HVS EMEA Hospitality Enews - Week Ending 30 November 2007

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

Beni Buys Six Holiday Inns

Beni Stabili Hotel is in leisurely pursuit of six hotels in Italy. Reports say that Beni Stabili Hotel will take 18 months to complete the purchase of two hotels in Milan, two in Florence and one hotel in each of Rome and Turin. The purchase price is a reported €128 million. The six hotels are Holiday Inns managed by Italian firm Metha Hotel Group. Beni Stabili Hotel was established in July by an 80:20 joint venture formed by French real estate firm Foncière des Murs and Italian property company Beni Stabili Group.

DLF To Acquire Amanresorts

Overseas Hotels, a subsidiary of DLF, an Indian real estate company, is to pay around US$400 million for a “controlling interest” in Amanresorts. The deal is timely, for Amanresorts will be strengthening its position in India next year with a property in New Delhi. India is one of 12 countries in which Amanresorts owns and operates its total of 22 luxury hotels and residences. These hotels include Le Mélézin, in France, and Amanjena, in Morocco. Adrian Zecha, the founder and chairman of Amanresorts, noted that “with the financial backing of DLF, Amanresorts will now have the resources to significantly scale up its development plans.”


Train your binoculars on the village of Pragelato in the Italian Alps and you will see Kempinski Hotels making final preparations for its big day on 1 December. That is when its contract to manage the five-star Pragelato Village Resort & Spa comes into effect. The resort will be renamed Kempinski Pragelato Village. It accommodates its guests in chalets. Some of the total of 204 suites in those chalets will be available as serviced Kempinski Residences and some will be for sale as Kempinski Private Residences.

Quinlan And SCD To Build On Balaton

SCD Group has done much to develop the shoreline around Lake Balaton in its native Hungary. But SCD realised earlier this year that if it truly wanted to walk on water it would need the help of a joint venture partner. Here now with hand outstretched is Quinlan Private, the Irish private equity and real estate group. The 50:50 joint venture is to invest around €450 million over the seven years from 2008 in developing 178 hectares of land around Lake Balaton. The joint venture will develop hotels, leisure parks and other facilities for tourists.

A Second Swiss Courtyard

SV Group owns the 152-room Courtyard by Marriott Zurich North and will be standing on the welcome mat when a second Courtyard by Marriott hotel arrives in Switzerland in 2010. A subsidiary of the company recently signed a franchise agreement with Marriott International on the 174-room Courtyard by Marriott Basel. The new hotel will be part of a mixed-use development on the outskirts of the northwestern city of Basel that will include the Waterworld water park and spa.

Raffles And Corinthia Each Has Something In Its Eyes In Morocco

Suppose Raffles Hotels & Resorts and Corinthia Hotels International had met at a railway station as they made their separate way through Morocco. A brief encounter, but one from which each would have drawn much comfort in a country unfamiliar to them both. Afterwards, they would have headed off in opposite directions to return to their respective partners: Raffles to the southwestern city of Marrakech and SOMED; Corinthia to the town of Larache, on the North Atlantic coast, and Essential Developments. And so everyday life resumed. Raffles will open the 150-room Raffles Resort Marrakech in 2009 and Corinthia the 418-room Wyndham Port Lixus Resort in June 2010.

Soma Gives Kempinski A High

A stroll along the shores of the Red Sea fills your shoes with sand and your eyes with Kempinski Hotels’ third resort in the area. We are in Egypt, on the Soma Bay Peninsula, where Kempinski is to manage the five-star Kempinski Hotel Soma Bay. The 324-room hotel is set to open in mid 2008 as part of a larger resort development.

Claridge's And The Berkeley Are Free To Expand

Maybourne Hotel Group has secured permission from Westminster Council to start work in 2009 on the extension of two of its three prestigious hotels in London. Claridge’s will add 40 guest rooms and suites to its existing stock of 203, and, among other improvements, will receive a new health spa. The Berkeley will see its room count rise from 214 to 241 and it too will take a new spa. Both hotels are expected to remain open throughout the work, which will cost a total of a reported £250 million.

Scandic And Johs Lunde Say, "That's Forus"

Scandic Hotels has instructed Johs Lunde Eiendom to take up its trowel and prepare for action in the first quarter of 2008. The Norwegian property company has the job of building the hotel for Scandic in the port of Stavanger, in southwestern Norway. The 200-room hotel in the suburb of Forus should be finished in autumn 2009. One report puts the cost of the work at NKr300 million (€37 million).

Welcome With A Honk And A Yo!

Where are Accor’s brent geese flying off to this winter? Why, to the Russian city of St Petersburg. Honk along with the excited geese on your car's horn as you drive up to what is the first Ibis hotel in Russia: the 221-room Ibis St Petersburg Moskovsky Vokzal. The hotel is owned by Moscow-based developer Kesko, which has invested a reported US$20 million in its construction. Kesko is to work with Accor on other hotels in Russia. No honking, but perhaps a peal on your bicycle bell if you must, to welcome Yotel to Amsterdam. However, the only ringing in our ears might result from the passing jets at Schiphol airport, where the 55 cabins of the third Yotel in Europe are set to open early next year.

Ability To Buy Dunblane Hydro

The Ability Group, a property company that has its headquarters in London, has paid an undisclosed sum to Stardon UK for the 206-room Dunblane Hydro Hotel in Scotland. Reports suggest that the new owner will invest up to £10 million in the refurbishment of the hotel, which will remain under the operational control of Chardon Management. The former Hilton Dunblane Hydro was one of 11 hotels in the UK that Stardon UK, a joint venture formed by Chardon Hotels and Starwood Capital, bought from Hilton Group for £111 million in 2005. The words “undisclosed sum” are also to be heard south of the border: in the town of Kenilworth, in Warwickshire. Khanna Enterprises has a third hotel in the UK after buying the 108-room De Montfort Hotel from Macdonald Hotels. The hotel is set to be extensively refurbished and it will take on the franchise of a “multinational brand”.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 22-29 November 2007

Whitbread - The share price had something of an up-and-down ride, climbing at one point on news that Whitbread is to take the Costa chain to China.

InterContinental Hotels Group - Market rumours of renewed stakebuilding activity pushed up the share price.

Accor - Early losses resulting from investors' worries over businesses exposed to consumer spending were recouped as the Paris markets responded favourably to hopes of a rate cut next month from the Federal Reserve.

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Charles Human, Managing Director – HVS HWE chuman@hvshwe.com
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Marc Finney, Director mfinney@hvs.com
Demetris Spanos, Managing Director – HVS Athens dspanos@hvs.com
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Philip Bacon, Managing Director – HVS Madrid and Managing Director, EMEA & Asia – HVS Shared Ownership Services pbacon@hvs.com
Adrian Jones, EMEA Hospitality Enews Author ajones@hvs.com