Marriott International | October 09, 2023
Marriott International launches the Hospitality Alliance for Responsible Procurement to drive sustainability and supplier engagement in collaboration with EcoVadis.
HARP focuses on achieving Net Zero targets and sustainability goals by pooling resources and expertise to address common challenges in the hospitality sector.
The initiative utilizes EcoVadis' sustainability rating methodology and platform to increase supplier visibility and accelerate supplier performance improvement.
Marriott International, along with Accor, Hilton, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Radisson Hotel Group, Avendra, and Entegra, has launched the Hospitality Alliance for Responsible Procurement (HARP) in collaboration with EcoVadis.
HARP aims to accelerate sustainability practices within the hospitality sector by fostering collaboration among trading partners. By utilizing EcoVadis' sustainability rating methodology and platform, HARP seeks to enhance supplier engagement, drive performance improvement, and focus on key industry categories.
Chief Customer Officer at EcoVadis, Richard Eyram, stated that as companies aim to involve their value chain partners in sustainability initiatives, they come to understand the intricate nature and shared difficulties within their sector. The hospitality industry can maximize its collective influence through partnerships and collaboration across the industry. Through the consolidation of efforts, alignment of priorities, and the exchange of best practices, members of HARP can attain favorable results, leading the way toward achieving Net Zero targets and a more sustainable future for everyone.
The alliance addresses common challenges faced by the industry in achieving sustainability goals, with a particular focus on increasing supplier engagement and performance. By pooling resources and expertise, HARP members aim to work collectively toward Net Zero targets and a more sustainable future. It addresses these fundamental challenges confronted by its collective supplier sustainability programs, such as:
Increasing supplier engagement rate to increase supplier visibility, beginning with the supplier assessment.
Accelerating the performance improvement curve of suppliers.
Increasing the relevancy of those engagements by concentrating on the industry's most important categories.
HARP has implemented EcoVadis's sustainability rating proven methodology, scorecards, and improvement platform to attain these objectives. The EcoVadis Sector Initiative features are designed as a network compliant with antitrust laws and enable more efficient supplier enrollment, transparency, collaboration, and analytics. Together, these capabilities provide HARP with visibility over the sustainability performance of the hospitality supply chain and enable HARP members to align on the industry's top priorities. This results in a positive message to the supplier community and a more cohesive direction that allows targeted improvement.
HARP member suppliers will have access to additional capacity-building and engagement activities, as well as tools and best practices, in order to achieve this targeted development and meet the needs of the hospitality industry. Marriott and the seven HARP founding members collectively rated more than 2,000 suppliers upon the initiative's foundation. HARP intends to increase this number in order to obtain a deeper understanding of the sustainability performance of its supply chain and to maximize improvement.
Travel Technology, Hospitality Management
Business Wire | October 16, 2023
Hilton celebrated the grand opening of Spark by Hilton Mystic Groton, solidifying the company’s foray into the premium economy segment. With more than 400 opportunities in various stages of development, the first-ever Spark by Hilton made its debut just eight months after Hilton announced the new, conversion-only brand in January of this year.
Located less than half a mile from I-95, Spark by Hilton Mystic Groton is nestled in the historic maritime town of Mystic, Connecticut, with iconic landmarks including The Mystic Aquarium, Mystic Seaport Museum, Olde Mistick Village and the Mystic Bascule Drawbridge nearby. The hotel is also less than two miles away from local shops and restaurants in Mystic’s quaint downtown.
“In partnership with Distinctive Hospitality Group, we are thrilled to welcome guests into the very first Spark by Hilton. This breakthrough premium economy brand builds on Hilton’s continued work to develop new brands and provide a hotel for every traveler and every stay occasion,” said Matt Schuyler, chief brand officer, Hilton. “Spark is our fastest announcement-to-market brand in Hilton’s history, and we are excited to grow our portfolio of world-class brands with many more Sparks on the horizon.”
Spark by Hilton Mystic Groton features 120 comfortable and relaxing guest rooms and a seasonal outdoor pool. Other signature elements of Spark by Hilton hotels include:
A 24-hour retail market and a simple, complimentary breakfast, featuring premium coffee, juice and a signature bagel bar with spreads.
Public space with multi-functional seating from communal tables to rocking chairs, offering plenty of options for guests to enjoy breakfast, socialize or work throughout the day.
Guest rooms outfitted with practical amenities, including simple, streamlined furniture, an open closet, an in-room refrigerator, a multi-purpose work surface and a bright bathroom.
Simple, inspired design with splashes of color, vibrant exterior statement walls and energizing artwork.
“At Spark by Hilton, our approach to hospitality is all about ensuring that every traveler can enjoy exceptional quality without sacrificing affordability,” said Alissa Klees, brand leader, Spark by Hilton. “As we celebrate the opening of our inaugural Spark in Mystic, it marks the start of a journey to reshape travel and disrupt the premium economy segment while expanding our customer and owner base.”
The grand opening of Spark by Hilton Mystic Groton was celebrated today with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and remarks from Matt Schuyler, chief brand officer, Hilton; Alissa Klees, brand leader, Spark by Hilton; and Lou Carrier, president, Distinctive Hospitality Group. Photos from the grand opening event can be found here.
“Needless to say, we’re thrilled with being the first Spark by Hilton to be opened,” said Lou Carrier, president, Distinctive Hospitality Group. “We’re extremely confident the Mystic/Eastern Connecticut marketplace will present the diversified business drivers to allow our 120-room hotel to flourish. Additionally, we are already seeing an incredible mix of Hilton Honors members giving trial to the new brand as well as never before Hilton Honors members signing up to join the loyalty program. Hilton is clearly redefining the economy segment with Spark!”
Spark by Hilton Mystic Groton is part of Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s distinct hotel brands. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else and free standard Wi-Fi. Members also enjoy popular digital tools available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton Honors mobile app, where Hilton Honors members can check-in, choose their room and access their room using a Digital Key.
About Spark by Hilton
The newest addition to the Hilton portfolio, Spark by Hilton is a premium economy hotel brand at the intersection of value and consistency. Spark by Hilton provides a reliable and comfortable stay with friendly service for every guest, all at an accessible price. Spark by Hilton hotels provide a welcoming sense of arrival with colorful accent walls and inspiring artwork. The public spaces provide multi-functional seating, from communal tables to rocking chairs, and guest rooms are comfortable and relaxing with simple, streamlined furniture. In the morning, travelers can enjoy a complimentary signature bagel bar and premium coffee.
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.