HVS EMEA Hospitality Enews - Week Ending 12 October 2007

The latest hospitality news from Europe, the Middle East and Africa

Amplio Gives Thanks For A Hilton-Stuffed Turkey

Those irrepressible sisters Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton by Hilton have romped into another territory novel to them both. Their guardian Hilton Hotels Corporation (HHC) has made a new Turkish friend in Amplio, a real estate investor and developer that will show HHC’s charges the sites in Turkey: the sites where some 15 hotels (2,500 rooms) are to be built over the next five years. The mid-market brand, the economy brand and their host are likely to begin their tour by taking in the extremities of the land: the city of Manisa, in the west, and the eastern city of Diyarbakır. All of the properties will be managed by HHC, which has seven Hiltons and a Conrad in Turkey already.

Scandic Hotels To Come To Berlin

The Scandic Lübeck is no longer the sole bearer of the Scandic flag in Germany; a 572-room property in Berlin will take some of the weight off its colleague by placing a hand on the pole in mid 2010. For this relief Scandic Hotels can give much thanks to Danish real estate developer Schaumann Properties, which has acquired a plot on Potsdamer Platz in the heart of the German capital. The hotel is but one component of the plans that Schaumann has for its 68,000 m² slice of Berlin; it intends to build a residential block and offices too. For its part, Scandic Hotels, a company most readily associated with Scandinavia, is determined that the new property will mark the start of a programme of wider expansion into northern and eastern Europe.

The Ascott Group Arrives In Georgia

Lim Chin Beng, the chairman of The Ascott Group, said in July as his company announced its arrival in Kazakhstan, that “venturing into emerging cities in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States” was part of The Ascott Group’s strategy. Faithful to that strategy, the Singaporean company has now announced its arrival in Georgia. The Ascott Group will become the first international operator of serviced residences in the republic when the Citadines Tbilisi Freedom Square opens in the second half of 2008. The company will manage the 65-unit property in the Georgian capital Tbilisi under an agreement signed with Amtel Properties Development.

First Hilton Footprint Found In Azerbaijan

The republic of Azerbaijan had never seen a Hilton hotel of any stamp until this week, when Hilton Hotels Corporation (HHC) brought its foot down on the country’s capital Baku. The Hilton Baku, a hotel of 300 rooms, is set to open in December 2010 as part of a mixed-use development near the city centre. HHC signed the management agreement on the property with ISR Kapital Investments; its parent ISR Holding has among its collection two other hotels in Baku: the Radisson SAS Plaza Hotel and the Park Inn Azerbaijan.

Accor Says Yes To Yas

Aldar Properties has filled in a little more of the 2,500 hectares covered by its tourist development Yas Island with an Ibis hotel and a Novotel. The developer from Abu Dhabi has signed a strategic agreement with Accor that should bring more of the hotelier’s brands to Aldar’s native emirate. The Ibis and the Novotel will be managed by Accor and will deliver a total of some 650 rooms to Yas Island upon their completion in 2010.

Hyatt High At Capital Gate

Capital Gate is the name of another of those architecturally marvellous towers in which the Middle East specialises; this one is set to rise 35 storeys (160 m) at the Capital Centre mixed-use development next to the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. Part of Capital Gate will be occupied by the 200 rooms of Hyatt International's first hotel in the emirate of Abu Dhabi; the five-star Hyatt at Capital Centre is set to open in 2009. Capital Centre is being developed by ADNEC (Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company) at a cost of Dh8 billion (roughly US$2 billion).

Zaragoza Takes Its First Tryp

Sol Meliá has induced a feeling of euphoria in Zaragoza by giving the city in northeastern Spain its first Tryp hotel. The 162-room, four-star Tryp Zaragoza will have a grandstand view of the comings and goings at Expo Zaragoza 2008. Starwood Hotels & Resorts is on a fresh high in neighbouring Portugal. The company went into orbit above Turcifal on 1 August when the 287 rooms of The Westin CampoReal Golf Resort & Spa first opened, and returned skywards on 4 October on the emotion of seeing Westin Hotels' first resort in Portugal have its official opening. No surprise, really, as in the words of Elena Mendez, brand manager of Westin in the EMEA region, Westin does offer an “enhanced sensory experience”.

Hilton Chills

Hilton Hotels Corporation (HHC) revealed in June that the Nordica Hotel in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, would be coming under its franchise wing this autumn. True to its word the company has opened what is its first hotel in Iceland: the Hilton Reykjavik Nordica. The recently refurbished 252-room property is operated by Flugleidahotel, a subsidiary of Icelandair Hotels. Numerologists will point out that the figure seven is important in this marriage, that being the number of properties that Icelandair Hotels has in its native land and the total number of hotels that HHC now has in its Nordic portfolio.

Venessia To Invest In Zimbabwe

Venessia General Trading, which is part of a company owned by the Qatari royal family, is to invest US$136 million in the construction of two hotels, one of them a five-star property, in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, under an agreement signed with the city authorities. Reports suggest that the deal may also result in the construction, over the next five years, of casinos, offices and shopping centres. Elsewhere in Africa, NSSF (National Social Security Fund, of Uganda) is reported to have paid US$1.95 million for a stake of 20% in the Kampala Serena Hotel. The 152-room, five-star property in the Ugandan capital Kampala is part of the portfolio of Serena Hotels.

Hotel Changes Behind The Dunes

Had you peeped over the dunes in the seaside resort of Noordwijk on 1 October you would have seen the Hotel de Witte Raaf changing out of its Hampshire Hotel livery and slipping into the costume of Golden Tulip Hospitality (GTH). GTH scratched the 41-room property's new name in the sand – Golden Tulip Noordwijk De Duinen – and promised the latest hotel in the Netherlands to come under its management that ere the next springtide it would have an extra 30 bedrooms.

Will You Meet Someone From HVS Next Week?

There is a good chance you will, as members of the HVS team will be in attendance at three events. At the annual Cityscape conference and exhibition in Dubai you will find Bernard Forster, Hadrien Pujol and Hala Matar Choufany (who has herself recently relocated to Dubai); Bernard is one of the conference speakers. Philip Bacon, our expert in timeshare and shared ownership services generally, will be attending the annual OTE Conference in Vilamoura, on Portugal's Algarve coast. And Steve Rushmore (New York), Russell Kett (London), Rudy Reudelhuber (HVS Hodges Ward Elliott), Demetris Spanos (Athens), Marc Finney (London) and several other colleagues will be attending the International Hotel Conference in Rome. If you would like to prearrange a meeting time, please contact the relevant person in advance (for example, rkett@hvs.com).

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 4-11 October 2007

InterContinental Hotels Group - Bid speculation circulated the market again.

Whitbread - Investec reiterated its 'Buy' rating.

Accor - Cheuvreux reiterated its 'Buy' rating and its target price of €80, saying that Accor is set to benefit from a strong hotel cycle in Europe.

For the latest in the hospitality industry, please visit: http://www.hvs.com. You are also welcome to contact the following personnel.

Russell Kett, Managing Directorrkett@hvs.com
Charles Human, Managing Dir., HVS HWEchuman@hvshwe.com
Dominique Bourdais, Directordbourdais@hvs.com
Bernard Forster, Directorbforster@hvs.com
Karen Smith, Directorksmith@hvs.com
Marc Finney, Directormfinney@hvs.com
Demetris Spanos, Managing Director (Athens)dspanos@hvs.com
Christopher Mumford, Managing Dir., Executive Searchcmumford@hvs.com
Philip Bacon, Managing Dir. EMEA & Asia, HVS Shared Ownership Servicespbacon@hvs.com
Adrian Jones, EMEA Hospitality Enews Authorajones@hvs.com