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NEWS | RIU Hotels & Resorts to Open the $140 Million 562-room Riu Palace Peninsula in Cancun, Mexico

After an investment of 140 million dollars, RIU Hotels & Resorts plans to inaugurate on 4th May, 2012 the Riu Palace Peninsula, a luxurious 24 Hours All Inclusive beach front property located on a spectacular beach in Cancun. This will be the fourth property in the destination as the Spanish hotel chain already has 3 hotels: the Riu Cancun, Riu Caribe and Riu Palace Las Americas. The Riu Palace Peninsula will belong to the luxury line of the hotel chain, which will be oriented to a more select and discerning clientele.

NEWS | Louvre Hotels Group Actively Pursues its Development Worldwide with 62 New Hotels Opened in 2011 and 170 Hotels in their Pipeline

Louvre Hotels Group, a major player in the hotel industry, is actively pursuing its development in France and abroad, and opened 62 new hotels worldwide in 2011 (7,000 rooms), i.e. 55% more than last year. The Group sustained its growth in France last year with 28 new openings (2000 rooms).

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The hotels in Vadodara have reported good business with most of the hotels fully booked in advance due to the International Marathon held in the city on February 5, 2012. In terms of the registration, the half marathon has created a world record with the highest number of participants. With around 41,500 registrations done till Saturday evening, the event had 216 international participants from seven countries and thousands from different parts of India. One of the directors of Vadodara marathon, Amit Bhatnagar said, "Presently, we have more than 4,800 people from outside the city staying in hotels, so people are finding it difficult to find rooms now.

NEWS | ITC Hotels to add 5,000 hotel rooms in the next five-seven years

The ITC Hotel group plans to add 5,000 hotel rooms in the next five-seven years across four brands, according to a top company official. The company plans to have a portfolio of about 150 hotels in the years to come. Nakul Anand, Executive Director, ITC Ltd, told the Hindu Business Line that there are about 40 hotels under various stages of development, “which will be either owned or managed by us under one of the four brands”.

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Nakul Anand, Executive Director, ITC Ltd, was unanimously re-elected as President, Hotel Association of India (HAI) for a consecutive two-year term (2012-2013) at the 15th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in New Delhi. Further, the office bearers include Raymond N Bickson, MD & CEO, Indian Hotels Company Ltd (IHCL) as Vice President; Vikram Oberoi, COO & Joint MD, The Oberoi Group as Honorary Treasurer; and Vivek Nair, Vice Chairman & MD, Hotel Leelaventure Ltd as the Honorary Secretary. Vivek Nair and Deepa Misra Harris are the two new Members of the Executive Committee. Nair, replaced his father, and founding member of HAI, Capt CP Krishnan Nair on the Executive Committee.

NEWS | Johannes Van Der Putten has been appointed Vice President for Africa & Indian Ocean at Hilton Worldwide in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Johannes Van Der Putten will become Hilton Worldwide’s vice president for Africa & Indian Ocean leading operations across the continent with a key focus to support the company’s ambitious business expansion strategy. Based in Johannesburg, he will also be responsible for business operations of the Hilton Sandton.

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Ektornet US, Inc. has announced the appointment of Jim Mikula as Managing Director of Hotel Madeline Telluride and the Inn at Lost Creek in Telluride, Colorado. Bringing enviable experience in managing multi-faceted businesses at the top end of the hospitality industry, Mikula is responsible for all operations at the Colorado Rocky Mountain luxury addresses, including assuring a 5-Star guest experience and successful sales and marketing efforts at both properties. Mikula spent 11 years with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, finishing as Area Director of Marketing with regional sales and marketing responsibility for 10 hotels in the Asia Pacific region.

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Most recently Soane was with Fairmont Hotels and Resorts as General Manager of the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, he has also served as Chairman of the Board of Tourism Victoria and is currently serving his third year as Chairman of the Board of Tourism Whistler. Starting his career with culinary training at Westminster College in London, Roger Soane spent the first 16 years as of his career as a chef--becoming an Executive Chef with Pan Pacific Hotels & Resorts--before moving in to senior management.

NEWS | Bernie Sefcik has been appointed Director of Sales at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City - NJ, United States.

Sefcik will develop and implement the hotel’s annual business and marketing plans, foster a results-driven culture through strategic management of sales activities across the resort, manage and operate all incentive and trade shows, maximize profitable revenue, and expand corporate account business. Sefcik has 26 years of experience in Atlantic City, most recently as the National Sales Manager for the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority. In this role he represented all major casino and non-casino properties in the destination. Starting as a Front Desk Clerk in 1986, Sefcik worked in various positions throughout his career including Operations Analyst, Reservations Manager, National Sales Manager and Director of Sales and Marketing, where he was responsible for all group sales segments and marketing for various properties in Atlantic City. Sefcik is a graduate of Kutztown University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He also maintains the prestigious designation of Certified Meeting Professional since 1999.

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NEWS | Starwood's reports 42% profit in the fourth quarter

Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ fourth-quarter profit, excluding one-time items, rose 42 per cent on higher demand for luxury and upper-upscale hotels throughout the Americas. Profit, excluding one-time items, increased to USD 140 million from USD 99 million a year earlier, while revenue rose 14 per cent, to USD 1.53 billion. Actual fourth-quarter earnings dropped 51 per cent from a year earlier to USD 167 million, primarily due to a charge from an unfavorable legal decision and a gain from another legal decision the year before, according to a report by Travel Weekly. The W, St. Regis and Westin brands performed well in the fourth quarter.

NEWS | Hyatt Regency Pune among 25 top hotels in TripAdvisor's 2012 Travellers’ Choice Awards

Travel website TripAdvisor, Inc recently named Hyatt Regency Pune as winner amongst the top 25 in India in its 2012 Travellers’ Choice Awards. Gadi Hassin, General Manager, Hyatt Regency Pune said, "We are delighted and proud to be selected as one of the top 25 hotels in India. Being named the Travellers’ Choice Winner indicates to us that we are on the right track to achieve our mission to be recognized as the preferred hotel and residence in Pune and encourages me and my team to continue and provide excellent service and authentic hospitality to all our guests.