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Raffles Rolls Out Hybrid Hotel Model in Cambodia

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Raffles Rolls Out Hybrid Hotel Model in Cambodia - TRAVELINDEX - HOTELWORLDSPhnom Penh, Cambodia, September 1, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Phnom Penh’s most fabled hotel has relaunched with separate wings for ASQ guests and staycationers.  Raffles Hotel Le Royal, celebrated for more than 90 years as one of the “Grandes Dames” of Southeast Asia, has reopened its northern wing as an ASQ (alternative state quarantine), offering an elegant option to inbound travelers.

“Guests will be accommodated in a stand-alone wing of the hotel, with stringent health and safety protocols,” said Hotel Manager Dennis de Groot. “We are dedicated to offering a sanctuary of unparalleled comfort for those undertaking the mandated 14-day quarantine.”

The move comes at a time when Cambodia has been widely praised for its handling of the pandemic and its efficient vaccine program. It also exemplifies Le Royal’s place in the country’s history, not only as an oasis of serenity, but as a safe haven, a role the hotel famously played in the turbulent 1970s when it was transformed temporarily into a Red Cross facility.

Designed by architect Ernest Hébrard in French colonial style, Le Royal originally launched in November 1929 with an opening ceremony that was attended by the King of Cambodia and included an orchestra. It was an era when daring couples danced the Charleston, and the sight of an automobile in the dusty streets of Phnom Penh would bring children running.

Lured by tales of the exotic East and the mysteries of Angkor, many international tourists and adventurers began to set sail for Indochina around this time.

Among the celebrities who would be spotted basking in the wicker chairs and leather sofas of the hotel’s chic Elephant Bar were Charlie Chaplin and his entourage; novelists André Malraux and Somerset Maugham; French President Charles de Gaulle; and in the 1960s, former US First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy.

In 1997, at the invitation of Cambodia’s King Sihanouk, the Raffles group was invited to take over Le Royal, along with its sister heritage property, the Grand Hotel d’Angkor, in Siem Reap.

Each of the 175 rooms and suites at Raffles Hotel Le Royal underwent a full refurbishment as part of a meticulous one-year restoration project in 2019.

Returning guests will immediately notice lighter and brighter interiors, accentuated by spotlights. Segafredo coffee machines, USB charging stations, and Simmons pillow-top mattresses are among the new features that add modern appeal.

Traditionalists will be relieved to know that the heart and soul of this vintage landmark hotel has been lovingly maintained. The hardwood floors have been polished to a squeak; the age-old ceiling fans still whirl; and the old brass rotary telephones continue to ring.

All bathrooms have been extensively renovated with Italian tiling and rain showers, though some retain their much-loved claw-foot bathtubs. Bathroom amenities will henceforth be supplied by Sodashi, an Australian brand of high-performance skincare products created with the purest botanical extracts.

The courtyard remains the centerpiece of the property, its two swimming pools surrounded by tropical gardens of frangipani, and shaded by giant century-old trees.

“Always moving with the times and in line with the high expectations of our guests, the restoration program has breathed new life into this iconic hotel,” said Hotel Manager de Groot. “We have strived to retain what is so special about Raffles – the character, the superlative service, the heritage – while providing the enhanced facilities and experiences that discerning travelers aspire to.”

Among other significant changes, Café Monivong, in the hotel’s west wing, has now been retired and replaced by a youthful all-day dining venue named “Le Phnom 1929”, inspired by the Parisian-style brasserie, and specializing in French and Western cuisine.

It is here that Executive Chef Joel Wilkinson crafts French classics such as escargots, liver parfait, beef bourguignon, duck confit and onion soup, all paired with fine wines. Prime cuts of imported steaks, a seafood tower, and a melt-in-your-mouth beef or salmon tartare also adorn the menu. Diners may also opt for comfort foods, Asian cuisine and vegetarian dishes.

But while the lavish menu at Le Phnom 1929 will be restricted to room service only for ASQ guests, the restaurant will be available to all business and leisure visitors who are to be hosted separately in the hotel’s famed Heritage Wing.

Indeed, Raffles has gone the extra mile to ensure that visitors arriving from abroad are afforded a variety of contactless in-room options: “virtual” classes for children; birthday parties; masterclasses such as cocktail-making; and family cinema evenings are all part of the ASQ itinerary.

“Each room at Le Royal has a charming balcony overlooking tropical gardens and swimming pools where guests can read books, enjoy afternoon tea and sundowners, or just simply relax,” said Mr de Groot.

“Visitors staying at the hotel as part of the ASQ program can expect private airport transfers, a full-board dining experience, 24-hour medical services, PCR tests, and a truly comfortable and memorable stay.”

Rooms and suites at Raffles Hotel Le Royal start from US$240+++ per night.

Raffles Hotels & Resorts boasts an illustrious history and some of the most prestigious hotel addresses worldwide. In 1887, Raffles Singapore set the standard for luxury hospitality, introducing the world to private butlers, the Singapore Sling and its enduring, legendary service. Today, Raffles continues this tradition in leading cities and lavish resort locales, enchanting travellers with meaningful experiences and service that is both gracious and intuitive. Connoisseurs of life choose Raffles, not merely for its aura of culture, beauty and gentility, but for the extraordinary way they feel when in residence with Raffles. Each Raffles, be it Paris, Istanbul, Dubai, Warsaw, Jakarta or the Seychelles, serves as a venerated oasis where travellers arrive as guests, leave as friends and return as family. Raffles is part of Accor, a world leading hospitality group consisting of more than 5,100 properties and 10,000 food and beverage venues throughout 110 countries.

First published at – Global Travel News

Dorothy Dowling of Best Western Hotels Receives Prestigious Award

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Dorothy Dowling of Best Western Hotels Receives Prestigious Award

Phoenix, Arizona, United States, September 1, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Best Western Hotels and Resorts Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Dorothy Dowling, will be awarded the Hotel News Now Stephen W. Brener Silver Plate Award at the NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference in November 2021. Dowling is being recognized for her immeasurable contributions to Best Western Hotels & Resorts and the hospitality industry at large.

The award is given annually to the most influential executive, entrepreneur, company, or association in the travel industry, recognizing exemplary examples of innovation and leadership, and shining a light on the contributions of these remarkable industry leaders. Dowling is the second woman in history to be awarded the Stephen W. Brener Silver Plate Award since its creation in 1959, following in the footsteps of Marilyn Carlson Nelson.

“Dorothy is most deserving of this coveted recognition,” said David Kong, President and Chief Executive Officer, Best Western Hotels & Resorts. “I have had the opportunity to witness firsthand Dorothy’s innovative and strategic thinking for 17 years now. Each day I have been inspired by her unrelenting commitment to our industry and her dedication to Best Western’s hoteliers, guests, and her team of incredibly talented sales and marketing professionals. I have no doubt that Dorothy’s contributions to the industry will be remembered for generations to come.”

“I am not surprised that Dorothy is the second woman in history to receive this accolade, as there is no greater champion for our industry,” said Alison Taylor, Chief Customer Officer, American Airlines. “She has been a catalyst for change through her commitment to collaboration, and her focus on empowering women leaders. I hope the next generation of women in travel embrace Dorothy’s approach to leadership – she has proven that it is possible to deliver business outcomes while also driving positive change.”

Dowling is a veteran industry executive who is a leader, change-maker, innovator and trusted colleague. Leading all marketing and sales strategies for Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Dowling oversees the brand’s loyalty program, digital marketing and distribution, consumer and field marketing activities, advertising, public relations and B2B sales and marketing.

“Dorothy is a leading voice whose dedication to our industry is truly inspiring,” said Ishwar Naran, Board Chairman, Best Western Hotels & Resorts. “I have had the privilege of working alongside Dorothy at Best Western Hotels & Resorts where she has played a critical role in increasing market share and contemporizing our iconic brand.”

Since joining Best Western Hotels & Resorts in 2004, Dowling has reshaped and repositioned the iconic brand. Her work at Best Western Hotels & Resorts includes:

  • Driving the growth of the industry-leading loyalty program, Best Western Rewards® which now boasts over 47 million members and provides guests with one of the richest hotel rewards programs in the industry.
  • Building an award-winning partnership with AAA®/CAA® resulting in Best Western Hotels & Resorts being named the AAA/CAA Partner of the Year for 12 consecutive years.
  • Supporting Best Western Hotels & Resorts’ $2 billion brand refresh which revealed a re-energized and contemporary image for the iconic brand.
  • Becoming a first mover by partnering with Google® Street View and leveraging Virtual Reality technology, resulting in Fast Company recognizing the hotel brand as one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies.
  • Positioning Best Western Hotels & Resorts as a trusted leader in business travel, earning a number of industry accolades such as Best Western® and Best Western Plus® ranking as the number one midscale and number two upper-midscale hotel brands respectively by Business Travel News.

“It is an honor to be chosen as a Stephen W. Brener Silver Plate Award winner by the NYU conference advisory group,” said Dowling. “This award has been bestowed upon true industry leaders and I am humbled to be joining the list of winners, including Best Western’s very own President and CEO, David Kong, who won this same award in 2013. Driving progress for the travel industry has been my life’s work, and I hope my contributions to the industry will be as impactful and long lasting as those who have come before me.”

“Dorothy is a thought leader and innovator who has united the travel industry with her ‘we win together when we work together’ philosophy,” said Reggie Aggarwal, CEO and Founder, Cvent. “I believe Dorothy’s approach to leadership and dedication to collaboration will have a lasting impact on our industry.”

Dowling’s commitment to the travel industry is far-reaching. In addition to her role at Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Dowling works with a variety of industry organizations. Dowling was recently elected President of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Allied Leadership Council for a second term. She is also Senior Advisor for GBTA WINiT’s Strategic Advisory Board, serves on HSMAI’s Foundation Board of Directors, and US Travel’s Board of Directors.  In addition to her industry leadership roles, Dowling serves as an Independent Trustee on CubeSmart’s Board of Directors, the third-largest owner and operator of self-storage properties in the United States.

This accolade adds to Dowling’s growing list of awards. Just this year, Dowling was recognized by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International with the Albert E. Koehl Award Lifetime Achievement Award. Dowling was also named a “Top 40 Women in Travel” in 2019 by WINiT by GBTA – a network focused on the advancement of women professionals in the industry. In 2018, Dowling was honored with the prestigious “Allied Member of the Year” award from GBTA for her valued stewardship in the business travel industry. In 2017, Dowling was named as one of Hotel Management magazine’s “30 Influential Women in Hospitality,” for her trailblazing leadership, and she was named the 18th most influential Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) in the world in the Forbes/ScribbleLive/LinkedIn’s 4th Annual CMO Influence Study in 2015. She was among HSMAI’s Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing two times; and in 2014, was inducted into the Direct Marketing News Marketing Hall of Femme. Additionally, Dowling was the recipient of the 2016 Applied Health Sciences Alumni Achievement Award, from the University of Waterloo, her alma mater.

About Best Western Hotels & Resorts
Best Western Hotels and Resorts headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, is a privately held hotel brand within the BWH Hotel Group® global network. With 18 brands and approximately 4,700 hotels in over 100 countries and territories worldwide*, BWH Hotel Group suits the needs of developers and guests in every market. Brands include Best Western®, Best Western Plus®, Best Western Premier®, Executive Residency by Best Western®, Vīb®, GLō®, Aiden®, Sadie®, BW Premier Collection® and BW Signature Collection®. Through acquisition, WorldHotelsTM Luxury, WorldHotels Elite, WorldHotels Distinctive and WorldHotels Crafted collections are also offered. Completing the portfolio is SureStay®, SureStay Plus®, SureStay Collection® and SureStay StudioSM  franchises.

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First published at – Global Travel News

S Hotels and Resorts to Bring SO/ Lifestyle Brand to the Maldives

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S Hotels and Resorts to Bring SO/ Lifestyle Brand to the Maldives

Emboodhoo Lagoon, Maldives, July 19, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / S Hotels and Resorts Public Company Limited continues to expand its footprint in the Maldives and redefine the tourism and hospitality industry in this idyllic Indian Ocean archipelago with the signing of a hotel management agreement to introduce SO/ Hotels & Resorts, Accor’s rebellious luxury lifestyle brand. The project will be owned by an equal joint venture with Wai Eco World Developer Pte. Ltd, a leading business and real estate conglomerate.

Discover the Maldives with, the Sunny Paradise Islands, by Travelindex, go to

SO/ Maldives will showcase a selection of 80 spectacular villas, including beachfront and over-water options, all adorned with designer interiors and an audacious twist. Nestled on its own exclusive island overlooking the azure Emboodhoo Lagoon, just 15 minutes by speedboat from Malé’s Velana International Airport, this eclectic resort will bring a fresh sense of avant-garde style and sophistication to the Maldives, while also reflecting the local spirit of this captivating country.

Opening in 2023, the new resort will take centre stage on the third island of CROSSROADS Maldives, the first extraordinary integrated leisure destination in the exotic South Malé Atoll, connecting it to a wealth of world-class attractions and facilities.

Vivid, vivacious and full of personality, SO/ Hotels & Resorts are only found in socially vibrant destinations such as Berlin, Bangkok, St Petersburg and Singapore. One of the fastest-growing brands in Accor’s lifestyle portfolio, it is designed for savvy travellers who have a passion for fashion and like to keep their finger on the pulse. Every stay is underpinned by the brand’s signature ‘Just Say SO’ service, to craft truly unforgettable experiences.

This makes SO/ the perfect fit for CROSSROADS Maldives, which was recognised as the “Best Leisure Development Maldives (Five-Star)” in the Asia Pacific Property Awards 2021-2022. The presence of such a dynamic player on the global hotel scene will play a key role in helping CROSSROADS Maldives to expand and reach new markets worldwide, thanks to Accor’s global distribution and loyalty network offering access to a wide variety of rewards, services, and experiences to over 68 million members.

SO/ Maldives will feature a collection of 80 luxurious villas, including beachfront and over-water options
Guests will be able to unwind on SO/ Maldives’ private island or take advantage of fantastic facilities at The Marina @ CROSSROADS, an 800-metre lifestyle area and beach walk where visitors can discover cool cafés, refined restaurants, a chic beach club, upmarket boutiques, a spa, the Marine Discovery Centre and a 30-berth yacht marina. Unforgettable events can be hosted at the oceanfront wedding venue and meeting space.

SO/ Maldives will become the third resort at CROSSROADS Maldives, joining SAii Lagoon Maldives, an original and inspiring retreat for millennially-minded travellers, and Hard Rock Hotel Maldives, the iconic music-themed brand’s first Maldivian property. SO/’s clientele are outgoing fashionistas and international party-goers who will be drawn to the designer villas, live DJ scene and Balearic vibe. Together, these three outstanding retreats will cater for all types of travellers, from adventure-seeking couples and honeymooners to free-spirited families and groups of friends.

“We are so excited to unveil SO/ Maldives as the latest jewel in CROSSROADS Maldives’ crown, as we continue to transform the tourism landscape in this highly-desirable destination. With its signature sense of style and commitment to creating unique guest journeys, SO/ is the ideal fit for our third island. It will stand out from the crowd, complement our two other industry-leading brands and complete our collection of luxury and lifestyle resorts, further raising the bar for hospitality in the Maldives,” said Dirk De Cuyper, Chief Executive Officer, S Hotels & Resorts.

“It gives me great pleasure to announce the arrival of SO/ Hotels & Resorts in the Maldives. This playful and distinctive lifestyle brand can only be found in the world’s most iconic destinations, so it is the perfect fit for this renowned island paradise. The resort’s location within CROSSROADS Maldives will allow guests to experience a truly vibrant lifestyle offering with plenty of options for both relaxation and adventure. SO/ Maldives will be a place to see and be seen for bold and stylish socialisers and we look forward to working with S Hotels & Resorts and WEWD to bring this project to life,” commented Garth Simmons, Chief Executive Officer – Accor Southeast Asia, Japan & South Korea.

Discover the Maldives with, the Sunny Paradise Islands, by Travelindex, go to

“The Maldives is a truly special place, and we are delighted to enter the market with such a prestigious project. S Hotels & Resorts has a proven track record of developing exceptional lifestyle resorts, including CROSSROADS Maldives, and the edgy style of SO/ always strikes a chord with its trend-setting guests. With such strong partners, we are confident of creating a one-of-a-kind resort experience at SO/ Maldives,” added Zaw Win Maung, Managing Director, WEWD.

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First published at – Global Travel News

Best Western Hotels Asia Opens New Hotel in Vietnam’s Iconic Ha Long Bay

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Best Western Hotels Asia Opens New Hotel in Vietnam’s Iconic Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, July 17, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Best Western Hotels & Resorts has announced the opening of a new upscale hotel in Vietnam, located on the waterfront overlooking Ha Long Bay, the iconic UNESCO World Heritage-listed ecological and geographical wonder.

Best Western Premier Sapphire Ha Long, starts welcoming guests on July 15th 2021, a brand-new 31-story property in the heart of Ha Long city, located on the waterfront of Hong Gai overlooking Ha Long Bay. Moments away from the beach, shopping malls, theme park, pagodas, international cruise terminal and waterpark, water music theatre, island tours.

Blending timeless Vietnamese style and hospitality with international services, the hotel offers the perfect place to stay to both, travelers visiting Ha Long for leisure as well as for business.

Guests have 1,008 spacious rooms and suites all with private balconies, spacious rooms 34 to 68 m2, King, twin and triple rooms complemented by luxury bedding, amenities and toweling. All rooms include complimentary Wi-Fi, extensive IPTV channel selection, large windows offering panoramic views of the bay or city views. A selection of two-bedroom suites provide spacious long stay opportunities to family short stays, each room has two bedrooms and on suite bathroom, spacious living room, large private panoramic balconies.

The hotel features heated indoor pool and seasonal outdoor swimming pool suitable for lap swimming or family fun. A fully equipped fitness center, spa (2022) and kids’ club. With two restaurants and a lobby bar offering a selection of culinary delights including Vietnamese, Asian, sea food and international cuisine can be enjoyed. An executive lounge, business center and meeting facilities with video conferencing available provides additional professional services to all guests.

Cat Bi International Airport is just 50 km away, Van Don International Airport is 45 km away, both offering connections throughout Vietnam, and the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi, can be accessed in 2.5 hours via the high speed expressway.

“We are delighted to cut the ribbon on Best Western Premier Sapphire Ha Long – a world-class new hotel on the waterfront of Ha Long Bay, one of Asia’s most iconic destinations. With its excellent location and extensive amenities, this will become a landmark hotel that attracts international and domestic guests alike. With over 1,000 keys, it is also one of the largest hotels in our regional collection, which reflects our confidence in the future of Vietnam’s hospitality industry,” said Erwann Mahe, Managing Director of International Operations – Asia, Best Western Hotels & Resorts.

Best Western has identified Vietnam as one of its key Asian markets, due to factors including strong economic growth, its captivating culture and a wealth of natural wonders. Following the launch of Best Western Premier Sapphire Ha Long, the group now operates two hotels in Vietnam with 12 more in the pipeline, covering destinations such as Hanoi, Da Nang, Da Lat, Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An and Hoa Binh. With multiple brands set to enter the market, including Best Western Plus, Best Western Premier, Executive Residency, BW Premier Collection, and BW Signature Collection, Best Western will be able to cater for every type of traveler in Vietnam.

For more information about Best Western Hotels & Resorts in Asia, please visit

About Best Western Hotels and Resorts:
Best Western Hotels & Resorts headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, is a privately held hotel brand within the BWH Hotel Group® global network. With 18 brands and approximately 4,700 hotels in over 100 countries and territories worldwide*, BWH Hotel Group suits the needs of developers and guests in every market. Brands include Best Western®, Best Western Plus®, Best Western Premier®, Executive Residency by Best Western®, Vīb®, GLō®, Aiden®, Sadie®, BW Premier Collection® and BW Signature Collection®. Through acquisition, WorldHotelsTM Luxury, WorldHotels Elite, WorldHotels Distinctive and WorldHotels Crafted collections are also offered. Completing the portfolio is SureStay®, SureStay Plus®, SureStay Collection® and SureStay StudioSM franchises**.

* Numbers are approximate, may fluctuate, and include hotels currently in the development pipeline.
**All Best Western, WorldHotels and SureStay branded hotels are independently owned and operated.

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First published at – Global Travel News

NH Hotels Announces Debut of Brand in Middle East Region

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Dubai, United Arab Emirates, May 19, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Trusted mid and upscale hotel brand, NH Hotels, is to debut in the Middle East region later this year with the launch of NH Dubai The Palm. Currently, in the final stages of development, the new-build 533-key property will open its doors in December. Located on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah, a global landmark, NH Dubai The Palm will be part of…


First published at – Global Travel News

Pullman Debuts in Khao Lak Thailand

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Khao Lak, Thailand, April 30, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Located on Bang Muang Beach on the northern tip of the renowned Phang Nga province of Thailand, Pullman Khao Lak Resort is now open, offering travelers an energizing destination to recharge and reconnect. The stylish resort is enriched by the vibrant local culture, taking influence from Takua Pa Old Town and its Sino-Portuguese design.


First published at – Global Travel News

Slumber Party Hostels Has Successfully Acquired Bodega Hostels

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Bangkok, Thailand, April 28, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Collective Hospitality (CH), the owner and operator of Slumber Party Hostels (SHG), Path and Socialtel brands, has successfully acquired Bodega Hostels to become the largest hostel company in South East Asia and fourth largest globally, with 25 properties and more than 2,500 beds across Thailand, Indonesia and Cambodia. Established in 2012…


First published at – Global Travel News

WorldHotels Launches WorldHotels Crafted Collection

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Phoenix, Arizona, March 25, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / WorldHotels announces today the official launch of its newest collection of hotels: WorldHotels Crafted Collection. Created last year, the collection now comes to life with a portfolio of specially curated and immersive independent hotels and resorts across the globe. WorldHotels Crafted Collection is an inclusive collection of hotels that capture…


First published at – Global Travel News