5 things to know: 15 May 2019
5 things to know: 15 May 2019
15 MAY 2019 9:40 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • IHG’s new brand Atwell Suites aiming for longer stays
  • Hard Rock comes to Barcelona in €200m deal
  • Google merges all travel planning under one site
  • TWA Hotel officially opens at JFK airport
  • The best hotel rooms, according to Forbes Travel

IHG’s new brand Atwell Suites aiming for longer stays: InterContinental Hotels Group officially announced today the launch of its 16th brand, an upper-midscale, all-suites offering called Atwell Suites, reports Hotel News Now’s Dana Miller.

Heather Balsley, SVP of global marketing, mainstream brands at IHG, said the new-build brand targets guests who are looking for a combination of extended-stay and select-service amenities in the upper-midscale segment, and is “optimized for longer stays of four to six nights.”

Guests can choose between two all-suite studio options. The king studio suite will be 321 square feet and the double queen suite will be 409 square feet.

“What you’ll notice that’s unique about this studio suite is that we’ve moved the bathroom to the outside wall,” Balsley said. “What that does is it creates a much more spacious sense of arrival and allows us to create those distinct zones in the suite.”

Hard Rock comes to Barcelona in €200m deal: ActivumSG, a development firm that targets real estate in Spain and Germany, has signed a deal valued at more than €200 million ($224 million) to bring a luxury hotel to Barcelona that will be operated under a long-term agreement by Hard Rock International, according to a news release. The investment includes the acquisition of the site, which is “the last seafront plot zoned for a hotel in metropolitan Barcelona.”

The 504-room hotel is scheduled to begin construction in the second half of 2019 and open in early 2022.

“This signature investment, to be operated by such a renowned hospitality brand, amps up our hotels strategy in Spain,” said Saul Goldstein, ASG’s founder and managing partner. “It’s involved almost two years of work to secure the site, get zoning and work up a design for a hotel that works for the municipality and Hard Rock International. This project was only possible because ASG has an on-the-ground team with the right contacts, experience and expertise.”

Google merges all travel planning under one site: The Verge reports that Google is uniting its travel-related products, which includes the mobile Google Trips app, Google Flights and Google hotels search, under one site, called Trips.

“Once you’ve booked your trip, whether through the Google tool or not, you can use Trips to see all the booking receipts to outline your itinerary, confirmation codes and travel information and present them alongside weather reports on your travel dates,” Verge writes.

TWA Hotel officially opens at JFK airport: John F. Kennedy International Airport’s former 1962 TWA Flight Center terminal, designed by Eero Saarinen, has officially reopened for the first time in 20 years as the only on-site hotel at the airport, called the TWA Hotel, CBS New York reports.

The 50,000-square-foot hotel cost $265 million to build, the news station reports, and has 512 guestrooms. MCR Development was the developer behind this project. CEO and managing partner Tyler Morse said in a 2018 HNN article that MCR worked with 22 government agencies, with the FAA as the lead agency for the project.

“It’s given us a real expertise in airports and on-airport hotel operations … you have different demand patterns at airports,” Morse said. “Because we now have this highly specialized skill set at airports, we thought we’d talk to (others) and see if they’re interested. It turns out that they were.”

The best hotel rooms, according to Forbes Travel: Forbes Travel Guide has released its list of “the world’s best hotel rooms,” which consists of 41 hotels across 17 countries, USA Today reports. The hotels that made the list achieved perfect scores on categories such as guestrooms, bathrooms, technology, amenities and interior design.

The U.S. had the most hotels make the list (12), followed by China with six and France with four.

Among the list includes the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort in Mexico, The Ritz-Carlton Paris and the St. Regis Aspen Resort in Colorado.

Compiled by Dana Miller.

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