Consider it the year of Italy for IHG Hotels & Resorts.
The hotel powerhouse behind brands like Holiday Inn Express, Kimpton, InterContinental and Six Senses opened two marquee hotels — the Six Senses Rome and the InterContinental Rome Ambasciatori Palace — in the Italian capital over the last few months. But it's more than luxe properties that tie IHG to the Eternal City.
Elie Maalouf, who grew up in Rome, took over as the company's new CEO at the start of July.
So, does that mean IHG's new top brass will start changing everything to his liking? Not quite. Consider the Maalouf era as one of building on existing strengths.
This isn't entirely early days at IHG for the company's new chief executive. It's Maalouf's ninth year with the company, and he previously served as the CEO of IHG's Americas division, where he oversaw everything from development and operations to the launch of new brands.
"I own the strategy that we have, and there's no need for renaming everything or re-labeling everything," Maalouf said with a laugh. "But we're going to build on this."
The building isn't taking place in just one direction.
In recent year, IHG embarked on a brand-building spree that former CEO Keith Barr often likened to filling in the rungs of a ladder. Through a mix of acquisitions, organic growth and partnership, IHG's brand lineup today ranges from all-inclusive resorts via a partnership with Iberostar to ultra-luxe hotels charging thousands of dollars per night.
While InterContinental Hotels & Resorts is IHG's namesake high-end brand, the company brought in Regent and Six Senses to beef up its offerings in the ultra-luxury sector. Along with Six Senses Rome, IHG this year opened the Carlton Cannes, a Regent Hotel, in the south of France and the Regent Hong Kong.
The Six Senses development pipeline is now double what it was when IHG bought the brand in 2019. Upcoming openings include Six Senses London, Six Senses Kyoto and Six Senses Svart in Norway. Regent is slated to return to the U.S. with a location in Santa Monica, California, in the next few months. This is in addition to international locations in Jakarta, Indonesia; Kyoto, Japan; and Bali, Indonesia. InterContinental doesn't appear to be losing steam either, with more than 200 hotels open and close to 100 in development.
"It's part of where we've been going with the company: not focusing less on our mainstream, everyday brands, but doing both," Maalouf said. "Our luxury and lifestyle portfolio is really hitting a rhythm."
Don't think IHG is losing sight of its cash cow enterprise of affordable brands like Holiday Inn Express. The company also launched a new midscale brand, Garner, last month. Garner is clustered in IHG's Essentials Collection with
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Unless you’re inheriting family vineyards—or celebrating an IPO windfall—Napa Valley isn’t the most affordable place to start a wine brand. And when Malek Amrani created The Vice in 2016 he had neither of those—just a vision that placed equal focus on both his passion and business approach. The Vice concentrates on single-vineyard and single-varietal wines from 15 of Napa’s 16 AVAs, has a line of orange wines and bottles that begin as low as $29, far below the average price for the region. Amrani has also just been appointed to the Board of Directors of Napa Valley Vintners—quite a journey for someone who came to New York as a teenager from Morocco. I spoke with Amrani about his love of Napa, his sales-first approach to winemaking and why orange wine may be here to stay.
Iconic magazine first lent its brand name to a hotel venture in late 2022, when its resort opened in Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic. Yet the forces behind Sports Illustrated Resorts aim to expand its footprint relatively quickly.
While many Americans associate kaleidoscopic fall foliage with New England, Seattle also brims with autumnal appeal with cool, crisp air and a stunning backdrop of tree-covered hills and mountains. Also: where else can you take in awe-inspiring views of Mount Rainier, knock back a chambong (champagne glass-beer bong hybrid), savor spicy Laotian chicken laap, and retire to a plush room overlooking Elliot Bay in a single day?
Wyndham Grand has opened bookings for its newest all-inclusive Caribbean resort, Wyndham Grand Barbados, Sam Lord's Castle Resort & Spa.The secluded, 422-room oceanfront hotel marks Wyndham Hotels & Resorts' debut in Barbados. The property will host its first guests starting October 12, with a formal grand opening planned for early 2024.Wyndham Grand Barbados, Sam Lord's Castle Resort & Spa boasts a unique location on the former site of Sam Lord's Castle, a setting renowned for pirates during the 19th century.The property will feature as many as 37 suites with ocean views and lanai-style private balconies, more than 10 different dining venues, a 13,000 square-foot spa with a pool area and relaxation deck, a state-of-the-art fitness center and a sunrise yoga center.Among the many food and beverage highlights is a Mediterranean Marketplace dishing out flavors from North Africa, Italy, France, Portugal and Spain in addition to pop-up food trucks, poolside dining and a specialty "farm to fork" experience with locally sourced ingredients from nearby farmers, fisherman and purveyors.
As a flock of noisy jet skiers circle the Statue of Liberty on a warm October evening, Matthew Rhys looks out at the horizon. “There’s a Welsh word, hiraeth, which is loosely translated to ‘a longing for home,’" he says. “But it's something slightly more than that. It's a longing for something that can never be again.”
If you're trying to figure out where to go for fall break, you don't have a ton of time left. With that in mind, it can help to focus on all-inclusive resorts that include your food, activities and lodging all in one booking. That way, you can focus on selecting a resort and your flights, and all you have to do is show up and enjoy yourself.
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