HVS EMEA Hospitality Newsletter – Week Ending 12 October 2012

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

Edinburgh’s SoCo Site Sold

LaSalle Investment Management has purchased a hotel development in Edinburgh, Scotland, for £30.6 million. Construction formally started this week on the SoCo mixed-use project at the Cowgate site, a part of the city’s historic Old Town that was devastated by a fire in 2002, and is expected to finish in December 2013, when LaSalle will take over the development. SoCo will include an ibis hotel, retail space and food and beverage facilities.

Arora Acquires The Renaissance Hotel At Heathrow

Arora Hotels has purchased the Renaissance London Heathrow at London’s Heathrow Airport from Hotel Property Investors for an undisclosed sum. Arora Hotels’ founder Surinder Arora has said that he was “delighted to add this prestigious hotel and those that work there to the Arora group”. Mr Arora’s relationship with the hotel, which was built in 1973, goes back a long way – he used to work part time as a banqueting waiter at the property in the mid 70s. Arora Hotels now plans to carry out a major refurbishment of the hotel’s guest rooms and public areas. The hotel will continue to operate under Marriott International’s Renaissance brand. As well as its newest purchase, Arora’s portfolio consists of four Arora-branded hotels in London and Manchester and the Sofitel London Heathrow and the Sofitel London Gatwick.

Innside Information On Hamburg

Meliá Hotels International has signed a lease agreement for a new Innside hotel in Germany. Construction of the 205-room Innside Hamburg is expected to start in 2013 and the hotel is due to open in 2015 as the first of its brand in the city. Only 800 metres from Hamburg’s main railway station, the hotel will also be connected to the city’s HafenCity mixed-use development. Meliá currently has nine Innside hotels in Germany and another three are expected to open between 2013 and 2015 in Frankfurt, Wolfsburg and Düsseldorf. There are also plans to expand the brand outside of Germany to the UK (Manchester) and Denmark (Copenhagen).

More Mercures For The UK

Accor will expand its Mercure portfolio in the UK by four hotels (394 rooms) over the next four months, to 75 properties. The first of the four hotels that the group has signed franchise agreements for is in the town of Darlington, northeast England. Originally a coaching inn dating from the early 1600s, the King’s Head Hotel was damaged by fire in 2008 and then underwent an £8 million refurbishment before opening as the 83-room Mercure Darlington Kings Hotel last week. The 145-room Mercure London Greenwich, in southeast London, is a conversion of Maurice Drummond House, an eight-storey building that was originally built in the 1930s as accommodation for officers from the Metropolitan Police. During the conversion an additional two storeys were added to the building. This hotel is due to open later this month. The 78-room Mercure Eddleston Barony Castle Hotel and Spa in Scotland will also open this month as the first castle within Accor’s Mercure portfolio. Originally the Barony Castle Hotel and Spa, this property underwent a £400,000 refurbishment and was upgraded to from three stars to four. Lastly, the purpose built Abbey Hill Hotel in Milton Keynes, south England, is to open as the 88-room Mercure Milton Keynes Abbey Hill in January 2013.

Barcelona Gets A Second Renaissance

Marriott International’s Renaissance brand has opened its second property in Barcelona, Spain. The Renaissance Barcelona Fira Hotel is the product of a franchise agreement with Hoteles Catalonia. The 27-storey hotel, in the city’s trade fair area, comprises two 110-metre-high towers that are connected by an atrium and topped with a restaurant, bar and outdoor pool with panoramic views over the city. The 357-room hotel joins sister property the 211-room Renaissance Barcelona Hotel, which opened earlier this year in April.

£20 Million Hotel Development Planned For UK Resort

UK holiday company Richardson’s has submitted plans for a 260-room hotel in the seaside resort of Hemsby in the country of Norfolk, east England. If permission is granted for the scheme, which also includes a caravan park, work could start in late summer 2013. Richardson’s, which owns two holiday parks in Norfolk, plans to invest £20 million in the development. The local borough council is expected to make a decision on the plans in December. The hotel will be part of a ten-year redevelopment scheme.

NH Makes Its Debut In Prague

NH Hoteles opened its first hotel in Prague, Czech Republic, this week. The Mövenpick Hotel Prague, in the city centre, has now become the four-star NH Prague. The 439-room hotel is being operated under a management agreement. It joins the group’s first hotel in the Czech Republic, the 137-room NH Olomouc Congress in Olomouc, the country’s sixth-largest city. The Spanish group now operates 76 hotels across Central and Eastern Europe.

Accor’s October Openings

On the south side of the River Thames, the four-star, 182-room Novotel London Blackfriars, a “new generation” Novotel, is now open with lots of hi-tech gadgets to keep guests entertained, including restaurant tables fitted with televisions for lone diners and a multimedia table with iPads. “It’s our best Novotel to date and represents the new generation of Novotels that we want to offer in the United Kingdom,” said Thomas Dubaere, Accor’s managing director for the UK and Ireland. Flying the ibis flag for the first time in Abu Dhabi, the ibis Abu Dhabi Gate is to open later this month as the emirate’s first internationally branded budget hotel. This hotel has 252 rooms and 42 one-bedroom apartments. Last but not least, Accor has opened its first Adagio Access property in Brussels, Belgium. The Adagio Access Brussels Europe has 110 fully equipped apartments, designed for medium- to long-stay guests. Accor currently has 89 Adagio aparthotels in operation across seven countries.

Rezidor Takes Up Residence In Riyadh’s Diplomatic Quarter

Rezidor has announced a new property for Saudi Arabia. The Radisson Blu Hotel & Residences, Riyadh Diplomatic Quarter is expected to open in the second quarter of 2015 as the only hotel within Riyadh’s Diplomatic Quarter. The 110-unit hotel is one of several projects undertaken by the Prince Salman Disability Research Centre, which was founded by Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, Saudi Arabia’s Crowne Prince, for charitable purposes. The proceeds of the hotel will be used to support the Disabled Children Association of Saudi Arabia. Commenting on the new signing, Kurt Ritter, Rezidor’s president and chief executive officer, said, “This is already our fourth project signed in the country this year, and underlines the importance the Kingdom has for our group”.

Marriott Brand’s First Foray Into The Middle East

This week, Marriott International celebrated the opening of its first Residence Inn property in the Middle East. The Residence Inn by Marriott Manama Juffair can be found in the suburbs of Manama in Bahrain. The 80-unit extended stay property is owned by International Trading and Investment Co. Marriott plans to follow up this debut with the 83-unit Residence Inn by Marriott Jizan in Saudi Arabia and the 143-unit Residence Inn by Marriott Kuwait, which are both currently under construction and due to open in 2013 and 2015, respectively.

Crowne Plaza’s Journey To The Nadir Of Earth

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has opened its latest Crowne Plaza property at the lowest point on earth, on the banks of the Dead Sea in Jordan. As well as having access to extensive spa facilities and eight bars and restaurants, guests at the Crowne Plaza Jordan Dead Sea Resort & Spa can relax on a private beach at 408 metres below sea level. It is the group’s third Crowne Plaza in Jordan and its seventh hotel in the country overall. Additionally, it is the third property IHG has opened on the Dead Sea; the group also operates a Holiday Inn resort in Jordan and a Crowne Plaza hotel in Israel.

Rixos Number One For Egypt

Turkish group Rixos Hotels recently opened its first property in Egypt. The 695-room Rixos Sharm El Sheikh is at the heart of the Sharm El Sheikh resort, at southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, on the Red Sea. This new hotel brings Rixos’s total portfolio up to 20. Rixos announced earlier this year that it planned to open five hotels in 2012 overall, expanding its portfolio to 21; before the end of the year, the group will be making its debut in Azerbaijan with a 210-room hotel in the city of Quba.

A DoubleTree To Spring Up In Burundi

Hilton Worldwide has signed a licence agreement with franchisee the Opulent Group that will see Hilton make its first appearance in Burundi, East Central Africa. A former Novotel property in Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura, on the northeastern shore of Lake Tanganyika, is currently undergoing an 18-month renovation programme and is scheduled to reopen as the 130-room DoubleTree by Hilton Bujumbura at the beginning of 2014. “As the first upscale international hotel brand to establish roots in Burundi, the signing of DoubleTree by Hilton Bujumbura is a defining moment for our company,” said Rob Palleschi, the global head of DoubleTree by Hilton.

Gladen’s Tidings

The news from Spain by Esther Gladen, Business & Market Intelligence Officer, HVS Madrid. Majorca’s hoteliers continue to invest in a new image: the areas of Cala Ratjada, Magaluf, Alcudia, Playa de Palma and Playa de Muro are the main locations for the majority of renewal and improvement projects. An overall investment of €135 million is expected to be made during the coming winter season. Acta Hotels plans to open its first hotel in the capital: the former Hotel San Antonio de la Florida in Madrid, near Plaza de España, is scheduled to reopen in December this year as a four-star property with 102 rooms. Another resort for Pierre & Vacances Center Parcs: the group has opened a 48-unit apartment complex close to Seville’s Old Town. Each fully equipped apartment can accommodate up to six people.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week – 4-11 October 2012

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) – IHG dipped 0.9% on weak volume.

Meliá Hotels International – Meliá weakened below its exponential moving average price.

NH Hoteles – NH remained unchanged on low volume.

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