HVS EMEA Hospitality Enews - Week Ending 13 February 2009

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

Park Inn Is Just The Ticket For Kristiania

Norgani Hotels has agreed to sell the Park Inn Oslo to its Norwegian compatriot Kristiania Eiendomsforvaltning. The hotel is currently under construction and when it is finished – and the projected completion date is 2010 – it will have 119 rooms. Norwegian Property, the parent of Norgani Hotels, said the value of the hotel was NKr154 million (almost €18 million).

Managerial Changes In The Irish Premier League

Two luxurious hotels in the Republic of Ireland that might have feared they would have their shutters up for longer have been given the chance to readmit both sunlight and guests (though the guests of course will be discouraged from entering through the windows). The 107-room Castletroy Park Hotel, in the city of Limerick, will resume operations on 18 February as the Carlton Castletroy Park Hotel, after Carlton Hotel Group signed a long-term lease agreement with Fordmount. The wait for the Castlemartyr Hotel, in the city of Cork, will be a little longer – until 3 April. And then the 103-room hotel will be back up and running under the managerial control of the team behind another of Ireland’s luxury hotels – Dromoland Castle, in Co. Clare.

Ten English Hotels In Focus

Focus Hotels Management is to take over the long-term lease on ten hotels in England that were the responsibility of The Real Hotel Company until that company went into administration last month. The hotels operated under either the Quality or the Clarion brand and share a total of 780 rooms; they are to be found in Altrincham, Blackburn, Chester, Hatfield, Hull, Northampton, Stafford, Telford, Wigan and Wolverhampton. Focus, which was established in 2007, is led by Peter Cashman, once of Friendly Hotels.

Joplings Store Might Stock A Hampton By Hilton

Joplings department store in Sunderland, northeast England, has three upper floors that are empty. Since at least last August Sunderland Turton, the owner of the store, has had it in mind that it should like to convert those floors into a 120-room hotel. Reporters in the region have seen Hilton Hotels Corporation (HHC) in the aisles and it is thought that the hotelier is keen to oblige Sunderland Turton with a Hampton by Hilton hotel. HHC has been sighted too on the opposite side of the country: in Stockport, Greater Manchester. There, the company reportedly has plans to open a 165-room Hilton Garden Inn at Seddon Developments’ Kings Reach business park.

Another Two Properties For Marriott In Saudi Arabia

Marriott International has seven properties under construction in Saudi Arabia and is adding another two to the mix. The 250-room JW Marriott Hotel Riyadh and the 50-unit Marriott Executive Apartments Riyadh will share the same building on a mixed-use development to the north of the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh. The two properties on which Marriott has signed a long-term management agreement with Fawaz Abdul Aziz Al Hokair and Associates Hotels Company are set to open in 2013. Al Hokair owns the seven properties that are under construction.

Soft, A Rotana Opens

Rotana has soft opened its first property in the emirate of Ras al Khaimah. The Cove Rotana Resort stands on Arqoob beach as part of a luxury resort built by Orascom Hotels and Development. Cove Rotana Resort has 202 hotel rooms and 76 villas offering a choice of one, two or three bedrooms.

Life Truly Begins For Rezidor In Russia

Rezidor Hotel Group has turned 40 in Russia/CIS. The party is being held in the western Russian city of Omsk, where the Park Inn Omsk is set to open in the second quarter of 2010. The 131-room Park Inn will be the first midmarket hotel of an international standard in Omsk.

Stein Hotels Becomes Franklyn Hotels

Stein Hotels and Resorts has changed its name to Franklyn Hotels and Resorts. The change in name follows in the wake of an investment of a reported US$250 million made last year by KOP Capital that gave the Singaporean property company a stake of 50% in The Stein Group. Franklyn Hotels will remain fond of small luxury lifestyle hotels and wants more of them, ideally spread over a wider geographic area than the one it currently covers.

Kiessling's Corner

The AC General Alava in Vitoria, in the province of Alava, has reopened after a complete renovation. The 107-room hotel is now of a four-star standard. Meanwhile, the hotel chain Marvel Hotels has taken on the management of the 170-room, three-star Condes del Pallars, in Rialp. The hotel is owned by the association Hotel Experts 2000. In the Basque country, the newly constructed Astoria 7, which occupies the site of the historic Astoria cinema, will be ready by April. The hotel, which is being opened by SADE, will have 102 rooms and a four-star rating. Up to €9 million has been invested in the hotel, which is part of a mixed-use development. And lastly for this week, the hotel chain Urban Rustic has just opened Palacio Avenida in Palma de Mallorca. The four-star hotel, which is owned by Rustic, has 68 rooms and has cost €10 million to redevelop. Palacio Avenida is Urban Rustic’s fourth hotel in La Palma. By Gabriele Kiessling, Analyst, HVS Madrid

Rezidor Has Every Right To Feel Blue

Rezidor Hotel Group has submitted an end-of-year report that bears the scars resulting from a rap over the knuckles by the general economic slowdown. Only like-for-like RevPAR, which posted a rise of 2.7% in the year to 31 December 2008, will not have to stay behind after class. Revenue slipped by a mere 0.05%, to €784.8 million, and so is unlikely to be in detention as long as its classmate post-tax profit, which must try harder after falling 42.8%, to €26.1 million.

A Taste Of Things To Come From Kingdom

On 12 March Kingdom Hotel Investments (KHI) will be publishing its results for the full year 2008. Until then, here is a trading update to inform us of what we might expect those results to be when the due date comes around. KHI expects growth of more than 50% in consolidated revenue and expects EBITDA to be around 40% up on the figure of US$36 million recorded in 2007. In addition, KHI expects like-for-like RevPAR to be 12% higher.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 5-12 February 2009

Kingdom Hotel Investments - The positivity of the company's trading update doubtless contributed to another sharp rise in the share price.

Whitbread - Credit Suisse lowered its rating from 'Outperform' to 'Underperform'.

Rezidor Hotel Group - The share price fell on Rezidor's full-year figures.

For the latest in the hospitality industry, please visit: http://www.hvs.com. You are also welcome to contact the following personnel.

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Charles Human, Managing Director – HVS HWE chuman@hvshwe.com
Tim Smith, Director tsmith@hvs.com
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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