Tag Archives: hotel opening

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Strengthens Dubai Portfolio with Debut of Aloft and Element Brands

With 2018 Openings of Aloft and Element, Dubai will be Home to all Nine of Starwood’s Iconic Lifestyle Brands

Dubai, UAE – 04 March 2015 – Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide announced an agreement with wasl hospitality & leisure LLC, a subsidiary of wasl Asset Management Group, to debut the Aloft and Element brands in Dubai. Scheduled to open in 2018, Aloft Dubai Raffa and Element Dubai Raffa will bolster Starwood’s presence in Dubai – the city with the second largest concentration of hotels for the company after New York City. With the debut of both brands in 2018, Dubai will soon be home to all nine of Starwood’s brands.

“We are very excited to introduce the Aloft and Element brands into Dubai, and are delighted to expand Starwood’s successful relationship with wasl hospitality & leisure,” said Michael Wale, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa and Middle East. “With the Dubai government promoting mid-scale hotel development ahead of the Dubai World Expo 2020, we believe the timing is right to widen the reach of our signature Aloft and Element experiences, which are revolutionizing the hospitality industry by delivering a modern, urban-style experience at an affordable price.”

“Bringing the Aloft and Element brands to Dubai for the first time is the latest initiative in the long and fruitful relationship that wasl has enjoyed with Starwood Hotels & Resorts,” said HE Hesham Abdullah Al Qassim, CEO wasl Asset Management Group. “wasl is committed to supporting the growth of Dubai’s hospitality sector, particularly in the mid-range segment, which has been identified as being an important area of hotel expansion in the run up to Expo 2020. We are delighted to have partnered in the launch of two new exciting concepts for visitors to the city and look forward to playing a continued role in helping to fulfil Dubai’s vision.”

Aloft Dubai Raffa and Element Dubai Raffa will be built simultaneously and operate as a unique complex offering 165 and 96 rooms, respectively, upon opening in early 2018. Located near Dubai Maritime City — the new development at Port Rashid — the hotels will be conveniently located close to Sheikh Zayed Road and the heart of Dubai’s traditional commercial centre.

Designed to shake up the staid and traditional mid-market hotel sector, Aloft hotels are redefining the category by delivering urban-influenced, modern and vibrant design and a social guest experience at an affordable price point. Aloft Raffa will feature the brand’s signature W XYZ Bar, where guests can mix and mingle over lively music, and Re:fuel by Aloft, the grab and go eatery open 24 hours a day. Other amenities include Re:charge the fully equipped fitness centre and a refreshing outdoor Splash pool. All of Aloft Raffa’s facilities will be accessible to guests of Element Raffa.

Element Raffa marks the debut of Starwood’s trailblazing eco-wise brand in the UAE. Inspired by Westin, Element Hotels provide guests with space to live their lives, offering bright, modern design, green-minded sensibilities and a reimagined extended stay experience, perfect for the traveller who is visiting for a few days or a few weeks.

“The addition of these two new hotels is a testament to the confidence owners have in Starwood and our brands,” said Bart Carnahan, Senior Vice President Acquisitions & Development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa & Middle East. “The pipeline for our mid-market brands is increasingly robust and we see many opportunities for both new-build hotels and conversions for the brands throughout the Middle East.”

Starwood currently operates nearly 50 hotels and resorts across the Middle East under eight of the company’s nine distinct lifestyle brands including: The Luxury Collection, St. Regis, Sheraton, Westin, W Hotels, Le Méridien, Four Points by Sheraton and Aloft. The company has plans to further expand its portfolio in the region with a pipeline of over 35 hotels due to open by 2017.

Dubai is the company’s second largest market after New York City with 15 operating hotels and six properties in the pipeline, including Aloft Raffa and Element Raffa.

Courtyard by Marriott Debuts in Agra – First Marriott International Property Launches in the City of Love

Agra, India – 03 March 2015 – Marriott International continues its dynamic growth in India with the latest opening of the Courtyard by Marriott Agra. Located in the beautiful city of Agra, home to the world renowned “Taj Mahal”, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Courtyard by Marriott Agra is the 12th property for the brand in India. The hotel endeavour’s to be a preferred getaway destination offering Indian hospitality with an international flair.

Courtyard by Marriott Agra India - Luxury Room

Courtyard by Marriott Agra India – Luxury Room

Courtyard by Marriott Agra guest roomWell-appointed rooms, varied F&B options and expansive indoor and outdoor event spaces ensure that every stay is truly memorable, be it dedicated to work or family. The 189-room property is designed to anticipate guests’ basic needs—functionality, safety, consistency, comfort and value—providing a warm, sophisticated environment and a variety of options that allow guests to stay connected, productive and refreshed during their stay.

With the Taj Mahal in close proximity, the hotel boasts the largest suite inventory in the city – ideal for long stay business or leisure alike. The elegantly structured architecture with 189 well-appointed guest rooms and 18 exquisite suites offers a sense of warmth and comfort. The thoughtfully designed rooms provide the optimum balance between work and relaxation, with state of the art amenities and wonderful views of the landscaped gardens or the pool, perfectly complemented by a selection of dining options, recreation and wellness facilities.

Commenting on the launch, Mr. Rajeev Menon, Area Vice President, South-Asia, Marriott International, said, “Agra is a significant tourist and business destination for expats and corporates alike. The Courtyard by Marriott Agra has been launched, keeping in mind the needs of such travellers.” He further adds, “All our properties in India are market leaders in their operative segments, we aim for nothing less with the Courtyard by Marriott Agra as well. This property is also testimony of our vision for the brand Courtyard by Marriott and its standards of excellence. With this launch, Marriott International is now present in the Golden Triangle, with hotels in Delhi NCR, Jaipur and Agra.”

Sharing his thoughts, Mr. Vishal Bharti, General Manager, Courtyard by Marriott, Agra said, “The opening of Courtyard by Marriott Agra marks our entry into one of the most important leisure cities in India.” He further adds, “Agra being one of the most important tourist destinations in North India, we are excited to offer business and leisure traveller’s the best in class customer service, where every guest experience will be curated to perfection.”

The hotel also offers large conference and banquet facilities, with more than 30,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor banquet space, which can accommodate up to 1200 guests.Magnificent lawn and extensive banqueting spaces make a perfect setting for social or business engagements. An on-site events team will ensure flawless coordination and execution, be it a lavish wedding or social event.

Guests are invited to explore three unique restaurants on property. MoMo Cafe, a chic all day dining restaurant which is contemporary, warm, welcoming and offers a gastronomic à la carte and the largest buffet spread in Agra, with a menu featuring fresh ingredients and international flavors. MoMo 2 Go, the coffee shop certifies the best bakery in town while MoMo To You, a round-the-clock in-room dining menu offers guests the option of dining in the comfort of their rooms.  Onyx Bar at the hotel serves a selection of spirits, wines and cocktails with delectable finger-foods to go, giving our patrons and guests, that perfect backdrop to just sit back and unwind, at close of day.

The hotel is located near popular attractions and shopping districts including the Agra Fort, Akbar’s Tomb, Jama Masjid and Kinari Bazaar. Guests driving from Delhi can also easily access the hotel from the Delhi – Agra Yamuna Expressway. With its ideal location supported by warm, caring and personalised service, Courtyard by Marriott, Agra endeavour’s to become the most preferred hotel for business and leisure travellers in the city of love.

Lone Star Luxury: JW Marriott Austin Opens its Doors

W Marriott’s First Austin Hotel Honors U.S. Armed Forces with First Check-In

Austin, Texas – 15 February 2015 – JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts opened its first property in Austin, approximately two and a half years after the hotel first broke ground. The 34-story JW Marriott Austin is not only the largest hotel in Austin, but also the largest JW Marriott in North America and the second-largest JW Marriott in the world. The JW Marriott Austin employs approximately 800 associates, has achieved a LEED Silver certification and a two-star Austin Energy Green Building rating.

Lone Star Luxury: JW Marriott Austin Opens its Doors – Watch hotel report on HOTELIER TV: http://www.hoteliertv.net/international/austin-s-largest-hotel-jw-marriott-opens-doors/

“Not only will this hotel change the meeting and convention landscape in Austin, but it will also serve as a huge addition to the city’s hospitality and dining scene,” said Scott Blalock, general manager of the JW Marriott Austin. “We are thrilled to bring the JW Marriott brand to Austin and to open our highly anticipated hotel and restaurants to visitors and Austinites alike.”

The first guest to check in will be Major Walter Engle, who is based at Fort Hood. He has served in the Army for more than 18 years and been deployed eight times. The JW Marriott Austin donated a weekend stay at the hotel for his family, including his wife and three children, in appreciation for his service to the United States.

“Austin is a natural fit for the JW Marriott brand. As one of America’s fastest-growing cities, Austin is home to a thriving culinary, music, and arts scene, completely aligned with our guests’ passions,” said Mitzi Gaskins, vice president and global brand manager for JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts. “We are honored to host Major Walter Engle and his family as our first guests and look forward to offering them an unforgettable experience—right in the heart of this vibrant city.”

The hotel will boast a spectacular fifth-floor pool deck and bar, some of the largest guest rooms in the city with stellar views, a full-service Starbucks and more. A highly anticipated player in Austin’s burgeoning culinary scene, the hotel will also feature three restaurants— Osteria Pronto, Corner and Burger Bar.

Osteria Pronto is a regional Italian restaurant that is driven by a thoughtful approach to cooking from scratch and a sincere commitment to fresh, local ingredients. Osteria Pronto’s menu is designed to offer a twist on classic Italian dishes with simple, distinctive flavors such as burrata campagna, paglia e fieno and bistecca fiorentina. Corner is a lively dining destination that will feature Texas-inspired cuisine using fresh local ingredients and uniquely crafted Tequila cocktails. The menu features a selection of grilled meats and fish, a variety of local craft beers on tap, as well as several Texas wines and spirits.

For those seeking a quick indulgent bite, JW Marriott Austin’s Burger Bar on Congress, has a walk-up food truck-style window on Congress Ave. Burger Bar serves freshly ground flat-top burgers, french fries and shakes at lunchtime and the early evening.

The JW Marriott Austin has a distinct local feel. Key interior design elements were incorporated to celebrate the spirit of Austin and the state of Texas. Unique design features include large columns throughout the hotel and lobby built from Texas limestone; a topographical map of Austin illustrated in the lobby ceiling and floor; illuminated artwork behind the check-in area that resembles a magnified cactus graphic; and a large outline of the state of Texas etched into the bottom of the fifth-floor pool.

The JW Marriott Austin is designed to host large conventions and meetings, with more than 112,000 square feet of event space, 42 meeting rooms and 1,012 guest rooms. More than 520,000 room nights have already been contracted through 2021, with the first guests arriving the day the hotel opens. Several large meetings and conventions have already chosen to host their events at the JW Marriott Austin. Some of the first groups include South by Southwest Festival, 4C Environmental Conference and Abila, among others.

“The new JW Marriott Austin has already enabled us to make advances in both the size and quality of groups that we are now able to attract with the additional inventory and 1,012-room convention-style hotel,” said Bob Lander, president and CEO of the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau. “While visitor attendance at marquee events and festivals definitely help our entire community, meetings and conventions travel remains the strongest economic backbone for our industry in terms of generating positive economic impact to the city.”

The hotel is located on the square block bounded by Second and Third Streets and Brazos Street and Congress Avenue in downtown Austin and is within walking distance to major attractions, including the Austin Convention Center, the Texas State Capitol, the Ann & Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail on Lady Bird Lake, and more. The hotel includes 1,012 guest rooms, three presidential suites, three hospitality suites and 24 executive suites. All guest rooms and suites will feature 48” HD LED Smart TVs, high-speed Internet access and Texas-inspired décor. Guests will also be able to access 24-hour room service, a state-of-the-art fitness center and the 24-hour full-service business center, among other amenities.

Shangri-La Hotels and Resort unveils property in historic Nanchang City

Nanchung City, China – 12 Februar 2015 – Shangri-La Hotel, Nanchang opened on 8 February in Honggutan, the new central business district of Nanchang city.  Sited on the most sought-after location on the west bank of the Ganjiang River, the hotel has direct views of the magnificent 1,300-year-old Tengwang Pavilion, one of the four famous towers in China, and is a five-minute stroll from the popular Qiushui Square.  Within 30 minutes drive is the train station and Changbei International Airport.

Shangri-La Hotel, Nanchang

Shangri-La Hotel, Nanchang

Nanchang’s rich art scene has been influential in the hotel’s approach to its interior style with a mix of traditional Chinese ink paintings and blue and white porcelain on display in the public areas.  Also incorporated in the open spaces are lotus emblems to honour Zhu Da – the city’s most prominent calligrapher and painter from the Ming Dynasty – who rendered the flower in many of his artworks, plus a five-metre handcrafted chandelier that was inspired by the beauty of blooming flowers and adds visual intrigue in the lobby.

The hotel’s 473 guestrooms and suites ranging from 45 to 149 square metres are modern in cool silvery and beige tones, and complement the Ganjiang River, which can be viewed through full-length windows.  Embellished with porcelain and patterns from traditional Chinese paintings on the carpet, the rooms are also practically equipped with in-room entertainment and free Wi-Fi.  At dusk, the colourful sights of Asia’s largest music fountain at Quishui Square and the nightly light display from across the waterway can be seen.

Providing an exceptional standard of quality and service is the hotel’s Horizon Club Lounge, where guests can appreciate extra privileges including express check-in and check-out, complimentary breakfast buffet and evening cocktails, and full concierge service.  The private space, on level 32 of the hotel, was designed with commanding 180-degree vistas and an airy outdoor terrace.

Five dedicated levels of Club rooms are as sophisticated as they are spacious and easily accommodate a day bed and a walk-in wardrobe that lead into a luxurious marble bathroom.

Dining at the hotel is an opportunity to sample creations from talented chefs at the three restaurants and lounge.  Café Hong, the all-day dining outlet, features five show-stopping open kitchens that vie for attention alongside an impressive two-metre high and eight-panel porcelain screen, and over-sized porcelain lamps in the customary blue and white colours.  On the menu and lavish buffets are Asian, Chinese and Indian selections for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

One level above the café is Zi Yu Xuan, a Chinese restaurant specialising in classic Cantonese and Gan cuisines.  Chef Eric Yue uses the freshest ingredients to bring out the delicate flavours in his beautiful dishes that rival the river view from the restaurant.  Private functions or special occasions can be hosted in eight separate dining rooms.

For informal meetings and get-togethers, the Lobby Lounge offers sweet and savoury options, as well as live entertainment.

The extensive recreational facilities at the hotel’s health club cater to guests of all levels of fitness and practices.  In addition to multi-purpose gym equipment, a 25-metre indoor pool, Jacuzzi, steam and sauna room are a beauty salon and spa.

A total of 3,880 square metres of event space capable of holding 1,800 guests includes a 1,683-square-metre pillar-less grand ballroom that is attached to an expansive foyer with a river view.  A junior ballroom and five other function rooms complete the hotel’s meeting facilities.

Marriott Hotels Opens First Hotel In Lyon

Lyon, France – 12 February 2015 – Marriott Hotels, the signature brand of Marriott International, welcomed Lyon Marriott Hotel Cité International to its portfolio on 30 January 2015. The hotel joins a further 23 Marriott Hotels in France. Situated in the heart of the renowned city, famous for its historical and architectural landmarks, the hotel offers 204 spacious guestrooms and suites along with an extensive wellness zone including a solarium with views over the rolling hills of Caluire.  Lyon Saint-Exupery Airport is just 30 minutes from the hotel which is also in easy reach of the Convention Centre and the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Lyon Marriott Hotel Cité International guestroomA selection of European dishes are served in the hotel’s La Brasserie restaurant, a warm and comforting space clad in warming wood panelling while the restaurant’s expansive terrace looks out over the Parc de la Tête d’Or, the largest urban park in France,  The bar – The Spark – welcomes guests into an intimate setting with a delectable cocktail menu.

For business travellers and corporate meetings, the Marriott Lyon offers a 1,100m2 conference centre, including 16 prestigious meeting rooms and a multipurpose 435m2 adaptable space, all with natural daylight.

Plans for a full renovation in 2015 are in progress and will be managed by Les Clés du Luxe, owners of the hotel since July.  The new design, envisioned by architects Albert Constantin and Marie Courdouan, will see modernisation of the rooms, meeting spaces, fitness centre and restaurant, as well as the creation of a new bar.  The hotel will remain open throughout the renovations with minimum disruption to guests.   “Our entry into the Marriott Hotels portfolio marks a new stage in the development of the largest hotel group in the Rhône-Alpes region,” commented Emmanuel Comble, Managing Director, Les Cles du Luxe.

“We are proud to announce the launch of the new Lyon Marriott Hotel Cité International,” says Michel Miserez, Area Vice President, Western Europe. “This major expansion into the international city of Lyon once again demonstrates the remarkable commercial power of our network, owing to a growing number of owners who place their trust in us.”

JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai Changfeng Park Shines in West Shanghai

Property Rebranding Promises Elevated Luxury Guest Experience

Shanghai, China – February 6, 2015 – JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts continues to expand its global, luxury collection with the brand new 501-room JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai Changfeng Park. Located in Putuo District of the Shanghai city, the hotel will be the second JW Marriott in Shanghai and a world-class addition to its global portfolio of 70 luxury properties. It is poised to become the benchmark of luxury service in the burgeoning west Shanghai area.

JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai Changfeng Park - Luxury Guest Room

JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai Changfeng Park – Luxury Guest Room

Originally branded as a Marriott Hotels property under a long-term management agreement with the New Development Group Co., LTD. the hotel has been recognized as the first international five-star establishment in Putuo. Given the hotel’s exceptional services, refined design, unique location and level of sophistication, Marriott International saw an opportunity to brand the property a JW Marriott to further elevate its already established luxury offerings and positioning.

“Since opening in 2010, this gorgeous hotel has been instrumental in bringing sophisticated luxury services to west Shanghai. Its rebranding into JW Marriott will enable guests to experience the quiet luxury they seek in a warmly authentic, relaxed atmosphere lacking in pretense. As second JW Marriott hotel in Shanghai and the tenth in China, the rebranding also speaks to the growing popularity of the JW Marriott brand in China,” said Henry Lee, Chief Operations Officer – Greater China of Marriott International.

“Our hotel has always been a trend setter of luxury hotel services in west Shanghai. The new JW Marriott Changfeng Park will continue to provide guests with memorable experiences, now enriched with the intuitive service, artfully delivered experiences and well-being focus the JW Marriott brand is known for – both in China and around the world,” said Richard Saul, General Manager of JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai Changfeng Park.

The JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai Changfeng Park is located at the Changfeng Ecology Commercial District in west Shanghai, facing the picturesque Changfeng Park and Suzhou River. It is well positioned, neighboring the Shanghai Convention & Exhibition Center of International Sourcing and the internationally renowned National Exhibition and Convention Center (NECC). The hotel is also adjacent to Changfeng Parkside Plaza, one of the largest shopping malls in west Shanghai.

The hotel is easily accessible, located just a 15-minute drive from the Hongqiao Integrated Transportation Hub, which houses the Hongqiao International Airport, Hongqiao Railway Station and Bus Station.

The property’s 501 spacious guestrooms boast scenic views of either the Changfeng Park or Suzhou Creek. Each guestroom features a full array of modern amenities such as a full-size executive writing desk, flat-screen TV, JW Marriott’s plush signature bedding and signature bath amenity line from partner Aromatherapy Associates.

The JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai Changfeng Park has six world-class restaurants including the newly renovated Park Café, Sakitori and The Lobby Lounge, providing versatile and unique culinary experiences. Park Café is an enticing all-day dining restaurant that features healthy and delicious international cuisine.  Japanese restaurant Sakitori offers authentic fare prepared by Japanese native chefs while The Lobby Lounge brings classic high tea experience and a treat of stylish delicacies.  Upscale Chinese restaurant Pearl offers authentic Cantonese and local Shanghai cuisine while DÔME Steak and Wine brings quality steaks that will rival the best in town.  Finally Panorama Bar, located at the top floor, offers a wide selection of wines, whisky and cigars.

The hotel offers more than 1,500 square meters of multi-function event space featuring the state-of-the-art technologies and facilities. Venues include a 770-square meter Grand Ballroom and 13 individual function rooms equipped with wireless high-speed internet access and an LED wall. In addition, the hotel boasts a versatile area that can be turned into an assembly point for MICE guests, group check-in desk, or even a venue for coffee breaks and cocktail receptions, providing great flexibility for guests.

The hotel’s “Quan” Spa offers Asian, Mediterranean and western spa treatments.  Other facilities include an indoor swimming pool, as well as a health club with a comprehensive fitness center, sauna, Jacuzzi and steam bath facilities.

AC Hotels by Marriott to Debut in the Capital Region this March – European-influenced lifestyle hotel to open in heart of National Harbor

Bethesda, Maryland, U.S. – 06 February 2015 – Renovations are well underway for the debut of Marriott International third AC Hotels branded property in the United States. The AC Hotel Washington, D.C. at National Harbor brings the European lifestyle brand to the heart of the region’s fastest growing destination and is set to open in March 2015. It will also be the first AC Hotel in the Northeast.

AC Hotel Washington, DC at National Harbor - King Guest Room

AC Hotel Washington, DC at National Harbor – King Guest Room

The 192-room property is designed with millennials in mind who want a sophisticated experience with style, inspired social spaces and technology. Drawing from the runways and fashion houses of Milan, the AC Hotels brand features simple, clean and crisp lines, with a distinctly modern feel.

“AC Hotels brand boasts a modern, European look and feel with Spanish roots that will complement the culturally diverse and international flavor of Washington, D.C.,” said Toni Stoeckl, VP Lifestyle Brands. “We believe in creating meaningful experiences for our quality-driven guests through every element of our hotel and are guided by the philosophy that everything should have a ‘why.'”

At AC Hotels, premium touches are balanced with comfortable service. A signature element of the hotel includes its innovative beverage and food program within its AC Lounge. A twist on the traditional hotel bar, the experience will include craft beers, on-tap wines, handcrafted cocktails and a selection of small ‘tapas-style’ plates served by city-savvy bartenders. These beverage experts will connect AC patrons to the pulse of D.C. with their insider tips and recommendations on the local area, acting as both a mixologist and innovative spin on a concierge.

The 8-story hotel will include outdoor terraces with dramatic views of the Potomac River; the AC Kitchen serving a European-influenced daily breakfast including sweet and savory tarts, freshly baked croissants and a selection of artisan cured meats and cheeses; and the AC Library offering a quiet area for guests to use while still being connected. Additional amenities include a fitness center, 3,700-square-feet of meeting space and complimentary Wi-Fi.

AC Hotel Washington, D.C. at National Harbor is one of more than 50 lifestyle hotels expected to open across the U.S. in the next few years. The brand’s first hotel debuted in New Orleans in November 2014.