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Hyatt and BTG Homeinns Unveil New Hospitality Brand Under Joint Venture

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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.

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Hotels & Resorts

Marriott International Signs Agreement to Debut W Costa Navarino

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Set to welcome guests this summer, W Costa Navarino will bring detail-driven design and inspiring energy to the new Navarino Waterfront

Marriott International, Inc. today announced it has signed an agreement with TEMES S.A., a leading developer and operator in high end tourism and real estate, to debut the W Hotels Worldwide brand in Greece with the opening of W Costa Navarino. Expected to open in summer 2022, W Costa Navarino is anticipated to mark the latest addition to the ever-expanding W Escapes portfolio in Europe following locations in Spain, Switzerland and Portugal.

The new W Escape will be located in Navarino Waterfront, the newest integrated resort of Costa Navarino – the prime sustainable destination in the Mediterranean. The 13-hectare beachfront destination is located in Messinia, southwest Peloponnese. Designed by renowned Greek architects, Tombazis and Associates Architects, W Costa Navarino is inspired by the region’s traditional residential areas and set to use local, natural materials such as stone, wood and reed. The distinctive interiors will be led by London-based MKV Design. The Escape is expected to feature 246 stylish rooms, suites, and villas, many with private pools staged in the Bay of Navarino with stunning Ionian Sea views.

‘‘We are thrilled to build on our fantastic relationship with TEMES S.A. to open W Costa Navarino, strengthening Marriott International’s presence in this Mediterranean paradise,” said Candice D’Cruz, Vice President – Luxury Brands, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Marriott International. “Joining our portfolio of coveted W Escapes around the world, W Costa Navarino will add a distinct take on modern luxury to Navarino Waterfront. We look forward to welcoming free-spirited travelers to this new luxury playground.

W Costa Navarino is set to offer five dining venues including a destination beach club overlooking a long sandy shore, designed by Athens-based K-Studio. The ‘Culinary Square’ is the hotel’s playful take on a deli food market with individual outlets creating a socially driven destination for all day dining. Other planned amenities include a sunset bar and the signature W Living Room. Guests will also be able to enjoy experiences and dining at neighbouring venues in Costa Navarino including the new Navarino Agora, an open marketplace with retail, street food, open-air cinema and exciting programming throughout the day and night.

“W Costa Navarino will generate a unique energy encouraging free expression and connection between a diverse mix of people, whilst respecting and honoring authentic experiences and cultures. In this important chapter for the growth of the destination, we believe W Costa Navarino will significantly contribute to our vision in further establishing Messinia as a top international destination to visit and to live,” said Achilles V. Constantakopoulos, Chairman TEMES S.A.

Tennis courts and a water sports hub are part of the vision for guests to enjoy at W Costa Navarino, along with access to the destination’s four signature golf courses and an array of outdoor programming including biking, hiking, rock-climbing and sailing.

There are currently two Marriott International properties in Costa Navarino— The Westin Resort Costa Navarino, offering travellers and families countless well-being activities and The Romanos, a Luxury Collection Resort, offering exquisite architecture, butler service and epicurean experiences.

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Hotels & Resorts

5 Reasons To Go Offline at Four Seasons Resorts in Bali

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Free WiFi is expected at five-star hotels nowadays, and as such it’s a standard inclusion for guests of Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay and Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan. But the paradox of the internet and social media can be a very anti-social holiday where our phones never leave our sides. Here, we present five exclusive Four Seasons experiences that will inspire you to be in the moment. Ranging from water blessings to high-flying yoga and surf tours, you’ll be disconnecting from the internet and reconnecting to each other and the wonderful world around you.   

Can You Keep A Secret? This exclusive temple tour is not on anyone’s bucket list. We ask guests to help us keep it that way, by resisting the urge to post the temple on social media. If you agree, our guide will take you on a scenic three-hour tour from Four Seasons Sayan in an open-air vintage VW through nearby yet untouched rice farming villages. Visit historic sites include a secluded water temple where you are welcome to bathe, or simply to enjoy the serene and undiscovered atmosphere far from selfie sticks.

Learn to surf in the sheltered confines of Jimbaran Bay or take a boat trip to explore Bali’s world-class breaks with Tropicsurf’s coaches and guides. On-site at Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay, the Tropicsurf philosophy is based on small groups (maximum four people) and avoiding the crowds to take your surfing to the next level, faster. For the ultimate adventure, take Asia’s only heli-surfing tour to ride uncrowded waves in pristine conditions off the east coast of Java.

Bali is home to thousands of beautiful Hindu temples. We invite you to go beyond the most famous landmarks and explore hidden gems like the Goa Gong 9th century cave temple. Open to visitors by appointment only, this natural archaeological site is nearby Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay. Our resort priest Ajik Ngurah will be your guide to explore the cave’s shrines and stalactites, and can also arrange a melukat water purification ritual. Not something you want to be holding your phone for!

Discover the beauty of the Ayung – Bali’s longest river and part of the ancient UNESCO World Heritage-listed subak irrigation system. Our guided Four Seasons Private Rafting Adventure takes you through easy rapids flanked by virgin jungle, rice terraces and majestic gorges. Hop out of your raft and let yourself float down a quiet and calm stretch of the river, gazing up into the canopy overhead. Make a riverside landing directly at Four Seasons Sayan, where we’ll be waiting to welcome you back home. 

Experience the intimacy of Trust Yoga, the newest addition to the inspiring wellness program at Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay. Head to the ocean-front yoga pavilion and partner up with your soul mate, a friend or relative. Take turns being guide and flier, with postures that both require and build trust, strengthening your bond to each other and extending your practice. Our yoga instructor will lead each couple through this joyful 75-minute class, adapting postures to suit all levels. A fun way to connect emotionally and physically to someone special in your life, and a reminder that the best connections are human connections.

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Hotels & Resorts

’Tis the Season: Best Holiday Offers to Fuel Your Festive Spirit

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Hilton Garden Inn Zagreb - Radnicka

Hilton has curated a selection of delicious, family-friendly and unique ways to create memorable experiences during the magical festive season. Whether it’s playing a game of curling with mulled wine on the waterfront of Danube or indulging in a festive afternoon tea in the tallest building in Manchester, Hilton has something for everyone to get you into the holiday spirit.

Foodie Festivities

Waldorf Astoria Versailles – Trianon Palace

Tucked between the Palace of Versailles and the Grand Trianon, Waldorf Astoria Versailles is welcoming the jolly season alongside a new sweet delicacy – The Christmas Turkey. Created by the hotel’s talented pastry chef Eddie Benghanem, the dessert features a charming Turkey Chef preparing a festive dessert while sitting on an indulgent cooking pot made from chocolate. The dessert serves 6 – 8 portions and is available for takeaway when pre-booked from 84 euros.

Hilton Manchester Deansgate

Set in the heart of the Manchester metropolis, Hilton Manchester Deansgate invites guests to indulge in a festive afternoon tea at the Cloud 23 bar. Known as the highest bar in the city, Cloud 23 offers unrivalled floor-to-ceiling views over the Manchester city centre skyline. The afternoon tea will include unique festive cocktails alongside festive flavoured teas, sandwiches and cakes. Afternoon tea is priced at £55 per person.

London Hilton on Park Lane

Those looking to warm up near Hyde Park’s magical Winter Wonderland will be in luck, with the hotel offering a bespoke Winter Wonderland afternoon tea. Clementine and chocolate reindeer macaroons alongside blueberry jelly and chestnut cream meringues will ensure every guest has indulged in the festive delicacies. Afternoon tea is priced from £32 per person with an option to add a glass of champagne.

Hilton Garden Inn Zagreb – Radnicka

Celebrate the holiday season with the whole family in the heart of Croatia’s charming capital Zagreb. Hilton Garden Inn Zagreb has prepared joyful surprises for the children, alongside a “Children’s Corner” games station with various creative workshops available. Parents can happily relax at the hotel’s restaurant and bar with a 20% discount. Confirmed Connecting Rooms for four guests with breakfast included start from 138 euros per night.

Hilton Prague

Those looking for a delicious adventure are invited to The Able Butcher restaurant to experience the best of theatre and dining in an immersive culinary journey from “Le Petit Chef”. The event features cutting-edge 3D visual technology and digital mapping paired with themed music and props. With lobster on the menu and Santa Claus as a host, every guest, big and small, will feel the festive joy. The event is hosted during lunch on December 24 and all day on December 25. Prices start from £89.

Hilton Geneva Hotel & Conference Centre 

This merry season guests are invited to experience the Christmas Alpine Dream Chalet in the heart of Geneva. Set at the entrance to Hilton Geneva, the chalet will keep everyone warm by serving exquisite hot chocolates alongside mulled wine. Children are also invited to join festive cookie decoration masterclasses alongside the hotel’s pastry team. The Chalet is open throughout December.

The Trafalgar St. James London, Curio Collection by Hilton 

For an unforgettable New Year’s Eve celebration, guests are invited to experience Le Nord at The Rooftop, an event dedicated to ringing the new year in style alongside an array of delicacies and free-flowing drinks. Unrivalled views over Trafalgar Square paired with luxurious rooms make it the ideal spot to indulge in celebrations in the heart of London.

Hilton Vienna Danube Waterfront

Resting by the Danube waterfront, Hilton Vienna Danube Waterfront invites guests to team up and celebrate the cheery season with a game of curling. With unlimited mulled wine and punch complemented by roasted chestnuts, everyone will enjoy some festive entertainment. Prices per person start from 15 euros.

DoubleTree by Hilton Harrogate Majestic Hotel & Spa

Set in the heart of the Victorian spa town, the hotel offers to join the New Year’s Eve “Prohibition” black-tie gala dinner. Paying homage to the roaring ’20s, the event will feature flapper dresses, champagne towers and firework displays. Guests will be treated to a five-course dinner alongside a live swing and party band, DJ and disco fireworks during the night. A surprise balloon drop with a champagne toast during midnight will be the crown jewel of the whole evening. Prices start from £120 per person.

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