A Pressrelease of November 24, 2005 announced that the acquisition of the label Le Meridien was completed for approximately $ 225 mio by Starwood Hotels & Resorts.
Contrary to my guessing Le Meridien will continue to operate as Starwoods 8th label in addition to the seven already existing labels:
The 130 properties of Le Meridien were for the major part contributed to a joint venture of Starwood en Lehman, by the name of Starwood Capital Group LLC, which also paricipates in, for instance, Taittinger champagne.
Recently Starwood Hotels & Resorts itself divested 38 properties for approximately $ 4,1 billion by selling them to Host Marriott.
Host Marriot is the property investment vehicle (with R.E.I.T. status) that resulted from splitting up the Marriott group of companies in a property vehicle and a managment vehicle after the old men died. Probably the heirs needed some cash to satisfy the taxcollector. In addition some heirs were not interested in continuing Marriot and others are, as is usual in family owned business.
For the small business mind of Happy Hotelier it is always mindboggling to see the enourmous amounts involved with the property transactions and also seeing Starwood with a loyalty program of more than 24 mio preferred guests acquire in a nutshell the management of 130 hotels with more than 25.000 employees, who, for the record, will be employed by the owners of the properties and some of who probably will have to find other employment.
The Le Meridien Group that was originally set up by aircarrier Air France (like the GoldenTulip label was set up by KLM) is not French anymore… although its headquarters was already in Londen….
More about this acquisition at the Starwood site.
Erfgoed Logies is a Dutch association of small scale accomodations and B&B’s that share as a common denominator that they are located in historic heritage properties including historic ships. It was incorporated in 1996, initially as a vehicle to obtain EG subsidies to convert historic properties into guest accomodation.
Autumn 2004 Johan Neppelenbroek en Brigitte Bormans took over management of Erfgoedlogies.
In 2005 Erfgoed Hotels was split off as a separate association.
New websites of both associations were launched this week and will be translated into the English language in a short time.
New alliances are in the process of being concluded for both associations.
This title “Bed and Breakfast of the year” is issued by Pronkkamer, one of the Dutch B&B associations.
Source: Leeuwarder courant.
More and more people tend to book via Internet and more and more word of mouth will help the lonely traveler behind the computer screen to get an idea of where he might go.
Therefor sites with more or less independent hotel reviews will attract more and more attention.
The site Weekend Hotel takes care of this with respect to smaller independent hotels in The etherlands and Belgium.
Hoteldesign (UK) was created by Patrick Goff, who had a lot of experience with hotel design. The site is financed by ads from hotel suppliers and provides a lot of useful content by extensive reporting of various hotels and their design.
Update August 2016:
Patrick Goff has sold his site. It is more or less the same, but many reviews have disappeared from the site since.
Travel intelligence used to be a site with a heap of professionally written hotel reviews. It was very reliable and it is a pity that it has lost this in the internet dungeons when it was sold to (I don’t know, but you end up in a site of travel zoo, which seems to be what its name indicates: A Zoo.
Two ladies, Constance and Marlies, publish a Dutch lanquage Weblog each at Blogo.nl, a Dutch language Blog community.
Regularly both have surprising tips about accomodations in The Nederlands or abroad.
Constance is a Dutch stewardess and travels a lot. Her Blog is Luxereizen.blogo.nl (Luxury Travel). In addition she maintains the Dutch language site Shoppen (Shopping).
Marlies operates Â»Vakantiehuis.blogo.nl (Vacation rentals). After a busy and varied working life she retired (?!) with renting out Vacation houses in Sunny Bonaire (Netherlands Antilles).