24-hour flexi check-in proposals criticised
Round-the-clock check-in and check-out times have been attacked by David McMillan, CEO of the International Hotel & Restaurant Association. Calls for the hotel industry to abandon its current fixed check-in and check-out times in favour of 24-hour charges starting from when a guest checks in, were suggested at the last meeting of the International Organization for Standardization, Consumer Policy Committee () in Toronto, Canada. McMillan insists that the moves would adversely affect guests due to an inevitable increase in rates. The ISO is currently engaged in a campaign to draft standards for tourism services in the same way it does for consumer products such as cars and dishwashing detergents.
New GM at Raffles Singapore
Raffles hotel Singapore has announced the appointment of Robert Logan as its general manager. Logan, who joined the hotel in 2004 as hotel manager, will be the first British general manager in the hotel's 118 year history. "I will continue to strive to maintain its premier status as one of the most internationally acclaimed hotels in the world," he said. He has previously worked for Four Seasons in Asia and North America, Peninsula Group in Asia and Savoy Group in Europe.
Ten-year contract for luxury Dubai hotel announced
Indian Hotels Co. has signed a 10-year management contract with property developer ETA Star for a luxury hotel and residential apartment complex in Dubai. The Taj Hotels brand, part of Indian Hotels, will operate and manage the Taj Exotica resort and spa and the Grandeur Residences. Both properties are located on the Palm Jumeirah Crescent - the man-made palm island. ETA Star will develop the $330m(£188m) project, which will include a luxury hotel and 200 luxury residential apartments for sale and lease.
Dubai's Festival of Taste from Jumeirah Jumeirah will host Dubai's first "Festival of Taste" from 21-26 May 2006. The event will see world-renowned chefs travel to the Emirates, including Michel Roux, Jean Christophe Novelli, Sam Leong and Yannick Alleno. Most of Jumeirah's hotels will participate in the festival and the programme features gourmet nights, a cigar dinner, caviar, diamond evening and cooking classes with a star. The "ultimate dinner party", limited to four guests enjoying cocktails, helicopter transfers, a different hotel for each course and an overnight stay at the Burj Al Arab hotel, will also be on offer.
Visitor numbers up but revenue down in Barcelona
Hotel performance in Barcelona has been struggling despite increasing numbers of visitors, with revenue per available room falling to its lowest level in five years. The survey, conducted by Deloitte, blamed the increased number of beds available in the city for the fall. In total, 68 new properties opened in Barcelona between 2000 and 2004. Several hotels which opened in 2005, including the 433-bedroom Hilton Diagonal Mar, added to the problem, and it is anticipated more than 40 more hotels will enter the market within the next three years. The city has also had to compete with other low-cost European destinations, particularly those outside the Euro area.
Hilton in management deal for Conrad Shanghai The Conrad Shanghai will be managed by Hilton Hotels Corporation when it opens in 2008. In a deal with investment company Shanghai Li Xing Hotel Company, Hilton will run the 362-bedroom hotel in the Xintiandi district. The hotel has been inspired by traditional Chinese design and will feature an urban spa, meeting facilities and two standalone annexes housing food and beverage outlets. Xintiandi is part of an urban regeneration programme that also features commercial and residential properties. Conrad Shanghai will be the third Conrad branded hotel in China alongside their properties in Hong Kong and Beijing.
By Alix Young