Starwood spreads to Romania

Starwood Hotels & Resorts is entering the Romanian market with its Sheraton Bucharest Hotel. The hotel will feature 270 rooms and 1,200sqm of combined event space, and will expand the brand’s European portfolio to more than 60 properties. The Sheraton Bucharest Hotel will offer easy access to business districts as well as upscale dining, shopping and entertainment, and will be less than 20 minutes’ drive from Henri Coanda International Airport. “Sheraton has a robust footprint across Europe, and we are delighted to continue to increase our portfolio with developments in strategic new markets such as Romania,” said Michael Wale, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa & Middle East. “The emerging city of Bucharest presents immense growth potential, and we look forward to welcoming travellers to our most iconic hotel brand.” No opening date has been set.

Manchester City kicks off venue upgrades

Manchester City Football Club has introduced new Premium Seating in its world-renowned Etihad Stadium as part of the venue’s ongoing expansion. The club, which wants to become the third largest ground in the Premier League, has introduced 93:20 and Joe’s Premium Seating, allowing fans an entry level to matchday hospitality. The club has also given a facelift to its popular Legends Lounge, evolving the venue into a modern, panoramic 450-seater restaurant with breath-taking views across the pitch, making it the largest hospitality lounge within The Etihad. All three new hospitality facilities incorporate high quality, modern design and exude the warm welcoming atmosphere that the club is known for, providing matchday experiences like no other club in UK football.

Venue promises #NoBoredMeetings

With a mantra that 'beige walls never inspired anyone', etc.venues newest meeting space is set to get the creative juices flowing when it opens this autumn. The Fenchurch Street venue, the ninth in the etc.venues portfolio, has used colourful and contemporary styles throughout its interior, accompanied with a hashtag of #NoBoredMeetings. "Bland interiors and dull furnishings aren't likely to get your creative juices flowing … why put up with a state of boredom when, for the same price, you can enjoy state-of-the-art?" the hotel says. Etc.venues Fenchurch Street will offer 17 rooms for up to 250 delegates, all with natural light and high speed internet connectivity. It also has two suites for 250 people theatre style, with exhibition space.

Best of both worlds at Cassia Phuket

A new hospitality concept, combining hotel and serviced apartments, will be unveiled in Thailand with Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts newest brand Cassia. Set to open within the Group's beach resort of Laguna Phuket in October, the hotel residence has been designed for guests to enjoy their hotel and fully immerse themselves in the local culture and environment. Cassia Phuket offers one and two-bedroom apartments, each with a separate living room and fully-equipped kitchen. It also has 24-hour Wi-Fi and direct access to the stunning Bang Tao Beach, as well as two pools, a gym, mini convenience mart, home-delivery service and touch-screen concierge. To celebrate its opening, Cassia Phuket is offering special opening packages from stays after 21 October.

Hotel embodies transport legacy

A modern tribute to the classic car and vintage steam train heritage has been put together at the newly opened ibis Styles Crew hotel. The hotel seeks to encapsulate the golden age of travel with its interior design, as Crewe was once being a thriving centre for the transport history. The 112 bedroom hotel is close to the town centre and has an art deco scheme throughout. Small details like stacks of weathered suitcases, bright yellow factory stools and real vintage car seats complete the look. In the lobby, guests can grab a mint julep and settle into big leather chesterfield sofas while looking up at the canvas wall scene from the Rolls Royce factory in the 1940s, illuminated by old train carriage lights.

Airport hotel takes off after renovations

A new look has landed at Hannover's MARITIM Airport Hotel. The 527-room hotel has finished its major 18-month refurbishment programme which has upgraded all areas of the property to "set it apart from its competitors". The hotel's conference rooms have all been renovated and fitted with the latest projection equipment and audio systems. Each room has had new flat screen televisions and carpets installed, along with cream, grey and light blue furnishings. All bathrooms have been upgraded, as has the lobby, corridors and Galerie Bar. The hotel's fine dining restaurant, Bistro Bottaccio, and its Rotisserie Restaurant and Night Flight hotel bar have also been transformed with new curtains and modern decor.

Lausanne venue goes green

Switzerland's Hotel de la Paix has earned its green stripes, after reducing its electricity consumption by 82 per cent. The Lausanne venue has switched to LED lighting throughout the site, resulting in the dramatic decrease. The hotel is the latest in a number of Lausanne venues to invest in energy saving and green initiatives over the past 12 months. It follows the installation of energy-generating photovoltaic cells at the SwissTech Convention Centre along with investment in an energy efficient heating system at the Hotel Continental Lausanne. Lausanne Tourisme’s market manager Aude Cometta says: “We’re really proud of our green credentials here in Lausanne. Our hotels and conference venues are constantly developing their sustainability initiatives in order to offer the best environment for congresses and business events here in Lausanne.”

Lambeth Palace targets corporate events

The official residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury is hoping to attract more corporate events after being granted a licence to sell alcohol and play music. The venue, home to Archbishop Justin Welby, aims to increase its corporate events business from 10 per cent to 20 per cent, after Lambeth Council gave it licensing approval. Until now, Lambeth Palace was unable to run a pay bar or play amplified music for its events, the majority of which are for charities. Louise Donovan, head of events at Lambeth Palace, said: "As a revenue generator, we would like to start charging for alcohol," she said. "(About) 80 per cent of the events we have are for charities. 10 per cent is for corporate clients. We would like to build on that to 20 per cent if possible." The licensing application was opposed in a petition signed by 49 nearby residents, who feared loud music from the palace gardens would be heard nearby. Donovan added: "We will certainly not be letting anyone in the door who would bring the Archbishop's name into disrepute."

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