From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- Luxury Pakistan hotel site of deadly attack
- Marriott expects to see strong 2019
- London hotel recovered from money laundering scheme
- A look at hotel club lounges
- Seattle hotels go above and beyond with murals
Luxury Pakistan hotel site of deadly attack: Four hotel employees and a Pakistan Navy soldier were killed on Saturday after gunmen raided the Pearl Continental hotel in Gwadar, a port city on the southwestern coast of Balochistan, Pakistan, according to CNN. The gunmen, who were also killed, had planned to take hotel guests hostage.
In a statement provided to CNN from the media of Pakistan’s Armed Forces, the attackers stormed their way into the hotel’s main hall, killed a security guard and opened fire “indiscriminately as they attempted to reach the upper floors of the building,” the news outlet writes.
The New York Times reports a Pakistani separatist group claimed to be “targeting Chinese interests and warned of further violence.” The newspaper notes the hotel "is frequently used by top government officials and Chinese workers employed on a port project in the area.”
Marriott expects to see strong 2019: Despite headwinds in the first quarter of 2019, Marriott International President and CEO Arne Sorenson said it’s “not a harbinger of a predictably different environment than what the industry has seen over the last few quarters,” writes HNN’s Bryan Wroten.
“Thematically today, we would say it’s steady as she goes for the next few quarters,” Sorenson said. “We continue to see that when adjusted for hurricanes and strikes and holidays and the like that we are poking along broadly around 1.5% sort of RevPAR growth.”
In addressing his recent diagnosis of stage 2 pancreatic cancer, Sorenson told investors he and his team “are going to soldier on.”
London hotel recovered from money laundering scheme: The National Crime Agency has seized $7.8 million in assets in the United Kingdom including an upscale hotel near Southampton, according to Bloomberg, following an eight-year investigation of money laundering. Eleven properties, including the White Horse Hotel and Brasserie in Romsey, England, are among the assets.
The assets were previously in the hands of three people who “allegedly used a global web of accounts to hide their wealth,” the news outlet reports. “It’s likely that funds embezzled from the Russian state or from frauds committed in the U.K. were passed through these companies,” the National Crime Agency said in a statement, referring to companies in the U.K., Russia, Austria, the U.S., Croatia, Seychelles and British Virgin Islands.
The three defendants agreed to give up the assets instead of facing trial.
A look at hotel club lounges: At some hotels, the best indulgences are in the club lounges for both business travelers and families, writes Forbes contributor Sarah Turner, but not all club levels are equal. Here’s a look at what perks can be found in hotel club lounges across the globe.
PuXuan hotel in Beijing: At this property in Beijing, guests will find a club lounge with a kitchen designed to look like an apartment, laundry and dry-cleaning services, a secretarial assistant and complimentary car service.
Belmond Charleston Place: Turner writes this hotel’s lounge is the embodiment of Southern hospitality, which seamlessly transitions between breakfast, lunch and evening appetizers. “A really good club level of a hotel has the ease of your parent’s fridge but with none of the restrictions or guilt factor,” Turner writes.
Seattle hotels go above and beyond with murals: With Seattle’s recent boom in hotel development, new properties are finding ways to stand out among competition and impress locals and visitors, according to Fortune. For some hotels, murals are just the way to do that.
The State Hotel opened on 2 March near Pike Place and GM Rob Nichols said his team wanted to give the hotel “an approachable” feel and “something the city can be proud of.” To achieve that, the hotel appointed artist Shepard Fairey to paint an eight-story mural on the hotel’s facade.
Compiled by Dana Miller.