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NEWS| IHG Saudi Investment grows with Al Khobar's second Holiday Inn

InterContinental Hotels Group is continuing its drive to play a leading role in Saudia Arabia's thriving tourism industry and has opened its second Holiday Inn in Al Khobar.

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The 180 room Holiday Inn Al Khobar Corniche, at the heart of the city's business district, also marks the sixth property in partnership with Al Hokair Group.

Saudi Arabia is one of the few tourist markets that has not only maintained growth but has ambitious long term plans that would make tourism and hospitality one of the country's main employers.

John Bamsey, Chief Operating Officer, IHG Middle East and Africa, said an even greater company presence in the Kingdom is essential












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TRENDS| Design| Extreme WOW Suite

W Hotels Worldwide, the industry innovator and hotel category buster, proudly unveils the “Extreme Wow Suite” of the future, designed by Jouin Manku, the architectural firm of Paris-based designer Patrick Jouin and his associate Sanjit Manku.

W Hotels


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An interpretation of the conventional hotel Presidential Suite, the “Extreme Wow Suite” has been a part of W Hotels vernacular since the brand was founded in 1998. To further emphasize the importance of innovation and design, W Hotels engaged Jouin Manku to design a forward-looking, innovative lifestyle experience created in a three-dimensional installation. The “Extreme Wow Suite” will be unveiled today at the Instituto Tomie Ohtake in Sao Paolo, Brazil as part of a special touring exhibition entitled “Le Paris de Patrick Jouin.”












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NEWS| Former Marriott exec pleads guilty to wire fraud involving $2 million theft

Shannon Harp, 38, a former resident of Metairie, pleaded guilty to wire fraud today in federal court.

Harp, former director of finance for the Marriott, concocted a scheme that allowed her to steal more than $2 million over four years from New Orleans' Marriott hotels, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

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She allegedly began stealing money that was supposed to be used to make change at bars, shops and restaurants in three hotels -- the Marriott on Canal Street, the J.W. Marriott, also on Canal, and the Marriott on Convention Center Boulevard, in 2003.

According to the bill of information outlining the charges against her, Harp "executed internal forms which caused small denominations of currency in a Marriott account at a local bank to be delivered by armored car to the hotel." However, instead of using the money to make change, Harp converted the money to her personal use, according to the bill of information.

To conceal her scheme, she made fraudulent entries into the Marriott's computerized accounting system that indicated the money had been deposited back into Marriott accounts, according to the bill of information.












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NEWS| Indochina Starwood Hotels and Resorts General Managers Conference 2009

Starwood Hotels and Resorts Thailand and Indochina region recently held its annual General Managers Conference 24 – 27 June 2009 at Plaza Athenee Bangkok, A Royal Meridien. The conference, focused on a range of hotel industry and current business issues including marketing, revenue, finance, technology and crisis management, conducted by Regional and Divisional Leaders.

Starwood





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PEOPLE| New General Managers on board at The Ritz-Carlton Hotels

Five new general managers are taking charge at The Ritz-Carlton hotels and resorts.

ritz-carlton logo


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1. Pascal Duchauffour is now in charge of the upcoming hotel at Dubai International Financial Center

2. Bernard N. Viola is now responsible for all aspects of the award-winning hotel - The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain Hotel & Spa

3. Willy Ribbe now oversees both The Ritz-Carlton, Doha and Sharq Village & Spa as area general manager

4. Hossein Vetry currently heads all aspects of Sharq Village & Spa

5. Spencer H. Wadama - The Ritz-Carlton, Sharm El Sheikh












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IDEAS n Innovation | The Ritz-Carlton Dubai launches wedding seminars

To assist every bride and groom on how to plan their nuptials to the most minute detail, the team behind every successful wedding at The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai is introducing a new series of wedding seminars for each Saturday in August.

Editor | I like this. I like this a lot. Hotels in India do something like a customer education series with chefs & food, but this is good. Some take offs on this idea include, booker series, conference series, travel agents (other than the traditional FAM). let me know if you start something!

The Ritz-Carlton Dubai


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'We have noticed that, year after year, a lot of brides struggle to plan their big day,' says Meeting and Special Events Manager Sylvia Schmetz. 'As our team at The Ritz-Carlton organizes more than 50 weddings a year, we want to provide them with as much useful information to relieve them of their premarital jitters and ensure that they have a beautiful memory of their wedding day.'

The first session will kick off with the wedding planner illustrating the step-by-step process of planning 'the big day' and other related events such as the rehearsal dinner as well as pre- and post-marital celebrations. In the second week, guests develop their own skills in converting a dining area into a stunning venue with valuable recommendations on centerpieces, flowers, entertainment and decoration.

The culinary team will deftly guide the brides through the multiple canapé and dinner selections, ensuring that each palate and individual taste are suitably satisfied. These will be followed by the presentation and tasting of the wedding cakes, led by the resident pastry chef who has more than 15 years catering to discerning brides and their families.

To complete the series, a professional photographer and make up artist will present their tricks of the trade with an interactive presentation.

Guests will receive a complimentary 'To Have & To Hold' bag filled with gifts, seminar notes and contact details of wedding experts.












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NEW HOTELS| Shangri-La's Villingili Resort and Spa, Maldives

Shangri-La's Villingili Resort and Spa is the first luxury resort in the Maldives to be located south of the equator. Offering guests a stylish experience in a spacious, all-villa environment, the resort is surrounded by lush vegetation, including 17,000 coconut trees, and over six kilometres of picturesque coastline with nearly two kilometres of white-sand beaches. Stylishly furnished accommodation includes private ocean retreats and tropical tree house villas - unique to the Maldives - with superb views.



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Guests can enjoy a tempting selection of dining and entertainment facilities, innovative treatments at CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La, and a variety of aquatic leisure activities, or explore by bicycle the five neighbouring islands connected by a 17-kilometre road. Those seeking an experience with a difference can enjoy a cruise on a luxury yacht with lunch on the equator. The resort is a 70-minute flight from Malé and an eight-minute boat ride from Gan Airport on Addu Atoll.











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PEOPLE| Carlson President and CEO Hubert Joly

Carlson President and CEO Hubert Joly to Lead Carlson Hotels Worldwide; Thorsten Kirschke Appointed COO of Carlson Hotels – Americas.

Hubert Joly,Carlson President and CEO


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Carlson, the parent company of Carlson Hotels Worldwide, today announced that Hubert Joly, Carlson President and Chief Executive Officer, will now also personally lead Carlson’s hotel business, supported by a global hotel management team.

Carlson also announced the appointment of Thorsten Kirschke as the Chief Operating Officer of Carlson Hotels – Americas. Kirschke will assume his new role on Sept. 1 and report to Joly.

Kirschke comes to Carlson from The Rezidor Hotel Group based in Brussels, Belgium, where he was the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Carlson is the main shareholder of Rezidor, which is one of the fastest growing hotel companies in the world.












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NEWS| Cafe Coffee Day Opens New Outlet

CAFÉ COFFEE DAY OUTLET INAUGURATED:
Cafe Coffee Day, India's premier and largest chain of coffee cafes, opened its first outlet in the town - HOSHIARPUR.
Special Secretary to the Chief Minister, K.J.S. Cheema, inaugurated it. The launch of this cafe takes the number of Cafe Coffee Day outlets in the state to 25.






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NEWS| Best Western India Looking at 15 new franchisee properties

The management of Best Western India Hotels has plans to establish fifteen (15) new franchisee properties in the country , by the end of 2009. Keeping the Commonwealth Games in minds, the management of the company has decided to keep the focus on North India in its expansion plans.. Managed by Cabana Hotel Management Pvt Ltd. the Hotel Chain already has eleven (11) hotels under its banner in the country.

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The transparent and unique franchising model of the Best Western Hotel will aid the Best Western in becoming the largest international hotel chain in the country. According to Mr Sudhir Sinha, President & COO Best Western India, the management would be establishing both the brands “Best Western” and “Best Western Premier” in India.









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