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Hong Kong Airlines celebrates win at The Award for Excellence in Training and Development 2017


HONG KONG, Sept. 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- On 15 September 2017, the Skytrax 4 star-rated full-service carrier Hong Kong Airlines was awarded the Best Presentation Award, Most Innovative Award and the Gold Award in the Award for Excellence in Training and Development 2017 organised by The Hong Kong Management Association. It is the only award of its kind in Hong Kong that gives public recognition of achievements in training and development and benchmarks the best practices among the profession. 

The recognition was awarded to Hong Kong Airlines' "Engineering License Trainee Programme", which aims to nurture young talents to become professional aircraft engineers. Recognised as an industry-first, this fast-track programme consists of A and B modules: Aircraft technical knowledge and Business management to develop high calibre professionals.

Mr Vitoo Zhang, Vice President of Hong Kong Airlines, said: "Hong Kong Airlines is dedicated to providing accelerated career path and diverse development opportunities for the young generation, thus supporting the manpower demand and future growth of the aviation industry in Hong Kong."

"We encourage innovation and vigor in our company culture, and these awards recognise the hard work and commitment that we have placed in producing the very best within the industry. I feel very proud to be working alongside the best and the brightest."

This latest success follows a series of new developments by Hong Kong Airlines, which have included the launch of its service to Vancouver on 30 June; the opening of its new VIP lounge, Club Autus; and the delivery of its first-ever Airbus A350 aircraft. 2017 is shaping up to be an even more exciting year, as the airline looks to expand its presence in North America later this year, with the launch of its daily Hong Kong-Los Angeles service.  

About Hong Kong Airlines

Established in 2006, Hong Kong Airlines is a full-service airline firmly rooted in Hong Kong. It has grown remarkably in just ten years with a wide destination network covering close to 40 major cities across the Asia Pacific region and North America, including Gold Coast, Auckland, Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei, Tokyo, Sapporo, Seoul, Bangkok, Bali and Okinawa, and the newly launched Vancouver route in 2017. The Company has also signed agreements with 17 codeshare and 76 interline partners respectively. The current operating fleet is made up of 35 Airbus aircraft, consisting of 31 passenger aircraft and 4 freighters. With an average age of around 5.0 years, Hong Kong Airlines operates one of the youngest fleets in the world. Hong Kong Airlines has been awarded the internationally acclaimed four-star rating from Skytrax since 2011. It was also the winner for Asia's Leading Inflight Service in World Travel Awards 2015.

For more information, please visit:

Official website: www.hkairlines.com 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/hkairlines 
Sina Weibo: weibo.com/hongkongairlines 
WeChat and Instagram ID: hkairlines 
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/hong-kong-airlines 

Marriott International Debuts Le Méridien and AC Hotels by Marriott in Denver 

With the Highest Open-Air Rooftop Bar in Denver, the Dual-Branded Hotel Complex Brings an Elevated Approach to Design and Dining in the Mile High City

BETHESDA, Md., Sept. 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Marriott International, Inc. today announced the anticipated opening of the dual-branded hotel development in downtown Denver, bringing two lauded European-inspired brands to the city: Le Méridien and AC Hotels by Marriott. The 20-story development features a 272-room Le Méridien Hotel and a 223-room AC Hotel by Marriott, owned and managed by White Lodging Services Corporation.

"We're really excited to be a part of this dual-branded property opening with Le Méridien, which represents the bringing together of two great European-rooted brands under one roof," said Benoit Racle, Senior Global Brand Director, AC Hotels by Marriott. "The carefully edited, high-style experience that you get at an AC Hotel is perfect for the modern business traveler looking for frictionless, uncomplicated service, and Denver's burgeoning entrepreneurial scene made the city a perfect fit for us."

The AC Hotel by Marriott Denver Downtown is the lifestyle brand's first property to open in Denver. Introduced to the U.S. in 2014, the AC Hotel by Marriott brand originated in Europe in 2011 as a joint venture with Spanish hotelier, Antonio Catalan, and now offers a portfolio of over 100 hotels in countries across Europe, Latin America and North America. Inspired by classic European design, the brand is perfectly suited for the modern business traveler, featuring simple, clean and crisp lines that create a feeling of harmony and inspire creativity.

Led by the Simeone Deary Design Group, the Denver hotel infuses the parts and pieces that make up a typical AC experience and meld them into the local landscape of the city. Based around the concept of the "Urban Pioneer", the space is designed to feel like a modern ski lodge, with peaked roofs, strong lines, geometric language, bold interior gestures. The materials for the public spaces are indigenous to Denver and inspired by the surrounding nature to include warm woods, honed and chiseled stone, textural wall finishes and unique millwork details.

"We are delighted to expand our partnership with White Lodging to introduce Le Méridien brand to Denver," said Brian Povinelli, SVP and Global Brand Leader, Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts. "We have made significant investments to develop the brand, which connects with guests through the art, culture and cuisine in key cities around the world.  We think these passion points are sure to resonate with Denver visitors and local residents alike."

Also led by the Simeone Deary Design Group, Le Méridien Denver Downtown takes shape with the clean lines of mid-century modern design. The interiors feature a cool and refreshing color palette complementing unique millwork concepts, reminiscent of the intricate craftsmanship of snowboards and skis.  The hotel immediately creates a sense of arrival with one-of-a-kind artwork installations, constructed with vintage pieces reassembled into contemporary sculptural art - reimagining the intricate and rhythmic nature of a snowflake.   The brand's signature Le Méridien Hub re-interprets the traditional lobby as a social gathering place that brings coffee culture to life during the day and sparkling cocktails during the evening.  Each of the 272 guestrooms and suites are thoughtfully-designed with a cool grey color palette with striking and surprising accent color combinations reminiscent of blue skies, green aspens, sunset orange and crimson.

Le Méridien will offer more than 12,000 square-feet of state-of-the-art event space including a 5,700-square-foot ballroom, as well as meeting rooms brightened through floor-to-ceiling windows. The properties feature more than 30 pieces of artwork curated by Denver-based firm, NINE dot ARTS, and created by local artists inspired by the property's European influence and the Rocky Mountains.

Opening in tandem with the hotels are Denver's buzziest new drinking and dining venues. 54thirty, the city's highest open-air, seasonal rooftop bar, offers unparalleled views of the city and the Rocky Mountains. Corinne, a dining and cocktail spot serving classic, simple American comfort food with an emphasis on locally-sourced ingredients will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner service. The Lobbyist, Le Méridien's sparkling cocktail lounge, opens in the hotel's mid-century modern-designed social space.

Further bringing Denver's dynamic culture to global travelers, the hotel has tapped local partners for guest experiences and special packages, including Clyfford Still Museum, the Real Dill, Bee Squared Apeiaries, Renegade Brewery, Colorado Cider Company, Laws Whiskey House, and The Infinite Monkey Theorem Urban Winery. "We've thoroughly explored the city to find exceptional partnerships which highlight Denver's unique personality," said Paul Eckert, General Manager. "We are excited to truly immerse visitors into the local culture."

Le Méridien Denver Downtown and AC Hotel by Marriott Denver Downtown is located at the center of the city's business district at 15th and California, one block from the Colorado Convention Center. The hotels are steps away from Denver's 16th Street entertainment promenade, and five blocks from the Colorado State Capital building and the city's arts and culture district.  Also nearby are leading attractions including the LoDo Historic District, the Denver Performing Arts Complex, and sports venues such as Pepsi Center, Coors Field and Sports Authority Field at Mile High – home of the NFL's Denver Broncos.

For more information, please visit http://lemeridienacdenverhotels.com/.

About White Lodging
White Lodging Services Corporation, established in 1985, is the fastest growing hotel ownership, development, and management company in America.  An innovative trendsetter, the organization's portfolio includes convention, urban lifestyle, and suburban select service hotels. White Lodging operates more than 165-premium hotels, 30 restaurants and 30 brands — including Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Global, and InterContinental Hotel Group — in 19 states. Success knows no boundaries at White Lodging, where associates and leadership have consistently earned superior guest satisfaction scores, top market share and industry-leading profit margins while recruiting the best, brightest, and most passionate professionals in every discipline for three decades. For more information about White Lodging, visit www.whitelodging.com, or connect on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

About Marriott International
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of more than 6,200 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 125 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company also operates award-winning loyalty programs: Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest®. For more information, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com. In addition, connect with us on Facebook and @MarriottIntl on Twitter and Instagram.

About Le Méridien 
With more than 100 Hotels & Resorts worldwide and the strongest, most globally diverse portfolio in its history, the Paris-born Le Méridien brand connects the curious and creative-minded traveller to unexpected and engaging experiences within their destination. With its brand promise of "Destination Unlocked," Le Méridien has transformed numerous guest touch points through global partnerships with creative minds. Plans call for dynamic portfolio expansion within the next five years in some of the world's most exciting destinations, concentrating on markets in Asia-Pacific and the Americas. For more information, please visit LeMéridien.com or follow us on social media – Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

About AC Hotels by Marriott 
AC Hotels by Marriott®, a lifestyle brand that celebrates a new way to hotel complemented by a European soul and Spanish roots, boasts more than 100 design-led hotels in 13 countries and territories. Design-driven AC Hotels by Marriott® edit away the unnecessary to remove friction, providing thoughtfully designed moments of beauty, allowing guests to focus on what's important to them. The properties modern design for modern business include buzzing AC Lounges, the perfect place for locals or visitors to get work done in style or to enjoy handcrafted cocktails and tapas.  High-design guest rooms and public spaces with sleek furnishings and intuitive technology features such as the Media Salons and AC Libraries inspire and connect. AC Hotels by Marriott® is proud to participate in the industry's award-winning loyalty program, Marriott Rewards® which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®. Members can now link accounts with Starwood Preferred Guest® at members.marriott.com for instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer. For more information, visit ac-hotels.com. For more information, visit http://achotels.marriott.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Infinisource Benefit Services displays solutions for higher education at CUPA Annual Conference and Expo 2017

COLDWATER, Mich., Sept. 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Infinisource Benefit Services, a leader in the benefits administration industry, will display its extensive lineup of solutions at the upcoming CUPA-HR Annual Conference and Expo 2017. CUPA-HR, the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources, serves the higher education industry by providing resources, knowledge, connections, and advocacy to achieve organizational and workforce excellence. The CUPA-HR Annual Conference and Expo 2017 started on September 16 and will continue through today, September 18 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront in San Diego, California.

Attendees at the conference can visit booth #408 to learn more about Infinisource's services, designed for HR professionals at colleges and universities. These services include COBRA, HR Legal Services, Enrollment & Eligibility, Transit and Parking, FSA, HRA, and HSAs, Premium Only Plans (POP) and Notice Mailings. Infinisource Benefit Services helps employers reduce risk, allocate resources, manage COBRA elections and premium payments, and deliver stress-free FSA, HRA, and HSA plans for professors, employees, and their dependents. Any and all of these services can be consolidated for improved benefit management, all from a single provider.

The keynote presenters of the conference and expo include Kai Knight, a classical violinist turned innovative composer and storyteller who uses music as a metaphor to inspire, along with Chip Heath, best-selling co-author of Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work.

"We're enjoying the CUPA-HR Annual Conference and Expo so far and look forward to the rest of the event," said Jody Oliver, president and CEO of Infinisource Benefit Services. "We have partnered with more than 100 colleges and universities across the nation, giving us a strong understanding of higher education and its unique challenges. The CUPA-HR conference allows us to continue to increase our presence in the higher education industry."

CUPA-HR represents more than 23,000 HR professionals and campus leaders at over 1,900 member organizations, including more than half of the U.S. bachelor's institutions and almost 700 community colleges and specialized institutions.

About Infinisource Benefit Services

Infinisource Benefit Services has been a leader in the COBRA and benefits administration industry since it started in 1986. Over the past 30 years, Infinisource Benefit Services has grown and expanded to include administration for COBRA, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts and Health Reimbursement Arrangements. Over 10,000,000 COBRA notices have been generated without a single adverse judgment or penalty. Infinisource Benefit Services has also processed more than 7,500,000 FSA/HRA claims and that number continues to grow. With 30 years of experience comes a unique understanding of employers' needs and how to best provide for those needs. For more information, visit www.infinisource.com.

SOURCE Infinisource Benefit Services

Bring on the Fun: Topgolf Nashville Ready to Rock Sept. 22 

Music City's hottest sports entertainment destination also features new concert space to create authentic Nashville experience for golfers and non-golfers alike


Haute Hospitality: Uniform Collection MOMENTUM By Timo Weiland For Crowne Plaza® Debuts At New York Fashion Week 

Five Hotel Team Members to Model Looks from Famed Fashion Designer's First Foray into Hospitality Industry



NEW YORK, Aug 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- It takes only seven seconds to make a first impression. Now, thanks to New York-based design team Timo Weiland, IHG® and Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, guests will immediately see that the brand is challenging the industry status quo and delivering meaningful innovations that cater to the modern business traveler. To best showcase the new wardrobe collection, five frontline hotel team members nominated by their fellow employees have been selected to walk the runway alongside professional models during New York Fashion Week (NYFW).

Originally announced last year at NYFW, the entire collection will come to life at a celebratory runway show with 20-25 signature looks on September 12, 2017 at Kia STYLE360 at the Metropolitan West. The employee models were selected for their commitment to service, dedication to the guest, and pride in the Crowne Plaza brand. They hail from throughout the Americas region, representing cities from Montreal to Tampa. The Crowne Plaza brand's hotel team members will begin sporting their MOMENTUM fashions this month.

MOMENTUM by Timo Weiland for Crowne Plaza is a stylish new wardrobe collection for hotel team members, with multiple, versatile ensembles available for each professional role. The modern, wearable designs highlight an approach to travel that offers guests an experience that seamlessly blends work and life. The collaboration is an exciting component of the Crowne Plaza® Accelerate program, a $200 million, three-year initiative created to place the hotel brand at the forefront of the way modern business travelers want to do business – without constraints.

Crowne Plaza Americas' Style Directors Timo Weiland, Alan Eckstein and Donna Kang fully reimagined the brand's uniform program, leading the wardrobe design process from ideation to final creation and production. They named the collection MOMENTUM to represent the Crowne Plaza brand's commitment to being a design-led, culturally relevant and technology-driven brand. The uniforms are both fashion-forward and suitable for a day's work, providing hotel team members with a look they can be proud of and comfortable in.  To ensure the highest production quality for MOMENTUM, the team engaged Cintas, the world's largest supplier of hotel uniforms to manufacture the collection.

To further showcase the blended lifestyle of today's business traveler, a curation of Timo Weiland's signature modern classics will also be featured alongside the MOMENTUM Collection at NYFW. The show's high-energy atmosphere will continue with a DJ set from Timo Weiland and Alan Eckstein, as well as a live musical performance by a special artist to be named soon.

"When I began this project, I made it a point to spend time observing guests at Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts. How they looked, what their priorities were and how they were affected by travel. It was very apparent that more and more people were combining their work and business lives, and as a result, the definition of luxury and personal style had evolved as a reflection of their experiences and ability to be anywhere any time," said Timo Weiland. "This insight not only defined the MOMENTUM collection for me, but also inspired the fabrics and designs for my own namesake collection."

"Timo Weiland has brought his distinctive point of view to Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts to design a collection that blends functionality, quality and style – values that both brands share," said Eric Lent, Vice President of Full Service Brands and Food & Beverage Solutions. "The collaboration has helped the Crowne Plaza brand create an elevated first impression that's just as sharp and savvy as our guests."

About the Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts Brand:
Part of the IHG global portfolio, the Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts brand has over 400 locations around the world. The Crowne Plaza brand is dedicated to making business travel work for the modern business traveler. IHG recently announced the Crowne Plaza Accelerate plan which includes a $200 million investment in the brand for the Americas region. The plan ensures that the Crowne Plaza brand will remain at the forefront of the new way of doing business with design-led, culturally-relevant and technology-enabled solutions. Visit www.crowneplaza.com. Connect with us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/crowneplaza or Facebook: www.Facebook.com/crowneplaza.

About Cintas:
Cintas Corporation helps more than 900,000 businesses of all types and sizes get ready™ to open their doors with confidence every day by providing a wide range of products and services that enhance our customers' image and help keep their facilities and employees clean, safe and looking their best. With products and services including uniforms, mats, mops, restroom supplies, first aid and safety products, fire extinguishers and testing, and safety and compliance training, Cintas helps customers get Ready for the Workday®. Headquartered in Cincinnati, Cintas is a publicly held company traded over the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol CTAS and is a component of both the Standard & Poor's 500 Index and Nasdaq-100 Index.

IHG® (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global organisation with a broad portfolio of hotel brands, including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton® Hotels & Restaurants, Hotel Indigo®, EVEN® Hotels, HUALUXE® Hotels and Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites®.

IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns more than 5,200 hotels and nearly 780,000 guest rooms in almost 100 countries, with more than 1,500 hotels in its development pipeline. IHG also manages IHG® Rewards Club, our global loyalty programme, which has more than 100 million enrolled members.

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group's holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales. More than 350,000 people work across IHG's hotels and corporate offices globally.

Visit www.ihg.com for hotel information and reservations and www.ihgrewardsclub.com for more on IHG Rewards Club. For our latest news, visit: www.ihgplc.com/media and follow us on social media at: www.twitter.com/ihg, www.facebook.com/ihg and www.youtube.com/ihgplc.                  

SOURCE IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group)

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ATLANTA, Sept. 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- IHG® (InterContinental Hotels Group) today revealed the name of its new high-quality midscale brand, avid™ hotels, alongside a brand logo and renderings of the hotel exterior, public space and guest rooms. First introduced to owners at the IHG Americas Conference in June, avid hotels is franchise ready beginning today, officially marking the start of licensing in the U.S. for this much-anticipated new brand.

More than 150 owners have already expressed interest in the brand demonstrating the strong demand and great potential for avid hotels in this market segment. IHG expects the first avid hotels locations to begin construction in early 2018, and the first hotel is anticipated to open in early 2019.

Keith Barr, Chief Executive Officer, IHG, said: "We built our Holiday Inn Express® brand into a hugely successful, leading midscale brand. Now, with the introduction of avid hotels, we're set to add another one and extend IHG's leadership position in this segment. With 14 million potential customers looking for the type of hospitality avid hotels will offer, this new hotel brand represents a significant growth opportunity for IHG and our family of owners."

This brand is designed for travelers who want a hotel stay that finally meets their expectations for the type of hospitality they value most – the basics done exceptionally well – at a price point expected to be about $10-15 less than IHG's industry-leading Holiday Inn Express brand.

Elie Maalouf, Chief Executive Officer, IHG, The Americas, added: "Our extensive consumer research and conversations with owners identified a clear opportunity to reach an important set of business and leisure travelers in a vastly underserved $20 billion segment of the U.S. midscale market. We applied our insights, expertise and scale to deliver an experience that features modern and stylish designs, superior guest rooms and public spaces and great service – all at an excellent value. I have no doubt avid hotels will continue IHG's success in delivering what our guests want, while driving superior returns for our owners."

New brand features shared for the first time today:  

avid hotels logo illustrates the brand's confident and modern design. In its confident and refreshing colors of red and aqua, the logo features a signature checkmark, which acts as a stamp of confidence that avid hotels will deliver an unrivaled experience. This brand is the first to launch using IHG's master brand mark – An IHG® Hotel – in communications and building signage, underlining its strength as part of one of the world's leading hotel companies.

Exterior and public space renderings for avid hotels bring the brand experience to life. Setting the brand apart, the modern exterior hotel design includes an open and airy retail-like entry, a canopy and uses the stairwell as an eye catching red architectural feature. On the inside, guests will find vibrant, open public and work areas and inviting communal spaces that allow guests to relax, work, connect or eat.

Hotels will offer a focused, high-quality, complimentary breakfast and marketplace options made for guests on the go. The entire hotel will be equipped with IHG Connect® Wi-Fi with the fastest speed in the industry and the ability for loyalty members to be automatically connected for all future visits. Hotels will also leverage IHG's state-of-the-art, cloud-based next generation reservation system, and guests will benefit from the power of IHG® Rewards Club at avid hotels.

Guest room renderings highlight unique hotel features. Rooms are constructed with sound reducing features for a superior night's sleep, and the bathroom experience re-energizes guests with a fresh and bright design. Each guest room will also offer a dedicated workspace and ample open, easy-to-use storage, as well as innovative in-room entertainment options that allow guests to cast content from their smart devices to in-room televisions.

In addition to creating the brand to delight guests, its design and operating model was developed in collaboration with an owner advisory board, ensuring that avid hotels are efficient to build, operate and maintain. Hotels will be designed for new build construction on an average lot size of approximately 1.5 acres, and all avid hotels will be built to lead the industry in environmentally friendly and efficient design. The prototype design features 95-100 keys with a minimum of three stories.

Key elements of the initial owner offer include:

Five percent royalty fee
First 100 signed license agreements will be eligible for a two percent fee discount in year one and one percent fee discount in year two (2/1 royalty fee reduction)
To learn more, visit avidhotels.com and follow along at: facebook.com/avidhotels/, twitter.com/avidhotel and instagram.com/avidhotels/.

IHG® (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global organisation with a broad portfolio of hotel brands, including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton® Hotels & Restaurants, Hotel Indigo®, EVEN® Hotels, HUALUXE® Hotels and Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn®, Holiday Inn Express®, Holiday Inn Club Vacations®, Holiday Inn Resort®, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites®.

IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns more than 5,200 hotels and nearly 780,000 guest rooms in almost 100 countries, with more than 1,500 hotels in its development pipeline. IHG also manages IHG® Rewards Club, our global loyalty programme, which has more than 100 million enrolled members.

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group's holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales. More than 350,000 people work across IHG's hotels and corporate offices globally.

Visit www.ihg.com for hotel information and reservations and www.ihgrewardsclub.com for more on IHG Rewards Club. For our latest news, visit: www.ihgplc.com/media and follow us on social media at: www.twitter.com/ihg, www.facebook.com/ihg and www.youtube.com/ihgplc.

SOURCE IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group)

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