Marriott International announced it signed an agreement with China Central Place, Suzhou to bring the Ritz-Carlton and Marriott Executive Apartmentsbrands to Suzhou, a major city in Eastern China. The two complex properties are expected to open at the end of 2024 and the middle of 2025, respectively. The dual-branded properties will open in partnership with Suzhou Chunji Real Estate Development. They will be located in close proximity to China Central Place, Suzhou, a newly built, mixed-use development that will bring together hotels, residences, retail and offices. The development, of which the two new properties will serve as key components, is located within walking distance of the Shilu Subway Station. The Ritz-Carlton, Suzhou, opening in December 2024, will feature 190 guestrooms and suites. The hotel is set to offer a range of dining options including a specialty restaurant with an open kitchen, a Chinese restaurant, a destination bar, and a lobby lounge. Plans for recreational amenities include an indoor swimming pool, fitness center, and signature Ritz-Carlton Spa with four treatment rooms. The hotel is also expected to offer 735 square meters of conference and event facilities including a 508 square meter ballroom. Marriott Executive Apartments Suzhou is set to open in June 2025 and is expected to feature 270 modern residential one and two bedroom apartments. Additional planned facilities include a 31 square meeting room, as well as the Residents Lounge, a space that serves breakfast and evening cocktails, allowing guests to work, socialize and unwind. In Suzhou, Marriott International currently operates 15 hotels across eight brands.
TIAD is a luxury hotel currently under construction and scheduled to open July 1 in central Nagoya in Japan. They formed a partnership with Marriott International. The hotel will join Marriott’s Autograph Collection hotel brand. TIAD is currently under construction in Naka Ward, Nagoya City. The 14-story building will have 150 guest rooms, all over 50 square meters in size. It is expected to be the highest-priced hotel in Nagoya. The operator is Nihon Ceremony who is actually a wedding and funeral service provider. TIAD will be the fourth Japanese hotel to join Marriott’s Autograph Collection brand.
Luxury hotel brand Six Senses is planning to open its first hotel in Australia. An old family mansion will be the location. The heritage house and its 22-hectare estate, named Burnham Beeches, are 25 miles from Melbourne in the forested Dandenong Ranges, designed in 1933 for an Australian family. It will now be restored, according to the great-granddaughter of the original owner. Once renovated, the hotel will have 43 guest rooms with different layouts. Plans to incorporate a premium glamping option on the estate will bring the number of accommodations to a total of 82. The hotel property will have walking trails, a nature playground for children and gardens which will supply ingredients for the hotel’s kitchen and spa. Six Senses Burnham Beeches is expected to open in mid-2025.
CBRE Hotels announced a Sydney-based investment group has paid circa A$6 million for Bowral’s landmark Links House Hotel amid an ongoing boom in the domestic drive tourism market. The freehold going concern interest in the South Highlands’ hotel was sold after CBRE conducted an Expressions of Interest campaign. The hotel, originally constructed in 1928, features 17 guest rooms of various configurations as well as a fine dining restaurant and versatile event facilities capable of hosting weddings, functions, conferences and retreats. CBRE said the campaign generated significant interest from a multitude of investment groups, owner operators and high net worth individuals. CBRE said this deal is the latest in a series of regional accommodation transactions as many Australians are still opting to explore their own back yard. CBRE said this, coupled with a continued recovery in international visitor numbers, is expected to drive strong ongoing investor interest in these types of assets through 2023.
Following in the footsteps of Hong Kong, Macau said they may start paying people to come to visit. Macau’s latest ploy to attract new visitors is an incentive scheme for foreigners that would mimic the promotional arrangement afforded to mainlanders. The Macau Government Tourism Office is considering subsidizing group tours for foreigners, considering giving each overnight traveler arriving in Macau from Hong Kong, Taiwan or anywhere else other than mainland China a daily allowance. The proposal is to provide international group travelers MOP350 (US$43.33) per person for a one-night stay and MOP500 (US$61.90) for a two night visit. The promo would be capped at two nights but a couple could receive about US$124 for a two night stay. The MGTO program that is already in place for mainlanders has them getting MOP250 per night stayed in Macau.
Australian casino resort operator The Star continues to get deeper and deeper into trouble. Besides every regulatory body they operate under considering suspending their license and having an independent party oversee the operations, they have now been hit with numbers three and four class action lawsuits accusing them of everything from knowingly lax anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing measures to alleged misleading representations. While Crown Resorts was able to sell to Blackstone, who is still trying to work through past issues which conceivably could still sink the whole deal, Star seems to be in much worse shape. Star is accused of all these alleged wrongdoings they were aware of over a multi-year period.
A review into the suitability of SkyCity Adelaide to retain its South Australian casino license has been put on hold pending the outcome of civil penalty proceedings filed against SkyCity by Australian anti-money laundering watchdog AUSTRAC. The South Australian Liquor and Gaming Commission revealed he had preliminary materials from the retired Supreme Court Judge that is conducting the review, advising that until the resolution of the AUSTRAC proceedings, it is not possible to determine reliably the question of suitability. We would say this does not sound very good for SkyCity.
Global hospitality group The Lux Collective announced the appointment of Jeremie de Fombelle as Chief Sales and Marketing Officer. He is being tasked with elevating the group’s positioning of The Lux Collective by focusing on awareness-driving strategies for its portfolio of brands globally across channels. Prior to this appointment, Fombelle was Regional General Manager for Mauritius and Reunion Island for LUX* Resorts & Hotels.
Stirling Hospitality Advisors, a boutique advisory institution and the advisory arm of Ras Al Khaimah Hospitality Holding, announced the launch of the Excellence Center for Hotel Operations within its Asset Management Division. ECHO will amplify the abilities of an experienced hotel operator, serving as an interlink between hotel operators and owners across the GCC and CIS regions, aiming to help take hotel operations to the next level by offering comprehensive step-by-step guidance and recommendations for hotel operations and functioning. SHA established ECHO to create a more holistic approach compared to the current hotel asset management role. ECHO provides in-depth advice on all disciplines from marketing, sales, and online reputation management, to financial monitoring, recruitment, technology use, daily operations and more. ECHO is headed up by Managing Director of Stirling Hospitality Advisors, Tatiana Veller.
Egypt-based Maxim Hotels is planning to open 20 hotels inside and outside the country, between now and 2025. The ground intends to expand overseas into Europe in the coming period and is in the final stages of negotiating the development of the Holiday Inn franchise model in Hungary. Other European cities being targeted include Amsterdam, Paris and Porto. The expansion plans also include Saudi Arabia, specifically the city of Al-Ula. Within Egypt, the Group plans to add 700 rooms in the current year in Cairo, New Administrative Capital and Sharm El Sheikh. Maxim Hotels currently manages 1,006 rooms.