Marriott to triple presence in India by 2010
Marriott International plans to more than triple its presence in India by adding 21 properties, six lodging brands ranging from luxury to upper-moderate categories, and an additional 3,324 rooms by 2010. Included in the expansion are three JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts properties and one Ritz-Carlton hotel in the luxury tier;
one Marriott Hotels & Resorts hotel and one Renaissance Hotels & Resorts property in the upscale, deluxe category; one Marriott Executive Apartments property for extended-stay travellers; and eight Courtyard by Marriott hotels in the upper-moderate segment. Marriott International will operate these hotels under long-term management contracts. The company's portfolio in India currently comprises six properties, five brands and 1,534 rooms.
New exec chef at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
The Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong has appointed Uwe Opocensky as the new executive chef. Opocensky, who now forms part of the hotel's management team, will be responsible for the its culinary activities and report to executive assistant food and beverage manager Paul Jackson. He joins the hotel from the Shangri-La Hotel Group, where he held executive chef positions at a number of their Asian properties. Prior to that he spent six months at the three-Michelin-starred El Bulli under Ferran Adria and managed the culinary operations of The Anassa Hotel, Cyprus.
Shangri-La to launch hotel in Vienna
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts has signed a long-term lease agreement for a hotel in the Austrian capital of Vienna. The Shangri-La Vienna, which is set to open in late 2009, will be a 207-room property located in the former Erste Bank headquarters on the Schubertring in the city's 1st district (Bezirk). The hotel will feature a specialty, fine-dining restaurant and bar, as well as a lobby lounge. There will be a signature spa featuring treatment rooms and an indoor swimming pool and a key feature of the hotel's conference and function facilities will be a ballroom crowned with a glass dome.
IHG makes senior appointments
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) chief marketing officer Peter Gowers has been promoted to chief executive of the Asia Pacific region. Gowers oversaw the marketing departments of the IHG brands Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and InterContinental and took up the position of chief marketing officer in October 2005. He takes up his new position on 1 November and succeeds acting chef executive Tony South. The company is yet to announce Gowers' replacement. IHG has also appointed Kirk Kinsell to the position of president, Europe Middle East & Africa. He succeeds Richard Hartman who is set to retire.
Hilton signs first management contract in South AmericaHilton Hotels has signed its first management agreement in South America for the Conrad hotel Buenos Aires in Argentina. Located in Puerto Madero, the 196-room hotel will be Hilton's second property in the expanding district of the Argentinean capital and its fourth development in the country and will include both a hotel and residences. Construction is planned to begin at the end of 2008, with completion scheduled for late 2010. The hotel will feature a signature restaurant, lobby bar, fitness facilities and meeting space.
By Kerstin Kühn
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