Blackstone Group will reportedly buy luxury hotel owner LaSalle Hotel Properties for $4.8 billion. The deal comes three days after Blackstone agreed to give up the last of its Hilton stake and represents a premium of nearly 35% above LaSalle's share price on March 27, the day before Pebblebrook Hotel Trust announced a proposed all-stock bid for LaSalle.
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A free smartphone app that affords wide-ranging real-time communication between guests, staff and management has been unveiled by the One&Only hotel in Cape Town, South Africa. Called ALICE ("A life-improving customer experience"), the feature offers access to TripAdvisor as well as the hotel's amenities.