February's top stories: Marriott hotels to use IBM Cloud, Godzilla-themed hotel in Japan
Marriott International is set to implement IBM Cloud technology to offer improved IT operations and faster digital services to its web-savvy guests across more than 4,000 properties worldwide, while Japan is to unveil a new Godzilla-themed accommodation, Hotel Gracery, in Tokyo. Hotelmanagement-network.com wraps-up the key headlines from February 2015.
Marriott International is set to implement IBM Cloud technology to offer improved IT operations and faster digital services to its web-savvy guests across more than 4,000 properties worldwide.
Using the SoftLayer infrastructure-as-a-service technology, Marriott plans to migrate a major part of its core IT systems and applications over the next few years to IBM's open Cloud platform.
The technology claims to provide a flexible, scalable platform, which reduces the need for on-site IT support, as well as upgrades.
Japan is to unveil a new Godzilla-themed accommodation, Hotel Gracery, in Tokyo.
Said to be located in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo, the 30-storey Hotel Gracery is expected to open its doors on April 24 and is said to be centred around a market research claiming Godzilla could serve as a major tourist attraction.
The Godzilla-themed Hotel Gracery has a new look dedicated to the mutant reptile that destroyed the city in the film Toho initially and other remakes over the years.
UK hotel brand Travelodge announced plans to invest £100m to open 15 new properties in 2015 across the country.
The new hotels include four in London, a new central Glasgow property, as well as key regional locations that include the Thames Valley tech corridor, Southampton and Bristol.
The company will have a portfolio of 510 hotels and 37,906 rooms in the UK, with the opening of new properties.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide partnered with wasl hospitality & leisure to launch the Aloft and Element brands in Dubai.
As part of the deal, the 165-room Aloft Dubai Raffa and 96-room Element Dubai Raffa will be developed, which are expected to be opened in 2018.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Europe, Africa and Middle East president Michael Wale said: "With the Dubai Government promoting mid-scale hotel development ahead of the Dubai World Expo 2020, we believe the timing is right to widen the reach of our signature Aloft and Element experiences, which are revolutionising the hospitality industry by delivering a modern, urban-style experience at an affordable price."
RLJ Lodging Trust has sold 24 hotels in the US for a approximately $240m.
The hotels were chosen based on their operating performance, market location, and pending capital requirements relative to the company's long-term investment strategy, RLJ said.
The sale could save an estimated $65m of pending capital expenditures and the sale proceeds will be used to fund future hotel acquisitions.
Hotel development and management company RHW Hotels has selected ElevenGC, a family of five-star guest computing software, as its business centre computer provider across 15 of its 18 properties in the US.
The company eventually plans to install the system at all of its future projects.
RHW Hotels administration vice-president Bradley Eckenroth said: "One of the most important aspects of buying computers is selecting a business centre computer that works for the guest without issue."
Hilton Worldwide Holdings has completed the divestment of Waldorf Astoria New York to Anbang Insurance Group for $1.95bn.
As part of a 100-year management agreement, Hilton Worldwide will continue to operate the 1,413-room property.
The hotel features cosmopolitan restaurants (including Peacock Alley, Bull and Bear Prime Steakhouse and Oscar's), bustling lounges and bars, the Guerlain Spa, more than 60,000ft² of high-tech equipped function space, a business centre and boutiques.
Japanese themepark Huis Ten Bosch has announced the opening of a new hotel in Nagasaki Prefecture to be manned mainly by robots, and will feature face recognition instead of room keys.
Scheduled to open on 17 July, the two-storey Henn na Hotel will be promoted with the slogan 'A Commitment for Evolution', The Japan Times reported.
At the new hotel, porter service, room cleaning, front desk, as well as other services will be provided by robots in a bid to cut costs, while ensuring comfort.