Hotelbeds Expands Luxury Portfolio with The Leading Hotels of the World Alliance

Hotelbeds has collaborated with The Leading Hotels of the World (LHW), expanding its luxury collection across the group’s more than 400 properties.

The new preferred vendor agreement gives Hotelbeds’ clients access to a significant luxury portfolio for the first time, which offers properties in more than 80 countries around the world. In turn, the agreement opens up Hotelbeds’ 195-country distribution system to LHW’s hotels providing a wealth of benefits, including increased revenue streams and its industry-leading ability to ensure rate parity across all of its channels.

“This new agreement opens up The Leading Hotels of the World to our vast roster of booking platforms including 64,000 retail travel agents, while also expanding our range of high-end properties,” said Paul Anthony, Hotelbeds’ Digital Commercialisation Director. “We have seen increased demand for high-end properties this year and this new alliance will help us to meet this growing sector.”

Hotelbeds has become part of LHW’s Leading Strategic Sourcing (LSS) program, spearheaded by LHW and DayBlink GPO. The initiative offers a strategic group purchasing program for LHW’s portfolio of global independent hotels, which serves members by helping them capture new demand, access innovative sales, marketing and technology solutions to empower their success, and drive value to hotels in other strategically important categories.

Over the past year, Hotelbeds has seen an increase in luxury bookings with many destinations experiencing growth above 50%.

“We are excited to be collaborating with one of the largest global hotel inventory distributors to support our hotels’ innovative distribution strategies,” said Phil Koserowski, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for The Leading Hotels of the World. “Hotelbeds is a valued addition to the Leading Strategic Sourcing program, and a key component to our optimized distribution efforts in 2023 and beyond.”

W Scottsdale to Host ‘Super Week’ Ahead of Big Game

SCOTTSDALE  – W Scottsdale, located in the heart of the city’s booming Entertainment District, is thrilled to announce its exciting lineup of events to be held during W Scottsdale’s Super Week. With less than 30 miles separating the property from State Farm Stadium, there will be much to celebrate leading up to Sunday, February 12 when the two best football teams play to win. W Scottsdale will also offer exclusive packages, spa treatments and amenities for guests during this thrilling occasion.

Kicking off the week of events, on Wednesday, February 8, W Scottsdale will present ‘Suits & Sneakers’ in collaboration with Elevee Lifestyle and produced by Phoenix Fashion Week. Beginning at 8 p.m., guests can join the dapper evening for a celebration of tailored suits and the latest in sneaker culture with celebrity athletes from the NFL, MLB, and NHL modeling on the runway. FOX Sport’s personality and NFL reporter Jay Glazer will host and emcee the event, along with an exclusive performance by rapper Rick Ross.

On Thursday, February 9, Presented by Pepsi Zero Sugar, G-Eazy will perform live at W Scottsdale’s Cottontail Lounge. Doors open at 9 p.m. where guests can enjoy the Pepsi Zero Sugar cocktail mixology experience and a lively atmosphere.

Keeping the party going, Friday Beers, a comedy platform and lifestyle brand, will host the ultimate pregame party with a live musical performance, brews and more on Friday, February 10 from 9 p.m.- 2 a.m.

On Saturday, February 11, Playboy will once again throw one of the most buzzed about parties in town during football’s biggest weekend, with W Scottsdale serving as this year’s location. During this exclusive event, guests will enjoy drinks and refreshments along with big name musical guests and DJs. VIP reservations are available for those who want to enjoy an extra taste of indulgence. Event begins from 9 p.m.- 2 a.m.

On Sunday, February 12 starting at 10 a.m., W Scottsdale will host the Skybox Sunday Viewing Party for guests to enjoy crafted cocktails and catch all the game action on a giant LED screen and additional screens poolside at the hotel’s electric WET Deck.

To purchase tickets to these events, please visit www.cottontaillounge.com, and for VIP reservations contact (602) 405-0099 or VIP@spellboundeg.com.

In addition to the host of exciting events, visitors can take advantage of W Scottsdale’s AWAY Super Spa Week offerings and special amenities. On Wednesday night, February 8, the spa will host its own Super Week party with refreshments, a DJ, a raffle and swag bags.

Whether guests are hoping to get glam for the game or relaxed and rejuvenated after all the fun, there is a treatment or package that will fit the bill:

Glam Up for the Game – Includes a ‘First-Down’ facial, essential manicure, and deluxe retail product provided by Comfort Zone
Pregame Package – Includes the ‘Go Deep’ massage and ‘Kick-Off’ pedicure
Refuel Package (offered Monday, February 13) – Includes 25-minute ‘Blitz Fix’ massage and 10-minute Beauty Boost

W Scottsdale hotel guests can enjoy D’USSÉ Cognac in an exclusive pop-up in the hotel’s onsite W Hotels the Store, or detox with a W Recovery station so they can get back in the game.

Guests that book a suite during Super Week will also have access to special amenities such as W Hotels swag including hats, hydro flasks, VIP lanyards, AWAY Spa Comfort Zone swag bags, and more. Each luxury suite will include a complimentary Buzz Bar along with juices and detox shots by SUJA Juices.

Suites for the week are still available with a 5-night minimum stay. For more information on W Scottsdale and for bookings, please visit www.WScottsdaleHotel.com.

About W Scottsdale 

W Scottsdale marks the debut of W Hotels in Arizona. This sultry Southwest oasis, where innovative design mixes with urban sophistication, features 241 guest rooms including 44 lavish suites. A true insider escape, W Scottsdale boasts Arizona’s only Sushi Roku restaurant, and W Hotels The Store and offers three chic destination bars – Living Room Lounge, Cottontail Lounge and Wet Deck. Located in downtown Scottsdale, W Scottsdale provides guests access to discover the city’s high-profile shopping, innovative restaurants, eclectic arts district and vibrant nightlife. Signature services and amenities include the Whatever/Whenever® concierge service, Wheels® valet, FIT® fitness center, WET®, WIRED Business Center and P.A.W. – Pets Are Welcome™. For more information, visit www.wscottsdalehotel.com or call to schedule a reservation 877 W HOTELS.

Cornerstone Collective Announces Nexus Design Standards For Updated and Unified Safety Protocols

BOISE, ID—Officials of The Cornerstone Collective today announced a comprehensive program to provide hotel brands, owners and operators with a road map to design their properties safely, intelligently and prudently for today and the inevitable recovery from the Covid-19 virus. The proprietary Nexus Design Standards lay out specific criteria culled from across the full spectrum of expert sources, including the CDC, EPA, WELL, LEED, IBC, Fitwel, Mindful Materials and medical specialists. The program provides non-biased, research-based solutions that provide critical guidance for safe design, while allowing the ability to optimize the hotel’s uniqueness.

“A number of brands and hotel management companies have put together their own pandemic safety procedures, but no two are alike,” said Suzie Hall, founder and president, The Cornerstone Collective. “If an owner has multiple brands or owns an independent property, there is no trusted resource to assist them through what can be a costly process. The Nexus Design Standards are the first unified, all-encompassing approach that addresses all aspects of design for the ‘new normal.’ There is a lot of confusion and conflicting claims ranging from what constitutes appropriate distancing to what makes the most effective barriers. Not only do Nexus Standards include potentially life-saving advice, but they can substantially reduce costs by 15 – 40 percent. The Standards are supplier-agnostic but provide clear specifications on materials which often cost less than other options, even though the quality is similar if not superior.”

Hall has spent the last 28 years designing and advocating for how indoor environments can improve human health and well-being. With 20 completed LEED projects and dozens of healthcare assignments, she was ideally qualified to lead this initiative. “We’ve called upon our experience in designing hospital interiors, which present a higher concern for safety, as well as my current position on the Board of the St. Alphonsus Hospital Foundation. Utilizing that expertise, we worked with expert sources that form the core of the program.”

The new standards address ten key areas: Disinfectability, Cleanability, Performance, Health, Environmental, Price, Life Cycle Cost, Sustainability, Proof of Product Properties / Claims and Warranties. The below are specifics from three of the previously mentioned areas above:

Disinfectability
FFE upholstery must be sanctioned as disinfectable by the EPA.
Cleaning agents should be EPA-approved against COVID-19. Disinfection of surfaces and objects touched by multiple people is important.

When EPA-approved disinfectants against COVID-19 are not available, alternative disinfectants can be used (for example, 1/3 cup of 5.25%–8.25% bleach added to 1 gallon of water, or 70% alcohol solutions). Do not mix bleach or other cleaning and disinfection products together. This can cause fumes that may be extremely dangerous to enhale. Bleach solutions will be effective for disinfection up to 24 hours. Keep all disinfectants out of the reach of children.

Performance
All FFE upholstery should have an integrated fabric barrier system (mitigates pathogens and bacteria getting through)
Upholstery should be PVC, phthalate and formaldehyde-free
Minimum 50,000 double rub rating for upholstery

Proof of Product Properties
All products should require HPD (Health Product Declaration)
Greengard-certification is necessary for all products.
All products require a minimum 5 year warranty
“We will begin to see major failures of materials and products in existing hotels that weren’t made to withstand the rigorous cleaning protocols that have been put in place,” Hall added. “New builds must adopt the Nexus Standards to be successful in both the short- and long-term.”

The Nexus Standards began as an internal conversation among Cornerstone members. Following recent hotel visits by Hall and her team, the group quickly noticed that the most common response to guest concerns was to take a Spartan approach. “The solution for many hotels is to greatly reduce their room offerings in an effort to reduce guest safety concerns, but there is a better way,” Hall noted. “As we surveyed what hoteliers were and weren’t doing, our focus soon morphed into an industry-encompassing effort to provide best practices to all.

“Coronavirus fears put great emotional and psychological stress on the guest,” she said. “This is not the time to provide them with an unpleasant hotel experience by removing or reducing the room to not much more than a bed, a towel and a bar of soap. Hopefully, the coronavirus will be under control within one to two years or sooner. It is important to design the best safeguards, but in a way that will have long-term benefit and value to the hotel design.”

Hawks Cay Resort Will Reopen On June 1, 2020

DUCK KEY, FL––Hawks Cay Resort will reopen its doors on Monday, June 1, 2020, when the Florida Keys reopens its border to visitors. In compliance with state and local government reopening requirements in the Florida Keys, the resort will open a limited occupancy and a long list of new health and safety procedures.

“Hawks Cay Resort has a longstanding commitment to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our guests and staff, and that hasn’t changed,” said Hawks Cay Resort Vice President and Managing Director Sheldon Suga. “As we all respond to the changes and challenges of COVID-19, we remain steadfast in our commitment to our core values of safety and customer service.”

Following guidelines issued by public health agencies and the American Hotel Lodging Association, Hawks Cay has implemented a series of new cleaning and social distancing protocols including, but not limited to:
Health and wellness checks for staff with an “approval to serve” sticker displayed on name badges
Digital menus accessible via guest smartphone at all restaurants
Limited seating at dining outlets and new takeout package options
Facemasks are required for all staff and guests
Increased cleaning frequency in all public spaces
Guestrooms will be cleaned and sealed before guest arrival and daily housekeeping will not be available
Social distancing in all public areas
For a more detailed list of safety and cleaning procedures, please visit www.hawkscay.com.

“We look forward to seeing guests back at our pools and dining in our restaurants, but it will be a different experience as we adjust to social distancing measures and other cleaning protocols,” continued Suga. “We know it’s going to be an adjustment for our guests, so we’re doing our best to ensure that we’re giving our guests a place where they can feel safe and still have fun, which is what everyone needs right now.”

Hawks Cay has released several new promotional offers in time for summer travel such as the Advance Purchase option that provides a savings of up to 25 percent and a Drive to Duck Key package to encourage road trippers with a discount and resort credit.

Ashford Trust Announces Transition Within Senior Executive Team

DALLAS–Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc. (NYSE: AHT) (“Ashford Trust” or the “Company”) announced today a transition within its senior executive team. Douglas A. Kessler is voluntarily resigning as President and Chief Executive Officer to pursue other professional opportunities. The Board of Directors has appointed J. Robison Hays, III as the Company’s new President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Kessler’s resignation and Mr. Hays’ appointment will be effective Thursday, May 14, 2020, the date of the Company’s Annual Meeting of Stockholders. Mr. Hays has been serving as the Company’s Chief Strategy Officer, a position he has held since May 2015. Mr. Kessler will remain with the Company until May 14, 2020 to assist with the transition and be available to the Company for a year on a consulting basis.

“I would like to thank Douglas for his invaluable leadership and contributions to Ashford Trust during his considerable tenure. He has been an extraordinary colleague and instrumental in the growth of Ashford Trust since its IPO in 2003. We wish him well in his future endeavors,” commented Monty J. Bennett, Ashford Trust’s Chairman of the Board. “We believe Rob is the ideal candidate to execute the vision for the Company going forward. Having joined Ashford Trust in 2005 and serving most recently as our Chief Strategy Officer, Rob has been actively involved in all aspects of the Company. Given Rob’s breadth of experience and demonstrated leadership capabilities, we believe the transition will be seamless.”

Mr. Kessler is also resigning as Senior Managing Director of Ashford Inc. (NYSE American: AINC). Mr. Hays will resign as Co-President & Chief Strategy Officer of Ashford Inc. and assume the role of Senior Managing Director. Mr. Hays will also resign as Chief Strategy Officer of Braemar Hotels & Resorts Inc. (NYSE: BHR) (“Braemar”) and will no longer be an officer of Braemar. Mr. Hays will also no longer serve as Chief Strategy Officer at Ashford Trust.

Mr. Hays, age 42, has served as the Company’s Chief Strategy Officer since May 2015 and prior to that served as its Senior Vice President—Corporate Finance and Strategy since 2010. He has been with the Company since 2005. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Hays worked in the Corporate Development office of Dresser, Inc., a Dallas-based oil field service and manufacturing company, where he focused on mergers, acquisitions and strategic initiatives. Before working at Dresser, Mr. Hays was a member of the Merrill Lynch Global Power & Energy Investment Banking Group based in Texas. He received his undergraduate degree in Politics from Princeton University and later studied philosophy at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, Italy.

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