Somebody's spending money on the road.
The luxury hotel segment reported the largest average-daily-rate (ADR) and revenue-per-available-room (RevPAR) increases among chain hotels in July, according to Smith Travel research. Luxury ADR increased 6.6 percent to $234.48 and RevPAR jumped 14.5 percent to $169.07.
"The U.S. hotel industry’s performance recovery continued very nicely in July," said Mark Lomanno, president of STR. [Overall] "the demand for rooms continued to be well above 2009 levels, and we are finally beginning to see signs of room-rate recovery, especially in the higher end of the market."
New York City, as usual, led the charge in luxury spending increases in the U.S.
And outside the country, among the other major gateway cities, Paris seems to be on a roll.
There's so much new luxury-hotel competition coming online in Paris that the six legacy deluxe hotels, the so-called "palace" properties, are having to spend lots of money on refurbishment and get their acts more together, because of the influx of very aggressive competitors in the highest-end segment.
Those six are Hôtel Le Bristol Paris, Hôtel de Crillon, Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris, Le Meurice, Hôtel Plaza Athénée and the Hôtel Paris Ritz.
Here is a very interesting story today, in HotelNewsNow.com, about the current state of the Paris luxury market, and the way the six venerable grand hotels are scrambling to meet the new competition and stay abreast of some of the high-end luxury properties that have opened in the last 10 years, not least of which is the boutique-like Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme, boldly staked out just around the corner from the Ritz.
(The Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme's general manager, Michel Jauslin, tells HotelNewsNow's Tamara Thiessen: "Since the opening of the hotel, we have never had such high occupancies and average room prices.")
Meanwhile, I love the bold quote in the HotelNewsNow.com article from François Delahaye, director of operations for the Dorchester Collection, which in Paris manages the Plaza Athénée and Le Meurice.
"It is essential to invest and to innovate non-stop," he said. "We are investing huge sums of money. We are not going to just stand by and have our star status stolen from us … We have the most beautiful spa in Paris. The Asians do not have such savoir-faire." His disdain is directed, obviously, at new competition coming to town from the great Asia-based chains such as Shangri-La, Mandarin Oriental and Peninsula.
Uh, François: You wanna make ze bet about zis alleged lack of Asian savoir-faire?