JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge Fig Tree Lounge Latest HITs: Soul Community Planet grows; Salter Brothers buys again; Marriott campBy Jeffrey Weinstein | April 3, 2023Share The latest development and M&A news from around the world. SCP adds in NoCal. Soul Community Planet has acquired the Albion River Inn, a luxury boutique hotel located in Mendocino County on the Northern California coast. The property, to be renamed the SCP Mendocino Coast Lodge, marks the brand’s fourth coastal California property. The SCP Mendocino Coast Lodge will be operated in conjunction with the nearby SCP Mendocino Inn & Farm, which SCP acquired in June 2022. The 22-room SCP Mendocino Coast Lodge will be reimagined as a chic, upscale coastal lodge. It also will feature a farm-to-table restaurant. SCP in December acquired the SCP Corcovado Wilderness Lodge in Costa Rica and in June 2022 acquired the SCP Mendocino Inn & Farm.Salter Brothers buy again. Funds manager Salter Brothers has reportedly acquired the 44-room Milton Park Country House & Spa in Australis’s Southern Highlands for about A$20 million. The seller is Yufan Australia, which is owned by Guangxun Fan. Milton Park was converted into a hotel in 1984 and has had owners including Adrian Zecha, who operated it under Relais & Chateaux. Salter Brothers plans invest significantly in the property to accommodate growing demand for country lodges and luxury rural retreats. With this deal Salter Brothers grows its owned and operated portfolio to some 31 hotels with almost 5,000 rooms.Eagle Point partners in Missouri. Eagle Point Hotel Partners has partnered with Missouri-based hospitality branding and design agency Longitude to open an independent boutique hotel, the 102-key Ozarker Lodge in Branson, Missouri, set to debut in summer 2023. This is the first acquisition, renovation, and repositioning for this partnership, who have plans to expand throughout the Midwest over the next several years. The Ozarker Lodge will be managed by Springboard Hospitality. Among Longitude’s clients have been Real Hospitality Group, 21c Museum Hotels, SALT Hotels, Azul Hospitality and many others.Goldman grows in Greece. Greece remains a red-hot market for hotel investment with reports surfacing this week that Goldman Sachs is investing more than $200 million to rejuvenate three shuttered resorts in the northern region of Halkidiki. Goldman bought the hotels in October and might be looking for more opportunities there as it wants to tap into the country’s rebounding luxury tourism business.Expedia further embraces AI. Expedia Group is beta testing an AI-powered trip-planning feature in its mobile app. It is using OpenAI’s ChatGPT platform so users can have conversations with the chatbot for help choosing destinations, hotels and transportation options. “By integrating ChatGPT into the Expedia app and combining it with our other AI-based shopping capabilities, like hotel comparison, price tracking for flights and trip collaboration tools, we can now offer travelers an even more intuitive way to build their perfect trip,” Expedia Group Vice Chairman and CEO Peter Kern said in a statement. Expedia also explained that it recently created a plug-in on the ChatGPT site that lets travelers plan trips and then go directly to the Expedia site to book.Marriott's first camp. Marriott International is officially in the safari segment having opened the JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge with 20 private tents in the Masai Mara National Reserve in Southwestern Kenya. A Marriott spokesperson said the group wants to grow in the luxury safari segment but has not yet signed additional agreements.Hilton to Tangier. Hilton has signed a deal to open the Canopy by Hilton Tangier Bay in Morocco. Expected to open in 2026, the hotel will feature 110 guest rooms and suites and be home to three dining venues, including a Canopy Central concept which will act as the social hub of the hotel. Hilton currently operates six hotels in Morocco with another six properties under development.Introducing Empiria Group. Greece-based Kanava Hotels & Resorts has rebranded as Empiria Group, which currently has seven luxury hotels with plans to add more properties across Greece. Founders Antonis Eliopoulos and Kalia Konstantinidou will continue to run the business. The portfolio includes three Marriott Luxury Collection properties as well as two Design Hotels in Greece.