NEWS BRIEFS update Feb. 26, 2019

IHG adds Six Senses. Why Best Western bought WorldHotels. Wyndham Rewards' new features. Foreign workers rescued in Barrie, Ont. Hilton's 17th brand, Signia Hilton, focuses on meetings. Chef Massimo Capra visits Sun Peaks.

IHG adds Six Senses Hotel Resorts Spas

Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas includes 16 award-winning resorts and hotels around the world. The newest addition to the portfolio, Six Senses Krabey Island, opens on March 1, 2019 in Cambodia. The resort features 40 well-appointed villas all with private plunge pools.

Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas includes 16 award-winning resorts and hotels around the world. The newest addition to the portfolio, Six Senses Krabey Island, opens on March 1, 2019 in Cambodia. The resort features 40 well-appointed villas all with private plunge pools.

LONDON – IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group), one of the world’s leading hotel companies, has welcomed a new family member to its portfolio of brands, with the acquisition of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas.

Six Senses is renowned for its focus on wellness and sustainability, with each hotel and resort set in locations of incredible natural beauty that will stop you in your tracks, delivering an uncompromising level of service that will stay with you long after you’ve left. All of which has been recognized through a host of industry awards and accolades* including Travel+Leisure (World Best Award, Top Hotel Brand for two years in a row), TIME Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler and Skift to name a few.

Featuring properties in 12 countries, Six Senses is behind some of the world’s most enticing hotels, resorts and spas, including: a 19th-century wine estate in the Douro Valley (Portugal), breathtaking island resorts in the Seychelles and Maldives, beach-side retreats in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Oman, a city escape in Singapore, and residences in the mountains of Courchevel (France).

Six Senses joins a growing number of luxury brands in the IHG family, including InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Regent Hotels & Resorts, and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants.

Across IHG’s four leading luxury brands, guests can now enjoy nearly 300 luxury hotels around the world, with more than 100 set to open in the coming years.

As part of the IHG family, Six Senses is expected to expand to 60 properties within the next 10 years. This includes incredible new Six Senses hotels and resorts from a restored 14th-century fort in Rajasthan, to villas on a private island in Cambodia, and the brand’s first hotel in North America – a contemporary duo of twisting towers designed by Bjarke Ingles near the High Line in Manhattan’s West Chelsea.

IHG’s Chief Executive Officer, Keith Barr, said: “IHG’s growing portfolio of luxury brands is a collection of the very best in the travel industry. Each one offers something unique to our guests, and together they offer an unparalleled choice of locations and experiences. We’re incredibly proud to welcome Six Senses into our family of brands and look forward to opening more stunning hotels, resorts and spas – each one staying true to Six Senses’ world-renowned reputation for wellness and an unwavering commitment to purposeful travel.”

Why Best Western bought WorldHotels

David Kong, president and CEO, Best Western.

David Kong, president and CEO, Best Western.

Best Western Hotels & Resorts has acquired global hotel brand WorldHotels,
representing a collection of approximately 300 hotels and resorts in premier
destinations around the world.

tremendous synergy between Best Western and WorldHotels. By joining forces in
this new partnership, we’ll create competitive advantages for both companies,”
says David Kong, president and CEO of Best Western Hotels & Resorts. “I
have the utmost respect for WorldHotels and believe in its vast potential.”

Western Hotels & Resorts President and CEO David Kong told he expects his
company’s acquisition will allow WorldHotels’ membership to double, while
offering a positive “halo effect” to current Best Western members.

WorldHotels brand will play a critical role in enhancing Best Western’s
portfolio of offerings to include the upper-upscale and luxury segments.

will maintain its distinctive personality and individuality while benefiting
from Best Western’s robust and scalable E-Commerce platform, strong
partnerships, award-winning loyalty program, effective sales-and-marketing
support, global distribution network, and powerful revenue engines.

“In the
coming months, our focus will be to unlock WorldHotels’ potential by improving
revenue delivery to its hotels while protecting its independent identity. We
truly believe our platform and revenue engines will benefit WorldHotels and
attract many more independence-minded, quality hotels to join the brand. We are
very pleased that Geoff Andrew will continue as CEO of WorldHotels for the
foreseeable future,” says Kong.

Wyndham Rewards introduces new features

N.J. — Wyndham Rewards, which currently has approximately 61 million
enrolled members worldwide, unveiled plans to introduce a wide-array of new
features. From free nights at thousands of hotels starting at just 7,500 points
(half the original redemption cost), to the addition of more than 900 La Quinta
hotels, to the ability to earn and redeem points with a host of new and
expanded partners, the changes are a direct response to research and feedback
from program members. 

“We know
members love the simplicity and generosity of Wyndham Rewards, but we also know
they want greater flexibility when it comes to where and how they can redeem
their points,” says Eliot Hamlisch, senior vice-president of Global
Loyalty and Partnerships at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. “With these changes,
we’re making thousands of hotels available for half the points and what’s more,
drastically expanding the ways in which they can earn and redeem those points,
making it easier than ever for them to engage with the programme.”

The vast
majority of the program changes are anticipated to take effect
starting April 3, 2019. La Quinta Returns will officially end
at 11:59 p.m. ET on April 2, 2019. Additional information
related to earn-and-redeem opportunities with new partners is expected to be
available in late March.

Hilton adds a 17th brand — Signia Hilton

MCLEAN, Va. – Hilton has announced the launch of Signia Hilton, its dynamic, new meetings-and-events-focused brand. The portfolio of hotels is setting out to transform the industry for meeting professionals and sophisticated business travelers by infusing state-of-the-art technology and design into every aspect of the guest experience.

The brand further reinforces Hilton’s commitment to innovation that meets the evolving needs of today’s travelers and will bring premium experiences to top urban and resort destinations around the world.

“In our 100th year of hospitality, we are more focused than ever on providing exceptional experiences to all of our guests – and that includes evolving those experiences to meet their changing needs,” said Christopher J. Nassetta, president and CEO, Hilton. “We are proud to launch Signia Hilton, which exemplifies our innovative spirit and will raise the bar on what it means to deliver truly customer-inspired hospitality.”

With a minimum of 500 guest rooms and 75 square feet per key of flexible meetings and events space, each Signia Hilton will offer business and leisure travelers elevated experiences from arrival to departure with elements that include impressive arrivals, unmatched lobby experiences, modern guest rooms, a destination bar, a signature restaurant, premium wellness experiences, and meetings and event experiences that are the Signia showpiece.

“Signia Hilton grew from feedback from top meeting professionals, owners, developers and guests,” said David Marr, senior vice president and global head, Full Service Brands, Hilton. “After countless hours of collaboration, together, we created Signia Hilton, a brand that will resonate with travelers, ‘wow’ meeting professionals and set a new, elevated standard for the meetings and events industry.”  

Signia Hilton will be a global brand with a carefully curated portfolio of hotels in top urban and resort locales and will include Signia Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, Signia Hilton Atlanta and Signia Hilton Indianapolis.

While the first opportunities identified are in the U.S. in Orlando, Indianapolis and Atlanta, Hilton will continue to carefully evaluate and expand in additional urban and resort markets that align strategically for the brand. 

As part of Hilton, Signia Hilton guests will enjoy benefits of Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s distinct hotel brands. For more information, visit or connect with Signia Hilton on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Foreign workers rescued in Barrie, Ont.

BARRIE, WASAGA BEACH, Ont. — Unfortunately, modern day
slavery is still happening here in Canada. Forty three foreign workers who were
allegedly exploited by human traffickers now have housing and employment,
following a police rescue during raids in Barrie and Wasaga Beach, Ont.,
according to an article by Rick Vanderlinde in the Barrie Advance.

Police revealed a “very disturbing” operation that brought
men from Mexico with promises of work visas, education or permanent residency,
during a news conference in Barrie on Feb. 11.

The men were housed in squalid conditions and allegedly
forced to work as cleaners in Collingwood, Innisfil, Oro-Medonte and Cornwall,
Ont.  “These workers were often left with
less than $50 a month,” after being charged for accommodation and food, deputy
Ontario Provincial Police commissioner Rick Barnum said.

Barrie police chief Kimberly Greenwood credited Mapleview
Community Church in Barrie, after the raids in Barrie, for immediately taking
in the victims after the raids, and a Simcoe County resort for providing
housing and employment.

A hotel operator who had hired some of the workers through a
temporary employment agency has now freed up some of his rooms to house them.
“We paid directly to a temp agency and had no idea how they were treated,” the
hotel operator told The Toronto Star’s Nicholas Keung.

Chef Massimo Capra visits Sun Peaks

Chef Massimo Capra. Photo: Stephen Uhraney.

Chef Massimo Capra. Photo: Stephen Uhraney.

SUN PEAKS, B.C. — Chef Massimo Capra is sharing his passion for Italian cuisine with “A Taste of Italy” on Saturday March 16, 2019 at Sun Peaks Resort. 

This special event at Canada’s second largest ski area– just 45 minutes from Kamloops, will feature Chef Massimo Capra sharing his incredible journey from culinary training in Salsomaggiore, Parma, to celebrated cookbook author and TV star. Host of his own show Gourmet Escapes, he is also a regular guest expert on City TV’s long running Cityline, chef host on the Food Network hit series Restaurant Makeover, and a judge on the hit show Chopped Canada. 

Presented by Sun Peaks Grand Hotel & Conference Centre, the resort’s signature property, this event features a cooking demonstration where Chef Capra will teach the secret to making the perfect pizza dough, lunch and a gala dinner including operatic arias and personal access to one of Canada’s most successful and charismatic culinary icons. The gala dinner will feature a collection of Chef Capra’s take on traditional Italian specialties such as homemade Focaccia, Risotto Nero, Handmade Beef Short Rib Ravioli and Veal Ossobuco. 

“We are thrilled to have Chef Massimo Capra share his talents and his incredible story with our guests” says Michael Macleod, Director Sales & Marketing at Sun Peaks Grand Hotel & Conference Centre. “The event is an opportunity for our guests to be inspired by his journey and for them to enjoy truly amazing food and authentic Italian entertainment”. 

Sun Peaks Grand Hotel & Conference Centre is pleased to show off their full guest room renovation project. The hotel’s 221 guestrooms have been renovated and transformed into quiet luxury with an updated contemporary attitude balanced with a hint of modern rustic-ness. Designed by CHIL Interior Design, an award-winning global leader in interior design, this project is a multi-million-dollar investment.