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Accor to Continue Expansion in Africa

NAIROBI, Africa—Since the opening of its first hotel in Congo in 1975, Accor has developed its network in Africa to with 114 hotels—over 17,000 rooms—in 18 countries. The Group is present on all segments, from luxury to budget, with its Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery, Novotel, Mercure, ibis, ibis budget, and Formula 1 brands. In the first semester of 2012 alone, Accor opened more than 1,000 rooms (9 hotels) on the continent. Openings included an ibis in Bata, Equatorial Guinea, and 2 hotels, ibis and Novotel, in Constantine in Algeria, a market where the Accor network is experiencing a quick growth. Accor reentered in Tunisia with the opening of an ibis and a Novotel in Tunis. The Group also consolidated its market leadership in Morocco with the opening of Sofitel Agadir Thalassa Sea & Spa and Sofitel Casablanca Tour Blanche as well as the launch of its ibis budget brand. In addition, an ibis has just opened in Dakar and a second one will soon open in Lagos, Nigeria. The Group has recently signed a management contract to take over under the Sofitel flag, the Hotel Ivoire in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. All together, almost 2,000 rooms will have opened through the year. ...

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Hotel Indigo Signs Deals for Properties in Barcelona and Birmingham

InterContinental Hotel Group’s (IHG) has announced the signing of the first Hotel Indigo for Barcelona and the second in Birmingham, UK. IHG’s chief development officer in Europe, Robert Shepherd, said 2012 has been a strong year for Hotel Indigo signings in the region. “Since introducing the brand to Europe in 2009, we’ve opened nine hotels – seven in the United Kingdom and two in Germany. As well as signing the Hotel Indigo Barcelona-Plaza Catalunya and Hotel Indigo Birmingham Waterloo Street, this year we’ve also signed our first Hotel Indigo in Wales, the Hotel Indigo Cardiff; our third in Scotland, Hotel Indigo Edinburgh-Princes Street; our fourth in Germany, Hotel Indigo Dusseldorf Victoriaplatz; and our first Hotel Indigo property in Israel, a 92-room hotel, which will open in Tel Aviv next year.” Shepherd said the brand was proving popular with developers in Europe as the flexible approach to design for Hotel Indigo makes it ideal for conversion properties, which are easier to finance than new build properties, and can become operational sooner. The 77 room Hotel Indigo Barcelona-Plaza Catalunya will be located in the center of Barcelona. The hotel will operate under a 22 year franchise agreement with Empresa Casa de Lenguas, ...

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Puneet Chhatwal Appointed as New CEO at Steigenberger

Steigenberger Hotels AG has announced Puneet Chhatwal as its CEO. Chhatwal joined Carlson Hotels Worldwide in 1998, where he was responsible for the development of the group’s brands in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Since 2002, he has been responsible for corporate business development at the Rezidor Hotel Group in Brussels. As chief development officer (CDO) he became a member of the Executive Committee in 2007. During his tenure at Rezidor, the group grew from 150 to the current level of 435 hotels, with brands such as Radisson Blu, Park Inn by Radisson, Hotel Missoni, and Regent. “With his worldwide experience in top international hotel development and management, Puneet Chhatwal will give decisive stimuli for growth of Steigenberger and systematic orientation of operating management to achieve the goals of our corporate strategy”, said Dr. Ralf Corsten, chairman of the supervisory board of Steigenberger Hotels AG. Chhatwal started his career with the India Tourism Development Corporation. After several operational positions in India, he studied at IMHI (ESSEC), Paris and earned a Master’s Degree in 1991 in International Hospitality Management. In 2012, he completed the Advanced Management Program (AMP) at INSEAD Business School in Fontainebleau. Chhatwal is a Fellow of the ...

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Four Points by Sheraton to Debut in New Brunswick, Canada

STAMFORD, Conn.—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced its Four Points by Sheraton brand will open its first hotel in Edmundston, New Brunswick. Four Points by Sheraton Edmundston will open in July 2013 in the center of downtown Edmundston. The former Clarion hotel will undergo a $2.5 million renovation prior to flying the Four Points flag. “We look forward to debuting the Four Points brand in Edmundston, as we aggressively grow the brand in dynamic markets across Canada ,” said Brian McGuinness, senior vice president of specialty select brands for Starwood, in an announcement. “At Four Points, we are committed to delivering an honest value, genuine service, and all the amenities guests need to stay productive on the road.” Four Points by Sheraton Edmundston will offer 102 fully renovated guestrooms, 671 square feet of meeting space, a heated indoor pool, a 24-hour fitness center, and full-service dining. The hotel is attached to the Edmundston Convention Center with 14,000 square feet available for meetings and special events and to the Carrefour Assomption facility that includes commercial space, shopping center, and offices. “Four Points is driving Starwood’s growth in Canada, fueled by strategic conversion projects like this one,” said Allison Reid, senior ...

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IHG Signs Deal to Open First Crowne Plaza Resort in the UAE

Dubai, UAE—IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) announced it has signed an agreement with Kuwaiti-owned Almadina Real Estate Development to open a 442-room Crowne Plaza Resort in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE. The hotel is currently under development on the manmade Marjan Island. Scheduled to open in 2015, Crowne Plaza Resort Ras Al Khaimah will span more than 18,000 square meters and feature nine food and beverage outlets. These include an all-day dining restaurant with show kitchen, an alfresco dining terrace, a cigar lounge, two coffee shops, a pool bar, and traditional bar and nightclub. Corporate guests will benefit from the property’s six meeting rooms. The hotel’s state-of-the-art leisure and fitness facilities will include a spa, fitness center, and beauty salon, as well as nursery and indoor souk. In an announcement, Pascal Gauvin, IHG’s chief operating officer, for India, Middle East and Africa, said: “The Marjan Island development is set to become an exciting destination, and it is the perfect setting for our first Crowne Plaza Resort in the UAE. Offering an idyllic beachfront setting, a fantastic selection of F&B options, and all the services and facilities you normally associate with Crowne Plaza, we expect the resort to set a new benchmark for ...

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