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Exclusive to create massive new development … and other International hotel news

21 August 2006 by

Exclusive to create massive new development

Hilton moves into the Seychelles
Hilton Hotels is to manage £28m refurbished resort in the Seychelles, boosting the islands' tourism plans. The five-star, 40-suite Northolme Hotel will be managed on behalf of Maldivian investors Crown and Champa, who bought and renovated the property last year. The company is also looking for another site on the Indian Ocean islands.

Hampton on track for openings
Hampton, the international hotel group, opened 13 properties in July 2006, as part of its aim to open between 90 and 100 hotels during this year. The 1,239 rooms are part of five Hampton Inn hotels, and eight Hampton Inn & Suites properties.

MFS to take over Tourism, Hotel and Leisure? Australian investment and financial services group MFS is planning a Aus$37m (£15m) takeover of the troubled Tourism, Hotels and Leisure (THL) group. Details of the bid, which would create the country's third-largest hotel management company, were disclosed this week after MFS paid Aus$6.2m (£2.5m) for a 17% shareholding in an off-market transfer of shares. MFS has offered 20 cents cash for all remaining shares, valuing THL at Aus$36.6m (£14.8m). MFS has also agreed to pay an additional Aus$26m (£10.5m) to acquire THL's freehold, leasehold and management rights.

Virtual aloft hotel
Aloft, a division of W Hotels, will become the world's first hotel brand in a virtual world. A 3D computer generated replica of an aloft hotel will debut inside the computer game Second Life. From September Second Life's 350,000 members will be able to enter the hotel and interact with others, before the real-life hotel opens in 2008. Brian McGuinness, aloft brand development vice-president said: "The aloft brand is about providing an escape from the ordinary. Our debut within Second Life will give digital travellers a chance to dream in another dimension, and unwind their virtual selves in our social spaces."

Le Meridien's first new build since Starwood buyout
Le Meridien will open a new hotel in the mixed-use development Hayden Ferry Lakeside in Tempe, Arizona. This will be the brand's first new-build property since it was bought by Starwood Hotels and Resorts in November 2005. In addition to the hotel, 44 residential units will be built above the property, which will be serviced by the hotel.

IHG to open hotel and school in Panama
Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) is set to open the first Holiday Inn hotel and school in the Republic of Panama after signing a deal with Empresas Bern. The hotel will initially have 110 rooms and the school will be the first educational establishment for IHG Latin America. The project will be based in the City of Knowledge, near to the Panama Canal. It is due for completion in mid 2008.

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