Following the pioneering joint venture announcement in February, Hyatt and BTG Homeinns Hotels Group continue to make great strides with the unveiling of a new hospitality brand on Wednesday, June 19. Leveraging the respective strengths and resources of Hyatt and Homeinns, the UrCove brand is positioned to compete in the currently underserved upper-midscale segment. UrCove is an entirely homegrown hotel brand, built specifically to meet Chinese travelers’ preferences and growing expectations for a seamless, comfortable and premium travel experience in the upper-midscale market.
Announced at the China Hotels and Tourism (CHAT) conference today, UrCove, pronounced as “your cove”, is a metaphorical reference to having a safe harbor for a boat while on a journey at sea. The Chinese name Yifei (逸扉) also takes on the same concept of providing comfort, assurance and an overall feeling of being at home for travelers. The logo design of the UrCove brand uses a streamlined approach—the elegant C-shaped symbol references a bay as well as waves of the vast sea. The arching details within it echo UrCove hotels being the reliable shelter, as the brand aims to provide a cozy sanctuary for travelers to recharge with excellent quality and care backed by Hyatt.
“As we commemorate our 50th year in Asia Pacific and Greater China region, we are committed to maximizing our core business to drive purposeful growth and cater to the high end travelers of every segment we serve,” said Stephen Ho, president of Greater China, global operations, Hyatt. “Given China’s growing economic importance and the phenomenal growth of its middle-class segment, the UrCove brand strengthens our representation in the underserved upper-midscale segment, and we believe that this locally developed brand will advance our commitment to this important market.”
Data released by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of The People’s Republic of China showed that domestic tourism revenue increased by 13% in 2018, bringing in a solid revenue of CNY 5.05 trillion. The growing middle-class population and a government policy to boost domestic consumption continues to ensure long-term growth for the travel and hospitality market.
“We are one step closer to fulfilling our commitment to elevate the business travel experience of the growing upper-midscale segment,” said David Sun, general manager of BTG Homeinns Hotels Group, chairman & chief executive officer of Homeinns Hotel Group. “The UrCove brand is designed to better serve local consumers. By combining our extensive knowledge and vast network of the local market with Hyatt’s experience in premium care and hospitality, we are on track towards setting a new benchmark for hospitality in China.”
UrCove hotels will cater to the ‘Road Warriors’ – a term used to identify an extension within the upper-midscale segment of frequent business travelers. These highly mobile travelers often seek out efficiency and comfort but are limited in opportunities to get the best out of their travel experience. With its population expected to reach 440 million by 2020 and continuously rising income levels, China’s middle class is greatly underserved when traveling for work.
Located in highly accessible locations in gateway cities where travelers can get the best business and leisure experiences, UrCove hotels will adopt best-in-class design. Functional business space and practical amenities will allow travelers to manage work tasks while exploring their host city with ease. Leveraging Hyatt’s highly renowned food and beverage excellence, UrCove hotels will also provide delicious food including a nutritious breakfast with lavish choices to ensure a whole day’s energy for work, as well as group or business dinner options. The first two UrCove hotels are expected to open in Shanghai and Beijing by late 2020.
JW Marriott Debuts in Oman’s Historic Capital
JW Marriott announced the opening of JW Marriott Muscat today, setting the stage for distinctive experiences in Oman’s historic capital. Located in the heart of Muscat’s new business hub, within the Sultanate’s largest urban development project Madinat Al-Irfan, the hotel is an integral part of the prestigious Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre (OCEC) precinct. Directly linked to the OCEC, it also provides easy access to key city landmarks including Muscat Old Town, Royal Opera House, Old Souq and Mattrah Corniche.
“The debut of JW Marriott in Muscat marks an exciting milestone for the brand in the Middle East and Africa as we continue to grow our footprint and deliver an elevated and warm luxury experience,” said Mitzi Gaskins, Vice President & Global Brand Leader, JW Marriott. “The hotel’s extensive offerings encourage guests to live in the present and pursue their best selves while immersing themselves in the culturally authentic experiences of this enchanting city.”
Designed to allow guests to focus on feeling whole, JW Marriott Muscat is a true representation of JW Marriott’s mission to providing enriching experiences that enable guests to live with intent. The property offers spaces to be present in mind, nourished in body and revitalized in spirit; including special mindful moments in dedicated areas throughout. Hotel guests can participate in a series of daily rituals that help transport them into a refuge of calm; each of which includes a five to 10-minute activity that enables them to be more aware, present, focused and inspired:
· The ‘108 Steps’ ritual brings people together by encouraging guests to walk in a circle clockwise, silently counting their steps to the number 108 to cultivate mental discipline and as a gesture of respect for the natural flow of life
· The ‘Words to Inspire’ ritual invites guests to choose words from a bowl and envision themselves being an embodiment of the word, leaving them feeling positive and inspired
· ‘Your Best Day’ ritual is about visualization of what is important to each guest and built around self-acknowledgment
Overlooking inspiring surroundings, JW Marriott Muscat features 304 guest rooms and suites, many of them offering views of Oman’s wadis, spectacular natural valleys flowing with water. With 2500 square meters of banqueting space flooded with natural daylight and equipped with the latest state-of-the-art technology, the new property is the perfect place to host artfully choreographed meetings and events. Whether it is a small board meeting, a large conference, a social gathering or a wedding, the hotel offers space and choice with two large ballrooms and six meeting rooms. Directly linked to the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre (OCEC) precinct, JW Marriott Muscat invites business travellers to benefit from the acclaimed ‘Events by JW’ service, including multi-lingual and experienced event planners and tailored menus. JW Marriott Muscat houses the largest Executive Lounge in the country and is the first hotel to have an exclusive lounge for airline crew.
Oman’s rich local produce is at the heart of JW Marriott Muscat’s food and beverage philosophy, with five restaurants and lounges to ensure the culinary experiences at the hotel fulfil every taste and desire. The all-day dining found at Kitchen 7 offers a tasteful selection of international buffets, Asian woks, Middle Eastern grills and Indian tandoors with an interactive show kitchen. Fire cooking lovers can enjoy sophisticated grills with a sparkling flair at Pink Salt; nature and the crafts of a botanist inspire the refreshing and creative beverages at Tonika; while Butter Buns gastropub houses the city’s best burgers, creating exceptional flavors. Guests can also relax and enjoy the Mediterranean vibe and entertainment from sunrise to sunset at the property’s CATCH pool bar.
A rejuvenating Spa by JW, offers signature treatments organized by four distinct benefits – renewal, calmness, invigoration and indulgence – as well as sauna and steam room facilities. Additional leisure facilities include a state-of-the-art fitness center, three outdoor swimming pools, a floodlit tennis court and a multipurpose court for basketball, volleyball and badminton.
The Ben, The First Waterfront Hotel in Downtown West Palm Beach
Today, Autograph Collection Hotels announced the opening of The Ben, the first hotel on the downtown West Palm Beach, Florida waterfront. The Ben is part of Autograph Collection’s diverse and dynamic portfolio of more than 180 independent hotels carefully crafted with vision and passion. Just like The Ben, each distinctive hotel in the Autograph Collection is singular and special: Exactly Like Nothing Else.
The Ben joins Autograph Collection’s robust portfolio of 18 hotels in Florida including the newly opened Cadillac Hotel & Beach Club in Miami Beach, The Daytona in Daytona Beach and Fenway Hotel in Dunedin.
“We’re thrilled to introduce The Ben, an unmistakably original hotel that injects new energy into the traditionally classic city of West Palm Beach,” said Jennifer Connell, Vice President and Global Brand Leader, Autograph Collection Hotels. “The Ben reimagines classic South Florida lifestyle for today’s travelers by blending elements inspired by the city’s early days as an untamed tropical paradise with modern touches, making it a perfect fit for the Autograph Collection.”
The 208-room, new-build hotel features a modern design aesthetic reflecting the spirit of the Ben Trovato Estate, one of West Palm Beach’s original homes. Byrd Spilman Dewey, one of Florida’s most prolific authors of the pioneer era, gave her 1892 Victorian home the name Ben Trovato, literally meaning “well invented.” The name is derived from “Se non è vero, è ben trovato,” an Italian phrase which, loosely translated, means “Even if it isn’t true, it’s a good story.” The Estate put West Palm Beach on the cultural map, entertaining luminaries from Henry Phipps Jr. to Woodrow Wilson and the Vanderbilts.
Reimagined for today, The Ben creatively channels Dewey’s joie de vivre, her love of entertaining, her whimsical interests and personal passions. Much like the Ben Trovato Estate, this new hotel is a place for socialization, lively conversation and enrichment.
“The Ben is a development unlike anything West Palm Beach has seen before. We’re redefining what it means to travel to and live in West Palm,” said Bernardo Neto, General Manager of The Ben. “We invite guests and locals to experience the essence of this magical waterfront city in an inspired setting fueled by a unique story, thoughtful design and the spirit of socialization.”
Pioneered by South Florida architecture firm EoA and its founder and design director Malcolm Berg, The Ben’s heartfelt design beautifully combines vintage Florida with modern elements. The hotels’ interiors intrigue guests with a combination of rich textures and earth tones accented with lush greenery evocative of the South Florida setting and climate that enchanted Dewey. Guestrooms feature eclectic elements including sliding bookcases that, when discovered, reveal a window into the shower and whimsical, mod iconic collage portraiture. In the lobby, a book display wall is arranged to manifest the silhouette of hotel muse Dewey’s face.
Proper Gritdebuts as the hotel’s signature restaurant, with Executive Chef Andre Sattler at the helm. The contemporary South Florida chophouse is open daily and offers indoor and outdoor seating in a comfortable, yet upscale setting. A communal-style table stretches across the dining room to encourage socialization, with cozy, living-room style nooks along its border where guests can intimately enjoy a cocktail prior to being seated. Menus include fresh, locally sourced fare that combines the property’s Old Florida roots interpreted the “proper” way and offers staples like whole, fresh caught snapper filleted table-side, and a perfectly cooked ribeye steak, served bone-in.
The Ben also features Spruzzo, a stunning rooftop lounge and bar that is accessible via an express elevator directly from the ground floor. This new West Palm hotspot boasts sweeping, ‘Byrds-eye’ views of the Palm Harbor Marina and beyond, and offers a setting for guests to enjoy poolside cocktails and Mediterranean bites al fresco.
Living up to its roots and identity as downtown West Palm’s social hub, The Ben features more than 8,000 square feet of meeting and event space, from a sleek boardroom to a unique glass-enclosed gallery, The Studio, which provides a supplementary flex-space that serves as a blank canvas for the most innovative events to come to life.
For weddings and elegant affairs, The Ben’s rooftop Blue Heron Ballroom ups the ante on events in the area. The space can host up to 500 guests and is the only rooftop ballroom in all of West Palm Beach with captivating ocean views from Singer Island to Palm Beach Island and beyond.
Regular programming will make use of the varied spaces throughout the hotel with offerings including Sunset/Sunrise Yoga on the Rooftop, a Proper Grit Pup Brunch, Gin & Jam Tea Time and more.
Owned and operated by ConcordHospitality, an award-winning hotel development and management company, The Ben is located at 251 N. Narcissus Avenue, one block from vibrant Clematis Street, minutes away from the newly reimagined Rosemary Square and a short drive from Palm Beach International Airport (PBI).
Hyatt Regency Barcelona Tower Officially Opens
Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced today the opening of the fully renovated 280-room Hyatt Regency Barcelona Tower, a hotel in the gateway to Barcelona’s new financial district. Connecting travelers between Barcelona’s international airport and city center, the opening of the hotel marks the second Hyatt Regency branded property in Spain as Hyatt mindfully grows the Hyatt Regency brand footprint in markets where guests want to be.
Designed by renowned architect Richard Rogers who is best known for his work on the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Millennium Dome in London, and the European Court of Human Rights building in Strasbourg, the hotel is one of Barcelona’s skyline landmarks. The 344-foot (105-meter) high and 29-story tower is topped by a stunning glass dome providing the top-floor restaurant with breathtaking 360-degree views of the city.
“Grounded in Hyatt’s purpose to care for guests, we are proud to grow the Hyatt Regency brand in Barcelona with the opening of Hyatt Regency Barcelona Tower,” said Guzman Muela, general manager of Hyatt Regency Barcelona Tower. “Rich culture and world-renowned architecture have ensured Barcelona as a desirable locale where our guests want to stay. Meanwhile, the hotel’s location, just minutes from the Fira Gran Via Congress Center, the vibrant meeting spaces and dining options allow us to cater to business travelers’ needs.”
Hyatt Regency Barcelona Tower offers 280 contemporary rooms including 41 suites, one Presidential Suite as well as twelve duplex suites, all offering beautiful views of the city skyline. The Presidential Suite is located in the tower on the 26th floor and includes two separate bedrooms, a private office, two large terraces and free access to the Regency Club and Metropolitan Health Club & Spa.
All rooms have ample space, each with walk-in closets, luxurious bathrooms and wall-to-wall mirrors. In addition, the hotel also offers 24-hour room service and around the clock laundry service.
Dining and Drinking
Hyatt Regency Barcelona Tower features a range of energizing drinking and dining options.
Terrum is a new and unique restaurant concept led by the prestigious two-Michelin starred chef, Oscar Velasco. Fresh and seasonal produce as well as excellent service allow guests to depart on culinary adventures.
The Axis Bar invites guests and locals to indulge in cocktails and a variety of snacks and sandwiches in a sophisticated setting. A spectacular outdoor terrace completes the Axis Bar as a perfect place to enjoy the comfortable year-round weather in Barcelona.
The Azimut Restaurant offers a daily breakfast buffet with a wide range of nutritious and healthy options to start the day confidently.
Meetings and Events
Hyatt Regency Barcelona Tower offers a variety of intuitive event and meeting spaces, including its own 500 seat auditorium. Additionally, the Cosmos Room can hold up to 1,800 people and 24 paneled meeting rooms. Furthermore, the hotel lobby offers a wide and open space to work and relax including a spectacular 2034-square-foot (189-square-meter) LED screen, one of the largest in Europe. The flexible meeting spaces backed by the brand’s signature service of personalized care and attention to detail ensures that event planners have seamless and high-touch gatherings.
Guests of Hyatt Regency Barcelona Tower have exclusive access to one of the most prestigious and best equipped gyms in Spain, the Metropolitan Health Club & Spa. The Metropolitan boasts two paddle courts, a solarium, as well as activity rooms with personal training and Pilates studios.
Hyatt Regency Barcelona Tower was rebranded from Hotel Hesperia Barcelona Tower and is managed by HesperiaWorld. It is the fifth Hyatt hotel to open in Spain, alongside Hyatt Regency Hesperia Madrid, Hyatt Centric Gran Vía Madrid, Hotel SOFIA Barcelona and Park Hyatt Mallorca.
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