• Compensation and Benefits... An Important Combination When Attracting and Retaining Talented Staff

    Figuring out the right combination of compensation and benefits is the key to attracting and retaining top talent within your organization. Since 2002, the HFTP Americas Research Center has been tracking trends and publishing the HFTP Compensation and Benefits Survey.

  • Write Your Way In: Become an Official HFTP Event Guest Blogger

    Would you like to join us at one of HFTP’s major events coming up this year and take advantage of its valuable education and networking opportunities — registration complimentary of HFTP®? Do you have a penchant for writing and an interest in sharing your experiences? We invite you to become a guest blogger for one of these events in 2018: the brand-new Club Summit, HITEC® Amsterdam, HITEC® Houston, or the Club Hotel & Controllers Conference.

  • Value Added Tax in the GCC

    Details on the new VAT established in the region covered by the GCC, including implementation best practices and documentation requirements. By Tanya Venegas, MBA, MHM, CHIA

  • Members Only: A Room for Robots in Hospitality

    Realistic uses for artificial intelligence are increasing, making way for machine-based assistance in accounting, marketing, customer service and more. This feature details current scenarios where robotics is used in the business environment, such as for accounting tasks.

What You Must Know from the EMEA Hotel Construction Report

TOPHOTELPROJECTS ·23 February 2018
Essentially, this report serves as a broad look at hotel construction pipelines throughout the globe. As such, there is much information that property owners and operators in the hospitality space would expect to find, information such as how many hotels and how many rooms are in the future pipeline for certain regions. There is also, however, more nuanced information in the EMEA Report about how many of these hotels rank as luxury level and how many are upper upscale, the years in which these hotels are projected to open, the phase of development they are in, and much more.With that in mind, we think it's important today for hotel owners and operators to learn as much as they can about this topic, and so we'd like to look at 5 interesting facts from the TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION EMEA Report.5 Interesting Facts from the TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION EMEA ReportOverall, there are currently 5,505 hotel construction projects in the pipeline, which once completed will add 1,296,424 rooms to the international luxury hospitality market.Of the six regions that the international hospitality market is generally broken into--North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, Middle East, and the Asia Pacific--it is the Asia Pacific region that is slated to grow the most, with that particular geographic area possessing 1,961 projects in its pipeline that will eventually yield 478,515 new rooms.Europe is poised to surpass North America in terms of projects in its pipeline, which is a stark contrast from this time last year when North America was presenting a serious challenge to the Asia Pacific region for the fastest growing in the entire world. Now, however, Europe is threatening to overtake it. Europe currently has 1,225 projects in its pipeline that will eventually yield 214,743 rooms, while North America is barely ahead with 1,245 that will yield 260,353 rooms once they are completed.Much of the growth is slated to take place in the coming year. According to the numbers from the TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION EMEA Report for January 2018, this year will see 905 new projects debut across the world, yielding 182,734 rooms and accounting for 42 percent of the overall project pipeline worldwide. This, however, is not all that unusual because the coming year is always the one that construction is the clearest for. In other words, next year at this time, it is quite likely that 2019 will have the most projects in its pipeline even though at present it is lagging behind.Germany leads the world in projects, while the United Arab Emirates leads the world in rooms. Germany currently is number one with 366 projects in its pipeline. The United Arab Emirates is number two with 222 projects, but those projects are of an overall grander scale than those taking place in Germany, and because of this Germany has 56,765 rooms in its pipeline while the United Arab Emirates has a massive 126,576 in its own.DOWNLOAD EMEA HOTEL CONSTRUCTION FREE REPORTLet's take a look at a few other projects currently underway in the EMEA region:Art'otel London Battersea Power StationThe luxury lifestyle hotel will offer incredible guest amenities with a number of show-stopping skyline floors boasting panoramic views leading up to the stunning Roof Garden ...[READ MORE]Marina Resort ChbikaOne of the banner projects currently underway in Morocco is the Marina Resort Chbika. ...[READ MORE]Sheraton StockholmRenovation of the Sheraton Stockholm in several phases ...[READ MORE]More information on hotel projects the EMEA region can be found on TOPHOTELPROJECTS, the specialized service provider of cutting-edge information of the hospitality industry.

Canada's Project Pipeline Expects 8000 New Rooms [INFOGRAPHIC]

TOPHOTELPROJECTS ·22 February 2018
In fact, the country has become a popular destination for world travelers who enjoy hiking and winter sports. It's also one of the safest countries in the world, and it offers an experience that is not unlike visiting the United States.Canada Hotel PipelineCanada's hotel pipeline is a healthy one. There are currently 46 projects underway in Canada, and once they are all completed they will yield a total of 7,974 new rooms.Canada's project pipeline is also weighted heavily toward the immediate future, with 30 projects slated for completion in 2018, making up roughly 65 percent of all the hotels that have currently been announced. To put that in perspective, there are 11 projects slated to be finished in 2019, 4 in 2020 and only 1 in 2021 or beyond, according to the TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION database.Now, to be fair this will likely change in the coming months as more and more projects are officially announced, but for the time being this is where the hospitality industry in Canada currently stands.With all that in mind, we think it's important for the savvy hotel owner and operator to recognize the hottest projects currently underway in Canada. So, we took to the TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION database to find the top 3 projects to spotlight.Canada's Hotel ProjectsHotel X TorontoWhat better place to start than in Canada's largest city: Toronto. Hotel X Toronto is slated to open in the third quarter of 2018. When it does, it will be a stylish and towering destination with more than 400 total rooms. It will be a unique lakefront resort that brings the city a cutting-edge mix of hospitality, sports and entertainment options. The modern towner in which it will be housed is a towering 29 stories tall. It will also be located on the historic grounds of the Canadian National Exhibition, just inside the iconic Princes' Gates and opposite the Direct Energy Center, connected by skybridge to the Allstream Center.Hard Rock Casino OttawaThis hotel is currently in the planning process, and it is slated to open in the second quarter of 2019. When it does, it will have 400 rooms. This Hard Rock Hotel will also be a Hard Rock Live entertainment venue, a Hard Rock Cafe & Center Bar, and a Rock Shop where fans can purchase the brand's iconic merchandise, browse its innovative music displays and peruse memorabilia from the brand's curated collection. There will also be more than 13,000 square meters of gaming space with additional slot machines and table games.JW Marriott EdmontonThe JW Marriott Edmonton is currently under construction, and it will open to guests in the first quarter of 2019. When it does, it will have a total of 362 rooms. There will also be more than 25,000 square feet of meeting and conference space, plus one of Ottawa's largest ballrooms with more than 10,000 square feet.More information on Canada's Hotel projects can be found on TOPHOTELPROJECTS, the specialized service provider of cutting-edge information of the hospitality industry.

Modern travelers seek "non-traditional" hotel experiences

TOPHOTELPROJECTS ·20 February 2018
Traditional lodging open to interpretationWhat would typically have been defined as a "traditional" hotel is becoming more and more obscure. The standard bricks-and-mortar hotel, with guest rooms, a restaurant and perhaps a swimming pool, is no longer cutting the mustard when it comes to what guests want. One way of judging what travelers are looking for in holiday accommodation is to look at what the popular searches are on Airbnb. The sharing platform's booking data reveals that customers are increasingly searching for lodgings in the site's "non-traditional" section, which lists everything from treehouses to yurts, yachts and nature lodges. This points to a desire to be closer to nature, something which seems to be more important than ever to people looking to get away from the daily grind and reconnect with their surroundings.A luxury take on traditionMany of these new types of "non-traditional" holiday rentals are not new at all. Some, such as the yurt or the "ryokan", a type of Japanese inn, have been around for centuries, but hoteliers are taking advantage of this upsurge in demand to reinvent these traditional types of lodgings. Given a luxury makeover, a yurt in the middle of a forest can become an upscale version of camping, and this has been put into play at festivals in the form of "glamping" for a few years now. Airstream RVs are popular in the Californian desert, and Instagram is full of young, attractive millennials living their dream with the hashtag #vanlife, where they sleep in the back of a van and do yoga in different, idyllic destinations around the world. The popularity of these kinds of getaways could in large part be down to the social media aesthetic of the isolated retreat, and hotels are taking advantage of this. The new Lakedale Yurt Village will be a collection of seven luxury yurts with a starting price of $325 a night, located on the site of the Lakedale Resort at Three Lakes, Washington state. Ryokans are being seen in all shapes and forms from California to Tokyo and Shizuoka in Japan.Desire for designAnother sector that is seeing an increase in demand is that of famous architectural landmarks, or buildings designed by world-renowned architects. Infamous American architect Frank Lloyd Wright would have celebrated his 150th birthday last year, and there was lots of renewed buzz about him on the internet. This perhaps prompted a resurgence in interest in his buildings, but travelers are also wishing to stay in houses of architectural significance, as evidenced by the rental site PlansMatter. This site lists hotels and residences that are architecturally-focused and even lists rentals by the architects that have designed them. There are a number of Wright houses listed on the site, as well as design-led hotels that will appeal to architecture buffs.Let's take a look at a few other unusual hotel projects currently underway:Bangkok Boutique Edition HotelThe luxury mixed-use retail project Maha-Nahkon, a 77-storey building ...[READ MORE]Sarani ResortSlated for completion in the first quarter of 2018, Sarani Resort and Spa will be a four star boutique hotel with the service of a five star VIP resort. It will span one third of the idyllic island of Isla Pastor in the Bocas Del Toro Province of Panama. The islands' warm Caribbean waters, white sand beaches and abundant rain forest are untouched, making this a breathtakingly beautiful escape for guests. [MORE INFO...]Art'otel London Battersea Power StationThe luxury lifestyle hotel will offer incredible guest amenities with a number of show-stopping skyline floors boasting panoramic views leading up to the stunning Roof Garden ...[READ MORE]More information on unusual hotels can be found on TOPHOTELPROJECTS, the specialized service provider of cutting-edge information of the hospitality industry.

Hilton Converts Former Chocolate Factory into 74-Room Boutique Hotel [Download Report]

TOPHOTELPROJECTS ·19 February 2018
Whereas the previously dominant Baby Boomer generation once valued consistency and physical luxury in hotels, experts say that millennials prefer a higher quality of experiences. They are, in simple terms, always on the look out for a hospitality industry that will be unique, one that will be memorable and comfortable, but also pop on their Instagram accounts. This has led to many established hotel brands repurposing properties rather than building them from the ground up, and Hilton is no exception.DOWNLOAD FREE REPORT: HILTON PROJECT PIPELINEHilton Converts Former Chocolate FactoryThis ethos is perhaps blatantly evident in one of Hilton's newest projects.The American state of Pennsylvania has long been home to internationally-famous chocolate manufacturers, including Hershey's, which is arguably the industry standard. In creating a new hotel project in Lititz, Pennsylvania, Hilton has decided to build on a site that once housed the now-closed Wilbur Chocolate Company plant.To put this in perspective, Lititz is a small town of fewer than 10,000 people. It is located in rural Pennsylvania, due west of Philadelphia but not within that city's metro area. For many years, the Wilbur Chocolate Company plant was a key part of its economy.Hilton's Newest HotelHilton's newest hotel project will be the crown jewel of Lititz hospitality, of course. It is a 74-room project that will be part of Hilton's Tapestry Collection, and it is currently set to open in April 2019.The developer on the project, Oak Tree Development Group, has praised the location saying its collaboration there with Hilton will allow for an adaptive reuse of the formerly significant building and site.Leadership for the project has also told local media that the new hotel will be anything but cookie-cutter. This creation of a new aesthetic that is in keeping with the traditional values and history of the community is becoming a wide-spread tactic for marketing to millennial travelers.Developers have also said that the hotel will provide a boost for the economy in Lititz, as well as for all nearby businesses.Hilton's Tapestry CollectionHilton first debuted its Tapestry Collection roughly a year ago. It is the company's 14th overall brand, and it is positioned in the upscale market, just below Curio -- A collection by Hilton. The latter brand has seen great success since it first launched back in 2014, and the company expects that Tapestry Collection will thrive in the same way.Tapestry Collection in LititzThis new hotel in Lititz will be named The Wilbur. This is to pay its respects to the building's long history, which actually dates back to the year 1900.This is in keeping with Hilton's other Tapestry Collection locations, each of which seeks to offer guests a "special experience in a boutique hotel that has a unique history or story and is special in its decor and amenities," according to the company.Every location within the brand is unique. The Wilbur in Lititz will embrace its roots in the same way other Tapestry Collection hotels have, with examples including a jazz-themed property in New Orleans as well as hotels laced with southern chard in Georgia and North Carolina.While appealing to millennials by embracing history, the hotel will also have the amenities that guests have come to expect from the Hilton brand name, including a bistro restaurant, meeting rooms, a fitness center, a business center, a two-deck parking lot with valet, and rooms that will feature views of Lititz Springs Park.Let's take a look at a few other projects currently underway by Hilton:Hilton Da NangThe new-build Hilton Danang will be located in Danang City, a major port city in central Vietnam and the third largest city in the country ...[READ MORE]DoubleTree by Hilton Hanoi West Lake Masterplan: 610-room dual-branded hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam ...[READ MORE]Waldorf Astoria London (Hotel Admiralty Arch) Originally commissioned by King Edward VII in memory of Queen Victoria, the property was first designed by Sir Aston Webb ...[READ MORE]More information on Hilton International can be found on TOPHOTELPROJECTS, the specialized service provider of cutting-edge information of the hospitality industry.

Morocco's Project Pipeline has a promising future [INFOGRAPHIC]

TOPHOTELPROJECTS ·15 February 2018
Enough about the past, though. According to the TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION database, Morocco also has a promising future. In fact, hotel projects there are slated to boom in the years to come.Morocco Project PipelineIn 2018, 10 projects will make their debuts in Morocco, followed by 11 in 2019, 6 in 2020 and 17 in 2021 and beyond. That's a hefty pipeline for a country that size, especially when one considers that 64 pecent of those projects fall into the luxury designation while another 36 percent are considered to be first class.With that in mind, it's important that the savvy hotel owner and operator stay abreast of all that is happening in the country. That's why today we'd like to take a look at some upcoming projects in Morocco's hotel project pipeline from the TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION database.Top Morocco HotelsMarina Resort ChbikaOne of the banner projects currently underway in Morocco is the Marina Resort Chbika. This project is slated to be complete by the second quarter of 2020. It will have a massive 2,500 rooms. This resort has been master-planned to include three or more hotels, as well as 1,851 apartments and villas, a town center, a marina that has berths for 100 boats, a sports center, a spa, a medical center, and what's been described by many as a tournament-worthy golf course.Swissotel CasablancaThis project is slated to be completed in the third quarter of 2019. It will have 300 rooms, and a luxurious feel to it. It will also have a prime location in Casablanca plus facilities for business travelers and conferences.Ritz-Carlton Tamuda BayThe third and final project on our list is the Ritz-Carlton Tamuda Bay, which is slated to be finished later this year. Once it's done, it will have 300 rooms for guests. This hotel is located at one of the higher points of the site on a bi-polar axis that provides views of both the wetlands and the 18-hole golf course that meanders around much of the site. There are also water channels used to create space between small clusters of villas. All 200 villas and apartments will have views of either the mountains, the bird sanctuary or the water.

2018's top 5 hottest UK hotel openings

TOPHOTELPROJECTS ·15 February 2018
Vintry & Mercer, LondonVintry & Mercer, London is slated to open in the City of London in the third quarter of 2018. Boasting 92 rooms and conference facilities, the hotel is inspired by the area's heritage, which was once a centre of textile and wine trade. Internally, the environment will echo the industrious past of the neighbourhood, with bespoke fabrics and unique finishings giving the hotel its individual character. It will also feature a speakeasy-style bar and a roof terrace.The Langley, BuckinghamshireThe country estate The Langley in Buckinghamshire is quintessentially British, and is being transformed into an exquisite 43-room boutique hotel which sits among landscaped gardens and parklands. The hotel's facilities, guest rooms and suites will be spread across the estate, occupying the main house and the Brew House, a listed structure dating back to the 18th century. It will also boast a luxurious spa for resting, relaxing and pampering.Monkey Island Estate, BerkshireA former retreat on its very own island, the refurbishment of Monkey Island Estate, Berkshire will restore the property to its previous glory as a getaway for monarchs, artists and celebrities. A truly magical enclave, the Monkey Island Estate can only be accessed by boat or footbridge, giving guests the real experience of seclusion and privacy. It will house 27 luxurious bedrooms, as well as a spa and three deluxe suites.The Dixon, LondonThe Dixon hotel in Southwark in London will be the latest addition to Marriott's Autograph Collection. This incredible building used to be a courthouse and police station, and will get a new lease of life in this massive overhaul which will see it targeting millennials as its desired customer. Forget hostels, this hotel will offer Instagram-friendly lodgings with minimal interiors that have an industrial edge, with exposed brickwork being accented by stunning furniture by local designers. It will also run an in-house art program to promote local talent.Carlton Market Street Hotel, EdinburghThis new hotel will transform a building vacant for more than half a century into one of Scotland's premier design hotels. Located in Edinburgh's Old Town, Carlton Market Street Hotel will be a 98-key hotel offering spectacular views out over the city's valley, and inside, old meets new with modern furnishings and fitting sitting alongside period features.More information on hotel projects in the UK can be found on TOPHOTELPROJECTS, the specialized service provider of cutting-edge information of the hospitality industry.

Hotels more affordable than Airbnb in certain European cities

TOPHOTELPROJECTS · 9 February 2018
3-star hotels beat Airbnb in Eastern EuropeAirbnb is often the top choice for travelers on a budget, many of whom would not even think to stay in a hotel. But these travelers are missing a trick, as these days, Airbnbs are getting more elaborate and tourism in key destinations is driving up the prices of sharing accommodation. So travelers on a shoestring would be wise to compare prices of Airbnbs with 3-star hotels in some places around the continent. In Eastern Europe for example, there are numerous cities where it is cheaper to stay in a hotel than it is to stay in an Airbnb. Countries such as Estonia, Armenia and Lithuania all fare better price-wise in the 3-star market than Airbnbs, with a typical Airbnb in Yerevan, Armenia costing around $57 a night, while a 3-star hotel room coming in at an average of $53 per night. A similar case can be seen in Tallinn, Estonia, where a room in a 3-star hotel costs $3 less on average than an Airbnb.DOWNLOAD FREE EUROPE CONSTRUCTION REPORTHotels win in 8 out of 48 European capitalsA study conducted by online site VoucherCloud analysed 48 European capitals to find out which was more economically viable for travelers, Airbnb or 3-star hotels. Out of the 48 capitals surveyed, it was found that in eight of them, it was cheaper on average to stay in a 3-star hotel than an Airbnb. Surprising findings were discovered particularly in Andorra, where it was half the price of an Airbnb to stay in a 3-star hotel. Not only that, but to stay in a 5-star hotel or resort often worked out costing less than a stay in an Airbnb listing. As well as Andorra, Tallinn in Estonia and Yerevan in Armenia, hotels were also cheaper in Baku, Azerbaijan, in Vilnius, Lithuania, in Kiev, Ukraine and in Riga, Latvia. Perhaps these destinations are not as in demand as Madrid or London, but now it also provides a good excuse for people to start exploring Eastern Europe and Middle Asia if the accommodation is so affordable. By offering prices that are competitive with Airbnb's, hotels can claw back some of the market share than has been lost to the platform and encourage more tourism to their destinations.Let's take a look at a few projects currently underway in Europe:One&Only Portonovi , MontenegroThe luxury resort will be an essential part of Portonovi - a new 60 acre luxury lifestyle development ...[READ MORE]Marriott Palanga spa Hotel and Apartments There are planned SPA rooms, SPA apartments and 185 underground parking spaces. ...[READ MORE]Becici Beach Hotel ResortMontenegroThe project includes a five star hotel, apartments, dining and leisure destinations ... [READ MORE]More information on European hotel projects can be found on TOPHOTELPROJECTS, the specialized service provider of cutting-edge information of the hospitality industry.

Spanish Hotel Market Sees Growth in Supply [INFOGRAPHIC]

TOPHOTELPROJECTS · 8 February 2018
According to the TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION database there are currently 68 projects in the pipeline that will usher in 13,196 new rooms. The majority of these projects--51 percent, to be exact--fall into the first class category, while the other 49 percent is considered luxury. Much of this growth will happen in the coming year, with 44 percent of the projects slated to be completed and make their debuts during 2018.Supply Growth in SpainSpanish hotels have enjoyed quite a surge in direct bookings. In fact, experts say that booking through third party sites are actually expected to drop below 50 percent within the next three years. Currently, the contribution of third party sites is at roughly 57 percent.This rising supply in hotel rooms has lead to market saturation. Market saturation in hospitality often means that hotels must innovate, and Spain is no exception. Spanish hotels have turned their lobbies into social spaces. They have also have opened terraces so guests can mingle there as well. This innovation started in other markets where saturation was high and has now spread to Spain.Younger and modern travelers often want to hotel experiences that feel local, authentic, social and memorable. Spanish hotels must now work to satisfy that demand, especially with a growing number of hotel options for guests to choose from.Spanish Hotel MarketLast year, roughly 84 million tourists visited Spain. Overall, tourism have flocked to Europe as of late, boosting the fortunes of the continent's hospitality industries. Experts have reported a rise in both occupancy and room rates.Spain is no exception, which makes the ongoing competition for guests a high stakes one, especially with visitors to the country migrating a bit from online travel agencies to direct bookings. While direct booking websites often receive more traffic, hotels prefer to book directly from their websites because it gives them more information and interaction with guests.Let's take a look at a few other projects currently underway in Spain:Edition Hotel BarcelonaThe hotel will be in the city's Ciutat Vella district, close to the Cathedral of Barcelona and nearly adjacent to the Santa Caterina Market ...[READ MORE]Four Seasons Canalejas The new Four Seasons will be housed in the series of heritage buildings comprising the Canalejas complex ...[READ MORE]7Pines Resort Ibiza160 apartments, 42 hotel suites and 3 private villas ...[READ MORE]More information on hotel projects in Spain can be found on TOPHOTELPROJECTS, the specialized service provider of cutting-edge information of the hospitality industry.

Vietnam is booming: 1,3 Million arrivals in December [INFOGRAPHIC]

TOPHOTELPROJECTS · 7 February 2018
In December, for example, Vietnam welcomed 1,276,353 arrivals, accouring to the country's ministry of culture, sports and tourism. This represents an 8.9 percent increase over visitors in November, as well as a 42.2 percent increase over visitors during December of last year. In other words, business is booming for hospitality businesses in Vietnam.With the outlook so rosy in the country, it's important for savvy hotel owners and operators to stay up-to-date on Vietnam's project pipeline. To that end, we're taking a look today at some statistics from the TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION database about upcoming projects in Vietnam. We'll also be highlighting some of the ongoing hotel construction projects you need to know about.Vietnam TourismAccording to the TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION database, there are currently 92 projects underway in the country. Once completed, these projects will yield a total of 34,944 rooms, which constitutes a significant boost. In addition, 43 percent of upcoming projects in Vietnam are scheduled for completion in 2018.What's also important to note are the brands investing heaviest in the country. According to the TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION database, Eastin and Movenpick Hotels & Resorts are tied for first with five projects each. Citadines Apart Hotel, meanwhile, has four projects currently in the pipeline.Vietnam Hotel ProjectsWyndham Soleil DanangThe Wyndham Soleil Danang is scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2018. Once finished, it will have a total of 779 rooms. Located in this coastal city's Son Tra district, the hotel will be inside a 57-storey tower. At 199 meters, it will be the tallest building in Danang, and it will form a part of a four-tower complex that will also feature 3,200 apartments.Viceroy Da NangThe Viceroy Da Nang is scheduled to be completed in 2020. Once finished, it will have 700 rooms, and it will stand as an iconic five star hotel. It will also be located at the heart of the up and coming Cocobay entertainment and hospitality hub. According to the TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION database, this property will feature a stylish mix of luxury hotel rooms, suites and condos.Ocean Window Spa & ResortOf the projects on our list today, the Ocean Window Spa & Resort will be completed soonest. It's projected opening is set for early this year. This project encompasses 678 rooms, and the hotel complex includes a high-rise building with a breathtaking sea view.More information on hotel projects in Vietnam can be found on TOPHOTELPROJECTS, the specialized service provider of cutting-edge information of the hospitality industry.

Ritz Carlton Riyadh to re-open after Saudi detainment scandal

TOPHOTELPROJECTS · 6 February 2018
The Ritz Carlton Riyadh made headlines last year for becoming something of a luxury detention facility after it was suddenly closed to house a number of high-ranking Saudi politicians, royals and officials back in November. Now, it looks set to reopen shortly.Ritz Carlton and Saudi royalsAs TOPHOTELNEWS reported last November, a number of high-profile Saudi Arabian princes and government officials were being temporarily housed in the Saudi capital's 5-star luxury resort, the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh. These figureheads were being detained following an order by King Salman bin Abdul Aziz and carried out by his son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and were brought to the hotel at night, as guests were suddenly instructed to leave their suites, take their belongings with them and board buses to other hotels in the city. It was reported that over the course of a few days over 200 Saudi elites, along with members of the royal family and high-ranking officials and businessmen were taken to the hotel and held there without much explanation. Some of the officials were gradually released over the following months, with payments being demanded by the Saudi authorities to secure the release of the person in question. Some reports by the Middle East Monitor suggest that certain figures were made to pay up to 70% of their total wealth in order to be released from what many were calling a "gilded prison".Ritz Carlton under Saudi controlWhile it has been reported that the hotel will once again be open to the public soon, it is unclear as to how and when this will happen. According to some sources, up to 60 officials are still being kept in the hotel, some of whom have reportedly rejected certain offers of money to pay for their freedom. The BBC reported that 95% of people held captive were willing to make a deal to secure their release, but others have obviously been unwilling to strike a bargain and remain in the hotel. Others are said to be being transferred from the Ritz Carlton Riyadh to a local prison. At the initial time of the detention of these figures, the phone lines to the hotel were not operational, and their booking system had been closed. A message on the site states that the phones are still down, and will remain so until further notice. It is still not possible to book a room at the hotel, but apparently, after February 14th, travelers will once again be able to reserve a room in the hotel. A spokeswoman for the hotel said, "The hotel is operating under the directive of local authorities and not as a traditional hotel for the time being." It is possible that the hotel could continue to be on lockdown past the February 14th date.Let's take a look at a few other projects currently underway in Saudi Arabia:Dammam Marriott Hotel and Apartments The Marriott hotel will have two restaurants, a spacious, flexible lobby and lounge, an outdoor swimming pool, two health and leisure clubs ...[READ MORE]Hilton Riyadh Hotel & ResidencesThe new-build Hilton Riyadh Hotel & Residence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will feature two towers; a 20-storey and a 14-storey tower ...[READ MORE]One&Only Resort JeddahThis resort will combine a health spa and world-class dining with expansive meeting facilities to create a 95,000m business and leisure epicentre in Obhur ...[READ MORE]More information on Saudi Arabian hotel projects can be found on TOPHOTELPROJECTS, the specialized service provider of cutting-edge information of the hospitality industry.

Ace Hotels launches new Sister City brand

TOPHOTELPROJECTS · 5 February 2018
Ace Hotels new brand Sister City is set to launch in New York in autumn of 2018. But what form will this brand take? The hoteliers have been keeping their cards close to their chest about what Sister City will offer, so details are as yet unclear. Here is what we know so far.New concept in New York CityIn this age of change and transition, the hotel industry needs to think outside the box even more if it is going to compete with revolutionary platforms like Airbnb that are taking valuable clients away from traditional hotels. The team behind Ace Hotels has done a good job of eschewing the traditional stereotype of hotels and establishing their brand as a leader in the contemporary lifestyle hospitality experience. Sister City seems to be aligned with Ace Hotels' values, but they seem to be stripping the lifestyle concept back to its core even more. While many hotels are trying to integrate themselves into the neighbourhoods they are a part of, Sister City seems to be aiming to offering the bare essentials of a hotel, one of which being that it is somewhere to escape from the outside world. The flip side of this is that is also claims to "give you shelter when you need it, but help deliver you out into the wider world, too". It remains to be seen how these somewhat contradictory values, at least in the sense of a modern hotel that is focused on local "experience", will play out in reality.Trend-inspired lifestyle brandingSister City definitely seems to be positioning itself to attract cool customers. Its marketing blurb says it is "inspired by Finnish saunas, Japanese bento boxes, the rock-cut cliff dwellings of prehistory and John Cage's 4'33". It is likely that this translates to being inspired by trends that New York City has been seeing in recent hotels openings. Public, Moxy Times Square and POD Hotel Times Square all offer guests smaller rooms and larger communal spaces, and Sister City could well be jumping on this bandwagon. Located in the Bowery neighbourhood of the Big Apple, Sister City also boasts a "roof, outlets, plants, soft feeling, courage, spirit", a list that "Sister City considers what's truly needed for the modern traveler". No doubt these buzzwords are designed to evoke a certain type of lifestyle, one that subscribes to the Danish concept of hygge and Japanese order in the home.The current Ace Hotels project in New York will be the first Sister City Hotel:Ace Hotel New YorkThe project involves the renovation of a 10-story building on the Bowery on the Lower East Side of Manhattan ...[READ MORE]More information on Ace Hotels can be found on TOPHOTELPROJECTS, the specialized service provider of cutting-edge information of the hospitality industry.

What Operators Must Know About African Hotel Construction

TOPHOTELPROJECTS · 2 February 2018
In fact, according to the TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION database, the project pipeline for African hotel construction is more robust that it has been in years. Africa has even surpassed Latin America in a list of the world's most active pipelines.Yes, numbers from the TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION database show that there are 313 projects in Africa's pipeline. Once completed, these projects will offer 76,048 new rooms to guests. These numbers are important. Tourism has boomed in Africa in recent years. Now, it is up to hotel owners and operators to supply more rooms or risk losing out on the profits.African Hotel Construction ObstaclesHotel owners and operators stayed away from Africa for many years. Some of those involved have said this is because the obstacles to investing in the continent were just too high.Infrastructure presented problems, as did the lack of a workforce trained to accommodate industry standards. This, however, has changed as many major brands have worked to train residents of African countries to meet hospitality and tourism service standards. Many of the countries in the continent have also worked to improve their infrastructures. This all adds up to great conditions for investing in hotels.Most Active African CountriesWith Africa being newly viable for hotel companies, it's important for savvy hotel owners and operators to know all that they can about what's happening there.To this end, we've consulted the TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION database to create a list of African countries with the most active project pipelines. First is Egypt, which has 52 projects and 19,466 rooms in its pipeline. This is no surprise, as the history and culture in the country has long enticed visitors from across the globe.Next is Morocco, another long-celebrated tourism hub. That country currently has 44 projects in its pipeline with 12,300 new rooms. Third on the list from the TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION database is Nigeria, the most populous country on the continent. Nigeria currently has 38 projects, which, once completed, will yield 9,146 rooms.The other countries on the list include Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Algeria, Cape Verde, Tunisia and the United Republic of Tanzania.Let's take a look at a few projects currently in the African pipeline:Victoria Falls ParkThe government of Zimbabwe plans to set up a world class theme park in Victoria Falls ...[READ MORE]Hilton Garden Inn Lusaka City CentreA new Hilton Garden Inn in Lusaka, Zambia ...[READ MORE]Hotel Verde ZanzibarHotel Verde Zanzibar will showcase the integration of 5 star luxury and environmental best practice ...[READ MORE]More information on hotel projects in Africa can be found on TOPHOTELPROJECTS, the specialized service provider of cutting-edge information of the hospitality industry.

See the Newest 7-Star Luxury Hotel to Come to Abu Dhabi

TOPHOTELPROJECTS · 1 February 2018
Dhabi Contracting is based in the United Arab Emirates, and its leadership said the company has the land and the design ready. This luxury hotel project, officials added, is currently being reviewed by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council.This project marks a continued expansion for Dhabi Contracting into property development.Abu Dhabi Luxury HotelsAbu Dhabi is rapidly growing in popularity as a luxury travel destination. As a result, developers are building more and more hotels to accommodate the growing demand. Abu Dhabi beach is an especially popular destination.Many of the luxury hotels in that area feature touches such as private beaches and marinas. Fine dining is also enjoying a surge in popularity in Abu Dhabi. Chefs offer high-end cuisine from around the world, but traditional Middle Eastern delicacies are still in heavy supply. For those who are unaware, traditional United Arab Emirates cooking fuses South Asian and Persian tastes, offering a diverse choice of meats, seafood and rice, replete with aromatic spices such as Saffron and cumin.New Luxury HotelsThe seven-star Ruwais project is not Dhabi Contracti's first hospitality development. The company also owns the 32-storey Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi, which is located in the capital of Georgia. The Biltmore Hotel hosts an office of the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.Bishoy Edward, chief operating officer for Dhabi Contracting, has been quoted talking about the project."We have this vision for 2020, similar to Abu Dhabi's Vision 2020, and as part of that we have decided to develop our own projects," Edward said. "We have purchased plots of land in Al Raha and Saadiyat for commercial and residential projects."All indications are that this experienced and exciting developer will be able to capitalize on the tourism boom that is currently underway in Abu Dhabi.Let's take a look at a few other projects currently underway in Abu Dhabi:W Abu Dhabi5-storey Hotel Tower with 400 rooms ...[READ MORE]Saadiyat Rotana ResortThe Saadiyat Rotana Resort is being developed on a nine-kilometre stretch of beachfront on the island, which is 500 metres off the coast of Abu Dhabi ...[READ MORE]Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Residences Emirates PearlUnique architectural spiraling, circular hotel design ...[READ MORE]More information on hotel projects in Abu Dhabi can be found on TOPHOTELPROJECTS, the specialized service provider of cutting-edge information of the hospitality industry.

The Top 5 Hotels in Australia's Project Pipeline [INFOGRAPHIC]

With so much happening down under, it's important for savvy hoteliers to stay abreast of the most noteworthy projects. That's why we recently turned to the TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION database for more info. Below you will find some statistics about the country's project pipeline, as well as a list of the top 5 most exciting hotels that are on their way.Australian TourismIt's a good time to be in the tourism business in Australia. As of the end of October 2017, the country had welcomed 8.7 million international visitors last year. This represents an increase from the previous year of 7.1 percent. Even more exciting, however, is that international visitors to Australia last year spent a record $41.2 billion. This represents an increase of roughly 6 percent.And information about the country's project pipeline bears this out. There are currently 131 projects underway in Australia, totaling 35,024 rooms, according to the TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION database. Of these projects, the majority are designated first class. Fifty are slated to open for business in 2018. Meanwhile Melbourne is the most popular market with 29 projects, while Sydney is next with 14, and Perth is third with 9.Top Hotels in Australia's PipelineWanda Vista hotel and serviced apartments Gold coastThis project will be located in Gold Coast, just south of Brisbane. It's slated for completion in late 2018, and once it is finished, it will feature 683 rooms for guests. The hotel offers 171 suites, as well as 512 luxury apartments and premium residents. It will consist of three towers plus three levels of basement parking.Hotel Project Surfers ParadiseThis hotel is not due to be completed until 2020, according to the TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION database. Once it is finished, however, it will be significant, offering 580 total rooms for guests. It is a 48-level complex made up of hotel rooms and suites, as well as of dining and entertainment facilities. Like the Wanda Vista Hotel, it is also located in Gold Coast.Sheraton on the ParkThis hotel is slated to be finished early this year. Located in Sydney, this project involves 558 total rooms, including 50 suites. The property also features the Sheraton Club Lounge. This exclusive facility is located on the 21st floor, and it is currently being reconfigured to offer spectacular views of Sydney Harbor, Hyde Park, and St. Mary's Cathedral, which can all be enjoyed both in and outdoors.Intercontinental SydneyThis is another project located in Sydney. Once finished it will feature 509 rooms, as well as a new 900 square meter ballroom with unique views of Circular Quay and the famous Sydney Harbor Bridge.Shangri-la Hotel Melbourne CBDThe final hotel on our list is located, as its name suggests, in Melbourne. It's due to be completed in 2022, featuring 500 total rooms for guests.More information on hotel projects in Australia can be found on TOPHOTELPROJECTS, the specialized service provider in the exchange of cutting-edge information of hotel construction in the international hospitality industry.

InterContinental Hotels to Exit Nigeria After Debt Fallout

The British multinational hotel company's property in Nigeria has 358 rooms, and it is located in Lagos, the country's commercial capital. The hotel, however, will cease to operate as an InterContinental-branded property as of Jan. 18. Simon Stamper, the company's director of African operations, has previously verified this with a statement via email. The company still has other hotels in sub-Saharan Africa, including those in South Africa, Mauritius and Zambia. InterContinental Hotels exit of Nigeria would seem to be an incident limited to that country.InterContinental Hotels Exits NigeriaInterContinental Hotels is not the first major international company to exit Nigeria. It's departure follows that of the Abu Dhabi-based telecommunications operator Etisalat. That company gave up a 45 percent state in its Lagos unit in June. This came after the failure of talks related to loan repayment.There are seemingly clear reasons that companies have struggled in Nigeria. Nigeria, which is Africa's top crude producer, came out of its worst recession in more than two decades last year, and it has subsequently faced dollar shortages.Debt in NigeriaLast May, a court in Nigeria ordered one of the lenders to the InterContinental Hotel Group's $83 million property, Skye Bank Plc, to take over that property from its owner, Milan Group. This was in connection to debts of $29.8 million, according to a newspaper based in Lagos at that time. However, despite this ruling InterContinental Hotels continued to manage the property. This is when it first went into receivership.More About InterContinental HotelsCurrently, InterContinental Hotels has 5,272 hotels across the world, totaling 785,544 rooms. It owns brands such as Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza, among others.Let's take a look at a few projects currently underway by InterContinental Hotel Group:InterContinental WienIn the next few years, the WEV place will get a new face. Recently the real estate company WertInvest acquired the Intercontinental Hotel [READ MORE...]Hotel Indigo London BarbicanSituated in a vibrant area in the heart of one of London's business hubs, the hotel is well placed to receive a steady stream of business travellers [READ MORE...]InterContinental Lane Field SouthHotel will be part of phase II of the Waterfront development in San Diego (Lane Field South) ...[READ MORE]More information on InterContinental Hotel Group can be found on TOPHOTELPROJECTS, the specialized service provider of cutting-edge information of the hospitality industry.

What Marriott's Revamp of Aloft and Element Says About the Future of Select Service Hotels

Marriott International is working to reinvigorate aloft Hotels and element Hotels, two of the select service hotels in its portfolio of 30 brands.aloft Hotels and element Hotels came to Marriott through its purchase of Starwood Hotels & Resorts. That deal, which happened in September of 2016, cost $13.3 billion, and it brought Marriott 11 additional brands. Now, experts say that the way it's working to recharge Aloft and Element more than a year after the close of the deal is an indication to how it may handle some of its other brands moving forward.Marriott's new work with Aloft and Element may also provide clues into how the biggest hotel company in the world will handle the categories these brands represent--select service and extended stay--in the future. According to industry experts, Aloft and Element hotel owners have given Marriott insight into the biggest problems with the brands, which are construction and property costs models. As a result, Marriott seems poised to focus on smarter room design and streamlined food and beverage service programs.Aloft and Element Historiesaloft Hotels and element Hotels both have a history of pioneering successful hospitality ideas.Element launched in 2006, and it was part of the eco-friendly hotel movement that was exploding at that time. Element required LEED certification, and it was an extended stay brand that sought to entice long-term business travelers. It largely took its aesthetic cues from Westin.Aloft, meanwhile, debuted in 2005. It was Starwood's entry into the growing select service space, and it offered a stylish version of branded boutique accommodations. Aloft choose to offer tech-driven rooms, which set it apart from many others in the boutique space. It also employed fashion-forward design techniques.Industry experts now believe the brands stumbled because guests were not quite ready for them at the time. Also, the Great Recession hitting in 2008 was a major hurdle. Aloft and Element, experts say, have never lived up to scale. When Marriott purchased Starwood in 2016, there were 116 aloft Hotels and 23 Element locations throughout the world, with Aloft having 150 projects in the pipeline and Element having 73.Select Service HotelsIn the wake of the deal, Marriott has worked hard to reinvigorate both Aloft and Element. Experts say they were hoping to capitalize on the hotels being positioned in the select service and extended stay spaces. Their small sizes also made them an ideal property upon which to levy changes.Due to its size, Marriott often acts as a bellwether for the industry at large, and so its work with Aloft and Element may provide clues into the futures of the select service and extended stay markets. Select service Aloft, for example, has moved from a grab-and-go market concept to digital kiosks where guests can order meals in colorful pots, while Element has seen its breakfasts offerings experience a healthy makeover.So, streamlining food and beverage service is a trend likely to become more popular among both types of hotels. Also, flexibility in layout concept is another, especially as far as extended-stay Marriott is concerned.Let's take a look at a few projects currently underway by aloft Hotels and element Hotels:Aloft New Delhi AerocityOverlooking the World Heritage-listed Halong Bay, Vietnam and its 120 kilometers of beautiful coastline ...[READ MORE]Aloft Chengdu East Railway StationAloft Chengdu East Railway Station is a bold new hotel featuring loft-inspired design for an easy breezy stay in West China ...[READ MORE]Element Charleston Historic DowntownA mixed-use complex come up to Charleston Historic District ...[READ MORE]More information on aloft Hotels and element Hotels can be found on TOPHOTELPROJECTS, the specialized service provider of cutting-edge information of the hospitality industry.

NH Hotels Open to Offers After Turning Down Barcelo Merger

The NH Hotel Group has turned down a merger offer from Barcelo, which is one of its rivals.Barcelo's offer was unsolicited, and it valued NH Hotels at roughly $3 billion. This merger offer was made back in November. Had it been accepted, the combined Spain-based group would have possessed a portfolio of 478 properties with a combined total of 89,000 rooms.Merger OffersNH Hotel's board said Barcelo's proposal just didn't create "shareholder value over and above that which NH stands to create on a standalone basis." In other words, the offer wasn't enough. In a statement published to its website, however, NH Hotel now appears to have left the door open to new offers moving forward."The Board of Directors of NH Hotel Group has met today and carried out an in-depth study of the unsolicited bid it received from Barcelo Group," the group wrote in the statement on its website. "In order to assist the internal review process, the Board enlisted the services of Bank of America Merrill Lynch to provide a financial analysis. This has supported the Board's decision to unanimously decline the proposed transaction."Later in the same statement, the board dropped its openness to a potential merger, should the right offer come along, writing, "Furthermore, the value of its hotel assets and the potential benefits from the improvement of its net financial position will pave the way for opportunities to expand and the chance to participate in prevailing hotel sector consolidation in the future."Other NH Hotel DealsWhile NH Hotel Group turned down the Barcelo offer, it has recently made other deals. In November, the company agreed to sell and leaseback Barbizon Hotel in Amsterdam, valuing that property at $186 million.There are, however, some other factors that could complicate potential mergers for NH Hotels. One is that Chinese conglomerate HNA Group holds a 30 percent ownership stake. As recently as last year, though, reports suggested that HNA was possibly willing to sell that in order to raise money.About NH HotelsNH Hotel Group is a world-leading urban hotel operator and a consolidated multinational player. It operates nearly 400 hotels and as many as 60,000 rooms in 31 countries. It has hotels in Europe, the Americas and Africa. The top destinations where it has hotels are Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Bogota, Brussels, Buenos Aires, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Mexico City, Milan, Munich, New York, Rome and Vienna.The following projects are currently underway by NH Hotel GroupNHOW - LondonLocated in a 5.5-acre, mixed-use development called 250 City Road, the eight-story hotel will feature a restaurant, bar, gym and meeting rooms. ...[READ MORE]NH Hotel EssenThe former DGB house is now being demolished and a hotel will be erected. ...[READ MORE]nhow Amsterdam RAIThe four-star nhow Amsterdam RAI will be the largest hotel in the Benelux. ...[READ MORE]More information on NH Hotels can be found on TOPHOTELPROJECTS, the specialized service provider of cutting-edge information of the hospitality industry.

Marriott Hotels in China Continues to Expand its Footprint [Download Construction Report]

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR APAC HOTEL CONSTRUCTION REPORTMarriott Hotels in ShanghaiMarriott started 2018 with a bang, announcing a pair of new hotel openings in Shanghai. The announcements were made on Jan. 2 and Jan. 3.The first announcement was that Delta Hotels, which is part of Marriott International, was celebrating the grand opening of the 339-room Delta Hotels by Marriott Shanghai Baoshan in China. This grand opening marked the inaugural entry of the premium North American hotel brand within the now booming Asia Pacific market. The Delta Hotels brand as of late has provided Marriott with some stellar growth, now boasting a global portfolio that will number 66 properties by the end of 2018."We are very excited to introduce the first Delta Hotels by Marriott to the Asia Pacific region," said Mike Fulkerson, Vice President, Brand & Marketing, Asia Pacific at Marriott International in a press release. "Delta Hotels is a premium brand with a clear brand ethos of 'Simple Made Perfect'. The Delta Hotels by Marriott Shanghai Boshan delivers on this promise by providing a full complement of streamlined services in a simple, straightforward way. The hotel delivers key essentials in a manner that makes travel seamless and always enjoyable for our guests."Then on Jan. 3, the company announced the opening of Fairfield by Marriott Shanghai Jing'an, which is owned and managed by New Development Group Co., Ltd. This hotel is located in the Jing'an District of Shanghai, which is close to the commercial and business hub of the city. It marks an ongoing expansion for the Fairfield by Marriott brand in China. Fairfield by Marriott is one of Marriott International's fastest-growing brands with more than 900 hotels worldwide. Over its 30-year history, Fairfield by Marriott has been committed to deliver a seamless experience, giving guests the flexibility to work, rest and maintain their momentum on the road, all at a great value.Marriott Hotels in Hong KongOn Jan. 8, Marriott also announced that it would be collaborating with China Resources property to bring the legendary St. Regis brand to Hong Kong in early 2019. Currently, Marriott has nine properties in Hong Kong, but this will be the first of the St. Regis brand in the city."Hong Kong is a bustling center of commerce with an incredible mix of glamour, culture, history and tradition. This vibrancy makes it an ideal destination for St. Regis," said Lisa Holladay, Vice President and Global Brand Leader, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts in a press release. "With its excellent location, impeccable service, and refined elegance, we look forward to offering guests an exquisite experience in one of the world's most exciting cities."Let's take a look at a few other projects currently underway in China:Hilton Hainan Ocean Flower IslandThis Sanya hotel will have 505 rooms once it is completed, and it will be located in the beautiful Clearwater Bay area, where forest coverage is estimated to be as high as 56 percent. The projected total cost for this project is $100 million. ...[READ MORE]Atlantis, Sanya HainanThis new hotel in Sanya is one of the closest on our list to opening. It's projected debut will be made in the second quarter of 2018. When it does open its doors to guests, it will have a whopping total of 1,300 rooms available to its visitors. This stylish hotel, which has a total price tag of $258 million, is a part of the Ocean Park of Sanya. This means that it will likely become a leading destination for people to spend their holidays. ...[READ MORE]W Retreat & Spa Sanya Haitang BayThe W Retreat & Spa Sanya Haitang Bay is yet another project for sunny Sanya. This one will have 450 rooms total, and an overall price tag of $89 million. This will be a luxurious and in-demand property, where most of the guest rooms will feature panoramic views of the ocean ...[READ MORE]More information on hotel projects in China can be found on TOPHOTELPROJECTS, the specialized service provider of cutting-edge information of the hospitality industry.

The Hottest New Hotel Openings in 2018 [INFOGRAPHIC]

This breaks down individually to 648 projects coming in 2018 for North America, while the Asia / Pacific region leads the world with 857, according to information from the TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION database. The four other major hospitality markets are in great shape as well. Europe has 465 upcoming projects, while the Middle East is next with 332 projects. Meanwhile, Africa is continuing to be an emerging market with 108 projects, while South and Latin America have a total of 96 new projects of their own coming in 2018.New Hotel OpeningsWith all of this growth, it can be difficult for hotel owners and operators to keep track of some of the most high profile projects. That's why today we'd like to take a look at some of the biggest new hotel openings for 2018.Liaocheng Shengshi Tianhu Protection Technology ParkThe sheer size of this hotel in Shandong, China is very impressive. It will take up a total ground area of 629,457 square meters, with a total build area of 630,159 square meters. The hotel, which is in the pre-opening phase and should be available for guests any day now, has 800 rooms. It's a 10 floor hotel with a basement, a spa, residential buildings and villas. There are many properties opening in China in 2018, but the Liaocheng Shengshi Tianhu Protection Technology Park will be among the first, and like the most luxurious.Cosmopolitan of Las VegasThis mammoth 2,895-room project isn't slated to be finished until the end of 2018. It's located in Las Vegas, Nevada, long one of the most active hotel markets in the United States. It does, however, sound truly luxurious. The newly designed rooms here will emphasize modern design and luxurious comfort. It will also have standout features such as guestrooms that include modern artwork paired with clean textiles, statement wallcoverings, textured carpeting, improved lighting and user-friendly tech.Center Parcs AllgauThis is another project that is not slated to open until the fourth quarter of 2018. This holiday resort will feature 1,000 holiday homes and a location in a gorgeous mountainous region in Germany, which will make it a wonderful choice for a vacation.Marriott Bab Ezzouar AlgiersThis hotel, which is in the pre-opening phase now, is a massive undertaking located in Algeria. It has 1,218 rooms total. It's also a mixed-use development project located in the new development district in Bab Ezzouar In Wilaya of Algiers.Hideaway at Royalton AntiguaThe final project on our list is located in St. Johns in the Caribbean. It's a 500-room property slated to open in the second quarter of 2018. This will be an all-inclusive resort, likely to attract its fair share of American and European tourists given its location.

The Top 5 China Hotel Projects Coming to the Country in 2018 [INFOGRAPHIC]

According to information from the TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION database, one of the most active markets within China for 2018 is Shanghai. While larger cities such as Beijing and Hong Kong have for years taken the spotlight in China, this year stands to be a bit different. Not only is Shanghai booming with a grand total of 51 projects in its hotel construction pipeline, but other up and coming cities such as Chengdu and Sanya are also looking to have a big year.To put this in perspective, one must only look at the number of projects that are currently in the pipeline for those cities. Shanghai has 51, while Chengdu has 31 and Sanya to the far south has 25. This, however, is not an entirely tangible way to envision the growth in these markets. This is why today we'd like to take a look at some of the specific projects to be excited about for 2018.China Hotel Projects for 2018Hilton Hainan Ocean Flower IslandThis Sanya hotel will have 505 rooms once it is completed, and it will be located in the beautiful Clearwater Bay area, where forest coverage is estimated to be as high as 56 percent. The projected total cost for this project is $100 million.Hilton ShanghaiThis hotel is being developed by Shanghai Xintai Real Estate, and it is already under construction. It's a new building that will feature a luxury hotel project by Shanghaiwan, and once it is completed it will have an overall price tag of $116 million. The total number of rooms is 586, and the completion date for this new Shanghai hotel is during the second quarter of 2018.Atlantis, Sanya HainanThis new hotel in Sanya is one of the closest on our list to opening. It's projected debut will be made in the second quarter of 2018. When it does open its doors to guests, it will have a whopping total of 1,300 rooms available to its visitors. This stylish hotel, which has a total price tag of $258 million, is a part of the Ocean Park of Sanya. This means that it will likely become a leading destination for people to spend their holidays.W Retreat & Spa Sanya Haitang BayThe W Retreat & Spa Sanya Haitang Bay is yet another project for sunny Sanya. This one will have 450 rooms total, and an overall price tag of $89 million. This will be a luxurious and in-demand property, where most of the guest rooms will feature panoramic views of the ocean.HUALUXE Shanghai Pudong KangqiaoThe final property on our list is another Shanghai hotel, this one set to open in the third quarter of 2018. When it does make its debut, it will have 400 rooms for guests and a convenient location near Disneyland Shanghai.

Lapland welcomes Game of Thrones themed ice hotel

Game of Thrones dreamsGame of Thrones is known for its legion of fans, who will now be delighted to know that a new ice-hotel inspired by the hugely popular TV series has opened in Lapland, Finland. The product of a collaboration between HBO Nordic and Lapland Hotels SnowVillage, the hotel is constructed exclusively from snow and ice and takes it cues from the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, the fictional territory where Game of Thrones takes place.Winter is hereConsidering the location of the SnowVillage, which is sited 200km above the arctic circle, winter is almost perpetual in the resort of Kittila. Although the complex has been built every year since 2000, this is the first time that it will feature a Game of Thrones-inspired section, bringing the show's favourite characters and places to life. The 24-room resort features sculptures of blue-eyed White Walkers, the Iron Throne, the Hall of Faces in Braavos and Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane, to name but a few. Fans of the show will be able to sleep among these imposing ice artworks, as one graces each of the 24 rooms, 10 of which have been kitted out so guests can spend the night in them. It is not recommended that guests stay more than one night in the ice hotel, given that the temperatures are kept at -5 degrees celsius, but guests are invited to move to one of the cosy log cabins if they wish to continue their stay in the SnowVillage. While staying in the ice rooms, guests sleep with thermal sleeping bags and are treated to hot berry juice in the mornings to warm them up after spending the night in Finland's version of Westeros.Experience frozen WesterosAs well as taking part in the greatest fantasy of our time, at least for a day or so, there is also the opportunity for guests to explore and discover the rest of the SnowVillage and the incredible area of Kittila and Lapland itself. Lapland is known as the home of Santa Claus and his elves, but it is also a popular destination for those wishing to see the amazing spectacle of the Northern Lights, or the aurora borealis. The resort also offers guest the opportunity to go on their snowmobile safaris, where they can see some native flora and fauna, and within the resort itself there is plenty to keep guests entertained, from a cinema, sledding, ice sculpting and arctic bar to the ice restaurant which serves reindeer. Try it if you dare!Let's take a look at a few other projects currently underway in Finland:Hotel Tampere Central ArenaA hotel is planned to be built as a part of the Tampere Central Arena project. ...[READ MORE]Hotel Marski by ScandicIt is planned to rebrand the existing hotel Scandic Marski after a complete renovation. ...[READ MORE]Hilbert's Hotel A new hotel to be known as Hilbert's Hotel will be built at the Hakaniemi waterfront in Helsinki ...[READ MORE]More information on hotel projects in Finland can be found on TOPHOTELPROJECTS, the specialized service provider of cutting-edge information of the hospitality industry.

Investors Undeterred by Drop in US Visitors to the UK [INFOGRAPHIC]

This past September, the United Kingdom saw a drop in the number of visitors to the country. This drop can largely be attributed to an 8 percent fall in the number of travelers coming from the United States. While all this comes during a year in which the overall value of the pound is staying low, the developments have not yet swayed investors.UK Tourism ProblemsThat 8 percent drop in visitors from the United States is an on the year number. This is one of what might be several concerning numbers. One of the others is that the short-haul travel numbers for the United Kingdom also fell 0.3 percent year-on-year, according to a report from the British Hospitality Association's Travel Monitor.That's the bad news. The good news is that overall spend in the United Kingdom by overseas residents has gone up 2 percent, even with business traveler numbers being on a larger decline of 18 percent year-to-year for September. Still, again it's not all bad news, as holiday passenger numbers rose 1.7 percent year-to-year.Investments in the UKThese mildly discouraging numbers for the month and year, however, have not deterred investors. In fact, Colliers International was forecasting "an improving level of hotel transactional activity in 2018."Experts have said that in spite of some budding fears over the country's tourism performance, domestic as well as internal investors are still demonstrating enthusiasm. They largely are continuing to view UK hotel projects as an attractive opportunity for investment.There is an increased demand for provincial hotels in the country, particularly for those that feature global branded stock. It seems as though international investors find the weaker sterling enticing. Buyers, of course, are especially finding reasonably priced, underinvested and underperforming hotels appealing, as these properties are rich with opportunity for turnaround.The drop in tourists visiting the United Kingdom, however, is not without repercussions. While investors are excited to look for bargains, hotels will have to turn their focuses to domestic business as part of an effort to make up some of the revenue lost from the drop in international guests. This may prove to be problematic as interest rates in the country are rising. Brexit is also creating uncertainty, which may challenge the number of UK residents who are able and willing to indulge in a staycation.Let's take a look at a few projects currently underway in the United Kingdom:Great Scotland Yard HotelConversion of the historic police HQ Great Scotland Yard into a five-star luxury hotel ...[READ MORE]Wanda Vista LondonPart of the high-profile One Nine Elms development on the banks of the Thames, the Wanda Vista Hotel is being created within one of the two towers ...[READ MORE]Hard Rock Hotel LondonA conversion of the existing Cumberland Hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel London will be located directly at Marble Arch on Hyde Park ...[READ MORE]More information on hotel projects in the UK can be found on TOPHOTELPROJECTS, the specialized service provider of cutting-edge information of the hospitality industry.

Wyndham Hotel Group Continues to Grow its Footprint in India

The past year has been one of growth for Wyndham Hotel Group in India, where it has continued to expand its footprint as well as to venture into neighboring countries by opening a total of 11 new hotels in the region. On top of all of that growth, Wyndham also managed to expand its pipeline of new hotel projects within that same region adding 15 new signings.In order to provide some perspective, it's important to note that two thirds of the new hotel openings were in India proper, and they will likely serve to reinforce the group's overall presence in the country, which ranks as a market that has rapidly grown its mid-market hospitality segment.This is all very much in keeping with Wyndham's long held approach to the international market, where the group has a global presence of more than 8,100 hotels spread throughout 78 countries, a truly impressive set of numbers. Strengthening its foothold in India further, Wyndham Hotel Group has also now signed a non-exclusive development agreement with the Ahmedabad-based Nebula Infraspace LLP, which will include the development of roughly 20 hotels that will feature 1,600 rooms. This growth will be spread across a decade in India and it will take place within the Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham brand.For those unfamiliar with Hawthorn Suites, that particular brand is Wyndham Hotel Group's benchmark extended-stay property label, with an aim of serving as a home away from home for guests, which makes it a perfect selection for business travelers, as well as families taking extended time to visit certain attractions and areas. In India, Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham is also going to be well-positioned to serve the extended stay needs of the many travelers who come to the country to visit pilgrimage circuits, leisure destinations and second home locales. The Dwarka area will be home to the first Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham hotel to come out of this effort.All of this growth in India also fits nicely with Wyndham Hotel Group's overall plans to foster a robust expansion throughout the entirety of the Eurasia region, which is comprised of the following 16 countries: India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Maldives, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and more. Another milestone for Wyndham Hotel Group that happened in the past year was the debut of the first Wyndham Garden hotel in this region with a property that opened in Astana, Kazakhstan, giving the group 47 operational hotels in the Eurasia region. For those keeping score, nearly 75 percent of those hotels are located in India.Let's take a look at a few other projects currently underway by Wyndham Hotel Group:Ramada Hotel Bogenhausener Tor The Ramada Hotel Bogenhauser Tor in Munich, was Germany will offer panorama guest rooms ...[READ MORE]Bayscape CardiffThe Cardiff hotel will be the tallest hotel in Wales ...[READ MORE]Wyndham Halcyon Retreat Golf and Spa ResortBarrasford and Bird Worldwide has selected Wyndham Worldwide as franchise partner for its first mixed-use development in France, Europe ...[READ MORE]More information on Wyndham Hotel Group can be found on TOPHOTELPROJECTS, the specialized service provider of cutting-edge information of the hospitality industry.

Luxury hospitality struggles to define itself

Luxury pushbackOne of the biggest challenges facing the luxury sector is the guest itself. Traditional mainstays of luxury hospitality such as concierge and turndown services are seen as less desirable and even redundant, especially due to the prevalence of social media. Whereas once the concierge was the hotel guest's link to what was going on in that particular destination - where to dine, drink, dance etc. - now all of that is available online, and guests are able to choose restaurants and bars that are more in line with their wishes. The turndown service is also being used less, as guests are conscious of their privacy and wary of strangers being in their suites. The turndown service is optional in many hotels, but staff are seeing a decline in guests choosing to use the service.Guest experience is where real luxury liesAlthough in the past luxury might have been apparent in the brand name or the opulence of the hotel itself, more and more real luxury is being delivered in the guest experience itself. Marc Dardenne, interim CEO of Jumeirah Group elaborates on this, saying, "I think of today's luxury traveler as a curious traveler. Before, we wanted consistency in luxury but now we want to be enriched in cultural experiences and learning, and having engagement." Increasingly hotels are trying to cast aside the idea that luxury equates to exclusivity, and instead are trying to integrate themselves and their services more into the community, so guests can see what their particular destination has to offer from a local perspective. Take, for example, the ideas that Jumeirah Group and the Capella Hotel Group are going to launch next year - luxury tented camps in the African desert and Ubud in Bali respectively. Definitely a break from the norm.Luxuriousness of self careAn undeniable and unchanging facet of luxury hospitality is health and wellness. Spa and wellness centres often epitomise the idea of luxury, and pampering oneself is surefire way to remind yourself that you are on holidays. However, the idea of wellness in the luxury sector goes beyond just massages and treatments, and is crossing over into more experiential territory as well. The nature of "wellness" can be just as varied and undefinable as the idea of luxury itself, and hotels are having to thinking outside the box to offer guests unique and memorable services in wellbeing that are not just limited to the day spa and fitness centre. Neil Jacobs, CEO of Six Senses Hotels, says, "People want to be with people. Dr. Oz said that loneliness contributes to ill health and that's why creating community is so important. We want to provide experiences and content for building memories, for things that touch your heart."Let's take a look at a few other luxury projects currently underway:Jumeirah Living Marina GateThis hotel at the northern entrance of Dubai Marina, consists three residential towers ...[READ MORE]Six Senses GammarthIdeally located on the Mediterranean Coast near the capital of Tunis. Offering 67 suites and pool villas plus 31 residences. ...[READ MORE]Four Points by Sheraton BenxiThe property will be the first hotel under the brand Four Points in Liaoning Province China ...[READ MORE]More information on luxury hotel projects can be found on TOPHOTELPROJECTS, the specialized service provider of cutting-edge information of the hospitality industry.

Experts Rate Recent Luxury Hotel Openings As Worst New Hotels In Dubai [INFOGRAPHIC]

In fact, experts with the Luxury Travel Intelligence (LTI) website have rated two hotels specifically as the worst luxury openings of 2017 in Dubai. LTI is a members-only resource for wealthy world travelers, and the hotels that it ranked at the bottom of its new luxury hotel table are The Dukes Dubai and Five Palm Jumeirah Dubai. These rankings criticized the properties for different reasons, noting that The Dukes had not lived up to the elegant precedent that had been set by its sister property in London, while also saying that the Five Palm Jumeirah Dubai was seeming to have a bit of a "shaky start."What's also noteworthy, however, is that the same site ranked another luxury hotel in the same city as the best new launch in the world for 2017, bestowing that particular accolade upon Bulgari Hotel and Resorts, which LTI praised for its "private and understated nature." The dual positions on the list depict something of an interesting contrast within Dubai, to be certain.For those who are unfamiliar with the site, LTI produces an annual ranking of luxury hotels each year, and in 2017, the site's experts visited 74 new hotels across the globe, paying for those visits and experiences out of their own pockets as to not make themselves vulnerable to accusations of bias. In regards to these rankings, LTI co-founder Michael Crompton has been quoted as saying, "Remarkably, Dubai has delivered both the Best New Luxury Hotel of 2017 and the only two contenders for the Worst. We will be reporting on the intriguing Dubai scene for the luxury traveler in more detail during 2018."Let's take a look at a few projects currently underway in Dubai:Taj ArabiaThe magnificent Taj Arabia Palace Hotel, a breathtaking look-a-like of the original and yet four times larger ...[READ MORE]The Royal Atlantis Resort and ResidencesThe Royal Atlantis Resort will soar 47 storeys ...[READ MORE]DAMAC Towers by Paramount Hotels & Resorts A hotel and residential complex located in the heart of the stylish Burj area ...[READ MORE]

How Moxy used an innovative artist's platform to decorate its New York hotel

Choosing the right artwork for your hotel can be the key to striking the right note when it comes to design. But it can often prove difficult to track down artists you like, or if you do manage to find them, their work can be prohibitively expensive. Moxy, Marriott's millennial-focused lifestyle brand hotel, solved this problem by using Indiewalls, a platform that connects artists and designers, to find the perfect match for their hotel in New York City.The collaboration came about when the designers of the Times Square property stumbled across an image on Pinterest that they liked and wanted to use in the hotel. As part of their strategy to appeal to millennials and to create a fun, casual and friendly atmosphere that utilises the latest in digital technology to attract their desired client base, design firm Yabu Pushelberg got in touch with Indiewalls to connect them to the artists instead of trying to replicate what they saw on Pinterest themselves. Using an organisation like Indiewalls allowed the designers to connect directly with the artist to find out more about their work and the process of getting it inside the hotel.Indiewalls has a full online catalog of artworks that are compiled from approved artists so hoteliers and designers can flick through easily and find something that they feel is the right fit for their space. "One thing that this catalogue search function helps avoid is the Pinterest Problem," said Ari Grazi, the president and co-founder of Indiewalls. What he means is that art buyers scroll through Pinterest for inspiration, but if they come across something they like, it can be hard to acquire the artwork. Maybe the artist isn't local, something which hotels that are trying to engender a local experience might shy away from, or that it might be more difficult to buy the artwork because of contracts or affordability. Indiewalls search engine allows hoteliers to view information about the artist, like where they are based, how much the works are priced for and their bio.For the Moxy project, Indiewalls tracked down the artist whose work the designers liked on Pinterest and got her permission to recreate the work in the hotel. This involved creating an agreement to licence the work so a muralist could paint it in the hotel, something that Indiewalls also specialises in. This can be a tricky process, as replicating an artist's work without permission can create all sorts of copyright issues, and result in lengthy legal battles, so in this sense, Indiewalls has you covered. The collaboration was deemed successful on both sides, and Grazi said, "Doing these types of collaborations is what we love. We usually work with one artist. Working with two expands the creative potential."Let's take a look at a few other projects currently underway bij Moxy Hotels:Moxy Hotel Plaza Muenchen the Moxy Hotel will be excellent for price conscious, modern travelers ...[READ MORE]Moxy Hotel London HeathrowThe site on the Bath Road close to Heathrow Airport has consent for a hotel ...[READ MORE]Moxy Hamburg Berliner TorThe lifestyle hotel property will offer a lounge, bar, welcome area and a library ...[READ MORE]More information on Moxy Hotels can be found on TOPHOTELPROJECTS, the specialized service provider of cutting-edge information of the hospitality industry.


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