HVS EMEA Hospitality Newsletter – Week Ending 27 July 2012

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

Location Of The Hudson London Revealed

Morgans Hotel Group announced its plans to bring the Hudson brand to London last month, but the location of the hotel was still shrouded in mystery. This week the US-based group has announced that the 234-room Hudson London, which will become the second of its brand worldwide when it opens at the beginning of 2015, will be developed in a 102-year-old building at the heart of Westminster on Great Scotland Yard. The Edwardian building, which was formerly used by the Ministry of Defence, is currently being purchased by Sansar Investments from the Crown Estate.

Two UK Sales

Two hotels in the UK have recently been bought out of administration. Llangoed Hall Hotel, a Grade II-listed former von Essen property, near the town of Brecon in Wales, has been purchased by businessman Roger Hancox for an undisclosed sum. The Hackness Grange Hotel near the seaside resort of Scarborough, in northeast England, has been sold to private buyer Roger Brooks. Mr Brooks, a former officer with the Royal Hong Kong Police Force, now intends to invest in a renovation of the 32-room hotel over the next 12-18 months. The hotel was previously owned by English Rose Hotels.

Interior Picks Up A Park Inn

Interior Hotels Company has signed a sale and purchase agreement with Al Ahlam Hotel Management to acquire the Park Inn by Radisson Muscat in the Al Khuwair district of Muscat, Oman, for an undisclosed sum. The four-star, 175-room hotel opened in March 2009 and, once the deal is finalised, it will become the second property in Interior Hotels’ portfolio in Oman, alongside the 120-room Golden Tulip Nizwa.

Orient-Express To Sell South African Hotel

Orient-Express Hotels is to sell the 115-room Westcliff Hotel in Johannesburg, South Africa, to an unnamed buyer. The sale is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2012 and, as part of the contract, Orient-Express will mange the hotel for a further 12 months after completion of the deal. Orient-Express currently has one other hotel in South Africa and three Safari lodges in Botswana. “The conclusion of this sale will be another positive step in our strategy to optimize our global portfolio for the purpose of reinvesting capital and improving our balance sheet,” said Orient-Express’s chief executive officer, Philip Mengel. “We plan to use part of the proceeds to re-invest in our other assets, including a portion for the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town and ongoing improvements to our three luxury safari camps in Botswana,” he added.

A Hilton For Erbil

Hilton Worldwide has announced its first Hilton-branded property for Iraq and its second hotel in the country overall. Hilton has signed a management agreement with Mihtab Group for the 300-room Hilton Erbil Hotel & Spa, which is expected to open in 2016 in Erbil, in the north of the country in Iraqi Kurdistan. Hilton announced its debut in Iraq in September last year with the opening of the 200-unit DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Erbil in 2013. “As we face a surge in domestic and international travel to Iraqi Kurdistan, the addition of a new property by Hilton Worldwide, and the well-known quality it represents, will be a major boost to the range of hospitality offerings currently available,” said Yasin Kadir Ismail, chairman of Mihtab Group.

Accor Reaches Five In Ivory Coast

Accor has signed a management agreement with Société des Palaces de Cocody for a hotel in the city of Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, West Africa. As of 1 January 2013, the 209-room Hotel Ivoire will be operated under Accor’s Sofitel brand. Over the next few months, the hotel will be renovated to Sofitel standards. Accor currently operates four hotels in the Ivory Coast, all of which are in Abidjan (a Novotel, two ibis properties and a Pullman hotel).

Starwood’s Second-Quarter Results

Starwood Hotels and Resorts reported second-quarter revenue from owned, leased and consolidated joint venture hotels of US$453 million, a fall of approximately 5% on the same period in 2011. Net income also fell during the second quarter of 2012, from US$131 million (US$0.68 per share) in 2011 to US$122 million (US$0.62 per share). However, systemwide RevPAR grew by 6.9% and adjusted EBITDA grew 23.3% on 2011 to US$323 million. Additionally, management fees, franchise fees and other income rose by 10.4% on the same period in 2011. RevPAR for hotels in Europe increased by 2.3% in the second quarter of 2012 and RevPAR for hotels in Africa and the Middle East rose by 11.2%. “We kept up our momentum in the second quarter, despite a choppy global economy,” said Frits van Paasschen, Starwood’s chief executive officer. “Our approach to an uncertain global marketplace is to be both smart and bold. What we mean by ‘smart’ is having a business model, balance sheet, and cost structure that can weather economic turbulence. At the same time, we are being bold in our efforts to grow our footprint in the right way, and to invest in building guest loyalty to gain more than our fair share of business,” he continued.

Gladen’s Tidings

The news from Spain by Esther Gladen, Business & Market Intelligence Analyst, HVS Madrid. New five-star luxury hotel in Barcelona: by the end of August, Mercer Hoteles will open its Mercer Hotel Barcelona at Lladó 7. The hotel, a five-star luxury property, is located in a historic building and its renovation took four years due to the characteristics of the project. The hotel will have 28 rooms when it opens; however, a second renovation phase will increase its capacity to 40 rooms. The hotel will include a library, a gourmet restaurant, a tavern and an outdoor swimming pool. Pierre & Vacances adds a resort in Seville: after a €370,000 investment, Pierre & Vacances Center Parcs has announced the opening of a new resort in Seville on 29 September. The property will have 48 equipped apartments with a maximum capacity of six guests per unit.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week – 19-26 July 2012

Meliá Hotels International – Meliá hits a four-month high.

NH Hoteles – NH Hoteles rose 1.1% on low volume.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) – IHG rose 2% on high volatility.

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