Hotel Happenings: Property Updates – Week of June 15

Barcelo takes over Occidental; Hyatt goes Grand in Playa del Carmen; and Starwood plays matchmaker with the W and Element in Philly. Here are this week’s property updates.

Travel Weekly reports that Barcelo Corporation Empresarial reached an agreement with BBVA to purchase 57.5 percent of its capital in Occidental Hotels Management, the parent company of Occidental Hotels & Resorts, pending approval by the Mexican government. The deal will make Barcelo the sole owner of Occidental, which offers luxury accommodations in the Caribbean, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Aruba, Colombia, and Haiti. (Cover Picture: Royal Hideaway Playacar)

Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced the opening of Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort, in the chic, upscale community of Playa del Carmen. This is the first Grand Hyatt branded hotel in Mexico and the 11th Hyatt-branded hotel in the country. The hotel is steps from Mamitas Beaches and blends modern with contemporary design, plus Mayan-inspired textures and materials. The hotel offers 314 spacious guestrooms, 20 oceanfront “air suites,” and two presidential suites. Swim-up suites offer direct access to the resort’s infinity pools overlooking the beach; floor-to-ceiling windows, expansive terraces, and three-headed showers are a few of the well-appointed amenities. The hotel also boasts two restaurants, helmed by Chef Nadine Waechster Moreno of the Park Hyatt Tokyo, and the 6,000 square-foot Cenote Spa with hydrotherapy stations, a eucalyptus steam room, fiber optic chromotherapy showers, and more.

Hyatt Place Jermuk in Armenia opened this week. It is the second Hyatt-branded hotel in Armenia and the third Hyatt Place hotel in Europe. The 92-room hotel is located in a mountain resort town known for its thermal water spas and hot springs.

Hilton introduced Puerto Rico’s first SURFSET surf-inspired fitness classes, available only at The Condado Plaza Hilton. The workout features a custom unstable surfboard to give guests a one-of-the-kind routine that works the total body. The classes were made popular by the TV show Shark Tank.

Hilton also announced the conclusion of a $10-million enhancement project at Hilton Darwin in Northern Territory, Australia. The five-star hotel upgraded all 236 rooms, lobby hallways, and entertainment areas, including a new Fitness Center and improvements to the outdoor pool.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced the first ever W and Element duel-branded hotel development in the heart of downtown Philadelphia, scheduled to open in 2018. The 295-room W Philadelphia and the 460-room Element Philadelphia will occupy a 51-story skyscraper across from Philadelphia City Hall. The hotels will boast panoramic city views, an outdoor pool bar and terrace, exciting restaurants and meeting areas. The skyscraper will also be a short walking distance from the Pennsylvania Convention Center and city and historical attractions.

Starwood will bring its upscale-property brand, St. Regis, to the Maldives. Slated to open in 2016, St. Regis Vommuli Resort, Maldives, will be situated on the private Vommuli Island in the Dhaalu Atoll, a 40-minute seaplane ride away from the Republic’s capital city Malé. It will feature 77 luxuriously appointed private villas, a spa with six private treatment rooms, an infinity swimming pool, and a dive and activity center.

Starwood is spinning off its vacation ownership business to be a separate publicly traded company. Starwood Vacation Ownership will be renamed Vistana Signature Experiences, Inc. The company originally started in Orlando, Florida, with the Vistana Resort in 1980 before expanding to include villa resorts under the Westin and Sheraton brands in 1999.

InterContinental Hotels Group announced the signing of InterContinental Lyon Hotel Dieu in Lyon, France. The 143-room property is the fifth InterContinental hotel in the country and is located on the banks of the river Rhone. It is set to open in 2018.

A new-build Holiday Inn will be coming to Montreal, Quebec. Scheduled to open in 2017, Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Montreal Centre-Ville West hotel will feature 40 floors, 195 guestrooms, and 30 suites. It will be near Montreal’s business district and is the fifth Holiday Inn in the city and the 12th IHG hotel in the greater Montreal region.

Scheduled to open in 2017, Crowne Plaza Pshu Quoc Starbay will be IHG’s third Crown Plaza in Vietnam and will feature 300 rooms, a lagoon, a beach village, and range of shops, restaurants, and bars.

Travel Weekly reports that The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess will add 102 guestrooms, a new pool with a sand entrance and swim-up bar, and 35,000 square feet of outdoor event space. The project is scheduled for completion by next summer.


Last Week’s Highlights

Aloft South Beach, located in the famous city, opened in the transformed 1960’s era Motel Ankara along with a new eight-story tower. The hotel features 235 spacious rooms, an outdoor roof deck lounge, and a pool overlooking Lake Pancoast. It is located one block from Miami Beach.

Hilton Worldwide announced five new property signings for its Curio – A Collection by Hilton brand, which only launched last year. The new hotels include: The Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton; Anselmo Buenos Aires, Curio Collection by Hilton; The Hoodoo Moab, Curio Collection by Hilton; The Partridge Inn Augusta, Curio Collection by Hilton; and Redmont Hotel Birmingham, Curio Collection by Hilton. The only new-build hotel in the collection will be 117-room The Hoodoo Moab, Curio Collection by Hilton, which will located in a beautiful desert community in UtahThe Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton; Anselmo Buenos Aires, Curio Collection by Hilton; The Partridge Inn Augusta, Curio Collection by Hilton; and Redmont Hotel Birmingham, Curio Collection by Hilton are historic hotels, the oldest dating back to 1892. Curio Collection hotels intrigue travelers with cultural, historical, and custom design. No word on when these hotels will join the Curio brand.

Marriott Hotels announced a groundbreaking partnership with Netflix, which will allow guests to subscribe to Netflix or sign into their existing accounts simply by using the Netflix app on the hotel’s Internet-connected guest room televisions. Netflix is currently being offered at six Marriott properties with which another six being added this summer. Marriott plans to expand that number to 100 properties by the end of the year and to more than 300 properties by the end of 2016. The current six properties are New York Marriott East Side, San Jose Marriott, Princeton Marriott, Newport Marriott, Dallas/Fort Worth Marriott Solana, and Bethesda Marriott Suites. The six new properties are: Marriott Marquis Washington, DC, San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Dayton Marriott, San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, and Anaheim Marriott.


Check out travel updates from this week!

Save the Date – Upcoming Events for 2015

Now Boarding: Air Travel Updates for Week of June 15

All Aboard: Cruise News for Week of June 15

In Case You Missed It: Week of June 15