Thursday, January 31, 2013

Le Meridien to open nine new hotels in next 12 months

Significant growth spurred by Le Méridien brand transformation and deal signing momentum in both established and emerging markets globally

NEW YORK – Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts has announced a significant growth pipeline with nine new hotels expected to open within the next 12 months.

Since its 2005 acquisition by Starwood Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: HOT), both Starwood and its hotel ownership groups have transformed Le Méridien into a contemporary, design-led lifestyle brand.

Le Méridien, which at the time of its purchase offered a strong international complement to Starwood’s then primarily North American holdings, continues to provide opportunities for new deal signings and conversions in both emerging and established markets, respectively.

Cupid turns up the heat this Valentine's Day at Big White Ski Resort in British Columbia

From chair lift speed dating to romantic horse sleigh rides @BigWhite is the place to find love

KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA – Cupid has a secret weapon this Valentine’s Day – a pair of skis. Snowy mountains, crisp winter air and cozy fireside dining create the perfect romantic atmosphere for memorable moments at Big White Ski Resort this February. From sleigh rides and snow ghosts, to chair lift speed dating and lover’s trivia, here are just a few of the things Big White is doing to make Valentine’s special this winter season:

Top 5 Romantic Events Happening at Big White:

Travel stories from British Columbia

Here is a captivating collection of Fresh Story Ideas from Tourism British Columbia.

Tourism BC is on Twitter. Find us @TourismBC.

Cupid-approved Valentine's Day getaways

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, there is no better way to celebrate than with the perfect getaway. Show how much you care by booking the trip of a lifetime. From a food-focused escape to wonderful spa treatments and great room deals, here are some of the best ways to spend Valentine’s Day with that special someone.

Auberge Saint-Antoine, one of the most historic and beautiful hotels, was recently awarded by Travel + Leisure as one of the top rated hotels in Canada. Auberge Saint-Antoine is located in Quebec City and offers guests the perfect escape for this romantic holiday. The package includes a one night stay, two massages, a romantic five course dinner for two in the renowned Panache restaurant, a la carte breakfast for two and an in-room chocolate treat. Starting at $680 CAN per night for two people, based on double occupancy. Available from February 16 – 18, 2013.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Starwood Hotels celebrates landmark opening of Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central

Located on Macau’s Bustling Cotai Strip, the Nearly 4,000-Room Sheraton Earns Distinction as the Largest Hotel in Starwood’s Global Portfolio and the Largest in Macau
The Historic Opening Coincided with the 75th Anniversary of the Iconic Sheraton Brand

STAMFORD, Conn. – Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) marked a new milestone with the opening of Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central – the largest hotel to open worldwide last year.

At nearly 4,000 rooms, it is the largest hotel in Starwood’s global portfolio and the biggest hotel to open in Macau. Consisting of two sleek towers overlooking the dazzling Cotai Strip®development, the hotel is home to the world’s largest Sheraton Club Lounge, a main ballroom the size of more than 11 basketball courts, more than 160,000 square feet of meeting space, three signature restaurants, and three outdoor pools with poolside cafes.

Beach living St. Lucia-style at The Landings

Award-winning exclusive resort offers home away from home to Canadians
TORONTO – Fresh after being named one of the most prestigious resort properties in the Caribbean, The Landings St. Lucia is giving Canadians a chance to call the exclusive tropical getaway their home away from home.

Surrounded by breathtaking ocean views and lush, rainforest scenery, The Landings is now selling its final phase of homes on the best beach on the island of St. Lucia. Like all of the condominiums in the five-star resort, the apartments are being sold on a freehold basis, allowing buyers to own them outright.

Escape winter to Santee, South Carolina

The Historic Clark’s Inn & Restaurant Offers Affordable Golf Packages and the Comforts of Home

Santee, SC – Canadians crave two things during the long, cold, winter months; warm weather and golf. Santee, South Carolina is the perfect place for golfers to fill the void. 

With golf packages starting at $56, and access to three top notch courses within a mile of Clark’s Inn & Restaurant, Santee Cooper Country Club, Santee National Golf Club and Lake Marion Golf Course, proprietor Bill Clark thinks they have a recipe to satisfy golfers’ cravings.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Four Points by Sheraton Puntacana Village opens within a leading commercial development near the airport, shops and dining


Stamford, CT – Powering ahead in key international markets, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) announced it has returned to the Dominican Republic with the landmark debut of its Four Points by Sheraton brand in Punta Cana.

Four Points by Sheraton Puntacana Village is now open in a prime location, just steps from Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ).  It is the first of two hotels Starwood will open this year in the Dominican Republic with its partner Grupo PUNTACANA, and will be followed by The Westin Puntacana Resort in late 2013.

Royal Jordanian, VIA Rail Canada conclude agreement enabling RJ passengers to land in Montreal and travel to Ottawa and Toronto

Amman -- Royal Jordanian (RJ) signed an agreement with VIA Rail Canada, Canada's rail passenger service, whereby RJ may sell train tickets to its passengers wishing to continue their travel beyond the RJ destination in Canada - Montreal - to Toronto and Ottawa.

Royal Jordanian becomes thus VIA Rail Canada's first code-share partner. According to the agreement, when an RJ passenger purchases his/her airline ticket from RJ, Royal Jordanian issues a ticket that holds one code for both means of transportation, air and rail. This ticket will show that the passenger has a VIA Rail Canada ticket.

This code-share ticket may be purchased through the Internet booking engine at or from any RJ sales offices and travel agents around the world.

Chill out! Learn how to scale a 60-foot ice tower with ease this winter

Big White Ski Resort Launches Their First Annual Ice Climbing Series

KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA – Ice climbing is typically considered an extreme and niche sport, left to those brave few willing to venture into the backcountry in search of a frozen waterfall suitable for climbing. However, guests at Big White are able to swap skis for crampons within minutes since the opening of their manmade ice tower in 2010.

 In response to growing enthusiasm, Big White will launch an “Ice Climbing Series” this winter. Three winter clinics, led by Canadian ice climbing experts, will culminate in a thrilling Ice Climbing competition. From beginner to expert, Big White is the only ski resort in North America offering this unique experience for all to enjoy. They are also offering 10% off accommodation to course participants and a lift & lodging special from $81 per person, per day.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Multi-Million Dollar Upgrades Made to the Sheraton Waikiki, Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, Sheraton Kauai Resort and Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay


STAMFORD, Conn. – Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) announced that its largest brand, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, and its owners invested more than $230 million to refurbish its four iconic Hawaiian properties.

The large-scale, multi-year project was completed with the recent unveiling of the Sheraton Kona Resort and meets the increased demand for high-quality accommodations as business and leisure travel to the Hawaiian Islands continues to grow.

The revitalization projects include the $188 million renewal of the Sheraton Waikiki, the $6.5 million renovation of the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, a $16 million upgrade to the Sheraton Kauai Resort, and a $20 million refresh of the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay. 

Fairmont Pacific Rim - Becomes the 'Hot Spot' in Latest Technology Trends with Gizmos, Gadgets & So Much More...

(News Release)
Vancouver, British Columbia -Fairmont Pacific Rim becomes a leader within the hospitality industry by implementing digital devices and using the latest technology in the daily operations of its iconic downtown Vancouver hotel, offering guests an unsurpassed level of service at the touch of their fingertips.

Behind the scenes - the Housekeeping team at Fairmont Pacific Rim will start off the New Year, utilizing troomhe REX (Room ExpeditorTM) system by MTech on iPod touches to complete their daily tasks. Each team member is provided an iPod touch allowing Housekeeping, Royal Service, Engineering and Front Desk team members to become immediately updated with guest requests and room status. The app, which is icon driven, allows the team member to access many features including guest preferences, video and photo instruction, automated room list tasks, and daily productivity tracking; creating an efficient, immediate and paperless work day.

Travel tips from Tourism British Columbia, Winter edition

(News Release)

Here is a captivating collection of Fresh Story Ideas from Tourism British Columbia. If you require additional information on these or other BC stories, please contact Carla Mont at

Tourism BC is on Twitter. Find us @TourismBC.

Quebec City winter travel news

In 2013, all eyes in the snowboarding world will be turned to Québec City and Stoneham! For the first time ever, Snowboard Jamboree will be hosting the FIS Snowboard World Championships from January 15 to 27.

The action-packed program will feature the sport’s six disciplines: Snowboardcross, Parallel Giant Slalom, Parallel Slalom, Halfpipe, Slopestyle, and Big Air. It’s going to be quite the party for snowboarding fans at this meeting of champions—there’ll be an opening ceremony with a live outdoor show, amateur competitions, a fashion show worthy of the world’s coolest catwalks, an industry exhibit and much more!

So, join the 400 participants from 35 countries who have caught the World Championship bug!

Marie-Ève Dion
Gestev inc.
Photo : Anthony Desgagnés.

News from Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

Hotels in the news . . .
Fairmont to Open in Dubai & Philippines
The new Fairmont The Palm, Dubai is located in the heart of the iconic Palm Jumeirah, the world’s largest manmade island shaped in the form of a palm tree. Located next to key leisure areas and business districts, the hotel will feature 381 guestrooms and suites, including two presidential suites and Fairmont Gold, as well as a Willow Stream Spa and 3,500 square meters (37,700 square feet) of meeting space. Outdoor leisure facilities include four swimming pools, a private beach club, and a children's activity center, as well as a variety of dining facilities. Also opening in December is Fairmont Makati in the Philippines. Set in the financial center of the Philippines and one of the major financial, commercial and economic hubs in Asia, the hotel features 280 spacious deluxe rooms and suites including Fairmont Gold, a variety of restaurants and bars, and 1,700 square meters (18,000 square feet) of meeting space. Fairmont’s signature Willow Stream Spa will offer 1,200 square meters (14,000 square feet) of soothing surroundings featuring five fully equipped treatment rooms and a beautiful terrace.

Skyscanner partners with VIA Rail Canada

Skyscanner makes tracks in Canada with rail launch

Travellers in Canada can now compare trains and flights in a single online search, with the launch of a rail travel information service by leading global travel search site Skyscanner

Through a partnership with VIA Rail Canada, national passenger rail service in Canada, Skyscanner has integrated major inter-city rail search into its existing flight search capability. For increasing numbers of travellers, rail is viewed as a favourable alternative to air, particularly in short to medium travel routes between cities and other key hubs.

New Westin New York Grand Central offers Signature Westin experience

Brian Povinelli, Global Brand Leader, Westin Hotels & Resorts
Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City
Edward Maynard, General Manager, The Westin New York Grand Central
Eco-Friendly Guestrooms, State-of-the-Art Meeting Space
 and Bar and Food Concept from Gerber Group

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) and Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (NYSE:HST) have opened The Westin New York Grand Central.

The new hotel is in the former New York Helmsley Hotel after the completion of a $75 million renovation.  

The brand’s second Manhattan hotel features a complete redesign of the hotel’s interior including 774 spacious guest rooms equipped with Westin’s signature amenities, more than 12,000 square feet of meeting space with the latest technology, a 3,000-square-foot WestinWORKOUT® fitness studio and the upcoming addition of THE LCL: Bar & Kitchen, NYC, the first bar and food concept from Gerber Group in a Westin property.