Boutique Design Events and Trade Fairs

Hospitality industry veteran J. Willard “Bill” Marriott Jr. was named recipient of the 2016 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Real Estate, Hospitality and Construction category, as well as the U.S. Entrepreneur of the Year Overall Award, at the accolade’s annual gala.

“I am humbled by this honor and that it underscores the philosophy of our company—that success is never final,” said Marriott.

Earlier this year, the Marriott Intl. executive chairman and board chairman was recognized as EY Entrepreneur of the Year for the mid-Atlantic region, which qualified him for consideration in the award’s national program. As the overall winner, Marriott will also compete for the World Entrepreneur of the Year Award that will be announced in Monaco in June.


MatchLine Design Group has hired Emily Winters as a junior designer. Most recently, Winters served as a design stylist for West Elm. Winters’ new role at the Dallas-based multidisciplinary firm will include projects such as the Aloft at Garza Ranch, a new-build hotel in Austin, and the Hampton Inn Spartanburg, a renovation project in South Carolina. (MatchLine co-founder and principal Lesley Hughes Wyman will be profiled as the Exit Interview subject in Boutique Design’s soon-to-be released December issue.)

Lighting, furniture and accessories company Arteriors has hired Aldo Altieri as national sales manager for its contract division. Altieri’s 20-plus-year hospitality career includes contract leadership roles with JAB USA, Duralee and Robert Allen, most recently serving as national sales manager for Avant Garde/Master Fabrics.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts veteran K.C. Kavanagh has joined spirit and wine producer Bacardi as senior vice president and global chief communications officer, following an 18-year tenure at the hotelier. She was previously a member of the recently acquired hotel giant’s senior leadership team, leading global communications for its 11 brands.

Lightstone has named Gary Thomas area managing director for Moxy New York. Thomas will lead the launch of all four of the real estate investor/developer’s Moxy hotels in the city, including the brand’s 618-key flagship in Times Square that’s slated to open next year. Most recently, Thomas was area general manager for sbe Hotels, where he oversaw the renovation and re-branding of The Redbury New York and the pre-opening of the SLS Park Avenue.


Singapore real estate company CapitaLand’s serviced residence unit, The Ascott Ltd., has unveiled a new millennial-centric brand: Lyf. Pronounced “life,” the hybrid hotel-apartment concept will target and be managed by millennials who seek local experiences while tapping into today’s co-living and co-working trends, according to Ascott. The company says it aims to have 10,000 units under the brand internationally by 2020.

The Regent Chongqing urban resort will make its debut later this month in China. Owned by locally based investor Casin Group, the 202-key luxury property marks the Taipei-based brand’s sixth locale. The hotel’s interiors have been designed to reflect local heritage through the use of traditional building materials such as ceramic, jade, metal and lacquer. The property’s art collection includes works by Korean ceramic artist Lee Eun; Taiwanese metal artist Donnie Pan; fine artist Yi Meng; and American artist/sculptor Jessica Drenk.

The Renwick hotel in midtown Manhattan has opened as part of Hilton’s Curio collection, marking the first New York hotel to join the soft brand of upscale properties. Housed in a 1920s brick building that was once home to John Steinbeck, Thomas Mann and other well-known writers and artists, the 173-key property is named after architect James Renwick Jr., who designed St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The hotel was revamped by locally based architecture and interior design firm Stonehill & Taylor prior to reopening.


Lifestyle hospitality company sbe has closed on the previously announced acquisition of Morgans Hotel Group. The $805 million transaction more than doubles the number of hotels in the company’s portfolio, which includes 100-plus properties in operation or development. It also adds Morgans’ Delano and Mondrian brands, 13 hotel management and franchise/licensing agreements, and ownership of the 194-key Delano Hotel in South Beach, the 878-key Hudson Hotel in New York and the 372-key Clift Hotel in San Francisco to sbe’s assets.

Marriott Intl. completed the $175 million sale of The St. Regis San Francisco hotel to Qatar Investment Authority. The Bethesda, Maryland-based hotel company will continue to manage the 260-key property under a long-term management contract.



The University of West London has renamed its College of Hospitality and Tourism as the London Geller College of Hospitality and Tourism, in honor of university chancellor and alumnus, Laurence Geller. A celebratory reception and unveiling ceremony—including a speech by the Strategic Hotels & Resorts founder and former president and ceo—marked the occasion. (Also announced that evening was the appointment of James Edmunds as the college’s new dean.)


The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AHLEF) announced that Host Hotels & Resorts has committed a $500,000 pledge to the Opening Doors to Opportunity campaign. The Robert A. Alter Family is also donating a personal gift of $250,000 to the effort. More than 100 individual and corporate donors have pledged about $7 million toward the campaign’s $8 million goal. Funds will be used to increase the number of academic scholarships for hospitality students, ramp up professional development in the industry and launch innovative research projects in support of the hotel and lodging sector.

Auburn University recently raised $310,000 for its Hotel and Restaurant Management Program during the university’s 25th annual hospitality gala. Hosted at the Hotel at Auburn University & Dixon Conference Center in Alabama, the event featured a live auction that raised $80,000 for student scholarships. 


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