September's top stories: Strategic Hotels & Resorts $6bn deal, JFK hotel project

Blackstone Real Estate Partners VIII affiliates have agreed to acquire Strategic Hotels & Resorts for approximately $6bn, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has selected MCR Development and JetBlue Airways to transform JFK terminal into a hotel complex. Hotelmanagement-network.com wraps up key headlines from September.


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Blackstone Real Estate to acquire Strategic Hotels & Resorts for $6bn

Blackstone Real Estate Partners VIII affiliates signed a definitive agreement to acquire all outstanding shares of common stock of Strategic Hotels & Resorts for approximately $6bn.

Under the agreement, Blackstone will acquire all outstanding shares of common stock of Strategic Hotels & Resorts for $14.25 per share in cash, and all outstanding membership units of Strategic Hotels Funding, not held by the company, for $14.25 per unit in cash.

Subject to customary closing conditions, including approval of Strategic Hotel's stockholders, the transaction is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2016.

New York's JFK airport terminal to transform into new hotel

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The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey selected MCR Development and JetBlue Airways to renovate the Trans World Airlines terminal at John F Kennedy Airport into a hotel complex.

According to New York governor Andrew Cuomo, the $265m project will involve a new 505-room hotel, which is expected to have a 10,000ft² observation deck and restaurants, as well as a spa.

MCR and JetBlue Airways will own 95% and 5% of the hotel respectively and will have a 75-year lease agreement with the port authority.

New Zealand Prime Minister opens new 264-room hotel in Christchurch

New Zealand prime minister John Key officially inaugurated a 264-room hotel named BreakFree on Cashel in Christchurch.

Claimed to be the city's largest hotel, BreakFree on Cashel has a spacious lobby that serves as a combined reception, lounge, bar and restaurant, as well as unique pod style rooms and high quality traditional hotel rooms located on the top floor executive level.

The hotel incorporates the latest smart technology, including high-definition and interactive digital entertainment systems that allow guests to mirror their smartphone on the TV screen through the Smartview app for social media interaction.

Graton Resort & Casino starts work on resort expansion project

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The Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria started work on a $175m project to expand the Graton Resort & Casino, located in Sonoma county, California, US.

The expansion includes a 200-room resort featuring a lobby and bar, a luxurious spa, as well as 20,000ft² of flexible event and convention space that includes seven separate rooms, as well as pre-function areas and smaller breakout meeting rooms.

Designed by Friedmutter Group, expansion work is scheduled to begin immediately with the aim to open the resort in the second half of 2016. Penta Building Group will serve as the general contractor.

Marriott International opens its first hotel in Chongqing, China

Marriott International opened its first hotel under the Marriott brand in Chongqing in southwestern China.

Located on the 30th to 48th floor of Guorui Centre in Chongqing, the new hotel features 341 rooms and offers mountain, city and Yangtze River views.

The hotel is suitable for meetings as it features two pillar-less ballrooms, five multi-function rooms and a boardroom, offering 1,800m² of meeting and event space with a capacity to house up to 1,330 people.

InterContinental Hotels Group announces new hotel in Berlin, Germany

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InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) plans to open Hotel Indigo Berlin City - East Side in Germany, expanding IHG's presence in the country.

Owned by Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), the new hotel will be operated under a franchise agreement with IHG's multiple development agreement (MDA) partner Tristar Hotel Group.

Scheduled for opening in the second half of 2017, the hotel will join Hotel Indigo Berlin, Alexanderplatz and Hotel Indigo Berlin, Ku'damm.

Cairn Group acquires Ramada Glasgow Airport Hotel

Newcastle-based hotel operator Cairn Group reportedly acquired the 114-bedroom Ramada hotel at Glasgow Airport in a multi-million pound deal.

Cairn Group is also planning to invest £8m to renovate the property over the next year.

Cairn Group sales director Tina O'Hara was quoted by media sources saying: "The Ramada at Glasgow Airport realises its presence in a strategic location and complements our other five properties in Scotland.

"We have been looking to acquire in Glasgow for some time, and this opportunity fits perfectly into our ambitious expansion plans."

Le Méridien opens first resort in India

Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts opened its new property, Le Méridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa, in western India.

The latest development of Le Méridien, which is part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, represents the brand's first resort in the country.

Le Méridien and Westin global brand leader Brian Povinelli said: "Le Méridien and India share a passion for culture, the arts and cuisine.

"As our first Le Méridien resort in India, we look forward to inviting our creative and curious minded travellers to unlock the destination through our locally inspired programming, culinary creations and of course, relaxation."