HVS EMEA Hospitality Newsletter – Week Ending 28 September 2012

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

The Autumn Sales Continue

De Vere Group has sold the Barony Castle Hotel in Peebles, Scotland, in a transaction reported to be around £2 million. The 78-room hotel has been purchased by Barony Castle LLP, a consortium that includes Lithuanian investors Vytautas Syvys, Juosaz Aliukonas and Raimundas Syvys and privately owned, Edinburgh-based company Prestige Hotel Management. The new owners plan to invest £400,000 in the property to upgrade it to four stars; it is also reported that the hotel will be become part of Accor’s Mercure chain. Other sales this week include the four-star, 143-room Alliance Hotel Bologna Airport in Italy, which was sold by BRE Alliance Hospitality Italy to Bologna Airport Srl for an undisclosed sum, and the 18th-century, 23-room Royal Wells Hotel in the town of Tunbridge Wells, southeast England, which was acquired by brewery, pub and hotel company Shepherd Neame; the price of this transaction was also not disclosed.

Morse’s Watering Hole On The Market

A hotel that featured in episodes of the British crime drama Morse is reportedly for sale with a price tag of £50 million. The Macdonald Randolph Hotel, in the southern England university town of Oxford, was built in 1864, and many a crime was pondered over a pint of real ale at its bar by Inspector Morse and his faithful sergeant, Lewis. The 338-room hotel is owned by Macdonald Hotels & Resorts. Also in the news this week was the Lough Erne Resort, near the town of Enniskillen in Northern Ireland. The resort has been put on the market for offers of around £10 million after its owner, Castle Hume Leisure, went into administration last year. The 120-room, five-star resort also includes 25 holiday homes and two championship golf courses.

Second DoubleTree Opens In Romania

Hilton Worldwide has opened its second DoubleTree by Hilton property in Romania. The DoubleTree by Hilton Oradea, in the city of Oradea in northwest Romania, is owned by SIF Banat Crisana and SC Calipso SA. The 147-room hotel joins the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bucharest – Unirii Square, which opened in September 2011. They won’t be a DoubleTree duo for long, however, as the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Ploiesti is due to open in July next year, bringing the brand’s portfolio in the country up to three.

IHG Spreads More Indigo Hues Across Europe

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has signed deals for two new Hotel Indigos in Europe. The brand is to make its debut in Spain with the Hotel Indigo Barcelona-Plaza Catalunya. The 77-room hotel, in Barcelona city centre, will be operated under a 22-year franchise agreement with Empresa Casa de Lenguas. The Hotel Indigo Birmingham Waterloo Street will be the second Indigo property in the city of Birmingham, in England’s Midlands region. This 61-room hotel will be managed by Rustic Pine Developments Ltd. It has been a good year for IHG in terms of the expansion of its Hotel Indigo brand – so far in 2012, the group has signed agreements for the Hotel Indigo Cardiff, the first of its brand in Wales; the Hotel Indigo Edinburgh-Princes Street, its third Indigo in Scotland; the Hotel Indigo Düsseldorf Victoriaplatz, Germany’s fourth Indigo; and a 92-room hotel in Tel Aviv, which will mark the brand’s debut in Israel when it opens next year.

MGallery Collects A New Hotel In France

Accor’s collection of high-end hotels, MGallery, has welcomed a new property in France to the family. La Bastide de Gordes & Spa is the third hotel in France’s Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region to join the collection. The five-star hotel in the village of Gordes, southern France, has 26 rooms and 12 suites. “This exceptional establishment in a spectacular setting, supplements the brand’s range in France perfectly,” commented Julie Grégoire, director of operations for MGallery France.

Scandic To Move Back Into Malmö Hotel

Scandic has signed a contract with the landlord of the Hilton Malmö City that will see the group take over the hotel on 31 December 2012, when it will become the Scandic Triangeln, bringing Scandic’s portfolio in the Swedish city up to five. The hotel, which towers over the city’s Triangeln shopping centre, was originally Scandic’s flagship property in Malmö, but Scandic said so long to the asset when Hilton took it on in 2002. Now it has come back to the fold, Scandic is planning to embark on a refurbishment of the hotel in 2013.

Foremost Reaches Hotel Number 11 In Germany

Foremost Hospitality has announced plans to build a 164-room Holiday Inn Express in Düsseldorf, Germany, in a joint project with project development company Investa. When it opens, by 2014, the Holiday Inn Express Düsseldorf City Centre will become Foremost’s 11th hotel in Germany. “Düsseldorf is a magnet for both business guests and tourists,” said Hubert van de Loo, Foremost Hospitality’s managing director. “We are therefore very pleased that we will soon operate a Holiday Inn Express hotel in this central location of Düsseldorf,” he added.

Interstate Continues To Make Inroads In The Netherlands

US hotel management company Interstate Hotels & Resorts has opened hotel number four of a nine-property joint venture across the Netherlands with TVHG Budget Group Beheer BV. The 118-room Holiday Inn Express Utrecht Papendorp is the first of its brand to open in the city of Utrecht, in the centre of the Netherlands.

Snuggle Down For A Snooze At The O2

Long queues to get out of the car park after an event at the O2 arena in London could soon be a thing of the past as visitors to the venue will be able to stay overnight. UK company Snoozebox Holdings, which provides portable and temporary hotels, has signed a deal with AEG Europe to construct a hotel made of old shipping containers in the arena. According to Snoozebox’s chief executive Robert Breare, as the hotel will be under the roof of the building it does not require planning consent, even though it will be operational year-round. The hotel is expected to open this November with between 80 and 120 rooms. Snoozebox started life by providing temporary accommodation for music festivals and sporting events that can be tailored to any size by stacking the converted shipping containers on top of each other; however, the concept is increasingly being considered for longer term projects. As well as the 02 deal, the group is reportedly in talks with theme park and Madame Tussauds operator Merlin Entertainment Group which could result in Snoozebox hotels being developed at theme parks worldwide.

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye

Rezidor Hotel Group has announced that Kurt Ritter, who has led the group as president and chief executive officer since 1989, is to retire at the end of the year. “Kurt Ritter is one of the hotel industry’s great leaders,” said Trudy Rautio, the chairman of Rezidor’s board and president and chief executive officer of Carlson. “We are grateful for the role he played in guiding the growth or Rezidor for more than two decades to be one of the fastest growing hotel companies,” she added. Wolfgang Neumann, who joined the group in May 2011 as executive vice president and chief operating officer, has been appointed as Kurt’s successor. Wolfgang will start his new post on 1 January 2013. Before joining Rezidor, Wolfgang was chief executive officer at Munich-based Arabella Hospitality Group. He also spent more than 20 years at Hilton Hotels & Resorts. Commenting on his new position, he said, “I am honoured to succeed Kurt Ritter, and look forward to leading Rezidor in our ambitious Route 2015 strategy. We will continue to focus on meeting the needs of our guests, owners and shareholders while building with our team members on the unique culture of this dynamic company.”

A New Chief At Steigenberger

Puneet Chhatwal has been named as Steigenberger Hotel Group’s new chief executive officer. Puneet previously worked for Rezidor Hotel Group as executive vice president and chief development officer. Before this, he held positions in Carlson Hotels Worldwide and the Feuring Group. Puneet will start his new role at Steigenberger on 1 January 2013.

Rezidor Bringing Park Inn To Senegal

Rezidor Hotel Group’s Park Inn by Radisson brand is to make its first appearance in Senegal, West Africa. The Park Inn by Radisson Dakar is due to open in Senegal’s capital in the fourth quarter of 2014 as part of an exclusive mixed-use development also containing office and retail space. The 122-room hotel will be Rezidor’s second hotel in Senegal, alongside the 180-room Radisson Blu Hotel, Dakar.

Emaar’s New Address In Africa

Dubai-based Emaar Hospitality Group has signed a management contract for its second hotel in Africa. Work is currently underway on The Address Masai Mara at the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, East Africa, and the resort is scheduled to open in 2013. Emaar currently owns and operates five hotels in Dubai under its flagship, five-star Address brand. Earlier this year, the group signed a contract for The Address Marassi Golf Resort & Spa on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast, marking the expansion of the brand.

Gladen’s Tidings

The news from Spain by Esther Gladen, Business & Market Intelligence Analyst, HVS Madrid. Axel Hotels to open a beach resort in Gran Canaria: the Axel Beach Maspalomas Apartments & Lounge Club is currently under refurbishment in the south of the island. It is scheduled to open in May 2013 with 92 accommodation units. Ítaca Hoteles plans to open a hotel in Málaga: the three-star property will have 25 rooms and is scheduled to open in November. Fiesta’s Ushuaïa resort in Ibiza is expanding: the 236-room Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel will be named the Ushuaïa Club and the adjacent Fiesta Hotel Playa d´en Bossa will be refurbished and converted into the Ushuaïa Tower. Fiesta Hotels plans to open the eight-storey tower in June 2013. The hotel tower will have 181 exclusive suites and guests will have access to all the services and facilities of the Ushuaïa Club next door.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week – 21-27 September 2012

Meliá Hotels International – Natixis gave Meliá a "neutral" recommendation and raised its share price target to €5.80 from €5.00.

NH Hoteles – NH fell 4.1% on low volume.

Accor – Despite share prices falling by the end of the week, Accor was raised to "strong buy" from "buy" by S&P Equity Research.

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 London/HVS Hodges Ward Elliottchuman@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