Hotel openings are something I think I should write about more often. Two years of the economic doldrums in the US has put the emphasis on hotel development elsewhere in the world. Here are some recent hotel additions that have caught my attention lately.
JW Marriott Bogota, Colombia
Flying into Bogota back in 2000 the things that caught my attention were the number of people on bicycles and the skyscrapers in downtown financial district at the base of the mountains. The JW Marriott is in the Bogota Financial District. The Bogota Marriott which opened in fall 2009 is in the airport region about 30 miles from downtown.
JW Marriott Bogota Marriott Rewards category 3 = 15,000 points.
Bogota Marriott Marriott Rewards category 3 = 15,000 points.
Aloft Hotel, Chennai, India
Starwood has opened the first Aloft Hotel in India this week. The Aloft Chennai, OMR-IT Expressway is a SPG category 3 hotel for 7,000 points per night. A second hotel, the Aloft Bengaluru Hotel Whitefield in a suburb of Bangalore is scheduled to open September 1 and also classified as a category 3 award hotel. UrbanEdge Hotels plans to open several Aloft properties in India over the next few years. Hopes are the trendy Aloft design will inspire India’s Gen-Y travelers seeking a modern midscale hotel experience.
The luxury tax rate of 12.5% on top of the $110 nightly rate (5,000 India Rupees) for Tuesday, September 7 for the Aloft Chennai seems to be a little high to me for your average Indian tech worker salary. Hopefully the property will offer Points & Cash awards.
Hilton The Hague, Netherlands
Hilton The Hague is the fifth Hilton Hotel in the Netherlands. The remodeled hotel building formerly housed the Dutch Royal Telecom headquarters. The hotel boasts the largest guest rooms in town. Not surprisingly this hotel enters the HHonors award table as a top level category 7 award at 50,000 points per night.
Holiday Inn Express, Fort Polk, Louisiana
The Privatization of Army Lodging (PAL) program announced its first branded hotel on a military base with the Holiday Inn Express at Fort Polk, Louisiana. There are ten PAL installations operating under the name IHG Army Hotels with plans to bring HI Express, Candlewood Suites, and Staybridge Suites to military bases. Other locations are Fort Rucker, AL; Fort Leavenworth, KS; Fort Riley, KS; Fort Sill, OK; Fort Hood, TX; Fort Sam Houston, TX; Yuma Proving Ground, AZ; Fort Myer, VA; and Fort Shafter / Tripler Army Medical Center, HI.
I just love the idea of a soldier earning enough Priority Club points to vacation at the InterContinental Dubai on R&R.