From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- Deutsche Hospitality launches new upscale brand
- IHIF crowd keen on opportunities in Europe
- IHG close to acquiring luxury brand, CEO says
- Trump name stripped from Panama hotel
- Singapore ‘venture hotel’ geared to entrepreneurs
Deutsche Hospitality launches new upscale brand: Maxx by Steigenberger will be the fourth hotel brand under the Deutsche Hospitality umbrella and will occupy the upscale segment, the company announced in a news release.
The company’s existing brands are Steigenberger Hotels and Resorts, which operates in the luxury and upper-upscale segment; IntercityHotel in the upper-midscale segment; and lifestyle brand Jaz in the City.
“Up until now, we have been operating with three strong hotel brands. Their positioning has, however, imposed highly restrictive requirements regarding the respective destinations, locations and properties,” Deutsche Hospitality CEO Thomas Willms said in the release. “For this reason, we have regularly had to reject projects that were not a good fit for this portfolio. Maxx by Steigenberger possesses more flexible hardware standards and this provides us with the leeway we need to pursue qualitative and quantitative growth.”
IHIF crowd keen on opportunities in Europe: There was a celebratory mood and sustained optimism as more than 2,200 people crowded into the Hotel InterContinental Berlin for the first day of the International Hotel Investment Forum, report HNN’s Jeff Higley and Terence Baker.
“There’s an absolute wall of money looking at the hotel sector at the moment,” said Keith Lindsay, managing director-EMEA for CBRE, about opportunities for hotel investment in Europe.
Also during the conference’s opening day, Carlson Hotels CEO Federico González Tejera spoke about recently announced changes.
“In some ways, the least important thing is the name change,” he said, noting that the company’s five-year plan, established last October, includes 25 initiatives which aim to build “on our value-creation capabilities so guests, owners and talent see us as the preferred hotel company.”
IHG close to acquiring luxury brand, CEO says: Keith Barr, CEO of InterContinental Hotels Group, told Reuters the company is close to announcing acquisition of a luxury brand.
During a recent call with analysts to discuss the company’s fourth-quarter earnings, Barr had said IHG was looking to acquire one or more “small, asset-light” luxury brands, as well as launch a new upscale conversion brand.
The CEO spoke with Reuters on the sidelines of IHIF in Berlin, saying, “We are making really good progress; we hope to have more news in a short period of time.”
Trump name stripped from Panama hotel: A Panamanian legal official, escorted by 15 police officers, arrived Monday at the Trump International Panama in Panama City for a lengthy backroom session with owners and management, The Washington Post reports. Shortly after, a worker used a crowbar to remove the “Trump” name from a sign in front of the hotel.
The building’s owner claimed to have won a legal fight, after a days-long standoff, to oust the Trump Organization as management of the hotel. But Trump Organization officials claimed that control of the hotel had been shifted to a third-party administrator only temporarily while the case is still being considered in court.
“To date, there has been absolutely no determination whatsoever by any court or other tribunal as to the status” of the hotel, the Trump Organization’s EVP Alan Garten said in a statement.
Singapore ‘venture hotel’ geared to entrepreneurs: Tribe Theory, a hotel concept which launched its flagship hotel this month in Singapore, bills itself as a “venture hotel … combining the communal atmosphere of a hostel with the standards of a hotel and the entrepreneurial environment of a co-working space,” CNBC reports.
The target guest demographic is entrepreneurs, who have the option to pay for rooms (starting at 35 Singapore dollars, or about $26, a night) in Bitcoin, the news station reports.
“What we’re trying to do is create a community. So, not just provide an affordable capsule, but also create a place where people can engage with other entrepreneurs from around the world,” Tribe Theory founder Vikram Bharati said.
“The value is that someone from Kazakhstan can meet someone from London and collaborate on business together, which really is very hard to do in co-living spaces or hotels.”
Compiled by Robert McCune.