Worldwide briefing

08 December 2005
Worldwide briefing

Le Meriden continues Europe expansion
Starwood-owned Le Meridien continues to expand in Central Europe with the signing of a new five-star hotel in Prague. Le Royal Meridien Prague, located in a listed building, is due to open in early 2009 and will be the company's sixth hotel in Central Europe. It is the first hotel addition since Le Meridien became part of Starwood Hotels & Resort on 24 November 2005.

Le Bristol to appeal fine Parisian luxury hotel Le Bristol is considering lodging an appeal against the €81,000 collusion fine from France's Competition Council. The Council claimed that Le Bristol along with five other luxury Paris hotels exchanged e-mails and had regular meetings where they shared information on occupancy and prices. Le Bristol has admitted some information was shared, but said that it only related to average revenues and occupancy rates.

Belfast hotel to undergo £15m development Hastings-owned Slieve Donard Hotel in Belfast is to spend £15m in development costs. The project will add 50 more bedrooms, extended conferencing facilities, and a sizable spa of 16 treatment rooms. The spa will be managed by ex-Gleneagles's resort director, Claire Birchall.

Westin to go smoke-free in 2006 January will see Starwood's Westin Hotels & Resorts become smoke-free. All 77 Westin hotels in the USA, Canada and the Caribbean will have a no-smoking policy throughout, including guestrooms. Westin said that its decision was a result of consumer demand, with 92% of guests requesting non-smoking rooms and 80% preferring smoke free restaurants. In preparation 2,400 rooms will undergo an extensive cleaning process and outside areas will be set up for guests who smoke.

German hotel restaurant awarded Michelin star The Kempinski Grand Hotel Heiligendamm has been awarded a Michelin star for its gourmet restaurant Friedrich Franz. The restaurant opened in June 2004 under head chef Tillmann Hahn.

InterContinental reports inrease in profit for Americas InterContinental Hotels Group's (IHG) Americas region has reported that franchised and managed hotels have seen a 13% increase in operating profit in its third quarter. Hotel additions include the InterContinental Boston, opening autumn 2006 and InterContinental San Francisco, opening late 2007. The company has also added Paraguay to its list of global destinations.

Accor to open five hotels in Indonesia Accor Hotels will open five new hotels in Indonesia next year making it the country's fastest-growing hotel chain. The company will also spend $5.3m (£3.03m) developing 23 apartments for the Novatel Residence at Nusa Dua in Bali. Accor currently run 33 hotels in Indonesia and aim to make this 50 by the end of 2007.

By Amanda Smith

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