and grow as hospitality professionals. Separately, Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming have piloted a QR code on its properties which will provide information on trafficking and for those who might need it, direct access to help resources.