Hotel wrap: Choice Asia-Pac’s new look, Accor Korea’s Sofitel in Seoul, Crown’s bad news + MORE!

Delightful, informative and neat around the edges – this is how to describe this week’s hotel wrap, and Travel Weekly’s reporter when he sucks in his love handles.

Choice Hotels Asia-Pac reveals new look for Comfort properties

Comfort Inn & Suites Riverland_Barmera AA_New signage[2]

Choice Hotels Asia-Pac is revealing a new look for its Comfort properties following the announcement of a global rebrand.

The new identity (including a modern logo) will unify the Comfort Inn, Comfort Inn and Suites and Comfort Suites brands under the one banner , with the new look rolled out across all Comfort properties in the Asia-Pacific over the next twelve months globally as part of a multi-year transformation.

The news coincides with Choice Hotels Asia-Pac’s signing of six new Comfort properties across Australia and these hotels will be among the first in the country to showcase the brand’s new emblem.

Effective immediately, the six additions to Choice Hotels Asia-Pac’s portfolio are located in Tasmania, South Australia and New South Wales and include:

  • Comfort Hotel Olde Tudor (Prospect, TAS)
  • Comfort Hotel Foreshore (Lauderdale, TAS)
  • Comfort Hotel Bayside (St Helens, TAS)
  • Comfort Inn Flinders on Main (Port Pirie, SA)
  • Comfort Inn & Suites Riverland (Barmera, SA)
  • Comfort Hotel Sydney City (Sydney, NSW).

Accor Ambassador Korea launches first Sofitel Hotel & Serviced Residences in Seoul

Accor Ambassador Korea has announced the launch of its first Sofitel Hotel & Serviced Residences in Songpa, Seoul.

Slated to open in 2021, the announcement comes as the Accor Group aims to strengthen its presence in the luxury segment in South Korea. Set in a commercial tower, the hotel and serviced residences will be inter-connected to an office building.

The hotel and serviced residences will feature 563 rooms and suites, an all-day-dining restaurant and bar as well as meetings and events space. Leisure facilities include an indoor swimming pool, outdoor Jacuzzi, fitness, spa and kids’ room.

Currently operating 24 hotels in 7 cities in South Korea, Accor Ambassador Korea will enhance its presence in the luxury and premium segments with an exciting pipeline of hotels including Fairmont Seoul in 2020 and MGallery Seoul Mapo in 2022.

Featured image (L to R): Min-Soo Sohn, managing director kt estate; Kong-Hwan Lee, executive vice president kt estate;  Dae-San Lee, CEO kt estate; Patrick Basset, chief operating officer Accor Upper Southeast & Northeast Asia and the Maldives; Hyun-Jun Cho, deputy chief representative Accor Ambassador Korea; Chris Cho, vice president development – Singapore, Philippines, Japan, Korea and the Maldives – Accor.

Crowne posts profit drop in FY19 results

Crowne Resorts Limited has posted its results for the full year ended 30 June 2019, reporting a profit drop of 28.1 per cent to $401.8 million, with EBITDA up 7.2 per cent to $849.7 million.

The company’s Australian resorts posted a drop of 5.4 per cent in normalised revenue to $2,954.8 million, with EBITDA up 6.4 per cent to $859.6 million.

Small Luxury Hotels of the World reveals new hotels for bucket list experiences

Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) is welcoming five new hotels this month, each offering bespoke experiences unique to their location, like Marrakech, Morocco; Calabria, Italy, and Fort William, Scotland, among others.

Palace Retreat

Ksar Char-Bagh, Marrakech, Morocco

15 rooms from $605 per night including breakfast
15 rooms from $605 per night including breakfast

Beach Resort

Praia Art Resort, Calabria, Italy

30 Rooms from $577 per night including welcome drink, buffet breakfast and daily light lunch
30 Rooms from $577 per night including drink, breakfast and light lunch

Country House

Inverlochy Castle, Fort William, Scotland

17 rooms from $888 per night including breakfast
17 rooms from $888 per night including breakfast

International Dog Day: Puppy massages and dog-friendly bars & restaurants across IHG

IHG Dog Day

Aussies can honour International Dog Day with their pooch at IHG’s key bars and restaurants – whether it’s enjoying a beverage at luxury hotel bar The Atrium at InterContinental Hotel Adelaide, or sipping on a puppy-cino at Crowne Plaza Terrigal Pacific’s Florida Beach Bar.

For the ultimate pooch pampering session, Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley’s Ubika Spa is offering complimentary treatments for one-day only. Hotel guests as well as day-time visitors can choose from either the “Ubika Couple’s Massage”, a 10-minute massage for both pup and their human or the “Puppy Pamper by Ubika”, a 5-minute back, shoulder and head massage exclusive to four-legged guests only.

If a holiday is how dog-owners want to pamper their pooch for the special occasion, voco™ Kirkton Park Hunter Valley has pet-friendly rooms that are fitted with everything needed for a relaxing weekend away across a 28-hectare estate. Pets can dine with their owners on the hotel’s pizzeria patio and even select treats from a dedicated pet menu.

October nights are full of Michelin stars at Soneva in the Maldives

Dessert 'Millefoglie strachin'
Dessert ‘Millefoglie strachin’

This October, Soneva will welcome Michelin-starred guest chefs and visiting experts from the worlds of sport and wellness at Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani in the Maldives.

The line-up comes as part of the Festival of Colour – a two-year campaign across Soneva’s resorts which celebrates the diverse array of guest experiences on offer – and features Michelin-starred chefs Julien Royer, Maxine Meilleur, Gregoire Berger and Giancarli Perbellini.

Union and Ruby League legend Jason Robinson and former WTA tennis player Daniela Hantuchova are also set to visit Soneva Fushi in October, while international wellness consultant Sandra Laznik, renowned for mixing science with esoteric, will be hosting sessions at Soneva Jani.

Aman introduces new restaurants and chef residences

Aman 2019 culinary offerings

In the coming months, several culinary firsts will be celebrated at Aman properties, including the unveiling of a lakeside hot pot restaurant, Yin Lu at Amanyangyun in China and the introduction of two gourmet evenings at Amankora led by Noma co-founder Mads Refslund.

New culinary offerings will occur at Amanyangyun in August, Amankora in September, Amanjena in September, Aman Tokyo in October, and Aman Venice in Spring.

Travelport, IBM and BCD Travel develop blockchain solution for hotel commission reconciliation

Travelport has announced the development of a blockchain solution to enhance the hotel commission reconciliation process.

Working with IBM Services and travel management company BCD Travel, as well as a number of “high-profile” hotel chains, the blockchain technology solution aims to optimise hotel commission processing on a distributed ledger.

This will be facilitated by managing reconciliation, and tracking and accounting for commission payments owed from hotel chains for services purchased by travelers through booking agencies.

Tourism Accommodation Australia welcomes review of planning rules relating to Ritz-Carlton development

The rejected, proposed build by Star Casino for a Ritz-Carlton.
The rejected, proposed build by Star Casino for a Ritz-Carlton.

Tourism Accommodation Australia NSW has welcomed moves by Premier Gladys Berejiklian to request an immediate review of the planning rules cited in the rejection of the proposed $500m Ritz-Carlton Tower at Pyrmont.

The planned build for a 220-room Ritz-Carlton hotel (pictured above) – a $530 million build – had been rejected by the NSW Planning Department and put on hold indefinitely. You can read about that here.

$20,000 hospitality scholarship now open

Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) has revealed one lucky young person from regional NSW is about to have their dreams of a hospitality career come true, thanks to a $20,000 scholarship from AHA NSW.

The Scholarship is a partnership between AHA NSW and the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (BMIHMS) at Torrens University.

The $20,000 grant allows the lucky recipient to undertake a two-and-a-half-year Bachelor of Business degree (International Hotel and Resorts Management) at BMIHMS.

Applicants will undergo an interview process in Sydney in early November, with all finalists invited to the Awards for Excellence ceremony on Tuesday, 19 November 2019 where the winner will be announced.

If you have any questions about this $20,000 scholarship opportunity contact AHA NSW on or download an entry form from


Leave a Reply


Canberra Airport closed as fire services use airfield to fight “out of control” bushfire

Canberra Airport has cancelled departures and arrivals as its airfield is used by aviation fire services to facilitate aerial firefighting efforts.




Hotel Wrap: Accor’s new rideshare partner, Melia Hotels International opens first Thai hotel + MORE!

Welcome to the Hotel Wrap. This week’s addition features some gobsmackingly wonderful properties which we warn could cause a severe case of FOMO.



Road & Rail

Road & Rail Wrap: Railbookers and Amtrak sale, Indian Railways to introduce pod hotel + MORE!

Planning your next overseas trip but riddled with flight shame? Bury some of it on receipt of this week’s Road & Rail Wrap.




Leading demographer says purpose is defining modern-day travel

by Christian Fleetwood

Purpose, aspiration, and the pursuit of authentic experiences are defining the way we travel, according to a well-known Australian demographer.




The Excite Holidays news that agents didn’t want to receive

by Huntley Mitchell

The first creditors meeting about the collapse of Excite Holidays has revealed the wholesaler’s debt is estimated to be up to $35.1 million, and the news gets worse.




Tourism Australia launches ‘Holiday Here This Year’ campaign to boost bushfire recovery

It’s yet another campaign from Tourism Australia. Hopefully this one won’t need to be pulled like the Kylie ad.




Webjet boss scores massive pay rise, as sale speculation lingers

by Huntley Mitchell

John Guscic’s salary has almost doubled, meaning he’s probably down at his local Maserati dealership right now purchasing a new sports car or few.




Viking unveils new online trade marketing centre

Do you find selling Viking is a bit of a breeze? Well, prepare to put both feet up and recline your office chair thanks to the cruise line’s newest offering.




Velocity Frequent Flyer’s CEO to fly the coop

Karl Schuster will be shedding a tear or two over his impending departure, as he prepares to kiss goodbye unlimited Velocity Frequent Flyer points and free stays on Sir Richard’s private island.




Flight diverted after passenger takes off pants, kicks chairs and hits flight attendant

According to fellow passengers, the man’s girlfriend also got involved by spitting at them and threatening legal action.




Boeing: Judge orders pilots suing manufacturer over 737 MAX to reveal their names

by Christian Fleetwood

Pilots suing Boeing over lost wages have been given an ultimatum: reveal their names or withdraw the case.



Travel Agents

Failed travel agency issued customers fake plane tickets before going under

Yet another travel agency has filed for liquidation, this time after issuing customers with fake plane tickets.