Hotel Wrap: Wyndham’s new APAC boss, W Melbourne opening date + MORE

A lot has been happening in the world of hospitality lately, judging by the skyscraper-style wrap we’ve got for you today.

Wyndham reveals new APAC boss

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has announced the appointment of Joon Aun Ooi (pictured above) as president for the Asia-Pacific region, effective 1 June 2020.

Ooi’s appointment follows the restructuring of the hospitality giant’s Southeast Asia and Pacific Rim and Greater China region to form a new operating region which will be collectively known as Asia Pacific.

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts APAC will continue to operate with regional offices in Singapore and Shanghai, and supported by its satellite offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Xi’an, Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Bangkok, Seoul, Jakarta, Manila, and Kuala Lumpur.

Ooi joined Wyndham in 2013 as vice president of openings and operations across Greater China.

In 2018, he was appointed president and managing director for Southeast Asia and Pacific Rim, and led the Wyndham Hotels & Resort’s regional growth and development after its spin-off from Wyndham Worldwide.

Leo Liu, president of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts across Greater China, will be stepping down from the company.

W Melbourne to open in December

W Hotels Worldwide is set to open its second Australian property in December 2020.

Located at 408 Flinders Lane, the new property will be the showpiece of Cbus Property’s $1.25 billion Collins Arch mixed-use precinct.

Some key features and facilities of the hotel include: 294 guest rooms and 29 suites, including four spacious WOW Suites; four restaurants and bars; a state-of-the-art fitness facility; a gold-roof-adorned indoor pool with poolside bar and DJ booth; and 830 square metres of ultra-modern conference, meeting and event space.

IHG introduces new cleanliness measures

InterContinental Hotels (IHG) has announced an overhaul of its cleanliness standards and guidelines in partnership with Cleveland Clinic, Ecolab and Diversey.

The new heightened measures are an extension of the ‘IHG Way of Clean’ program; a commitment to rigorous cleaning procedures to keep guests, visitors and colleagues safe and assured.

IHG’s cleanliness updates are explained in the below video:

When our guests are ready to travel again, we’ll be ready to welcome them. We’re redefining our global cleaning protocols together with our partners Cleveland Clinic, Ecolab and Diversey. Our new standards are backed by an IHG Clean Promise to give our guests confidence when they stay in IHG hotels: the video to find out more about the changes we are making. #IHG #TrueHospitality

Posted by IHG Corporate on Monday, 18 May 2020

Club Med creates free online tool for agents

Premium, all-inclusive resort player Club Med has developed a new and completely free marketing tool for travel agents.

The ‘Club Med i-frame’ tool has been designed to simply how agents promote and display Club Med resorts, special offers and key information on their websites, with minimal effort required.

The new tool also has the bonus benefit of no out links, which means clients will stay on the agency’s website with access to all the info they need.

Club Med’s i-frame comes in three different versions, so agencies can choose the content that best suits their business needs or, better still, use a combination.

For more information on Club Med’s new tool, click here. 

Accor and AXA launch strategic partnership

Accor and insurance player AXA have announced a strategic partnership to provide medical support to guests across the hospitality giant’s 5,000 hotels worldwide.

As soon as July 2020, the partnership will enable Accor guests to benefit from high-level care thanks to the expert medical solutions of AXA Partners, AXA’s international entity specialised in assistance services, travel insurance and credit protection.

Among the benefits for Accor guests will be free access to medical teleconsultations and access to AXA’s extensive medical networks.

The new partnership complements Accor’s overall global recovery plan and is included in the enhanced health and prevention protocols that the company has put in place, notably through its ALLSAFE Cleanliness label in anticipation of the progressive reopening of its hotels across the different regions.

Centara introduces Willy Wonka-inspired kids spa experience

Thai hotel operator Centara Hotels & Resorts is raising the bar for original family experiences by announcing the launch of a dedicated kids spa inspired by the legendary tale of the adventures of young Charlie Bucket in the Roald Dahl classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

The unique experience is an elaborate playground catering specifically to children aged 15 years old and under – a space where they can enjoy candy-themed spa treatments, manicures, pedicures, get creative by mixing their own lotions and potions, or even hold parties.

Operated by SPA Cenvaree, the first ‘Spa Candy’ playground will open in 2021 at Centara Mirage Beach Resort in Dubai.

Oaks unveils ‘Together Again’ package

Oaks Hotels, Resorts & Suites has announced its first accommodation package since COVID-19 travel restrictions begin to ease in South Australia.

The ‘Together Again’ package encourages guests to re-unite with family and friends and explore their home state, supporting local businesses and tourism operators across Adelaide and beyond while observing current advice on social distancing.

Guests can save up to 30 per cent on bookings, including flexible booking policies and free cancellation, while MYOAKS members can save a further 10 per cent on bookings. The offer is valid for bookings made before 4 June 2020, for stays until the end of March 2021.

Oaks has implemented hospital-grade cleaning measures across all areas of each of its properties, including guest rooms, common areas and back-of-house. Furthermore, government regulations around social distancing are observed by all staff.

Hospitality tech company delivers contactless check-in solution

Canary Technologies, which provides solutions to some of the world’s largest hotel brands, management companies and ownership groups, has launched Contactless Check-In.

The new tech allows hotels to check guests in with no physical or material contact between the guest and the front-desk agent. Hotels can provide their guests with a mobile link with instructions to check in either prior to arrival or once they have reached the property.

There is no app to download, and the guest can complete the entire process with a few simple taps, including identity verification and form of payment.

Mercure Albury adopts BeyondTV platform

As hotels look for measures to protect guest health while catering to their demands for convenience and service personalisation, Mercure Albury has recently adopted the  BeyondTV in-room service and entertainment platform to simultaneously address such needs.

Located in NSW, the property decided to implement BeyondTV as a way to provide guests with a safer alternative to requesting services or locating details on available hotel amenities.

BeyondTV also allows each guest to wirelessly cast personal content such as streaming subscriptions from personal devices onto a larger guest room television screen.

Pan Pacific London offers virtual bridal expertise

With many weddings now postponed due to coronavirus, lots of couples are feeling understandably disappointed.

In this new reality, Pan Pacific London is determined to keep the excitement going, offering virtual personalised consultations, new event formats and rethinking the guest experience.

For weddings in 2021, in-house wedding expert Claire Bishop is available for virtual venue tours and planning meetings, held face to face using online technology, offering advice and guidance helping couples to prepare for their wedding day.

After the first consultation, a more in-depth video meeting is arranged during which couples will be talked through the many options available to them when choosing Pan Pacific London.

Guidance with virtual dance lessons, online hair and make-up tutorials, reviewing DJ sets online, supplier and chef consultations via Zoom are just a few highlights of the preparation services that are available.

Pan Pacific London is also offering a number of different wedding formats for when it opens its doors.

With three large SMART LED screens available, couples can continue with the ceremony knowing that their guests can still join from home.

The hotel can also provide the option for intimate wedding formats such as ‘mini-monies’ and ‘micro-weddings’ amongst its Pan Pacific suite, private dining rooms or exclusive takeover of the of the ‘Meeting Place’ event space on the fifth floor.

A staycation package is also available, offering several activities for couples, including a weekend stay in a suite, brunch in bed and more.

Doors re-open at Wanaka lakeside hotel

After being temporarily closed during New Zealand’s strict lockdown period, Edgewater has welcomed guests and visitors back to the hotel.

General manager Catherine Bone said she and her team have focused on re-opening the hotel in the safest way possible.

“We’ve followed government directives about the way we can safely operate at level two, including spacing tables in the restaurant, contactless contact tracing systems and having single servers in the dining area,” she said.

“It is exciting to be able to once again welcome visitors and guests back to the hotel.”

New Meliá Koh Samui appoints director of sales and marketing

A hospitality professional with two decades of experience in sales and marketing has been named Meliá Koh Samui’s director of sales and marketing.

Phatsalawadee Pimpila’s appointment to the new 159-room and 41-suite luxury resort on Koh Samui’s north-eastern coastline in the Gulf of Thailand comes after she previously worked as director of sales for Kanda Residences, another five-star hotel situated on Koh Samui island.

Pimpila has also worked as the managing and sales director for O-Pa Television, which she co-founded.

She was also previously a senior sales and event manager for media company Travel Daily Asia for six-and-a-half years, and has held senior sales management roles for hotel Unico Sandara Cha-Am in Hua Hin, production company Capital TV and developer Celadon Land Asia Pacific.

COMO Shambhala launches digital wellness companion

COMO Shambhala has launched at-home wellness programs and personal consultations exclusively through its new digital wellness companion, COMO Shambhala By My Side.

For all those in pursuit of greater wellbeing, COMO Shambhala By My Side brings together the holistic expertise honed at both COMO Shambhala Urban Escape in Singapore and COMO Hotels and Resorts wellness locations around the world.

Users have the opportunity to access COMO’s network of international experts through this newly curated digital platform.

COMO Shambhala By My Side is designed to provide a sanctuary for those who seek tranquillity and the inspiration to stay active during these uncertain times and beyond.

Originally conceived for COMO Shambhala’s Urban Escape guests in Singapore, COMO Shambhala By My Side offers a comprehensive range of thoughtfully-created experiences led by a panel of internationally-accredited specialists, in easy-to-follow video tutorials that can be accessed via a smartphone or a laptop from anywhere in the world.

Unlimited access to all COMO Shambhala By My Side video content is available for a monthly subscription fee of approximately $24.

For more in-depth programs or specific needs, users can enjoy exclusive access to private one-on-one consultations with COMO Shambhala’s expert nutritionist, naturopath, physiotherapist, or life coach from around $178 for 45 minutes.

Sessions can be booked for up to 90 minutes and are charged individually.

Turtle Island helps out its local community

To continue supporting local villages, Fiji’s Turtle Island has donated $15,000 worth of fishing and farming equipment and food supplies as part of the island’s Nacula Tikina Food Relief initiative.

Recently, staff at Turtle Island helped to pack and deliver these much-needed supplies to the surrounding villages in the Nacula Tikina.

Turtle Island has committed to retaining all of its employees, and over 60 have remained on the island tending to the gardens and conducting ongoing maintenance in readiness for the return of guests.

Italy’s Grand Hotel Tremezzo to reopen in June

The Grand Hotel Tremezzo will reopen its doors on 26 June, with 30 of its 90 rooms available.

The hotel’s five restaurants and bars, along with its three pools, will all be open, and its ‘T Spa’ will be available for massages and treatments.

The Grand Hotel Tremezzo will also be able to show off its newly renovated T Beach, a unique lido with real sand overlooking Bellagio and the Grigne mountains.

Industry bodies welcome government’s response to ‘King Review’

The Australian Hotels Association (AHA) and Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) have welcomed the federal government’s response to the ‘King review’.

The report, chaired by Grant King, included a recommendation that the National Australian Built Environment Rating Scheme (NABERS) and the Commercial Buildings Disclosure (CBD) scheme be expanded to hotels, which the government did not support.

AHA chief executive Stephen Ferguson said in rejecting this recommendation, the government has saved many Australian hotels from yet more red tape.

“This is a common-sense move by the federal government, and we thank Angus Taylor in particular for listening to the concerns outlined by the AHA and TAA,” Ferguson said.

TAA chief executive Michael Johnson said that by avoiding being included in the NABERS and CBD schemes, hotels can continue to concentrate on implementing practical measures to reduce costs and emissions.

“We commend the federal government for refusing to accept a recommendation that would have added unnecessary red tape to hotels, at a time when the industry requires comprehensive assistance from policymakers.”

Beonprice reinvents its RMS

Spanish revenue management system (RMS) provider Beonprice is reinventing its offering to integrate consumer traveller trends and destination demand insights to optimise rates and distribution for bookings once they return post-COVID-19.

The company is now incorporating data that will allow revenue managers to calculate and optimise rates where historical data has become obsolete.

Beonprice will begin incorporating information including flight data, online searches for travel and accommodation, destination demand, and benchmarking data.


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