News in brief: Cuba, IHG, Apple Leisure Group

U.S. eases Cuba travel: The U.S. government will ease decades-old restrictions on Cuba travel on January 16. Under the new regulations, Americans will now be allowed to travel to Cuba for any of a dozen specific reasons without first obtaining a special license.

Read more at The New York Times


IHG signs in Aberdeen: IHG will open the Crowne Plaza Aberdeen Airport in 2016 and the Holiday Inn Express Aberdeen Airport later in 2015. Both hotels will operate under franchise agreements with Dominivs Group.

Read more at IHG’s website


Apple Leisure Group expands Caribbean portfolio: Apple Leisure Group’s subsidiary AMResorts has signed a new resort deal in La Romana, Dominican Republic. The 478-room Dreams Dominicus La Romana is set to open by summer 2015.

Read more at Caribbean News


Hilton El Conquistador resort sold: CBRE has completed the sale of the Hilton El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort and the El Conquistador Country Club in Tucson. Financial terms were not disclosed. A US$16 million renovation is planned for the hotel portion of the property.

Read more at The Arizona Republic


Hyatt Place Croker Park management: The Olympia Companies will develop and manage the new 110-room Hyatt Place Croker Park in Cleveland.

Read more at Yahoo


DoubleTree Little Rock purchased: Fifth Avenue Capital and Waterford Hotel Group finalized the purchase of the 288-room DoubleTree by Hilton in Little Rock, Arkansas. The hotel is expected to undergo at US$5 million renovation.

Read more at Waterford’s website


Interval Leisure Group partners with Divi Resorts: Interval International has entered into a multi-year, multi-site agreement with Divi Resorts. The partnership encompasses seven resorts and the new Divi Vacation Club.

Read more at Market Watch


Shepheard Hotel development: An Emirati company is looking to develop Shepheard Hotel in Cairo with investments up to EGP 500 million (US$70 million).

Read more at Daily News Egypt


Macau suspects sent to jail: The six hotel prostitution ring suspects in Macau were arrested to remain in pre-trial custody at the Macau Prison. 

Read more at Macau News



Urgo acquires Whiteface Lodge: Urgo Hotels & Resorts purchased the 94-suite Whiteface Lodge Resort in Lake Placid, New York, for an undisclosed sum.