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• MENZIES Hotels has launched a new corporate identity across its portfolio of UK properties, adopting an ethos of 'You're in a good place'. The new look comes into play across internal and external signage, literature and the independent hotel group's website. Menzies has invested around £7million throughout the year on a variety of projects including a refurbishment of its fl agship property, the Menzies Welcombe Hotel, Spa & Golf Club in Stratford-upon-Avon. The group's chairman, Niall Geoghegan, says, “Menzies Hotels aims to be one of the UK’s leading hotel brands, offering an experience that is so consistently good, relaxing and friendly that it feels like home. Our new message, You’re in a good place, is a really important phrase in delivering this and will sit right at the heart of everything we stand for.”

• A £10MILLION four-star Holiday Inn hotel has opened at Southend Airport featuring a fully soundproofed rooftop bar and restaurant – a fi rst for the group in the UK. The hotel has 129 guestrooms including 27 executive rooms and four King Superior rooms, plus conference facilities for up to 150 delegates.

• HILTON'S DoubleTree brand has expanded in the capital with a seventh property. Formerly known as the Best Western Premier Mostyn Hotel, the DoubleTree by Hilton London Marble Arch has 121 guestrooms, with the entire property undergoing a renovation in 2011. The hotel houses the three AA rosette and Michelin starred Texture restaurant – a modern European restaurant and Champagne bar with Scandinavian infl uences – plus the Fire & Spice Bar and Kitchen, and the Indigo Bar and Lounge. There are three meeting rooms and boardrooms, accommodating between ten and 130 delegates, plus fi ve additional syndicate rooms.

• EDINBURGH'S Caledonian hotel is open for business after a £24million renovation project. The hotel has enjoyed an overhaul of public spaces, guestrooms, spa, restaurants and bars. Dating from 1903, the traditional railway hotel became a Hilton Hotels & Resorts property in 2000 and is now a member of the group's luxury Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts brand.

 Motel One's arrival I

THE Motel One hotel group arrives in the UK this winter with the opening of a property in Edinburgh. The ‘budget design’ brand

currently comprises 39 hotels across Germany and Austria, and says the Motel One Edinburgh- Royal will be the first of several hotels in the UK. A second Motel One in Edinburgh and a flagship property in London are both said to be in the pipeline. The Motel One Edinburgh-Royal is

centrally located on Market Street and is a conversion of the original 16th and 18th century buildings that

stood on the site. The hotel will feature Motel One’s trademark design elements such as turquoise Arne Jacobsen egg chairs and ARCO lamps by Achille Castiglioni. The hotel’s hub, the One Lounge,

is a lobby, bar and café rolled into one. Rates start from £69 per night. Motel One CEO Dieter Muller says, “The UK launch has been a long time in the making. Our product is young and stylish and focuses on three qualities, namely excellent location, affordable prices and high quality design and service. This is just the beginning for the UK.”


RON DILEO Executive Director, Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE)

am often asked to give commentary about how ACTE sees the business travel industry

today and what we view as trends that will shape the months ahead. Personally, I believe the ingredients are all in place to bring about a perfect storm – but, unlike most storms that strike the travel industry, this one is shaping up to be positive. Firstly, we are in 'year three' of

what our ACTE Index tells us is a predictable eight-year travel industry economic cycle. What makes this cycle very interesting is the strength of our current 'year three' compared to 'year threes' past. Secondly, I believe technology is outpacing ideas for deployment. In other words, today’s technology can do more than what it is currently being tasked to do and there is no shortage of need for more efficient solutions. Add to that the profile of the newest generation of people coming into the industry who view business travel through the lens of a consumer and cannot tolerate things that don’t make sense. Thirdly, there is no shortage of

FOSTER + Partners' first UK hotel project opens in December when Meliá hotels' flagship property is unveiled. The firm has designed all of the interiors and exteriors of ME London which is situated in Marconi House, the original London home of the BBC. The hotel comprises 157 luxury

guestrooms, including 16 suites and a two-floor penthouse in the turret of the building. Room rates start from £340 per night excluding VAT.

For dining, there's STK, a New

York-style steakhouse; Cucina Asellina, an authentic Italian restaurant located on the ground floor; Radio, on the tenth floor, is a rooftop terrace, lounge and bar celebrating the building's history and open from breakfast until late; and the Marconi Lounge, a lobby bar and lounge named after Guglielmo Marconi. There's also seven flexible meeting rooms with capacity for up to 300 delegates.

private investor money available in the marketplace. The amount of activity coming through the ACTE Angel Investors Lounge programme alone has proved that a good idea in the travel space will always find willing investors. As a result, entrepreneurs with great ideas are connecting their dreams with the marketplace at an accelerating rate. Fourth, business travellers are being pulled from the fringe of company travel programmes into the centre square. Smartphones and other mobile technologies make everyone more informed and connected. Combine that with some very creative gamification strategies where travellers are given incentives to do the right thing, and the swell becomes even more powerful. In summary, we have a strong

travel industry that’s getting stronger, advancing technology and people with great ideas. Couple that mix with investors who are looking for the next killer apps and travellers hungry to consume them, and you can begin to see the recipe for the perfect storm forming. Just add water and stir...


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