HVS EMEA Hospitality Enews - Week Ending 7 March 2008

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

Warimpex Takes A Firm Grip On The Andel's

Warimpex, the Austrian real estate developer and investor, is now the sole owner of Andel’s Hotel in Cracow, southern Poland. Warimpex paid UBM, its compatriot and long-standing collaborator, around a reported €30 million for the remaining 50%. The 159-room hotel, which is operated by Vienna International Hotels & Resorts, was the first design hotel in Poland when it opened last May.

RC2's Romanian Fantasy

Reconstruction Capital II (RC2), a closed-ended company, floats on the AIM and leads a happy life investing in Romania and Bulgaria predominantly. If you were staying at the Fantasy Beach Hotel in the Romanian seaside resort of Mamaia this week, then that cheering you heard coming from the bar was probably RC2 celebrating its purchase (for €8 million) of a 63% holding in the hotel’s owner and operator Antares Hotels. RC2 has installed Peacock Hotels as the manager of the 305-room hotel. And as Golden Tulip Hospitality is another of Peacock’s fans, it is likely that the hotel will take the Golden Tulip franchise.

Meridia Fills A Parisian Vacancy

Parisian, pretty and vacant. A moderately tempting descriptor in a lonely hearts column, but a positively irresistible one when placed in a column headed “Buildings For Sale”. It worked for Nozar, the Spanish real estate firm, which sold (for an undisclosed sum) a building answering that description to Meridia Capital Hospitality I, the fund set up last year by Meridia Capital Partners. Parisian: in the 9th arrondissement, next to Palais Garnier. Pretty: triangular in shape and built to the designs laid down by Haussmann in the nineteenth century. Vacant: all six storeys and the two below ground are currently silent, but will be echoing by mid 2009 to the cheery whine of the electric sander as Meridia Capital turns the building into a luxury boutique hotel.

A Seventh Holiday Inn For Moscow

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has signed up its seventh Holiday Inn hotel in Moscow. The 240-room Holiday Inn Moscow Ryazanskiy is being built by Silkton and should be ready to open in mid 2010. IHG has 16 hotels in Russia: six in operation and ten in the pipeline.

Emirate Collects The Luxury Collection

Starwood Hotels’ brand The Luxury Collection has added another country to its collection by entering the United Arab Emirates. The lucky emirate of the seven is Ras al Khaimah, which will welcome The Luxury Collection Resort in 2011. The 300-room hotel will be part of the mixed-use development Saraya Islands. It is said that on a clear day you can see for ever. But what if you don’t want to see “for ever” and would much prefer to see eight towers – those forming Le Méridien Towers Makkah Hotel & Al Muttahed Towers? Simple. Turn to face Mecca and if your binoculars are keen, then picking out a cluster of eight towers should be a doddle. The phased opening of the towers – four for the 660-room hotel and four for 675 apartments – will start in April and end in the first quarter of 2009.

Mövenpick Riding High On The Red Sea

Cartographers might in future consider renaming the Red Sea coast of Egypt the See Mövenpick coast, as Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts now has a fifth property there. The latest addition is the Mövenpick Resort El Sokhna, which will open in June as part of the 62-acre El Ein Resort Village. Mövenpick signed the management contract on the 162-room, five-star hotel with Galalah Company for Touristic Investments.

Art'otel Drawn To Morocco

Morocco is to take delivery of the first hotel in North Africa to wear the art’otel brand. The 70-room hotel is being built in the city of Marrakech and it is set to open in mid 2009. The hotel, which is owned by Moroccan hotel developer and film-maker Mr Benbarka, will be operated by Global V Hospitality, Park Plaza Hotels’ franchise partner in Morocco, Egypt and the Gulf States.

H. Is For Husa

H. Partners, an investment fund set up last year by Moroccan banks Attijariwafa and Banque Centrale Populaire, is to team up with Spanish chain Husa Hoteles to give the city of Marrakech, in Morocco, its second Husa hotel. The Husa Palmeraie, which will absorb investment of a reported €14 million, will have at least 200 rooms and is set to open in 2010.

Rotana Provides Suites But No Alcohol

Alcohol-free hotels and resorts? Sounds tempting, but what about the flavour? Well, if Rotana Hotel Management is to your taste, then there should be no problem there, as the brand name of this collection of "dry" hotels and resorts – Rayhaan by Rotana – takes its name from an aromatic plant. And what about the suites? To replace the name Rotana Suites, Rotana Hotel Management has chosen Arjaan by Rotana as the brand name for its all-suite properties.

Airport Park Inn

Worry not if in future the runway lights should blow as you begin your descent into Frankfurt airport: simply switch to a Rezidor-assisted landing. The manual begins in the standard manner – an instruction to look out for the blue shimmer of the Radisson SAS – and will continue, in editions published from early 2010, with the instruction to aim for the luminous, unmistakable stripes of the Park Inn. Your passengers will be applauding not only in gratitude for a safe landing but in joy that the new 209-room Park Inn Frankfurt Airport is so conveniently close to the terminal; the hotel is part of the mixed-use development Gateway Gardens, at Terminal 2.

Kingdom Hotel Investments Reports Its Full-Year Results

Kingdom Hotel Investments (KHI) has reported its results for the year to 31 December 2007. The hotel investment company more than trebled its EBITDA, to US$35.6 million, and saw revenue rise by 80.2%, to US$178.6 million. Marketwide RevPAR grew by 23% in 2007; KHI expects growth of around 15% in 2008.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 28 February-6 March 2008

InterContinental Hotels Group - As the FTSE-100 fell to a three-week closing low, amid fears of recession in the USA, IHG's share price did manage to rally slightly after the company noted that in the USA forward bookings and room cancellation rates were showing no signs of a downturn.

Accor - Lehman Brothers lowered its rating from 'Overweight' to 'Equal-weight' and reiterated a target price of €60.

Sol Meliá - Moody's Investors Service is considering a possible downgrade of the company's 'Baa3' senior unsecured rating.

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