HVS EMEA Hospitality Enews - Week Ending 9 January 2009

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

A New Year And A New Hotel

The Kingdom of Bahrain is to get its first Conrad hotel. Hilton Hotels Corporation has got together with Bahraini company Diyar Al Bahrain and signed a management agreement for the Conrad Bahrain. The hotel is expected to open in 2011 with 250 rooms and 50 apartments on Reef Island, a US$1.2 billion mixed-use development (previously known as Lulu Island), off the northern shore of Bahrain’s capital city Manama. This will be Hilton’s third Conrad hotel in the Middle East as the 550-room Conrad Dubai and the 380-room Conrad Abu Dhabi are both scheduled to open in 2010 in the UAE.

Bespoke Hotels To Take On 13 Folio Hotels

The beginning of a new year, and the normally unlucky number 13, has bought hope to Folio Hotels. The company was saved from administration with the announcement that London-based company Bespoke Hotels is to take over the management of 13 of its properties. Folio’s remaining 20 hotels are to carry on operating under Folio’s current management, but with a new group of shareholders.

A Tale Of Seven Cities

The number five is great but the number seven is magnificent thought Accor Hotel Group. And in order to reach this magic number, Accor decided to give two more German cities a Pullman hotel, bringing the number of cities in the country hosting Pullman-branded properties to seven: the Berlin Hotel Schweizerhof in the capital Berlin is now operating as the 373-room Pullman Berlin Schweizerhof, and the Quellenhof Hotel in the west German city of Aachen has become the 185-room Pullman Aachen Quellenhof. Both hotels previously operated as Dorint-Sofitel properties.

Dundee’s Swallow To Become A Landmark

Glasgow-based BDL Hotels' joint venture company BDL Select Hotels recently added hotel number five to its growing portfolio of independent mid-market hotels in the UK. The newest addition to the flock, the 94-room Swallow Hotel, Dundee, is currently resting its head under its wing for the chilly winter months as it undergoes an extensive £2.7 million refurbishment programme, which is due to be completed in May 2009. In spring the 94-room hotel will spread its wings and emerge from hibernation as the Landmark, Dundee. The Swallow Hotel, Dundee was sold to BDL by HVS Hodges Ward Elliott, acting on behalf of F&C Reit Asset Management.

Premier Inn To Float On Water

Taking the concept of the water bed to a new level, Whitbread’s Premier Inn brand has revealed its plans to extend the existing 60-room Premier Inn Hartlepool Marina on the quayside in Hartlepool, a port in the north east of England, with the addition of the UK’s first floating hotel which will be built on the marina itself. Pending planning approval, construction on Premier Inn’s watery accommodation is to start in spring this year and it will be shipshape and ready to open for guests in time for the arrival of the ships in the final leg of the 2010 Tall Ships Race. But future guests will not need to pack a wetsuit or book a boat trip, as a ramp will link the 54-room extension to its other half on dry land.

A Second Sokos Opens In St Petersburg

Undeterred by the subzero temperatures of a Russian Winter, at the beginning of this year, Finnish hotel group Sokotel wrapped up warmly and travelled to St Petersburg to open its second Sokos property in the city: after an investment of €27 million, the four-star, 255-room Sokos Hotel Vasilievsky, on Vasily Island, has now joined its sister property in the city the 348-room Sokos Hotel Olympic Garden.

Quek Leng Chan Takes A 3% Stake In InterContinental Hotels Group

Quek Leng Chan, the owner of UK-chain Guoman Hotels (formerly Thistle Hotels), has declared a 3% stake in InterContinental Hotels Group through his Hong Leong Group Malaysia. The rumour on the yuletide grapevine is that this £51 million investment is not leading up to a bid.

A New Radisson Hotel Opens In Paris

The citizens of Paris thought that they had been left off Rezidor Hotel Group’s Christmas list, but their present had just been delayed in the post. What was this gift? I hear you say. A new hotel of course...the Radisson Le Dokhan’s Hotel, Paris Trocadéro has just opened in the French capital with 41 rooms and four suites. The hotel, which was originally a private residence, previously operated as the Sofitel Trocadero Dokhan's-Paris.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 1-8 January 2009

Starwood Hotels & Resorts - Share prices rose after the company signed a confidentiality agreement with Sam Zell's Equity Investment Group.

Whitbread - Whitbread is benefiting from a predicted increase in the number of Britons holidaying at home.

NH Hoteles - The total Spanish market hits a two-month high.

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
Tim Smith, Directortsmith@hvs.com
Demetris Spanos, Managing Director – HVS Athensdspanos@hvs.com
Hala Matar Choufany, Managing Director – HVS Dubaihchoufany@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
Louise Fury, EMEA Hospitality Enews Authorlfury@hvs.com