OPENINGS, SALES AND RENOS Sept. 24, 2019

Ascend Collection introduces Insignia Sarnia

SARNIA, Ont. – Travellers to Sarnia have a sophisticated new place to stay with the opening of the Insignia, the city’s latest boutique hotel. Previously the Drawbridge Inn, the building was completely overhauled as part of a major $4 million renovation. The Insignia marks Choice Hotels Canada’s 14th Ascend Hotel Collection property.

The renovation preserved the history of the building, while creating a thoroughly modern interior. The new hotel offers a range of 87 rooms or suites, all outfitted with premium amenities including Nespresso coffee makers, Frette bathrobes, L’Occitane toiletries, luxury towels and linens, LED vanities in the bathroom and Smart TVs. The interior design also pays homage to the community, with maps of Sarnia hung on the walls of each guestroom.

“It’s really special when you get a property that not only honours its history, but elevates it,” says Brian Leon, president, Choice Hotels Canada. “The Insignia hotel is a fantastic addition to the area and we are confident it will be embraced by visitors and the surrounding community.”

Guests arriving at the hotel can take advantage of both valet and porter service. Moving inside, amenities include a business centre and large lobby bar, known as Regners Tudor Lounge. Overlooking the St. Clair River, the bar offers service day and night, from an elevated hot breakfast for guests in the morning, to cocktail hour in the evening. Additional onsite dining options will become available later this month, with Legacy restaurant scheduled to open. A pool and fitness centre, as well as a banquet hall and meeting room, are also being developed with current plans for completion in summer 2020.

The hotel is located downtown on Christina Street and close to many area attractions including Stone N Bones Museum, Lake Huron, Gateway Casino, Sarnia Farmers Market and Under the Bridge. 

Corso opens at Hilton Fallsview

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. — Hilton Niagara Falls/Fallsview Hotel & Suites in Niagara Falls, Ont. has unveiled Corso, a new 350-seat restaurant inspired by the unique regions of Italy.

“Corso is more than just a restaurant, it’s a journey,” says Nick Montanaro, director of F&B Operations, Hilton Niagara Falls/Fallsview Hotel & Suites. “Italy is home to some of the most delicious cuisine in the world and we are excited to share our love for the country and its traditional fare with our guests.”

Corso’s offerings include an antipasto bar with more than 60 items, homemade sourdough pizza, family-style pasta dishes, rotating main courses, desserts and specialty Italian coffees. The restaurant also offers 12 wines by the glass — six from across Italy and six from the Niagara Region.

Corso imports all of its pastas, cheeses, meats and olives from Italy to create an authentic Italian experience. “Countless hours of planning and thought went into the design of Corso to ensure that our guests receive the most authentic Italian experience possible in Canada,” explains Montanaro.

Another unique feature is the restaurant’s pentoli pan — the only one in Canada — which measures one metre wide and is used to cook the signature pasta dishes.

Vrancor's Holiday Inn Express Sarnia

POINT EDWARD, Ont. — Vrancor Hospitality Corporation has opened a new-built 115-room Holiday Inn Express hotel in Sarnia – Point Edward, Ont. The hotel is owned and operated by Point Edward Venetian Blvd LP and managed by Vrancor Hospitality Corporation.

“We’re thrilled to open the new Holiday Inn Express Sarnia – Point Edward and are ready to give a warm welcome to local residents and guests visiting the region,” says Darko Vranich, CEO and president, Vrancor Group. “Holiday Inn Express is a globally recognized brand that is popular with value-conscious travellers who seek a contemporary, fresh hotel experience. We’ve operated hotels in Sarnia and Point Edward for a number of years and are proud to add this new hotel to this great community.”

Holiday Inn Express Sarnia – Point Edward features the brand’s newest design solution, which was created to meet the evolving needs of guests. Arriving guests can park for free, tap their room key for easy guestroom access, then settle in and connect mobile devices to fast, free Wi-Fi. Guestrooms feature 55-inch HDTVs, mini fridge, microwave, Keurig brewers, LED alarm clock, work area, top-open drawer safe, dual rollershade blinds, iron and ironing board, hair dryer and in-shower J.R. Watkins personal-care amenities.

Other amenities include complimentary Express Start hot-breakfast bar, cardio and strength-training equipment in the 24-hour fitness centre and heated indoor swimming pool. 

“InterContinental Hotels Group is delighted to welcome a new addition to the current portfolio. There are more than 100 Holiday Inn Express brand hotels across Canada, serving both business and leisure travellers. Holiday Inn Express Sarnia – Point Edward is sure to be a welcome addition to this community,” says Jonathan Lund, regional vice-president, IHG Canada.

Opening of Staybridge Suites Red Deer

RED DEER, Alta. — Congratulations to ZS Holdings, Afzal Rajan and Shazma Charania on the opening of their seventh Alberta hotel, Staybridge Suites Red Deer. “What a great success story being in business for 36 years, employing over 430 people in Alberta and constantly investing in your people and giving back to the community,” Hub International posted in a tweet.

Residence Inn Montreal DT sold by Colliers

MONTREAL — Colliers International Hotels has announced that it acted as the exclusive agent in the sale of the 210-key Residence Inn by Marriott Montreal Downtown on behalf of Jest Group to Moongate Real Estate Inc. Moongate is an offshore group comprised of shareholders of Rotana Hotels & Resorts, the largest hospitality management company in the Middle East and Africa.

The hotel will continue to be managed by Marriott International under a long-term management agreement.  HVS Canada and HVS Asset Management acted as advisor to Moongate and will act as asset manager. CFO Capital arranged financing for the acquisition. Davies represented JEsta on the transaction as counsel. thompson Dymond at WBM Partners acted as legal and tax advisers to Moongate.

Sheraton Laval's $13 million reno

Artist's rendering showing the convention centre at the Sheraton Laval.

Artist's rendering showing the convention centre at the Sheraton Laval.

LAVAL, Que. — The Groupe Hotelier Grand Château will be undertaking a major renovation of its Sheraton Laval hotel over the next two years. 

The $13-million investment is expected to provide a lodging-and-event experience that aligns with the changing needs of the customers and the community, while embodying the latest trends in design and amenities. The interior and exterior renovations — from the reception, to the administrative offices and the entirety of its banquet halls — will be carried out by architecture firm, Provencher Roy and interior-design firm Massarelli Design.

The convention centre will be expanded by more than 10,000 sq. ft., including large windows, its multimedia tools, Wi-Fi systems, lighting, automated soundproof partitions and a modernized sound system.

This reorganization will enable approximately 70 different space-configuration possibilities, meeting a wide range of needs and accommodation for two to 1,800 guests.

Expanding the spaces and developing an innovative and collaborative work environment, fused with an on-site market offering local goods and creations from executive chef Eric Robidoux, will enable the Sheraton Laval to diversify its users and respond to an endless variety of requirements.

Accor launches its 37th brand, greet

PARIS — Accor has officially launched its 37th brand, greet, which falls under the economy segment and targets environmentally conscious guests.

Travellers’ expectations have changed. Customers are now increasingly focused on hotel experiences that respect people and the world around them. Alert to new trends, Accor is rewriting the rules and presents greet, a new alternative hospitality and sustainable tourism offer that combines environmental considerations with a socially responsible approach for travellers seeking authenticity. 

The latest addition to the group’s economy segment, greet is a community-based, responsible and non-standardized brand, that is in keeping with current trends and seeks to serve travellers who are looking to add meaning to their purchases and are aware of their impact on the planet.

greet sets itself apart through its name and its unique identity within Accor Group’s brand portfolio. Celebrating a philosophy of donating and giving a second chance, greet hotels invite their guests to share moments and experiences. It represents a return to meaningful essentials, to enjoying being and having fun together while shaking off formalities.

Created in early 2019, the greet brand brings a distinctive touch to the hotel group. Following the success of its recently launched lifestyle brands, with greet Accor is continuing its plan to expand its brand portfolio in order to stay in tune with its partners and offer memorable and ever-evolving experiences to its customers. Created in early 2019, the greet brand brings a distinctive touch to the hotel group. Following the success of its recently launched lifestyle brands, with greet Accor is continuing its plan to expand its brand portfolio in order to stay in tune with its partners and offer memorable and ever-evolving experiences to its customers. 

greet was created in response to a single observation – today, more than ever before, travellers want a high-quality and affordable hotel experience, while simultaneously seeking to add meaning to their purchases and reduce their impact on the planet. The greet concept addresses this dual challenge through a flexible business model for partners, and a totally new hotel experience for customers.