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December 6, 2016

Supplier News: What’s Ahead for Marriott’s Luxury Brands

The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort

From Marriott’s post-Starwood merger plans for its luxury brands to a major new resort in Switzerland, here’s all you need to know about this week in meetings industry supplier news. 

What’s Next for Marriott’s Luxury Brands Post-Starwood Merger

In a major hotel update, at this year’s International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) Cannes, Marriott International laid out a roadmap regarding what’s next for the company’s luxury brands following its merger with Starwood Hotels & Resorts. 

The Marriott International Luxury Brands group now includes the St. Regis, The Luxury Collection and W Hotels brands, as well as The Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, EDITION and JW Marriott. Looking ahead, Marriott International is scheduled to open nearly 30 luxury hotels in 2017 and has a total of 180 luxury hotels in its development pipeline, representing 20 new countries, from Iceland and Nepal to Cuba, the company said at this year’s event. 

“With luxury travel up nearly 50 percent over the past five years, we see a long runway for growth at the high-end,” said Tina Edmundson, global brand officer, Marriott International, in a written statement. 

For 2017, The Ritz-Carlton will have four scheduled debuts, including The Ritz-Carlton, Langkawi and The Ritz-Carlton, Astana. St. Regis opened the St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort in early November and is slated to make debuts in five destinations in 2017, including Shanghai, Changsha and Cairo.

W Hotels recently opened the W Punta de Mita and W Las Vegas, while the W Goa is set to make its debut on December 12. All told, the brand has 33 hotels in the pipeline, with six anticipated openings in 2017, ranging from Tel Aviv and Panama City to Shanghai.

EDITION most recently premiered The Sanya EDITION on Hainan Island in Southern China, the brand's first hotel in Asia, and will debut additional properties in Bangkok and Barcelona by the end of 2017.

For The Luxury Collection, 2017 will see the opening of Hotel Inglaterra in Havana, Cuba, which will join the brand after a complete renovation. The Luxury Collection is set to debut in nine destinations next year, including California's Napa Valley, Singapore and Panama City.  

Finally, JW Marriott recently opened the JW Marriott Venice and JW Marriott Los Cabos, while 2017 will see the brand debut in Vietnam with the opening of JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa. Additionally, JW Marriott will open JW Marriott parq Vancouver by the end of next year.

Marriott’s European Convention Network Partners With GoInStore

In other news from the company, Marriott’s European Convention Network (ECN) has announced a new partnership with London-based technology startup GoInStore that will offer meeting planners access to virtual live tours of the meetings and events facilities of the ECN’s collection of 14 gold standard convention hotels in Europe.

Event managers will be able to use GoInStore’s real-time mobile technology to conduct personalized and interactive virtual tours using a live one-way video stream and two-way audio channel. The technology can also offer real-time access to multiple sites in the same session. 

Launched in February 2016, Marriott International’s ECN allows regular meeting planners to engage with one dedicated contact person to organize meetings and events at 14 European properties across brands including JW Marriott, Renaissance Hotels, Marriott Hotels, AC Hotels and Autograph Collection Hotels. Following each event, the ECN conducts a critical review that summarizes key learnings, aiming to enhance the process for the next event and acting as a conduit between the meeting planners, event managers and the general managers at the hotel.

Convention hotels in the network are all able to cater for large groups (the largest property has 869), and have sizable function spaces or ballrooms, totaling 57,000m2 of meeting space and 7,800 rooms, Marriott said. 

The partnership is exclusive to hotels in the ECN, and will be trialled for a six-month pilot period.

Visit www.marriott-ecn.com

madinat jumeirah

Opening Soon: Jumeirah Al Naseem

Dubai is about to get a big new luxury hotel that could be of interest to meeting planners. The Jumeirah Al Naseem is set to open December 1 as the fourth and final phase of the Madinat Jumeirah resort. 

The resort has a Conference Center with a capacity of 9,000 people over 100,000 square feet of multipurpose indoor and outdoor spaces throughout the resort, ranging from meeting rooms to banquet and event facilities. The move follows last fall’s expansion of Fort Island, making it the largest hotel event space in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Fort Island has over 18,000 square feet of outdoor space and can host events of up to 1,400 people in a setting with views of the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah

The Jumeirah Al Naseem is a 430-room “resort within a resort.” It joins Madinat Jumeirah’s three other hotels, the Jumeirah Al Qasr, the recently renovated Jumeirah Mina A’Salam and the summerhouses of Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf

Planners who partner with Jumeirah get unlimited entry to each of its nine hotels and their facilities, access to hundreds of restaurants, and seamless transportation between the properties by way of buggy, foot, or traditional abras.

Visit www.jumeirah.com

New Open Air Meeting Space in Brooklyn

Planners looking to book in Brooklyn have a new option. The 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, which will make its official debut in February 2017, launched its nature-inspired open-air event space with the annual Robin Hood Investors Conference on November 28 and 29, 2016.

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge has 20,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor meeting and event spaces with floor-to-ceiling glass doors that fold open to provide direct access to Brooklyn Bridge Park. All spaces are named after native plants, grasses, trees and shrubbery found in the park. The spaces are:

Meadow Rue Event Space: Located on the ground floor with a private entrance separate from the hotel, the 6,025-square-foot space has floor-to-ceiling windows for panoramic views of Brooklyn Bridge Park. The event space amenities include a multi-channel sound system, four retractable screens and ceiling-mounted projectors to provide a plug-and-play venue for conferences, live-streaming demonstrations, runway shows and tradeshows. The space can accommodate up to 1,200 standing or 600 seated.

Social Space: The 5,000-square-foot pre-function Social Space has a 13-foot hand-carved marble wall and windows that open to Brooklyn Bridge Park. As with all 1 Hotels properties, the design highlights reclaimed materials. An 18.5-foot-long art piece by Rachel Mica Weiss, titled "Breaching," will incorporate weighty, 100-year-old reclaimed pine beams juxtaposed with gently muted yarn to create a diaphanous layer within the space. A green room with a separate entrance to the event space allows for secret bridal or celebrity entry. The Social Space is a good fit for private indoor/outdoor dining, cocktail receptions, auctions, or a wedding dance floor.

Rooftop Bar & Event Space: The 3,475-square foot rooftop has views of the East River, Brooklyn Bridge Park, and the Manhattan skyline, as well as a full-service bar and lounge space crafted from reclaimed railroad ties for up to 450 guests. 

Plunge Pool: The 3-foot plunge pool will open to guests for the upcoming warm weather season.

10th Floor Hospitality Suite & Lounge: One floor below the rooftop is a 2,800-square-foot 10th floor hospitality suite and lounge with a luxury boardroom adjacent to a living space, all set against unobstructed views of the Manhattan skyline. The lounge, which connects to the hospitality suite via a glass door and to the rooftop via a private staircase, has a functioning fireplace and dark, ashy wood bar. The space can seat 60 for private events.

The Screening Room: 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge will have a 50-seat screening room on the cellar level of the hotel. The 1,250-square-foot space includes an 84”x140” screen with full HD-digital projection. The screening room is available for private film or television viewing events.

Blue Wood Aster Event Space: Overlooking the treetops of the park is Blue Wood Aster, which can host up to 130 seated guests or a 200-person reception. Affording a separate entrance from Brooklyn Bridge Park, Blue Wood Aster provides access to private bar service and a connected outdoor terrace. The turnkey space can be cordoned off to Blue, Wood and Aster rooms for smaller-scale events.

Saltgrass and Sweetgrass Rooms: For more traditional meetings, guests can use Saltgrass, set up in the style of a boardroom. Sweetgrass, functioning as a “think tank," has lounge furniture aimed at encouraging thoughtful discussion and creativity. A wraparound terrace is also available for fresh air breaks during daylong meetings.

The 194-room hotel will have views of the East River, Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline, as well as a wood-burning grill restaurant and F&B services by chef Seamus Mullen, Bamford Haybarn Spa with nine treatment rooms and a 24-hour Field House gym facility. In terms of sustainability, the property is expected to receive a LEED Dynamic Plaque for its eco-conscious practices such as a rain water reclamation system.

Visit https://www.1hotels.com/brooklyn-bridge

W Las Vegas Opens With New Event Space

Las Vegas just got some more new event space with the opening of a new boutique hotel, the W Las Vegas

The 289-room property, the product of a transformation of a tower of the SLS Las Vegas, is billed as a “hotel within a hotel” experience and offers planners 15,000 square feet of meeting and event space spread over three floors. Planners can also make use of the adjacent SLS Las Vegas, which has an additional 80,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space. 

In terms of F&B venues, the hotel has seven restaurants, including the on-site coffee shop The Perq; Northside Café & Chinese Kitchen which is available 24 hours a day; Bazaar Meat by José Andrés; Katsuya; Cleo; 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria; and Umami Burger, Beer Garden & Sports Book. There is also a rooftop space in the WET Deck, which includes private cabanas and a bar, as well as panoramic views of the Stratosphere and desert mountains.

For nightlife experiences, the SLS Las Vegas has The Sayers Club, which hosts live performances by emerging and acclaimed artists; the Foxtail Nightclub, a space decorated with striking graffiti and dancers on display in large birdcages; and The Foundry, which will host music performances throughout the year. 

Other amenities include W bedding and Bliss bath amenities in the hotel’s Philippe Starck-designed guest rooms, as well as an AWAY Spa on the second floor and the FIT 24-hour fitness center. The 2,382 square foot Extreme WOW Suite, designed by Lenny Kravitz, sits at the top of the tower, and is highlighted by a spacious balcony with sweeping mountain views.

Visit WLasVegas.com

Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort & Spa to Debut $40 Million Renovation in January

Speaking of upcoming openings, January will see the debut of a $40 million renovation project at the 310-room Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort & Spa in South Florida.

The update added a new food and beverage space, the indoor/outdoor The Deck at 560 Bar & Restaurant, as well as the new 560 Market grab-and-go outlet. The Deck will offer 174 indoor dining seats and 102 outdoor seats, as well as a menu focused on local, sustainable seafood and produce, with rotating seasonal ingredients. 

Also introduced are new oversized family suites with connecting too options on the rooftop level, poolside suites with verandas and a newly designed outdoor pool with hand-crafted tiling imported from Italy

Debuting in fall 2017 will be a new beachfront event lawn, offering unobstructed views of the beach waves and a good fit for weddings and receptions, as well as group events or meeting breakout sessions. The property will also unveil a redecorated 5,200 square foot Grand Ballroom, as well as updates to the rest of its event space, which totals over 15,000 square feet. 

Bonaire to Get First U.S. Branded Hotel

In the Caribbean, Travel Agent’s Senior Editor Joe Pike reports that Bonaire is about it get its first-ever U.S. branded hotel in the form of the Courtyard by Marriott Bonaire, a 140-room property that will be located less than a quarter mile from the island’s airport and five minutes from Downtown Kralendijk

The property, which is scheduled to open in early 2017, will have three meeting spaces totaling more than 2,700 square feet. 

Bürgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne

Switzerland's Bürgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne Now Accepting Bookings for Events Starting September 2017

Finally, in Europe, Switzerland's Bürgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne has announced it will be open for bookings starting in September 2017. 

The property will include four hotels, an Alpine spa and a medical center in a setting above the shores of Lake Lucerne. Guests will arrive by private boat transfer across the lake, where they will be greeted by a private railway line to take them to the doorstep of The Palace Hotel. Built in 1904 and today blending historic features with new detailing, the hotel has been re-created in a boutique style, with marble pillars, hardwood parquet flooring and hand-blown glass chandlers in a lobby that opens onto an outdoor terrace overlooking the lake. Each of its 108 rooms and suites is designed to offer a contemporary twist on the Alpine setting, with natural stone, wood and leather. All MICE guests have access to the full resort facilities, including the Alpine Spa.

The conference and banqueting areas at Bürgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne will be the largest in central Switzerland. A 2,200 square meter conference center is equipped with the latest technology, and 30 flexible meeting rooms can accommodate up to 900 delegates, with a 500 square meter Lake-view Ballroom for larger events.

The resort is 20 minutes from Lucerne and an hour from Zurich Airport, with direct flights from several UK airports. Private speedboat transfers and an onsite helipad are also available.

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