Monthly Archives: September 2016
he charming Los Angeles suburb of Whittier today welcomes DoubleTree by Hilton Whittier Los Angeles, the latest addition to the growing portfolio of DoubleTree by Hilton.
The eight-story hotel is located approximately 16 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, in the heart of Whittier’s tree-lined uptown business and historic district. Standing as the largest hotel in Whittier with 202 luxurious guest rooms and suites, the newly-opened hotel is within walking distance to cultural treasures, such as the Jonathan Bailey House, Whittier Museum and numerous shops, antique stores and vibrant cafes.
The hotel is an excellent choice for business and vacation travelers, given its close proximity to Los Angeles-area businesses and Southern California attractions. Just a short drive away, visitors can find Knott’s Berry Farm, Disneyland and relaxing Pacific Ocean seashore communities, such as Seal Beach, Sunset Beach and Newport Beach.
“Lovely Whittier is a quiet oasis amid its action-packed SoCal neighbors, but it’s also easily accessible to a multitude of destinations throughout metropolitan Los Angeles,” said Dianna Vaughan, senior vice president and global head, DoubleTree by Hilton. “It is an ideal location for our newest property, where we look forward to welcoming guests with the acts of kindness that mean so much, beginning with our warm DoubleTree Cookie greeting at check-in.”
DoubleTree by Hilton Whittier Los Angeles has a number of dining options on the menu, including Sophia’s California Bistro. Guests may select from the finest contemporary Californian cuisine as well as a wonderful variety of traditional culinary favorites for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Adjacent is the Ultra Lounge, a sports bar and gathering spot for cocktails and appetizing light fare.
In addition to the brand’s iconic warm DoubleTree Cookie welcome, the hotel provides each guest with a comfortable, stylishly decorated room or suite, with all the modern, thoughtful amenities expected from the DoubleTree brand. Accommodations include DoubleTree Sweet Dreams® Sleep Experience beds, a work desk with WiFi access, and views of downtown or the nearby Puente Hills.
With more than 12,000 square feet of meeting space, DoubleTree by Hilton Whittier Los Angeles can accommodate up to 600 guests for business conferences, weddings and social events. The Grand Ballroom is ideal for banquets seating as many as 400 attendees, and eight smaller rooms offer flexible meeting options. A state-of-the-art sound system and A/V equipment are also available, as is a fully-equipped 24-hour business center.
The hotel also offers a heated outdoor pool and hot tub, and a 24-hour fitness center, featuring new Precor equipment and a view of the pool and tropical courtyard. It also provides a full complement of services and DoubleTree by Hilton brand amenities, including an assortment of gourmet in-room tea and coffee offerings by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®, and a refreshing array of the Crabtree & Evelyn natural skin and body care line.
“For years, this hotel has been part of the fabric of downtown Whittier,” said Craig Carlson, general manager, DoubleTree by Hilton Whittier Los Angeles. “Our management team and staff are delighted to be joining the DoubleTree by Hilton portfolio and to be providing our guests with the simple pleasures of travel that can make their stay even more memorable.”
DoubleTree by Hilton Whittier Los Angeles is part of Hilton HHonors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 13 distinct hotel brands. Hilton HHonors members who book directly with Hilton save time and money and gain instant access to the benefits they care about most, such as an exclusive member discount, free Wi-Fi, the ability to earn and redeem Points for free nights, as well as access to digital amenities like digital check-in with room selection and Digital Key (in select locations), available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton HHonors mobile app.
To celebrate the hotel’s opening, Hilton HHonors members will earn an additional 1,000 Hilton HHonors Points per night for stays from opening through March 31, 2017, when booking directly with Hilton. Gold and Diamond members will also enjoy free premium Wi-Fi and space-available upgrades to the hotel’s exclusive Hilton HHonors floor and complimentary Wake Up DoubleTree Breakfast.
DoubleTree by Hilton Whittier Los Angeles is located at 7320 Greenleaf Avenue, Whittier California 90602. It is 27 miles from Los Angeles International Airport; 28 miles from John Wayne Airport, Orange County; and 33 miles from Ontario International Airport.
News American Hotel Income Properties REIT Acquires Two Embassy Suites by Hilton Hotels in Texas and Arizona
American Hotel Income Properties REIT LP (TSX: HOT.UN) (OTCQX: AHOTF) announced today the completion of its previously announced acquisition of two Embassy Suites by Hilton hotels located in Dallas, Texas and Tempe, Arizona for an aggregate purchase price of US$57.6 million excluding approximately US$5.7 million for brand-mandated property improvement plans and before customary closing and post-acquisition adjustments.
The Acquisition Properties comprise 529 total guest rooms and were acquired for approximately US$109,000 per guest room, exclusive of the cost of the PIPs, which is below management’s estimate of replacement cost. The two hotels include the 305-room Embassy Suites by Hilton Dallas DFW Airport South hotel located in proximity to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and the 224-room Embassy Suites by Hilton Phoenix Tempe, which is located near Arizona State University. Consistent with AHIP’s stated acquisition objectives, the Acquisition Properties are strategically located in larger population centers, near major transportation corridors and high-volume international airports, and close to a diverse group of corporate, medical, education, and sports demand generators.
AHIP funded the purchase price and the PIPs with cash on hand from its bought deal unit offerings completed in 2016, the issuance to the vendors of approximately US$17.4 million in new AHIP units (the “Units”), the assumption of an existing US$19.0 million commercial mortgage backed securities (“CMBS”) loan on the Dallas property (the “Dallas Mortgage”), and a new US$13.5 million CMBS loan on the Tempe property (the “Tempe Mortgage”). The Tempe bridge loan of US$10.2 million was repaid by the Vendors at the closing of the transaction. The Dallas Mortgage is interest-only until November 2019, matures in October 2024 and has a fixed interest rate of 5.25%. The Tempe Mortgage has a 10-year term, matures in January 2027 and has a fixed interest rate of 5.14%. The Tempe Mortgage is interest only for the first three years and is then amortized over a 30-year term. The lender has also agreed to provide an FF&E reserve waiver for two years. The Units were issued at a price of Cdn$10.3099, which was based on the 10-day volume weighted average trading price of the Units on the Toronto Stock Exchange prior to the closing of the transaction. The Units are also subject to a four-month hold period.
Rob O’Neill, CEO of AHIP stated, “The acquisition of two larger, upscale select service hotels located within two of the Top 25 U.S. markets further diversifies our expanding branded portfolio.” Mr. O’Neill continued, “With the application of conservative long term, fixed rate leverage, we continue to focus on providing consistent and stable returns to our unitholders.”
With the completion of this acquisition, AHIP’s portfolio now consists of 93 hotels totaling 8,685 guestrooms, with 47 branded hotels totaling 4,792 guestrooms and 46 rail crew hotels totaling 3,893 guestrooms.
The Acquisition Properties will be managed for AHIP by its exclusive hotel manager, Tower Rock Hotels & Resorts Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of O’Neill Hotels & Resorts Ltd.
The Hyatt Regency brand announced its debut in Southern China’s Fujian Province with the opening of Hyatt Regency Fuzhou Cangshan. Merging traditional Chinese culture with modern conveniences, Hyatt Regency Fuzhou Cangshan strives to become thegathering place for business and leisure travelers.
“We are thrilled to introduce the Hyatt Regency brand to the Fujian Province, thanks to the dedication and vision of the hotel’s ownership, Rongxing Group,” said Christopher Koehler, vice president and managing director – operations, Hyatt in China. “Hyatt Regency Fuzhou Cangshan will resonate with business and leisure travelers alike by providing a full range of services and amenities for our guests where they can relax, connect, engage, and collaborate with each other.”
The Hyatt Regency brand experience is designed around one objective: to connect today’s travelers to who and what matters most to them. With the beautiful Wulong River and nearby Qi Mountains serving as a majestic backdrop, Hyatt Regency Fuzhou Cangshan welcomes guests inside with a jasmine-themed design and Fujian courtyard-style architecture inspired by the cultural heritage of this more than 2,000 year-old city.
“We are extremely excited to open Fuzhou’s first Hyatt Regency hotel,” said General Manager Charles Wang. “Fuzhou has long been an important hub connecting China to the rest of Asia, and we are delighted to welcome guests and the local community to our new hotel. Hyatt Regency Fuzhou Cangshan will offer a level of upscale quality and a fine attention to detail based on Fujian’s local culture. We are confident that the hotel’s spacious accommodations, premier meeting facilities and anticipatory service will provide an authentic experience and one-stop convenience to business and leisure travelers.”
Starting at the hotel’s lobby, Hyatt Regency Fuzhou Cangshan impresses with an energizing combination of natural light from the atrium and intricate, linear jasmine-themed designs throughout the interior of the hotel. This timeless jasmine flower motif echoes through the grounds, from the ever-present fragrance in the air to the wood-carved petal designs on the door of each room. Iconic local elements are cleverly incorporated throughout the hotel, such as the circular Tulou, an enclosed and fortified earth building.
Hyatt Regency Fuzhou Cangshan features 226 intuitively designed rooms and suites, ranging in size from 473 square feet (44 square meters) to 2,626 square feet (244 square meters). The guestrooms have been built to integrate experiences that cater to the personal needs of the travelers with private foyers, large walk-in closets, bluetooth-controlled speakers, 48-inch LED televisions, and bathrooms with separate toilet and shower/bathrooms. Most guestrooms offer unobstructed views of the adjacent Wulong River and the Qi Mountains in the distance through floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
Hyatt Regency Fuzhou Cangshan features four restaurants offering authentic local and global flavor. From authentic Fujian cuisine to fine European fare, the hotel provides multiple options for quick drinks, business lunches, intimate dinners or casual dining experiences.
In line with the hotel’s signature flower, The Lounge serves an energizing Jasmine Ice Tea made using freshly harvested leaves from nearby Wuyi Mountain. It also offers traditional Chinese “kung fu” tea ceremonies for guests, live musical performances and a range of a la carte fare from the East and West throughout the day.
The Market Café brings in fare from around the world as the hotel’s bustling all-day dining venue. The market-style buffet offerings are served fresh out of live show kitchens and a tantalizing dessert counter, while à la carte options are instantly prepared to guests’ requests. A specially designed Kids’ Corner offers little ones their own mini buffet and entertainment options, from toys to board and video games.
The menu at La Cucina is filled with traditional fare from Sicily, Sardinia and other regions of Italy. Highlights include delectable thin-crust pizzas, fresh salads, handmade pastas and signature desserts. High ceilings, brick walls and woody, leather-clad interiors bring a level of relaxed sophistication, while a central pizza oven and an open kitchen bring an authentic, visual feast straight to the table.
Min Wei, the hotel’s signature Chinese restaurant, offers authentic local Fuzhou and Cantonese fare in one of the city’s most exclusive settings. Set around a green, open-air courtyard, the timelessly designed restaurant serves authentic local specialties including Buddha Jumps over the Wall, wok-fried pork kidney and “lychee” meatballs.
The opening of the new Hyatt Regency Fuzhou Cangshan provides an opportunity for Hyatt to build on its Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) leadership in Asia Pacific. Featuring more than 28,298 square feet (2,629 square meters) of pillarless, naturally lit event space, the hotel the perfect venue for a variety of events such as weddings, social banquets, exhibitions, meetings, and conferences.
The hotel’s main event venue is the Regency Ballroom on the first floor, which offers a high-ceilinged 12,916-square-feet (1,200-square-meter) space that takes after the hotel’s jasmine flower motif and offers a separate entrance to provide organizers additional flexibility and privacy. The ballroom also uniquely gives organizers the ability to incorporate cars into their event, with entryways large enough for automobiles to enter and be showcased on the floor.
An additional eight function rooms on the second floor range from 785 square feet (73 square meters) to 2,906 square feet (270 square meters), all of which provide river views and flexibility for groups of any size. Weddings are catered to with a spacious bridal room and a private lawn and outdoor gazebo during the warmer months.
Complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi and smart and intuitive communications equipment ensures efficient, state-of-the-art experiences.
A fresh New Year brings a new opportunity to delight ownership with big results in group/event sales…but only if you start off with velocity.
Here are five proven tactics for jumpstarting your hotel sales performance in 2017 and establishing momentum for the next 12 months:
1. Have a Kick-Ass Kick-Off!
Seize this moment to fire up your group sales team and send them off hustling, motivated and inspired to hit their revenue goals each month. An epic sales kick-off is your one chance to launch with real velocity and energize your team on a grand scale. The key is to get your team pumped and primed to kill it in the year ahead. So, avoid a boring presentation of last year’s numbers (snore). Book an exciting outside speaker, hold interactive education sessions addressing the challenges they faced last year, get the team up and moving during breakouts, and sprinkle in some high-energy team building activities. And remember, all of this initial enthusiasm and education can wear off by the following month, so reinforce the main ideas throughout the year in your regular weekly meetings.
2. Have a Simple Roadmap.
Booking group business without a sensible business plan is like playing darts with a blindfold on and crossing your fingers that you’ll hit the bullseye.
3. Hope is Not a Strategy.
Don’t leave your revenues to chance or expect your sales team to make up for your lack of organization. You should map out the primary underlying drivers that justify the sales targets you are projecting for ownership. How many trade shows, sales visits, planner events, marketing and sales campaigns are required? What are the main threats to achieving your sales goals? Your plan doesn’t need to be long and formal, but it should convey all the main waypoints on your road to sales success. It should also be a living tool, so don’t stick it up on a shelf to gather dust. Instead, review it every month to make sure you’re on track. And allow yourself the flexibility to adjust throughout the year if something isn’t working or if you want to try a clever new tactic.
4. Who’s Driving Leads?
This is one of the most significant components of your sales plan. It’s vital that your sales team sprints out in Q1 and pounds the pavement to build their sales pipeline, as that will set the pace for the rest of the year. Outline specific prospecting activities and lead generation quotas for each sales person. Make sure the proper folks have access to your prospecting tools, or invest in tools such as Knowland or Groups360 to capture business intelligence and identify new prospects.
5. Go Big…Early!
Shore up your pipeline and boost the year with a strong foundation by taking inventory of key group accounts. Which accounts brought in the most business last year? Which planners have the potential to add incremental business and multi-year contracts?
Call on these planners early on, remind them of the benefits of partnering with your hotel as their venue and offer even more value by incentivizing them to book early. Creating this foundation leaves room for better forecasting and revenue management yield strategies. Then, continue to nurture these existing clients throughout the year, recognize them for their loyalty and show a genuine interest in their success to strengthen the relationship.
6. Rethink Your Sales Materials.
The needs of modern meeting planners are constantly changing. Review your sales and marketing materials to make sure they are speaking to the concerns of today’s planners, not just generically touting your venue space. Meeting planners have challenges…so make sure you’re marketing messages crafted to offer event “solutions.” Do you need separate materials and messaging for corporate planners vs associations? Does your value proposition resonate with current customers? (You might be surprised if you simply ask a few of your best customers their opinion of what makes your property unique.)When meeting planners source venues, they often collect sales and marketing collateral from several venues, then review later. Make sure your marketing materials stand out from your comp set.A lot can happen in a year. So, if you are re-using sales materials from last year, it’s already time for a second look. Planners today appreciate authenticity, so update your materials with guest-sourced photos, videos and testimonials.
No matter how inspiring or charismatic your sales team is, they must be armed with stunning sales materials to make an impression on planners and to help differentiate your property.
Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 30th year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale