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Joe Brancatelli is editor and publisher of, a non-commercial Web site for business travelers.


Here comes another bushel of new hotels:
Hotel occupancy has slowed noticeably in recent months, and you may
even have noticed your nightly rate dropping a bit. Normally, that
would mean putting the brakes on hotel expansion. But buildings take
years to plan and build, so there is lots of inventory still in the
pipeline. Here’s what has opened recently. Four Seasons has added a 117-room property in Florence.

The hotel spans a pair of 15th and 16th-century buildings situated
on 11 acres on the edge of the centro storico. … Four Seasons has
also opened its second hotel in Istanbul. This one is a 166-room property on the European banks of the Bosphorus. And Staybridge Suites has opened a 132-suite hotel in Liverpool, England.


Airport clubs come and airport clubs go: United Airlines has opened a new Red Carpet Club at Chicago O’Hare Airport. The club is located at Gate B18, not far from the existing Red Carpet lounge. … Singapore Airlines has opened a new lounge for premium customers in Bangkok. It is located on Level 3, Concourse A. … Unfortunately, US Airways will close its clubs at Baltimore-Washington and Raleigh-Durham airportsand shutter its arrivals lounges in Munich, Rome and Zurich.

Speaking of O’Hare, the Federal Aviation Administration says
that it will lift slot restrictions at the nation’s most important
airport effective November 1. … Tri-partite TSA "self-select lanes"
have opened at Seattle-Tacoma Airport. … The first two hotels branded
with the "aloft" name have opened and both are near airports. One is at
Montreal Airport and the second has opened in Rancho Cucamonga,
California, close to Ontario Airport. Aloft is the latest name from Starwood Hotels.
… Speaking of airport hotels in California, Hampton Inn has opened
two of them. One is at Burbank Airport, the other is the second Hampton
near the small airfield in Bakersfield. … Hilton Garden Inn has also
opened another airport hotel. This one, a 137-room property, is near
Gulfport-Biloxi Airport in Mississippi.

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Copyright 2008 by Joe Brancatelli. Licensed by contract for Orbitz use.

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