Changi Airport in Singapore gives a whole new meaning to sliding into your gate at the last minute, featuring two giant slides, one of which is about four stories high. "I had never seen anything like it at an airport -- I couldn't believe it was true until I actually tried it," passenger Yusuf El Askary says.
The 88-suite Lefay Resort & Spa Dolomiti in Italy's Madonna di Campiglio ski area opens Aug. 1 with one of the largest spas in the region at nearly 54,000 square feet. "We don't build hotels -- we build spa hotels, [and] spa is always the core of our properties," Lefay's Alcide Leali says.
Ritesh Agarwal, founder of the fast-growing India-based hotel startup Oyo, has arranged a $2 billion stock buyback that reportedly will triple his stake to about 30%. SoftBank Corp. of Japan is the largest investor, with approximately 45% ownership.
Fourteen developers have submitted proposals to the Milwaukee Bucks for two hotel projects the NBA team plans to undertake near its downtown arena, Fiserv Forum. A master plan calls for six to eight buildings, including offices and apartments, covering 30 acres.
Luxury hotels coveting the patronage of wealthy younger travelers must get up to speed on spending data while respecting the constituency's concern with privacy, consultant Peter Matthews writes. Social media is a pervasive force, he adds, with influencers boasting audiences in the hundreds of thousands.
Technology and loyalty anchor the growth strategy of Hilton Hotels, CEO Chris Nassetta says. Investment in the former includes the recent launch of tech-driven business meeting rooms, while Hilton Honors has been boosted by partnerships with such brands as Lyft and Foursquare.
Guests in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.'s Ritz-Carlton, W Hotel and others were evacuated Thursday after a contractor broke a water main, cutting off water to a wide swath of the city for 24 hours or more. The Waldorf-branded Boca Raton Resort, further north on the Atlantic Coast, offered discounts to evacuees.
Hotels such as London's Autograph-branded Bankside and Dorsett City feature local photography rather than more random paintings and artwork to add a welcoming sense of place and distinctiveness to their properties. "We live in an Instagram world, and photos are much better than more traditional art media at instantly and contemporaneously capturing the culture, atmosphere and spirit of a local community," Richard Bursby says.
The House boutique hotel in Barbados offers arriving guests champagne and a 30-minute jet-lag revival massage in their suite as one way of going far beyond the welcoming touches of fruit or swan-shaped towels. "Luxury guests like thoughtful and meaningful travel and spaces; it's all about the experience in the hotel, not just the television in the room," says Sangeeta Sadarangani of Crossing Travel, who recommends personalized, distinctive amenities.
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