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Ascott unveils Citadines Connect business hotels to expand short-stay offerings

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CapitaLand’s wholly owned lodging business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), has launched Citadines Connect, a line of business hotels with selected services, to widen its short-stay offerings as it continues to grow its portfolio. A sub-brand of Ascott’s well-established Citadines serviced residence brand, Citadines Connect business hotels cater to frequent travellers who are constantly connected, offering a chic living experience in vibrant city destinations.

Citadines Connect business hotels will have tech-enabled features such as mobile keys, self check-in kiosks, smart washing machines or laundromats, content streaming-enabled televisions, and Google cloud printers. Guests can enjoy the convenience of ‘Grab & Go’ counters offering food and beverage options and daily necessities, common pantry areas, meeting pods, as well as 24/7 gymnasiums. They can also relax at the ‘Refresh and Recharge’ spaces that come with private napping pods with USB charging points, lockers and shower rooms. The hotels offer mostly studio rooms ranging from 18 to 21 square metres.

Mr Alfred Ong, Ascott’s Head for Global Operations, said: “Citadines is Ascott’s fastest growing brand. It has a strong reputation amongst travellers who enjoy the flexibility to choose the services according to their lifestyles. Riding on the worldwide popularity of the Citadines brand which focuses on the extended-stay market, we are introducing the Citadines Connect sub-brand to capture the short-stay segment. The Citadines Connect brand, which offers contemporary and tech-enabled hotel accommodation in well-connected locations, cater to highly mobile business travellers who appreciate convenience, fuss-free services, online connectivity and recreational experiences.”

“We see strong potential for the short-stay segment and hotel rates are rising given the rapid growth in global mobility, bleisure travel and a flourishing gig economy. More and more skilled professionals are taking on short-term, freelancing and ad-hoc work assignments which require them to travel frequently. We will leverage Ascott’s international network and strong management capabilities to bring the Citadines Connect brand to key gateway cities such as Hong Kong, Paris, Seoul and Tokyo as well as popular destinations in Southeast Asia where there is high demand for quality, short-term accommodation.”

Mr Ong added: “By extending our range of product offerings with Citadines Connect, we can scale up our lodging business at a faster rate and further sharpen our expertise in managing hotel assets. Our business partners and guests alike can choose from a wide variety of lodging products that can best cater to their business models, travel patterns, and accommodation needs.”

The two properties to debut under the Citadines Connect brand are in highly attractive locations in the top cosmopolitan cities of Sydney and New York. Ascott is also looking to rebrand its properties such as Temple Bar Hotel Dublin in Ireland and The Domain Hotel Sunnyvale in Silicon Valley, California to Citadines Connect.

Citadines Connect Sydney Airport

The 150-unit prime freehold business hotel is currently operating as Felix Hotel and will be rebranded as Citadines Connect Sydney Airport in May 2019. Located in Mascot within the city of Botany Bay, it is within walking distance to the Mascot railway station and Sydney Airport – Australia’s busiest airport which caters to around 44.4 million passengers in 2018 and is forecast to receive around 60.7 million passengers by 2033. The business parks of Alexandria, Botany, Mascot and Waterloo, The Lakes and The Australian golf clubs as well as the Westfield Eastgardens Shopping Centre are all nearby. Sydney’s Central Business District is within a 15-minute drive or ride by train. The precinct is further earmarked for development to accommodate future population and employment growth capitalising on its accessibility to public transport.

Citadines Connect Fifth Avenue New York

Citadines Connect Fifth Avenue New York is centrally located in the heart of Manhattan. Attracting a good mix of both corporate and leisure travellers, the property with 125 rooms is performing well with an average occupancy rate of more than 95%. Citadines Connect Fifth Avenue New York is steps away from Times Square, Fifth Avenue, the Theatre District and Rockefeller Center. It is also a short walk from key attractions such as the Empire State Building, Museum of Modern Art and Grand Central Station.

Since Ascott acquired the Citadines Apart’hotel serviced residence chain in 2004, it has expanded the Citadines portfolio by about five times from 5,100 apartment units in 18 European cities to about 25,000 units in over 140 properties and 86 cities across Asia Pacific, Europe, the U.S. and the Middle East. Last year, Ascott invested in TAUZIA Hotel Management, one of Indonesia’s top five hotel operators, to capitalise on opportunities in the growing middle-class hotel segment.

Business travel spending has been growing steadily from 2012 to 2017 and is expected to grow at an average rate of about 5% to US$1.7 trillion by 2022. This year, hotel rates are also expected to rise 3.7% globally.

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Hotels & Resorts

5 Thrilling Reasons to Visit Four Seasons Hotel Montreal This Winter

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When it comes to winter destinations, Montreal tops the lists of many travellers from all corners of the world. The Canadian metropolis and its surroundings were made for winter, and Montrealers have packed the coldest season with the hottest attractions. With the opening of the award-winning new Four Seasons Hotel Montreal and MARCUS Restaurant, the first Canadian outpost by celebrity Chef Marcus Samuelsson, the city is now more desirable than ever.

Here are 5 thrilling reasons to visit Montreal between January and April:

Winter Festivals

Igloofest(January 16 to February 8, 2020) turns January’s cold weather into an excuse to dance with thousands of Montrealers in the Old’s Port’s Jacques-Cartier pier every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. Dance to electronic music by top international and local producers, DJs, hip hop artists and more in an electro winter wonderland. Montréal en Lumière(February 20 to March 1, 2020) is the city’s biggest winter festival, merging gourmet food and drink events with arts, culture and an exciting outdoor activity site at Place des Festivals, located close to the Hotel. Enjoy themed restaurant meals and feasts by international celebrity chefs, outdoor music, ice slides and Nuit Blanche, an all-night celebration of art, culture and urban life.

Art Souterrain (Underground Art)

Expect a creative surprise around every corner in Montreal’s underground city during this annual visual arts and design festival. Spread over 33 kilometres (20 miles) of warm and cosy underground pedestrian walkways, the festival’s 11th edition features artwork under the theme “True or False” and offers visitors guided tours and other activities. February 20 to March 22, 2020.

Imagine Van Gogh

Montreal hosts a spectacular and immersive exhibition of the works of Vincent Van Gogh. The exhibition, presented by Paul Dupont-Hébert and Tandem, is on display in a sprawling former shipyard converted into Arsenal Contemporary Art Montreal, located in Montreal’s Griffintown. It takes viewers on a creative and utterly original journey inside the artist’s paintings. Through February 2, 2020.

Mount-Royal Park

Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted (New York’s Central Park) and inaugurated in 1876, Mount-Royal Park is a breath-taking urban green space featuring 200 hectares (400 acres) of biodiversity and natural beauty. Rising in the heart of the city, minutes away from Four Seasons Hotel Montreal, the mountain is stage to a host of recreational winter pursuits, including snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, tobogganing, and skating on Beaver Lake.

Montreal Canadiens

Founded in 1909, the Canadiens are the longest continuously operating professional ice hockey team worldwide, and the only existing NHL club to predate the founding of the NHL. The Canadiens have won the Stanley Cup more times than any other franchise, with a grand total of 24. Take in the heart-thumping action of a hockey game at the Bell Centre, one of the world’s most electrifying sports arenas.

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Hotels & Resorts

Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid to Open in Summer 2020

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The iconic Hotel Ritz, Madrid is set to open in Summer 2020 as Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid, following the most extensive restoration in its 110-year history.

The hotel, which was designed and built under the supervision of legendary hotelier César Ritz, first opened its doors in 1910. The restoration will significantly enhance the hotel’s facilities and services, while maintaining its unique character, encapsulated in the Belle Époque style of the original building. Spanish architect, Rafael de La-Hoz, has been instrumental in providing the context for the historical restoration, while French designers, Gilles & Boissier, have overseen the interiors with the aim of increasing the property’s appeal to local and international guests alike while celebrating César Ritz’s pioneering spirit. The re-design of the public spaces has focused on restoring the hotel’s many fine interior architectural features, while incorporating a number of valuable artistic pieces from the property’s collection, including crystal chandeliers, antique paintings and sculptures.

The hotel has always been an intregral part of society in Spain’s capital, and has been host to royalty, politicians, corporate leaders and celebrities. It is situated within the ‘Golden Triangle of Art’, an area defined by the most important museums in the city – the Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Reina Sofía Museum of Modern Art. The property’s location within a prestigous residential area close to Madrid’s financial and commercial district and to El Retiro Park,  adds to its appeal.

“We are proud and excited to be opening Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid this summer, our second hotel in Spain.  The meticulous restoration is designed to ensure that this legendary property is once again recognised as one of Europe’s greatest hotels,” said James Riley, Group Chief Executive of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.  “We are confident that the local community will be even more proud of this historic landmark, and we look forward to providing our guests with memorable experiences, in majestic surroundings, all underpinned by Mandarin Oriental’s exceptional service,” he added.

Guestrooms and Suites

Gilles & Boissier have created a sophisticated design for the hotel’s new guestrooms, encapsulating a classic but contemporary residential style for the 153 rooms including 53 suites. Within the suite inventory, there are several one-of-a-kind speciality suites, featuring unique design elements inspired by the hotel’s historic connections to the city, Spanish culture and art. A spacious Royal Suite and the Presidential Suite feature magnificent views over the Prado museum. Located in the top floor turrets are two new suites, each with private balconies and views over the Prado Museum and Lealtad Square.

Restaurants and Bars

Chef Quique Dacosta, one of the most celebrated chefs in Spain, has been appointed to design, develop and oversee all culinary operations at the hotel’s five restaurants and bars. The award-winning chef is renowned for the three Michelin starred restaurant, Dénia, in Alicante, and the two Michelin starred El Poblet restaurant in Valencia.  At Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid, a signature Quique Dacosta restaurant, overlooking the famous hotel garden, is set to be a destination in its own right. All day dining and traditional afternoon tea will be served in the elegant surroundings of The Palm Court, under a spectacular glass canopy ceiling that formed an integral part of the original building but had been lost for 80 years and will be reconstructed. Guests will also be able to dine in the Ritz Garden or enjoy the charm of the Ritz Bar. Finally, the Champagne Bar will offer an ever-changing selection of exclusive champagnes paired with a signature tapas menu.

“I am very excited to work on the culinary offering of Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid to provide unique gastronomic experiences across all restaurants, bars and banquet facilities,” said Quique Dacosta.

“We look forward to welcoming Quique Dacosta to Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid. His desire to deliver more than a culinary experience, with his sense of creativity and his unique character, matches perfectly our mission to delight and satisfy our guests,” said Gérard Sintès, General Manager of Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid.

Leisure & Wellness

The hotel’s new leisure and wellness facilities include a heated indoor swimming pool, a vitality pool, experience showers, a steam room and a contemporary fitness centre. A dedicated treatment room has been designed as a hidden sanctuary, providing a range of exclusive local and signature beauty and massage treatments.

Event Spaces

As one of the most iconic buildings in the Spanish capital, Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid is ideally placed for memorable social events. The ballroom and functions spaces, with their large windows facing the Prado Museum will be beautifully restored and designed to ensure the hotel is once again the venue of choice for weddings, private dinners and parties.

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Hyatt Regency Manchester and Hyatt House Manchester Officially Open

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Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced today the opening of the 212-room Hyatt Regency Manchester and 116-room Hyatt House Manchester in the city’s landmark building “The Lume.” The openings represent a significant milestone for Hyatt’s brand growth in the U.K. and the debut of Hyatt’s extended stay segment, the Hyatt House brand.

Hyatt Regency Manchester offers empathetic service that anticipates the needs of guests and event planners to ensure they have a seamless and personalized experience. The hotel will stay true to the brand promise of making travel free from stress by providing guests everything they need under one roof. Hyatt House Manchester is designed to make guests feel at home, offering residents spacious, apartment-style living paired with amenities that help them maintain work and personal routines while on the road.

Situated in the Innovation District on the Oxford Road Corridor, both hotels are close to Manchester’s major transportation hubs and provide easy access to major attractions such as the Manchester Museum, the Whitworth Art Gallery and the world-famous football stadiums of Manchester United F.C and Manchester City F.C. 

“We look forward to welcoming guests to the first Hyatt hotels in Manchester – one of the UK’s most multicultural cities and a hub for innovative start-ups,” said Assumpta McDonald, general manager of Hyatt Regency and Hyatt House Manchester. “A city popular for leisure and business travelers, Manchester and its growing commercial center is an ideal destination for having two brands within one building. Located in close proximity to the University, the city center and a number of tourist attractions, we believe that both hotels will attract business and leisure travelers alike.”

The properties offer a variety of shared facilities, including The Laureate Restaurant, The Graduate Bar, seven state-of-the-art meeting rooms and a fully equipped 24-hour fitness center. Additionally, guests staying at Hyatt House Manchester have access to the Omelet Bar and the 24/7 H Market.

Guestrooms

Hyatt Regency Manchester offers 212 contemporary guestrooms and suites, all featuring floor-to-ceiling windows with city views. Guests can opt for Regency Club rooms or suites and enjoy additional amenities including complimentary breakfast, evening cocktails, and canapés.

For travelers looking for an extended stay, Hyatt House Manchester offers 116 studios and one-bedroom suites, all featuring fully equipped kitchens, free wi-fi and stylish living and working spaces. Guests of the hotel can also enjoy 24-hour access to complimentary laundry facilities, inclusive breakfast, and the 24/7 H Market.

Dining and Drinking

Hyatt Regency Manchester and Hyatt House Manchester share two distinctive gastronomic offerings – The Laureate Restaurant and The Graduate Bar.

The Laureate Restaurant boasts a menu that celebrates Manchester as one of the UK’s most multicultural cities. Executive chef Nathaniel Farrell serves inspiring, seasonally curated dishes combining fresh, locally sourced ingredients. While the name pays tribute to the world-leading educational institutions on its doorstep, the décor makes The Laureate the perfect spot for guests and locals alike to gather, recharge and dine.

Aptly named to reflect the academic brilliance of the hotel’s surroundings, The Graduate Bar is a vibrant, airy oasis inspiring guests and locals to relax and unwind. It offers cocktails, quality beers and gourmet bites.

Exclusively accessible for guests of Hyatt House Manchester, the H Market is open 24/7 and provides a range of groceries and on-the-go snacks. Guests can also enjoy access to the Omelet Bar, offering a chef-inspired omelet of the day or the option to create one to their own liking each morning.

Meetings and Events

Hyatt Regency Manchester offers an array of flexible meeting spaces, with seven state-of-the-art meeting rooms. The hotel pays tribute to some of Manchester’s best-known academics, naming the meeting rooms after famous alumni and those working closely with the University. These include former chief executive of Manchester City Council Sir Howard Bernstein and renowned mathematician Alan Turing, best known for his work in breaking the German Enigma code during World War II.

Hyatt House Manchester offers two intimate event spaces: The Conservatory and The Living Room, both located on the 18th floor of the hotel.

The varied selection of meeting spaces offered by the two hotels provide guests of both properties the option to book from a range of options to ensure a seamless environment for every event. The meeting rooms are equipped with LCD projectors and screens for presentations, and the on-site business center is open 24 hours a day. Additionally, all meeting rooms and event spaces offer expert catering services. 

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