|Have you ever asked yourself where the next generation of boutique hotels might come from? If you have, then did you think the answer would be from a combination of Ian Schrager and Marriott International? Full marks if you did; for the man credited with inventing the concept of boutique hotels (at least, in the USA) is teaming up with Marriott to build and operate at least 100 such hotels in cities across Europe, North and South America, and Asia. European cities that are among the early favourites to take a hotel (each hotel will have between 150 and 200 rooms) include London, Paris, Madrid, Berlin and Rome. Schrager and Marriott hope to have signed five development deals by the end of this year and plan to have scored a century by 2017. |
|Take a look at the trophies held by Quinlan Private, the Irish private equity and real estate group. Here, for example, is Claridge’s; over there, its sister property The Connaught. Here too are the still-warm scalps of 47 Marriott hotels in the UK. Ah, and being wheeled in now: 20 Jurys Inn hotels. The hunt for this portfolio of 4,835 three-star rooms in the UK and Ireland began in earnest in March and ended late last week when Quinlan suddenly found itself in a clearing with Lydian Capital Partners and Whitbread. In a three-way shoot-out Quinlan proved it had the golden shot, showering JDH Acquisitions, the company which took Jurys Doyle Hotel Group private in 2005, with €1.165 billion. Quinlan has plans to take the Jurys Inn brand into continental Europe. |
|Hilton Hotels Corporation (HHC) announced last week that at least two of the minimum 15 hotels that it was to develop with Shiva Hotels in the UK would be taking the Hampton by Hilton brand. This week, the brand truly arrived as HHC revealed that it had enlisted Somerston Hotels to help it with the development of at least 25 Hampton by Hilton properties (around 3,000 rooms) over the next five years. Somerston Hotels currently owns and operates a portfolio of 34 hotels in the UK, of which all but three carry the Express by Holiday Inn name. |
|In the very week when the Hampton brand is further acquainting itself with the UK, Conrad, another of Hilton Hotels Corporation’s brands, said farewell for now to the country. The 160-suite, five-star Conrad London has come under the operational control of Chelsea Harbour Management (CHM), which has signed a 20-year agreement with the hotel’s owner Blue Harbour 2. CHM is a subsidiary of Wyndham Hotel Group, which has dropped in on the UK to introduce the country to the Wyndham Hotels and Resorts brand; the Conrad London will become The Wyndham London-Chelsea Harbour. |
|Rezidor Hotel Group will have 18 Park Inn properties in Germany by early next year. Three former Novotel hotels and two Dormhotels are to be rebranded, with the process beginning next month in the southwestern city of Mannheim. Rezidor will visit Düsseldorf in September to welcome the Park Inn Düsseldorf Süd before moving on the following month to Bielefeld. By the time the journey ends with the inauguration next year of the Park Inn Hamburg Nord and the Park Inn Mainz, Rezidor will have added 657 rooms to its German portfolio. All five of the new Park Inns will be operated by Event Holding, which runs seven of the existing 13 Park Inn hotels in its native land. |
|Mix the red and yellow of the German flag and you get orange. And as the hotel world well knows, anywhere you get orange you get easyHotel too: just ask the UK and Switzerland. It is Germany’s turn now. Over the next four years, ten of the budget easyHotels will open across the country under a franchise agreement with native firm i.gen hotels, a vehicle set up by Berlin-based Nippon Development Corporation. It is in Berlin, on Hackescher Markt, that the first easyHotel is expected to open by the end of 2008. |
|In January 2005 when Patrizia Projektentwicklung began work on what would become the Mövenpick Hotel Hamburg the first thing it did was to make doubly sure the water had been turned off. For Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts’ latest hotel in Germany occupies a 60-metre water tower in Hamburg’s Sternschanzen Park. The newly opened four-star property has 226 rooms. A glass or two of water was no doubt welcome in the heat of Abu Dhabi, where the chief executives of Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts and Tamouh Investments met to sign a memorandum of understanding for the first Mövenpick hotel in the emirate. The 406-room, five-star property and an adjacent set of serviced apartments will be part of the mixed-use Marina Square scheme, which is itself part of Tamouh’s wider development Al Reem Island. Marina Square is due to be completed in December 2009. |
|The 238-room, four-star Nordica Hotel, one of two properties that Icelandair Hotels has in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, will this autumn become the Hilton Reykjavik Nordica. The franchise agreement that Hilton Hotels Corporation (HHC) put its ballpoint to is a historic document in that it commemorates HHC’s first venture in Iceland. It was as well that HHC's next assignment was in central Spain, for frostbitten fingers had chance to thaw. The company was thus able to grasp the tasselled rope without wincing and draw back the curtain to reveal the 117-room Hilton Buenavista Toledo. The hotel, HHC’s fourth in Spain, is owned by real estate group Vistahermosa and will be managed under franchise by Gestión T3 Hoteles. |
|Rafael Hoteles, which has a chain of eight hotels in its native Spain, has paid a fee of around €20 million to enter Portugal. The company has acquired the eighteenth-century Palacio de Silva Amado and expects to spend the next two years turning the property in Lisbon into a 55-room, five-star hotel. The hotel will take the By Rafael Hotels brand, a name which Rafael reserves for its finest establishments. To sample the brand, take a trip to Baqueira-Beret up in the Pyrenees; alternatively, wait until Rafael Hoteles’ five-star hotel at the Castellana 200 project in Madrid is finished. |
|The first hotel in France to wear the NH brand will be one in the southeastern city of Nice. NH Hoteles has taken a long-term lease on the 152-room property, formerly the Sofitel Nice Centre, from Invesco Real Estate, the new owner of what will become, after minor refurbishment work, the four-star NH Nice. |
|Mpumalanga, the name of a province of South Africa, translates from the Swazi as “the place where the sun rises”. And when the sun rises on 1 November 2009 it will shine on the first Le Meridien hotel in South Africa. Starwood Hotels & Resorts has signed a long-term agreement with Meadow Star Investments 28 (Pty), a company from the town of Sandton, that covers the Le Meridien Kruger Park Golf Resort & Spa. This 180-room property will be part of a development near the town of Hazyview, in Mpumalanga province, costing around US$172 million. |
|The call went out in April that the Sheraton Metechi Palace Hotel, Tbilisi would be sold by auction on 8 June. And on the appointed day, seven bidders showed up in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, with their paddles poised. The 140-room property, which was the first international five-star hotel to open in the republic, had a reserve price of a reported US$25 million and was sold to Rakeen Development, a real estate firm from the emirate of Ras al Khaimah, for a reported US$67.5 million. Accepting the cheque was Metechi, a Georgian/Austrian joint venture. |
Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 07/06/07-14/06/07
NH Hoteles - Reports that hedge funds had built a stake of up to 6% in the company reignited merger and acquisition speculation.
InterContinental Hotels Group - Ongoing bid speculation boosted the share price.
Whitbread - Starwood Capital, long rumoured to be a possible suitor, was said to have increased its holding.
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