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."
Thursday, April 18, 2013 – HERSHA HOSPITALITY TRUST received one of three Strategic Partner awards from Hyatt Hotel Corp. during its Global Owners Conference in Orlando. Neil Shah, president and COO of Hersha Hospitality, was on hand to accept the award, which recognizes a company for its strong culture, performance and operating philosophies that result in a long-term, multi-brand relationship with Hyatt.
From left, Hyatt Hotels Corp. President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Hoplamazian, Hersha Hospitality Trust President and Chief Operating Officer Neil Shah, Hyatt Hotels Corp. Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors Tom Pritzker, Hyatt Hotels Corp. Executive Vice President, Group President - Americas Rakesh Sarna.
Hersha Hospitality is both owner and developer of Hyatt-branded full service and select service hotels, which include Hyatt 48Lex, Hyatt Place Philadelphia/King of Prussia, Hyatt House White Plains, Hyatt House Gaithersburg, Hyatt House Bridgewater, Hyatt House Pleasant Hill/Walnut Creek, Hyatt House Pleasanton/Dublin, and Hyatt House Scottsdale. Hersha is also expected to open its second full service Hyatt-branded hotel – Hyatt Union Square – in New York in late April.
“We are privileged to have a strong network of owner relationships around the world,” said Mark Hoplamazian, president and CEO of Hyatt Hotels. “All of the companies recognized this year have proven to be valued collaborators with a strong history of quality projects. We thank them for their contribution to our company and for their support for our brands, and look forward to continuing to grow together with them in ways that create mutual value.”
Also receiving Strategic Partner awards were Saraf Holdings Private Ltd. of India and Mori Building Co. of Japan.
Saraf Holdings owns Grand Hyatt Mumbai and Hyatt Place Hampi, the first Hyatt Place hotel to open in India and the second Hyatt Place to open outside of the US. The company is currently developing Hyatt Regency Ahmedabad, which is expected to open later this year, and Andaz Delhi, which is expected to open in 2014.
Mori Building Co. owns Grand Hyatt Tokyo and Park Hyatt Shanghai, and is developing a third Hyatt-branded hotel, Andaz Tokyo, which will be the first Andaz-branded hotel in Japan and is expected to open in 2014.
An InterContinental Resort in a crater: sounds like a flamboyant vision but will become real in 2015, reports TopHotelProjects. On an island near to Shanghai in Southern China the Intercontinental Shimao Shanghai Wonderland Resort with 380 rooms will open their doors. The holiday hotel is part of a huge theme parkt. Just one floor will be seen over the earth, the other 18 floors will be in the depth. The Intercontinental Resort will cost about 75 million Euros and it will be unique.
Three Omni hotels—in Fort Worth (pictured), Houston, and Chicago—were part of a $250M financing deal for Omni Hotels Corp. HFF repped the borrower to secure the 15-year, fixed-rate loan through Prudential Mortgage Capital Co for the 1,339 guest rooms. Among the properties: Omni Fort Worth at 1300 Houston St (614 rooms),Omni Houston at 4 Riverway (378 rooms), and Omni Chicago at 676 N Michigan Ave (347 rooms). From Bisnow.
S. Jay Patel, far right, president and CEO of North Point Hospitality, presented a giant check in the amount of $25,000 to start a scholarship fund for needy students attending the Georgia State University’s Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Administration. The gift was present to the school during the grand opening in January of North Point’s dual-branded Homewood Suites and Hilton Garden Inn in Atlanta. Pictured are from left, H. Fenwick Huss, dean of GSU's J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Whip Triplett, executive vice president at North Point Hospitaltiy and Debby Cannon, director of the Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality.
Marriott International honored top select-service and extended-stay owner and franchise partners at a conference held earlier this month at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona. Approximately 600 executives from organizations that own, franchise or manage Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites and/or TownePlace Suites hotels attended the three-day conference.
In 2010, Marriott introduced a new award – the Horizon Award – which, similar to the Partnership Circle Award, recognizes the best of the best in companies that partner with Marriott. While Horizon Award winners currently have smaller Marriott portfolios, they are poised to grow with Marriott’s brands and share all of the other attributes of Partnership Circle Award recipients.
Horizon Award winners and Marriott executives are, from left, back row: Liam Brown, Bob McCarthy, Arne Sorenson, CEO, and Dave Grissen, all of Marriott International. Front row, Barry Perkel and Jeff Kraemer, both of Raymond Management Co.; Ankur Bhakta and Darpan Bhakta, of Insignia Hospitality Group; Bob Olson of R.D. Olson Development; Sean Riley of Maine Course Hospitality Group; Kevin Kovall, Raymond Management Co. Not pictured: Peachstate Hospitality, of which Danny Patel is founder and CEO.
PeachState Hospitality of Warner Robins, GA, was awarded the Marriott Horizon Award for it outstanding performance in guest satisfaction during the recent owner’s conference in Phoenix. Danny Patel, pictured with the award, heads the hotel company.
In presenting the award Liam Brown, executive vice president of select service and extended-stay, North America/Lodging and Development of Marriott International Inc. during the 2012 Marriott Owner's Conference in Phoenix, AZ, said:
‘The leader of this next company has not only developed great hotels that run at the top of each of their brands in guest satisfaction … but he has also shown great partnership with Marriott in expanding our understanding of and relationship with the Asian-American franchise community.
‘Their four Fairfield Inns average 84.3 percent in overall guest satisfaction … their SpringHill Suites hotel has an impressive 88.6 percent overall GSS and their Courtyard hotel runs a tremendous 95.2 percent overall satisfaction rating.
‘These are results any company could be proud of.
‘In addition to his focus on great performance, their company’s leader has played a significant role in helping Marriott become even more engaged with the Asian-American franchise community.
‘He has held a past leadership role with the Asian American Hotel Owners Association and worked with many leaders at Marriott to educate us about that organization and about ways to develop deeper relationships within the community.
‘We are extremely grateful for his leadership and advice.'
Japan Airlines President Yoshiharu Ueki (left) and Masao Watanabe (right), President of Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan pose with flight attendants and a statue of Colonel Sanders wearing a Santa Claus costume on November 28 in Japan. Japan Airlines (JAL) and Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan (KFC) have collaborated on the seventh installment of the popular AIR SERIES in-flight meal onboard select international JAL flights, and will be serving onboard, Air Kentucky Fried Chicken through February 28.
(Photo: Kazuhiro Nogi, AFP/Getty Images)
Art thou a hotel,too? Contemporary art collectors and preservationists Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson have opened their second 21c Museum Hotel, this time in downtown Cincinnati. The new lobby showcases contemporary art by a group of international artists. Located next to the Lois and Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art and across the street from the Aronoff Center for the Arts, 21c Museum Hotels tapped architect Deborah Berke to renovate and restore the 100-year-old former Metropole Hotel in downtown Cincinnati, recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition to the Museum, the property includes a 156-room boutique hotel and Metropole restaurant led by executive chef Michael Paley, whose menu is built around dishes cooked on a custom-built, wood-burning fireplace.
BEVERLY HILLS HOTEL NEW LOBBY - Dorchester Collection?s Beverly Hills Hotel has unveiled its newly renovated lobby, the first phase of the hotel's two-year restoration project. Adam Tihany of Tihany Design is leading the project, which will ultimately include the Polo Lounge, the pool cabanas and caf?, and the guestrooms and suites. The lobby now features marble floors, a coat of soft white paint, a crystal staircase chandelier designed by Tihany Design, art counseled by Keyes Art Consulting, and a reception area with modern front desks and a mural of the hotel?s logo and location.