Marriott Brings JW, Edition Brands to SingaporeLast week, self-managed hotel – The South Beach Singapore officially handed over its operations to Marriott International. This agreement will see this 634-room hotel being converted into the JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach, marking the JW brand’s debut in the Lion City. The hotel will remain operational during the refurbishment and an official relaunch is slated for November this year. The renovation will entail little modification to the rooms, while the spa would be completely renovated and the lobby expanded. Three new restaurants, including one helmed by renowned chef Akira Back, is also in the works, expanding total F&B offerings to nine. During the signing ceremony, Marriott also announced that it is bringing theEdition brand to Singapore. To be called The Singapore Edition, the first property will be an eight-storey, 190-room boutique luxury development located in the Orchard district, and isscheduled for opening in 2019.
Hotel Openings in India This Week
Marriott International announced the opening of the Fairfield by Marriott, Lucknow, its second property in the city after the Renaissance Lucknow. Located approximately 24 kilometers southwest of Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport, the hotel features 222 rooms, an all-day dining restaurant, a bar, a fitness center, and 3,470 square feet of indoor meetings space. Lucknow is the capital and the largest city of Uttar Pradesh, and is an important business destination.
AccorHotels opened the Varun Beach Bheemili Resort by Novotel at Bheemunipatnam, 25 kilometers northeast of Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. The resort features 28 rooms, three restaurants, a bar, 1,100 square feet of indoor meetings space, a swimming pool, a fitness center and a spa. Visakhapatnam is a major port city in the state of Andhra Pradesh and serves as the headquarter of the Eastern Naval Command of India.
Roxy-Pacific to Grow Its Own Brand, Noku Roxy, in Asia
Roxy-Pacific Holdings, which owns the 500-room Grand Mercure Roxy Hotel Singapore, is expanding its presence beyond Singapore with its own upscale boutique brand, Noku Roxy. The brand currently has one hotel in operation in Kyoto. This Singapore homegrown property and hospitality group has also acquired 10 villas and some additional land in Phuket that it will redevelop into a Noku Roxy hotel. The property will have 90 rooms and five villas, and is slated for completion by 2018. In the Maldives, an existing property with 50-villas, located 45 minutes away from Male, will be redesigned into another Noku Roxy. The brand is the brainchild of Chris Teo, Executive Director and Managing Director of the Group, whose vision for the brand is to offer deep local insights and personalized service at affordable prices. Teo therefore intends on keeping the Noku Roxy hotels small in room count, in strategic locations, with artistic yet modern design, and offering guests personalized recommendations for each destination city.
Thailand and Laos to Collaborate on a Joint Tourism Package
Thailand and Laos are working towards a bilateral collaboration to boost the number of travelers to the two countries. Based on a concept of ‘two countries – one destination’, the two destinations will be promoted as a combined package, encouraging tourists travelling to Thailand to expand their vacation to Laos. The Thai Government aims to have the joint tourism plan ready by the Thai-Lao Joint Commission meeting, due before the end of this year. The idea is in line with Ministry of Tourism and Sport’s policy to present Thailand as a hub for visitors to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, and to sustain the momentum of Thailand’s booming tourism sector. Close to 30 million tourists travelled to Thailand in 2015 and the Tourism Authority of Thailand expects visitor arrivals to increase by another 4 million this year. Recently, Thai AirAsia launched daily flights from Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport to Vientiane’s Wattay International Airport. According to Thai AirAsia’s CEO, this new route will help stimulate both tourism and investment into Vientiane.
Kempinski Brand to Exit Xi’an
The Kempinski Hotel Xi’an will cease to use the Kempinski brand name after its ten-year management contract expired last month. The Jin Jiang group will gradually take over the management of the hotel and the property will be rebranded as the Xi’an Jin Jiang International Hotel. Reportedly, the hotel’s had performance suffered in recent years due to a culmination of tough market conditions, surplus new supply, fierce competition, and its subprime location, away from the city and the main business center. Both owners and the brand cited their individual issues and reasons to not go ahead with renewing the contract. In the first half of 2016, two other Kempinski hotels, in Sanya and Yixing respectively, also ended their relationship with the brand.