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Worldwide briefing

18 October 2005

Ireland is the choice for expansion
Choice Hotels Europe is expanding its Irish portfolio with the acquisition of a property by Dublin Airport. The 247-bedroom hotel, formerly a Holiday Inn, will be rebranded under the Clarion brand as part of the €38m (£26m) deal. This brings the number of Clarion properties in Ireland to seven.
Leading spas named
Marketing consortium Leading Hotels of the World has announced its list of Leading Spas 2006. Of the 106 hotels that applied for certification, 85 passed the inspection process, which includes more than 200 separate criteria. There are 40 new properties on the list, including: Hotel Martinez, in Cannes, France; the Scotsman in Edinburgh, Scotland and The Grove in Hertfordshire, England.
Raffles acquisition named "Deal of the Year"
Colony Capital's deal to buy Raffles Holdings was named "Deal of the Year" at the 16th annual Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific in Hong Kong. The S$1.72b (£581m) transaction was for Raffles' 14 owned and 27 managed hotels.

Departing Accor chief gets multimillion-pound pay-off.


Major growth for Rezidor in Middle East
Rezidor SAS Hospitality is set to double its presence in the Middle East within three years. The Brussels-based hotel company will open two hotels in El Quseir, Egypt and Dubai by this December, and has another eight in the pipeline. Rezidor currently has 14 properties in eight countries under the Radisson SAS brand and signed contracts for two Park Inn properties in Saudi Arabia at the start of the year. Jean-Marc Busato, vice-president for the Middle East, said the Radisson SAS brand would remain "the vehicle to drive the company's growth in the region".

Peninsula hotels launches spa programme
Peninusla Hotels is to develop two new spas next year, at properties in Hong Kong and Bangkok. Working with spa consultancy ESPA, the 11,000sq ft Hong Kong spa is due to open in spring 2006 and will have 14 treatment rooms, vitality pool, couple's suite and views of Victoria Harbour. The Bangkok property will open at the end of 2006.

Trendy New York hotel group expands
New York hotel company Gansevoort Hotel Group has announced plans for two new properties in Los Angeles and Miami Beach. In LA, a former church and concert hall will be converted into Gansevoort West - a 170-bedroom hotel with rooftop lounge and pool. The converted concert hall will open in 2007. Miami's 232-bedroom Gansevoort South hotel will have a 28,000sq ft rooftop deck, 259 condos and 102 condo-hotel units when it opens in autumn 2006.

By Emily Manson

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