VENUE UPDATES

Hotel group opens second Sicilian property

Eurostars Hotel Company has added the Eurostars Monte Tauro 4* to its portfolio in the beautiful Sicilian city of Taormina.

The property, previously called Hotel Monte Tauro, is the second hotel opened by the company on the Mediterranean island and the eleventh opened in Italy.

Built on the slope of a bluff, the Eurostars Monte Tauro 4* includes 98 rooms, all of which include a terrace with spectacular panoramic views of the Ionian Sea, the Gulf of Naxos and the legendary Mount Etna.

The hotel offers an impressive panoramic pool and a restaurant sheltered from the bay where guests can enjoy a varied selection of typical Sicilian and Mediterranean cuisine.

The establishment also includes a meeting room with natural light and a capacity of up to 150 people.

Amancio López Seijas, president of the company said: “Reinforcing our presence in a destination like Sicily represents a step forward in our focus on Italy, where until now we have managed fundamentally urban hotels, as well as in our company’s expansion policy which is based on increasing our portfolio with a selection of establishments adapted to all types of clients.”


Upgraded event spaces at Shangri La

The Shangri-La Hotel in Kuala Lumpur has finished an US$11 million refurbishment on its Grand Ballroom and function rooms. Located across three floors of the hotel, the upgraded event spaces are prime locations for national and international conventions as well as other corporate events. The new-look ballroom, measuring 1,500 sqm and with capacity for up to 1,800 standing, has been furnished with the latest technology including new audio-visual and communication systems, sophisticated lighting systems and large high definition LED screens. The 13 function rooms have been named after different states in Malaysia, ranging from 45-905 sqm, and have also been equipped with advanced facilities. The Junior Ballroom is made up of four function rooms and can seat up to 400.


Major expansion for ibis New Delhi Aerocity

The ibis New Delhi Aerocity has announced the addition of 129 brand new guest rooms. The extension also includes a 775 sq ft gymnasium facility for guest recreation and fitness needs.

ibis New Delhi Aerocity now boasts an enhanced inventory of 445 rooms, amongst the largest in the hospitality precinct. With the extension, ibis New Delhi Aerocity’s meetings space is now complemented with the addition of four new meeting rooms with two dedicated boardrooms to its current portfolio of three meeting rooms. Together, the seven meeting rooms can accommodate up to 185 attendees, giving the ibis New Delhi Aerocity the ability to meet a broad range of meeting event requirements. Combined with expansive MICE facilities at Pullman and Novotel New Delhi Aerocity, the other two co-located AccorHotels’ properties located in the hospitality precinct, guests now have the flexibility to choose from a range of venues and services depending on the nature and scale of their event.

The three locations offer a substantial 2,406 square feet of combined MICE space to MICE guests. The introduction of an all-new exclusive crew lounge for the hotel’s airline crew guests completes the expansion.

The hotel’s strategic location and seamless connectivity to the Delhi Airport perfectly caters to transiting passengers, while its proximity to the commercial hubs in the National Capital Region, especially the millennium city of Gurgaon, makes it a preferred stay destination for business travellers.

 


Disney resort embarks on major expansion

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Florida is set to expand over the next two years, adding new dining options, resort rooms and outdoor networking spaces.

The enhancements aim to elevate the overall experience for meeting planners and attendees at Walt Disney World Resort.

As part of the expansion, construction is underway on a new 15-story tower that will offer views overlooking Lago Dorado, the resort’s centrepiece lake. The tower will bring an additional 500 rooms to the resort, including suites and concierge level services. A rooftop restaurant and lounge atop the tower will offer panoramic views of night time fireworks from nearby Disney theme parks.

The expansion will also include new meeting venues, adding a boardroom and two multi-purpose rooms to the resort’s current 20,500 sqm of dedicated meeting and function space.

Terry Dola, vice president, group sales and marketing, Disney Destinations, said: “Meeting planners and attendees will be thrilled with the exciting changes we’re introducing at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. The resort has always offered exceptional value, but we’re taking that to a completely new level with new accommodations, dining options and outdoor event spaces that will elevate the meetings experience at this popular Disney convention resort.”


Singapore hotel introduces first robotic staff member

The first front-of-house autonomous service delivery robot in Singapore has been added to the guest services team at M Social Singapore.

The hotel says its new team member, AURA, has been developed by Savioke as a robotic solution to the hotel industry’s manpower shortage.

M Social Singapore says the robotic staff member will increase productivity within hotels, by optimising operations and taking the guests’ experience to the next level.

AURA has been programmed with her own unique personality, and will provide personal, human touches such as delivering items like bottled water, fresh towels, toiletries and meals to guests’ rooms.

Guests can interact with AURA using her tablet face.

Steve Cousins, CEO, Savioke commented: “If you put an item into AURA and tell her where to go, she will deliver it and then return to the docking station by herself. AURA can operate and ride in elevators, navigate her way to a guest’s door, let them know that a delivery has arrived (guest phone rings), and then open its lid for guests when they answer the door.”


Kerala’s first ibis opens in Kochi

ibis Kochi City Centre, the first ibis in Kerala, has opened. Located on Ernakulam’s commercial hub, MG Road, the hotel is a few steps away from the upcoming Kochi Metro station and a short drive from the Ernakulam Railway Station. Popular local tourist attractions, shopping hubs and commercial centres are within close proximity, making it the preferred hotel choice for corporate travellers.

Combining comfort and affordability, ibis Kochi City Centre offers 115 guest rooms furnished with the signature ‘Sweet Bed’ by ibis, in-room amenities and WI-FI access. The hotel also offers Spice It –a signature food concept tailor-made for India. Serving Indian, Oriental and European cuisine prepared from freshest locally sourced ingredients, ‘Spice It’ offers well-priced, quality home style and healthy food and beverages – buffet and an a la-carte menu – including an eight hour non-stop breakfast concept starting from four in the morning until noon. Live cooking stations and an interactive cooking environment lets guests explore their culinary skills whilst dining. ibis Kochi City Centre also features My Zone at The Hub, the hotel’s lobby bar, where guests can spend time enjoying a drink while listening to their music, playing games or surfing the internet on tablets that come equipped with high quality stereo headphones.

The hotel has two meeting rooms with state-of-the-art technology that can accommodate up to 70 guests for meetings and private events.

 


Kerala’s first ibis opens in Kochi

ibis Kochi City Centre, the first ibis in Kerala, has opened. Located on Ernakulam’s commercial hub, MG Road, the hotel is a few steps away from the upcoming Kochi Metro station and a short drive from the Ernakulam Railway Station. Popular local tourist attractions, shopping hubs and commercial centres are within close proximity, making it the preferred hotel choice for corporate travellers.

Combining comfort and affordability, ibis Kochi City Centre offers 115 guest rooms furnished with the signature ‘Sweet Bed’ by ibis, in-room amenities and WI-FI access. The hotel also offers Spice It –a signature food concept tailor-made for India. Serving Indian, Oriental and European cuisine prepared from freshest locally sourced ingredients, ‘Spice It’ offers well-priced, quality home style and healthy food and beverages – buffet and an a la-carte menu – including an eight hour non-stop breakfast concept starting from four in the morning until noon. Live cooking stations and an interactive cooking environment lets guests explore their culinary skills whilst dining. ibis Kochi City Centre also features My Zone at The Hub, the hotel’s lobby bar, where guests can spend time enjoying a drink while listening to their music, playing games or surfing the internet on tablets that come equipped with high quality stereo headphones.

The hotel has two meeting rooms with state-of-the-art technology that can accommodate up to 70 guests for meetings and private events.

 


New AVANI for Dubai in 2019

Minor Hotels (MH) has signed a management agreement with UAE developer Nakheel for a new AVANI hotel in Dubai.

The 372-room AVANI Ibn Battuta Dubai Hotel will be developed by Nakheel and will be located next to the recently-opened Ibn Battuta Metro Link, which is directly connected to Ibn Battuta Mall.

The new-build 18-storey hotel will feature a pool, a spa, a gym, an all-day dining restaurant, a coffee shop and car parking.  The property is scheduled to open 2019.

William Heinecke, founder, chairman and CEO of Minor International PCL, said: “We are very pleased to be partnering with Nakheel for the new AVANI hotel at Ibn Battuta Mall in Dubai. Having launched our upscale AVANI brand in the region last year, we are delighted to continue the brand’s expansion in the UAE with this new hotel and we are confident that the brand will prove successful in this key market.”

MH has a portfolio of 156 hotels and resorts across 24 countries.


Expansion for Raj Palace Hotel, Jaipur

The Raj Palace Hotel in Jaipur has completed a significant expansion of its conference and banqueting facilities. The famous Rajasthan hotel, which is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, has unveiled its newly-renovated Mehfil Mahal ballroom. This large banquet hall covers more than 550 square meter of floor space with an additional 370 square meter pre-function area. It can house a total of 400 people for events such as gala dinners and conferences.

The renovation has also equipped the ballroom with modern audio-visual technology, new air-conditioning and sound-proofing. The revamped ballroom builds on the Raj Palace’s MICE space, which includes five indoor meeting rooms and halls, two outdoor event lawns and some semi-covered spaces.

A former Maharaja’s palace, The Raj Palace Hotel was built in 1727 and also features two restaurants, a spa, cinema, swimming pool and landscaped gardens.


Dubai ‘icon’ nears April opening

The anticipated opening of The Address Boulevard Dubai, a luxurious city lifestyle resort, is set to take place in April 2017. The new-build resort will occupy the second-tallest building in Downtown Dubai and comprise 196 guestrooms, 533 serviced apartments and leisure facilities such as a spa, cascading swimming pool and the sky-high Roof Top restaurant. The Address Boulevard Dubai is already being hailed as an icon for the city, standing at 368 metres and with a 72-storey curvilinear tower. It will be the 36th tallest structure in the world and Dubai’s second tallest building after the Burj Khalifa. Pascal Dupuis, general manager of The Address Boulevard Dubai, said: “The Address Boulevard Dubai and The Address Residences Boulevard Dubai bring an unbeatable value proposition with its architectural brilliance, spectacular location and superior service standards. With the new property, we are bringing to life the impressive aesthetics of classic architecture in an urban resort that offers great connectivity to all key attractions in Dubai. The Address Boulevard Dubai will be as much a family destination as a choice for business travellers.”