HBA Revamps Hotel Nikko San Francisco … and More

News for the week of March 27, 2017

Boutique Design

HEADLINE ITEM
Hotel Nikko San Francisco has taken the wraps off a $60 million, three-month renovation by HBA/Hirsch Bedner Associates in celebration of the property’s 30th anniversary. The design takes inspiration from the brand’s Japanese heritage and the fluid lines of a traditional kimono, project participants say. The redesign involved updates to 405 of the hotel’s 533 guest rooms and suites; structural upgrades to the lobby, public areas, third-floor ballroom and meeting spaces; and large-scale improvements to the hotel's overall infrastructure and technology.

HIRINGS/PROMOTIONS/EXECUTIVE CHANGES
Scott McAllister has joined Provo, Utah-based Lodging Dynamics Hospitality Group (LDHG) as chief operating officer. McAllister was most recently area vice president of lodging development for Marriott Intl.

Emilie Bozon is moving from Fermob in France to join Atlanta-based Fermob USA as its sales and marketing manager. In addition, the outdoor furniture, lighting and accessories distributor’s U.S. operation has hired Jacob Dierdorff as inventory control manager and Merilee Dyer as accounting specialist.

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has appointed Heidi Ueberroth to its board. The former president of NBA Intl. and current owner/director of Pebble Beach Co.—which manages a portfolio of resorts and golf courses in Monterey, California—will represent Cascade Investment on the board.

OPENINGS/RENOVATIONS/BRAND NEWS
Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club has debuted in Miami. Architect Richard Meier has designed three buildings that frame and flank the original 1930s Surf Club that’s on site, while Parisian interior architect Joseph Dirand designed the hotel’s public areas, guest rooms and cabanas. Owned by Nadim Ashi, founder of Fort Partners, the previously announced hotel is comprised of 77 rooms, a selection of hotel residences, a restaurant and champagne bar, three pools, and a spa and wellness center.

Hotel Indigo Savannah Historic District has unveiled a new six-story art installation, “Radiant Awakening,” which was created by students at the Savannah College of Art and Design's (SCAD) Collaborative Learning Center in collaboration with the property’s owner, Noble Investment Group. Through a 10-week class at the university’s Atlanta campus, 10 SCAD students—including artists, illustrators, photographers, printmakers and sculptors—created the concept and design for the property.

India-based hotel chain Sarovar Hotels has debuted its value brand Hometel in Africa with the signing of a property in Nairobi. The 80-key, new-build Tetezi Hometel Nairobi will mark Sarovar’s fourth hotel in the Kenyan capital when it debuts in 2019.

Ensemble Real Estate Investments and AECOM Capital have revealed the name of the 250-key hotel planned that’s for Menlo Park, California. Dubbed Hotel Nia, the 11-story hotel will celebrate its topping out this week and is scheduled to open in January. Minneapolis-based architecture firm Cuningham Group is teaming with New York’s McCartan Interior Design to create the previously announced hotel’s look. The property will be part of Marriott Intl.’s Autograph Collection.

MANAGEMENT CONTRACTS/ACQUISITIONS
Blackstone announced that funds managed by its real estate business have agreed to acquire the Windsor Atlantica Hotel on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. As part of the deal, Blackstone has signed a management agreement with Hilton with plans to rebrand the 39-floor, 545-key upscale property under the company’s namesake flagship brand. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

BUSINESS BRIEFS
Marriott Intl. is testing Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa technology at an Aloft hotel in Boston to determine which assistant, if either, would be best for letting guests control their room settings through voice commands, AppleInsider reports. A decision could be made as early as mid-year, according to Bloomberg.

Cerami & Associates Inc., a New York-based, women-owned building consultancy specializing in acoustical and integrated technology, recently earned the AV Provider of Excellence (APEx) credential in the field of audio-visual building systems. The recognition from InfoComm Intl., a trade association for the commercial audiovisual (AV) industry, indicates “a dedication to upholding industry excellence,” according to the organization.