Calgary, AB - April 17, 2018: West Campus Development Trust (the Trust), Canadian hotelier Group Germain Hotels, and Calgary-based Homes by Avi, celebrate the latest addition to Calgary’s Northwest University District (U/D) development plans, announcing the construction of an Alt Hotel, a brand recognized for its contemporary design, eco-responsible features and affordable luxury.

Anticipated to open in the fall of 2020, the new Alt Hotel will be 15-storeys, 156 rooms, and include a retail and residential component as well as an underground parkade. The hotel will incorporate the brand’s signature colourful and creative design, featuring a welcoming lobby, café and restaurant. The building, by LEMAYMICHAUD Architecture Design, will provide a dynamic and seamless street-level experience as the hotel and residences are situated above a retail podium with a diverse selection of shops and services.  

“We’re excited to announce the addition of Alt Hotel as the University District starts to take shape,” says James Robertson, West Campus Development Trust President and CEO. “Group Germain Hotels and Homes by Avi are ideal partners to bring the hotel to the dynamic urban community of University District, sharing the Trust’s dedication to design and experience that puts people first.”

Similar to the Trust’s approach that embraces unconventional thinking, the Alt Hotel brand is recognized as a creative market leader in the Canadian hotelier industry, with its unmatched features and services, and embracing key values such as sustainability and supporting the local community.  The hotel will be an ideal home-away-from-home base for the patrons of the neighbouring sports training facilities, university, research centres, care facilities and hospitals. 

“We are thrilled to build a new hotel at University District because we’re investing in an up-and-coming community that is future-focused,” adds Jean-Yves Germain, co-president of Group Germain Hotels. “Partnering with The Trust and Homes by Avi means that we are working with like-minded, creative people, to develop a new and inspiring hotel in Calgary that is contemporary and intelligent in design – the third Group Germain Hotel property in Alberta, and 19th hotel in Canada.”

The hotel is the second partnership project for Homes by Avi and Group Germain Hotels, to introduce the new and exciting mixed-use development to U/D. The residential component will be developed by the award-winning multi-family division, Avi Urban. Incorporated into the development will be Avi Urban’s 29th residential project, named August, with approximately 120 sophisticated urban apartment condominiums spread over five stories. Surrounded by accessible retailers in and around U/D, August will offer a premier level of amenities for homebuyers eager to call this emerging community home.

“Our commitment to innovation, environmental responsibility and quality design matches the Trust’s values, which is fundamental in our decision to develop, and we believe that University District is NW Calgary’s most distinctive community,” adds Charron Ungar, President of Avi Urban. “To partner with the reputable Group Germain Hotels, the first boutique hotelier in Canada, will lead to another successful development, creating a destination to charm and inspire Calgarians and visitors.”


April 16, 2018

Villa Orsula Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik, CROATIA

13 rooms from USD 396 per night including breakfast

Just five minutes’ walk from Dubrovnik’s Old Town, the small and perfectly-formed Villa Orsula Dubrovnik is housed in a white Art Deco villa that blends 1930s glamour with modern design – all accompanied by the scent of oranges, pines and lavender from the gardens. Rooms celebrate original features, such as the arched windows and balconies, with views looking out over the walls of Old Town or the peaceful forests of Lokrum Island, and steps lead down the terraced garden to a private bathing platform. Natural views are contrasted throughout with surrealist artwork by artists including Roberto Matta and Victor Vasarely. In the evening guests can enjoy Peruvian-Adriatic fusion dining and sea views on the vine-draped terrace at Victoria restaurant, accompanied by live jazz.

SLH Insider Tip: Enjoy a glass of Dingač reserve, exclusively available at Villa Orsula Dubrovnik and its sister property, Hotel Excelsior.

Hotel Excelsior, Dubrovnik, CROATIA

158 rooms from USD 234 per night including breakfast

With its enviable address, the Hotel Excelsior is a Dubrovnik landmark that has welcomed kings, queens and Hollywood royalty. The hotel reopened in 2017 after a complete renovation combining the original 1913 villa with a sleek contemporary wing – The Tower - and this mingling of past and present is echoed in the interior styling with understated colour themes interrupted by pops of bright citrus and decadent velvet furnishings. The real wonder of this hotel, however, is where indoors meets out – whether that’s sipping coffee on a balcony, enjoying breakfast on the sun-soaked Salin terrace, a romantic dinner under the waterside arches at Prora restaurant or relaxing on the private beach. The spa takes guests on a journey of its own with Turkish and Roman baths, a Finnish sauna and freeform indoor pool.

SLH Insider Tip: Book a table for dinner on the terrace at Sensus to enjoy a degustation menu with views of the floodlit city walls across the bay and, if you’re lucky, a fireworks display.

The Seminyak Beach Resort & Spa, Bali, INDONESIA

105 rooms from USD 784 per night including breakfast

Re-opened April 2018

This tropical oasis in the heart of bustling Seminyak has re-opened following a fresh new facelift. Taking up the lion’s share of Seminyak’s prized beach front, the ocean and garden-facing villas and suites offer space and privacy while there is also the option to select joining rooms for families and those with an entourage in tow. On-site amenities include the al fresco Mediterranean Sanje Restaurant & Lounge, seen at its best at sunset coconut martini in hand, all-day dining pavilion Santan serving authentic Balinese fare, and the Hemingway-inspired wine and whisky bar Klass & Brass. The resort also boasts the acclaimed Kahyangan Spa and a sparkling infinity pool sitting on the edge of the ocean.

SLH Insider Tip: Two Bedroom Garden Pool Villas offer not one, but two, seven metre private swimming pools – one for each bedroom.

Healthouse Las Dunas, Estepona, SPAIN

55 rooms from USD 541 per night

Just minutes from the marina at Puerto Banus, this palatial adult-only spa resort has wellbeing at its core – offering anything from a complete detox from day-to-day life, or just some relaxation in the Mediterranean sun. Every suite is positioned to make the most of the coastal setting, with terraces overlooking the pool and gardens. Guests can enjoy the Healthouse Restaurant with daily four-course menus featuring healthy, balanced dishes designed by two Michelin-star chef Andoni Luis Anduriz, where they can also opt for tailored diet plans. The hotel offers two spacious spas – the luxurious Ekilum Spa offering a relaxing escape with everything from steam baths to ice showers, and the Naturhouse Health and Spa Centre which features a sensation path, salt sauna and snow cave.

SLH Insider Tip: In summer 2018 a second restaurant will open offering al fresco dining on the Andalucian patio.

Hui Yue Boutique Hotel, Xuzhou, CHINA

23 rooms from USD 236 per night including breakfast

Deriving its tranquil atmosphere from the surrounding mountains, lakes and woodland on the edge of the bustling city of Xuzhou, Hui Yue Boutique Hotel is a contemporary eco hotel that is all about sustainable resources and renewable energy. Five interconnected courtyards create a sense of space and openness flowing through interiors that combine local arts with modern architecture. Each room enjoys its own balcony and a personal butler team greets guests on arrival. Spend days exploring the local parkland and mountains, venturing into the city or relaxing in the Sabai Spa which offers authentic Thai treatments. In the evening the restaurant, Hui Yue Zuan, focuses on local delicacies, accompanied by live entertainment

SLH Insider Tip: Unleash your inner diva in one of the hotel’s private VIP karaoke booths

And in other news...

Ovolo Woolloomooloo opens Sydney’s first 100% plant-based restaurant

Ovolo Woolloomooloo has partnered with US Chef Matthew Kenney on a new restaurant and bar concept for Alibi, which opened on 22nd March. Chef Kenney’s first venture in Australia, the 100% plant-based menu will feature dishes including Kimchi dumplings with sesame and ginger, Heirloom tomato and zuchini lasagna with pistachio pesto and Hibiscus strawberry cheesecake. The cocktail menu includes an Enchanted Forest cocktail that took the Alibi bar team eight months to create involving an infusion of fresh Portobello mushrooms and absinthe foam made from green apples. Rooms from USD 230 per night including breakfast.

Yemaya Island Hideaway & Spa Hotel introduces new Oceanfront Plunge Pool Suites

New for this season at Yemaya Island Hideaway & Spa Hotel on Little Corn Island in Nicaragua are eco-chic suites complete with plunge pool. These generously sized rooms are perched just above the white sand beach allowing guests the optimum views of the sunrise across the inner and outer reefs. Oceanfront Plunge Pool Suites from USD 585 per night.

DUKES London celebrates Royal Wedding with themed package

Dukes London, just a five-minute walk from Buckingham Palace, is offering a package (for two) including accommodation, transfers from Heathrow or Gatwick, a walking tour of Westminster, afternoon tea in the Drawing Room, a three-course dinner at GBR, a trip to Windsor Castle with complimentary picnic breakfast and a Royal Wedding souvenir. Rooms from USD 897 per night.


April 12, 2018

The profitability of hotels in the U.S. increased in 2017, in line with the growth of the economy under President Trump, according to the latest findings from a new publication, “Profit Matters: U.S. Annual Hotel Performance Tracker 2018,” released by the hotel benchmark service, HotStats.

According to the report, full-service hotels in the U.S. recorded a 2.9 percent increase in profit per room in 2017, which was on the back of growth in all revenue departments fueling a 2.5 percent increase in TrevPAR (Total Revenue per Available Room) for the year.

The growth in hotel revenue was attributed to the 2.3 percent year-on-year increase in GDP in the U.S., as the performance of hotels in North America has a strong correlation with the health of the economy.

In addition to a 2.0 percent increase in RevPAR, growth in non-rooms revenues, including food & beverage (+2.4 percent) contributed to the uplift in TrevPAR, with the strongest month of hotel performance identified as October 2017, where total revenue levels peaked at $284.03 per available room.

That said, while falling unemployment levels and increases in minimum wage also are seen as positive indicators of economic performance, the publication cites labor costs as one of the biggest threats to profit levels at hotels in the U.S. going forward, illustrated by the 1.7 percentage point year-on-year increase in 2017, to 34.9 percent of total revenue.

Nevertheless, the outlook for the overall U.S. hotel market in 2018 is positive, with consumer spending likely to remain supported by rising household wealth, thanks to the booming stock market and higher house prices, as well as tax cuts.

In addition to covering the overall U.S. hotel market, the publication drills down to reveal the profit performance of individual city markets across the U.S., providing a flavor of the capability of HotStats. These markets include Washington D.C., San Diego, Houston, New York City, where the profit conversion of hotels are among the lowest in the country, and San Francisco, where profit levels have been challenged by escalating labor costs

“HotStats is proud to be publishing the results of the first ‘Profit Matters: U.S. Annual Hotel Performance Tracker,’ which presents comprehensive monthly data for the full calendar year 2017 versus 2016. 

We are excited to bring this product to the U.S. and thrilled at the engagement from the industry’s leading hoteliers, whom we would like to thank for their invaluable contribution.

For the first time, through the power of HotStats, America’s hotel industry can access and apply monthly operational profit and loss benchmarking to combat today’s challenges and properly align owners and operators through crystal clear visibility all the way to the bottom line,” said Pablo Alonso, CEO of HotStats.

Region/City USA New York City San Francisco
KPIs 2017 vs 2016 2017 vs 2016 2017 vs 2016
RevPAR $157.50 +2.0 % $285.55 +1.4 % $230.89 -3.4 %
TrevPAR $250.50 +2.5 % $391.58 +2.8 % $312.44 -1.6 %
Labor Costs as a % of Total Revenue 34.9 % +1.7 pts 46.5 % +2.5 pts 41.2% +4.6 pts
GOPPAR $93.86 +2.9 % $120.26 +2.8 % $112.58 -6.8 %
GOP as a % of Total Revenue 37.5 % +0.2 pts 30.7 % 0.0 pts 36.0 % -2.0 pts



DENVER (April 4, 2018) — RLH Corporation (NYSE:RLH) today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Knights Inn brand from Wyndham Hotel Group, LLC a subsidiary of Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN) for an aggregate price of $27 million cash, subject to certain post-closing adjustments. Knights Inn is a hotel brand focused on getting the essentials right – a restful stay in a convenient location at an affordable price with more than 350 economy segment hotels across North America and a pipeline of an additional approximately 47 hotels. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018, subject to customary closing conditions.

RLH Corporation expects the transaction to enhance franchise revenue and EBITDA growth and boost franchise profit margins as the company will be able to leverage existing technology and support systems. The transaction will be immediately accretive to the company’s earnings and cash flow. 

“The acquisition of Knights Inn enhances RLH Corporation’s position as one of the 10 largest hotel franchisors in the world,” said Greg Mount, RLH Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer. “In the first quarter of 2018, we announced the sale of five hotels and committed to enhance the company’s aggressive organic growth with acquisitions that could be accomplished primarily with our existing cost base and resources. This acquisition will increase our franchise units by over 30 percent and we will continue to grow the brand aggressively as we have demonstrated with our other brands.”

Knights Inn owners and guests will begin to experience the benefits of RLH Corporation’s industry leading technology and guest recognition program quickly after integration of the hotels. 

“Wyndham helped grow Knights Inn into a nationally known name with more than 350 hotels throughout the U.S. and Canada,” said Geoff Ballotti, president and CEO of Wyndham Hotel Group. “While we’re proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish, we believe now is the right time to make this move and are confident that RLH Corporation will only continue to support and grow the brand." 

 “Knights Inn owners will be quickly brought onto our state-of-the-art  systems, a handpicked suite of the industry’s finest customer acquisition, guest management, and business intelligence tools proven to increase RevPAR, grow market share and boost revenue for our brands,” added Mount. “Knights Inn will also feature our unique Hello Rewards guest recognition program, giving guests personal touches and extra perks across all our hotel brands.” 


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