HVS EMEA Hopspital Newsletter – Week Ending 24 September 2010

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

Pandox Picks Up A Park Inn in Sweden

This week Pandox travelled to the municipality of Solna, just north of Stockholm city centre, with the intention of adding a new property to its portfolio; when it arrived, the Swedish hotel property company whipped out its cheque book and bought the Park Inn Solna for €22 million. The 247-room hotel was acquired on a 15-year sales-based lease from Paris-based property operator, investor and developer Unibail-Rodamco, which owns the Solna Centrum shopping centre in which the property is housed. Completion of the deal is expected to take place in November of this year. This transaction brings Pandox’s portfolio in Sweden up to 16 hotels (3,432 rooms), and it is hotel number ten for the company in Stockholm.

A Hallmark Moment For Gloucester

Hallmark Hotels added property number six to its portfolio this week with the acquisition of the Ramada Gloucester, in the city of Gloucester, southwest England, from Jarvis Hotels for an undisclosed sum. The 97-room, purpose-built property is to be renamed the Hallmark Gloucester and a total of £3 million will be spent on refurbishing the hotel and upgrading it to a four-star standard, in line with the rest of the Hallmark collection. The refurbishment is to take place from January 2011.

What’s So Magical About Employment Tribunals?

These days so many of us in the UK regularly come across reports in the media about companies being taken to an employment tribunal by an unhappy (usually former) member of staff. So, in association with HVS, London-based solicitors Magrath LLP has come up with a neat opportunity for you to be one step ahead and to learn how best to avoid being taken down this route. Magrath are staging a Mock Employment Tribunal at the Magic Circle, in London, on Wednesday 10 November, and the case being discussed will address issues specific to the hotel and catering sector. The event will focus particularly on where things can go wrong and how to avoid making costly mistakes. If you, or your HR colleagues, would like more information, please visit www.magrath.co.uk.

Fare Thee Well Four Seasons Dublin

It cost a reported €90 million to build, but, with losses of £2 million, Dublin’s iconic Four Seasons Hotel has become another victim of the global recession. The 197-room hotel has been put on the market by its investors. However, it is not time just yet for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts to bid farewell to Dublin, as the Canadian hotel company will continue to run the property under a long-term management agreement.

A Starry Starry Night For Rome

The Italian city of Rome recently witnessed the birth of two new stars; however, you don’t need a telescope to see these celestial objects as the stellar event in question was the opening of Eurostars Hotels’ new properties in the capital: the 144-room Eurostars Roma Aeterna and the 83-room Eurostars Saint John. A chain of Barcelona-based Hotusa Group, Eurostars now has a total of five hotels in Rome.

A Brief History Of The Midland Grand

The Midland Grand Hotel started life at St Pancras railway station, in London, UK, on 5 May 1873. It became the offices of London Midland Railway in 1935, and since then the building has made many appearances on the silver screen; you might have spotted it playing the part of Arkham Asylum in Batman Begins or as a stand-in for King’s Cross station in the Harry Potter films. Well, for more than ten years now the hotel has been preparing for the role of a lifetime, and, after a £150 million renovation, on 5 May 2011 it will make its grand debut to thunderous applause as Marriott’s 245-room St Pancras Renaissance Hotel London.

Kurt Ritter Named CEO Of The Year

On Monday night, in the plush surroundings of the Armani hotel in Dubai, the Middle Eastern business world’s version of the Oscars took place: the CEO Middle East Awards. Flying the flag for the hospitality industry, at this year’s event Rezidor Hotel Group’s chief executive officer, Kurt Ritter, picked up the award for CEO of the year – Hospitality and Tourism. Mr Ritter was praised by the judges for his dedication and strong leadership, particularly during the challenging economic climate of 2009. Commenting on this success, Mr Ritter said: “I am both delighted and honoured to have received this award, it is fantastic for our company to be recognized in the Middle East, an extremely strong and competitive region for the hospitality sector.”

Gladen’s Tidings

The news from Spain by Esther Gladen, Business and Market Intelligence Analyst, HVS Madrid. Accor has opened its first Etap property in Málaga. The new hotel has 125 rooms and is operated by the owning company Anta Empresas Gestión de Servicios Terciarios. Accor has three more hotels in Málaga in its portfolio: one Novotel and two Ibis hotels (Source: Alimarket). New hotel company Diaz Hellín is to start its first projects this autumn; for now the subsidiary of Diseño Hotelero e Interiorismo will operate hotels under lease agreements. Its first property, the 28-room Villa Adelfós, is located on the coastline of Castellón and is expected to open within the next two months. The second project is a 21-room hotel in the centre of Barcelona, which is planned for the beginning of next year (Source: Alimarket). Al Andalus has signed an agreement for the Bluebay brand; the agreement entitles Inversiones Galatzó to continue using the brand for the BlueBay Galatzó in Peguera, Majorca. Al Andalus Mangement is interested in purchasing the Bluebay Inn Bellevue, also in Majorca.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week – 16-23 September 2010

NH Hoteles – This week the Spanish company rose 0.9% on low volume, ending a three-day streak of losses.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) – IHG recorded a three-day rise of 3.3%.

Sol Meliá – Sol Meliá strengthened 0.3% on high volume, rising for a second consecutive day.

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 – HVS Londonrkett@hvs.com
Charles Human, Managing Director – HVS Hodges Ward Elliottchuman@hvshwe.com
Tim Smith, Director – HVS Londontsmith@hvs.com
Demetris Spanos, Managing Director – HVS Athensdspanos@hvs.com
Hala Matar Choufany, Managing Director – HVS Dubaihchoufany@hvs.com
Christopher Mumford, Managing Director – HVS Executive Searchcmumford@hvs.com
Philip Bacon, Managing Director – HVS Madrid and Managing Director, EMEA & Asia – HVS Shared Ownership Servicespbacon@hvs.com
Louise Fury, Editor and EMEA Hospitality Newsletter Author – HVS Londonlfury@hvs.com