London –

Business Traveler (USA) - - SPECIAL REPORT -

The Shangri-La Ho­tel At The Shard opened in May. Lo­cated on the South Bank of the River Thames in the iconic 1,000-foot Shard, the ho­tel will be the Hong Kong-based lux­ury ho­tel group’s third in Europe. Mor­gans Ho­tel Group opened its new­est ho­tel, Mon­drian London at Sea Con­tain­ers, lo­cated on London’s prop­erty out­side the US. Hamp­ton by Hil­ton launched the brand’s open­ing of Hamp­ton by Hil­ton London Gatwick Air­port North Ter­mi­nal. ad­di­tion to its grow­ing London port­fo­lio, the brand’s 10th ho­tel in the cap­i­tal area. Hav­ing un­der­gone a multi-mil­lion­pound re­fur­bish­ment, the full-ser­vice ho­tel is lo­cated in the heart of fash­ion­able Is­ling­ton, close to many of London’s ma­jor tourist attractions. The prop­erty is the brand’s 10,000th room in Europe. This co­in­cides with the re­cent open­ing of Dou­bleTree by Hil­ton London-Chelsea.

“Since 2007, the brand has grown from no pres­ence in the UK to nearly 25 prop­er­ties, with 10 of th­ese in the London area,”says John Green­leaf, global head, Dou­bleTree by Hil­ton.

Con­ti­nen­tal Drift

On the Con­ti­nent, the pace of growth is markedly slower; nev­er­the­less, new ho­tels are open­ing their doors. In its New Sup­ply re­port re­leased in Septem­ber, global in­tel­li­gence gath­erer Lodg­ing Econo­met­rics re­ports that Europe will see 235 new ho­tels open­ings in 2014, adding 39,178 rooms. The re­port states that many of th­ese projects had be­gun in 2012 and were sub­se­quently stalled in the pipe­line. Thus, the fore­cast is for new projects to ta­per off over the next two years based on cur­rent trends, slow­ing to 211 ho­tels in 2015 (34,451 rooms) and 216 ho­tels in 2016 (34,060 rooms).

Dis­play­ing con­fi­dence in Europe’s fu­ture, In­ter­Con­ti­nen­tal Ho­tels Group re­cently an­nounced the sign­ing of two flag­ship ho­tels in Por­tu­gal: In­ter­Con­ti­nen­tal Lis­bon and Crowne Plaza Porto. Sit­u­ated in Lis­bon’s city cen­ter, IC Lis­bon was built in 1984 as Le Meri­dien Ho­tel, be­fore be­com­ing the Tiara Park At­lantic Lis­bon Ho­tel in 2008. After a phased re­fur­bish­ment of its lobby and pub­lic ar­eas, the revamped lux­ury ho­tel fea­tures 237 deluxe rooms, 78 ex­ec­u­tive rooms, 16 Suites, 18 meet­ing rooms, fit­ness cen­ter, restau­rant and bar.

Ex­pect­ing to at­tract business trav­el­ers be­cause of the ho­tel’s prox­im­ity to Porto’s com­mer­cial area, the Crowne Plaza Porto, pre­vi­ously op­er­ated as the Park At­lantic Ho­tel Porto, is sched­uled to open this fall after an ex­ten­sive re­fur­bish­ment. The ho­tel of­fers 161 deluxe rooms, 29 ex­ec­u­tive rooms and 42 suites, 11 meet­ing rooms, and all-day din­ing restau­rant.

“Lis­bon is one of the most vis­ited tourist des­ti­na­tions in South­ern Europe and the sign­ing of In­ter­Con­ti­nen­tal Lis­bon is a sig­nif­i­cant de­vel­op­ment for the brand in this re­gion,”says IHG’s Robert Shep­herd, chief de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer, Europe.“Equally, Crowne Plaza Porto will be a meet­ings des­ti­na­tion in its own right and well placed to pro­vide qual­ity ac­com­mo­da­tion and meet­ing support to business trav­el­ers and com­pa­nies in the area.”IHG op­er­ates 30 In­ter­Con­ti­nen­tal Ho­tels & Re­sorts and 82 Crowne Plaza Ho­tels & Re­sorts in Europe.

Star­wood Ho­tels & Re­sorts is also ex­pand­ing its foot­print in Europe. “Star­wood will con­tinue to grow its lux­ury brands in Europe, where it op­er­ates nearly

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