Skift Take

Aman's launch of a less costly and more wellness-focused Janu has been long awaited. Plus, more highlights from this week's news in hotel deals and development worldwide.

Series: Daily Lodging Report

Daily Lodging Report

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Here are some excerpts from Daily Lodging Report from the past week. If you’re not a subscriber, you should be. Get news on hotel deals, development, stocks, and career moves. Sign up here, now.

Sunday, March 5

The long-vacant former Zahn’s Department store in downtown Racine, Wisconsin, will soon be the Hotel Verdant following months of renovations, reported Milwaukee’s Business Times. Dominion Properties, and its partners on the project, Grey Hospitality and Charlestowne Hotels, said the 80-room Hotel Verdant would open within a few months.

Two months after suing the Chetrit Group over its unfinished 33-story, 323-key hotel in New York City, Maverick Real Estate Partners has seized the Garment District property, reported The Real Deal.

A joint venture of NewcrestImage and Hospitality Capital Partners completed the acquisition of 11 hotels in seven states with a total of 1,551 rooms, in a transaction handled by CBRE in Atlanta. The properties are 10 Courtyards and one Residence Inn hotel in Georgia, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia.

Skift Note: It’s especially interesting to see cities re-think their buildings for possible adaptations for hotels or other projects.

Monday, March 6

Aman’s sister brand, Janu, is set to open its first hotel, Janu Tokyo, this coming autumn to a building managed by Mori Building Co. Ltd. The 13-story Janu Tokyo will have 122 rooms, most with private balconies that look out at the Tokyo Tower, said Luxury Travel Advisor. The Janu Wellness Centre will span over 4,000 square meters and be one of the largest wellness facilities of any luxury hotel in Tokyo. In a building next door, Aman Residences, Tokyo, will next year offer 91 exclusive homes as well as lifestyle services and a residents-only 1,400sqm Aman Spa.

A developer plans to restore the old Howard Johnson’s Motor Lodge on Grand Avenue, in Des Moines, Iowa, to its former use as a mid-century modern hotel. The building will have 85 rooms, an outdoor courtyard with fire pits, games, and beverage services. It will feature the iconic orange-pitched roof that was synonymous with Howard Johnson’s. Developers also hope to renovate a 3,400-square-foot commercial building located next to the hotel into a restaurant. 

Savills Vietnam issued a report saying despite improvements in 2022, occupancy and room rates in Ho Chi Minh City have yet to recover to pre-pandemic levels. The occupancy rate of 45% last year was 20 percentage points higher year on year but was still 23 percentage points less than the figure in 2019. 

Thai hotel operators are ramping up plans to expand investment at home and abroad according to Nikkei. The article discussed Centara Hotels and Resorts planning to build at least six hotels over the next few years, setting aside 23 billion baht. Dusit Thani will build 14 hotels in 2023, pushing total room capacity to 13,000 in 17 countries. Budget hotel operator Erawan Group is planning to increase the number of its Hop Inn hotels, hoping to have 100 locations open by 2015, up from the current 50. In Thailand itself, Kasikorn Research Center is projecting the hotel occupancy rate to hover around 60%, up from 30% in 2022.

In downtown Charleston, South Carolina, site plans for a 175-room hotel where The Alley operates are ready to be reviewed by the city. North Park Ventures and MCZ Development paid $10 million in October for the structure. It has previously been approved for a 175-room hotel under its previous owner. 

The historic El Jardin Hotel in downtown Brownsville, Texas will undergo a $17 million renovation. The renovation project is scheduled to begin on April 3, with an expected completion date of December 31, 2024.

Rosewood Hotel Group has promoted some executives: Lucy Werner has been promoted from Senior Vice President of Commercial to Chief Commercial Officer. Mehvesh Mumtaz Ahmed, Head of Social Impact, will advance to the role of Vice President of Social Impact. Rosewood veteran Agnes Park, who started her journey with the Group in 2017 in Los Angeles, has been promoted to Senior Vice President and General Counsel from her previous position as Vice President of Legal and Deputy General Counsel – Global.

The iconic Fairmont Hotel in downtown Vancouver, Canada, is looking to expand with an annex tower. Hotel owner Larco Hospitality submitted a new rezoning application to build a 12-story, mixed-use tower next to the hotel, adding 5,500 square feet of retail and a new 10,000-square-foot ballroom, plus two restaurants. 

BWH Hotels Group is partnering with Midas Hospitality, for the management of its upscale boutique Vib hotel in Tempe, Arizona

Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts is planning to expand its footprint beyond Sri Lanka and Maldives and has started evaluating options. They want to leverage the Cinnamon brand for international expansion. Right now they have 15 properties, eight resorts and three hotels in Sri Lanka with 2,100 keys and four resorts in Maldives with 450 keys. They are looking at India, Middle East and Asia for expansion. Their strategy is an asset-light model. CH&R is planning to open its 16th property, the Cinnamon Life Integrated Resort, in the island nation of Sri Lanka by the second half of CY24. 

Skift Note: Aman’s launch of Janu includes wellness as a key component. In a Skift briefing from last week, get context on how investors want to see hotels tap into profitable wellness services. And check out Skift’s bigger picture look at Aman’s strategy. Compared to Aman, Janu will aim to foster social connectedness. It will also enjoy the favorable economics of higher room counts, enabling it to charge somewhat lower rates.

Tuesday, March 7

Marriott Cancun Resort in Mexico, previously known as CasaMagna Resort Cancun, is closing for renovations and is set to reopen in 2024. According to an article in, the hotel is apparently moving to an All-Inclusive concept, and there is chatter that it will NOT be affiliated with the Marriott after the renovations. The hotel next door (connected) is JW Marriott. The Ritz-Carlton Cancun recently switched its flag to Kempinski. 

CNBC produced a segment on how hotel rates in Asia Pacific are surging. Squawk Box Asia late last week interviewed Alan Watts, Hilton’s Asia Pacific president, who told them rates are at an all time high. Clearly many rates are following the same pattern rates did in the U.S. after that country opened up. Watts said the rates are being fueled by travel demand that is like “a feast to offset the famine.” CNBC said that travel booking company Traveloka reported average hotel rates across Southeast Asia have gone up more than 10% since 2022 but rates have climbed more than 45% in destinations that are attracting the most Chinese travelers, naming Bali, Bangkok, Phuket and Singapore.

CBRE said Australian hotel sales hit $2.14 billion in 2022, the second highest transaction volume on record, in CBRE’s latest Hotels Overview and Outlook Australia report. Last year hotel sales included 53 transactions valued at over $10 million, 39% above the 10-year average. CBRE noted the recent sale of the first Australian Waldorf Astoria hotel to Tattarang property company Fiveight. CBRE jointly negotiated the Sydney transaction, setting an Australian record for a single-asset hotel sale. 

IHG’s voco hotels celebrated 100 properties signed and opened globally. It reached the milestone five years after its first hotel opening. 

Hihotels by Hospitality International launched its first-ever advisory council led by President & CEO Chris Guimbellot. Names include: Jill Atfield, Owner, Highland Hills Cabins – Master Hosts Resort, Boone, North Carolina; Laurie Bechler, Area Vice President & General Manager, Sabre Hospitality Solutions; Mayur Mahant, Owner, Scottish Inns & Suites, Houston, Texas; Jaimesh Patel, Owner, Red Carpet Inn, Gibbstown, New Jersey; Pravin Patel, Owner Scottish Inns, Sturbridge, MA; and Tejal Patel, Owner, Scottish Inns & Suites, Hitchcock, Texas.

Skift Note: China’s return to traveling is a big relief for Asia Pacific tourism. In 2019, Chinese citizens spent more than $120 billion abroad on hotels and shopping during 155 million trips — taking a 17 percent share of the global outbound travel expenditure, said the United Nations World Tourism Organization. Many hoteliers are hoping for “revenge travel.”

Wednesday, March 8

Marriott Cancun Resort in Mexico, previously known as CasaMagna Resort Cancun, is closing for renovations and is set to reopen in 2024. According to an article in, the hotel is apparently moving to an All-Inclusive concept, and there is chatter that it will NOT be affiliated with the Marriott after the renovations. The hotel next door (connected) is JW Marriott. The Ritz-Carlton Cancun recently switched its flag to Kempinski. 

A dozen new star hotels have been added during the last year in Nepal. According to the Department of Tourism, 12 new star hotels and three new resorts registered between April 2022 and February 2023. The list includes four completely new four-star hotels, Republica reported. Namely: Hotel Dialo in Birgunj, Thamel Plaza Hotel and Suites in Thamel, Hotel Arion in Sunwall, Mawalparasi, and Asian Hotel in Rupandehi. The number of four-star hotels has reached 32.

According to a new study Economic Analysis of Hotel Supply and Projected Demand in Metro Vancouver, 2023 to 2050, released by Destination Vancouver, without new investment, the lack of hotel supply in Metro Vancouver will translate into significant losses to the provincial economy. Between 2022 and 2050, the cumulative economic impacts are projected to be: $30.6 billion in foregone output; $16.6 billion in forgone GDP; 168,000+ full-time-employees of foregone employment; and $7.5 billion in foregone tax revenue for all three levels of government. According to Destination Vancouver, Metro Vancouver’s infrastructure is not keeping up in delivering on its global profile. If the supply of hotel rooms remains at current levels, demand will exceed supply by 2028 for the summer months in all of Metro Vancouver. 

Walt Disney World’s Star Wars hotel has seen demand cool so dramatically that the Florida theme park giant has been forced to reduce dates during the busy Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas seasons, the Mercury News reported. Disney said The Galactic Starcruiser will be dark most Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays with 10 to 12 dates per month removed from the calendar during the last quarter of the year. The “tacky as hell” project was “doomed from the start,” according to Inside the Magic, and according to WDW News Today, Disney World has opted not to renew the entertainment contracts of many Galactic Starcruiser employees. 

A new hotel may be coming to Stevens Point, Wisconsin. The city plan commission approved a conditional use permit for a new Hilton Home2 Suites, currently set to be built inside the Portage Co. Business Park. The hotel will have a large conference room, dining space, a drive-thru drop-off location, and a 92-space parking lot.

Springboard Hospitality announced the addition of The Ozarker Lodge in Branson, Missouri, to its growing portfolio. The Ozarker Lodge will be Branson’s first true boutique hotel experience, led by a talented group of individuals from Eagle Point Hotel Partners and Longitude°. Debuting summer of 2023, The Ozarker Lodge boasts 102 all-new guest rooms.

Skift Note: For years, the third-party managers of hotels have stayed behind the scenes, working on behalf of owners to staff and run properties. But Springboard Hospitality, a manager of 40 hotels in 10 U.S. states, seeks to become a consumer brand that markets its lifestyle hotels directly to travelers. See Skift’s recent profile of Springboard Hospitality.

Thursday, March 9

Baird lowered their price target on Wyndham Hotels & Resorts to $86 from $88 while maintaining their Outperform rating. Their reduced price target reflects a lower 2024 EPS estimate due to higher assumed interest expense.

The Bangkok Post reported that 112,876 room nights were reserved out of 560,000 available within six hours of the latest phase of the hotel subsidy program going live. The Tourism Authority of Thailand said the value of transactions during the first six hours of availability yesterday reached 443 million baht from the room nights. Of that amount, 60% or 273 million baht was paid by the purchaser and 170 million baht came from the government subsidy, the Bangkok Post reported. Key destinations such as Chiang Mai and Bangkok have high levels of air pollution at the moment but bookings for those destinations were strong as tourists have not postponed or canceled their trips.

Marriott International signed an agreement with NEOM to open three properties on their luxury island destination of Sindalah in Saudi Arabia. The agreement will result in Marriott International opening in Saudi its first Autograph Collection Hotels property and two Luxury Collection hotels. Marriott’s Autograph Collection Hotels in Sindalah as slated to open in 2024 with plans for the resort, including 66 rooms and suites, including one- and two-bedroom villas, multiple dining options, a kid’s club and a spa. The two Luxury Collection hotels will also open in 2024.

IHG Hotels & Resorts announced the signing of a management agreement with Mohammed Bin Salman Nonprofit City for a new Hotel Indigo within the city near the Irqah area along Wadi Hanifa in Riyadh. The new build hotel is set to open in 2025. It will feature 234 guestrooms and suites, as well as 138 serviced apartments, situated just 15 minutes from Riyadh city center. The hotel will include three dining options for guests, including a neighborhood café, a specialty dining venue and a lobby lounge. There will be four multi-purpose meeting spaces, a contemporary health club and a swimming pool. IHG currently operates 37 hotels across five brands in Saudi Arabia.

Pontiac Land Private Limited announced they converted $180 million in bank loans for its Maldivian island archipelago Fari Islands (comprising Patina Maldives, Fari Islands and the Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands) into green loans, upon achieving EDGE Advanced Certifications. This is Pontiac Lands’ first green loan and DBS, HSBC and UOB were the Green Structuring Banks.

Sage Hospitality Group said they are kicking off its 40th year in business focused on growing its portfolio with the nation’s best lifestyle and independent hotels and restaurants in key urban and resort markets. The U.S.-based company boasted record revenues in 2022 and the addition of 24 hotels to its portfolio since January 2020. Sage projects that 2023 system-wide revenues will exceed $1 billion for the first time in the company’s history.

Skift Note: For more context, read Skift’s recent profile of Sage Hospitality Group. For more on green loans, see Skift’s hotel green bonds coverage. For more on how Marriott and IHG’s moves align with Saudi’s plans, read about the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 tourism strategy.


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Tags: aman, amanresorts, daily lodging report, hotel development, wellness

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