OPENINGS, SALES AND RENOS to Jan. 9, 2018

A makeover for Aura at Nita Lake Lodge, Great Year for Ascend Collection, redesign planned for Hilton Niagara Falls/Fallsview, Manga increases Atlantic Region portfolio, new build Comfort Suites for Kemptville.

Subtle, modern makeover for Aura at Nita Lake Lodge

The Herd at Aura. Photo: Joern Rohde.

The Herd at Aura. Photo: Joern Rohde.

WHISTLER, B.C. — Nita Lake Lodge, Whistler’s only lakeside boutique hotel, is
thrilled to introduce a new concept for Aura Restaurant, the lodge’s signature dining room. Following in Cure Lounge and Patio's footsteps with a complete makeover, Aura reopened
this week to welcome in the winter season. Again working alongside award
winning architects Scott & Scott and interior designer Carolyn Scholz, the new
Aura space is a continuation of the subtle and modern style used throughout
Cure Lounge & Patio, with bright pops of colour, bold artwork and custom
furniture featured throughout. 

While embracing a fresh new look, the space
will incorporate tributes to the property’s alpine surroundings and Canadian
heritage. Oregon artist Rachel Denny has created the Dynamic Herd, seven
multi-coloured deer in mid-gallop, part of her Domestic Trophies series of deer
mounts covered in cozy cashmere cable knit woollens.  

Coming soon is a unique wall installation made
by chainsaw carver and TV star Ryan Cook, created from salvaged old growth
western red cedar. The Circles of Life piece captures the light to create
mesmerizing shadows and the installation involved a long process of hollowing
out the wood, debarking it, burning, sanding and staining it, before assembling
it like a jigsaw puzzle. 

The menu from new executive chef James Olberg continues to focus on high-quality west coast ingredients, presented with a
modern, innovative twist, cultivating a healthy relationship between the plate
and our planet. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options will feature
prominently to ensure that all guests can enjoy the amazing views and upscale
casual food. 

A great year for The Canadian Ascend Collection

Hotel Champlain, Ascend Collection Hotel, Orillia, Ont.

Hotel Champlain, Ascend Collection Hotel, Orillia, Ont.

TORONTO — 2017 was a great year for the Ascend Hotel Collection, both in Canada and worldwide. With four new Ascend Hotel Collection agreements executed in 2017, there are now 14 open in Canada and three in the pipeline. Through adaptive reuse, branded conversions, independent conversions and new build developments, it continues to be the fastest growing soft brand in the upscale segment. Development is strong south of the border as well, with 127 Ascend hotels open in the U.S. and 57 in the pipeline. 

Some key highlights this year:

o   Through November, reservation contribution for Canadian Ascend hotels represented an average of 44.8 per cent of gross room revenue through Choice's Central Reservation System (CRS);

o   The Choice loyalty program, Choice Privileges, will soon reach another milestone, growing to 2 million members in Canada and 33 million worldwide;

o   Canadian Ascends are on track to record another strong year of RevPAR performance, with the combined portfolio experiencing 10 per cent growth over the same period last year (year-to-date, November).

Juan Duran, Choice Hotels Canada.

Juan Duran, Choice Hotels Canada.

“We're committed to continuing to grow the Ascend Hotel Collection and expect to double the number of Ascend hotels across Canada in the next five years,” said Juan Duran, director of membership and development, Ascend Hotel Collection, who has been with Choice for about a year. “The membership is designed for upscale hotels in secondary, urban and resort markets looking to differentiate from the competition and commit to delivering an outstanding level of service.”

“We will offer a variety of incentives (including discounted fees and other operational incentives) to owners and developers in key downtown sub-markets like Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa and Montreal, as well as Whistler and Banff, where we experience significant unaccomodated pent-up demand from our reservation system,” Duran added.

New build Comfort Suites coming to Kemptville

KEMPTVILLE, Ont. — Choice Hotels Canada last month announced the development of a new build Comfort Inn &
Suites in Kemptville, Ontario. Plans to break ground are scheduled
for this spring, with the official opening currently slated for March 2019. The hotel will be located
near the intersection of Rideau River Road and County Road 43 at the off ramp from Highway 416, in the
Kemptville Gateway Garden complex.

“We
are delighted to announce a new Comfort Inn & Suites will be joining the brand’s
147 hotels across Canada,” says Brian Leon, managing director, Choice Hotels
Canada. “The new build Comfort format has been exceptional well-received by our
guests and the new hotel in Kemptville will be no exception.” 

The hotel will feature 74 guest rooms and
amenities that include meeting facilities, an indoor pool and fitness
facilities. Harb Kaler, who is currently building another Comfort Inn &
Suites in Goderich, Ontario, is the developer involved in the project.

Choice Hotels Canada will open six new build
Comfort Inn & Suites by 2019, four of which will be located in Ontario.

Hilton Niagara Falls/Fallsview plans interior redesign

NIAGARA FALLS — Hilton Niagara Falls/Fallsview has plans for a large-scale, multi-phase renovation to include redesign of the lobby, spa, three hospitality spaces and the swimming pool, and has commissioned DesignAgency for the redesign. Construction is now underway with completion scheduled for spring 2019.

The three tower, multi-phased project will include a redesigned lobby, grand atrium, spa, a swimming pool, retail concourse, a Starbucks and four food and beverage concepts. Once complete, the interiors will connect directly with a new 5,000-seat event venue – the biggest in Niagara Falls – located right on the Hilton property. The hotel is owned by the DiCosimo family who have assembled the consulting team including DesignAgency, Stanford Downey Architects, Smith + Anderson consulting engineers, and Trend Food Services.

Manga increases its Atlantic Region portfolio

HALIFAX, N.S.; FREDERICTON, N.B. — Manga Hotels announced last month that it had purchased the 16-storey Hampton Inn by Hilton and Homewood Suites by Hilton in downtown Halifax. As Atlantic Canada's first and only dual branded property rich with local history, the properties are a unique destination in downtown Halifax. With 181 guest rooms in the Hampton Inn by Hilton Halifax Downtown, 135 guest suites in the Homewood Suites by Hilton Halifax Downtown, and seven meeting rooms in the revolutionary all-inclusive Conference Centre, this is a premier destination for transient guests, corporate travelers, and everyone in between. Guests are able to enjoy stunning views of the Halifax Harbour or Citadel Hill from the higher floors. 

Delta by Marriott Fredericton pool.

Delta by Marriott Fredericton pool.

Manga also acquired the Delta by Marriott in Fredericton, N.B. This is the company’s first purchase in the  province. The Delta by Marriott Fredericton is a 222-room property in the centre of the city that offers multiple dining options and ample conference and meeting space.

This modern style property has a picture-perfect location on the St. John River in the heart of the city. Intuitively designed rooms and suites feature modern comfort and a sense of relaxed luxury that puts guests at ease. The property features the restaurant [catch] URBAN GRILL where fresh-caught seafood and succulent steak are served and a take away and room service option are provided. Onsite is also DJ Purdy's Lounge for tasty pub grub and opens out to the DIP bar and pool in the summer. The property comes with a salon and hotel dock and enjoy the views as well as fitness centre and indoor and outdoor pools.