The proposed new entrance to the iconic Savoy in London A new futuristic hotel may grace the Sydney skyline

Hotels and Suites is a resource for news on the international hotel market, providing a ‘snap shot’ of the industry; its current economic health, new hotels being developed, strong performing sectors and much more.

Starwood opens their 1000th hotel, and its appropriately located in China

Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide is one of the largest hotel groups in the world and this fact was underlined by the company’s opening of their 1000th hotel in 2010.

Sheraton Qiandao Lake Resort was opened in March on Qiandao Lake, which is one of the most famous destinations in China and is widely known as the Lake of a Thousand Islands. It is appropriate that Starwood should mark this important milestone in China for it was in China that they became the first foreign hotel group to open a hotel in the country.

In the 1980s when the world still viewed China with thinly veiled suspicion the country was not known as a tourist destination and the only hotels operating within its borders were domestic hotel groups. But, Starwood took a chance and opened the Historic Great Wall Beijing Sheraton Hotel and in 2008 they marked the opening of their 100th hotel in China.

Starwood has aggressive expansion plans in the works, as a major international hotel group with well-known brands under its umbrella, it is always expanding, but the next few years will see a particularly active project pipeline. Many of the company’s brands, such as Sheraton, Westin, Le Meridien and W Hotels are expanding rapidly themselves, it is for this reason that the CEO of Starwood recently announced that the hotel group has a total of 400 hotels in the pipeline for the next three to four years, with around 100 being opened this year alone.

It is for this reason that the group calls itself the world’s leading international hotel company. Of the new hotels being launched in 2010, 70% of them are located in Southeast Asia, the burgeoning tiger of the hotel and tourist industry with the hotels in this region recently having been reported by STR Global to have seen increases in all three performance indicators (revpar, ADR and occupancy). China is leading this growth and will net 20 of the hotel openings for 2010 from Starwood.

The Sheraton Qiandao Lake Resort

This new offering is perfectly located in one of the most popular tourist spots in China on the shores of Qiandao Lake, which is popular for rock-climbing cycling and a range of outdoor activities. In addition, the lake is home to the Atlantis of the east as it contains the ancient remains of a 1,800-year old city that is now submerged beneath the water of the lake, which flow from the furthest recesses of the Yellow Mountain Range. The ‘lost city’ is an archeological treasure trove and one of the greatest heritage sites in the country.

The hotel itself will feature 23 suites and a 980 square meter Presidential Suite, as well as 5 bars and restaurants and an award-winning Club Lounge, along with 1,600 square meters of meeting and convention space. The hotel will feature the same signature service as all other Sheraton brands, the Link@SheratonSM, a lobby lounge that is entirely unique because it provides internet-able computers as well as free wi-fi for guests with laptops and provides an environment in which to socialize with fellow guests while staying touch with home at the same time. In addition, the hotel features the signature Shine Spa, which offers a range of award winning treatments.

London is seeing a quiet boom in luxury hotel sector

London has long been the fashion, tourist, commercial and political capital of the world, until the end of the Second World War took some of the shine away from the capital city of the Empire and, as the world changed around it, London started to become just another city.

But the city has regained its vitality after a few decades in the cold, the 2012 Olympics are being held in the UK’s capital, the hotel sector here in general is regaining strength as tourists continue to flock to the heart of Britain and now, with the worst of the recession behind us, a string of luxury hotels are being built to cater to the up-market crowd that frequents and frequently visits, the city.

There are about 18,000 new hotel rooms being built in London with completion dates slated for 2012, that is a massive amount for one single city, even a capital city like London. This is largely in preparation for the 2012 Olympics, although there is a hotel recovery taking place in general, especially in the luxury sector of the market, which accounts for over 1000 of the new hotel rooms being built.

Among the most prominent new constructions: 192-room W Leicester Square, the 137-room London Syon Park, the 300-room Corinthia near Trafalgar Square and a further five major redevelopment projects are taking place on existing hotels, some of them historic icons of history.

The Savoy is one of these hotels and has been undergoing a major multi-million dollar project to modernize and renovate the hotel to bring it in-line with the 21st century and the needs of the future. However, the hotel will retain its historic elegance and understated luxury that has made it one of the best-known hotels in the modern world since its opening in 1889. The renovations have been extended due to structural problems and the new opening is now in 2011, with the cost running at around $400 million thus far.

In addition, the Four Seasons Park Lane is slated for reopening this year following a $200 million renovation, along with the suites at Claridge’, the Connaught and the Marriott Grosvenor Square, which has just completed a $31 million renovation project.

All these events clearly show that hoteliers in London’s luxury segment see a bright and healthy future for their hotels and are pulling out all the stops to remain competitive and, in the case of the Savoy, iconic. Like the ongoing delays during the construction of the Queen Elizabeth II, Cunard’s great Trans-Atlantic ocean liner, the delayed reopening of the Savoy has heightened speculation and anticipation and industry analysts expect a major leap back onto the luxury market from Savoy when its doors do finally reopen, no doubt with a major celebratory bash the likes of which were seen at the Queen’s 1953 coronation.

Barangaroo project may see development of futuristic hotel for Sydney harbor

Barangaroo is a AU$6 billion development on Darling Harbor, it is 22 hectares in size and is envisioned to both rejuvenate the area and emphasize Sydney as not just the commercial hub of Australia, but one of the major commercial centers of the world.

The project is a partnership between Barangaroo Delivery Authority, Lend Lease, a property solutions provider, and the New South Wales government, which has had a large say in what the development should include. Among the government requirements are that a hotel must be built as the central attraction of the project.

The hotel does not yet have a name, but design features and conceptualizations have been compiled using input from a number of international hotel brands. The hotel will stand on a newly built pier and will feature views from every direction over various aspects of the city. It is expected to be completed in 2014 and is the first high-end hotel project in the city in the last 15 years due to extremely high land prices.

The hotel will have 250 rooms and initial design features give it the appearance of a NASA space shuttle launch tower.

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