Mandarin Oriental Singapore is temporarily closing its doors to undergo a six-month transformation. The Marina Bay property will reopen in September 2023, offering a brand new look and feel. The property has 527 rooms, seven food and beverage outlets, a full service luxury spa and many other facilities. The hotel’s multi-million dollar transformation is set to take place across all fronts, including a complete redesign and refitting of the hotel’s interiors, from the grand lobby and the rooms to the food and beverage venues.
voco hotels celebrated 100 properties signed and opened globally. The emerging IHG Hotels & Resorts’ brand reached the milestone in just five years after its first-ever hotel opening. Notable voco openings in 2023 include: in Surrey, UK, Lythe Hill Hotel will complete its rebrand to voco Lythe Hill Hotel and Spa in 2023. The Tudor property will feature 99 bedrooms plus a restaurant, gym and spa. Opening in early summer, voco Osaka Central will be the first voco property to open in Japan. The hotel lobby and restaurant décor will be modern and contemporary. The first voco in Vietnam will open later this year with voco Ma Belle Danang. The property will offer a luxurious spa with a rooftop infinity pool and a choice of bars and restaurants. In New York, voco Fiorello – La Guardia East is set to open in Flushing this summer. The hotel is due to have 116 rooms and is the third voco signing by the same owner. Located in northern Paris, voco Paris Porte De Clichy is due to open this summer after its conversion from a Holiday Inn property. The hotel will be one of voco’s flagship properties. IHG also announced the opening of voco Dubai The Palm, a new beachfront hotel situation on the Palm Jumeirah, will take place in April. The 138-room voco Dubai The Palm includes a rooftop pool and Mediterranean lounge bar.
Accor has entered into a strategic partnership with Ecotourism Australia to certify all Accor hotels, apartments and resorts across Australia and the Pacific as Sustainable Tourism certified businesses.
The Safari Group previewed the changes they plan at the former Palmerston North post office building in New Zealand. They bought the building last October and said they would be building a hotel on the prominent site on The Square. The artist’s impression that Safari Group released shows all the façade, original and extension that faces The Square will be retained plus the original façade of five windows on Main Street. Behind is the five-story hotel. Safari Group said they are ahead of schedule with its planning and the hotel is due to open in 2025. It is Safari Group’s first foray into regional New Zealand and said it will preserve the original façade through a deconstruction and construction process. They have a track record of developing hotels and apartments in heritage buildings. The hotel will be a 4.5-star, 86-room Wyndham Tryp hotel with provision for retail, a health spa, gym, and conference facilities.
Keppel Land and its subsidiary DoublePeak Holdings are divesting their 100% stake in Greenfield Development for US$57.4 million in cash. Greenfield Development wholly owns Straits Greenfield, which has the right to build and operate a hotel in Myanmar. The consideration of US$57.4 million exceeds Greenfield Development’s net asset value of US$43.9 million as at end February 2023. The group added its property arm’s divestment is in line with Keppel Corp’s asset monetization plan to unlock capital that can be channeled towards new growth opportunities. The divestment is expected to be completed by the first half of 2023 after which both Greenfield Development and Straits Greenfield will no longer be subsidiaries of Keppel Corp.
A dozen new star hotels have been added during the last year in Nepal. According to the Department of Tourism, 12 new star hotels and three new resorts have come into operation in the last 11 months. A total of 15 hotels have been registered from April 2022 to February 2023. There are 5 four-star hotels among the new hotels in operation. They include Hotel Dialo in Birgunj, Ratna Hotel in Biratnagar, Thamel Plaza Hotel and Suites in Thamel, Hotel Arion in Sunwall, Mawalparasi and Asian Hotel in Rupandehi. Hotel Ratna has been upgraded from three stars to four stars, while the rest of the hotels are new. Statistics of the hotel branch of the Dept. of Tourism show 17 five star hotels and 27 four star hotel have been registered and are expected to be in operation this year. The number of four star hotels has reached 32.
Philippines gaming conglomerate Leisure & Resorts World Corporation announced that they changed the company name to DigiPlus Interactive Corp. DigiPlus’ interests include the leasing of slot machines and operation of slot arcades on behalf of PAGCOR. In September 2021 they were grated accreditation from PAGCOR to launch a new retail and online sportsbook for local uses. Their BingoPlus game became their first online traditional bingo game to be licensed by PAGCOR when it launched in February 2022. The past included grand plans for DigiPlus to build a casino resort on Boracay with Galaxy Entertainment Group. Both companies shelved those plans for various reasons.
Millennium Hotels & Resorts Middle East and Africa will assume management of Dubai’s Crowne Plaza Dubai. The property will be rebranded as Millennium Plaza Downtown Hotel. A renovation program of AED500 million is already underway is due to be completed over the next two and a half years, including the hotel tower with 568 rooms, suites and apartments, meeting spaces, F&B outlets and the commercial tower. The hotel is located in the heart of the city, a five-minute walk from the World Trade Centre. It is 10 minutes from Dubai International Airport.
DMCC announced the launch of residential units at its latest flagship development, Uptown Tower. SO/Uptown Dubai Residences includes 227 signature branded residences on the top 28 floors. Uptown Tower will feature a 188 room, five star luxury hotel – SO/Uptown Dubai – exclusive restaurants and extensive conference facilities. DMCC has awarded LUXHABITAT Sotheby’s International Realty exclusivity to lead the sales of the 227 ultra-exclusive branded residences. SO/Uptown Dubai Residences by Ennismore, a joint venture with Accor, are available in a range of layouts, including one, two and three bedroom apartments, as well as duplexes and penthouses. Residents will have access to an indoor pool, SO/FIT Gym, SO/Kids Club, sky lounge and a multi-purpose hall that also serves as a private cinema. The 340 meter tall, 81 story, Uptown Tower will also feature a 188 key 5-star luxury hotel – SO/Uptown Dubai, exclusive restaurants, F&B offerings in the Atrium and extensive conference facilities. Uptown Tower has 22 floors of premium Grade A commercial office space that has been fully pre-leased ahead of the tower’s launch. As part of the Uptown Dubai district, Uptown Tower will be one of two high rise iconic mixed use towers and seven residential, commercial and hospitality mid-rise towers, arrayed around The Plaza.
According to the Q4 2022 Middle East Construction Pipeline Trend Report from Lodging Econometrics, at the end of the quarter, LE analysts report that the hotel construction pipeline in the region stands at 549 projects/143,637 rooms. In Q4 2022, 33 new hotels accounting for 6,452 rooms opened in the Middle East. The LE forecast for new hotels openings continues to rise with 123 new hotels/30,113 rooms expected to open in 2023 and 116 new hotels/29,085 rooms forecasted to open in 2024.
Hotel Construction Pipeline in the Middle East at the Q4 Close
|Openings in Q4||81||17,736|
|Starting construction in 12 months||103||27,325|
|Early planning stage||142||29,872|
Hotel Construction Pipeline by Country at the Q4 Close
|United Arab Emirates||104||29,210|
Hotel Construction Pipeline by City at the Q4 Close
|Provincial, Saudi Arabia||96||23,182|
|Riyadh, Saudi Arabia||73||14,770|
|Jeddah, Saudi Arabia||46||10,179|
Hotel Construction Pipeline by Company at the Q4 Close
|Rotana Hotels, Inns & Suites||17||5,172|
Hotel Construction Pipeline by Brand at the Q4 Close
|Hilton Garden Inn||Hilton||18||5,826|