Worldwide briefing

08 September 2005
Worldwide briefing

Starwood sell hotel for $47m
The St Regis Hotel, Washington, DC, located two blocks from The White House has been sold by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide for $47m (£26m). The 193-bedroom hotel was bought in a joint venture between Brickman Associates and New Valley Corporation but will be managed by St Regis Hotels & resorts and will remain in the Starwood brand portfolio.

New chef for The Oberoi Mauritius Pierre Burgade has become the new executive chef of five-star resort The Oberoi in Mauritius, having been the executive sous chef at The Raffles Hotel in Singapore. Prior to that Burgade had worked in several luxury hotels, including The Peninsula in Bangkok, The Mandarin Oriental in Kuala Lumpur, Le Royal Meridien in Bangkok and The Ritz-Carlton Hotels in Sydney and Hawaii.

Lynch Hotels in timeshare offer Global travel membership organisation RCI has joined with Irish hotelier, Lynch Hotels, to affiliate three hotels in Dublin, Co Clare and Co Mayo with the RCI network. For a one-off payment, which includes maintenance fees and RCI membership, customers are entitled to five years of holidaying in any of the three hotels.

Radisson makes hotels environment aware 125 Radisson SAS, Park Inn, Country Inn and Regent hotels and resorts will be taking part in the global Hotel Environment Action Month (HEAM) this September. HEAM was initiated in 2003 as part of the International Tourist Partnership, and aims to encourage awareness of employees and guests on environmental and social issues. Activities during the month include clean up campaigns and blood donations, as well as providing employees with training on environmental management.

New team for Regent South Beach
Regent International Hotels announced the appointment of Michael Fernandez as general manager of The Regent South Beach in Miami Beach which will open later this year. Frank Fuentes was named director of sales and marketing. Fernandez was previously the general manager at The Tides in Miami Beach and Fuentes was the corporate director of sales for the Sol Group Corporation, covering Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America.

George Clooney climbs the casino ladder
In a move where reality merges with fiction, heart-throb actor George Clooney, nightclub owner Rande Gerber and two Las Vegas real-estate companies are to construct a $3b casino and hotel near The Strip. In 2001 Clooney played "Danny Ocean", the leader of a gang who robbed a casino in the film Ocean's Eleven and its sequel in 2004 Ocean's Twelve. The project is due to be completed by 2008.

New Hospitality school in South Africa
The School of Tourism and Hospitality in Auckland Park has opened in South Africa as part of the University of Johannesburg, and hopes to encourage economic growth and employment in the area. Nelson Mandela provided a message at the launch, saying it was "poised to realise a vision of providing world class graduates to our expanding hospitality industry".

EasyHotel opens outside UK
The first easyHotel outside of the UK opened in Basel, Switzerland at the beginning of September. The 24-bedroom hotel is located in the centre of the town. Each room has a double bed, en-suite shower room and a pay-per-view television. Room prices start from €15 (£10) per night.

Hyatt expands in India
Hyatt International Hotels and Resorts is to open a further 15 properties in India by 2009, adding to the five it already manages. The new locations will include two hotels in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai. In the past 12 months, the group has seen an occupancy growth of 15 - 18% for its properties in India.

New developments for Le Meridien
Le Meridien Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina in Dubai has added an Al Fresco deck which will open on 15 September. The deck, which has views of the Arabian Sea will offer a range of pizza and pasta. This is in addition to The Dhow, which opened earlier this year offering seafood and sushi, the live entertainment Barasti Bar and Restaurant and the outlet Bussola on the Beach which provides Italian cuisine.

By Emily Manson

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