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IHG Is Buying Regent Hotels And Hong Kong Is Getting Its Regent Hotel Back | ·15 March 2018
This morning's announcement that InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is acquiring a 51% stake in Regent Hotels & Resorts for $39 million in cash on the surface is a microscopic transaction, bringing aboard a mere six hotels and a pipeline of just three more properties. IHG already has over 5,000 properties, many under budget and cookie cutter brands such as Holiday Inn, Staybridge Suites and Crowne Plaza. From a financial perspective, in 2014, IHG paid $430 million in cash to acquire management contracts for Kimpton's 62 locations. Marriott International's purchase of Starwood Hotels and Resorts was pegged at $13 billion.For IHG, which said it wants to grow the brand to 40 hotels and 10,000 rooms, the deal is significant because it finally gives the group a true 5-star flag to compete against The Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis of Marriott International, Hilton's Waldorf Astoria, Park Hyatt and Four Seasons, which operates as the biggest monobrand luxury player. It also gives IHG a better proposition to hotel owners and developers as it competes for management deals with other fast-expanding uber luxury names such as Accor's Raffles, Dorchester Collection, Shangri-la Hotels and Resorts, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, and New World's Rosewood Hotels & Resorts.

The Broadview Hotel's Executive Chef On How To Run A World-Class Restaurant | ·12 March 2018
Toronto has no shortage of restaurants. And after spending time in culinary school and the kitchen of a handful of serious restaurants in New York, John Sinopoli returned to Toronto try his hand at a hometown restaurant. His East end establishments have gone from strength to strength, ranging from Table 17, Ascari Enoteca and Gare de l'Est. Now Sinopoli has taken over the food service throughout Toronto's uncanny new boutique hotel The Broadview. From red-deer tartare to cognac-laced Chantilly cream splashed over brandy snaps, the menu is perfectly executed throughout.

Mandarin Oriental Creates New Fans of MO Loyalty Program | · 2 March 2018
Unlike the major chains, such as Marriott or Hilton, little luxury brand Mandarin Oriental has not had a formal loyalty program. Until now. The company just announced the launch of its new 'Fans of MO' scheme, which aims to reward loyal customers with on-property perks during their stays.

These 7 Unique Hotel Alternatives Make Everything Else Look Boring · 9 February 2018
There's nothing wrong with a good hotel stay. Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt... you name it, I've stayed there. But sometimes, you want a new experience - something beyond the patterned carpet and branded stationery on the desk. Of course, in most cases, you can't redeem or earn credit cards rewards at hotel alternatives, but it's good to mix it up every now and then. So when you get sick of staying in an ordinary, sometimes boring hotel, here are seven alternatives you could sleep at instead.Stay in a BubbleOne of the most interesting places to stay might be in a bubble. In fact, they're so neat, bubble hotels keep popping up all around the world!Bubble accommodations are exactly what you'd expect, and then some. These climate-controlled domes offer comfortable sleeping arrangements, a 360-degree view, and some even offer bathrooms and showers! You'll enjoy perfect temperatures year-round while watching the night sky from your plush bed.buubble.comStaying at a bubble is an alternative to a hotel stay.Some bubble rooms, such as the 5 Million Star Hotel in Iceland, allow you to see more than just the stars - here, you have a chance at watching the Northern Lights from your warm bed! The hotel even offers a package experience, ensuring you not only have the best chance of viewing the spectacular light show, but also experience the area's hot springs and national park.Others, like the Attrap'Reves in France, give you options to choose from. The chain has five locations throughout France, each offering unique themes and amenities. Some bubbles are entirely transparent, giving you a stunning experience underneath the stars. Other bubbles are partially-transparent, allowing for both a unique stay and the level of privacy with which you're comfortable.There are a number of other bubble hotels in countries across the world, each with their own unique views and personalities.Stay in a SiloIf you happen to be in New Zealand and want to stay somewhere you've definitely never stayed before, check out SiloStay. There, you can enjoy a full-service visit in one of their converted silo apartments.This unique property allows you to stay in one of their many silos, which include a kitchenette, stove, and even a glass shower. The interior design is modern and aesthetic, blending an industrial feel with all of the comforts of home - just in a "round"-about way.Sleep in a TreehousePart-childhood nostalgia, part-outdoorsy excitement, the treehouse lodging concept offers guests the chance to reconnect with nature.treehousepoint.comStaying in an actual treehouse can be an adventure.Retreats like Treehouse Point in Fall City, Washington have a number of stand-alone treehouses available for your overnight stay. You can enjoy being one with nature, or shut the windows and enjoy your elevated stay without worry of bugs. The hotel offers homemade breakfast and WiFi, too... what more could you need?Stay in the SkyIf you aren't scared of heights and want a killer view that's unparalleled, the Skylodge Adventure Suites in Sacred Valley, Peru can give you just that.naturavive.comNot for those scared of heights.The hotel offers sleeping quarters that could make even the biggest adventurers' hearts race: clear, polycarbonate-and-aluminum pods. Each of these pods is secured to the side of a mountain above the Urubamba Valley with steel cables, giving you a view of the night sky above and the steep terrain below.The pods are 24x8 feet and also include private bathrooms (and curtains, if you want more privacy). They're powered by solar panels, so you can enjoy modern luxuries, even whilst suspended 400m off the ground.Dream UnderwaterNow, here's something you've definitely never done before: sleep underwater.At the Manta Resort in Tanzania, you can stay in the Underwater Room. This hut in the middle of the water has three levels. The main floor, just above the water line, has both a lounge area and a private bathroom. Climb up the ladder onto the roof, and you can spend your days sunbathing and your evenings stargazing.The real experience, though, is when you go below to the third level, or your bedroom. There, you'll find a luxurious double bed, surrounded on all sides by panes of glass and clear, turquoise water. During the day, you can watch unique species of fish float by. At night, underwater spotlights illuminate the area around your room, allowing you to see the more shy creatures - such as an octopus or squid.Sleep in IceYou may have visited an ice bar once or twice, but chances are that you've never stayed in an ice hotel room. Well, thanks to IceHotel 365, you now can.icehotel.comLooks cold!This Swedish hotel was founded in 1989 and has been creating new and exciting ice exhibits each winter ever since. Now, however, the hotel - only 200km north of the Arctic Circle- has introduced IceHotel 365, a year-round experience that allows guests to stay in an all-ice luxury suite, even in the middle of summer.The IceHotel offers both hot and cold rooms, and even the ice suite has a heated lounge area. They also offer a year-round ice bar and ice gallery, for visitors who may not want to opt for such chilly overnight accommodations.Dream in a SphereAnother unique North American option is the Free Spirit Spheres, located on Canada's Vancouver Island. These cedar, spruce, and fiberglass tree houses lie nestled in the middle of the rainforest.They aren't large - Eve, the original sphere, is only 9' in diameter - but are perfect for a solo traveler or couple looking for a romantic getaway. The spheres offer small electric heaters, a small kitchen area, and even a hardwired speaker system.Stay Somewhere NewThe next time you're thinking about traveling, hold off on using those hotel rewards points. With accommodations like a rainforest tree house, Northern Lights-viewing bubble, and mountainside capsule, why would you ever settle for a boring ol' hotel chain?

Budding Moguls Get Inside Hotel Industry At ALIS Conference | ·30 January 2018
Last week the big news in the hotel industry was Wyndham Worldwide acquiring the La Quinta chain for some $1.95 billion. But that news was secondary at last week's American Lodging Investment Summit, universally referred to as ALIS, held at the swanky J.W. Marriott Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

The World Of The Five-Star Hotel Cat | ·26 January 2018
Happy is the life of the hotel cat. Well, in the right sort of hotel and with the right sort of cat. Take Fa-Raon, a Birman with piercing blue eyes. At Le Bristol, he has a 3-Michelin starred kitchen to indulge his dietary whims, an entire salon to attend to his grooming needs and the Paris hotel gardens to stroll about. He also has a personal apartment to retreat to, decorated by the graffiti artist Renk.

Is Airbnb Really Cheaper Than A Hotel Room In The World's Major Cities? [Infographic] | ·24 January 2018
These days traveling is arguably more affordable than ever before, thanks to budget airlines and ride-sharing, among many other factors. When it comes to finding a place to stay, however, a traditional hotel room will still cost you a pretty penny most of the time. Thankfully, the rise of the sharing economy has given people traveling on a budget a multitude of options to get around pricey hotel rooms, whether it's couch surfing or Airbnb. Both of these services definitely give hotels a run for their money but how much can the latter actually save you in major cities around the globe?

When History Goes Hip: How The UK's Country House Hotel Scene Is Being Reinvented | ·17 January 2018
The UK's country house scene is having a moment. Where once many of these stately homes-turned-hotels offered little more than too much chintz, tired rooms and overblown, fussy service, these days innovative hoteliers are putting in place a new vision to refresh their historic rooms. The result is the opening of a new batch of glorious properties to entice a modern-day traveller.

From Do Not Disturb To Deportation, Hotel Privacy Makes News | · 9 January 2018
Hotel privacy is not something most of us give a lot of thought to. We expect privacy in the hotel rooms we pay for, but not, perhaps, in the corridors, public spaces and elevators. "Hotel guests do not have the same right to privacy that they do in their home or even their car," says Professor Stephen Barth, an attorney and professor at Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston.

Top 6 Digital Transformation Trends in Hospitality and Tourism | · 3 January 2018
In the past few months, we've been looking at digital transformation trends in different industries like healthcare, retail, finance, and media and entertainment. Today, we look at an industry that's been completely turned on its head in recent years, due to extreme digital transformation: tourism and hospitality.

Dog Friendly: Hilton Launches New Pet-Centric Hotel Chain | ·22 December 2017
Paying attention to the fitness needs of travelers has become increasingly important to hotels. As brands compete for customers, wellness and workout amenities are getting great consideration, and the bar is continually being raised, with significant upgrades coming to the market recently. But there is ample evidence that shows that pet owners are more active and get additional health benefits, and I know that nothing gets me moving more than having to walk and exercise my dog. In addition, I don't want to have to leave my beloved pet home when I travel, so as a result, there is no amenity I like more in a hotel than being dog friendly.

My 10 Favorite Hotels And Resorts Of The Year 2017 | ·19 December 2017
For the last several years, I have closed out December here at with round-ups of the Travel Year in Review for Best Hotels, 10 Best Restaurants and the Best & Worst of Aviation. It's that time again, so as 2017 winds to a close, I'm reflecting on the past 12 months in travel. Today I am revisiting the 10 best hotel experiences I had in 2017. Many of these were new or importantly renovated properties, but some were time tested classics - what they all had in common was that I stayed and critically experienced their charms firsthand. There's a lot of noise out there covering the hotel space, including lots of "previews" by people who have never actually been, so to help give passionate travelers the very best info, in the past few years I launched two other resources to make it easier to find critical info, the Hotel Test Drives and Hotels I Love columns. Hotel Test Drives focuses on new and smaller market properties, while only the best of the world's best hotels make the highest bar, my Hotels I Love column, which was reorganized into a more convenient users' guide last year.

The Best Hotel Rewards Programs | ·11 December 2017
New rankings from The Points Guy, a popular website dedicated to airline and hotel loyalty points, suggest that Starwood hotels may have the best rewards program for frequent travelers. The study comes on the heels of similar rankings from J.D. Power that suggest that Marriott Rewards may have the most satisfying loyalty program for mainstream travelers (Starwood was ranked #5 in that case).

Sustainability now more important for luxury travellers | ·15 November 2017
Sustainability is becoming a bigger issue for luxury travellers of all ages with the majority saying they consider it to be important when choosing a resort to book.

Guest-Only Lounges Are The Latest Luxury Hotel Trend | ·15 November 2017
Hotels are in a never ending hospitality battle to attract more travelers. They've done everything from upping their game when it comes to in-house food and beverage offerings, providing wellness amenities, installing Instagrammable art, and inviting the public to hang in their lobbies. But, while much of the push recently was aimed at attracting locals and day visitors, the latest trend is all about a hotel basic: exclusivity.

Are Hotels Gouging When Doubling, Tripling Or Quadrupling Rates? | ·14 November 2017
It's a world of supply and demand in a free marketplace, but something just doesn't feel right when a hotel doubles, triples, quadruples or quintuples its room rate during certain occasions.College parents know the feeling. Many have done a double take when searching for a reasonable rate and finding much higher rates for a room during a football weekend, homecoming or graduation.Of course, it's not just hotels in college towns. Many, if not most, other hotels also boost rates during special occasions or periods of high demand for rooms.

A Bad Hotel Stay (And $9.5 Million From Expedia) Led Him To Revolutionize Hospitality Tech | ·13 November 2017
During a particularly lousy hotel stay four years ago, Justin Effron had a vision of how the customer experience in hospitality could be improved through the application of technology. To pursue this, Effron, who had no hospitality industry experience (he was working a finance gig at Citibank) joined forces with Alex Shashou and Dmitry Koltunov, who added their hotel and technology backgrounds to the mix.

This New, Easy To Use App -- The 'Uber' Of Staffing -- Could Revolutionize The Hospitality Industry - ·27 October 2017
Jitjatjo is a new app specifically designed to solve temporary hospitality staffing problems. Catering companies, event planners and restaurateurs can use Jitjatjo (which sounds like tic tac toe) to ease their "supply and demand" challenges of staffing. In one week managers might need to hire staff to accommodate an intimate black-tie dinner party for 30 diners, a 3,000-person corporate event and a promotional cocktail hour for 300 people. Finding talented workers during busy periods, retaining them during slow periods, is both stressful and time consuming.

America's 25 Most Haunted Hotels - Where It's Always Halloween | ·19 October 2017
Halloween is coming fast, but for fans of creepy ghost stories, the haunting season never has to end. To experience chills and thrills at any time, simply vacation at a famously haunted hotel and see what happens - this strategy is what led world famous horror novelist Stephen King to write one of his bestselling masterpieces, The Shining, after he intentionally checked into a famously haunted Colorado hotel.

The Most Rewarding Hotel Loyalty Programs In 2017 | ·10 October 2017
New data compiled last week suggests that Wyndham may have the most rewarding loyalty program in the American hotel industry. On average, Wyndham Rewards returns 16.7% in value on every dollar spent on a room booking, nearly twice as much as Marriott Rewards, the second-ranked program in the study which was published by the Ideaworks Company.Ideaworks used a unique calculation to evaluate the most rewarding hotel loyalty program. In short, the study took the number of points earned on an average hotel booking and determined how that payback could be applied to a portion of a future booking. In Wyndham's case, for example, an average of 16.7% of each hotel night booked could be used for a future stay. Put another way, a $100/night room at a Wyndham property would result in $16.70 of credit towards another room -- or it would take 5.9 stays for an average member of Wyndham Rewards to earn an additional free night.

Soak In The Sights: Five Hotels In Asia With Unbelievable Bathtub Views - ·28 September 2017
When choosing the perfect hotel, it is important to consider the view -- and not just from the bedroom. What better way to soak in the sights than from a bathtub? Whether looking out to a futuristic city skyline or one of the world's seven wonders, here are five luxury hotels in Asia that offer the best bathtub views.

The Tragedy Of The Buffet Commons: Reducing Food Waste At Hotels | ·21 September 2017
There is nothing as universal as the quiet excitement travelers feel when hearing the classic closing line to any cheery hotel check-in: "And don't forget--breakfast will be served until 10."Breakfast buffets are one of the most important factors that contribute to a guest's decision to book a room at a particular hotel. Major hotel chains seeking to remain competitive nearly universally offer them, partially out of fear that their absence is more notable than their presence. As a result, guests have grown accustomed to daily smorgasbords that include colorful platters of fruit, sizzling waffle irons and the wafting aroma of freshly crisped bacon.

Twitter Can't Sell Your Products, But Here's How To Use It As An Effective Marketing Tool | ·11 September 2017
Twitter is rarely going to sell your products or services. But it is an unprecedented tool for selling.To understand why, you need to look at how selling works today.To succeed, you need to be visible, valuable, and connected. And that starts with conversations - you reaching out to key individuals to engage with them.Twitter is the ideal place to start conversations. I think of it as an ongoing conference, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, where people talk about what's important to them. They're allowing you, in 140 characters or less, to start a conversation with them.And unlike with any other platform, you can reach just about anyone. Let's say you're in B2B (Business-to-Business) sales. With Twitter, you can reach out directly to a CEO whom you'd never be able to get on the phone. When you tweet them or respond to one of their tweets with your thoughts about what they shared, you get a chance to connect.

How Hospitality Brands Can Win With Millennial Parents Through Conscious Capitalism - · 1 September 2017
Where they were once mostly indebted students living with their parents, many millennials today have spouses, families and, collectively as a cohort, hundreds of billions of dollars in spending power. Millennials also place strong emphasis on travel, so it's no surprise that they're using their hard-earned dollars to take their families on once-in-a-lifetime vacations. I recently had the opportunity to visit the Atlantis resort in Paradise Island and interview both the president, Howard Karawan, and CMO, Lauren Snyder, about their new philanthropic project and how they are shaping the culture and re-imaging their brand for the modern traveler.

Hotels Versus OTAs: Who Is Winning Over Millennial Travelers? | · 3 August 2017
The American Hotel & Lodging Association recently unveiled a new campaign designed to spread awareness about the "dangers" of booking a hotel through a third party. The campaign is a thinly veiled shot at online travel agencies (OTAs) and metasearch engines, which have evolved from hotel partners into bona fide competitors. Despite hoteliers' efforts to wrest back control of the transaction, OTAs are favored by Millennial travelers who would rather have one easy booking option than countless loyalty memberships.

How Business Connections And Political Ties Helped Launch Trump's Newest Line Of Hotels - ·19 July 2017
Last August, Mississippi's governor introduced a local hotel developer to then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at a $1,000-per-plate private fundraiser in Jackson. The developer, Suresh Chawla, had long been a campaign donor to the governor, Phil Bryant. At the fundraiser, Chawla told Donald Trump and his son, Donald Jr., about his latest project: a boutique hotel in Cleveland, Miss., the home of a new museum devoted to the Grammy Awards. Donald Trump told Chawla to "think grand," according to Chawla. Two weeks later, Chawla donated $50,000, roughly half to Trump's campaign and half to the Republican National Committee. By March -- two months into Trump's presidency -- Chawla and his brother were on the 26th floor of Trump Tower for contract negotiations. By June, the Trumps and Chawlas had a handshake agreement for not one but four Trump-branded hotels in Mississippi, signing the deal 10 minutes before a public announcement.


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