Hotel Accommodation – Warsaw S Hotel Sun, 10 Oct 2021 08:05:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Hotel Accommodation – Warsaw S Hotel 32 32 Homeless people return to dangerous rooming houses Sun, 10 Oct 2021 04:20:18 +0000

“In many cases, the only shared accommodation option available is rooming house accommodation,” she said.

The report calls on governments to invest in self-sufficient crisis housing for the homeless while waiting for permanent housing.


The Victorian government has spent millions of dollars housing the homeless in hotels during the closures amid concerns over COVID-19 outbreaks among vulnerable populations unable to isolate themselves.

“We will be working closely with a number of organizations for the homeless to identify suitable housing options to enable people to move out of temporary hotel accommodation after the lockdown ends,” said a government spokesperson.

More than 1,500 Victorians from 1,272 households have now been moved to permanent housing as part of the Victorian government’s $ 150 million From Homelessness to a Home program.

However, many homeless find themselves on the streets or in private rooming houses when the closures end and funding for emergency hotel accommodation is cut.

“It’s heartbreaking,” says Jenny Smith, CEO of the Homeless Council.

“Homeless service providers just don’t have the low cost options to move in and that’s how people end up in these unacceptable rooming houses. “

Ms Smith said it was overwhelmingly positive that Victorian homeless people in 1,845 households were being assisted in their own homes as part of the From Homelessness to a Home program and that the Victorian government was building 9,300 new social housing units in four years.


“But when you have at least 25,000 homeless people every night in Victoria, there is clearly a long way to go.”

Ms Smith said COVID-19 is now part of the homeless population. “If you’re in those type of tight quarters that we have in rooming houses, it’s a really scary scenario to think of an infection in that space,” she said.

Last month, 38 residents of the John Cribbes House – a rooming house in Balaclava with shared kitchens and bathrooms – were locked up for two weeks after a case of COVID-19 was discovered at the facility.

The John Cribbes house in Balaclava has been locked after a case of COVID-19.Credit:Chris Hopkins

The health ministry says it does not always publish exposure sites if it can “confidently and quickly” identify everyone who may have been exposed.

“We have invested over $ 155 million for coronavirus preparedness and prevention measures in high-risk housing, including rooming houses,” a government spokesperson said.

There has also been an outbreak of COVID-19 among residents of the Ibis Styles Kingsgate, one of the hotels used to accommodate the homeless.

And last week, five residents and one staff member tested positive at Ozanam House, a non-profit homeless shelter in North Melbourne.

Bevan Warner, CEO of the organization for the homeless Launch Housing, said the From Homelessness to a Home program should be expanded and people moved from hotels to safer and supported rental housing.


“We are concerned about how people will get through the next six months of the pandemic. All of the Burnet Institute modeling suggests a long tail of high COVID case loads among vulnerable communities through February or March, ”Mr. Warner said.

“What lies ahead could be the perfect storm of health and housing stress for people who are already on the margins.”

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InterContinental Celebrates 75 Years with $ 75,000 Luxury Packages Fri, 08 Oct 2021 23:50:38 +0000

This year, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts celebrates the 75th anniversary of the takeover of the Grande Hotel in Belém by its founder Juan Trippe in 1946. To mark the anniversary of the diamond, the luxury hotel group offers a collection of experiences around the world, aptly called the Diamond Stay packages. .

It was a different world 75 years ago when Juan Trippe (who was also the chairman of PanAm) spoke with President Franklin D. Roosevelt to discuss the lack of business opportunities that were pouring into South America. The solution they came up with was to offer luxury accommodation to businessmen in key cities, offered in tandem with PanAm flights to these locations, and the The InterContinental was born.

Today the InterContinental has more than 71,000 rooms worldwide, with its finest suites among the best you can buy. It is these luxury suites that are offered as part of the Diamond Stay packages, each of which has been carefully created to cost around $ 75,000 (or local equivalent).

RELATED: The 15 Best Hotels for Luxury Accommodation in Tasmania [2021 Guide]

If you’ve spent the past 18 months waiting for a five night stay in the sun in a tropical paradise, the ultimate Maldives experience will be your back alley, swimming with manta rays and access to a luxury yacht. Alternatively, if something with a little more hustle and bustle sounds like you, a two-night stay in the New York City Penthouse Suite could be for you, complete with a private movie screening and vintage 1946 wine.

Another Diamond Stay package is offered at the InterContinental Dubai Marina, where you receive a personally engraved Cartier coin upon arrival, before being massaged with diamond dust. Everything has been thought of to end the day with a masterclass of cocktails and a Michelin-starred dinner of seven courses and food and wine pairings prepared by chef Jason Atherton.

But if you prefer to stay a little closer to home, The InterContinental Sydney Double Bay offers a five-night stay in the Royal Suite with private butler service, filling your days with a number of activities, including a tour of Sydney Harbor by seaplane. If that were not enough, the experience will be remembered thanks to the possibility of designing a tailor-made piece of jewelry with the master jeweler Taarick K’dor.

“During a difficult time, it’s important to take the time to celebrate milestones and start living new adventures again wherever we can,” said Jane Mackie, senior vice president of global marketing for luxury brands and premium.

“The InterContinental brand has been a part of many special moments throughout its 75 year history and continues to be a place of celebration, connection and indulgence.”

There are seven different destinations and experiences available in Diamond Stay packages – all of which can be booked now.

InterContinental 751
InterContinental 752

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Hundreds of hotels protest after Jewish celebrity denied room over pendant Wed, 06 Oct 2021 23:54:00 +0000
(JTA) – Several hundred people protested outside a hotel in Germany after a Jewish musician said he was denied service for wearing a Star of David pendant.

Gil Ofarim, a 39-year-old singer with dual Israeli and German nationality, posted a video on social media on Tuesday evening accusing the Westin Leipzig of denying him service because he was wearing a star necklace of David. The video, which he titled “Anti-Semitism in Germany 2021” in all capitals, has gone viral, with anti-Semitism watchdogs and others widely sharing it.

After waiting in line to check in, Ofarim asked why other people who arrived after him were admitted before him. According to Ofarim, another customer responded by telling him to “remove the star”. At least one employee then told Ofarim he had to remove the pendant to get service, the singer said.

See this post on Instagram

At least 600 people, some of them carrying signs with a Star of David and the Muslim crescent, showed up at the hotel that night, the Leipziger Zeitung reported. Protesters accused hotel staff of anti-Semitism.

A spokesperson for Westin Leipzig told DPA, a German publication, that the hotel was “deeply concerned” and was taking the matter “extremely seriously”. The hotel contacted Ofarim for more details on what happened, the spokesperson said. Leipzig police are also investigating the incident.

The hotel also posted a photo on Instagram showing a line of people holding a banner with the hotel’s name and logo, along with Israeli flags and crescents that symbolize Islam. The photo had no caption.

See this post on Instagram

The Central Council of Jews in Germany said in a statement it was “shocked” by what it called anti-Semitic behavior at the hotel. Leipzig is the largest city in Saxony, a region of Germany that is a stronghold of the country’s far-right political party, Alternative for Democracy, or AfD.

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Arrests made as part of $ 400,000 COVID-19 fraud program targeting New York City’s hotel room isolation program – NBC New York Tue, 05 Oct 2021 21:40:23 +0000

What there is to know

  • Four people face charges for allegedly participating in a scheme that defrauded New York City’s COVID-19 hotel room isolation program by more than $ 400,000, prosecutors said Tuesday.
  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, New York City created the COVID-19 Hotel Room Isolation Program which has provided free hotel rooms throughout New York City for up to 14 days for qualified persons.
  • The federal government and New York City paid more than $ 400,000 for hotel rooms that were fraudulently hijacked as a result of the scheme, prosecutors said.

Four people face charges for allegedly participating in a scheme that defrauded New York City’s COVID-19 hotel room isolation program by more than $ 400,000, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Chanette Lewis, 30, from Brooklyn, Tatiana Banjamin, 26, and Queens, Tatiana Daniel, 27, from Brooklyn, and Heaven West, 21, from Brooklyn, are all accused of participating in the fraud , Audrey Strauss, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Margaret Garnett, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation (DOI), and Jonathan Mellone, Special Agent in charge of the New York Regional Office of the United States Department of Labor – Office of the Inspector General (DOL-OIG) jointly announced. Prosecutors say Lewis has also been charged with a second COVID-19 program involving unemployment benefit fraud.

Lewis and Daniel were arrested in New York on Tuesday, while West was arrested in Atlanta. Benjamin is still at large, according to prosecutors.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, New York City created the COVID-19 Hotel Room Isolation Program which has provided free hotel rooms throughout New York City for up to 14 days for qualified persons. The program was open to: healthcare workers who needed to self-isolate due to exposure to COVID-19; patients who test positive for COVID-19; people who believed, based on symptoms, that they were infected with COVID-19 and needed to self-quarantine; and those who lived with someone who had COVID-19. Those who wanted to book a hotel room through this program could either call a phone number or use an online hotel reservation platform.

According to court documents, the four accused people defrauded the program by allegedly procuring free hotel rooms for the program by falsely claiming to be healthcare workers and then selling those fraudulently obtained hotel rooms – y including rooms in Manhattan and the Bronx – to people who were not eligible for the program.

In total, the group has collectively diverted more than 2,700 nights of hotel rooms through the program charging different amounts depending on the length of hotel stay of customers, according to prosecutors, citing the complaint.

According to court documents, Lewis worked at a call center that handled phone calls and some reservations for the program for several months in 2020 – allowing him access to legitimate credentials of healthcare workers.

Prosecutors say Lewis abused his position, including misusing healthcare worker credentials, exposing the inner workings of the program to co-conspirators, and making unauthorized sales of chambers. hotel intended for the program to non-eligible people.

Apparently, Lewis sold Benjamin the personal identifying information of at least five medical professionals, as well as some “codes” to use when booking hotels through the program for $ 800. She admitted on Facebook that she stole doctors’ credentials as part of the scheme, prosecutors said. She also apparently announced to potential customers that when hotels requested the identification of a healthcare worker, she would provide an alleged pay stub and a letter claiming the individual was (allegedly) a healthcare worker.

The Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday that it has approved a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine for people who are immunocompromised.

Apart from Lewis, the rest of the defendants also used Facebook to advertise the sale of illegally obtained hotel rooms in the program; communicate with the co-conspirators; and communicate directly with customers and have made various incriminating statements via Facebook related to the alleged scheme they were carrying out.

According to prosecutors, Lewis worked directly with Benjamin and Daniel, while West worked with, among others, Daniel.

The federal government and New York City paid more than $ 400,000 for hotel rooms that were fraudulently hijacked as a result of the scheme, prosecutors said.

Lewis is also charged with a second COVID-19 scheme involving unemployment benefit fraud in which she is accused of fraudulently obtaining more than $ 45,000 in unemployment benefits by claiming she had not been employed since February 2020 due to a lack of work due to the COVID -19 pandemic. In fact, however, she was employed for at least part of that time at the call center and her job ceased not because of the pandemic but because she allegedly stopped reporting for work, according to the reports. prosecutors.

In this case, Lewis is charged with: wire fraud, punishable by up to 20 years if convicted; wire fraud conspiracy, which is also punishable by imprisonment for up to 20 years; honest service fraud, which also carries a potential maximum sentence of 20 years if convicted; aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years, consecutive to any other prison sentence; and theft of public funds, punishable by up to 10 years.

Benjamin faces a charge of wire fraud, carrying a maximum sentence of 20 years if convicted; a wire fraud conspiracy charge, which also carries a jail term of up to 20 years; and aggravated identity theft, punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years, following any other prison sentence.

Daniel and West each face a wire fraud charge, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years if convicted, and a wire fraud conspiracy charge, which also carries a sentence of up to 20 years. ‘imprisonment of up to 20 years.

Information on the lawyer for the four was not immediately known.

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Suspects identified in deadly Aurora hotel shooting Tue, 05 Oct 2021 04:49:04 +0000

AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) – Aurora Police named the suspects who were arrested following a deadly shooting at a hotel at the Hyatt House hotel in Peoria and Colfax early Saturday.

The shooting happened as more than a dozen people were in a hotel room for a birthday party.

Luis Martin Estrada, 21, is charged with first degree murder and first degree assault. Ruben Angel Mejia-Soto, 21, is accused of aiding and abetting homicide.

One person, aged 18, was killed. Three others were sent to hospital.

The evenings at the hotel, largely prohibited, are not uncommon

Those who work in the hospitality industry say that these big parties in hotel rooms are not uncommon. The Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association has stated that these types of gatherings are widely banned throughout the industry.

But the problem is something that is difficult to prevent. The Problem Solvers inquired from employees of hotel chains in the area who said – depending on the location – that these parties would take place as often as twice a week.

If hotel workers are lucky, hotel room parties can take place about once a month at a particular location, the employees said. The Friday night / Saturday morning rally at Hyatt House included teens and young adults.

The state’s industry association has not expressed concern over the issue in general, and there is no evidence to suggest that this is a growing trend.

Aurora Police said hotel room parties are difficult to track statistically because service calls can be categorized into different things.

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The Randolph Hotel by Graduate Hotels, Oxford Mon, 04 Oct 2021 14:00:34 +0000

The service

Effervescent. Young, bright, happy, diverse. Just awesome. This was true throughout the hotel but especially in Alice. This reviewer owes special thanks to the super efficient concierge who put together, in a ridiculously short period of time, a whirlwind program of activities, including a hike with Heidi Boon Rickard, a local historian and guide – ask her name , she’s dynamite. A walking tour seems so obvious, but you really should do it, even if you think you already know the city.


A Made for Life Organics spa is under construction in the basement and is expected to open at the end of 2021. It has been suggested to this reviewer that this space may have been previously occupied by a nightclub, Lola Lo’s, which was once popular with college students on Tuesday (Rum Night). However, that remained timidly unconfirmed at the time of writing.

For families

There are 10 pairs of connecting rooms and seven sofa beds in the 151 rooms at the hotel; additional rollaway beds can be provided as needed.


The heat and the lights in the rooms are activated by key card. Malin & Goetz refillable toiletries reduce single-use plastics. Nespresso capsules are recycled. Some food waste, oil, paper and glass are also recycled on site.

Accessibility for people with reduced mobility

Two rooms are fully accessible and step-free, with grab bars, a powder room, lights at different heights and emergency pulls. A hearing loop is available at reception, as well as a portable option for use around the hotel.

Nothing to report?

One of the nicest features of Randolph’s sister property in Cambridge is the ingenious way its lobby has been decorated, with an unlikely but very successful combination of a bunch of old punts stuck to the walls and a giant hanging model of the DNA double helix. . The Randolph’s gigantic staircase claims something so dazzling. Apparently, plans are underway to hang colorful pennants bearing the college emblems from the ceiling in the stairwell. Will these ridges win or will it be another win for The Other Place?

Address of the hotel: The Randolph Hotel by Graduate Hotels, Beaumont Street, Oxford OX1 2LN
Phone number: +44 344 879 9132
Price from: From £ 200 (low season), £ 360 (high season)

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the world’s largest Hampton by Hilton on Marjan Island in Ras Al Khaimah Mon, 04 Oct 2021 04:24:09 +0000

The world’s largest Hampton by Hilton opened in Ras Al Khaimah in July. Boasting 515 rooms and suites, the sprawling hotel is the world’s fourth hotel brand to open on Marjan Island, the man-made archipelago of Ras Al Khaimah.

Joining a portfolio of more than 2,450 Hampton by Hilton hotels in 27 countries, the new hotel is part of a brand renowned for providing quality, value-for-money accommodation coupled with fantastic service. The National traveled to the northernmost emirate of the United Arab Emirates to find out firsthand if Hampton by Hilton Marjan Island ticks all of these boxes.


You can’t miss the Hampton by Hilton when driving along Marjan Island Boulevard, thanks to its shiny red Hampton sign both on the roof and at road level.

Turning into the ramp that leads us to the entrance, we stop in front of the four-star hotel and leave our luggage with the gate staff, before descending to park in the covered garage. There is a lot of space and it is an easy transfer from there to the elevator which brings us into the huge lobby.

Inside, the reception area is bright and has a welcoming vibe that’s not too formal with plenty of comfortable sofas and armchairs, and a helpful central computer center that’s well used by other guests.

A very enthusiastic member of the reception staff completes our check-in process with ease, including providing us with turquoise fabric wristbands that we must wear to take advantage of the hotel’s all-inclusive offers during our stay. We’re on our way to the venue in less than 10 minutes.

The neighborhood

Part of the developing island of Marjan in Ras Al Khaimah, Hampton by Hilton is the newest hotel to open on this coral-shaped island. There are already a few other hotels on the island, so there are options nearby if you want to venture elsewhere one evening. Hampton guests also receive discounts on dining at the nearby DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa.

As the island is still under development, guests can expect to encounter some construction noise or sights during their stay, but this isn’t enough to affect your enjoyment. In fact, the sound of jet skis plying the bay in front of the hotel is decidedly more disturbing than any construction work.

If you want to get out and explore the island, the hotel is about a 15-minute walk from the public park where there is a paddle court, a children’s play area, and a small group of food trucks and picnic tables. -nique. A springy jogging track runs along the coastal road for those who want to stay in shape and there are also plenty of electric rental scooters dotted around the island if you want to pick up speed while you take the tour.

Security measures

The hotel follows Hilton’s clean stay policy so that guests can rest assured that rooms are clean and sealed upon arrival. All staff wear face masks, there are touchless menus, and an abundance of sanitizing stations in public areas. There are also signs dotted around the hotel reminding guests to keep their distance and wear masks.

That being said, the recommended distance of two meters does not appear to be strictly adhered to during peak hours in the buffet restaurant or when customers use the elevators, perhaps because there is a bit of a wait for them at times. peak of the day.


After moving from our first allocated room (more on that later), we settle into our family Dream Suite on the 10th floor, facing the pool, which has views of the Arabian Gulf.

The room is spacious with a dining and living room forming part of a central wooden dividing wall, and a bedroom and bathroom on the other. Floor-to-ceiling windows line one side of the room, letting in plenty of natural light and opening onto a balcony with two armchairs, perfect for watching the sunset.

Interiors are modern and fun, and our suite features an open wardrobe, orange bucket-style stools, nautical mirrors, and colorful wooden oars as a decorative element above a king-size bed. There are two TVs, a sofa that easily converts into a bed, and a connecting door which is useful if you are traveling in a large group.

The bedrooms use the latest technology with illuminated control panels for air conditioning as well as lights that turn on when you pass your hand over them and turn off completely when not in use. It’s a clear win over many other hotel lighting systems that almost need an instruction manual to figure out.

Although the hotel is new, or maybe because of it, there are some minor maintenance issues such as a bathroom door that won’t close, a balcony door that won’t close and a living room light that turns on and off. However, all of these issues are quickly resolved by the maintenance crew while we go out to dinner.

The scene

Word is definitely about the new Hampton by Hilton Marjan Island and the hotel is busy when we arrive and stays that way most of the weekend. Guests are mostly families, with a few older couples and a few groups thrown into the mix.

The wave-shaped pool is split into two sections, a shallow side for kids and a deeper side that encompasses the infinity edge. There is also a paddling pool for the little ones.

Despite plenty of sunbeds around the pool, we struggled to find a free spot after 11am so head to the 750 meter private beach instead. There is no shortage of sunbeds and umbrellas here, although the bar and showers are quite a long walk in the midday heat from the beds further along the coast.

The Hub Kids & Teens Club is open daily and is popular with younger people, as is the outdoor playground and bouncy bouncy castle, which are heavily used during the cooler parts of the day. The hotel also has a sea-view fitness center, gift shop, and hotel spa – unfortunately the spa is not yet operational.

The food

Open all day, the Flavors Restaurant serves a buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s huge, with plenty of seating and even during peak times there is always a table to be had. During the cooler months, a terrace overlooking the ocean is also available.

There is a good mix of international food on offer, with plenty to choose from for kids and those on a restricted diet, such as vegetarians. A central beverage station away from food counters is a good idea to keep queues moving, and staff are quick to clear plates and cutlery as needed.

The breakfast buffet seems to be a real hit with the kids, judging by the number of smiling chocolate smeared faces spotted sliding into giant waffles.

The View is the hotel’s other restaurant, open from 9 am to midnight. It’s located in the lobby and is relaxed with an organized menu featuring baked sandwiches, snacks, pizzas and salads, as well as drinks and cakes. Shows are held on weekends and it’s a nice place to sit with a drink and take in the surroundings.

Elsewhere, the Claw BBQ on the hotel’s first floor is a great place to enjoy grilled meats, seafood, and more. The All-American Friday Brunch (Dh295 per person) is a real treat – with mountains of fresh lobster, crab, shrimp and mussels on offer as well as authentic American comfort food.

Add free flowing drinks and entertainment via pinball machines and basketball machines, mechanical bullfighting, darts and jukebox and it’s a clear winner. Pan-Asian restaurant Karma Kafe is slated to open alongside Claw BBQ in October.

Highs and lows

There are great views of Marjan Island and the surrounding waters from almost every room at this hotel, and the suites are generous in size, perfect for families or groups.

Having Claw BBQ onsite is a big plus, and Adventure Sports on the beach is worth a visit if you want to try parasailing, kayaking, donut rides, or other water sports. We also only hear good things about The Hub Kids’ Club, although we haven’t checked that out ourselves.

Rooms have refillable toiletry bottles for shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel, which is good for the environment, and signs remind guests to reuse towels whenever possible.

But on the other hand, this effort to protect the environment is somewhat offset by the plastic used elsewhere in the station. Two plastic water bottles are left in our room each day, no alternative is offered to refill our reusable bottles, and all non-alcoholic drinks are served with plastic straws whether or not guests have requested them.

From a brand as savvy as Hilton, we would expect a little more awareness on this critical issue.

The insider tip

If you want a quiet room with stunning views of the Arabian Gulf, avoid booking an ocean view suite on the 10th floor. Our first room was a wonderful family home with endless water views, but we had to move due to an incessant buzzing, which was loud even when the balcony door was closed.

Maintenance visited us and told us that this noise was “normal” and was coming from some machines on this section of the roof. Our room facing the pool on the other side of the hotel was much quieter so the problem only seems to affect some suites, but if you want a guaranteed night of peace book a lower room – they all have a view fabulous anyway.

The verdict

For a fun and affordable family vacation or a group weekend getaway to Ras Al Khaimah, Hampton by Hilton Marjan Island is a great choice. The pool is huge, there is a lot of golden sand for the kids to run around and a lot to keep the little ones entertained.

Adults can also enjoy a moment of relaxation while the kids play at The Hub and groups can enjoy the large communal tables in the main restaurant and the lively brunch options at Claw BBQ, all at a great price. Couples looking for privacy or romance can probably find better options in Ras Al Khaimah.

The bottom line

Rooms at the Hampton by Hilton Marjan Island start from Dh462 including tax and breakfast. Children up to 18 stay free when sharing a room with a paying adult. All inclusive packages start from 708 Dh. Arrivals are from 3 p.m. and departures at noon.

Hampton by Hilton Marjan Island, Marjan Island Blvd, Ras Al Khaimah;

Updated: October 4, 2021, 04:23

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Top 3 Most Affordable Vacation Destinations To Vacation In The United States Sun, 03 Oct 2021 09:14:52 +0000

South Africans are already budgeting for their next overseas trip, and many are hoping to get their passports stamped in the United States.

Like in any other country, there are some cities that will cause serious damage to your bank account or be a little easier on your pocket.

When you take into consideration cost factors such as accommodation, activities and meals, your choice of destination can become limiting depending on your budget.

For those looking to travel to the United States, here are the three most affordable vacation spots.

1. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

The state capital of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City was also the cheapest for half of the factors we analyzed, costing just $ 3 (around R45) for a beer, $ 11.50 (around R180) for a meal in a restaurant and $ 106 (approximately R1600) for one night in a hotel!

Oklahoma City. Image: Pexels

If you are fascinated by the Old West then Oklahoma City is a must visit, where you can visit the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, try your hand at roping and cattle ranching and horseback riding on a ranch, or taking a rodeo, all without breaking the bank!

2. Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis is another extremely affordable city to visit, where the cost of travel was particularly cheap, with a one-way trip on local transportation costing just $ 1.75 (around R26) and an average cab ride of 1 km to $ 1.24 (approximately R19).

Indianapolis. Image: Pixabay

Hopefully your taxi doesn’t travel at the same speeds that participants of the Indianapolis 500, the world’s largest day-long sporting event and perhaps the city’s biggest attraction, reach.

3. Tucson, Arizona

If you want to visit one of the country’s many spectacular national parks, an economical option might be to stay in Tucson, Arizona, which is home to Saguaro National Park and was also one of the cheapest cities to visit on our listing.

An overnight hotel stay in “The Old Pueblo” costs just $ 134 (around R2000), while a draft beer will cost you just $ 4 (around R60).

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County Visitor Accommodation Tax Expected To Roll Out Next Month | News, Sports, Jobs Sat, 02 Oct 2021 16:49:00 +0000 Maui County Council passed a bill on Friday to create a new 3 percent tax on visitor accommodation in addition to the 10.25 percent already imposed by the state. The creation of the new tax, which will take effect on November 1, was spurred by the decision of the state legislature in the last session to remove the counties share of the TAT, which had historically been collected. with visitor accommodations across the state and divided among the four counties. – The Maui News / COLLEEN UECHI photo

With more time needed to prepare, especially for smaller homes, Maui County Council passed a new visitor accommodation tax on Friday, but delayed its passage until Nov. 1.

Originally, the county’s new 3% transitional accommodation tax was due to go into effect on Friday, when council was due to take its second and final vote to establish the law.

Earlier this year, leaders in the visitor industry urged the county to impose a 3% surtax, saying the properties were trying to recover from the pandemic. Most of the arguments on Friday, especially small dwellings, called for pushing back the implementation date.

“When you think of the TAT, you often think of the big resorts, but this tax would apply to all tourist accommodation, including the many vacation rentals and B & Bs we’ve heard about, as well as smaller hotels. as in Hana and Molokai, “ said President Keani Rawlins-Fernandez, whose budget committee has considered the bill.

“While I have no doubt that the large resorts that are members of the Maui Hotel and Lodging Association have been tracking this issue since its inception in the legislature, I am not sure that all accommodations, especially the smaller ones, have received prior notice. sufficient.”

She added that she got down “the shoes” people affected by the tax and that she would be quite upset if she was a hotel guest and asked to pay the new tax that had just been imposed on Friday.

If the tax is not collected from guests, then accommodation will have to absorb the costs, she added.

Council member Yuki Lei Sugimura also supported the postponement of the date to November 1. “Which would give people time to plan. “ She said members had heard from many small businesses that needed more time to implement the new law and, unlike larger businesses, didn’t have as many staff or accounting departments to help them.

“You have heard the voice of the people” Sugimura told Rawlins-Fernandez. “I think it allows companies to react more based on a company and not be like ‘crazy, on October 1 we are going to start, we are going to do it.’

With the adoption of the bill, a transitional accommodation tax of 3% is established on all gross rents, gross rental income and the market fair rental value considered as taxable under an article of the law. from Hawaii.

The board voted 7-0 to approve the measure with board members Tasha Kama and Kelly King absent and apologized.

Mayor Michael Victorino said at his press conference on Friday that he planned to sign the bill on Tuesday. He said the county did not want to have to enact the tax but was obligated to do so to help pay for visitor services.

Historically, the TAT was collected from hotels and other accommodations that house guests for less than 180 days and then distributed among counties and the state to fund things like state parks and the upkeep and marketing of amenities. trains for the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the remainder going to the general state fund.

However, in its last session, the state legislature removed the counties’ share of visitor accommodation taxes. In the past, Maui County’s annual share of the temporary accommodation tax was about $ 23.5 million out of the TAT 103 million distributed to counties.

As the legislature removed the TAT, it also allowed counties to establish their own surtax of up to 3 percent on top of the current 10.25 percent rate the state charges for visitor accommodation.

The legislature this year also changed the way the Hawaii Tourism Authority is funded.

Maui County’s revenue from its new tax for this year will go towards affordable housing, open spaces, cultural programs, and tourism management and enforcement, Rawlins-Fernandez said.

At the county press conference on Friday afternoon, she added that the county expects to generate around $ 15 million from the new tax in the current fiscal year.

In anticipation of the new tax, Rawlins-Fernandez said the council also passed a bill on first reading to increase revenue earmarked for the Fund for the Preservation of Open Spaces, Natural Resources, Cultural Resources and Views. panoramic; the Affordable Housing Fund; and the Revolving Fund for Economic and Cultural Development Programs.

Kauai County recently passed a bill to add its own 3% surtax to compensate for lost TAT.

The majority of people testifying on the TAT bill on Friday called for the collection period to be extended until January.

Angela Vento, general manager of Wailea Beach Resort, asked that the tax go into effect in December to allow for implementation and a chance to notify future visitors.

She added that the 550-employee station was just getting back on track by welcoming its staff again. While Wailea Beach Resort and other properties “Had a wonderful summer”, Occupancy at the 81 hotels in Maui County continues to lag behind 2019, said Vento, who is also the new president of the Maui Hotel and Lodging Association.

She said the occupancy rate for 2019 was 77.8% and that for 2021 is currently 58%.

She estimated her property to be $ 15-20 million off from 2019.

The emergency rules, along with Governor David Ige’s August announcement asking residents and visitors to delay all non-essential travel to and from the islands, have also had an impact on business, Vento added. .

Lisa Bryant, who works at Rentals Maui Inc., a vacation rental company, also called for the tax start date to be moved to November or December to allow businesses to adjust.

She was also concerned about how the law would affect those who have already booked in advance as well as discrepancies that could arise between state and county tax returns when the new law is put in place.

Citing state provisions, Rawlins-Fernandez told the meeting that if reservations have already been paid for in full and the accommodation does not have a disclaimer or legal means to add the new tax of 3%, then the new tax does not need to be applied.

But if a reservation is not paid and complete and the accommodation has the option of adding the 3% tax, it must do so.

In a statement to The Maui News Friday afternoon, Mufi Hannemann, president and CEO of the Hawai’i Lodging & Tourism Association, said that while they oppose any new tax or fees that would increase the Overall Cost of Travel to Hawaii While companies are still struggling to get associates back to work and trying to recoup losses, they recognize that Maui County is determined to enforce the surcharge.

“Therefore, we urge that the funds generated by the surcharge be spent to address specific tourism-related issues and challenges through a transparent and open process,” Hannemann said. “The last thing we want to see is money placed in the general fund to balance the budget.”

Maui County CFO Scott Teruya said after the meeting that the state will continue to factor in financial reports from visitor accommodations and collect its existing 10.25%, with companies remitting monies owed to the government separately. county under the 3% tax.

He said no elaborate system was to be put in place and the county had an account to accept the funds.

More information on the tax will also be posted on the county’s website soon, he added.

* Melissa Tanji can be contacted at

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Hotel room aggregator Oyo files documents for 8,430 crore IPO Fri, 01 Oct 2021 23:11:19 +0000

Oravel Stays Pvt. Ltd filed the documents for a ??The initial public offering (IPO) of 8,430 crore which is expected to value the unicorn hotel operator Oyo Hotels and Homes at least at $ 10 billion.

The initial sale of shares will see some of its investors, including the Japanese group SoftBank, sell part of their stake. The issue will include a first capital increase of approximately ??7,000 crore and sales of equity interests by investors worth ?? 1,430 crores.

SoftBank Group sells stocks worth ??1,328.53 crore, while Grab, which invested $ 100 million in Oyo in 2018, sells about ??51.6 crore of shares. Huazhu Hotels, which invested in 2017, sells about ??23.13 crores. Hero Group Sunil Munjal’s family business also sells shares worth ??26.71 crores.

Oyo founder Ritesh Agarwal, 27, will not sell his shares. In addition, Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Ventures are also not selling shares as part of the IPO.

The filing with the capital markets regulator is the latest example of a rush to public markets by unicorn Indian startups, including Paytm, Nykaa, Ixigo and Policy Bazaar, in the midst of a dizzying stock market rally. Bankers involved in the issue include Kotak Mahindra Capital, Citigroup, JP Morgan, ICICI Securities, Nomura, JM Financial and Deutsche Bank. Currently, founder Agarwal owns an 8.21% stake, while an affiliate promotion company, RA Hospitality Holdings Cayman, owns 24.94%.

In 2019, Agarwal bought back part of the shares of investors Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Ventures through RA Hospitality Holdings.

Currently, SoftBank Group owns 46.62%, Grab 1.81%, Huazhu Hotels 0.81% and the Munjal family 0.04% in the company.

The proceeds from the sale of shares are worth ??2,441 crore will be used to repay debt owed by its subsidiaries Oravel Stays Singapore Pte Ltd, Oravel Hotels LLC and Oyo Hospitality Netherlands BV and Oyo Singapore and OHL.

In July, the company had total borrowings of ??4,890.56 crore on a consolidated basis.

For fiscal year 2020-21, its total income amounts to ??4,157.39 crore ??1,3413.27 crore the previous year. Net loss reduced to ??4,102.28 crore ??11,079.79 crores.

Upstream of its deposit, Oravel increased its share capital by ??1.17 crore to ??901 crore earlier this month.

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