News in brief: Virgin, Marriott, Belmond

Virgin to offer flying perks: Virgin Hotels has partnered with its sister company Virgin Atlantic to provide benefits to Flying Club loyalty program members. Virgin will reward all Flying Club members with 1,000 miles per stay, plus a special introductory offer of double bonus miles for stays from February 1 through April 30. Flying Club members based in the U.K. will quality for bonus miles until July 31.

Read more at ITCM


Marriott partners with What’s Trending: Marriott International has teamed up with multi-platform Internet and pop culture media brand What’s Trending to produce and release videos about mobile check-in from Marriott. The first five videos can be seen on YouTube.

Read more at Marriott’s website


Belmond taps Simmonds: Belmond Ltd. appointed James Simmonds senior vice president of global development. Simmonds joins Belmond from Rosewood Hotel Group in Hong Kong where he was senior vice president of development for Asia Pacific and China.

Read more at Business Wire


Fairmont expands in Middle East: Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and Bahrain Real Estate Investment have announced the development of a new 215-room resort in Bahrain. Scheduled to open in 2018, Fairmont Bahrain Resort will be Fairmont’s first Bahrain hotel.

Read more at Market Watch


Indonesian hotels hit by spending cuts: Indonesia President Joko Widodo banned civil servants from hosting meetings in hotels starting in December and cut the allowances that they got for attending. The result has reportedly hurt a significant number of hotels in Indonesia, where government events have accounted for as much as 60% of the hospitality business. According to the proposed 2015 budget, the hotel ban saves Indonesia’s government 24 trillion rupiah (US$1.9 billion).

Read more at Bloomberg


Karlin funds loans to refinance: Karlin Real Estate has funded US$96 million in first mortgage debt to refinance resort properties in Arizona and Colorado. Karlin provided affiliates of IMH Financial Corporation with US$50 million in senior debt to refinance the L’Auberge de Sedona and the Orchards Inn, two adjacent hotel properties in Sedona, Arizona. Karlin also provided Grand Heritage Hotel Group with a US$46 million senior loan secured by The Historic Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado.


AC Hotels comes to Washington: Marriott International’s AC Hotel will debut in Washington, D.C., in March. The AC Hotel Washington D.C. at National Harbor will also be the first AC Hotel in the Northeast.

Read more at Marriott’s website


Lakeway Resort acquired: Ashford Hospitality Trust has completed its acquisition of the 168-room Lakeway Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas, for US$33.5 million. Upon closing, the property will be managed by Remington Lodging.

Read more at PR Newswire


Aimbridge wins Sheraton contract: Aimbridge Hospitality will manage the Sheraton Four Points Hotel in Bentonville, Arkansas, scheduled to open after renovation on March 19.