Shangri-La moves into the US
Hong Kong-based hotel chain Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts is to make its first foray into the US, opening a 200-bedroom hotel in Chicago. The Shangri-La Chicago, which is scheduled to open in 2009, will take up 16 floors of a 90-storey skyscraper and will include guestrooms and suites, a spa, meeting rooms and three restaurants.
Giovanni Angelini, Shangri-La's chief executive, said: "We took great care to find the very best location for our American debut, and we believe the Waterview Tower is the ideal launching pad for brand within the US."
Starwood launches new brand and moves into Latin America
Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide launched its new select-service hotel category last week: aloft. The W division's new brand will offer urban-inspired, loft-like guest rooms complete with modern technology and an "energetic" lounge scene.
Starwood also announced its first St. Regis Hotel in Latin America, with a new opening in Mexico City. The hotel is scheduled to open in 2007 and will include 189 guest rooms and suites and approximately 100 private residences. It will also boast a Remede Spa, fine dining restaurants and a wine cellar.
Moscow's hotels are the most expensive Hotels in Moscow are the most expensive in the world, with room rates averaging £165.21 per night. According to research by BTI UK the Russian capital's hotel rates have risen 29% since 2004 and top the worldwide average by almost £60.
Moscow, which replaced Milan in this year's survey as most expensive, was followed by Rome, Bangalore, Paris and New York. Milan was sixth this time, ahead of London, which remained in seventh position. Geneva, Athens and Stockholm completed the top ten. Le Meridien Moscow Country Club was awarded the Best 4+5-star hotel in Russia on 27 September at the Russian government's National Tourism Olympus awards.
Australian hotels tighten security in wake of Bali bombs Sydney's Hilton hotel has begun routine checks for car bombs as security is tightened amid heightened fears of further terrorist attacks. A spokesman for the hotel said the checks on all private vehicles and taxis were in line with Hilton's international policy. David Elliott, spokesman for Australian Hotels Association said: "The reality is most victims of terrorism in recent years have been tourists and hospitality workers."
Mandarin Oriental to gets second contract for hotel in Macau
Mandarin Oriental group has signed a contract to manage its second luxury hotel in Macau, which will be part of the prestigious mixed use complex on the waterfront. The 2.6 million sq ft project will comprise a residential development, retail centre and serviced apartments as well as the hotel and is a joint venture between Shun Tak Holdings and Hongkong Land. It's scheduled to open in 2009.
Hilton signs Expedia agreement and expands in Central America
Hilton International (HI) has made a global agreement with online bookers Expedia, which will add 400 properties to its preferred hotel programme. The website gets more than 70 million online shoppers per month worldwide.
HI has also signed management agreements to convert two Princess Hotels and Resorts properties in South America. The 120-bedroom Princess San Pedro Sula in Honduras and the 104-bedroom boutique style Princess Managua in Nicaragua will reopen under the Hilton banner in 2006.
By Emily Manson
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