HVS EMEA Hospitality Enews - Week Ending 15 February 2008

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

The Eastern Best Western

Best Western International has a toehold in the Middle East. To get its feet firmly under the sand, the company has enlisted the help of Zainal Mohebi Group (ZMG), a conglomerate with its headquarters in the emirate of Dubai. ZMG is to manage and oversee the development of three-star and four-star Best Western hotels in the region and expects to be spending more than Dh2 billion (roughly US$545 million) in the process over the next ten years. The first property to open, in February 2009, will be the US$55 million 220-room Best Western Residences in the Bur Dubai district of Dubai. Locations elsewhere in the United Arab Emirates and in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar are on the list of initial targets.

Three Hotels Fingered By Hand Picked

Hand Picked Hotels is not the sort of company to separate a father from his family. So when it bought New Hall, the 60-room hotel in Sutton Coldfield that Bridgehouse Hotels refers to as the “father of the Bridgehouse family”, it spared England from the fate of drowning in a pool of tears by buying New Hall’s “oldest daughter” and “younger brother” too. Those hotels are, respectively, the 72-room Audleys Wood, in Basingstoke, Hampshire, and the 57-room Hendon Hall, in north London. The price that Hand Picked Hotels paid Bridgehouse Hotels for the three listed properties was not disclosed. A report in The Times priced the deal at between £25 million and £30 million. Hand Picked Hotels now has 17 hotels (949 rooms) in the UK.

Two Express By Holiday Inns Sold In The UK

Geminex Hotels & Leisure has paid LRG Acquisition an undisclosed sum for a little piece of history. The 120-room Express by Holiday Inn Strathclyde Park in Motherwell, southern Scotland, was the first Express by Holiday Inn hotel in Europe when it opened in 1996. Geminex will manage the hotel under franchise and has plans to refurbish it. There was transaction action involving the same brand south of the border too. Morethanhotels paid an unnamed seller an undisclosed sum for the Express by Holiday Inn Stevenage. The 129-room hotel, in the town of Stevenage, in Hertfordshire, retains its Express by Holiday Inn franchise and joins 11 of its sister hotels in Morethanhotels’ UK portfolio. One report estimated that in total the deals were worth £18 million.

Rezidor's Two-Part Adventure In Ukraine

Rezidor Hotel Group’s latest success story in Ukraine comes in two parts. Part one of Radisson Resort opens in March and is set in an existing 63-room property in Alushta, on the shores of the Black Sea. Now read on. Another 150 rooms will be added in part two: an extension to be freshly built in readiness for an opening in the first quarter of 2010.

Aakar And Friends Make Plans For Al Marjan Island

Al Marjan Island is being built by Rakeen off the shores of the company’s native emirate of Ras al Khaimah. The largest of the five islands this week welcomed Aakar Marjan Island (AMI) and its plans for a complex comprising a five-star hotel and residential apartments. AMI is formed by Aakar Developers, from Canada; the Turkish firm Kayı Construction; and Taranjit Sahni, an Indian based in Dubai. The complex will cover five acres and will require AMI to invest Dh600 million (US$163 million). The work should be finished in 2010.

The I to V Of Hotels In Turkey

In the Mövenpick hotel gazetteer (in the edition for use in Turkey) I is no longer solely for Istanbul; it is for Izmir too. The city in western Turkey has bid official welcome to the 185-room, five-star Mövenpick Hotel Izmir. Those who own a copy of the gazetteer appreciate that it is a part work: B (for Bodrum and the 92-room Mövenpick Resort Bodrum) having been supplemented last month by A (for Ankara and the 150-room Mövenpick Hotel Ankara, which is set to open in 2010). Two companies that know V is for Van, a city on the shores of Lake Van, in eastern Turkey, are Global Investment Holdings and its subsidiary Pera Real Estate Investment Trust. The Turkish twosome have formed a joint venture to build a hotel and shopping centre on a 16,000 m² site in the city. The joint venture lodged a bid with the municipality of YTL16 million (roughly €9 million).

Marcliffe Hotel In Aberdeen Could Be Sold

Stewart Spence is reported to have agreed to sell the Marcliffe Hotel and Spa, and the 11 acres of land in which the property sits, to European Development Company (Hotels). Reports put a price of £17.5 million on the 42-room hotel, which is the only five-star hotel in the city of Aberdeen, in northeast Scotland. The Marcliffe, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, would join two Holiday Inn hotels and an Express by Holiday Inn hotel in European Development Company’s portfolio in Aberdeen. Elsewhere in Scotland, BDL Management has opened the Express by Holiday Inn Hamilton. The 104-room hotel in the southern town of Hamilton is BDL’s seventh Express by Holiday Inn hotel in the UK.

Sheraton Malpensa Airport Hotel Starts To Take Off

Work to build the Sheraton Malpensa Airport Hotel is under way. Starwood Hotels announced last spring that it had clubbed together with Gruppo Degennaro, which holds the franchise on three of Starwood’s hotels in Italy, to bring the aeroplane-shaped hotel to Terminal 1 of Malpensa airport, which serves the northern Italian city of Milan. The 440-room hotel will cost €60 million to build and is due to open in January 2010.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 7-14 February 2008

Millennium & Copthorne - Dresdner Kleinwort gave an 'Add' rating and a target price of 410p.

NH Hoteles - Citigroup lowered its rating from 'Buy' to 'Hold' and cut its target price from €19.39 to €10.30.

Whitbread - The share price had risen earlier in the week as Evolution placed a 'Buy' rating and gave a target price of 1,400p.

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 Director rkett@hvs.com
Charles Human, Managing Director – HVS HWE chuman@hvshwe.com
Dominique Bourdais, Director dbourdais@hvs.com
Karen Smith, Director ksmith@hvs.com
Marc Finney, Director mfinney@hvs.com
Hadrien Pujol, Director hpujol@hvs.com
Demetris Spanos, Managing Director – HVS Athens dspanos@hvs.com
Christopher Mumford, Managing Director – Executive Search cmumford@hvs.com
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