By Joe Brancatelli
No major chain is more poorly represented in the New York hotel market than Hyatt. For several years, it only had the largely uninspiring Grand Hyatt adjacent to Grand Central Terminal, a Hyatt Regency in Jersey City and, more recently, a few Hyatt Place properties in the New Jersey suburbs. But last month it opened two new hotels, the Andaz Wall Street and, on nearby Long Island, the 123-room Hyatt Place Garden City. The 13-story, 253-room Andaz in the financial district will be followed later this year by an Andaz property on Fifth Avenue. Rates at the Wall Street hotel start at a reasonable (for New York) $275 a night.
Along with the two new Andaz properties in New York, Hyatt just put the Andaz flag on the Ivy Hotel in San Diego Feb. 1, and the property has been renamed (surprise!) the Andaz San Diego. That’ll make four open properties with the Andaz names (the others are in London and Los Angeles) and several more in the pipeline.
Elsewhere in the hotel world, the action has been overseas.
- Starwood has put the Luxury Collection moniker on the Hotel Paracas in Peru. It has also added three hotels in China: a Le Meridien in Xiamen; a Four Points in Tianjin; and in Shenzhen, the Westin Shenzhen Nanshan.
- Hilton has opened the Hilton Garden Inn New Delhi/Saket. It’s the first Garden Inn property in India.
- Marriott, which has been quickly adding properties throughout China, has opened a full-service hotel in Suzhou, China. Suzhou is a a canal city (some call it, with good reason, the Venice of China) located about 90 minutes from Shanghai.
- The Four Seasons has opened its long-delayed, not-quite-finished property in Beirut, the capital of Lebanon that, against all the odds, is returning to life as a playground for the rich, famous and fabulous from around the Mediterranean.
Starwood Loses (or Drops) Most of Its Israel Properties
The exact circumstances are a little unclear, but most Starwood hotels in Israel are no more. In recent weeks, almost a dozen properties have dumped (or lost) the Sheraton affiliation and switched to the Leonardo brand. The remaining Starwood properties — the Sheraton on Hayarkon Street in Tel Aviv and the Le Méridien hotels in Eilat and on the Dead Sea — are expected to go soon. None of the properties won raves from travelers, but they were popular redemption spots for Starwood Preferred Guest points. The Leonardo chain is relatively new and has a few outlets in Germany.
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Joe Brancatelli is editor and publisher of JoeSentMe.com, a non-commercial Web site for business travelers. Copyright 2009 by Joe Brancatelli. Licensed by contract for Orbitz use.