Photos From New York City’s New TRYP Hotel

Every time a new brand takes root in the United States our ears perk up. New York City‘s TRYP hotel is one of those instances. Though it’s a Wyndham brand, TRYP’s influences are distinctly Spanish and unique with Mediterranean tones and styles detailing many of the hotel’s appointments. The product is a clean, warm atmosphere that seems to work well for social travelers and groups of people – slightly less pretentious than a straight cut business hotel and much more professional than a run-of-the-mill airport hotel.

On assignment at the New York Times Travel Show earlier this month we stopped in to grab a few photos of the property and get an idea of what the rest of North America has in store; the TRYP Quebec opened in late March and a handful of other properties are also planned for the region. Check out the photo gallery below and read more about the TRYP hotels in the profile by McLean Robbins earlier this month.


Chatwal Hotels & Resorts plans for 52 new hotels in India

Chatwal Hotels & Resorts is planning an aggressive entrance into the India market. The brand recently launched a five year plan to launch 52 hotels (40 Night hotels and 12 Dream hotels) in India.

“For me, India has always been the ultimate hospitality destination”, said Sant Chatwal, Chairman & CEO, Hampshire Hotels & Resorts, the ownership arm of Chatwal Hotels & Resorts. “The multifarious lifestyle, culinary and cultural opportunities that this great country offers to the hospitality industry are immensely untapped.”

Night will be come the brand’s ‘affordably chic’ hotel option, while the Dream brand is positioned as a full-service, lifestyle brand for gateway cities and resort destinations. The initial launch sites will be a Dream resort in Goa and India’s first location for Night in Chennai. These will be followed by New Delhi and Mumbai along with Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Jaipur and Udaipur.

Dream® and Night® hotels are currently in operation in New York, Miami, Bangkok, Thailand and Cochin, India. Plans are in the works for hotels in Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Berlin, Zagreb, Sao Paulo and 10 other properties within the US including Los Angeles.

Recently, Chatwal Hotels & Resorts had announced a partnership with the Wyndham Hotel Group, giving exclusive rights to franchise its Dream® and Night® boutique hotel brands.

Hoteliers sue Choice and Wyndham over hotel loyalty programs

Are hotel companies illegally taking loyalty fees from hotels, where guests who don’t know they’ve been enrolled in a hotel’s loyalty program are staying? That’s the question under discussion after franchisees filed class-action lawsuits against two major hotel brands.

The suits, filed in U.S. District Court in Orlando last month, allege that Wyndham Worldwide Inc. and Choice Hotels International Inc. have “inflated the ranks of their loyalty programs and are collecting fees from hotels when those guests stay at franchise properties,” according to a story in the Orlando Sentinel. The story goes on to say lawyers for the hoteliers have asked for more than $260 million in damages from Wyndham, and more than $225 million from Choice.

Here’s the issue:Franchisees say the hotel companies are ‘auto-enrolling’ guests who book online into hotel loyalty programs, unless the guest opts out at the time of booking. Then, the hotel is matching personal data (emails addresses, home addresses, etc.) to the guest to reward points (not hotel membership numbers), which franchisees say results in hotels collecting program fees of up to 5 percent of gross room sales generated by guests “who may or may not have stayed at their property because of the loyalty program, and who may not have known they were entitled to benefits.”

“The real purpose of a rewards program is that you build customer loyalty,” David Wood, an attorney for the franchisees, told the Sentinel. “In that event, the hotel franchisee would benefit. But under proactive matching, that doesn’t happen.”

Wood also goes on to say that charging the extra fee for the loyalty programs is against the franchise contracts of both companies and is a violation of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.

Readers: What do you think? If it costs you nothing, do you care if the hotel auto-enrolls you into their loyalty program?

Wyndham’s Tryp hotel to debut in New York

The New York hotel scene is heating up, again. More hotels continue to open their doors to guests of the Big Apple, which means more options for every price range and personality.

Next up on the New York hotel scene: Wyndham’s newest hotel, the Tryp by Wyndham.

The 173-room Tryp New York City – Times Square South is currently under construction at 345 West 35th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues, and is scheduled to be completed by the second quarter of 2011. The Wyndham Hotel Group acquired the Tryp hotel brand from Sol Melia in June this year, bringing over 90 “select-service, mid-priced” hotels to cities including Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Lisbon, Frankfurt, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Montevideo and now, New York.

The Tryp New York City will offer fitness guest rooms, allowing guests to work out in privacy, as well as function space, a business center and a community fitness centre.

While we wait for New York to open, Tryp by Wyndham is already planning the opening of hotels in Berlin, Medellin (Columbia), and Madrid by the end of the year.

Five basic facts about the hotel market, especially in New York

Big-city hoteliers will be happier sooner than their small-time counterparts. It looks like demand for rooms in smaller cities is going to take longer to come back, with rate increases unlikely, it seems until next summer. The New York market has already shown a solid recovery, thanks to the corporate cards that keep road warriors away from home. For the little guys, though, the future isn’t as bright … at least, it won’t be until almost a year from now.

According to a study by Smith Travel Research, here are five interesting (and important) facts about the U.S. hotel market:

1. Flat occupancy: Small-town and highway hotels stayed basically flat for the first half of 2010, at 49 percent. Meanwhile, metro markets – like New York, Chicago and Washington, DC – pushed from 61 percent for the first half of 2009 to 65 percent for the same period in 2010.

2. Follow the money: Major hotel companies, including Marriott and Wyndham, have demonstrated that the cities have been kinder to them financially. The cash is coming from bigger city properties.
3. New York is crucial: Rates have been on the rise since March in New York, after the city experienced drops for almost a year and a half. This has been buoyed by business travel, which is where the real money is.

4. New York’s occupancy is 50 percent higher than the United States: While the overall U.S. occupancy rate reached only 56 percent for the first half of 2010, the city attained a level of 79 percent. Again, business travelers have contributed heavily to this trend.

5. Hotel rates dropped, except in New York: Excluding New York, U.S. hotel rates fell, on average, 2.7 percent (2 percent when you include New York). New York, which accounts for a mere 1.9 percent of room supply in the United States, it’s responsible for close to 6 percent of revenue.

According to USA Today:

“New York City is skewing the numbers,” David Loeb, an analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co. in Milwaukee tells Bloomberg. “Urban and suburban markets are doing the best while the others are recovering more slowly.”

[photo by Francisco Diez via Flickr]