PR Newswire | October 20, 2023
Aimbridge Hospitality EMEA, a division of global management leader Aimbridge Hospitality, has been appointed by Santa Maria Group to manage its independent, 402-key Grand Luxor Hotel & Village resort on the Costa Blanca beginning October 1, 2023. The deal marks a major milestone for both companies, signaling their joint ambition to accelerate growth and provide exceptional experiences in the market.
A leading hospitality management company and the world's largest third-party hotel operator, Aimbridge EMEA is expected to bring its two decades of operational expertise and award-winning talent development to the four-star rated resort. The Grand Luxor Hotel & Village houses a 300-guest room hotel, including two Presidential Suites, five food and beverage outlets and 102 villas, boasting both communal and private swimming pools.
Located adjacent to the Terra Mitica theme park, and a 40-minute drive away from Alicante Airport, the resort also offers a spa, a gym, three outdoor pools, mini golf, a kids' club, and more than 1,500 sqm of meetings and events space. The hotel will benefit from the Terra Mitica Convention Centre and world class event spaces, totalling 12,000sqm, including an Iberian Village, and a 3,000 sqm Circus Maximus Auditorium.
Terra Mitica is under the same ownership group and the theme park is a key destination for family tourism in the area.
David Anderson, Divisional President at Aimbridge EMEA, said: "We are incredibly excited to partner with Santa Maria Group and announce our entry into the Spanish market. The Grand Luxor Hotel & Village, located on the Costa Blanca - one of Spain's most popular tourist destinations - is an impressive and sought-out resort, and we look forward to helping the owners meet their growth goals."
Formerly known as Interstate Hotels & Resorts, Aimbridge EMEA has seen development deals across Europe soar over the last six months, as travel returns to pre-pandemic levels and investors regain confidence in the hotel and tourism sectors.
"As a division of global powerhouse Aimbridge Hospitality, this deal also reflects our commitment to accelerate growth across the region. The Iberian Peninsula has been a major focus for our development plans over the last 12 months, and we have made sizable investments in the market, including several new hires in key locations, such as Madrid and Barcelona," Anderson continued.
"We see many opportunities to bring our management expertise to the Spanish region and beyond, utilising Aimbridge's industry-leading technologies, systems and talent to create great experiences for guests, and superior returns for investors and owners."
In addition to its entry into Spain, the company has also announced a number of new additions to its EMEA portfolio in recent months, including the Holiday Inn Eindhoven Airport, the Adagio Aparthotel Antwerp City Centre, and the Alliance Palace in Batumi, Georgia.
Last month, the business welcomed industry veteran, Niall Kelly, who has been appointed as Head of Development – EMEA, bringing more than 25 years of significant deal-making experience within international markets to his role.
Anderson added: "We're focused on attracting top talent with expertise in multiple languages and across all verticals, building on our relationships with both existing and new hotel owners to create returns and unlock more opportunities for their properties.
"The strong growth in project numbers that we're seeing across Europe is testament to this approach, and the many benefits Aimbridge's global scale and industry experience can offer owners within the hospitality space."
The Aimbridge Hospitality global portfolio, inclusive of managed and pipeline properties, includes approximately 1,500 hotels in 20 countries around the world.
Sheraton Hotels & Resorts | October 11, 2023
Sheraton Fort Worth Downtown approaches completion of a remarkable $45 million transformation, marked as one of the largest hotel renovations in the Fort Worth area.
A dynamic five-member senior executive team, led by General Manager Damien O'Connor, is poised to steer the hotel's vision and elevate the guest experience.
The hotel, managed by Aimbridge Hospitality, is strategically located across from the Fort Worth Convention Center, near the picturesque Water Gardens, and in close proximity to numerous restaurants and entertainment venues in downtown Fort Worth.
The Sheraton Fort Worth Downtown is on the point of completing an extensive transformation, making it one of Fort Worth's most significant hospitality projects. A five-member senior executive team has been assembled to steer the hotel's vision and enhance the guest experience. This team is backed by Aimbridge Hospitality, a globally renowned hospitality management company recognized for its exceptional service. General Manager Damien O'Connor is leading the team, who joined the Sheraton Fort Worth Downtown in April 2022. Together, they bring over 80 years of collective experience to elevate the hotel's profile and provide exceptional hospitality in the Dallas-Fort Worth market.
The Sheraton Fort Worth Downtown, with 403 rooms, enjoys a prime location just across the street from the Fort Worth Convention Center, the scenic Water Gardens, and the new Texas A&M University Law School addition. It offers convenient access to numerous restaurants and entertainment venues, making it a hub in the heart of downtown Fort Worth. Additionally, the hotel is a short drive away from iconic attractions such as The Stockyards, Texas Christian University (TCU), and the Fort Worth Zoo.
The members of the senior executive team at the Sheraton Fort Worth Downtown include:
Courtney Towson, Director of Sales and Marketing, brings over 15 years of experience to her role, previously serving as Director of Sales and Marketing for The Sinclair Autograph Collection in Fort Worth. She spent over a decade with the Gaylord Texan before that.
Rosa Morakis, Director of Human Resources, has held similar roles at various hotel brands, including Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, DoubleTree, and Radisson. With a diverse background and proficiency in multiple languages, including Portuguese, English, Spanish, and Greek, Morakis is well-equipped for her role.
Bill Richards, Director of Finance, boasts more than two decades of experience in hotel accounting and finance. He has been a valued member of Aimbridge Hospitality for several years.
Kara Anderson, Director of Food and Beverage, is an accomplished professional and the first certified tea master for Starbucks. With several years of experience at the Beverly Hills Marriott, she has returned to her hometown of Fort Worth.
The Sheraton Fort Worth Downtown's $45 million renovation will mark one of the largest hotel transformations in the Fort Worth region. It was started in the fall of 2022; the project is on track to be finalized by the end of the current year. The comprehensive renovation encompasses the hotel's exterior and interior, focusing on creating a more vibrant and spacious environment based on valuable input from guests.
The redesign includes a reimagined entrance, an increased number of suites, and the addition of practical work-space studios tailored for small meetings and versatile use. Adding to the enhanced guest experience is the debut of West+Stone, a signature restaurant bar offering a range of dining options from breakfast to late-night dinners.
The hotel's in-house dining option, &More by Sheraton, will provide an all-day menu and a diverse selection of beverages, catering to both in-hotel dining and takeaway. In addition, the construction has been carried out in stages, allowing the hotel, with its nearly 30,000 square feet of conference space, to maintain operations during most of the renovation process.
Travel Technology, Hospitality Management
Virgin Voyages | September 08, 2023
Virgin Voyages announced a $550 million funding round led by Ares Management for global expansion.
Founder Tom McAlpin transitions to Chairman of the Board, while Nirmal Saverimuttu takes over as CEO, bringing extensive experience from Virgin Voyages' early days.
Virgin Voyages looks forward to continued success and collaboration with investors, including Ares Management, to drive future growth and innovation.
Virgin Voyages, the award-winning cruise brand backed by Richard Branson's Virgin Group, has announced the completion of a $550 million fundraise led by Ares Management's Private Equity Group. This funding, including contributions from existing investors such as Virgin Group and Bain Capital, is poised to propel Virgin Voyages into international markets while enhancing the overall customer experience.
Partner and Co-Portfolio Manager of Special Opportunities in the Ares Private Equity Group, Aaron Rosen, remarked,
With this new investment alongside our partners at Virgin Group and Bain Capital, we believe the company is on strong footing to capitalize on its differentiated product and value proposition in the growing cruise industry.
[Source - Cision PR Newswire]
Established as a leading player in the industry, Virgin Voyages has swiftly gained recognition and accolades with a fleet serving various destinations and recent wins like topping the mega-ship category in Travel + Leisure's 2023 World's Best Awards and sweeping all five cruise categories in the 2023 Cruise Critic Cruisers' Choice Awards.
Alongside this development, Tom McAlpin, the founding CEO, is transitioning to the role of Chairman of the Board. Nirmal Saverimuttu is taking the reins as the new Chief Executive Officer, having formerly served as President and Chief Experience Officer. In addition, Nirmal Saverimuttu has been a foundational figure at Virgin Voyages since 2014, when he joined as Chief Commercial Officer after securing initial investments from the Virgin Group. His role expanded in 2021 to President and Chief Experience Officer, making him well-prepared to guide the brand into its next phase of growth and innovation.
Nirmal Saverimuttu, CEO of Virgin Voyages, said,
I want to send our deepest thanks, on behalf of all our Crew and the Board, to Tom for his leadership and passion for the business. We are so grateful for all he has done and are thrilled to continue to partner with him as our Chairman.
[Source – Cision PR Newswire]
Virgin Voyages is a trusted brand due to its crew's dedication and passion for offering remarkable experiences for its guests. Nirmal also expressed his anticipation of collaborating with the Ares team and Virgin Voyages' current investors to execute growth and expansion plans as the company contemplates its promising future.