Melia in Iran: Spanish hotel operator Melia Hotels International SA plans to open a hotel along the Caspian Sea in Iran next year. Some trade sanctions on the country were lifted in January. Melia’s CEO wouldn’t say whether alcohol will be served at the Gran Melia Ghoo.
Protea expands: South African hospitality company Protea Hotels signed contracts to develop two properties outside Kampala, Uganda, for Marriott International. The Protea Hotel Naguru Skyz will open this year, and the Protea Hotel Pinnacle is scheduled to open in 2018.
InterContinental in Venice: InterContinental Hotels Group signed its first hotel in Venice, the InterContinental Venice – Palazzo Nani. The hotel, in a 16th-century palace, will be operated under a franchise agreement with Cordifin Group and H.n.h Hotels & Resorts Management and open in 2018.
Klein heads to Canyon Ranch: Thomas Klein, regional vice president of Fairmont Hotels and GM in San Francisco, is leaving the company at the end of the month to join Canyon Ranch as chief operating officer.
Dialogue with LHW: Leading Hotels of the World and WayBlazer launched the beta version of the Cognitive Discovery Tool, a search platform that allows customers to use natural dialogue like questions to research travel online.
Gateway out: Indian Hotels, a Tata-owned company that owns and operates the Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces, ended its management contract for the Gateway Hotel Rawalkot Jaisalmer. It’s the third Gateway-branded property the group has exited in the past three months.
Hampton Inn in Nashville: Real estate investment firm LCP Group and asset manager SEDCO Capital acquired the Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown Nashville for US$58.2 million. The seller of the 154-room property was MR Hotels.