|The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong’s Ozone rooftop bar|
Ritz-Carlton, Wyndham, Choice and Conrad all making moves.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company has just opened the world’s tallest hotel in Hong Kong; it sits on the highest floors (102 to 118) of the International Commerce Centre. Guests can take in views of Victoria Harbour from the observation deck on the 100th floor and the rooftop bar on the 118th floor.
The company has a number of other projects in the pipeline as well, Herve Humler, president and COO, tells Travel Agent. Humler is hoping to finalize a Ritz-Carlton in Macau “very soon,” and the company has a great spot in downtown Cairo, which he expects will start moving ahead again soon. A second Ritz-Carlton just opened in Dubai, and plans are for a palace hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Humler has a list of European destinations where he’d like to see Ritz-Carlton hotels, including Budapest and Vienna—projects that have been on hold. He says the company is currently looking at “some great European hotels” that may convert to Ritz-Carltons.
“Some [people] in Europe are managing their own hotels with their own reservation system, and it’s time for them to turn them over,” he says. “We are looking at some of these very high-end small luxury hotels right now in Germany and Switzerland, and in Italy as well. A lot of them have been run independently for many years.”
In North America, Ritz-Carlton has just opened a hotel in Toronto. Humler says he’s starting to see some activity pick up again in that region, “but the biggest issue today is financing.” He also sees opportunity in California for the brand.
Wyndham Continues Asia Pacific Expansion
Having opened nearly 100 properties in the Asia Pacific region in 2010, Wyndham Hotel Group, part of Wyndham Worldwide Corp., announced agreements to open and manage a Wyndham hotel in Sanya, China, and a new Wyndham hotel in Thailand, to be developed in Khao Lak. The beachfront Wyndham Khao Lak Resort, which is now under construction, is scheduled to open in late 2011.
The 26-story Wyndham Sanya Resort is expected to open in January 2014, and will offer access to the beach, shopping and entertainment. Each of the 403 guest rooms will provide views of Sanya Bay.
“The Asia Pacific region continues to be a key area of focus for our company’s development,” says Eric Danziger, Wyndham Hotel Group president and CEO. The addition of Wyndham Sanya Resort strengthens the group’s position as the largest U.S.-based hotel company in China, where it franchises 301 hotels representing more than 46,000 rooms under the Wyndham, Ramada, Howard Johnson, Days Inn and Super 8 brands. With this new hotel, there are 14 Wyndham hotels open or under development in China.
Rechtermann Named GM of Conrad New York
Hilton Worldwide named Robert Rechtermann general manager of the new Conrad New York, scheduled to open in late 2011. In his new role, Rechtermann will manage staff, operations, sales and budgeting at the 463-room former Embassy Suites. The property is undergoing a major renovation that will be completed for opening later this year.
Rechtermann was most recently general manager of The Peninsula Hotel in New York City, overseeing a $35 million refurbishment program, which included 239 guest rooms and suites, a landmark rooftop bar and five-star spa.
Choice Opens First Redesigned Sleep Inn
The Sleep Inn brand by Choice Hotels International is celebrating the first hotel within its 400-plus property system to be renovated with the brand’s refreshed new look and feel.
Sleep Inn hotel, in Chattanooga, TN, has been updated with the brand’s new design aesthetic, which is aimed at generating a relaxing overnight experience for guests. The property has all of the new design highlights of the brand, including: a new lobby with warm, natural finishes; unique lighting and graphic accent wall; an updated breakfast area with all new furniture and contemporary artwork; and renovated guest rooms with bright accent walls, new bedding with stylish bed scarves, and black-and-white photo displays.