In news of hotel openings and rebrandings this month, Hilton’s Conrad brand opens a New York City property, while its DoubleTree group adds locations in London and Shanghai; Joie de Vivre Hotels comes to the north side of Chicago; and Radisson Edwardian hotels in the London area get a new identity.
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Global lodging giant InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) said its research has uncovered a large and growing market of travelers who have trouble following their usual health and fitness routines on the road – and it is planning a whole new brand of hotels to meet their needs.
In news of hotel openings and rebrandings, four New York City hotels are changing their brand affiliations, and Manhattan gets a new Holiday Inn; a luxury Chicago hotel joins the Hilton family; a Starwood brand gains a prime Paris location; and Thompson Hotels adds a London property.
In the never-ending battle for market share among what it calls “global mega-travelers,” Starwood Hotels & Resorts is rolling out a new roster of benefits for the top members of its Preferred Guest rewards plan.
Hyatt Hotels has finished consolidating its extended-stay properties under a single new brand, and has standardized services and amenities at all of them, the company said.
The new brand is Hyatt House, which now encompasses 38 former Hyatt Summerfield Suites hotels as well as 15 recently acquired Hotel Sierra locations, Hyatt said. The 53 Hyatt House locations are in 16 states.
A new survey of hotel guests by a leading booking website finds that technology is increasingly important to travelers, and technological considerations often lead them to choose one hotel over another.
The website hotels.com said its survey on hotel amenities found that “question after question, guests reported that free Wi-Fi is a must when choosing a hotel room, and that this amenity overwhelmingly factored into the decision on which hotel to book.”
Six of the world’s leading hotel groups – with one conspicuous absence – have launched a new search engine and booking site for all of their member properties, giving consumers a way to deal directly with the companies instead of going through an online travel agency or other intermediary site.
In news of hotel openings, closings and rebrandings this month, Toronto adds a new luxury property; a venerable Los Angeles hotel closes; Starwood adds a location at Miami Airport; Hyatt debuts in one of the Gulf States; and Hilton adds two London locations.
In hotel news last week, two hotel loyalty programs make changes in their airline partnerships, and a leading luxury lodging chain offers a room service plan that promises food fast (but not ‘fast food’).
• Members of the Hilton HHonors program will no longer be able to earn Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards points for stays after December 31, 2011. That date is also the deadline for program members to convert HHonors points into Rapid Rewards points, Hilton said. Members currently can get 600 Rapid Rewards points for each qualifying stay at any Hilton brand. At the current exchange rate, 10,000 HHonors points are convertible into 1,200 Rapid Rewards points.
Have you noticed you’re paying more for hotel rooms than you did a year ago? Well, don’t expect to see lower rates any time soon. A leading hotel consulting firm predicts prices will go even higher over the next two years.