Monday, November 04, 2013 – SUPER 8 FUZHOU Jin Shan Wan Da has opened, becoming Wyndham Hotel Group’s 500th WHG hotel to open in China.
Nine years after the first Super 8 hotel opened in Beijing, the hotel brand, which provides quality and affordable accommodations for both business travelers and budget-conscious tourists, has made significant strides with a strong presence in almost 200 cities in China, cementing its position as an economy hotel leader in the country.
The Super 8 Fuzhou Jin Shan Wan Da is operated by the same franchisee, Shuping Chen, who opened his first Super 8 hotel a year ago in Fuzhou.
Friday, October 18, 2013 – HYATT HOUSE HAS teamed up with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO) to help travelers and local residents support neighborhood businesses and craftspeople through MSLO’s American Made program.
The program is an annual celebration of entrepreneurs and small businesses. It will offer to guests of Hyatt House, an extended-stay brand, personal recommendations from the MSLO staff of local places to eat, shop and visit.
The event kicked off its second year this week atVanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal in New York. The photograph is posted on the terminal’s Facebook page.
Hyatt House guests at more than 10 Hyatt House markets will receive postcards showcasing the handpicked businesses. Participating markets include Denver, Atlanta, Charlotte, NC, Raleigh, NC and Bellevue, WA.
“As a brand committed to providing a warm, neighborhood feel, we’re excited to bring Hyatt House guests even closer to their surrounding communities when on the road,” said Christ Walker, vice president, brands, for Hyatt House.
"It's great fun to work on such a creative, different campaign," said Peter Medwid, senior vice president and publisher, Martha Stewart Living. "Hyatt House is a forward-thinking collaborator, and we were happy to be able to curate a list of businesses that we can get behind, especially in the spirit of 'American Made.'"
HP Rama, co-founder of JHM Hotels in Greenville, SC, and a charter member and first chairman of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association, received the Above and Beyond Award Wednesday, September 18, during the 2013 Lodging Conference in Phoenix, AZ.
The award recognizes a hotel industry leader who contributes to the community and the world through giving and philanthropic projects. Rama and his family have built Auro University and an on-campus hotel in India as well as constructing homes for poor farm laborers and their families in the village of Sarona in the Navsari District of Gujarat. Health care, schools and modern water and sewer treatment facilities financed by the Ramas have improved the lives of those living in the Ramas' home village.
Present the award to HP Rama was Fred Schwartz, president of AAHOA, with a special video presentation by Michael Leven, COO of Las Vegas Sands and a partner with Rama in establishing AAHOA nearly 25 years ago.
Monday, September 16, 2013 – FOUR SEASONS’ VERY own food truck, the FS Taste Truck, heads out the week on a road trip to eight Western destinations in three states.
Four Seasons hotels in the following cities will host the Taste Truck, helping to spread the word about Four Seasons’ chefs and their offerings at the brand:
Palo Alto, CA September 16-22
San Francisco, CA September 23-29
Santa Barbara, CA September 30-October 6
Beverly Hills, CA October 7-13
Los Angeles, CA October 14-20
Westlake Village, CA October 21-27
Scottsdale, AZ October 28-November 3
Santa Fe, NM November 4-10
Tuesday, September 03, 2013 – STARWOOD HOTELS & Resorts Worldwide Inc. Monday kicked off the company's sixth annual Road to Awareness bike ride challenge, with CEO, Frits van Paasschen, front row, second from right, joining for the second year in a row, and 23 other Starwood executives and associates from across the globe.
The cyclists began their journey in Munich at the Sheraton Munich Arabellapark Hotel on a three-day journey through the mountains of Austria in the Tyrol and Salzburg counties. They will cycle more than 400 kilometres (more than 250 miles) and ascend six climbs before they finish the ride at the Sheraton Fuschlsee-Salzburg Hotel Jagdhof.
The bike ride is part of the annual associate fundraising campaign Road to Awareness which launched in 2008 and has raised more than $2.5m for UNICEF education projects through local fund-raising initiatives across its 250 hotels in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
This year's Road to Awareness campaign aims to raise $500,000 for UNICEF education projects in Nigeria and Cameroon, giving thousands of children from some of the poorest communities the opportunity to go to school and to get a better start in life.
Last year, Starwood raised $750,000 through the company's' Road to Awareness campaign, helping to provide more than 50,000 children in Ethiopia with access to pre-primary education.
To learn more visit www.roadtoawareness.com
Tuesday, August 27, 2013 – THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION of the Encyclopedia of Hinduism debuted Sunday at a launch ceremony organized and hosted by the University of South Carolina, Columbia. A project of India Heritage Research Foundation, founded, guided, inspired and led by one of India’s most revered spiritual leaders, Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, the Encyclopedia of Hinduism is a colossal product of more than 1,000 esteemed scholars from around the world, totaling 11-volumes and approximately 7,000 entries.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, third from left, receives a set of the Encyclopedia of Hinduism for the State of South Carolina, USA library. She is joined by, from left, Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, the founder, guide and inspirer of the Encyclopedia of Hinduism; Shri Anna Hazareji,social leader from India; Dr. Meera Narsimhan, dean of psychiatry at the USC; Dr. Harris Pastides, president of USC; and Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, the managing editor of the Encyclopedia. Also on hand wereJoe Wilson, Congressman for South Carolina, and Hon. Ajit Kumar, Consul General to India
The encyclopedia has been nearly 25 years in the making and it is the first time in history that the depth and breadth of India's great spiritual culture is made available in authentic, academic and scholastic form. It is a compendium of thousands of years of history, science, art, architecture, polity, religion, philosophy and culture. Further, the encyclopedia is not limited to Hinduism as a religion, but rather provides all inclusive treatment of India’s spiritual culture (including coverage of Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism traditions in India).
The launch of the international edition, published by Mandala Earth Publications, was organized, hosted and sponsored by the University and presided over by Dr. Harris Pastides, the president of the university. The Encyclopedia project was headquartered at the University of South Carolina for many years during its compilation and editorial stages.
Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji said: “The wisdom, truths, teachings and insights of Indian and Hindu culture are not limited to or applicable to only Hindus or Indians. Rather they belong to the world and can deeply benefit the world. It is, therefore, our aim that the richness of this ancient yet timeless culture and heritage should be made available to the entire world, in a way that is authentic, academic, comprehensive and illuminating.”
Dr. Harris Pastides said: “It is a deep honor to be participating in the American release of the Encyclopedia of Hinduism. This is a remarkable work of scholarship and research. I hope that many in academia and in everyday life will turn to it as a resource to better understand the characters, the tenets, and the impact that Hinduism has had, and is having, in the world."
Shri Anna Hazare said: “I am so happy to be here this evening. Pujya Swami Chidanandji is carrying our Indian culture to the entire world. This is a historic event here tonight. Spreading the teachings of our great tradition is a wonderful task Pujya Swami Chidanandji has undertaken and completed successfully.”
Pujya Swamiji presented the first official set to the Governor of the State of South Carolina, for the State’s Library. Hon’ble Nikki Haley, the Governor said: “It is so beautiful, and such a great gift, this Encyclopedia of Hinduism. I am so honored to receive these beautiful 11 volumes on behalf of the State. I am so glad to be here tonight at this historic event.”
Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati said: “This is a great moment in history. The depth and breadth of the world’s oldest living culture, civilization, philosophy and theology has finally been encapsulated in encyclopedic form. To have the international edition launched by the University of South Carolina in USA demonstrates the universal applicability and universal appeal of the Hindu tradition. The launch is a great meeting of East and West. With Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji and Shri Anna Hazareji here from India joining hands with the President of the University, Dr. Harris Pastides and the state congressman Joe Wilson, shows that the Hindu and Indian culture truly have no boundaries and no borders.”
Congressman Joe Wilson and the Consul General Ajit Kumar were also full of praise for the Encyclopedia and the great accomplishment that Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji has achieved in conceiving of this project and then bringing it to fruition.
The Encyclopedia was previewed and blessed at a huge ceremony in India by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and hundreds of India’s most revered spiritual, social and national leaders.
The Encyclopedia was conceived, inspired and blessed by one of India's most beloved and revered spiritual leaders, Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji (the founder of the Hindu-Jain Temple in Pittsburgh, and an inspiration behind innumerable Hindu/Jain temples throughout America and the world). The Encyclopedia has been compiled and completed by India Heritage Research Foundation of which Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji is the Founder/Chairman.
Pujya Swamiji is also the president and spiritual head of one of India's largest spiritual institutions, Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh. He is also the founder of the Ganga Action Parivar, a world-wide network of people committed to serving, preserving and protecting the sacred and life-giving Ganges River.
For more information:
The Premier Inn on York Road, Lambeth, has been nominated for the annual Carbuncle Cup, which recognizes the very worst in modern architecture, reports The Telegraph of London. Built on the site of a neo-Georgian 1930s red-brick building, it is described by its nominator as an “abysmal, identikit” building. “It’s hard to imagine a less inviting frontage,” they add.
To see other hotels nominated go to
Yao Ming, former National Basketball Association star, visited the Marriott International headquarters Friday to celebrate the company's partnership with the Yao Foundation. Under the terms of the three-year agreement, Marriott will donate $800,000 to the Yao Foundation to help establish three Project Hope schools in rural areas of the Southwestern region of China. The Marriott donation will also be used to support the Yao Foundation Hope Primary School basketball season program in 2014 and 2015. Pictured are associates and family members who were the lucky winners of autographed t-shirts and a logoed basketball. Enjoy event photos below.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013 – Westin Hotels is nearing the finish line in its search for its first-ever resident running expert. The global hotel brand is actively seeking experienced, passionate runners to join them on the road and serve as the on-site running expert for Westin VIPs participating in select Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series events. More than 400 candidates have been vetted for the sought-after role and additional runners are encouraged to apply at www.runwestinconcierge.com through June 30.
This fall the chosen candidate will begin the journey of a lifetime, traveling to over 10 Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon destinations across the U.S. to give Westin guests a leg up on the competition. From pre-race training to the finish line, the RunWESTIN Concierge will act as a personal marathon coach, engaging with runners and sharing training and race advice, leading warm-up runs and lending recovery tips.
“Speaking as a passionate runner, the RunWESTIN Concierge is a dream job for running enthusiasts,” said Brian Povinelli, global brand leader for Westin Hotels & Resorts and Le Meridien. “It’s an extraordinary opportunity to travel to amazing cities doing exactly what you love while inspiring others along the way, and get paid for it.”
Wednesday, May 01, 2013 - MORE THAN 30 Hilton Garden Inn team members came together on Saturday, April 20, in Staten Island to repair damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. As a part of Hilton Garden Inn's You Can Count on Us community relations program and to recognize the six-month marker since the storm, team members from across the Tri-State area participated inNew York Cares semiannual Cares Day serve-a-thon to rebuild South Beach Park, cleaning and replanting the garden areas that serve as a seasonal playground for many local residents.
You Can Count on Us is Hilton Garden Inn's signature community relations program that sets out to nurture and nourish communities in which team members live, work and travel. The program is a part of Hilton Worldwide's Travel with Purpose corporate responsibility engagement, a commitment to furthering the company's vision of "filling the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality."
For their efforts in Staten Island, team members were given the President’s Volunteer Service Award, the premier volunteer awards program in the US, which recognizes individuals and groups that complete the number of required hours within a 12-month period for each award level. Bronze level groups are required to reach a total of 200 hours with a minimum for three persons.
"The 'You Can Count on Us' culture is very strong at Hilton Garden Inn, particularly within the Tri-State area where many of our team members and neighbors have had to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Irene, and most recently Hurricane Sandy," said Judy Christa-Cathey, vice president of Focused Service Marketing (Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton Hotels)."Hilton Garden Inn team members just have that hospitality gene. Support and service doesn't stop at our hotels; it goes out into the communities, in which we live, work and travel."
Earlier in the week, the team at the Hilton Garden Inn JFK Airport in Queens hosted a barbecue for Sandy victims who were displaced by the storm and are still living at the hotel. Families enjoyed a DJ, refreshments, face paintings and the entertainment of two clowns, who created balloon animals for the children attending. Hilton Garden Inn team members also distributed toiletries, clothing and children's toys that local businesses had donated.
Several local residents, who lost their homes to Hurricane Sandy, are still staying at the Hilton Garden Inn Staten Island and Hilton Garden Inn JFK Airport. Over the past six months, the Hilton Garden Inn staff - many of whom were affected by the hurricane themselves - has created a home for those displaced by the storm.
Richard Nicotra, chairman/president of The Nicotra Group, LLC, owner of the Hilton Garden Inn Staten Island, has led many of the efforts to help his community and its residents recover.
Nicotra continues community outreach and support. He hosted a relief benefit with his wife Lois in late 2012, raising nearly $150,000 for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation for Sandy Relief. The Hilton Garden Inn Staten Island has partnered with the Siller Foundation to raise funds and gather donations for victims of Sandy, while also directly supporting local families and businesses in the area.
"We've hosted holiday parties, celebrated nuptials, and connected guests with community resources," said Nicotra. "As a Staten Island resident, supporting the community is important to me. Hilton Garden Inn's response to the devastation on Staten Island, from housing the Red Cross and dozens of displaced residents to continuing to support our guests during their extended stay, has made this location, in particular, one of the key supporters of relief efforts."