HVS EMEA Hospitality Enews - Week Ending 6 March 2009

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

Starwood's Adventures In Brussels and Doha

Starwood Hotels & Resorts waved goodbye to the Sheraton Brussels this week as it sold the hotel to investment company International Real Estate (IRE) for an undisclosed sum. Then Starwood said hello again as it signed a long-term management agreement for the hotel with IRE; Starwood will continue to operate the 511-room hotel under its Sheraton brand. Starwood also said welcome to the W Doha Hotel and Residences, which opened this week with 291 rooms and 154 residences in the city of Doha, on the east coast of Qatar. This hotel is the first W to open in the Middle East.

A Single Owner For The Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues

London-based hotel investment company Cedar Capital Partners (Cedar) is now the outright owner of the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues, in Geneva, Switzerland. Four years after it acquired a 50% stake in the 103-room hotel (in 2005), Cedar has now bought the remaining 50% interest in the property from Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding. Kingdom has walked away from the deal with a net profit of SR225 million (US$60 million). Now that Cedar has welcomed the property into its fold it intends to carry out a renovation of the hotel at the end of 2009, which will include the addition of another 20 rooms and suites. The hotel will continue to be managed and operated under the Four Seasons brand, in which Kingdom has a significant 47.5% stake.

Ramada Number Two For Abu Dhabi

Maltese company CHI Hotels & Resorts has signed a 15-year technical services and operations agreement with the Social Security Fund of the Ministry of the Interior of the United Arab Emirates for its second Ramada hotel in Abu Dhabi. The 313-room Ramada Abu Dhabi Beach Hotel is to open in 2011 and it will join its sister property the 250-room Ramada Abu Dhabi Mafraq Hotel.

The Town House Galleria Twinkles In Milan

Milan is seeing stars this week…seven of them to be exact as the Town House Galleria opens this Sunday to sparkle in the Italian city as Milan's first seven-star hotel. This is Switzerland-based Planhotels Resorts & Hotel’s third Town House hotel to open in Milan alongside the 19-room Town House 31 and the 18-room Town House 12; the 15-room Town House 33 is due to open in April 2009.

Hampton By Hilton Debuts In Europe

Hilton Hotels Corporation’s Hampton brand has blazed a trail through Europe with the opening this week of the Hampton by Hilton Corby/Kettering in the town of Corby in the East Midlands of England; this is the first property under the Hampton brand to open in Europe. The 88-room hotel is owned and operated by Hotel Solutions London. Another 20 Hampton hotels are to follow hot on the heels of this debutante over the next few years.

A Pestana For Berlin

Portuguese company Pestana Hotels & Resorts has announced that it is to open its first property in Germany: a 137-room hotel is to open in the country’s capital Berlin in 2011 at a cost of €25 million. This will be Pestana’s second hotel in Europe outside of Portugal: the 218-room Pestana Chelsea Bridge in London, UK, is to open later this year in October.

A Hotel For Legoland

Merlin Entertainment Group called a meeting to decide what magic it could weave next for its Legoland theme park in Windsor, London, UK. After sitting round the table for hours the group decided it would be a great idea to build a hotel: as part of an investment in the park of more than £30 million, and subject to planning permission, a Legoland-themed hotel is planned for development in the park and it will open sometime in 2012.

Kiessling’s Corner

The news from Spain by Gabriele Kiessling, Analyst, HVS Madrid. The 29-unit Aparthotel Novo Sancti Petri is to open this month in Novo Sancti Petri, in the province of Cadiz. The hotel is located 50 m from Barrosa Beach. In the southeast of Spain, The 122-room InterContinental La Torre Golf Resort Murcia has recently opened in Murcia. The hotel was developed by Polaris World for an investment of €30 million, and it is InterContinental’s second property in Mucia. In Barcelona the Hotusa Group has recently opened the 46-room Eurostars Lex. This hotel is the 11th Eurostars property to open in the city.

Whitbread Reports Its Trading Performance

Whitbread has reported a like for like RevPAR growth for the 50 weeks to 12 February 2009 of 2.9%. Total like for like sales for the company’s Premier Inn brand increased by 6.2% over the same period. Whitbread’s chief executive officer Alan Parker commented that “while 2009/10 will be a very challenging year, we will continue to play to our strengths, focusing on three key priorities: First, achieving cash flow neutrality in 2009/10…Second, reducing operating costs…Third, outperforming our competition".

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 26 February-5 March 2009

NH Hoteles - Share prices rose this week despite worsening worldwide RevPAR trends.

Accor - Share prices fell this week and Jefferies International gave Accor a "buy" rating with a target price of €40.

Sol Meliá - Jefferies International gave Sol Meliá a "hold" rating with a target price of €4.40.

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