HVS EMEA Hospitality Newsletter – Week Ending 15 June 2012

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

The Hudson Meets The Thames

New-York based hospitality management firm Morgans Hotel Group is bringing its Hudson brand to Europe. As part of an expansion plan for the brand across global gateway markets, Morgans has signed a 20-year management contract for a 200-room Hudson hotel in London, UK, which is expected to open in 2015; once open, the hotel will become the second of its brand in the world. At the same time as developing the brand, Morgans has invested US$30 million in an ongoing renovation of the 834-room Hudson New York, the first of its kind. This isn’t Morgans first foray into the UK hotel market, however, as it currently has a Mondrian hotel under development in London’s Sea Containers House, on the city’s South Bank area, and it operates the iconic 150-room Sanderson and 204-room St Martins Lane hotels.

Marriott’s Second Visit To Bucharest

Marriott International has signed a management agreement with Gica Popescu Hotels for the 147-room Courtyard by Marriott Bucharest, which is expected to open in Bucharest city centre at the beginning of 2014. “We continue to see tremendous opportunity for expansion throughout Eastern Europe, particularly with our Courtyard by Marriott brand. As an essential part of our growth strategy and with the recent introduction of our Courtyard prototype in Europe, we are excited to continue to grow the brand, now 47 hotels strong across Europe,” said Amy McPherson, Marriott’s president and managing director for Europe. The hotel will be the first of its brand in Romania and the group’s second hotel in its capital and largest city, along with the 401-room JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel.

Hilton Arrives At Wembley

With excitement over this summer’s Olympic Games in London reaching fever pitch, Hilton Worldwide is preparing to kick off its new venture in the UK capital. The group is getting ready to open the Hilton London Wembley, which will soon open its door opposite one of the UK’s most famous sporting venues, Wembley Stadium. “Hilton London Wembley is a landmark hotel at the heart of the revitalisation of Wembley which will play a pivotal role in turning the area into a leisure destination of choice. This latest London opening for Hilton worldwide will increase our presence to more than 30 hotels across the capital and provide a unique and high quality Hilton experience, setting the tone for the future of Wembley,” said John Rogers, Hilton’s vice president of operations in the UK.

Mercure Makes Its Debut In Moscow

Accor has opened its first Mercure property in Russia: the Mercure Arbat Moscow, which is located on The Arbat in Moscow, a pedestrianised street dating from the 15th century that is said to be the oldest surviving street in the capital. The 109-room hotel is owned by ARD and it is Accor’s 12th hotel is Russia. The group plans to expand the brand in Russia by opening two more Mercure properties in the country by the end of the year. Accor also announced the successful launch of a bond offering this week, enabling the group to lengthen the average maturity of its debt and optimise its average cost of funding. The five-year bond was issued for an amount of €600 million with an annual coupon of 2.875%.

A Double Opening For IHG And An Early Check-In For Whitbread

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has opened two new hotels in London. Owned by a joint venture between Cycas Hotel Partners and Patron Capital, the five-storey, 188-room Holiday Inn London Stratford City and the 15-storey, 162-unit Staybridge Suites London Stratford City are at the centre of Westfield Stratford City, Europe’s largest shopping centre, adjacent to the Olympic Park. The hotels are being operated by Cycas Hospitality, a subsidiary of Cycas Hotel Partners, under a franchise agreement with IHG. The hotels have created 120 new jobs and bring IHG’s portfolio in the UK to more than 40,000 hotel rooms. Other openings in London this week include Whitbread’s Premier Inn hotel at Stansted Airport, which arrived early 14 weeks ahead of schedule. The four-storey, 303-room hotel was developed at a cost of £17.5 million.

Park Plaza Makes Its Mark In Croatia

PPHE Hotel Group Ltd has announced the official opening of three Park Plaza hotels in Croatia, the first of their brand in the country: the 118-room Park Plaza Medulin, on the Medulin Riviera, and the 241-room Park Plaza Histria Pula and 385-apartment Park Plaza Verudela Pula, on the south coast of the Istrian Peninsula. These new hotels are the fruits of a deal made in April 2008 that saw PPHE become a shareholder in Arenaturist group and win a management agreement for Arenaturist’s entire portfolio in Croatia. All three hotels underwent extensive renovation before their rebranding. A total of €25 million was invested in the Pula properties.

A High Five For Wirral Hotel

A hotel on the Wirral Peninsula in northwest England has become the first hotel in the county of Merseyside to achieve a five-star rating. The Grade II-listed Hillbark Hotel and Spa in the village of Frankby recently received its new grading after an anonymous inspection by AA Hotel Services. The 18-room hotel is part of Contessa Hotels, which currently comprises two privately owned hotels in Merseyside and has plans to open a hotel in Liverpool in the next few months.

A New Owner And A New Name

After a change of ownership, the Monarch Dubai hotel, on Sheikh Zayed Road in the emirate of Dubai, has now been rebranded as the H Hotel Dubai. The hotel was previously operated by Kuwait-based Refad Hotels and Resorts which also partly owned the hotel through a joint venture with an entity of Dubai’s Government. However, the management contract has now ended and the entity has now taken on the full ownership of the hotel. A new management company is expected to be announced by the end of June.

Sonesta On Its Way To The Gulf

Qatar-based Al Madaen Group is to manage the first Sonesta-branded hotel in the Gulf region. The group has signed a management agreement with US-based Sonesta International Hotels, Resorts & Nile Cruises for the Sonesta Hotel Doha, in Qatar, which is scheduled to open by the end of the year with an initial room stock of 166 rooms and suites. By the end of 2014, the room count is expected to rise to 260. It is reported that the total investment in the hotel is QAR400 million (approximately US$110 million).

Courtyard by Marriott Makes Its Debut In Saudi Arabia

Marriott International has opened its first Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Saudi Arabia. The 286-room Courtyard Riyadh Diplomatic Quarter, which opened its doors on 10 June in Riyadh’s Al-Hada District, is the group’s fourth hotel in the city overall and its sixth in Saudi Arabia. It won’t be Saudi Arabia’s only Courtyard for long, however, as the Courtyard Jizan is expected to open in April 2013.

Gladen’s Tidings

The news from Spain by Esther Gladen, Business & Market Intelligence Analyst, HVS Madrid. Louvre Group launches its first low-cost brand in Spain: the 40-room hotel in Saragossa is the first franchised property of the low-cost Première Classe. The hotel is 15 minutes away from the exhibition centre and close to several industrial parks. Mac Hotels plans the addition of a hotel on the Costa del Sol to its portfolio: the four-star Hotel Puerto Marina in Benalmádena has 272 rooms and will be integrated into Mac Hotels’ portfolio in April 2013. At present, the hotel is operated by RIU Hotels & Resorts. Upgrade to four stars for Hotel Claridge in Madrid: the now four-star property has been completely restructured and refurbished, offering 114 rooms and suites, new meeting space and a showroom.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week – 7-14 June 2012

Meliá Hotels International – Meliá dropped 2.6% on high volatility.

NH Hoteles – NH rose on high volatility.

Marriott International – According to Fitch Ratings, Marriott's ratings are unaffected following the announcement of Marriott acquiring the Gaylord hotels brand for US$210 million.

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

Russell Kett, Chairman – HVS London (@russellkett)rkett@hvs.com
Charles Human, CEO – HVS Londonchuman@hvshwe.com
Tim Smith, Director – HVS Londontsmith@hvs.com
Chris Martin, Director – HVS Hodges Ward Elliottcmartin@hvshwe.com
Demetris Spanos, Managing Director – HVS Athensdspanos@hvs.com
Hala Matar Choufany, Managing Director – HVS Dubaihchoufany@hvs.com
Christopher Mumford, President, EMEA – HVS Executive Search (@ChrisMumford)cmumford@hvs.com
Philip Bacon, Managing Director – HVS Madrid and Managing Director, EMEA & Asia – HVS Shared Ownership Servicespbacon@hvs.com
Louise Fury, Senior Editor and EMEA Hospitality Newsletter Author – HVS Londonlfury@hvs.com