OPENINGS SALES AND RENOS May 28, 2019

Victor’s new private dining room

Kasia Koziara, food and beverage manager, and Lanny MacLeod, chef, at Victor Restaurant.
Kasia Koziara, food and beverage manager, and Lanny MacLeod, chef, at Victor Restaurant.

TORONTO — Victor Restaurant is a 15-year-old dining establishment in the Toronto Le Germain Hotel, which can accommodate 50 to 60 people in the main dining room. Recently, they unveiled a new private dining room called TheSullivanRoom, named after Michael Sullivan who partners with Le Germain on the restaurant.  The restaurant was built where a cafe used to be.

The space is flexible, with curtains falling from the two-storey ceiling to close or open up the space so that it can accommodate up to 120 people.

Victor Restaurant offers several dining options to meet any group’s needs. With Chef Lanny MacLeod at the helm, diners can expect these events to exemplify his penchant for “Grandma’s Cooking on Feel Good Steroids” and embrace the lively feel of Victor Restaurant’s neighbourhood ambiance.

In addition to the regular dinner menus, two unique dining opportunities are available in the Victor Private Dining Room: TheSullivanRoom, only. The Kitchen Party is a relaxed family style meal to encourage engagement and conversation and the Retro Affair is a nod to the mid-century cocktail party.

Chef MacLeod prepared the Retro Affair for a media event earlier this month. “My grandmother used to do cooking like this, and I thought it would be fun to do a big party — especially for people my age who have never eaten like this,” he told CLN. The retro menu included jellied salads, shrimp with cocktail sauce, bacon-wrapped scallops and sausage rolls — all prepared with the chef’s flare and sense of fun.

A Retro Affair for the media in TheSullivanRoom at Victor Restaurant.
A Retro Affair for the media in TheSullivanRoom at Victor Restaurant.

Aimbridge continues Canadian market expansion

DALLAS — Aimbridge Hospitality announced it will take over management of the Four Points by Sheraton hotel in Surrey, B.C. The move is part of its planned expansion into the Canadian market, headed by recently hired Ian McAuley, Canadian president of Aimbridge Hospitality.

Aimbridge is set to begin management of the hotel, which is owned by a private Chinese real-estate investor, on June 1, 2019. The 77-key property is a 15-minute drive from the Canadian-American border and features a heated outdoor pool and hot tub. It will be the second Canadian property acquired as part of the company’s international expansion. 

“This property is a nice addition to our international management portfolio as we continue to expand in Canada and beyond,” says Dave Johnson, chairman and CEO of Aimbridge Hospitality

Fairfield Hotel reinventing as it tops 1,000 properties

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Marriott International just hit the 1,000-hotel mark for the upper-midscale Fairfield by Marriott, and the brand has grown over the last few years by zeroing in on its target guest and investing in distribution, product and service, according to an article in HotelNewsNow.com.

The opportunity lies in knowing exactly where the brand sits in the larger hotel ecosystem, said Eric Jacobs, Marriott’s chief development officer for North America lodging at the AAHOA conference in San Diego.

The 1,000th Fairfield opened in April, and it’s part of the path Jacobs laid out when he began the brand reinvention process in 2012.

“This is a brand geared to that road warrior, that single-night stay,” he said. “If we’re not there in every city, then we’re missing out. It’s about building that hospitality and that relationship, and being where our travellers are going. We needed a much more focused development strategy.”

The brand’s reinvention began in 2012 with getting hotels up to quality and design standards, and focusing on service and hospitality elements that were vital in hotels the size of Fairfields, which typically fall in the 100- to 110-room range.

Four Seasons Vancouver Mural Wall

VANCOUVER — The Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver has partnered with Tyler Toews, a B.C.-based artist specializing in painting large-scale murals, to create a three-wall mural tribute to the coastal city that will be completed this month.

The mural, titledWest Coast Perspective, is located on the second-floor lobby of the Vancouver hotel for guests to see when they check in. It features depictions of the Lions Gate Bridge, the Vancouver Skyline and an underwater scene to celebrate the hotel’s commitment to Ocean Wise, which includes well-known local creatures such as Pacific salmon, Dungeness crabs and bull kelp.

“With this project, we’re excited to celebrate what makes Vancouver so unique and create an extraordinary arrival experience for our guests that is true to the destination,” says Martin Sinclair, general manager, Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver. “This mural embodies the hotel’s commitment to celebrating our community; it’s a gesture of our appreciation of our guests, our staff and the city of Vancouver and we can’t wait to share it with everyone.”

Home2 Suites Brampton now open

BRAMPTON, Ont. — It’s official! The dual branded Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn is now open, totalling 220 rooms on 2.9 acres in Brampton, Ont. This Hilton dual brand is the first of its kind in Canada. CFO Capital of Markham, Ont. financed the hotel on behalf of owners JM Hospitality. This hotel recently won an award for Dual Brand Outstanding Achievement from Hilton.

HotelEquities’ new Canadian office in Edmonton

ATLANTA — Hotel owner, operator and developer, Hotel Equities (HE), announced the recent opening of its Canadian office located in Edmonton, Alberta. The new location encompasses all disciplines to support their growth in country. Andre Giannandrea has been named as regional director of operations, Tapan Malik as regional director of sales, Bryce Herder as regional revenue manager and Oscar Rodriguez as regional director of accounting.

Twenty per cent of the firm’s portfolio of hotels is located in Canada. As a result, Bryan DeCort, EVP for HE, sees opening in Canada as a very natural step: “We are proud of our Canadian portfolio and associates. Putting down permanent roots in the country will help us better serve our stakeholders, and also help us drive further growth.

“Given our current footprint in Canada, Edmonton is the perfect initial base for our team to best provide their operational expertise.”

Earlier this month Hotel Equities added a six-pack portfolio of hotels, bringing their total to 23 hotels in Canada. 

“We have grown significantly since entering the Canadian market in early 2018,” said Joe Reardon, chief development officer for Hotel Equities. “In addition to investing in a new office location, we made significant investments into scaling all departments, such as human resources and learning and development. With the infrastructure to support our continued growth, we are also interested in joint venture acquisition opportunities and investments in-country.”

“We intend to be long-term players in Canada,” said Brad Rahinsky, president and CEO of HE. “Our brand partners pointed out a void of high caliber managerial expertise in Canada and inspired us to bring our services in-market. The opportunity for us to provide value to the hotel sector in Canada is enormous and I’m encouraged by the team of industry veterans leading our Edmonton office. With their expertise and the backing of our Canadian support team in Atlanta, they will make a profound and immediate impact for stakeholders.”

IHG introduces Atwell Suites

LAS VEGAS – IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) recently revealed its new all-suites brand, Atwell Suites, to thousands of IHG owners and operators at its Americas Investors & Leadership Conference in Las Vegas. The new upper-midscale hotel brand will target an estimated $18 billion industry segment with strong guest and owner demand. It will be available to Canadian owners and developers. 

As IHG developed its newest hotel brand, research highlighted that many guests are looking for a memorable experience as well as a differentiated, right-sized set of amenities and services falling between those offered by traditional extended stay and traditional select service hotels. This travel trend also meets the desire of IHG owners for a new concept to introduce in local markets.

Guests at Atwell Suites properties are not simply booking a room, but seeking opportunities to discover new things, learn and grow as they travel – perhaps even extending their stay a few days to explore a destination. With this in mind, IHG designed a hotel for the “Opportunity Seeker,” optimized for a longer stay of four to six nights, integrating flexibility throughout the property with spaces and programs that encourage social interaction and help foster a spirit of kinship among guests. 

Though Atwell will target longer guest stays than the Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express brands, it will not be considered an extended-stay brand. IHG’s two extended-stay brands, the upscale Staybridge Suites and the midscale Candlewood Suites, are defined as having a full kitchen and serving guests who stay a week or longer.

The Atwell Suites brand is a strong complement to IHG’s established brands, with an average daily rate within the upper-midscale price point. The brand will be known for making guest stays more comfortable and memorable through thoughtfully designed and flexible spaces that enable easier transition between work and rest

Walper Hotel renovations

KITCHENER, Ont. — A $10 million investment has not only restored the Walper Hotel in Kitchener, but has also given the city a missing amenity — an upscale, boutique hotel, David McPherson reported for the Globe & Mail.

He said the hotel once housed jazz legends Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong, Eleanor Roosevelt and the Queen Mother, but that it had declined in recent years. 

The hotel has been transformed, thanks to a $10 million renovation led by Perimeter Development Corp. Built in 1893, designated as a historic landmark under the Ontario Heritage Act in 1983, and reimagined in 2017, the hotel has 92 unique rooms and a vibe that rivals hip boutique accommodation in San Francisco or New York, according to MacPherson. 

“It’s the little touches such as in-room pour-over coffee service, staff that know your name and modern spaces,” MacPherson’s article said.

Taco Bell is opening a hotel

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — Taco Bell is opening a hotel. The fast food giant announced plans recently for “The Bell: A Taco Bell Hotel and Resort,” which will open on 9 August in Palm Springs, California.