Starwood Invests $300m & Cairns Gets a Holiday Inn

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A couple of bits of Hotel News that don’t really warrant a whole post of their own:

Starwood’s Luxury Collection To Get a Boost

Starwood has announced that, in conjunction with its hotel-owner partners, it will be investing $300m into its Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts in an “effort to expand and improve its hotel portfolio in North America“. If you’re a Starwood loyalist this should be good news for you as the Luxury Collection (in the US) has been crying out for bit of attention for a few years. There are some great hotels in the portfolio but a lot have begun to show their age.

The Phoenician, Scottsdale

The Phoenician, Scottsdale AZ

The $300m will be split between renovating existing properties and bringing new properties into the fold. The Royal Hawaiian in Waikiki has just finished remodelling one of its towers while Minneapolis’ Hotel Ivy and San Francisco’s Palace Hotel will have works completed by the end of this year. Renovations will continue into 2016 with The Liberty Hotel in Boston and The Phoenician in Scottsdale, AZ getting makeovers.

Later this year newcomers to the brand will include the Conrad Chicago (currently undergoing renovations and due for a name change), The St Anthony in San Antonio and Cal Neva on Lake Tahoe. And, in 2016 Las Alcobas will reopen following a multi-million dollar transformation.

IHG Moves Into Cairns

Cairns, Queensland is to lose its Mercure-branded Harbourside hotel which will become a Holiday Inn later in the year.

Mercure Cairns Harbourside or Holiday In Cairns Harbourside

The Mercure Cairns Harbourside is to close for refurbishments later this year before reopening as a Holiday Inn in the fall.

This could be a nice bonus for IHG Rewards Club members as IHG has no hotels anywhere near Cairns as things stand – there’s an Intercontinental and a Crowne Plaza south of Brisbane but they’re just about as far away from Cairns as you can get while still remaining within Queensland’s borders.

With Cairns being a major stopping off point on the way to the Great Barrier Reef and the North Queensland Rain Forests, any additions to the IHG portfolio in that region will be very welcome indeed.

On top of all this the hotel itself gets some pretty reasonable reviews on TripAdvisor so, hopefully, it should do even better after a makeover.

Mercure Cairns Harbourside or Holiday In Cairns HarboursideMercure Cairns Harbourside or Holiday In Cairns Harbourside


Now all we have to do is to wait and see where the new Holiday Inn with fit into the IHG Rewards scale – hopefully not too high! Seeing this hotel come up on a Point Breaks list may just be what I need to make a Barrier Reef dive trip a little more affordable.


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