Latest HITs: Four Seasons in KSA; Ritz-Carlton to Lake Como; Aleph-Fauchon dealFebruary 28, 2023Share A roundup of the latest news from around the hotel world. Four Season to Red Sea. Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Red Sea Global (RSG), a closed joint stock company wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia, have announce plans to introduce the first Four Seasons Resort in the Kingdom on Shura Island as part of The Red Sea masterplan development. The hotel (rendering above) will be the hub of the development and also home to a yacht marina, leisure and lifestyle facilities, retail offerings, 18-hole golf course and more. The resort will be designed by Foster + Partners and have approximately 149 rooms and suites, all with uninterrupted views over beaches. The property will also feature six restaurant and lounge outlets, meeting and events spaces, a marine discovery center and a Kids For All Seasons space.Ritz-Carlton to Lake Como. Marriott International has signed an agreement with Grimit S.r.l. to bring The Ritz-Carlton brand to Italy through a significant conversion of the former Hotel Grande Bretagne in Bellagio on Lake Como. Expected to open in 2026, the waterfront property is slated to offer 59 guestrooms and 46 suites, including two Ritz-Carlton suites. Resort facilities will include a destination spa complete with an indoor pool, casual and fine dining restaurants, and state-of-the-art meeting and event facilities. The property fell into disuse at the end of the last century and has since been acquired by the Galbusera family.Dubai Holdings takes Westin Paris. Dubai Holding has acquired full ownership of the Westin Paris – Vendome after acquiring London-based PE firm Henderson Park’s stake in the property. The two firms acquired the property in a 2018 joint venture. The move supports Dubai Holdings desire to increase its penetration into key global markets. The hotel will continue to operate in partnership with the Marriott International with management from Sophos Hotel. Dubai Holding said it will soon begin to consider future plans for the property after the Paris Olympics in 2024.Thailand’s AWC grows with Marriott. Thai real estate giant Asset World Corp Public Co. Ltd. (AWC) has signed a management agreement with Marriott International for The Ritz-Carlton Phuket, which is scheduled to open in 2025. The current Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa, Phuket, which AWC acquired in 2022, will undergo an extensive rebranding to create The Ritz-Carlton. AWC is one of the largest owners of Marriott International properties in Asia Pacific, excluding Greater China, with 11 operating properties offering almost 4,000 rooms. The company is expected to double the presence of Marriott with an additional 4,000 rooms across 14 future projects that are in the pipeline in Thailand, including the new The Ritz-Carlton Phuket.IHG adds in Micronesia. IHG Hotels & Resorts has signed a management agreement with Palau Coral Club to open Hotel Indigo Palau with approximately 200 rooms in Q4 2024 or Q1 2025 on Malakal Island. It will mark IHG’s third hotel in Micronesia. There are currently 135 open Hotel Indigo properties around the world, and a development pipeline of 124 hotels. In Japan, there are three Hotel Indigo properties open (Hotel Indigo Hakone Gora, Hotel Indigo Karuizawa and Hotel Indigo Inuyama Urakuen Garden), with Hotel Indigo Tokyo Shibuya scheduled to open in autumn 2023. IHG continues to focus on expand its portfolio in Japan and Micronesia.Aleph-Fauchon tie-up. Aleph Hospitality, Dubai, has partnered with France-based Fauchon Hospitality to develop and operate the Fauchon L’Hôtel brand in the Middle East and Africa. No specific property developments were immediately announced. Known for its gastronomy leadership with more than 100 retail boutiques, gourmet cafes and restaurants in 50 countries, Fauchon opened its first luxury boutique hotel in 2018, the Fauchon L’Hôtel Paris, followed by Fauchon L’Hôtel Kyoto in 2021. Today, Fauchon Hospitality has five hotels in the pipeline with the aim to become a global hospitality company with a luxury collection of 20 hotels by 2030. Aleph Hospitality, which has targeted 50 hotels in the Middle East and Africa by 2026, manages hotels directly for owners, either with a franchise for branded properties or as a white label operator for independently branded hotels.Japan eases Chinese restrictions. Japan is easing its coronavirus border measures for tourists from China beginning Wednesday by testing only random passengers, a top government spokesman said Monday. Since December, Japan has been testing all travelers from mainland China at four designated airports on grounds of surging infections in that country and a lack of information. Visitors from China are also required to show a proof of pre-boarding negative test.Hong Kong ditches masks. Hong Kong’s mask mandate in public spaces will end on Wednesday, further making the SAR more accessible to travelers. The rule came into effect for public transport on July 15, 2020, and was expanded two weeks later to include indoor and outdoor areas – though the vast majority of people in the city had begun wearing masks months earlier. Hong Kong has lifted several other major controls in recent months, most notably mandatory quarantine for all international arrivals.