The new Le Meridien San
Francisco has become a work of art.
located in the city's Embarcadero district, tapped renowned
lighting designer Thierry Dreyfus to create an interactive display
that has turned the 24-story hotel into an ever-changing Mondrian
The windows of
the Le Meridien's 360 guest rooms have been covered with colored,
transparent gels that are illuminated or darkened as lights are
turned on and off in the rooms.
The light show,
which began Nov. 1 and will run through Jan. 31, is part of what Le
Meridien calls First Night.
A similar First
Night celebration is slated for Dec. 1 at the opening of a Le
Meridien in Shanghai, and another will take place at the Le
Meridien in Split, Croatia, although a date for that opening has
not been set.
" " "
The Atlanta area
welcomed its first 100% African-American-owned, full-service hotel
when the 218-room Crowne Plaza Atlanta-Marietta
debuted in September.
Hotels Group developed the property. It is being managed by the
InterContinental Hotels Group, which operates the Crowne Plaza
Hotels Group is a great partner, and I look forward to a mutually
beneficial relationship as we go forward," said Michael Roberts,
who owns the Roberts Hotel Group with his brother Steven and also
serves as chairman of the board of the National Association of
Black Hotel Owners and Operators.
other properties are the Holiday Inn Johnson Space Center in
Houston and the Mayfair Hotel in St. Louis.
" " "
Hotels Group announced plans to build four Hotel
Indigo properties in the Washington-Baltimore
The new boutique
properties will be located in Ashburn, Chantilly and Herndon, Va.,
and Linthicum, Md., and are owned by the Asha Cos. All are slated
to open by the end of 2008.
The hotels will
reflect a new-build prototype of Hotel Indigo rolled out in October
The design was
created to meet demand by developers eager to build Hotel Indigo
properties in suburban areas where conversions are not an option,
according to IHG.
Hotel Indigo recently introduced what it called Interpret Indigo,
which the company said gives developers the flexibility "to
creatively interpret the property's interior design while
maintaining the Hotel Indigo brand hallmarks."
design concept was always considered to be an important step in our
distribution strategy to maximize the growth potential of Hotel
Indigo," Jim Anhut, IHG's senior vice president, brand development
for the Americas, said in a statement.
which launched in 2004, has properties in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas,
Houston and Sarasota, Fla., and plans to open one soon in
" " "
Place, Global Hyatt's new select-service brand, has opened
three properties, including Hyatt Place Scottsdale/Old Town, Ariz.;
Hyatt Place Atlanta Airport-South; and Hyatt Place/Perimeter
launched the brand last year after it acquired the AmeriSuites
hotel chain from the Blackstone Group.
It has been
spending over $150 million converting AmeriSuites to Hyatt Place
properties and expects to open as many 120 Hyatt Place hotels in
such cities as Chicago, Dallas, Phoenix, Atlanta, Nashville,
Phoenix, Tampa, Miami, Orlando and Detroit in 2007.
Hyatt Place guest
rooms feature Hyatt's signature Grand bed, a section sofa, 42-inch
high-definition plasma TVs, a video/music entertainment system and
a workstation to accommodate laptop computers.
" " "
International said it will centralize and automate the
payment of commissions to group travel intermediaries beginning in
To that end,
Marriott said, under its centralized plan, industry-accredited
group intermediaries would receive commissions in one consolidated
payment for all of its brands worldwide, including Marriott, JW
Marriott, Renaissance, Courtyard, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites,
Fairfield Inn and TownePlace Suites.
Under the new
system, group travel intermediaries may receive commission payments
by check or direct deposit/electronic funds transfer.
would be accompanied by a detailed paper or e-mail statement
outlining the business booked for each hotel.
organizations must be industry accredited by ARC, IATAN, IATAN/TSI,
IATA or IATA/TIDS and provide that number to the hotel sales
who do not have one of these accreditations can learn more about
the process by logging onto www.iatan.org or calling (877) 734-2826, Ext.
" " "
Doubletree Hotel brand is heading to
The Hilton Hotels
chain signed a multiyear management agreement to operate a 360-room
Doubletree in Tianjin, its first in that country.
The hotel, owned
by the Tianjin Automobile Industrial Group Co., is slated to open
in late 2007.
property follows Doubletree's first foray into the Asian market: It
announced plans last July to build the 358-room Doubletree by
Hilton Resort and Spa near Sriracha, Thailand. The resort will open
" " "
Dorchester Group, which owns and operatives five
luxury hotels, said it is looking to expand its portfolio of
properties as part of a larger rebranding effort.
company also said it will now be known as the Dorchester
portfolio of hotels consists of the Dorchester in London; the
Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles; the Hotel Principe di Savoia in
Milan, Italy; and Le Meurice and the Hotel Plaza Athenee in
Collection said it intends to add traditional and contemporary,
highly individual hotels in the U.S., Europe and Asia to its roster
both through acquisition and third-party management
Michael Milligan is Travel Weekly's hotel editor. E-mail
him at [email protected].