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HOTELS


HOTELS


Makeover for Marriott London County Hall hotel


Hilton plans Europe’s largest Hampton at Stansted


HILTON WORLDWIDE IS TO OPEN EUROPE’S LARGEST HILTON by Hampton at London Stansted airport. The 357-room new-build will cost £45 million and


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is due to open in summer 2017. It will be located on a two-acre site adjacent to the terminal building, to which it will have direct access. Construction is


scheduled to commence by the end of the year. Hilton has signed a franchise agreement with developers Urban and Civic to open the hotel.


MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL HAS EMBARKED on a multi-million pound renovation of its landmark London Marriott County Hall hotel. The 200-room property, which is located next to Westminster Bridge, opened in 1922 and was the former headquarters of the Greater London Council (GLC) before its conversion to a hotel in 1998. All guestrooms, including suites, and public spaces will be refurbished in stages, the first being completed in May. The redesigned suites will include lobbies with mosaic flooring and wallpaper featuring an historic map of London. In addition to a 25m swimming pool, facilities include a health club and spa, various food and drink venues, and 13 event and meeting rooms. Following Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood in a US$12.2 billion deal late last year, Marriott will now operate or franchise more than 5,500 hotels with 1.1 million rooms worldwide.


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Fast-track for HS2 Birmingham-Crewe rail link


TRAVELPORT LAUNCHES EUROSTAR SEAT MAP APP


TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY FIRM TRAVELPORT has launched an enhanced app for booking Eurostar seats. ‘Travelport Seat Map App for 9F’ enables agents to determine what services are available on which type of train. Agents are presented with an interactive, colour-coded seat map


18 BBT JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016


displaying the train layout, including the seat plan for each coach within the relevant class of service booked. The app is integrated with Travelport Smartline and also lets agents book and change seats on Eurostar as they would for any airline. It comes as Eurostar is rolling out a new fleet of trains between London, Paris and Brussels. Nigel Richardson, GDS distribution systems manager for Eurostar, said: “In collaboration with Travelport, we have been able to improve the way we present our services to customers and we look forward to further developing our approach to technology in the future.”


CHANCELLOR GEORGE OSBORNE HAS ANNOUNCED that the HS2 rail link between Birmingham and Crewe will open in 2027 – six years than earlier planned. The rail link was due to go from London to Birmingham by 2026, and then reach Manchester and Leeds by 2033. The new timetable means the second phase of the project will open only a year after the first phase from London to Birmingham is complete. Once complete, journey times will fall by an hour from London to Manchester, by 53 minutes from London to Glasgow and by 65 minutes from Birmingham to Leeds. In November’s spending review,


Osborne set aside £55.7 billion for the controversial high-speed rail link. The chancellor said the news would deliver a huge boost to devolution for the so-called Northern Powerhouse.


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