Marriott International’s Ritz-Carlton is presenting a newly elevated experience at The Ritz-Carlton Club across its Asia Pacific hotels, joining a successful launch in Mainland China last summer. The Ritz-Carlton Club provides a private respite where guests will find unique indulgences, curated culinary journeys and personalized encounters that create meaningful and memorable moments for both business and leisure travelers. Marriott believes the launch of elevated experiences at The Ritz-Carlton Club gives the perfect opportunity to reconnect with their guests, giving them a unique window into each destination’s culture through enhanced offerings and experiences. Ritz-Carlton Clubs are available at properties such as Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore; Ritz-Carlton, Perth; Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong; Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Pacific Place; Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo and Ritz-Carlton, Okinawa. Each of the clubs differentiate from the others, giving a local flavor.
Hanwha Hotels & Resorts signed a memorandum of understanding with Lodgis Hospitality Holdings to forge a strategic partnership to mutually boost each of their hotel and resort portfolios. The two will jointly undertake development, investment and management activities in future hotel and integrated resort projects across Asia. Lodgis is a fully integrated hospitality platform with 11 hotels and resorts comprising over 2,800 keys under ownership and development across Vietnam and Cambodia with a significant pipeline and land-bank for future expansion. They also have another 1,950 keys under management for third parties through its hotel management arm. The hotel investment joint venture was formed in 2016 by Warburg Pincus, VinaCapital and VinaCapital’s founder Don Lam. Under the MOU, Hanwha Hotels & Resorts and Lodgis commit to exploring a strategic partnership on future regional lodging projects, focusing on development, investment and management. Hanwha said they already identified potential sites in Korea suited for Lodgis’ entry into the country. Under the agreement, Hanwha members can expect to receive various benefits such as discounts on rates at hotels and resorts operated by Lodgis. The target is to increase the number of keys operated by Lodgis to more than 10,000 by 2025.
Juhi Sons, a firm based out of Bareilly in India, announced the opening of Ramada Encore by Wyndham Bareilly under a franchise agreement with Wyndham Hotels & Resorts in western Uttar Pradesh. The hotel is located in a prime area of Civil Lines and has green views of the Company Garden Park, which is adjacent to the hotel. The Bareilly Club & Golf Course is less than a kilometer from the hotel. The property has a modern façade and features 56 contemporary rooms, a lobby lounge, an all-day dining restaurant and bar, meetings and event spaces, a business center, refreshing wellness areas and an outdoor rooftop swimming pool.
New Zealand’s Sotheby’s International Realty is listing an exclusive Queenstown development site, expected to sell for more than $40 million. The 24 hectare elevated site is at Jacks Point, just south of Queenstown, and sits above an exclusive neighborhood of $15 million to $20 million homes and neighbors the championship Jack’s Point Golf Course. It is north-facing with views across Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables mountain range. The property is considered the only remaining luxury development site in Queenstown with such large-scale space, privacy and lake views. It includes about 20ha of elevated wilderness land and a 4ha commercially-developable area, suitable for visitor accommodation, conference and meeting facilities, restaurants and day spas. Sotheby’s said the property has all the hallmarks of a world-class lodge or multi-use development site as well as top-end residential opportunities. Jacks Point is a subdivision about 10km south of Queenstown Airport with 1,300 lifestyle houses, a golf course and restaurant. A $500 million town center is under construction, which will include residential, commercial and visitor accommodation as well as a five-star waterfront hotel.
The permanent closure of the Chateau Tongariro Hotel in the heart of the Tongariro National Park is a significant blow for the Ruapehu District. KAH New Zealand, the company that owns the hotel, announced the Chateau closed to guests on February 5 due to the significant cost required to earthquake-strengthen the building. Other reasons for the closing include Ruapehu Alpine Lifts falling into voluntary administration and the related uncertainty over the future of the ski resort since the Chateau also depends on those visitors. The 90 room hotel at Mt. Ruapehu, New Zealand has been running at the location since 1929 and includes a bar, golf course, pool, spa and cinema.
The Best Western annual conference included the commentary that the WorldHotels Group plans to open 50 new properties worldwide this year, including 14 openings in the Asia Pacific region. Last year, WorldHotels had 50 hotels in the Asia Pacific region with a combined 19,400 rooms along with a strong development pipeline in the region, particularly in Vietnam where several projects were underway. The strategy this year will see it focus on Southeast Asia due to Vietnam which is expected to continue to be its priority despite the government’s tougher regulation on hotels, resorts and condotels. In Thailand, several resort spots are de-branding themselves, possibilities for their brand. For now, they have two new projects opening in Thailand this year.
Dusit International has appointed Mr. Makoto Yamashita as Area GM – Kyoto, Japan. He was also named General Manager of ASAI Kyoto Shijo. The 114 room property is one of two Dusit-branded properties set to debut in Japan this year. It is scheduled to soft open in June 2023, followed by Dusit Thani Kyoto, Japan in September 2023. Yamashita was previously Area GM of Mori Trust Hotels & Resorts in Tokyo and Nagano.
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts announced the reintroduction of direct franchising and management rights for its Ramada by Wyndham brand in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, replacing exclusive master license agreements for the brand in the country. The move is aligned with Wyndham’s strategy to expand the brand in the wider Middle East and Africa region where the company’s development pipeline includes 26 hotels, of which nearly 60% are under the Ramada portfolio.
Hyatt Hotels announced a Hyatt affiliate entered into management agreements with Rua Al Madinah Holding Company to manage three new Hyatt-branded hotels, including Grand Hyatt Madinah, Hyatt Regency Madinah and Hyatt Place Madinah. The hotels will add a combined 1,729 room keys to Hyatt’s portfolio in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The three properties will be part of the Rua Al Madinah project and are set to be the first Hyatt-branded hotels in Madinah. Hyatt Place Madinah will have 860 rooms, Hyatt Regency Madinah will have 539 and Grand Hyatt Madinah will have 330 guestrooms.
SH Hotels & Resorts announced plans for the Baccarat Hotel & Residences Dubai, expected to open in 2026. The hotel is part of a new ultra-luxury mixed-use development in Downtown Dubai, facing the Burj Khalifa. The twin towers will combine a luxury hotel with full-service branded residences. The project will be managed by SH Hotels & Resorts’ affiliated and newly established regional team in London, led by Robert Koren who was recently appointed as SVP and Area Managing Director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The hotel will feature 144 guestrooms, a third of them suites, along with 49 Baccarat-branded private residences. Baccarat Hotel Dubai will be owned and developed by Shamal Holding.