Travel Weeklys Asia-Pacific E-letter: May 18, 2006

LOOKING TO EXPAND in the Asia-Pacific region, Swiss-based Movenpick Hotels & Resorts agreed to manage a five-star property on Karon Beach in Phuket, Thailand. Movenpick will operate the 383-room Crowne Plaza Karon Beach, which will be rebranded as the Movenpick Resort & Spa Karon Beach Phuket, effective June 28. The resort is owned by Kingdom Hotel Investments, which recently acquired it from LaSalle Investment Management for $98 million. The resort features 186 villas with outdoor showers and pools, as well as 166 deluxe oceanview rooms and 30 apartments managed by the hotel. The resorts Tea Tree Spa features outdoor treatment rooms with plunge pools. Movenpick said it expects to announce other management deals in the region soon.

PARIS-BASED ACCOR signed management contracts for two new properties in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia: the Novotel 1 Borneo, Kota Kinabalu and the Mercure Waterfront, Kota Kinabalu, each located in distinct districts of Sabah East Malaysia. The 263-room Novotel will open in 2008 in the 1 Borneo mixed-use development complex, which will include condominiums, an office tower and a 600-shop retail complex adjacent to the Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park. The hotel will feature the Novotel brands signature BIZ Executive Floor and BIZ Lounge, as well as a fitness center and spa. The 212-room Mercure Waterfront will open this November in Kota Kinabalus Waterfront district with rooms offering views of the ocean and Mount Kinabalu. The hotel will include a spa, a fitness center and a pool.

CONTINUING ITS EXPANSION in China, Starwood Hotels & Resorts inked an agreement with Shanghai Forrester Development Ltd. to manage the Four Points by Sheraton Shanghai, Daning. With this agreement, Starwood will have 50 hotels in China, including 25 under construction. Scheduled to open in 2008, the Four Points by Sheraton will be Starwoods ninth hotel in Shanghai and its sixth Four Points by Sheraton in China. The new Four Points will have 315 rooms, 11,840 square feet of meetings space, three eateries, a health club, an indoor pool and a business center.

PRICELINE LAUNCHED A major international expansion of its air/hotel package product, including several destinations in the Asia-Pacific region. New destinations in Asia are: Bali, Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Manila, Phuket, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo. New destinations in Australia and New Zealand are: Adelaide, Auckland, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Christchurch, Darwin, Fiji, Melbourne, Perth, Queenstown, Sydney and Wellington. As a last-minute deal, Priceline is offering up to $100 in rebates to promote the expansion when customers book select packages by May 21 and travel by July 31. To book, visit

FOR THE FIRST time, Celebrity Cruises will sail in Australia and New Zealand starting next year. Six 15-day sailings will operate between Auckland, New Zealand, and Sydney from December 2007 to March 2008 aboard the Celebrity Mercury. Itineraries will include stops in Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, Dusky Sound, Doubtful Sound and Milford Sound in New Zealand, and Melbourne, Newcastle and Sydney in Australia, plus Hobart in Tasmania. The sailings will be preceded by Celebritys first voyages to Papeete in Tahiti, and Moorea and Bora Bora in French Polynesia on a 17-day relocation sailing from Honolulu to Auckland departing Nov. 23, 2007.

Asia-Pacific Editor:

Jorge Sidron

Phone: (973) 898-0011

[email protected]

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