Pictures of the day

Monkey Business

Scott Meyer, senior vice president of midscale brands at Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, lends his ear to a monkey on March 31 during the opening session of the Country Inn & Suites Hotel brand conference that ran through April 3 at the Red Rock Casino & Resort in Las Vegas. The trained white-faced capuchin is part of a Vegas act invited to entertain the conference audience. 

‘Beyond Bollywood’

Thursday, March 06, 2014 - Fred Schwartz, left, president of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association, and Pratik Patel, vice chairman of AAHOA, pose February 26 at one of the features of “Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape The Nation” is a 5,000-square-foot exhibit in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History that chronicles the many contributions of Indian immigrants and Indian Americans to the United States.  Part of the exhibit focuses on the Indian American motel business launched in the U.S. in the 20th Century. AAHOA is a financial sponsor of the exhibit, the Smithsonian’s first in-depth examination into the history of Indian Americans in the U.S. and is part of the Indian American Heritage Project of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.



Lego wall at Yotel

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 – YOTEL NEW YORK, the capsule hotel near Times Square, has turned a construction-masking wall into a 30-foot collaborative art project using Lego building blocks, reports The New York Times.

Guests are invited to embellish the 30-foot-long Lego wall with supplied plastic bricks, resulting in an ever-changing mural and a popular lobby activity. Some contributors have built replicas of city icons like the Empire State Building, others have depicted the flags of their country, including Canada and Japan, and more have written their names and initials in the blocks.

While the wall was conceived as a colorful way to block off a section of the lobby under construction, it has turned into a creative phenomenon that hotel management is considering reprising in some form in the future, after the wall is removed in March.

“Social activity is definitely happening among the guests, and it’s created new communication between the guests and us,” GM Claes Landberg told The New York Times. “It gives our crew a reason to strike up a conversation and create relationships with guests.”

Park Inn by Radisson opens in Sochi

Thursday, February 06, 2014 – PRACTICALLY ON THE EVE of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group added to the city’s hotel room supply. A new Park Inn by Radisson, a Carlson Rezidor brand, opened in the resort city along the Black Sea. The 153-room hotel is set in the Caucasus Mountains and near the local railway station, the starting point for the new high-speed train that brings guests from the Sochi center to Caucasus Mountains and international level ski resorts. "We are truly delighted to bring our mid-market brand, Park Inn by Radisson, to the heart of Sochi city," commented Thomas M. Hagemann, District Director of Sochi for the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. The entire hotels' team has gone through extensive training in our sister hotels in Sochi to offer a world-class hotel experience to our guests."

Loews Regency NY reopens Thursday

Monday, January 13, 2014 – AFTER A YEAR-LONG $100 million renovation, the Loews Regency Hotel in Midtown Manhattan will open Thursday. Pictured is the transformed lobby of the 379-room hotel. The renovation showcases the vision of Jonathan Tisch, chairman of Loews Hotels & Resorts, featuring crisp lines, a fresh aesthetic and expansive 24-foot high ceiling that will welcome guests home to the New York institution and original “Power Breakfast.”

Marriott International's Partnership Circle awards

Monday, January 06, 2014 – Marriott International’s Partnership Circle Award honorees, pictured at Marriott International’s MINA & Full-Service Owners Conference at the Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman, are, from left, back row: Bob McCarthy, Marriott International; Stephanie Linnartz, Marriott International; Liam Brown, Marriott International; Dave Grissen, Marriott International; Arne Sorenson, Marriott International; Jim Kauffman, Marriott International; and Kip Vreeland, Marriott International. Front row, Nick Kellock, Concord Hospitality; Deno Yiankes, White Lodging Services; Mark Laport, Concord Hospitality; Richard Kessler, The Kessler Collection; Bruce White, White Lodging Services; Ken Geist, Sage Hospitality; Larry Burnell, White Lodging Services; and Richard Branca, Concord Hospitality.

Monday, January 06, 2014 – MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL HONORED top owner and franchise companies at the annual MINA & Full Service Owners Conference held recently at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. Four companies – Concord Hospitality, The Kessler Collection, Sage Hospitality and White Lodging Services – were awarded the Partnership Circle Award, the highest honor Marriott presents to its owner and franchise partners for hospitality excellence. 

Marriott’s Partnership Circle Award honors owners and operators who have a strong alignment with Marriott in a number of different areas, from overall culture to sharing a long-term commitment with Marriott and its guests. The awards criteria also includes product growth, engagement, RevPAR growth and overall product integrity.

“This year’s Partnership Circle Award winners represent the breadth of Marriott’s top full service owners and franchisees, including long-term partners and newer entrants,” said Liam Brown, President, U.S. & Canada Division for Select Service & Extended Stay Lodging and Owner & Franchise Services. “They share an unwavering commitment to Marriott, not only in providing industry-leading hospitality to our guests, but also in growing their portfolios with us.”

Marriott’s 2013 Partnership Circle Award Winners
• Concord Hospitality of Raleigh, N.C., has numerous Marriott and Renaissance hotels in its portfolio and manages them with solid experience and a great attention to detail, leading to strong business metrics. They have one approved hotel in Marriott’s development pipeline.

• The Kessler Collection of Orlando, Fla., considered the founding member of the Autograph Collection, has partnered with Marriott to bring nine hotels into the Collection .

Sage Hospitality of Denver, Colo., owns or manages hotels across Marriott’s entire full service portfolio and drives exceptional results in all metrics from GSS to RevPAR.

• White Lodging Services of Merrillville, Ind., has a large and growing Marriott portfolio, with multiple JW and Marriott Hotels that are brand builders and leaders in their markets.

In addition to presenting the Partnership Circle Awards, Marriott honored owners and franchisees for their achievements in the following categories: Development Partner of the Year, Opening of the Year, Renovation Excellence, Food & Beverage Excellence, Service Excellence, Spirit to Serve and Spirit to Preserve. A list of these winners follows.

Development Partner of the Year 
Stonebridge Companies – Renaissance Denver Downtown Hotel and Renaissance New York Midtown South Hotel

Opening of the Year   
The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, Autograph Collection®
Manager: Quorum Hotels & Resorts
Owner: Brown Palace Hotel Associates, LP

Milwaukee Marriott Downtown
Manager: White Lodging Services
Owner: Jackson Street Management, LLC

Renovation Excellence
The Lexington New York City, Autograph Collection® 
Manager: Highgate Holdings
Owner: DiamondRock Hospitality Company 

San Diego Marriott La Jolla
Manager: Merritt Hospitality 
Owner: HEI Hotels & Resorts

Renaissance Westchester Hotel 
Manager: Highgate Holdings 
Owner: Sunstone Hotel Investors

Minneapolis Marriott Northwest 
Manager: StepStone Hospitality 
Owner: Northland Inn

Food & Beverage Excellence
Davidson Hotels & Resorts
DelMonte Hotel Group
PCH Hotels & Resorts, Inc.
White Lodging Services 
Winegardner & Hammons, Inc.

Service Excellence
Amway Hotel Corporation
Boyne Resorts
Concord Hospitality
DelMonte Hotel Group
Greenwood Hospitality Group
Innkeepers Hospitality LLC
Lighthouse Properties
Musselman Hotels
PCH Hotels & Resorts, Inc.
Pinnacle Hotel Management
Quorum Hotels & Resorts
Vail Resorts

Spirit to Serve
MDM Hotel Group LTD.
Shaner Group
Spottswood Companies, Inc.

Spirit to Preserve
Concord Hospitality
John Q Hammons Hotels & Resorts


HSMAI Leadership Dinner Las Vegas Honoring Mike Leven


Mike Leven accepts plaque honoring his donation to HSMAI and the HSMAI Foundation from HSMAI America Chair Barb Bowden.

Super 8 500th WHG hotel to open in China

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.

Hyatt House and Martha Stewart Living promote local business

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 accepts Above and Beyond Award at 2013 Lodging Conference

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.