This week’s Hotel Wrap is full of hope and solidarity, as well as a pinch of ingenuity from the hospitality industry.
IHG’s first Regent property to open in May
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has signed a management agreement with Shanghai 21st Century Hotel Co., Ltd. for its iconic property located in Lujiazui, Shanghai, China.
From 16 May 2020, the hotel will be officially branded as Regent Shanghai Pudong (pictured above), with all existing reservations to be automatically forwarded and honoured.
Under the deal, IHG will also take over the management of its luxury apartments, which sit above the hotel in the same tower.
The property will become the first Regent globally to open under IHG management.
In separate news, InterContinental Bali Resort has revealed an innovative way it is cutting waste and combating the global shortage of face masks.
According to the resort, it has created its own homemade cloth face masks sewn from upcycling the resort’s linen, which have been distributed to resort employees, their families and the local community.
The homemade face masks were produced by the resort’s skilled tailoring team, under its housekeeping department. According to IHG, the resort team is committed to producing 40 to 50 masks every day to distribute as many as possible.
Marriott International light’s up across APAC
Across the Asia Pacific, Marriott International has lit up its properties to send a positive message, offering a ray of hope to the communities they are in for locals and travellers alike.
The ‘Light for Hope’ initiative looks to spread positivity amid the challenging times the world is currently facing.
Last week, over 270 hotels across various cities and regions, from Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Saigon, Jakarta, Maldives, Mumbai and many more lit up their hotel rooms to the symbol of a smiley face, as seen from the façade of the hotel.
Throughout April, guests and travellers can view the ‘Light for Hope’ initiative at select Marriott International hotels across Asia Pacific.
In separate news, Marriott has also announced the signing of two new properties: Courtyard by Marriott Sydney, Auburn and Four Points by Sheraton Sydney, Blacktown.
The properties are expected to open in 2023 and 2024 respectively.
Crown Group fast-tracks opening of SKYE Suites & Residences at Green Square
SKYE Suites is fast-tracking the opening of its third hotel, a luxe new escape within the iconic $575 million architectural precinct, Infinity by Crown Group, in response to the surge in demand from the long-stay market.
SKYE Suites Green Square is set to officially open as a hotel in July, but from next week, SKYE Residences will offer luxurious serviced-apartment stays of three months or more to long-stay residents.
The new locale was designed by world-renowned Koichi Takada Architects and was named one of ‘The World’s Best Projects’ by The Property Council of Australia.
The rooms will contain plush and inviting interiors by the designers behind some of the world’s stellar luxury hotels, CHADA.
OYO founder reveals revenue and occupancy has dropped by at least 50 per cent
In an update on the current situation facing his business, Ritesh Agarwal, founder and chief executive of OYO Rooms, has revealed the impacts of COVID-19 have been significant.
According to Agarwal, revenue and occupancy has dropped by 50 to 60 per cent. He also revealed how his company is collaborating with state and federal government, and hospitals.
Check out what he had to say below:
Short-term accommodation changes to “level the playing field”: TAA
Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) NSW believes the state is inching closer to a “properly regulated” short-term accommodation sector, which would help “level the playing field” for the struggling hotel industry.
TAA NSW CEO Michael Johnson said the Code, which the organisation said is expected to be released later this year, will introduce obligations for hosts, guests, online booking platforms and letting agents, as well as a complaints process for breaches.
It comes as the NSW government revealed that from 10 April, strata schemes will be able to adopt by-laws that prohibit short-term rentals, where a lot is not a host’s principal place of residence.
The Accommodation Association of Australia (AAoA) has also welcomed the news.
Vale Eric Waldburger, former president of Marco Polo Hotels
Eric Waldburger, the former president of Marco Polo Hotels and a founding president of the Macau Hotel Association, has passed away in Japan on 10 April after a “short but hard-fought battle” with an undisclosed illness.
He was 70 years old.
Las Vegas hotels light up for COVID-19 support
Hotels on the Las Vegas strip are lighting up their windows with hearts and messages to show support during these tough times.
With the unprecedented closure of all strip resorts, the messages of LOVE, #VegasStrong and “We Love Vegas” display the sentiment that hotels are missing guests as much as guests are missing them.
These messages of hope and resilience can be seen up and down Las Vegas Boulevard at Hilton Grand Vacation, MGM Grand, New York-New York, Flamingo Las Vegas, Caesars Palace Las Vegas, Wynn Las Vegas, Encore, Venetian Resort, ARIA, Vdara, and Delano Las Vegas.
QT Hotels provides update on COVID-19 response
As essential services, QT Hotels has evolved to suit current conditions.
Known for great drinking and dining destinations, QT kitchens have given in-room dining a quirky culinary twist, combining QT classics with menu favourites from on-property dining institutions including the award-winning Gowings, Pascale and Santini Bar & Grill.
True to character, QT is encouraging guests to dress up, dress down, or to simply slide into their signature black hooded robes and enjoy a suite of complimentary services including a new release movie library complete with on-demand popcorn and choc tops.
Handpicked in-room gifts are also part of the experience, to help keep spirits up throughout the stay.
QT’s staff are also now sliding under guest doors daily with tips, tricks and challenges to keep minds and bodies active, including provide bespoke adult colouring books designed by tattoo artist Lauren Winzer, gratitude journaling and bespoke wellbeing content curated especially for QT guests.
In addition, QT has adjusted usual processes in line with current health advice and the directive of authorities, including minimising and limiting physical interactions between guests and staff through contactless check in, physical distancing and contactless room service.
QT properties are also offering seven-, 14- and 21-day ‘Home Away from Home’ long-stays for essential travel or for those who need to self-isolate.
Ovolo innovates with virtual Easter egg hunt
During trying times Ovolo Hotels is continuing to look at ways to connect and engage with its guests.
This Easter break, Ovolo “again” showed its innovative DNA through a virtual Easter egg hunt.
A collaboration between Ovolo and its digital agency, Dijitally, the game took the form of a virtual tour of Ovolo Woolloomooloo’s infamous AC/DC rock star suite, with all winners of the hunt receiving a 30 per cent discount off a future stay at any Ovolo hotel.
Ovolo’s Easter Egg Hunt can be experienced here until Sunday 19 April.
New global luxury club membership launches
The Club Token (TCT) claims to be the world’s first luxury membership, and offers its members the high life across 11 gaming resorts in six countries.
TCT’s benefits are accessible through a mobile application that allows members to invest, earn rewards, book resorts, play in gaming lounges and arrange for transfers anytime they fancy. This mobile application is available on both Android and iOS platforms today.
With the official launch of the TCT mobile application, anyone can now sign up as a member. They have 30 days as a free member to understand the benefits and rewards they want to earn before finally committing to what suits them best.
Upon registration, members earn their rewards as club tokens and credit which serve as a utility currency fully interoperable across markets. Members can dispense with carrying funds across borders this way as TCT facilitates spending in all its resorts.
Featured image: Regent Shanghai Pudong (supplied)