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Worldwide briefing

24 November 2005

Fairmont Hotels' global expansion Toronto-based luxury hotel group Fairmont Hotels and Resorts will add three major properties to its portfolio by 2007. Fairmont Mayakoba in Mexico will open its doors in spring 2006, while Fairmont Abu Dhabi and Fairmont Cairo are forecast to open the following year. The 552-room property in Cairo will be situated along the River Nile as part of the Nile City development. The group, which acquired The Savoy hotel in London in January, also plans to unveil a $3.5m renovation of Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort and Club, Miami.

Second hotel in Ireland for Starwood
Starwood Hotels and Resorts has announced the opening of its second Irish property in the current European Capital of Culture. The Sheraton Fota Island Golf Resort and Spa in Cork is set to open in spring 2006. The resort, which will be located on a small island off Cork harbour, is currently under construction on the site of the existing Fota Island Golf Club. The property will boast 133 rooms, a championship golf course, spa, and 250 luxury residential lodges.

Rocco Forte announces Prague property
Rocco Forte is adding a five-star hotel in Prague to its luxury portfolio. The 101-room property will be created from a complex of five historic buildings, including St Thomas's Monastery, which dates back to the 1400s. The cloistered terraces, wooden ceilings, wine vaults and stone arches will be incorporated into the hotel design, which will be completed in 2007. The property will be the fifteenth hotel to join Rocco Forte Hotels, with new properties planned in Germany and Italy for 2006/2007.

China welcomes Accor Paris-based hotel and tourism company Accor has announced it will build two new hotels in Beijing. It will be the first property investment by Accor in Beijing, having only previously held management contracts. The two new hotels will be located at the Phoenix Plaza, and will be branded as a Novotel and Ibis. Managing director Michael Issenberg said that he hoped the properties would open on schedule, in time for the 2008 Olympics. Accor currently manages 29 hotels in China, with an increase of 35 planned by the end of 2008.

New York braced for 5,000 new hotel rooms New York, the city that never sleeps, will add 5,000 new hotel rooms to its current 70,723 by the end of 2007. Around 40 million tourists visited "The Big Apple" last year, and the occupancy rate for 2005 is expected to be 87%. New properties including Marriott, Hilton and Starwood brands are planned for the city, with moves into diverse areas such as TriBeCa, Staten Island and Harlem becoming popular. "Many of the new properties will anchor the start of economic and business development in these exciting destinations and will introduce global visitors to new experiences," said Cristyne Nicholas, president and CEO of NYC & Co.

Sofitel plans makeover for Los Angeles hotelSofitel, the prestige brand of Accor hotels, has announced that its Los Angeles property is to undergo a $35m (£20.3m) transformation. According to Sofitel, the multi-million pound makeover, "will fuse French sophistication with the energetic pulse of Hollywood." Designers Cheryl Rowley and Yabu Pushelberg have been enlisted to transform the property, which will be completed by the spring of 2006. Each of the 297 rooms will feature plasma screen televisions, laptop connections and glamorous faux-leather and velvet upholstery.

Mandarin Oriental deals in Las Vegas Luxury hotel brand Mandarin Oriental has announced the opening of a new 37 storey hotel in Las Vegas. The property, which will be located in the multibillion-dollar urban development "Project CityCenter", will open in 2009. As part of the MGM Mirage's project, the hotel will share the 18 million square feet of Project CityCenter with shops, restaurants, entertainment venues and a casino. Edouard Ettedgui, group chief executive of Mandarin Oriental, said that he expected Project CityCenter to become an urban icon, and was delighted to be working alongside MGM Mirage. "This project presents an exceptional opportunity for Mandarin Oriental to further strengthen our brand in a celebrated, international leisure and business destination," he added.

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