Hotels

Hotel Wrap: IHG launches new staycation campaigns, Club Med’s state-of-play update + MORE

Keen to knock some sense into those pesky clients who think hotels are on the way out? Slap them across the head with this whopper of a Hotel Wrap.

IHG launches new staycation campaigns across Australia and New Zealand

IHG has launched its newest campaign to support domestic recovery and encourage staycation and self-drive experiences across Australia and New Zealand.

The Australian ‘There’s More for You’ campaign follows the success of ‘There’s More to See’ – shifting gears to encourage travellers to take the slow road with stay & save offers.

With up to 35 per cent off, the slow road is an affordable one to explore the coastal walks of Coogee, the wineries of the Hunter, or sand flat tours on Hayman Island.

While ‘Uncover New Zealand’ is designed to offer Kiwis maximum freedom and value to choose their own adventure – whether it’s the ski slopes of Queenstown, geothermal baths of Rotorua, Otago’s world-class wineries or the streets of Christchurch. These offers include:

  • Mid-Week Done Right: savvy travellers will be rewarded mid-week with up to 20 per cent off Monday to Thursdays with no deposit required and cancellation until 6pm the day prior to arrival
  • Stay Longer and Save: guests receive up to 35 per cent off when they book three nights or more, including complimentary breakfast daily and 20 per cent of the hotel’s restaurant and bars.

IHG has also updated its cancellation policy. For bookings made from 6 April to 30 September, any non-refundable or pre-paid bookings for arrivals up to and including 30 September can be cancelled without penalty (up to 24 hours before arrival).

All reservations made from 1 October 2020 will be subject to the terms and conditions of the rate booked.

Club Med updates partners on state of the company

Club Med, with the support of its largest shareholder, Fosun Tourism Group, has assured its group financial position remains solid with the addition of cash and cash equivalents equalling $200 million.

Club Med’s regional general manager, Rachael Harding, said this means that it has more than enough cash to achieve continuous and accelerated development of the group’s business.

Club Med’s strategy to open multiple resorts annually has not been put on hold, with the company still on track to open:

  • Club Med Seychelles Resort in December 2020
  • Club Med Grand Massif Chalets in December 2020
  • Club Med La Rosiere French-Italian Ski Resort in December 2020
  • Club Med Quebec Charlevoix Ski Resort in December 2021.

As a local market, the team is also busy working behind-the-scenes to anticipate the impacts of the federal government’s travel ban announcements, and have also launched the following:

  • A new and flexible customer-first peace of mind policy
  • A globally certified ‘Safe Together’ program in its resorts
  • Created a new way to collaborate with agents through the ‘Club Med Connect’ platform
  • Continually finding ways to better recognise agents.

Club Med has also launched its new digital brochure for Meetings & Events by Club Med for 2020/21, which you can view here.

Soneva Fushi reveals new Water Retreats in the Maldives

Soneva Fushi’s new Water Retreats will soon be ready to welcome guests, adding yet another facet to the original barefoot luxury resort.

Guests can expect innovative designs and some new changes to the iconic Water Retreat designs that can be found at Soneva Jani.

Reached by a gently curving jetty near Dolphin Beach, at the opposite end of the island to the Out of the Blue dining destination, the eight Water Retreats have been designed to ensure the utmost privacy for guests, as well as to make the most of the picture-perfect ocean vistas.

For more information, click here.

In other news from the Maldives, eco-resort Gili Lankanfushi reopened its doors on 1 September to a secluded and sustainable paradise.

With just 45 spacious villas spread over three jetties, the resort offers guests the utmost privacy in awe-inspiring natural surroundings.

Lizard Island delays reopening plans

Lizard Island has announced it will delay plans to reopen the luxury resort this spring, and will now open for guests on 14 December, just in time for summer and a very special festive season.

The move comes after the Queensland state government announced an extension to travel restrictions for interstate visitors earlier this month, which meant that approximately 80 per cent of the confirmed bookings at Lizard Island were unable to readily access the resort.

The team at Lizard Island plans to personally call each of around 250 guests whose bookings will need to be cancelled or, ideally, postponed.

Voucher program can bring hotels back from the brink: TAA

Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) national CEO Michael Johnson has praised hospitality voucher programs introduced in Tasmania and the Northern Territory and called on other state governments to follow suit.

Johnson said the programs, which offer subsidised vouchers for accommodation and tourism experiences, were great examples of how governments can help stimulate intrastate tourism.

In other news from the organisation, major construction work has begun on the brand-new NSW headquarters of Tourism Accommodation Australia, in the heart of the Sydney CBD.

Pacific Resort releases comprehensive trade tool kit

Pacific Resort Hotel Group has put together a comprehensive guide of handy ‘tools’ in the form of a trade tool kit to assist travel professionals in promoting and selling its Cook Island properties.

These include Pacific Resort Aitutaki, Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa, Little Polynesian Resort and Pacific Resort Rarotonga.

You can check out the trade tool kit here.

StayWell inspires with new bucket list

To keep the wanderlust spark burning, StayWell Holdings, one of the largest hotel management groups in Asia Pacific, has put together a list of ‘Top 100 Things to Do Before You Turn 100’.

This list covers nearly all continents and gives travellers a range of travel experiences to consider, from world famous locations and landmarks to little known local gems, and from outdoor adventure to food you must try.

Each experience has also been given an easy reference to indicate which type of traveller would most enjoy each option, and there are plenty of opportunities for couples, families, friends, foodies, culture seekers, girls’ and boys’ trips, and those seeking outdoor and adventure travel.

Sabre names Scott Wilson as president of hospitality solutions

Sabre Corporation has announced Scott Wilson will take over the role of president of Sabre Hospitality Solutions, effective 8 September.

Wilson joins Sabre from Great Wolf Resorts where he served as its chief commercial officer.

“We are thrilled to have Scott Wilson join Sabre’s executive leadership team at such an important time for our company,” Sabre president and chief executive Sean Menke said in a statement.

“Scott brings twenty-five years of experience leading strategic planning and key commercial activities for large global organizations in both the hospitality and airline industries, having spent several years at Marriott International, United Airlines and most recently at Great Wolf Resorts.

“Scott has a strong background in innovation and his skillset will serve us well as we continue to transform and scale Sabre’s hospitality business.”

Marriott International and Quintessentially unveil exclusive luxury road trips

The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara

Marriott International, through its portfolio of luxury brands including The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, The Luxury Collection, EDITION and W Hotels, has unveiled collection of one-of-a-kind adventures curated in partnership with Quintessentially.

Available to book now, global travellers will have access to several distinct itineraries and immersive experiences available across Marriott International’s robust portfolio of luxury brand properties in the United States and Europe.

The news comes as Marriott announced the appointment of Felitia Lee as controller and chief accounting officer, effective 28 August 2020, on top of the news of its further expansion into China.

The company last week announced the opening of its dual-branded hotel, JW Marriott Hotel Yinchuan and Courtyard by Marriott Yinchuan in Northwest China, recognised as an oasis in China’s hinterland, a historical and distinctive destination surrounded by deserts and the Helan Mountains.

Invested and established by Ningxia Genyuan Real Estate Development Co., Ltd., the dual-branded hotel is an architectural masterpiece depicting a grand sailing ship boasting a total of 513 rooms.

New opening out of Memphis

Although international travel is still currently off the cards, Memphis Travel has shared news of a hotel set to open its doors in September.

The luxury Canopy Memphis Downtown hotel will boast 174 guest rooms, with pet-friendly room options available, directly opposite the popular AutoZone Park.

Even better, the new dining experience, Curfew Memphis, boasts local celebrity chef and restaurateur Fabio Viviani, best known as a previous contestant on US reality TV show Top Chef, as one of its owners delivering delectable meals to patrons.

Cape Town’s The Table Bay to reopen in November

The reopening of The Table Bay in Cape Town is now proposed for 1 November following the easing of South Africa’s lockdown restrictions on 18 August from Level 3 to Level 2.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Table Bay has put extensive health and safety protocols in place in order to ensure the safety of guests and staff when the hotel reopens.

The protocols are based on advice from local and international health experts as well as the World Health Organization.

Measures include stringent cleaning and sanitising, physical distancing both in front and back-of-house, temperature checks on entry and completing medical questionnaires on arrival.

All Sun International properties, including The Table Bay, have been certified by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) with the international ‘Safe Travels’ destination stamp.

Wild Coast Tented Lodge finalises plans for Leopard Research Centre

Sri Lanka’s Wild Coast Tented Lodge, one of Resplendent Ceylon’s award-winning luxury boutique resorts, has finalised plans for its Leopard Research Centre.

In partnership with the Dilmah Conservation, the centre will be of global standard with eminent trustees including Dr. Sumith Pilapitiya and Eric Wickremanayake, partnering with researchers who work alongside partners like the University of Oxford.

Located in the Yala National Park, it will house five full-time researchers and a tourist visitor centre.

The primary goal of the non-profit Leopard Research Centre is to provide funding, facilities and logistical support for researchers and research projects focusing on the Sri Lankan leopard, with an emphasis on long-term studies.

In other Sri Lankan news, the Unique Sri Lanka Collection is hosting a special Webinar, Sri Lanka Connect, with a live update from boutique member Sri Lankan hotels – KK Collection, Teardrop Hotels, Manor House Concepts, Why House and Water Garden.

Also joining the webinar will be DMC partner, The Fabulous Getaway.

Sri Lanka Connect is being held on Wednesday 30 September from 2pm to 3pm (EST). To register your interest in attending, click here.

Raes announces annual Artist in Residency collaboration

For the second year, luxury hotel Raes in Byron Bay has announced its annual Artist in Residency program in partnership with Champagne Perrier-Jouët.

The property will this year collaborate with luxury swim and resort label COMMAS, in an exclusive capsule collection of five garments influenced by the unique energy, architecture and colour of the luxury boutique hotel.

These will comprise four gender neutral pieces and a pair of the COMMAS classic swim shorts, each in an original print artwork designed exclusively for the hotel.

Byron at Byron appoints executive chef to unveil new restaurant, Forest

Byron at Byron, a Crystalbrook Collection Resort, has unveiled its new executive chef and restaurant, Forest.

Executive chef Etienne Karner (pictured) has made a seachange to Byron Bay from Sydney, bringing with him his world-class experience to hero the region’s abundance of stunning sustainable ingredients.

Boasting a career spanning France, Germany, Dubai, India, Ireland, the USA and Caribbean, Etienne joins the Restaurant from Park Hyatt Sydney, where he held the position of executive chef.

Forest’s opening menu will serve contemporary, approachable, and distinctly Australian cuisine.

Highlights include poached Ballina king prawns with avocado, green apple and coriander, Paroo kangaroo tartar with lemon myrtle mayo, line caught local Jewfish with Windaboo mushrooms or for the sweet tooth, a nest of Kataifi pastry with white chocolate and salted caramel parfait.

And in other Crystalbrook news, to say thanks for the endless video calls, constant walkies, cuddles and companionship, treat your best friend to the ultimate five-star ‘Plush Pup Package’ staycation at Surry Hills’ Little Albion, a Crystalbrook Collection boutique hotel.

From 1 September, guests and their four-legged friends can book Sydney’s most extravagant Plush Pup Package staycation with all the bells and whistles (and a few chew toys too).

Housed within a former convent dating back to 1903, Little Albion’s 35 unique rooms bring the very best of Surry Hills to life with eclectic design and bespoke hospitality while staying true to its heritage DNA.

The Plush Pup Package starts at $995 a pop.


Featured image source: Hayman Island by InterContinental 

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