Westin Hotel to Open in San Jose

Westin Hotels & Resorts, a hotel brand from Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, has announced plans to open a new hotel, The Westin San Jose, in San Jose, US.

The new hotel, with views of the San Jose McEnery Convention Center, is currently known as the Sainte Claire, and will receive a transformation before opening under the Westin brand.

Brian Povinelli, the brand’s global brand leader, said, ‘The Westin San Jose will be a terrific addition to our growing portfolio, offering travellers a revitalising urban retreat in the ‘Capital of Silicon Valley. Here, guests will enjoy all of Westin brand’s signature programmes and amenities, designed to inspire well-being and send guests home feeling better than when they arrived.’

The Westin San Jose has 155 guestrooms and 16 suites, a full service restaurant and 10,000 square feet of meeting space with a business centre. The hotel is also hosting a WestinWORKOUT Gym with complimentary equipment and facilities available year-round.

Allison Reid, the senior vice president of North America Development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, the owner of the brand, said, ‘Westin continues to be a strong performer and is capturing a growing share of conversion opportunities in dynamic markets across North America. A long-time developer favourite, Westin has emerged as an international market leader and is on track to open its 200th hotel in the next 12 months.’

The Westin San Jose will feature the brand’s signature amenities, a Westin Heavenly Bed in rooms, and a SuperFoodsRX menu in the restaurant.

Four Points by Sheraton Colonia Roma Hotel Opens in Mexico City

Sheraton Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, a subsidiary of US-based Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, has announced the opening of a new property, the Four Points by Sheraton Colonia Roma Hotel in Mexico City.

The 90-room new hotel, which is owned and managed by the Sora Group, is the third in Mexico from the Four Points by Sheraton brand.

The Four Points by Sheraton Colonia Roma offers guest rooms with workspace and complimentary in-room internet for its guests. The hotel’s other amenities include a 24-hour fitness centre, a restaurant, and a bar and lounge. Event spaces include around 9,300 square feet of flexible area, which incorporates seven meeting rooms.

Osvaldo Librizzi, the president of the Latin America Division of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, said, ‘The introduction of the Four Points by Sheraton Colonia Roma represents the fifth brand of the Starwood portfolio to open in Mexico City and reaffirms our commitment to growing the options for both international as well as domestic travellers to this key business and tourism destination.

We are delighted to launch this partnership with the Sora Hotel Group and are confident that Colonia Roma is an ideal location for our guests to enjoy the Four Points by Sheraton and all that Mexico City has to offer.’

Brian McGuinness, the senior vice president of specialty select brands for Starwood, said, ‘Four Points by Sheraton enjoys a loyal worldwide following and we’re pleased to offer guests a new lodging option in one of the world’s great centres of culture and business.’

Crowne Plaza Houston Galleria Area Opens in Houston

The new Crowne Plaza Houston Galleria Area hotel has recently opened in Houston, in the US.

The 207-room hotel, which opens having just completed a £13 million renovation project, is a part of the Crowne Plaza Hotels and Resorts group, a subsidiary of the UK-based owner, manager and franchiser of hotels and resorts, InterContinental Hotels Group PLC.

The hotel accommodation includes 29 regular suites, two presidential suites, and three hospitality suites. It also features an outdoor heated pool and cabana bar, a fitness centre, and a business centre.

Mark Peck, the hotel general manager, said, ‘It’s exciting to be opening as a Crowne Plaza hotel in an area that is so conveniently located. The Crowne Plaza brand is well-regarded for providing guests with a unique upscale experience that appeals to quality-minded business and leisure travellers.’

The hotel dining venue is The Red Oak Room Restaurant and Lounge, offering American cuisine served in a casual environment. For meetings and events, the hotel has around 14,000 square feet of refurbished meeting space on offer, including 10 meeting rooms and two ballrooms. Wireless high-speed Internet service is available free to members of the Priority Club loyalty programme.

Gina LaBarre, the company vice president of Americas Brand Management, said, ‘We’re pleased to bring our seventh Crowne Plaza hotel to the Houston area in such a convenient location for business and leisure travellers. There are several major employers in the area that will benefit from the meetings-savvy products and services that only a Crowne Plaza provides.’

Manchester Airport to run out of fuel by 18.00 on Wednesday

A spokesman for Manchester Airport has said that the Airport will probably run out of fuel by 6pm this evening.

The fuel crisis has been caused by disruption at the local Stanlow oil refinery in Ellesmere Port, which has been blamed on quality concerns about the fuel. The Airport is hoping that the issue will be resolved by midnight.

The airport is supplied by a pipeline direct from the refinery, which is capable of delivering 250,000 litres of fuel per hour.  The airport uses approximately 3 million litres per day, with this being the first occasion that they have run out of fuel.

The airport said in a statement, “Today the airline fuel supply companies operating at Manchester Airport are experiencing temporary problems with their supply of aviation fuel from Essar refinery.

Whilst a stock of aviation fuel is stored on site, as a precaution, airlines have been advised to carry additional fuel wherever possible.

Whilst we do not expect this to cause widespread disruption, it is possible that some airlines may decide to cancel, divert or delay a small number of flights from 18:00 tonight into tomorrow morning.

We would like to apologise for any disruption that this may cause and assure our customers that everything possible is being done to return operations to normal.”

Crystal Cruises Announces New Short Cruises

Crystal Cruises, a US-based cruise company, is offering special sale deals for its new voyages.

The company is offering 12 new Mediterranean itineraries, as part of its Crystal Getaways sale. The sale is running until June 30, 2012, for sailings that will operate from July to December 2012.

All-inclusive, five to eight-day vacations on the Crystal Serenity commence at £850 per person, including accommodation, gourmet dining, fine spirits, gratuities, fitness lessons, and inspirational activities.

Jack Anderson, the company senior vice president of sales and marketing, said, ‘Many savvy travellers appreciate the pampering luxury of Crystal Cruises and know how amazing the Mediterranean is as a destination, yet may have very limited time to get away. At the same time, this sale conveniently enables those less familiar with cruising, or Crystal, to dip their toe into our Six-Star waters.’

The Mediterranean program is offering new itineraries, as well a 18 previously-scheduled seven to 12-day itineraries, for prices starting from £1,461 per person, based on double occupancy. The company is also offering round-trip airfare from around 90 North American cities as well as pre- and post-cruise stays at quality hotels in Lisbon, Rome, Barcelona, Venice, Istanbul, and Monte Carlo.

The company has earlier announced an expanded entertainment programme for its European voyages in 2012, including performances by celebrated local performers, showcasing their homelands’ culture and customs.

The cruises also include shore excursions, dining on celebrity cuisine, learning a new hobby at the innovative Creative Learning Institute, spa therapies, and many other pastimes for both entertainment and enlightenment.

Sonesta International Opens New Extended Stay Hotel in Somerset

Sonesta International Hotels, a US-based hospitality company with properties in North and South America, Africa, and the Caribbean, is opening a new extended stay hotel in Somerset, in the United States.

The 140-room Sonesta ES Suites Somerset has been recently re-branded from an earlier Staybridge Suites Somerset, and is opening on August 1, 2012, under the new company’s administration and a new brand name. The hotel is offering studio, one and two-bedroom suite accommodation, all with a work area, a kitchen, and complimentary high-speed wireless Internet access.

Sonesta ES Suites is a recently launched extended stay brand from the company, offering a heated outdoor swimming pool, a 24-hour exercise room, a sports court, a seasonal BBQ grille, a guest laundry, three conference rooms, and a 24-hour business centre. The hotel will also be providing a daily complimentary breakfast for its guests.

The company will also soon be opening the Sonesta ES Suites in Burlington, Orlando, and Andoverin US; and other Sonesta Collection properties in Philadelphia and Houston, US; Panama City, Panama;, and Villavicencio, Colombia.

The largest Sonesta ES Suites hotel is located in Burlington, US, offering around 400 guestrooms and suites for extended stays.

The Sonesta Collection, the company’s established brand, consists of upmarket hotels, resorts and cruises which are currently located in Baltimore, Boston, Hilton Head Island, Miami, and New Orleans, in the US; Saint Maarten, in the Caribbean, as well as in Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Egypt.

Haven Holidays Announces Increase in Seaside Summer Holidays

Haven Holidays, a UK based holiday park operator, is reporting a 15 percent increase in holiday bookings by families for seaside locations for the summer of 2012, when compared to the same time last year, as more and more families opt for a traditional British holiday.

Tim Gibson, the company sales director, said, ‘Despite the general economic downturn it appears families are not prepared to sacrifice their family holiday. It seems it’s even more important for them to spend quality time together.

We are already 26 percent ahead for the main school summer holiday period, so our advice is if you want to book with Haven then best to do it now or you may miss out.’

The company is reporting that all of its 35 Haven Holiday Parks located at seaside locations in the UK have reported a 12 percent increase in bookings over the Jubilee weekend, when compared with the same time last year, with the most favourite family haunts being Cornwall and Blackpool.

The overall trend for the 2012 summer holidays appears to be value for money alternatives and spending quality time with the family, while staying in the UK.

Holidays at the company parks in June commence from £129 for a four-night break, or £135 for a three night break for a family of up to six people, at participating parks. Weekend breaks that include Father’s Day are available at around £150 for a family of six people. Apart from accommodation, the park activities include water and land sports facilities, spa and fitness areas, as well as entertainment options.

Hilton Hotels in the Caribbean and Latin America Announces New Summer Offers for Families

Hilton Hotels and resorts, a multinational hotel company, is offering family vacations in its Caribbean and Latin America properties.

The ‘Family Time package’ will remain available until September 8, 2012 at participating properties in the Caribbean and Latin America. The package includes accommodation with connecting rooms; daily family breakfast; complimentary gifts and activities for children; and in-room high-speed Internet access.

The participating hotels are Hilton Buenos Aires, Argentina; Hilton Sao Paulo Morumbi, Brazil; Hilton Belem, Brazil; Hilton Bogota, Colombia; Hilton Cartagena, Colombia; Hilton Garden Inn Santiago Airport, Chile; Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort, Mexico; Hilton Mexico City Reforma, Mexico; Hilton Villahermosa & Conference Center, Mexico; Hilton Garden Inn Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico; Hampton Inn by Hilton Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico; DoubleTree by Hilton Queretaro, Mexico; Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa, Costa Rica; DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Central Pacific, Costa Rica; DoubleTree Cariari by Hilton San Jose, Costa Rica; Hilton Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; British Colonial Hilton Nassau, The Bahamas; Hilton Barbados Resort; and others.

The 21 participating hotels and resorts are offering special amenities for children, including a Kidz Paradise club at Hilton Barbados Resort, and a specially designed programme, Cabo Kids, from Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort.

The hotels are offering additional complimentary children’s amenities, including a gift upon arrival, cookies and milk in-room on request, one children’s movie in-room, a book rental for children, and Kid’s Club access.

W Hotels Worldwide Announces Renovations at Ten Properties in North America

W Hotels, a luxury hotel brand from Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, will be remodelling around 10 hotel properties in North America.

The brand will be completing renovation projects at certain properties to upgrade the public areas, introduce new signature bar and restaurant concepts, and redesign the guestrooms.

Carlos Becil, the company vice president of brand management, luxury and design brands, North America, said, ‘When W Hotels launched in 1998, it quickly redefined the space and continued to transform the traditional hotel experience as we entered new markets across North America.

As W evolves from a US phenomenon into a global design powerhouse, we are committed to fuelling the innovation within our existing portfolio to create a consistent, cutting-edge experience for our guests.’

A key area of focus for the renovations will be the Living Room in the hotel lobby, which will be providing guests with a place to meet and mingle over drinks and music.

The hotel renovation project may cost up to £68 million, and will include W New York – Union Square; W Seattle; W San Francisco; W New York; W Chicago – Lakeshore; W New Orleans – French Quarter; W San Diego; W Los Angeles – Westwood; W Dallas; W New York – Times Square; and W Montreal.

The W Hotels brand is currently on an expansion track, and intends to offer around 50 hotels worldwide, by the end of 2013. Recently, W Hotels have been announced for Guangzhou, Milan, Shanghai, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Athens – Astir Palace, Muscat, Mumbai, Dubai, and Santa Fe, with additional plans also in the pipeline to offer W Retreats in Verbier and Riviera Maya.

Air Berlin Announces New Service to Kaliningrad in Russia

Air Berlin, the Germany-based airline company, is currently offering a new route, from Berlin in Germany to Kaliningrad, in Russia.

The airline will be flying the new route three times per week, having commenced the service on June 5, 2012.

Opening the new route, the airline chief executive officer, Hartmut Mehdorn, said, ‘The economic relations between Germany and Russia continue to grow, and this means an increased demand for air travel, especially in the market sector of business travel. No other airline connects these two cities non-stop from Germany. Our new route between Berlin and Kaliningrad fills this gap in the European route network.’

Dr. Till Bunse, director of marketing and public relations for Berlin Brandenburg Airport, said, ‘We are pleased that airberlin will fly non-stop from Berlin to Kaliningrad. For business travellers, the new route is an especially important addition to our Eastern European offerings.

Furthermore, travellers from Russia can transfer in Berlin and continue on airberlin flights in all directions.’

The airline will also be offering a new route from September 15, 2012, between Poland and Lithuania. Currently the Berlin hub is offering flights to and from Dusseldorf, Cologne, Frankfurt and Munich in Germany; as well as to Vienna (Austria), Milan (Italy), Paris (France), and Scandinavia. The new route will connect all of the existing routes to Kaliningrad, in Russia.

Andrey V Zverev, ambassador and trade representative of the Russian Federation in the Federal Republic of Germany, said, ‘The opening of a new route between Berlin and Kaliningrad affirms the expansion of political, economic, scientific and cultural relations between our countries. As an airline, airberlin has already proven itself to be a reliable partner with high service quality. Therefore, we welcome this new route.’