HVS EMEA Hospitality Enews - Week Ending 30 January 2009

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

Hello "Hip And Humble" Home2 Suites

Home2 Suites is a new brand from Hilton Hotels Corporation (HHC) that will target the midscale extended stay market. HHC is in receipt of ten franchise applications already, even though work to build the first property is not expected to start for at least another six months. Each property will rise to a height of four storeys and have around 108 guest rooms. The pleasure will be all North America’s to begin with; although by the end of 2012 HHC wants to have 100 Home2 Suites properties open, and undoubtedly some of these will be outside the Americas region.

Waldorf Astoria On The Primrose Path To Berlin

The ingress of the Waldorf Astoria Collection into Europe has so far been characterised by a bit of subtle rebranding, as the Rome Cavalieri and the Trianon Palace Versailles can testify. But a new-build? Hmm, that is something altogether different. Primrose Capital (UK) it is that has ushered Hilton Hotels Corporation into the German capital Berlin with the wave of a management contract; that contract covers what will be the first freshly built hotel in Europe for the Collection. The 242-room Waldorf Astoria Berlin is set to open towards the end of 2011.

Noor Has Plans For "Cedar Island"

Arguing about who has the biggest artificial tree is in danger of becoming a pursuit not wholly confined to neighbours in the West at Christmas time. If Beirut-based Noor International Holding sees its plans realised, then it can boast it has the biggest – albeit that this is not a Christmas tree but a man-made tree-shaped resort sprawling in the Mediterranean off the coast of Lebanon. Dubai has her “Palm Islands”; Lebanon could have her “Cedar Island”, in tribute to the national symbol of Lebanon. The twin Palm Islands are in no danger of “going bonsai” just yet, though. Noor International must first secure all necessary approvals; and even when this is accomplished, the island would still require at least another three years to build.

Rydges In The Sand

Two of the many projects in the Middle East that Reef Real Estate Investment Company has on its books are the Crystal Tower and the Al Wadi Hotel & Residence. Both properties are in the emirate of Dubai and both will now come under the operational control of Rydges Hotels and Resorts. Though Rydges is most at home in Australia, the company is no stranger to the emirate, where it already has the 98-room Rydges Plaza Hotel.

Istanbul Awaits Its Newly Sprung Divan

The Divan Istanbul Hotel had stood sentinel over the city of Istanbul for 53 years until last December, when it was purposely razed. But Koç Holding has not killed wantonly; for out of the rubble will rise a brand-new Divan Istanbul Hotel, one having 228 rooms behind its terracotta-panelled façade. Koç Holding is investing US$50 million in the new hotel, which should be ready to open in 2010.

Ibis Hotel Opens In Algiers

Accor has opened its first Ibis hotel in Algeria. The 261-room Ibis Alger Aéroport, which, as it name suggests, is close to an airport – in fact, Houari Boumedienne, the international airport in the Algerian capital Algiers – cost a reported €18 million to construct. Accor worked on the hotel with SIEHA, the Algerian real estate firm.

No Sleeping When This Sandman Comes Calling

Before this week the only conceivable association between the words “British” and “Northland Properties” was that most of the Canadian hospitality firm’s hotels are in the Canadian province of British Columbia. A second association became apparent this week when Northland paved the way for its first British hotel. Northland is reported to have paid the developer Downing several million pounds for the former headquarters of the brewer Scottish & Newcastle. The building in Newcastle upon Tyne, in northeast England, will be refurbished and transformed into a 169-room hotel that will take the Sandman Signature brand, the category that Northland reserves for its hotels of a four-star standard. The hotel is scheduled to open in summer 2011.

Plymouth, Ho!

Homes are not where Devington Homes’ heart is at present. Instead of the block of flats that Devington had planned for its development Oceanique, the company is to build a 140-room budget hotel and 182 rooms for students. Oceanique, in the centre of the city of Plymouth, in southwest England, is already promised a Novotel. Construction work is expected to begin this autumn and the entire project should be ready some three-and-a-half years from then.

Lucky Seven For Scandic In Copenhagen

Scandic Hotels will have a seventh hotel in Copenhagen come 1 April 2009. The company has signed a long-term contract with Fritz Schur, the owner of the Palace Hotel, that will see the hotel on Rådhuspladsen take the name Scandic Palace. The hotel has 170 rooms and is in the process of being completely refurbished.

Kiessling's Corner

Grupo Pascual is to spend €45 million converting Balneario de Cordo, in the municipality of Benifallet (Tarragona), into a five-star property. The new establishment will have 91 rooms and 60 rooms will be given over to use as an aparthotel. Elsewhere, NH Hoteles recently opened NH Las Tablas in the northern part of Madrid. The newly constructed four-star hotel has 149 rooms and is located in the north of Madrid, 11 km from Barajas Airport. By Gabriele Kiessling, Analyst, HVS Madrid

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 22-29 January 2009

Accor - Credit Suisse kept an 'Outperform' rating and its target price of €58 after Accor's announcement that it had completed a €600 million bond issue.

Whitbread - Cazenove reiterated its 'Underperform' rating.

Millennium & Copthorne - Cazenove reiterated its 'In-Line' 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
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
Adrian Jones, EMEA Hospitality Enews Author ajones@hvs.com