HVS EMEA Hospitality Enews - Week Ending 31 October 2008

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

Hilton Checks Out Two New Hotels In London

This week Hilton has signed a franchise agreement with London-based Surejogi Hotels, owned by Indian business man Joginder Sanger, which will result in Hilton’s second Waldorf Astoria property in Europe and its third Doubletree hotel in the UK. The chosen city is London and the two chosen properties are the 64-room Bentley Hotel London, in Knightsbridge, which is to be rebranded as a Waldorf Astoria, and the 112-room Courthouse Hotel, in the West End, which is to become The Courthouse Doubletree by Hilton London Regent Street on 18 November 2008. Both hotels, which are owned by the Sanger family, were previously operated under the Kempinski brand until earlier in the year.

Accor Has A Novel Plan

Accor Hospitality has got together with Ajman-based property development company Aqaar to bring the emirate of Ajman, on the Persian Gulf, in the UAE, its first Novotel. The 200-room hotel will also have 70 serviced apartments and it is expected to open in 2011 as part of Aqaar’s mixed-use development Ajman One. Accor currently operates six Novotel properties in the Middle East including two hotels in the UAE: the 412-room Novotel World Trade Centre Dubai and the 215-room Novotel Centre Hotel Abu Dhabi.

Starwood Capital To Sell Some Of Its French Properties

Private company JJW Hotels & Resorts has made an offer to Starwood Capital for some of the 12 hotels which are owned by Starwood Capital in the Concorde Hotels & Resorts group. The two companies are in the early stages of negotiations for the deal which is rumoured to be worth as much as US$2 billion. However, Starwood Capital has announced that this deal would not include the sale of the 139-room Hôtel de Crillon and the 177-room Hotel du Louvre. Starwood Capital has had a busy week as it is also to sell the 294-room Hotel Ambassador, in Paris, to Alliance Hospitality.

Raffles’ Olympic Bid

As park of its trek around the globe, stopping off to build a hotel here and there, Raffles arrived in Greece this week to team up with Olympia SA and announce the 124-room Raffles Olympia resort. The Raffles Olympia resort, which is also to include 120 Raffles Residences, is expected to open in 2011 as part of the Olympia Resort beachfront development in Pyrgos, near the ancient Greek city of Olympia.

Bulgari Heads For London

Bulgari is reported to be close to signing a deal with a firm of developers for its first hotel in the UK, as part of its joint venture with Marriott International. The 78-room hotel will be developed in Knightsbridge, London, on the site of the former Normandie Hotel, which closed in 1977. It is rumoured that the hotel could take three years to create at a cost of £80 million to £100 million. This will be Bulgari’s third hotel alongside the 58-room Bulgari Hotel Milan, Italy, and the 59-room Bulgari Hotels & Resorts Bali.

Here We Come, Here We Come…Chants Millennium & Copthorne

No longer will football fans face a long journey home after watching a match in Wembley stadium in northwest London, UK. Millennium & Copthorne has got together with London development company Londonewcastle to agree terms for the operation and management of a four-star, 302-room hotel in Wembley. The hotel is to be developed as part of a mixed-use scheme surrounding the new stadium.

Fitzpatrick Has Designs On Edinburgh

Irish hotel company The Fitzpatrick Design Collection plans to develop its first property in the UK with a 167-room hotel in the city of Edinburgh in Scotland. The hotel, which is to be built with a reported investment of £40 million, is expected to open in 2010. The company currently owns the 121-room The Morgan hotel and the 88-room The Beacon hotel, both in Dublin.

Interval International Foresees A Long Life For Its New Affiliation

Miami-based Interval International, provider of timeshare services, has announced this week that it is to add another property to its vacation exchange network with the affiliation of the Longevity Wellness Resort in the town of Monchique on the Algarve, south Portugal. The 195-unit resort is currently under construction and is expected to open in September 2009. This brings Interval’s portfolio of affiliations to 17 in the Algarve region and 21 in Portugal overall.

Waterloo...easyHotel Loves You For Evermore

A splash of orange may soon be visible on the skyline to those taking a trip on the London Eye…no it won’t be the sun setting over the Thames but the bright welcoming glow of an easyHotel. The budget hotel company is seeking planning permission to develop an 82-room hotel in a former office block in Waterloo, near the London Eye, in south London. If permission for the project is gained, this will be the company’s first hotel south of the River Thames and its fifth hotel in London. The remaining three hotels in easyHotel’s eight-property portfolio are located in Budapest, in Hungary, and Basel and Zürich, in Switzerland. The first easyHotel in the Middle East is scheduled to open in Dubai next year.

The Hoxton Hotel Spreads Its Wings

Since it opened in September 2006 Sinclair Beecham’s Hoxton Hotel has been the only one of its kind…but not for much longer as the company has revealed plans this week to create a chain of hotels across the UK under the Hoxton brand. The second Hoxton property will be given a regal welcome when it opens on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile in 2010; work on this hotel is expected to start at the beginning of 2009. Further hotels will soon follow in locations such as Glasgow, Leeds, Bristol and Birmingham as part of a plan to open five Hoxton hotels within the next four years.

New Management For IFA Hotels & Resorts

After a meeting of its board, developers IFA Hotels & Resorts has elected Ibrahim Saleh Al-Therban as the new chairman of the company and Talal Jassim Al-Bahar as vice chairman and managing director. Ibrahim Al-Therban commented that “The success of IFA Hotels & Resorts over the last few years has gained the trust of our shareholders. We aim to continue growing the company further by creating promising investment opportunities and increasing shareholder returns…”.

Kiessling’s Corner

The latest Spanish news by Gabriele Kiessling, HVS Analyst, Madrid. Eurostars Hotels has opened its eighth hotel in Barcelona; the 30-room Eurostar Ramblas Boqueria is located in the centre of Barcelona in Las Ramblas. The company also plans new hotel openings in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona) and in Oviedo. Eurostar Hotels’ current portfolio comprises 52 establishments in ten European countries and three hotels in the USA. The Parador Hotel Atlantico in Cadiz, Andalusia, will be demolished in order to construct a new four-star, 180-room Parador hotel. The new property is expected to open in 2012 at a cost of up to €17 million.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 23-30 October 2008

Rezidor Hotel Group - The company's shares were given a boost this week as Rezidor launched its new bar and grill concept.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts - Starwood is continuing the global expansion of its W brand with the launch of a hotel in China this week.

Accor - After shedding non-strategic assets over the past three years, Accor is now focused on two fast-growing, low cyclical businesses.

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