HVS EMEA Hospitality Newsletter – Week Ending 4 January 2013

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

The Sale Of Seven Premier Inns

Whitbread has signed an agreement with UK-based insurance company NFU Mutual and international savings and investment firm Standard Life Assurance Ltd for the sale and leaseback of seven Premier Inn properties with joint site restaurants. NFU and Standard Life will pay £51 million for the properties and enter into 25-year leases with Whitbread, which will continue to run the sites. “This sale and leaseback is a continued evolution of our overall funding portfolio, and follows our successful 2011 US private placement and bank refinancing. The significant book profit is a useful reminder of the value we create from our freehold developments, and the strong asset backing to Whitbread’s balance sheet,” said Nicholas Cadbury, Whitbread’s group finance director.

De Vere Says Goodbye To The Grand Harbour

As part of its strategy to offload its non-core assets, London-based De Vere Group has exchanged contracts for the sale of the 173-room Grand Harbour Hotel in the port of Southampton, southern England, to an unnamed private buyer for an undisclosed sum. The group plans to concentrate on its golf resort properties and only has one non-core property left to sell: the Grand Brighton, which will be put on the market in 2014 following the completion of an investment programme at the 201-room hotel. “We have now sold six non-core properties in difficult markets and continue to make good operational progress across the portfolio as we seek to enhance its value. As the leading golf resort operator in the UK, we shall be further enhancing our golf product in 2013,” said Andrew Coppel CBE, De Vere Group’s chief executive.

DoubleTree To Grow In The Emerald Isle

Hilton Worldwide has signed a franchise agreement with Vienna-based Martinez Hotels & Resorts that will see its DoubleTree brand enter the Irish market for the first time. The 138-room Morrison Hotel on the banks of the River Liffey in Dublin is currently closed for an extensive €7 million refurbishment and will reopen as the The Morrison Dublin, a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in February 2013. Hilton currently operates four hotels in Dublin, under its Hilton and Conrad brands.

Mövenpick’s First Time In Paris

Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has made its debut in France’s capital. The group signed a management agreement to take on the operation of the Courtyard by Marriott Paris Neuilly back in February 2012, and on 19 December the 300-room hotel, on boulevard Victor Hugo, officially became the Mövenpick Hotel Paris Neuilly. This summer, a multimillion-euro refurbishment will begin at the property, including the remodelling of all of the guest rooms. The hotel will remain open throughout its renovation, which is expected to be completed in 2014.

Steigenberger Rustles Up A Hotel In Brussels

Steigenberger Hotel Group made its grand entrance in Belgium on the first day of 2013. The former Conrad Brussels, on avenue Louise in Belgium’s capital, is now the Steigenberger Grandhotel Brussels. The 269-room hotel, which is owned by AG Real Estate, will undergo refurbishment over the next few years in order to bring it in line with Steigenberger standards.

HVS Alumnus Hits New Heights At Rezidor

HVS alumnus Elie Younes has been appointed as senior vice president, head of group development for Rezidor Hotel Group. Elie joined the HVS London office in 2001. After becoming a director with HVS in just five years, Elie then spent two years working with Starwood Hotels before becoming vice president of development for the Middle East at Hilton Worldwide. Elie started his career at Rezidor in the group’s Dubai office in April 2010, where he held the post of vice president, business development for the Middle East and Africa. Elie started his new role on 1 January 2013 and is now based in Rezidor's corporate support office in Brussels, Belgium. Commenting on the news, Rezidor's incoming president and chief executive officer, Wolfgang Neumann, said, "Building on his strong knowledge of Rezidor, our owners and business partners, Elie Younes will further drive our asset-light, profitable growth with a focus on the young and emerging markets of Russia/CIS and Africa."

Meliá To Get Innside Aachen

Meliá Hotels International has signed a long-term lease agreement with the German subsidiary of Dutch development organisation Hugenholtz Property Group to operate a new Innside by Meliá hotel in Germany. The 158-room hotel is expected to open during the first half of 2015 in the city of Aachen, a spa destination in Western Germany.

It’s Going To Get Wyndy In Turkey

Wyndham Hotel Group has opened its first Wyndham Hotels and Resorts property in Turkey. The Wyndham Istanbul Kalamis Marina is owned by Reisler Deri Sanayi Ve Ticaret Ltd Sirketi, which signed a franchise agreement with Wyndham for the 210-room property. The five-star hotel is adjacent to Kalamis Marina, on the Asian side of Istanbul. Wyndham already has 12 hotels in Turkey operating under its Ramada brand and the group plans to open the 306-room Wyndham Istanbul Petek this summer.

Interstate Number Five For The Netherlands

US-based Interstate Hotels & Resorts has opened its fifth hotel in the Netherlands, as part of its joint venture with The Vincent Hotel Group. The 123-room Holiday Inn Express The Hague, which opened on 21 December 2012, has become the first of its brand in The Hague, the seat of the country’s Government.

Bloc Coming To Gatwick

Rob Morgan, the founder of UK company Bloc Hotels, has secured a £7 million funding package from NatWest to expand the Bloc Hotels brand with a second property. The 244-room prefab, pod-style hotel is scheduled to open at Gatwick Airport in autumn 2013 in Norfolk House, a former office building adjacent to the airport’s South Terminal. The hotel, which will be owned under a 99-year lease from the airport, is expected to cost £12 million to develop overall and the balance is to be funded by equity. Additionally, Bloc Hotels’ first property, the 73-room Bloc Birmingham, is to be extended by 24 apartment-style rooms for families and long-stay guests.

A Best Western For Jordan

Continuing with its expansion in the Middle East, Best Western International recently made its first appearance in Jordan. The 70-room Best Western Grand Hotel Madaba, in the city of Madaba in central Jordan, 30 km south of Amman, is the seventh Best Western hotel to open in the region in 2012, with debuts in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait and Jordan. “The launch of Best Western Grand Hotel Madaba marks the start of yet another exciting chapter in our Middle Eastern adventure,” commented Glenn de Souza, the group’s vice president of international operations in Asia and the Middle East.

Aloft Gets A Lift Into Iraq

In May 2012, Starwood Hotels & Resorts announced its plans to develop a 260-room Sheraton hotel in Erbil, Iraq, with BCD Co. This week, the group signed a second agreement with BCD for an Aloft property in Erbil. The 200-room Aloft Erbil and the Sheraton hotel will both be part of the same mixed-use complex in the city. Starwood also signed an agreement for a Four Points by Sheraton hotel in Erbil last year; all three hotels are due to open in 2015, marking the group’s re-entry into the country after 20 years.

Fairmont Opens On The Palm

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has opened its latest luxury property in the Middle East on Dubai’s man-made Palm Jumeirah. The beachfront Fairmont The Palm, which is owned by IFA Hotels & Resorts, has 381 guest rooms and also houses Fairmont’s newest private residence club, Fairmont Heritage, The Palm Dubai, which comprises ten one- and two-bedroom residences.

Gladen’s Tidings

The news from Spain by Esther Gladen, Consultant & Valuation Analyst, HVS Madrid. New ibis flies into Barcelona: Accor has announced the opening of the ibis Barcelona Centro, an 80-room property that offers breakfast from 4 am to 12 noon and a 24-hour bar. HM Hotels has opened the HM Balanguera in Palma de Mallorca: the new-build, four-star hotel has 806 rooms and is owned by HM Hotels. Meliá International to open a third Innside hotel in Madrid in 2014: the former Hotel Suecia, close to Gran Vía, will be completely refurbished before being rebranded. Amongst other facilities, the 127-room property will offer meeting facilities and a rooftop bar. Transaction in Madrid: Spanish hotelier Cesar Losada has purchased 51% of the Holiday Inn in Madrid from InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). The four-star property, in the city’s financial district, has 313 rooms. The purchase price is reported to be €20 million. Losada’s company, Leading Hospitality, has entered into a long-term franchise agreement with IHG. Joint venture in Majorca: Meliá Hotels International has formed a joint venture with Katmandu Theme Park group for its Sol Magaluf Park Hotel, creating the Katmandu Park & Resort in Magaluf, Majorca. Spain’s first seven-star hotel: Banyan Tree has finally obtained approval for its “seven-star” hotel project in Almuñecar (Granada).

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week – 27 December 2012-3 January 2013

Marriott International – SunTrust raised its rating on Marriott to "buy" from "neutral".

Starwood Hotels & Resorts – Despite share prices rising by the end of the week, SunTrust cut Starwood From "buy" to "neutral".

NH Hoteles – NH dipped 1.4% 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