HOTELS CORP. is creating a joint venture in India with
real estate developer DLF Ltd. to develop and own 75 hotels and
serviced apartments during the next seven years. The joint venture
must still receive approval from the Indian government. Under the
agreement, DLF, one of India's largest real estate firms, will own
a 74% state in the company, while Hilton would own a minority
interest and manage the properties. Hilton said it would invest up
to $143 million during the next five to seven years in the venture.
The joint-venture hotels will include such brands as Hilton Hotels,
Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites by Hilton and Hilton Residences.
The first 20 hotels would primarily be Hilton Garden Inn properties
in locations such as Kolkata, Chennai and Chandigarh.
INDIA also is part of the growth blueprint
for Accor, which announced several partnerships in India that will
expand several of its brands there, including its budget Formule 1
brand, its economy Ibis hotels, its mid-market Novotel properties
and its upper-end Sofitel hotels. One agreement, between Accor and
Dubai-based Emaar Properties, will develop 100 Formule 1 hotels
with up to 80 rooms each in city locations throughout the country,
with 10 hotels scheduled to open during the next two years. This
agreement will involve a joint-venture investment of $300 million
in phases and will add 10,000 hotel rooms catering to the budget
traveler. Meanwhile, a joint venture between Accor and local
developer Naman Developers Ltd. will invest $106 million to open
the 300-room Sofitel Mumbai in the Bandra Kurla Complex in 2009. A
second Sofitel, and Accor's first resort property in India, will
open in Goa in 2009. In addition, the 260-room Sofitel Cabo de Rama
is being developed by Uniworth Resorts, a member of the JB Group of
HOTELS said it will open its first hotel in Thailand, the
W Retreat & Residences-Koh Samui, in late 2008. Starwood
Hotels, the parent of W, entered into a management agreement with
Amburaya Hotels to manage the property. The new-build, 70-villa
property will be situated on a 26-acre site on Maenam Beach, at the
northern end of Koh Samui, the third-largest Thai island. The
property will feature 1,700-square-foot villas with separate living
rooms, a restaurant, a pool bar and a spa. This will be the third W
Retreat property worldwide, following the W Maldives, which opened
in September, and the W Vieques (Puerto Rico), which is scheduled
to open in late 2007.
EASTERN will begin the first nonstop service between
Shanghai and New York (Kennedy) on Dec. 8, a route Continental is
hoping to snag if it can get DOT approval. China Eastern will offer
its service from Shanghai every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and
Friday, and from New York every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and
Saturday. The airline will use A340 aircraft configured for three
classes for the flights, which will last more than 14 hours. Four
U.S. carriers are seeking DOT approval to fly nonstop to Shanghai.
Continental is hoping to fly to Shanghai from its Newark, N.J.
CRUISES said it will offer some three dozen land programs
in Asia when the luxury line returns to the region in 2007. Four
cruises are scheduled for departure between March 29 and May 1
aboard the Crystal Symphony. Cruises will range from 11 to 16 days
and visit 17 cities in nine countries, including a maiden call at
Chan May, Vietnam. A trans-Pacific cruise from Los Angeles to Hong
Kong on March 11 will kick off Crystal's Asia program. Cruise fares
will start at $4,295 per person, double. For information or
reservations, call (888) 799-4625 or visit www.crystalcruises.com.
Phone: (973) 898-0011
opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].