Hilton to launch fourth hotel in HungaryHilton Hotels is to launch it fourth property in Hungary with the opening of the Hilton Residence Buda Hills in early 2010. The property, which will be located in the Hungarian capital's Budors commercial district, will include 120 apartments as well as a lobby bar, meeting rooms and a gym. It will form part of a multi-purpose development and will offer guests the use of an adjacent restaurant and spa and health club. Hilton Residence Buda Hills will join Hilton's existing Hungarian hotels Hilton Budapest and Hilton Budapest West End, with a third property, the 216-room Hilton Visegrad, due to open in 2009.
Jumeirah launches branded restaurants divisionJumeirah has launched a dedicated restaurant division called Jumeirah Branded Restaurants, which aims to create a total of 150 casual eateries by 2012. Jumeirah Branded Restaurants currently includes The Noodle House offering a South East Asian menu with six operations in Dubai and further licence agreements signed across the Middle East. It also includes Sana Bonta, an Italian restaurant concept specialising in pizzas and pastas with its first outlet in Dubai's International Business Centre; and Bytes, a fast-food deli with two outlets open in Dubai Outsource Zone and Dubailand and other outlets in Dubai in the pipeline.
Vietnam's hotel industry shows growth Hotels in the South East Asian country of Vietnam have received record growth in visitor arrivals, hotel occupancy, room rates and interest from major hotel groups in 2006 according to a new report. Grant Thornton's annual Vietnam Hotel Survey 2007 suggests that five-star hotels in the capital city Hanoi and HCM City recorded significant increases in average room- and occupancy rates. North Vietnam remained the market leader in terms of occupancy with more than 70% in 2006. Grant Thornton surveyed 29 hotels with nearly 4,000 rooms in different cities within three regions of the country during 2005 and 2006.
Best Western to launch new three-star brand in Thailand US-based hotel company, Best Western, is to launch a new hotel brand in Thailand by the middle of next year. The brand will be aimed at the three-star market, as the company plans to move its existing brands, Big Western and Best Western Premier up to four- and five-star level respectively. Separately, Best Western has announced plans to increase its presence in China over the next two years. The company has 32 hotels in China and plans to increase its managed properties to 60 by 2009. Best Western also has six hotels in India, which it intends to increase to 100 in the next 10 years.
Starwood to open fourth property in IrelandStarwood Hotels & Resorts is to launch its fourth property in Ireland with the opening of the Sheraton Athlone next spring. The 166-room property will form part of the Athlone Town Centre redevelopment project which will also include retail and residential units and restaurants at a total investment of €100m (£68m). The hotel will include a fitness centre and spa, as well as a restaurant and bar, and 820sq m of meeting and banqueting facilities with a ballroom catering for up to 400 people.
By Owen Hill
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