November's top stories: NZ's first DoubleTree by Hilton, 2022 World Cup hotels

DoubleTree by Hilton Queenstown opened in New Zealand, while a new $1.6bn hotel and conference/expo centre named Silver Pearl Hotel has been proposed for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Hotelmanagement-network.com wraps up the key headlines from November 2014.


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DoubleTree by Hilton opens first hotel in New Zealand

DoubleTree by Hilton and Hilton Worldwide opened the new hotel DoubleTree by Hilton Queenstown in New Zealand, the brand's first property in the country.

The 98-room property is formerly known as the Kawarau Hotel and managed by Hilton Worldwide.

The hotel is near to the Queenstown International Airport, as well as to the centre of Queenstown, popularly known as 'The Adventure Capital of the World'.

New $1.6bn hotel development proposed for 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar

FIFAA new $1.6bn hotel and conference/expo centre named Silver Pearl Hotel has been proposed for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

The Silver Pearl Hotel will be a 1,000-plus-room property located 1.5km offshore, near Doha.

US-based M Castedo Architects designed the complex along with a team of engineering companies.

ARC Hospitality to acquire Equity Inns hotel portfolio for $1.808bn

American Realty Capital Hospitality Trust (ARC Hospitality) agreed to acquire the Equity Inns hotel portfolio for $1.808bn.

The portfolio includes 116 hotels, featuring 13,744 rooms, in 31 states.ARC Hospitality is buying the portfolio from subsidiaries of W2007 Grace I, and WNT Holdings, that are indirectly owned by one or more of Goldman Sachs' Whitehall Real Estate Funds.

Turkey witnesses lowest hotel occupancy rate in October

turkey-1A new statement released by the Turkish Touristic Hotels and Investors Association (TUROB) revealed that hotel reservations in Turkey are on the decline due to conflicts in neighbouring countries and domestic issues.

The statement noted: "Conflicts in the Middle East and social unrest across Turkey negatively affect the Turkish tourism sector.

"Specifically, the Kobane protests in October cost more than €13m to the sector, as revealed by the STR Global October 2014 Report."

Hotels to reach highest occupancy in 2015 since 1984, says PwC US

Hotel room rate gains are expected to speed-up in 2015 as the industry reaches its highest occupancy level since 1984, according to a new lodging forecast by PwC US.

PwC US said in the first nine months of 2014 group demand outpaced the individual transient segment.

The company expects the increased momentum of group demand growth to continue in the fourth quarter of 2014, and into 2015.

R Hotels unveils plans for sharia-compliant hotel at Palm Jumeirah

sharia-1R Hotels unveiled plans for a AED500m ($136.2m), sharia-compliant, four-star hotel and spa on the Palm Jumeirah island in Dubai, UAE.

The new hotel, which will be located on the East Crescent of Palm Jumeirah, is expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2016.

The hotel will feature 259 rooms and several recreational facilities including a spa, gym, swimming pool, a sauna and steam bath, a restaurant and poolside bar. It will also include an indoor and outdoor play area for children apart from special kids' entertainment.

The Student Hotel to invest €150m for expansion in Europe

The Student Hotel committed to €150m to expand in Europe, with funding from Perella Weinberg Real Estate.

The Amsterdam-based student accommodation provider is planning to address local and international student requirements for quality lodging all over Europe through its innovative accommodation model.

Presently managing four properties in the Benelux region (Amsterdam, The Hague, Li├Ęge and Rotterdam), the expansion will facilitate its transformation into an important European student accommodation brand. As part of its expansion plant, the company plans to invest in London, Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Frankfurt, Berlin, Dublin, Edinburgh and Brighton.

Hilton to allow guests to check-in using smartphones

Hilton Worldwide is to roll-out mobile room keys at several of its US hotels across four brands, which will allow guests to check-in with smartphone apps.

The new service will be available for members staying at the US properties of the Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts and Canopy by Hilton brands.

The technology will be rolled-out in three phases across four brands with pilot testing planned at ten US properties in early 2015.