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Cruising News - Destinations - Hotel, Resort & Spa Europe.

New York, Geneva (CruiseGuide - Destination News - Hotel, Resort & Spa Europe) 1/15/2012

360 VOX 360 VOX Announces Opening of Edenarc 1800. VOX Corporation is pleased to announce the delivery of the first phase of its Edenarc 1800 project, a high-end international resort destination in the French Alps. With its exceptional location in the heart of the Paradiski area, situated at the crossroads of Europe's most picturesque ski areas amid altitudes between 1,200 and 3,250 metres facing Mont Blanc, Edenarc 1800 is a spectacular destination for both summer and winter seasons. Phase I of this luxury residence, "Les Souverains," consists of 63 apartments offering 4 star services and amenities including an 800 square metre aqua-relaxation area, an 18-hole golf course, underground car park, and ski-in/ski-out access. Phase I is 95% sold-out and Phase II, launched last month, is currently 25% sold. Phase II will comprise an additional 68 units and is scheduled for delivery in late 2012. Overall, Edenarc 1800 is planned for approximately 325 units in total. 360 VOX holds a 36% net interest in Sotarbat 360, which is developing and managing Edenarc 1800. In addition, Edenarc 1800 has engaged Sotheby's International Realty and 360 BLU, a joint venture between Sotheby's International Realty Canada and 360 VOX, to be the exclusive sales and marketing agent for the project. Odalys-Vacances, one of the three top operators of tourism residences in France, will manage Edenarc 1800's operations. On Behalf of the Board of Directors Robin Conners, President and CEO 1/9/2012

Badrutt Palace St. MoritzO Badrutt Palace Offers Spa Package. The natural springs in St. Moritz began attracting guests over 500 years ago, when German-Swiss Renaissance physician and alchemist Paracelsus recommended the destination for its healing waters. Even today, St. Moritz is a magnet for travelers seeking recuperation. At the Palace Wellness, BadruttOs spa, the 22-strong team has created a broad palette of treatments under the motto "Lifting your spirits.O It combines treatments, culinary delights and attractive extras into a special three-day pampering package. The Alpine Spa Retreat package comprises a three-night stay in a superior room with an extensive breakfast buffet, and two evening meals in the elegant Le Restaurant or the modern Le Bistro. A highlight of this package is the exclusive use of the Veronica Spa Suite with its all-inclusive treatment menu. Guests can experience the power of the surrounding mountains first hand with an Engadin Stone Massage; the body is treated with hand-graded stones from the surrounding rivers and streams. The package costs USD1,538 per person in a double room. 1/10/2012

Bahmaro Resort Georgia Continues Work on Mountain Ski Resort Complex. Tourism officials in Georgia are reporting that the countryOs mountain Bahmaro Resort will be redeveloped. The development is under way and by summer they hope to see a new hotel, a summer cinema, sport grounds, drugstores and supermarkets. The recreation zones will be developed and there will appear paths to infrastructure facilities. In order to develop a downhill ski resort, two-kilometer alpine skiing tracks are being constructed 1/12/2012

Connoisseurs Connoisseurs Scotland Adds Three Members to Portfolio. Connoisseurs Scotland is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2012, and is adding three new members to its collection. The Torridon is ScotlandOs 2011 Hotel of the Year and is celebrating its own 20th anniversary. The luxury consortiumOs first member set on the Isle of Skye, Kinloch Lodge, brings the total to seven for members that feature a Michelin-starred restaurant. And Westport Apartments, a haven of luxury in DundeeOs city center, offers tempers concierge service with the privacy of a home. The Torridon is set within 58 acres of parkland at the end of a sea loch. The hotel is outfitted with a three AA rosette restaurant, which uses locally sourced and seasonal ingredients for its five-course menu; a whisky bar with more than 350 varieties of malt whisky; and 19 individually designed bedrooms featuring king-size beds, Victorian style en-suite bathrooms, REN toiletries and modern electronics, including satellite television, Internet access, and FM radio with iPod docking stations. The area allows guests to indulge in hiking, mountain biking, archery, kayaking, walking the Glens or visiting nearby attractions such as Inverewe Gardens or Eilean Donan Castle. Westport Apartments, located in DundeeOs Cultural Quarter, provides guests with a five-star hotel and the independence, privacy and space of oneOs own home. The 24 apartments are outfitted with one or two bedrooms, bathroom, large living room, dining area, kitchen and housekeeping service daily. Available for stays ranging from one night to three months, the space is designed for business travelers, corporate accommodation or as the leisure travelerOs alternative to a hotel. The central city location is ideal for walking to shops, bars, restaurants, theaters and public transport. A 24-hour concierge service is available for guests who wish to arrange tailor-made packages including theater tickets and shopping outings or golf packages at nearby courses, whether Gleneagles, St. AndrewOs or Carnoustie. The apartments can also be let with tailored service for corporate services such as business meetings, recruitment interviews and product launches. The Kinloch Lodge with its Michelin-starred restaurant is located at the foot of Kinloch Hill on the shores of the Isle of Skye. The lodge is recognized as one of the worldOs top 25 small hotels by Cond Nast Traveler, housing guests in 10 individually decorated bedrooms, with en-suite bathroom, lamb wool blankets, L'Occitane products, flat-screen televisions, books from the library and fresh fruit and homemade shortbread. Culinary enthusiasts can take a three-day cooking course or take a bespoke private culinary cooking lesson; or take a place at OMarcelloOs Table,O behind-the-scenes cooking lessons with the resident head chef. The property is also available for exclusive use. 1/10/2012

Dukes London Dukes London Wins World Service Award for Hospitality. Dukes London won the "World's Ultimate Service Award in Hospitality" by the World Travel Awards. The recognition, which was received at the World Travel Awards Grand Final in Doha, Qatar, on Jan. 11, follows Dukes London being named "England's Leading Boutique Hotel' by the organization in September 2011. The World Travel Awards are voted on by 213,000 travel professionals, including travel agencies, tour and transport companies, and tourism organizations in more than 160 countries. 1/12/2012

GrandHotel Lienz AustriaOs GrandHotel Lienz Honored as Top Medical/Wellness Spa. AustriaOs GrandHotel Lienz won the title of OWorldOs Leading Medical/Wellness SpaO at the Grand Finale of the World Travel Awards (WTA), hosted Jan. 11. Since opening in 2009, the facility in the Austrian Tyrol has raised the bar for excellence in wellness tourism. This was acknowledged last September when it was voted OEuropeOs Leading Wellness HotelO in WTAOs regional competition. The idea behind the GrandHotel Lienz was to create a cutting-edge medical center within a luxury, all-suite hotel. Guests can now undertake everything from medical check-ups to weight-loss programs, all under the supervision of doctors. The five-star property was built from scratch on the banks of the River Isel, a region surrounded by a majestic mountain setting. 1/12/2012

Guoman Hotel Guoman Completes Renovation of LondonOs The Grosvenor. Guoman Hotels' The Grosvenor, London's oldest railway hotel, has come to the end of an extensive interior and exterior refurbishment project. The Grade II-listed property, which originally opened its doors in 1862 and was the first hotel in the capital to have fully functioning lifts, has been restored to its full Victorian splendor by Guoman Hotels. During the course of the 18-month project, Guoman worked with experts from English Heritage to preserve and revitalize the building's original architectural features, including the reinstatement of the original gold leaf finish, hand-painted onto all the columns in the grand lobby, as well as the uncovering of original white marble on the iconic pillars, which were discovered as the works progressed. The end of the project will also see the hotel officially become the fifth member of the luxury Guoman Hotels portfolio. Presented at an impressive four-star deluxe standard, all of The Grosvenor's 346 bedrooms have been transformed to a high specification. There is a new residents' gym, offering the latest fitness equipment, as well as a fully-enhanced meeting and conference space where all of the rooms are named after iconic trains -- a direct homage to the hotel's heritage as a central railway hotel. Meanwhile, the marble staircase at the heart of the building now leads to a new destination bar, Reunion, underlining the hotel's reputation as a central spot for meetings and champagne gatherings in the hub of Victoria. Other points of the full refurbishment include restoration of the light and airy lounge area; the creation of Grand Imperial, a Cantonese fine-dining restaurant which includes a private dining room for 20; the creation of nine new meeting rooms on the first floor, with accommodation for groups of up to 110; a new staffed business center; and three new executive suites including a separate lounge area, heated bathroom floors, a roll top bath and rainfall shower, a Nespresso coffee machine, a complimentary mini bar and flowers, fruit and Champagne on arrival. 1/11/2012

Iberostar Grand Mencey Hotel SpainOs Iberostar Grand Mencey Reopens Following Makeover. The Iberostar Grand Mencey Hotel reopened in the city of Santa Cruz, Tenerife, in SpainOs Canary Islands after a 25 million euro renovation. Originally opened in 1950, the colonial-style property now features a restored lobby; 261 fully-refurbished rooms and 52 suites; a gourmet a la carte restaurant, Los Menceyes; the Bar Iballa, offering evening cocktails and afternoon tea and coffee service; along with 10 multi-functional meeting and event spaces equipped with full audio-visual equipment. A new offering for the hotel includes a spa with over 6,500 square feet of treatment rooms, serene water ritual pools and relaxation areas. Additionally, the propertyOs gardens have been expanded to nearly 22,000 square feet, where an outdoor pool, bar and solarium are located. Furthermore, the Casa del Duque -- an individual estate located within the hotel grounds -- has been acquired and transformed into an exclusive space dedicated for events, featuring direct access to the botanical gardens. Guests of the hotel are also provided complimentary access to the Casino de Santa Cruz, also located on the grounds. 1/12/2012

Radisson LondonOs Edwardian Mercer Street Offers Erotic ValentineOs Package. The newly launched Radisson Edwardian Mercer Street Hotel has teamed up with London's leading erotic retailer, Coco de Mer, to create a Valentine's package this February that goes beyond chocolates and roses. "Seduce Me at The Mercer Street" includes overnight accommodations, a bottle of Champagne upon arrival, a personal gift box with some of Coco de Mer's bestsellers and a full English breakfast the next morning. Coco de Mer is one of the most sophisticated adult lingerie and accessories retailers in London and a neighbor of Radisson Edwardian's Mercer Street Hotel located in Seven Dials. The "Seduce Me at The Mercer Street" gift box has been specially created for Mercer Street guests and is full of intimate goodies and treats which includes a Coco de Mer blindfold, tickler and chai spice massage oil. Recently relaunched after a USD24 million restoration, the Mercer Street Hotel is located in the heart of avant-garde Seven Dials Village and is a chic retreat near some of the best shopping, restaurants and theaters that London has to offer, making it right for a Valentine's getaway. The hotel has 137 bedrooms and eight suites all with the most up-to date Apple TV technology and free Wi-Fi throughout. The "Seduce Me at The Mercer Street" package is available Feb. 10 to 20 and room rates begin at UKP450 (USD695) for deluxe accommodations and UKP600 (USD925) for a suite. For more information, call 011-44 (0) 20 7836 4300. 1/10/2012

Rezidor Hotel Group, Radisson Rezidor Reorganizations Operations in Europe, Middle East, Africa. The Rezidor Hotel Group has reorganized the structure of its regional operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. With immediate effect, the company separates responsibilities for the core brands Radisson Blu and Park Inn by Radisson on area vice president level, and supports the regional leaders with strengthened and consistent teams of area specialists in finance and control, IT, purchasing, human resources, sales and marketing, revenue management and technical development. OOver the last years, Rezidor has very rapidly grown to more than 400 hotels with 90,000 rooms in operation and under development in over 65 countries -- and we continue growing. An optimized organization with clear responsibilities will improve our portfolio management. We aim to work in an efficient and profitable way, to be fast responding and quick decision making; and we want to reach our ambitious future goals,O said Kurt Ritter, president and CEO of Rezidor. In December 2011, Ritter had presented the groupOs ORoute 2015 Strategy,O a number of initiatives to expand EBITDA margins by six to eight percentage points by 2015. Under the leadership and guidance of Wolfgang Neumann, executive vice president and COO at Rezidor, six areas for Radisson Blu, EuropeOs largest upper upscale brand, and two areas for the mid-market brand Park Inn by Radisson were created. For Radisson Blu -- Nordics, Area Vice President Christian Gartmann will oversee 29 managed and leased and 20 franchised hotels in RezidorOs home markets in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. For Eastern Europe and Russia, Area Vice President Tom Flanagan will be responsible for 37 managed and six franchised properties in Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Tashkent, Turkey and Ukraine. Russia and the further CIS countries are one of RezidorOs key business areas -- the group is the leading international hotel operator in this region. For Western Europe and North West Africa, Michel Stalport, formerly district director northern France and general manager at the Radisson Blu Resort Disneyland Paris, has been promoted to the role of area vice president. He heads 35 managed and leased and nine franchised hotels in Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Mali, Morocco, Senegal, Sierre Leone and Tunisia. For Central Europe, former Regional Director France and Benelux Willem Van der Zee has been promoted to area vice president. He will oversee 25 managed and leased and 16 franchised hotels in Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Rumania, Slovakia and Switzerland. For the U.K. and Ireland, Philip Mahoney, formerly general manager at The Regent Zagreb, has been promoted to area vice president, and carries the responsibility for 24 managed and leased and four franchised properties. For the Middle East and Sub Saharan Africa, former Regional Director Radisson Blu & Hotel Missoni U.K. Mark Willis has been promoted to area vice president. He is responsible for 46 managed hotels in Bahrain, Egypt, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Oman, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, UAE and Zambia. Richard Moore has been nominated area vice president for the U.K. and Ireland and the Nordics. He reports directly to Eric de Neef, senior vice president, Park Inn by Radisson, and is responsible for 30 leased managed and seven franchised hotels in Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The appointment of an area vice president for Continental Europe has been postponed, and brand leader Eric de Neef takes direct responsibility for 49 managed and leased and 18 franchised properties. Within the new areas, all support structures are operated in a matrix-type organization with the position heads reporting hierarchically to each area vice president and functionally to the central vice president of the relative function. All area vice presidents report directly to Wolfgang Neumann at the Rezidor Head Offices in Brussels. 1/10/2012

Romantik Hotel Regina TrentoOs Romantik Hotel Regina Highlights Medieval Customs. Medieval Week (Feb. 5 to 12) in Trento, Italy, consists of a revival of the traditions leading up to Carnival. A late 14th century fresco depicting the cycle of the months in the Eagle Tower in Trento shows knights and ladies playing with snowballs. After skiing the slopes, guests of the Romantik Hotel Regina can enjoy apple fritters cooked over an open fire and mulled wine flavored with carnation and thorn bush berries from the hotel's garden. Midweek, dinner at the hotel offers carefully selected recipes in the Trentino tradition with now lost tastes and aromas from the Middle Ages and Renaissance. In an atmosphere created by lights, floral and fruit arrangements and costumed waiters, revelers can choose a velvet hat, garland, medallion or jewel to partake in this event that includes storytellers and musicians singing ballads. Artesella is a vast open-air exhibition of contemporary art in the woods and meadows of the Valle Sella, to be held this year from Feb. 26 to March 4. Founded in 1986, Artesella is not just an exhibition of works of art, but also a creative process. The works, generally three-dimensional, are built from rocks, leaves, branches and tree trunks, and create a fairy-tale scene in the mountain landscape. Midweek, Romantik Hotel Regina arranges a guided tour along the path of Artenatura with a picnic lunch at the Sella hut. In the afternoon, the expedition continues at Arte di Malga Costa and the Vegetable Cathedral, presenting 1,300 meters of majestic rows of branches and snow. The hotel can also arrange for guests to personally meet local artists and visit their studios throughout the week. 1/11/2012

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Starwood Set to Open Up to 20 More Hotels in India. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. said it plans to open nearly 20 additional hotels in the fast-growing market of India by 2015. The company currently operates 33 hotels in India and claims to be the largest international hotel operator of four- and five-star hotels in India. Since 2009, Starwood said it has opened nearly as many hotels in India as rivals Hyatt, Hilton and Marriott combined. In 2012, Starwood will continue its growth momentum from the luxury to mid-market tiers with the opening of ITC Grand Chola, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Chennai, Westin Chennai Velachery, ITC Rajputana, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Jaipur and two Aloft hotels. With the opening of the ITC Grand Chola Rajputana, the Luxury Collection brand will have nine hotels in India, making it the brandOs second largest market behind only the U.S. OStarwood continues to widen our long-standing lead in India, which is second only to China in terms of our future global growth,O said Vasant Prabhu, StarwoodOs vice chairman and CFO. OIndiaOs breathtaking economic growth and the rise of its middle class have generated a keen appetite for high-caliber global brands. We expect to accelerate the expansion of all of our brands across India, where demand for new hotels is expected to far exceed supply for the next three years.O In just four years, Starwood said it has grown its worldwide luxury room count by 73 percent, fueled by the popularity of its high-end brands W, St. Regis and the Luxury Collection in diverse global markets. The W brand will arrive in India in 2015 with the opening of the W Mumbai and the W Retreat & Spa Goa, which will be followed by the opening of W Noida, Delhi NCR in 2016. St. Regis will make its entry into India with the opening of The St. Regis Noida, Delhi NCR in 2016. With the debut of the W and St. Regis brands, Starwood will feature eight of its nine brand flags in India including W, St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Le Mridien, Westin, Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton and Aloft. Driving growth in India is the increase in the number Starwood Aloft and Four Points by Sheraton brands. Aloft recently doubled its footprint in India with the opening of Aloft Coimbatore and will continue its rapid growth with new hotels opening in Ahmedabad and Chandigarh. Four Points by Sheraton benefits from the halo effect of the powerful Sheraton brand and its long legacy in India, and will add two new hotels in the next two years. Reiterating its commitment to the region and to support the aggressive expansion plans of Starwood in the region, Starwood has relocated to a new state-of-the-art office in Gurgaon. Starwood has had a regional office in Gurgaon for over six years but it was no longer larger enough given the rapid expansion in the region. The new office at Vatika Business Park on Sohna Road houses a vibrant workspace for over 60 associates who actively work towards supporting StarwoodOs growth strategy in the region. 1/12/2012

Travelodge Travelodge will expand U.K. portfolio by 41 in 2012. Travelodge plans to invest about USD380 million into expansion in the U.K. market, with a goal of opening 41 new hotels throughout 2012. "The demand for good-quality budget accommodations is growing at such pace across the country that we have added 146 new U.K. locations to our target-requirements list," Travelodge CEO Guy Parsons said. The company is on track to meet its long-term goal of 1,000 properties by 2020, he says. 1/10/2012

Trivago Hotel Price Index Trivago Hotel Price Index Lists Global Ski Resort Rates. The January Trivago Hotel Price Index (tHPI), rating average hotel prices at ski destinations and other hotels in Europe and North America, reports that Romania has the least expensive ski resort prices this winter. In January, ski resorts in the Romanian town of Predeal are reporting the cheapest prices Europe-wide, at USD71 per night in a standard double. In the Polish winter resort of Szczyrk, skiers pay an average of USD81, while in Bansko, Bulgaria, rooms are available for USD93 per night. The highest prices in Europe were reported in St. Moritz in Switzerland (USD545), and in the U.S., in Beaver Creek, Colo. (USD498). This month, Poiana Brasov, Romania, is offering overnight stays for an average cost of USD123 per night, a 36 percent increase from last month. The Polish ski towns of Szczyrk (USD81) and Zakopane (USD101), are also reporting price increases between 21 to 22 percent, compared to December 2011, while those headed to Bansko, Bulgaria, will find hotel rooms for an average rate of USD93 per night (up 20 percent). Destinations such as Lake Tahoe (USD103, up 5 percent from last month) and Stowe, Vt. (USD193, up 23 percent) were among those reporting the lowest winter prices across North America. Swiss destinations such as Gstaad (USD504, up 39 percent compared to last month) and Zermatt (USD368, up 24 percent) present the most expensive rooms in winter sports regions this month. ColoradoOs Beaver Creek (USD498, up 70 percent) and Aspen (USD474, up 83 percent) reported the highest average prices in North America, while the Austrian ski resorts in Kitzbuhel (USD470, up 44 percent), Ischgl (USD376, up 32 percent) and St. Anthony (USD375, up 46 percent) also reported increases over the previous month. In the French Nobel ski resorts, Val d'Isere (USD434, up 47 percent) and Courchevel (USD414, up 39 percent), travelers are likewise paying high prices as can also be seen in the German mountain resorts of Oberstdorf (USD270) and Garmisch-Partenkirchen (USD218), with price increases of 36 percent and 16 percent, respectively. Although slightly lower than the above, the German town of Winterberg is also reporting a rise in rates -- January travelers can expect to pay an average of USD180 (up 28 percent). Compared to last month, European prices have dropped in January by around 3 percent to USD136. Athens has dropped to USD98 (down 1 percent from last month), the lowest figure since recording the tHPI (May 2008). With an average of USD209, the hotel industry in London reports the lowest price for an overnight stay in a standard double room since February 2011, a 13 percent drop in price compared to last month. In Barcelona, overnight rates reached their lowest level since December 2009, reporting USD124 per night, 7 percent lower than the reported rate in December 2011. Even Rome (USD138, down 7 percent), Istanbul (USD123, down 7 percent) and Amsterdam (USD153, down 5 percent) recorded their lowest accommodation prices since February 2011. Following the trend, all major U.K. cities, for the first time since April 2009, are reporting price reductions in the tHPI this month. London (USD135), Edinburgh (USD89), Cardiff (USD71) and the Irish capital of Dublin (USD70) are among those reporting decreases in price this month between 11 to 15 percent compared to last month. Lake Tahoe (USD103, up 5 percent from last month) reported having the least expensive rates for a standard double room within a top ski destination this month. Stowe (USD193) followed, up 23 percent from last month. Mammoth (USD208) reported increasing prices, however only a 7 percent increase from last month, while the Canadian Mont-Tremblant -- also up only 3 percent -- was close by with USD212. Jackson Hole reported price increases of 34 percent, with an average overnight price of USD233. Kicking-off the winter season price jump however, is Whistler, Canada (USD299) with a reported 40 percent increase in prices compared to last month. The most expensive winter sport destinations in the U.S. and Canada can be found in Colorado this January. Even rivaling prices in European winter destinations Kitzbuhel and Gstaad, Beaver Creek, Colo., is offering standard double rooms for USD498 per night -- a 70 percent increase compared to last month. Aspen, not far behind, is offering prices reaching USD474 per night, 83 percent more expensive than December 2011. Vail also topped the list with USD403 (up 43 percent). 1/12/2012

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Date:Jan 16, 2012
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