Attendance is expected to be down for this year’s Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix, but receipts are expected to exceed pre-Covid levels and be up year over year. About 250,000 spectators are expected to attend the three-day night race, which starts February 15, down 17% from 2022’s record turnout of 302,000 attendees. The Bay Grandstand is closed for the redevelopment of The Float at Marina Bay. Hotels report occupancy rates consistent with last year, with the increase in foreign attendees resulting in higher room rates. Traveloka said their data suggests room rates are up more than 10% over 2022’s race. The two Fullerton hotels are reporting near-peak occupancy. At the same time, Fairmont Singapore and Swissotel The Stamford said they have seen a slower occupancy rate increase this year than in 2022. Spending on food and beverage and other amenities is expected to be up across the board.
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts announced they are entering New Zealand with the addition of Robertson Lodges. As of December 1, 2023, Rosewood Kauri Cliffs, Rosewood Cape Kidnappers, and Rosewood Matakauri will join the Rosewood portfolio. These additions mark Rosewood’s entry into the Oceania region. The Rosewood Kauri Cliffs sits within a 6,000-acre coastal estate near the Bay of Islands in the Northland region. The property includes 26 rooms and suites, a dining outlet, a fitness center, and a spa. Rosewood Cape Kidnappers is located in Hawkeye Bay on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island. The property has 24 rooms and suites, one dining outpost, and spa treatment rooms with a tranquil infinity pool. Rosewood Matakauri is located in Queenstown on the lower South Island of New Zealand. There are 13 accommodations, one dining outlet, spa treatment rooms, wellness facilities, and an outdoor pool.
Mana Hotels is expanding its footprint outside of Rajasthan, India, with the opening of a homestay in Rishikesh. The three-bedroom luxury apartment is located in the heart of the holy city. Mana Rishikesh is strategically located in phase 3 of the Ganga Vatika retreat development. With the addition of the homestay, Mana Hotels has a 49-room resort in Ranakpur, a homestay in Rishikesh, and a soon-to-be-launched Villa in Udaipur.
The Skift India Report published a piece on IHG Hotels & Resorts in India, with their Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express brands together making up nearly 70% of their Indian portfolio. IHG expects the two brands to remain the driver of growth in the market. IHG India currently operates 45 hotels with 7,663 rooms across five brands. They introduced their new voco brand in India earlier this year with the signing of three properties in Goa, Jim Corbett, and Gurugram. IHG plans to add another 58 hotels in the broader region over the next three to five years, the majority being added to its India portfolio.
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Lords Hotels & Resorts announced they expanded their footprint by launching a new hotel – Lords Eco Inn Ambaji, a unit of The Shrine Hotels. The hotel is just 500 meters from the Holy Shrine of Ambaji Mata Temple in Ambaji, India. The hotel offers 34 rooms and is Lords’ 22nd hotel in Gujarat. Lords Hotels is in India, Nepal, and America, with over 60 hotels across 14 states, including 16 under development.
Royal Orchid & Regenta Hotels said they entered the Sikkim region for the first time with the launch of Regenta Inn Gangtok. The company has robust plans to strengthen its presence in the Northeast region, the hidden gem of India. The 35-room Regenta Inn Gangtok is strategically located at a comfortable driving distance from all major commuting points in Sikkim, including Pakyong Airport, Deorali Public Bus Stand, and SNT Bus Stand. The hotel offers Standard and Deluxe Rooms and a Suites offering. The in-house restaurant Pinxx is an all-day diner, while the open terrace café is a lounge bar on the rooftop.
Accor said it has made its extended stay concept debut in Vietnam with the launch of Novotel Living Saigon South. This is Accor’s seventh property in Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam’s first Novotel Living branded hotel. Novotel Living Saigon South offers 175 contemporary studio rooms and one to two-bedroom apartments, ideal for extended stays. Guests can enjoy a 24/7 gym, steam room, sauna, laundry facilities, on-site dining, and three function rooms available for corporate events.
Karan Khanijou has been appointed as senior vice president of investment sales at JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group. Khanijou returns to JLL. He spent eight years with them from 2011 to 2019, credited with building the transaction platform in Thailand. He will remain stationed in Bangkok with his new mandate, including coverage of South Korea, Vietnam, and other regional markets.
Newport World Resorts in the Philippines has hired former Las Vegas Sands executive Lance Gautreaux as its Chief Casino Officer. While he held positions at Sands China in Macau and Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, his last position for Las Vegas Sands was Chief Casino Officer at the Venetian Las Vegas, leaving in February of 2023 after the property was sold.
Brigade Group announced the appointment of Rayan Aranha as vice president – hospitality and commercial. In his new role, Aranha will lead sales, marketing, and strategic planning for the commercial vertical of Brigade Group and will be responsible for driving growth and profitability in asset management, revenues, and operations. He will also oversee the rapidly expanding range of projects and services, including eight hotels currently in association with Marriott, Accor, and IHG. Aranha previously held leadership positions at Accor, overseeing hotel operations in key cities like Bengaluru, Mumbai, Mysore, and Chennai. His most recent role was Cluster General Manager, managing a cluster of Novotel and ibis hotels in Chennai.