Regent Hotels and Resorts and Rezidor Hotel Group have signed a strategic alliance agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, Rezidor will develop and operate new Regent hotels in Russia, the CIS countries, the Baltic region, the Middle East and Africa, and Rezidor and Regent will jointly develop Regent properties in the rest of Europe. The Regent brand was previously part of Carlson and Rezidor before it was acquired by Formosa International Hotels Corporation a couple of years ago. “The acquisition of the Regent brand and business by Formosa in 2010 allowed us to focus on our core brands Radisson Blu and Park Inn by Radisson, and to strengthen our network in 70 countries across EMEA,” said Kurt Ritter, Rezidor’s president and chief executive officer. “A luxury brand was however never off our agenda, and we are delighted to complement our portfolio with Regent now,” he added.
Hilton Worldwide has launched a new Waldorf Astoria hotel this week. After a £24 million renovation and refurbishment, the 254-room Caledonian Hilton Edinburgh hotel, in Scotland’s capital, has reopened as the 241-room Caledonian, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The hotel, which is more than 100 years old, has been operated by Hilton since 2000. It has become the group’s second Waldorf Astoria property in the UK, alongside Syon Park in London.
It’s been a busy week for Marriott International. The group announced plans to open its tenth hotel in Turkey, in the city of Izmir, on the Aegean coast. The Renaissance Izmir Hotel is due to open at the end of the year. Once open, the 110-room hotel will become Hilton’s first hotel in Izmir and its fifth Renaissance property in the country. Additionally, Marriott has signed a franchise agreement with SHEPI SNC for its first AC Hotel by Marriott property in Paris. When it opens in 2014, the 166-room AC Hotel Paris Port Maillot will be Marriott’s 14th hotel in the French capital and the third AC Hotel by Marriott in France. Marriott also revealed plans to open three new Autograph Collection properties in Europe by the end of the year. The Collection will make its debut in Portugal with the 72-room Fontecruz hotel in Lisbon, and France is to welcome two new Autograph Collection hotels: the 78-room Hotel De Bourgtheroulde in Rouen and the 72-room Hotel L’Hermitage Gantois in Lille; the buildings of both hotels, in the north of France, date back to the 15th century.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts has signed an agreement with German real estate and investment company Bari Gruppe that will see the group’s environmentally friendly, extended stay brand, Element, make its debut in Europe. The new-build Element Frankfurt Airport is expected to open in 2014 at the Gateway Gardens area in Frankfurt, Germany, with 133 studios and one-bedroom suites. “This is the beginning of what we anticipate will be a long-term relationship with Starwood as we introduce Element Hotels to Europe and establish it as the continent’s most eco and guest-friendly extended stay brand,” said Marco Bari from Bari Gruppe. Starwood currently operates Element hotels across the USA, but also has properties in the pipeline for Canada and the Middle East due to open in the next few years.
Mukul, a luxury boutique hotel and spa in Guacalito de la Isla, a new $250-million, 1,670-acre private beach community on Nicaragua’s Emerald Coast, is scheduled to open in January 2013. Mukul will feature 37 accommodations, each with an ocean view, pool and private staff. Other resort amenities include Spa Mukul, with six private spa-treatment casitas; a beach club featuring dining and lounge areas and a swimming pool; and the 18-hole Guacalito Golf Course. Mukul and Guacalito de la Isla are the vision of Nicaraguan entrepreneur Don Carlos Pellas, whose family has roots in the country that date back to the 19th century. The Pellas family businesses include transportation, computers, sugar, ethanol, Flor de Caña Rum and the Vivian Pellas Hospital. Pellas also founded the BAC Credomatic financial network in 1985.
Bulgari Hotels & Resorts has signed an agreement with OCT Group to open a new hotel in Shanghai in 2015. The project follows the opening of the Bulgari Hotel London in late May this year. The luxury goods brand has a further two properties – in Milan, which opened in 2004, and a resort in Bali, which opened in 2006. The Shanghai hotel will be located in a riverside metropolitan complex development in Suhe Creek, a protected heritage zone in the Zhabei District. The Bulgari Hotel will be located in the 12 upper floors of a 40-storey building designed by architecture team Foster + Partners. The hotel will have 120 rooms and suites – including the 400sqm Bulgari suite – as well as a ballroom, spa, and rooftop Italian restaurant. A Chinese fine dining restaurant will be created in the former Chinese Chamber of Commerce building at the site, which dates back to early 1900.
Hudson, a Morgans Hotel Group property in New York, has completed a US$18 million renovation of its 836 guestrooms. During nine months of work, crews removed the popcorn ceilings and installed new Venetian blinds. Guestrooms also have new storage options and new artwork in light boxes by Nick Veasy. The bathrooms have new illuminated bathroom mirrors. The next phase of the project will add two new food and beverage outlets and a new outdoor Private Park space.