Hyatt adds Alila Hinu Bay to Oman portfolio | News

Hyatt Hotels has revealed that Alila Hinu Bay in Oman is ready to welcome international guests for the first time, following the recent announcement of borders in Oman re-opening to tourists.

The property joins Alila Jabal Akhdar as the Alila brand’s second hotel in Oman along with 15 other Alila properties worldwide.

Distinguished by a strong commitment to sustainable tourism, the brand features luxury hotels and resorts in some of the most spectacular natural locations.

The 112-key hotel is nestled on a secluded beachfront in Oman’s south-west region of Dhofar.

The untouched area is best known for its lush landscapes, cool summers, and it is within easy driving distance from Salalah International Airport.

Between Samhan mountain and the blue waters of the Arabian Sea, Alila Hinu Bay caters to well-travelled guests seeking reflection.

Along with the breath-taking scenery, the area is known for its rich traditions and the renowned warmth of Omani hospitality.

Combined with a personalised experience that is crafted for each guest, travellers can expect to be immersed in authentic, yet bespoke journeys tailored to their preferences and interests.

“We are very excited to add Alila Hinu Bay to the Hyatt portfolio and welcome guests to this region of Oman, a true nature lover’s paradise full of stunning landscapes, waterfalls and greenery,” said Martin Persson, general manager, Alila Hinu Bay.

“Dedicated to being responsible and sustainable, guests can enjoy exquisite culinary experiences evoking local and international flavours at one of our dining options or treat themselves to a customized spa experience that uses natural products.”

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New UK-Switzerland deal boosts healthcare for travellers | News

The UK and Switzerland have signed an agreement which will benefit citizens who live and work abroad in either country by ensuring they are able to receive healthcare cover and uprated state pensions, among other social security entitlements.

It will also allow eligible individuals travelling to either country to access necessary healthcare when abroad using a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or its UK successor, the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).

The Convention on Social Security Coordination, which benefits citizens of both countries also supports business and trade by ensuring that cross-border workers and their employers are only liable to pay social security contributions in one state at a time.

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office minister, Nigel Adams, who signed the agreement said: “I am pleased to be able to sign the UK-Switzerland Convention on Social Security Coordination.

“This will help give people certainty over their future incomes, ensure our citizens can continue to receive reciprocal healthcare and support business and trade links between our two countries.”

The agreement covers a wide range of social security benefits for eligible individuals.

Those living abroad in either country will be able to receive healthcare, uprated pensions and other benefits.

This includes healthcare cover for UK state pensioners, those exporting maternity allowance, and certain categories of cross-border workers.

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Rosewood San Francisco pencilled in for 2026 | News

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts has been selected by F4 Transbay Partners to manage Rosewood San Francisco; a new, ultra-luxury hotel set to open in 2026.

The property will be located in the burgeoning Transbay District, close to the Salesforce Park, a 5.4-acre elevated outdoor oasis featuring a 1,000-person amphitheatre. 

Rosewood San Francisco will occupy 15 floors of the 61-story, approximately 1.1-million-square-foot building in the new centre of the city.

Designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, the 800-foot super-tall building is the last of greater downtown San Francisco’s skyscraper developments for the foreseeable future, and one of just three projects with a direct connection to the Salesforce Park via a pedestrian skybridge.

In addition to the hotel, the tower will feature incomparable residences, office, retail spaces and an expansive pedestrian realm.

Beyond its prime location, Rosewood San Francisco will offer approximately 180 expertly appointed guestrooms and suites with locally inspired design by Joyce Wang Studio and stunning views of the surrounding city and adjacent park.

As one of the most dynamic and innovative cities in North America, San Francisco offers an eclectic mix of culture, cuisine, art, technology and adventure, and is an ideal destination for the Rosewood brand,” said Sonia Cheng, chief executive of Rosewood Hotel Group.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this revolutionary new development and look forward to providing our affluential explorers and San Franciscans alike with a stylish and refined new icon to enjoy for years to come.” 

F4 is a joint venture of Hines, the international real estate firm, Urban Pacific, and the real estate business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

“Rosewood is an ideal partner for this project and will create a one-of-a-kind destination for those who call the Bay Area home, as well as those who travel there for business and pleasure,” says Douglas Metzler, chief executive, west region for Hines.

“The Rosewood collection represents the pinnacle of luxury hotels, inspired by the culture, history and geography of each locale, and we are thrilled to bring their unique vision to this iconic development in the Transbay District.”

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Wojciechowska to lead Poland tourism in London | News

The Polish National Tourist Office (PNTO) has appointed a new UK & Ireland director ahead of a busy year welcoming back travellers to the country after the pandemic.

Dorota Wojciechowska, a former head of marketing of the PNTO, will step into the London role.

The new appointment comes at an exciting time for Poland with new tactical marketing campaigns continuing to build up an image of a destination for diverse city breaks, unforgettable nature escapes and outdoor adventure.

By running tailored online campaigns and placing key tourist attractions in TV shows with large audiences, Wojciechowska plans to improve Poland’s image among the British travellers who have never been to Poland before.

As global travel continues to return to pre-pandemic levels, Wojciechowska will utilise her vast experience to help position Poland as a leader in Europe’s tourism market.

The PNTO plans to work closely with high profile influencers, opinion leaders and media to create targeted and highly effective online campaigns.

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Dubai leads Middle East in hotel occupancy | News

Colliers International has released its latest forecast for full-year hotel occupancies across key Middle East and North Africa markets.

In total, the firm has analysed 24 cities in the region.

Dubai comes out on top, with many of its key districts broken down.

Dubai Marina and JBR are predicted to close the year with occupancies of 72 per cent.

Just behind the area is Doha, with its hotels on track for 70 per cent.

Third place goes to the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, on track for 68 per cent.

“As we move through 2021, we begin to observe several markets build on recovery began in quarter four of 2020.

“Ongoing monitoring of the Covid-19 pandemic by government entities and other key touristic stakeholders has informed how markets open and close.

“While travel restrictions are easing, controlled and consistent growth is key to recovering, and in the future, improving on the hospitality performance in the key markets,” said Colliers.

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Radisson Individuals arrives in Italy | News

Radisson Hotel Group has announced the launch of its newest brand, Radisson Individuals, in Italy.

The news comes with the opening of two unique resort properties in Syracuse, Sicily and Alagna Valsesia, Piedmont, in partnership with the Mira Group.

Borgo di Luce I Monasteri Golf Resort & Spa, a member of Radisson Individuals enjoys a secluded location in the countryside just minutes outside of Syracuse in southern Sicily.

The sprawling historic villa has a thousand-year history and was initially built as a Benedictine monastery.

Home to prestigious noble families including the Catalans and the barons of Melilli, the hotel has undergone an extensive renovation.

Borgo di Luce I Monasteri Golf Resort & Spa, a member of Radisson Individuals now consists of three buildings surrounded by green citrus groves, palm trees, carob trees, and olive trees.

The 102 rooms all have individual ground-floor entrances for maximum privacy and comfort, overlooking the gardens, the golf course or the interior patios of the ancient monastery.

The elegant décor and tasteful room furnishings range from contemporary to classic, depending on their location in the building.

All rooms feature plenty of natural light, and most offer private verandas.

Yilmaz Yildirimlar, area senior vice president, central and eastern Europe, Russia and Turkey at Radisson Hotel Group, said: “We are very excited to welcome our Radisson Individuals brand to Italy with two unique and stunning properties.

“The Radisson Individuals brand responds to the evolving demands of new market realities for both hotel owners and guests, and it is the perfect addition to our portfolio as we continue expanding our footprint in Italy.”

Alagna Mountain Resort & Spa, a member of Radisson Individuals is located in the Alagna Valsesia mountain resort, a well-known destination for mountaineering and winter sports in the Piedmont region on the foot of the Monte Rosa, the second highest mountain in the Alps and Western Europe.

The hotel features 49 luxurious suites in a modern interpretation of the traditional “Walser” chalet style, with many rooms offering mezzanines and private balconies.

With its location in one of the most popular winter sports areas of the Pennine Alps, Alagna Mountain Resort, a member of Radisson Individuals offers easy access to Alagna’s ski lifts, famous off-piste and freeriding slopes, as well as cross-country ski and snow-shoe hiking trails.

It is equally inviting during the summer months for trekking, mountain climbing, biking, and river sports on the Sesia river.

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Ramada by Wyndham Targu Jiu opens in Romania | News

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has continued the expansion of its Ramada by Wyndham brand in Romania, with the opening of Ramada by Wyndham Targu Jiu.

Centrally located in Targu Jiu, one of Romania’s up-and-coming cities situated by Carpathian Mountains and the banks of the river Jiu, the newly opened 64-room hotel offers an ideal destination for travellers looking to discover the history and culture of the Gorj county and its mountain scenery.

The newly built hotel will be complemented by Ramada by Wyndham Slatina, slated to open in the first half of 2022.

Christian Michel, vice president development Europe, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, said: “This new opening represents a significant milestone in our continued growth plans for Romania and Europe.

“Renowned for its breath-taking landscape, unique history and rich culture, it’s no surprise Romania is quickly gaining traction as a popular tourist destination.

“At Wyndham we are committed to growing our brands where we know travellers want to be and we look forward to bringing even more accommodation options into the country while also expanding our European portfolio.”

Set in a quiet residential area north of the town centre and the Constantin Brancusi Park, Ramada by Wyndham Targu Jiu provides the perfect accommodations for both business and leisure travellers.

The hotel offers extensive amenities including a restaurant, three bars, a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, a large, heated indoor pool, jacuzzi, saunas, massage room and fitness centre equipped with state-of-the-art equipment.

The hotel features seven acres of land and offers four large event spaces for up to 2,000 guests.

The hotel offers a dedicated business centre and conference room and on-site parking.

Upon opening, the 85-room Ramada by Wyndham Slatina will boast a plethora of amenities including on-site dining, an indoor pool as well as a fitness centre and spa.

The hotel will also have ample event space including two ballrooms.

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The Londoner takes its place on Leicester Square | News

The Londoner has finally opened its doors in the corner of Leicester Square after a series of delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

From one of the largest family-owned hotel groups in the UK, Edwardian Hotels London, the property is the latest launch set to astound both Londoners and international guests.

It has 350 guest rooms spread across 16 storeys and a subterranean series of spaces, creating one of the deepest habitable basements in the world.

Designed in collaboration with world-renowned architectural designers Yabu Pushelberg, the opening marks a pivotal moment in the return and scale of global hospitality, and an exciting re-birth for Leicester Square.

Known as the luxury urban resort, the Londoner features a range of rooms, suites, penthouses, two private screening rooms, an exclusive 24-hour residents’ space, an entire floor dedicated to wellness, expansive ballroom, private art gallery, wealth of meeting places, and a mix of several concept eateries.

This includes a signature Mediterranean restaurant, Whitcomb’s, plus a contemporary Japanese lounge bar with a rooftop terrace and fire pit named 8, and their neighbourhood bar, Joshua’s Tavern.

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Jumeirah Maldives set for Indian Ocean debut next month | News

Jumeirah Group has announced a new international resort, Jumeirah Maldives, which will welcome its first guests in October.

The all-villa luxury resort is tucked away in the crystalline turquoise waters of the North Malé Atoll, easily reachable by speedboat or seaplane from Malé airport.

The panoramic architecture and calming interiors are the work of Singaporean design studio, Miaja, who have created an elegant contemporary ethos in harmony with the natural environment.

José Silva, chief executive of Jumeirah Group, said: “The Maldives is a much-loved getaway for travellers from around the world and Jumeirah Maldives is a destination that delivers on our brand promise of Stay Different.

“The resort offers unparalleled hospitality with a genuine flair that exceeds guest expectations, while pushing the limits of design, culinary and service expertise.

“A truly breath-taking addition to the brand’s portfolio, Jumeirah Group’s new home in the Maldives guarantees an immaculate guest experience right from the very moment they set foot in our new contemporary resort.”

Jumeirah Maldives offers 67 beach and over-water villas in one-, two- and three-bedroom configurations, all assuring stunning panoramic views of the Indian Ocean.

Starting from 171 square metres, the resort’s villas are among the most spacious in the North Malé Atoll.

Each features a private infinity pool and large roof-top terrace with a dedicated dining area for guests to take in the sensational views while indulging in delicious culinary dishes or relaxing with a picture-perfect movie-under-the-stars experience, while the three-bedroom villas also boast their own gym.

Guests can enjoy an array of activities from water sports, beach volleyball, billiards and tennis, or partake in enriching experiences from underwater photography, planting coconut trees and making coconut oil.

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Choice Hotels partners with Seera for Saudi growth | News

Choice Hotels Europe has repositioned itself as Choice Hotels EMEA as it continues its master license agreement with Seera Hospitality, a fully owned subsidiary of Seera Holding Group.

The plan will see the company open at least ten hotels in Saudi Arabia within the next five years. 

Seera is at the forefront of travel and tourism recovery efforts in the Kingdom and beyond, and as part of the agreement, currently there are several identified projects for Choice Hotels brands throughout Saudi Arabia in various stages of development. 

The first three properties – Clarion Jeddah Airport, Comfort King Road Jeddah and Comfort Olaya Riyadh – are due to open at the end of this year and are available to pre-book now.

Clarion Hotel Jeddah Airport has 200 rooms and is located on the Prince Majid Road, just three minutes away from the new King Abdul-Aziz International Airport and Jeddah Airport Train Station.

It is easily accessible from the Jeddah City Centre and also located close to the Mall of Arabia, one of the biggest shopping centres in Jeddah.

The Comfort King Road, with 125 extended stay suites, is located in one of the most prominent areas of Jeddah and in close proximity to the Jeddah Corniche, Jeddah International Airport, and the Madinah Road.

The Comfort Olaya Riyadh is located in Olaya, in one of the most prized locations in the city’s central business district near the iconic Kingdom Tower. 

The hotel boasts 97 well-appointed extended stay suites, as well as a rooftop lounge with unique views of the Riyadh skyline. 

Commenting on the agreement, Choice Hotels EMEA chief executive, Jonathan Mills, said: “I’m excited to continue this master license agreement in Saudi Arabia and welcoming Seera group and the forthcoming properties to our portfolio.

“With these openings, we reposition our division as Choice Hotels EMEA, further supporting our growth strategy and focus on investing in our business for our stakeholders.”

He added: “We are the only global hotel company to enter the Middle East market through Saudi Arabia, a country placing a substantive focus on developing travel and tourism.

“By entering the region together with a strong hospitality group, we strive to increase Choice Hotels footprint in the region.

“We have been focused on this approach for some time, so I am pleased to be continuing this agreement today.”

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