HVS EMEA Hospitality Enews - Week Ending 14 March 2008

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

Point To Mercure

EBH, a private company based on the island of Jersey, has paid WG Mitchell Group more than £20 million (the exact amount was not disclosed) for the Point Hotel, a three-star property of 139 rooms that overlooks the castle in the Scottish capital Edinburgh. The deal included a neighbouring bar called The Chanter. The hotel has been rebranded as the Mercure Point Hotel Edinburgh.

Husa In Charge In Barcelona

Husa Hoteles, the Spanish chain, has paid an undisclosed sum for a hotel that is already under its management. It bought the 90-room, four-star Husa Vía Barcelona, which stands in the Sant Joan Despí district of the city of Barcelona, from its compatriot, the real estate firm Martinsa-Fadesa.

New Owners For The Newpark

Reports in the Irish press suggest that hoteliers John and Allen Flynn are to be the new owners of the Newpark Hotel in Kilkenny. The family-owned 129-room, four-star hotel went on the market towards the end of last year with an asking price of a reported €22 million. The deal is said to have been clinched for around €25 million.

Greece Is The Word For Starwood

The Luxury Collection and the Westin brand have both unfurled their flags on the same stretch of beach in the southwest Peloponnese. Starwood Hotels will manage its ninth and tenth hotels in Greece, the 321-room Romanos Navarino Dunes Resort, The Luxury Collection and the 445-room Westin Navarino Dunes Resort, under a contract signed with TEMES. The hotels will be among several adorning Costa Navarino, a mixed-use development of more than 1,000 hectares that TEMES is creating near the town of Pýlos.

Swiss-Belhotel Rings Up A First Hotel In Jordan

Swiss-Belhotel International, the hotel management company based in Hong Kong, is to continue its expansion in the Middle East by entering Jordan. Swiss-Belhotel Dead Sea, Jordan, which should be ready in 2010, has resulted from the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Swiss-Belhotel International and Winter Valley Tourism Investment. The four-star hotel will have 165 rooms and it is Swiss-Belhotel’s eighth hotel in the Middle East.

Warimpex Egged On By Louvre Hotels And Renova

Warimpex, the Austrian real estate developer, finds itself a busy bunny in the run-up to Easter. It has bought some land in Budapest with its joint venture partner Louvre Hotels and on that land the pair will open a 280-room, three-star Campanile hotel in spring 2010. Warimpex then hopped from Hungary to Koltsovo airport in the city of Yekaterinburg, northwestern Russia. A deal struck with Renova Group saw Warimpex agree to acquire and renovate the 155-room Liner Hotel at the airport and turn it into a three-star hotel. Fulfilment of this duty permits Warimpex to go ahead and develop the 210-room, four-star Airporthotel Angelo Koltsovo, which is set to open in June 2009. Both hotels will be managed by Vienna International Hotels & Resorts.

Budapest Boutique Born Of Ablon

Ablon Group is to develop a fifth hotel in its birthplace of Budapest. The company has completed the acquisition of a building of some 5,400 m² in District VI of the Hungarian capital and it will invest €11 million in work to convert the building into a luxurious 74-room boutique hotel. The work should be finished by the end of the year.

Art'otel Seeks Painter

Are you an artist? Do you consider yourself well known? Answering yes to both of these questions is no guarantee of employment but it might be worth your while picking up your palette, popping your beret on and heading over to the Hoxton district of east London. For Park Plaza Hotels (PPH) wants a well-known artist to decorate the interior of what will be the first art’otel in London. PPH has formed a joint venture with Aldersgate Investments, the property vehicle of the Reuben brothers, to open a four-star aparthotel of “several hundred rooms and suites” on a site owned by Aspirations. PPH, through a new subsidiary Apex Holdings (UK), is to pay around £3 million for a 50% stake in Aspirations, a company with whom PPH has also entered into a 20-year hotel management agreement. The joint venture is to submit a planning application later this year.

Come Into The Garden, Mac

Macdonald Hotels & Resorts has spent 18 years roaming the highways and byways of Britain. It now has 48 hotels open in the UK and has even made excursions to Spain. But never has Macdonald Hotels managed, though it were not for the want of trying, to break through the cordon of the M25 and enter London: until now. The private owners of the 396-room, five-star Royal Garden Hotel, in Kensington, have held up the traffic long enough to permit Macdonald Hotels to enter the capital and form a strategic alliance with their hotel. Macdonald Hotels will provide assistance with sales and marketing.

Express Roars In With No Trouble At Mill

Edgbaston Mill is a mixed-use scheme that is being developed at a cost of £100 million near the Edgbaston cricket ground, in Birmingham, by Calthorpe Estates and Cordwell Leisure Developments. The hotel on the site that ambitious batsmen will be aiming at is to be an Express by Holiday Inn. Starboard Hotels, the owner and operator of the 200-room hotel, signed a franchise agreement with InterContinental Hotels Group. The Express by Holiday Inn, Edgbaston, in which Starboard is to invest £14 million, is set to open next year.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 6-13 March 2008

InterContinental Hotels Group - The share price recovered slightly on rumours that Guy Hands had taken a stake of 2.34%.

Accor - Statistics showing that the French hotel industry as a whole had been strong in January encouraged Accor's share price to fight against the market's general downward trend.

Whitbread - The rises in duty on alcohol and tobacco announced in the Budget were bad news for the leisure sector in general.

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 Director – HVS HWEchuman@hvshwe.com
Dominique Bourdais, Directordbourdais@hvs.com
Karen Smith, Directorksmith@hvs.com
Marc Finney, Directormfinney@hvs.com
Hadrien Pujol, Directorhpujol@hvs.com
Demetris Spanos, Managing Director – HVS Athensdspanos@hvs.com
Christopher Mumford, Managing Director – Executive Searchcmumford@hvs.com
Philip Bacon, Managing Director – HVS Madrid and Managing Director, EMEA & Asia – HVS Shared Ownership Servicespbacon@hvs.com
Adrian Jones, EMEA Hospitality Enews Authorajones@hvs.com