HVS EMEA Hospitality Enews - Week Ending 19 December 2008

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

Lloyd Fonds Lands A Catch On Fleesensee

The Iberotel Fleesensee is not due to open until 1 July next year, but that has not deterred Lloyd Fonds, the German investor, from wanting to take early possession of the four-star hotel. Lloyd Fonds is to pay its compatriot the developer GBI roughly €17.6 million for the 156-room hotel, which is part of the Land Fleesensee development in northeastern Germany. GBI must be delighted when it sees Lloyd Fonds coming up its front path: the Iberotel Fleesensee is the fifth hotel that Lloyd Fonds has bought from it.

Shiny Green Brussels For Christmas

A little bit of Brussels, the Belgian capital, has been painted green in time for Christmas. A building on Rue du Marais, in the centre of the city, will be converted into a four-star boutique hotel by the Irish pairing of Prem Group and Goodbody, the stockbrokers. Their joint venture the European Hotel Consortium will spend a total of €27 million on the acquisition of the building and on the building’s refurbishment. The work should be finished by July 2010, at which time the hotel will take Prem Group’s brand Leopold Hotels.

Following Yonder Starwood

Behold Starwood – there, in the East (of Europe). Let us follow yonder Starwood and see where it may lead us. Ah, it has stopped short of the gates to the town of Mikołajki, in northeastern Poland, and is shining down on Lake Talty. And lo! There, swaddled in a long-term management agreement between Starwood and Europejski Fundusz Hipoteczny is the 274-room Sheraton Mazury Lakes Resort, which is due to open in 2011. Hold up! That Starwood is off again, fizzing across the sky, this time in the direction of Romania. It has halted above the northwestern city of Cluj, where unto Starwood and SC Sigma Hotels will be born one day in early 2012 the Sheraton Cluj Hotel and The Residences at Sheraton Cluj. The property will be part of the mixed-use development Sigma Towers and will have 202 hotel guest rooms and 110 residential apartments.

Park Hyatt Stars In Portugal

A bright star shining in the sky led Park Hyatt Hotels & Resorts to Portugal this week where Hyatt was chosen by Pelicano Investimento Imobiliário, part of Lisbon-based developer the Pelicano Group, to manage a resort on the Troia Peninsula, an hour’s drive south of Lisbon on Portugal’s Alentejo coast. The Pinheirinho, a Hyatt Golf and Beach Resort will include the 160-room, five-star Park Hyatt Além-Tejo hotel, and the resort will be Hyatt’s first property in Portugal. Pelicano is to invest €250 million in the project, which is currently under construction. The first phase of the resort is expected to open in 2013 and the project is set to be fully operational in 2016.

Long-Legged Sol Meliá Gets A Kick Out Of Sicily

Italia Turismo, a developer of tourist resorts, has agreed that Sol Meliá shall make the stride from Spanish shores to the island of Sicily to lend the Meliá brand name to a hotel that is to be built as part of the Sciacca Resort on Sicily’s southwestern coast. The five-star hotel, which Sol Meliá will manage from 2011, will have 209 rooms and 246 apartments, and will bring to six the number of hotels that Sol Meliá has in Italy.

Fairmont Comes To Cairo

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has got together with developer Palm Properties to give Gezira Island, in the Zamalek district of Cairo, Egypt, the Fairmont Residences, Zamalek Island, Cairo. The 21-unit development is already under construction on the banks of the River Nile and it is expected to be completed in 2010. This will be Fairmont’s fourth property in Cairo. The company has two hotels in operation: the 588-room Fairmont Heliopolis and the 247-room Fairmont Towers, Heliopolis; the 222-room Fairmont Nile City, Cairo is to open in 2009.

Rotana Hotels To Manage A Hotel In Baghdad

Abu Dhabi-based Rotana Hotels has signed a management agreement with American company Summit Hotels, part of the Preferred Hotel Group, for its first hotel in the city of Baghdad, Iraq. The 250-room, five-star hotel is to open in Baghdad at the beginning of 2012 in the city’s International Zone. This will be Rotana’s second property in Iraq, as last year it signed an agreement for the 205-room Erbil Rotana Hotel, in the city of Erbil in Iraq’s Kurdish region; the hotel is expected to open in October 2009.

Hilton Garden Inn Course In Saudi Arabia

Garden Inn enthusiasts ought not to be confused with gardening enthusiasts; the former, unlike the latter, do not slow down for winter. Instead, they are obliged to make a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia to see if Hilton Garden Inn will take to sand as well as it has taken recently to the soil of Europe. What will be the first Hilton Garden Inn hotel in the Middle East is likely to open in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, in 2009. If it is found that the brand is sun-tolerant, then this initial hotel could be followed by another 12, which will spring up in locations all around the country under the auspices of a five-year non-exclusive strategic development agreement signed by Hilton Hotels Corporation and Al Hokair Group. Hilton will manage all 13 of the hotels, which together will share a total of 2,500 rooms.

Hotel-Elect Obama

In 1850 when Fulmuth Kearney, a shoemaker from a small village called Moneygall in Ireland, crossed the Atlantic Ocean to America at the age of 19, little could he have imagined that 158 years later one of his descendants would be about to ascend to the White House as President of the USA. And if Barack Obama ever wants to visit the land of his ancestors, he will be able (thanks to Dublin-based developer Liam Carroll) to stay in his very own hotel. Mr Carroll is to apply for planning permission for the 150-room Barack Obama Hotel in Moneygall, on the border of County Offaly and County Tipperary.

Second Courtyard Flag Flutters In St Petersburg

St Petersburg was once a seat of revolution but now is a seat for evolution, especially in hotels. The flag being waved in the city this week was that belonging to Courtyard by Marriott, which will have a second hotel in the Russian city come one glorious day perhaps as early as late 2009 or maybe as late as early 2010. That hotel is the 281-room Courtyard by Marriott St Petersburg Marinsky Theatre, which comes about as a result of a long-term agreement signed by Marriott International and OOO Stroiprogress.

A Florentine Town House

Town House Hotels – the luxury brand that describes itself as a “home away from home” – has only once strayed from its home city of Milan; and that was to Turin, which is not so very far away. So, news that Town House Hotels had ventured as far south as Florence to open what is its fifth property in Italy ranks as a voyage of Columbus-like proportion. Like Columbus, the building that contains Town House Palazzo Vecchietti dates from the fifteenth century; it is a building that has been redesigned to accommodate 14 apartments, of which three are suites. The voyage to Florence is doubly significant in that it gives Town House a first opportunity to franchise the brand.

Kiessling's (Christmassy) Corner

And Angel Gabriele (Kiessling) came down from HVS Madrid and said: "Do not be afraid, for I bring you glad tidings from the Spanish hospitality world." Grupo Fedola, operating under the brand GF Hotels, recently bought a new hotel complex located in Adeje, on the island of Tenerife. The hotel used to belong to the portfolio of Riu under a management agreement. The 400-room, four-star hotel will be renamed Isabel Family Hotel from 1 January 2009. Meanwhile, the Hotel Rice, a four-star establishment in Burgos (Castilla y León), recently received an injection of €650,000 to refurbish interior installations such as kitchens and celebration rooms and to create additional space, hotel rooms, and so forth. Elsewhere, the consequence of the break with the associates of Apsis hotels has resulted in the creation of a new brand within the urban segment. The new hotel chain Acta Hotels has ten hotels in its portfolio in cities such as Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, and in Andorra and France.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 11-18 December 2008

Whitbread - Shares rose this week with the announcement of a new director at board level.

Sol Meliá - Sol Meliá was trading at €4.47 this week, 4.0% above its volume weighted price of €4.30.

NH Hoteles - Prices rose by 2.0% this week to €4.15.

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
Tim Smith, Director tsmith@hvs.com
Demetris Spanos, Managing Director – HVS Athens dspanos@hvs.com
Hala Matar Choufany, Managing Director – HVS Dubai hchoufany@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
Louise Fury, EMEA Hospitality Enews Author lfury@hvs.com
Adrian Jones, EMEA Hospitality Enews Author ajones@hvs.com