HVS EMEA Hospitality Newsletter – Week Ending 7 June 2013

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

Ritz-Carlton To Say Goodbye To The Emerald Isle

After purchasing the Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt in County Wicklow, Ireland, in March 2013, Brehon Capital Partners (BCP) and Midwest plan to rebrand the five-star hotel under Marriott’s Autograph Collection this October, marking the departure of the Ritz-Carlton brand from the country. Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) sold its €47 million debt in the 200-room hotel in January to US property investment company Ranieri Real Estate, and during the same month the hotel went into liquidation. It has been reported that the new owners purchased the hotel for €1 million, and that the property’s estimated debts of €80 million have been wiped; however, BCP have disputed the sale price, commenting that it was “way off”. The hotel, which opened in 2007, will be operated by Interstate Hotels & Resorts, becoming Interstate’s second hotel in Ireland alongside the Marker Hotel in Dublin, also owned by BCP and Midwest.

Maranatha Picks Up A New Hotel In Paris

Marseille-based hotel owner and operator the Maranatha Group has purchased the Trinité Plaza Hotel in Paris city centre for €5 million, in partnership with 123 Venture and BPPC. The three-star, 42-room hotel will now undergo a €1 million refurbishment. This is Maranatha’s third acquisition in four months; this March the group also purchased the 53-room Hôtel Jules César in the city of Arles in the south of France, which started life as a 17th-century Carmelite convent, and the 37-room Best Western Hotel Mercedes in Paris, housed in a 1930s Art-Deco building near the Champs-Elysées.

Hotel Sale Could Be The Start Of A New Brand

Nick Lawson, a former general manager with the Hotel du Vin chain, has bought the 23-room Balmoral hotel in Harrogate, north England, for an undisclosed sum from the HRH Group. The property’s building was originally three mid 19th-century townhouses that were converted into a hotel in the 1970s. Mr Lawson plans to use the property, which will now be renovated, as a platform for launching a new chain of townhouse hotels under the Bonne Nuit brand. “We are looking at properties with 25 to 40 bedrooms, in cathedral cities and provincial towns such as York and Chester,” he commented. Mr Lawson reportedly sealed the deal with significant backing from a private investor.

Edinburgh Travelodge And Sudbury House Sold

Britannia Hotels has acquired the 179-room Travelodge Edinburgh West End in Scotland’s capital from Cordial Hotels off a guide price of £10 million. Also announced this week was the sale of theBest Western Sudbury House Hotel in the market town of Faringdon, southeast England, to an unnamed investor by Cranfield University off a guide price of £2 million. The property, a Grade II-listed 18th-century house, has been owned by the university for 24 years. The building was extended to create the 48-room hotel, which opened in 1991.

New Scandic For Norway

Scandic’s latest opening in Norway has certainly made a splash. The Scandic Kristiansand Bystranda is next door to one of Norway’s largest water parks, Aquarama. Located right on the beach on the coast of southern Norway, the 229-room property is now the largest hotel in the city of Kristiansand.

BridgeStreet Branches Out

Serviced apartment group BridgeStreet has announced the launch of a new extended stay brand, ApartHotels by BridgeStreet. The brand’s first property is to open in the city of Birmingham, UK, in 2014. BridgeStreet intends to extend its new offering with ten to 20 aparthotels throughout city centre locations in Europe first, and then the focus will turn to US markets.

The Boutique And Lifestyle Hotel Report 2013

A new report on the boutique and lifestyle hotel segment has been launched to bring some clarity to a notoriously hard to define category. The Boutique and Lifestyle Hotel Report, published by Hotel Analyst in association with Boutique Hotel News, directly addresses the definition challenge, surveying the diverse and eclectic range of hotels within the category. "In my 20 years writing about hotels there has never been a coherent definition of this segment. To make sense of it you have to embrace the diversity. This report attempts to put a rational structure around an essentially irrational subject," says Andrew Sangster, editorial director of Hotel Analyst. The report starts by reviewing the backgrounds of the key innovators in the segment and goes on to address the main characteristics of boutique and lifestyle hotels and how they differ from standard hotels. Additionally, it also looks at the new consumer, where boutique and lifestyle hotels add value and, controversially, examines some of the highest-profile flops. "You will not find Art and Tech or Denizen in company brochures any more but the story behind these failures can tell you far more about boutique hotels than the innumerable glossy brochures you can download today on the web," adds Sangster. The report costs £995 for nearly 60 pages but HVS subscribers can get a £200 discount. To order, just email sarah@zerotwozero.co.uk and quote the code "HVS". If you would like to try before you buy email Hotel Analyst for some sample pages.

First Sillks Hotel To Open In Autumn

The Park Sillks Hotel & Resort Vignola is due to open in Sardinia, Italy, in October this year, marking Sillks International’s ’s debut in the hotel industry. The hotel, bordering the Costa Smeralda, in the north of the island, is owned by the Municipality of Vignola Sardinia Italy and leased to the Cooperative Turistica La Marina on a long-term agreement. Sillks is currently developing hotels under three brands across Europe and China, and the group plans to have a collection of more than 50 hotels worldwide by 2020.

Great Northern Seeking A Brand

Jeremy Robson from asset management firm the Ram Group, owner of the Great Northern Hotel, which opened at the beginning of May after undergoing a £40 million renovation, has said that he is considering the possibility of aligning the 91-room property with a major brand. “While we are located in a very strong strategic position with a footfall of 135 million passengers passing through near by, the offer of a brand is very compelling,” he commented at the recent Boutique Hotel Summit in London. “I need the cash to help refinance the business and a major brand will help to deliver the cash,” he added.

Dusit To Drop Into Doha

Dusit International’s latest project will see it make its first appearance in Qatar. The group plans to 194 residences and suites at West Bay in Doha’s diplomatic district, overlooking the city’s corniche and the Arabian Gulf. The new property will increase Dusit’s presence in the Middle East to six hotels. “This announcement clearly demonstrates our commitment to expand the Dusit portfolio on a global basis, and our strategic plan to establish our presence in key gateway cities, particularly within the Middle East,” said Andrew Shaw, Dusit’s regional director of development for the EMEA region.

Meliá Making Plans In Saudi Arabia

Meliá Hotels International has signed an agreement with Al Ajlan Group for its first hotel in Saudi Arabia. The Gran Meliá Riyadh is currently under construction at the heart of the country’s capital and is expected to open in two years’ time. The 252-room hotel will become Meliá’s second hotel in the Middle East – the Spanish group made its debut in the region in 2012 with the 164-room Meliá Dubai.

A Second Rotana For Oman

Rotana has teamed up with mixed-use developer Sundus Investments Projects once more for a new property in Oman. Rotana signed a memorandum of understanding with Sundus in February for its first hotel in the country: the 245-room Sundus Rotana Muscat, which is to be developed at the Airport Heights mixed-use complex in Bousher, Muscat. This week Rotana and Sundus announced the Sundus Arjaan by Rotana. Construction is due to start on both hotels this month and is expected to take approximately two years. Combined, the two hotels will span circa 40,000 m² and US$40 million is to be invested in the properties.

Four Seasons In Agadir

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has signed an agreement with Casablanca-based Akwa Group for its third property in Morocco, North Africa. The Four Seasons Resort Agadir is expected to open in 2016 as part of Akwa’s mixed-use Taghazout Bay development in Agadir on Morocco’s Atlantic coast, which will include two golf courses, residential properties and retail space alongside several hotels. A total of US$120 million is to be invested in the Four Seasons resort, which will comprise 132 rooms and suites and 56 private residences over 45 acres of beachfront. Four Seasons currently operates one hotel in Morocco, the Four Seasons Resort Marrakech, and the Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca will become the group’s second hotel in the country when it opens in late 2014.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week – 30 May-6 June 2013

Rezidor Hotel Group – Rezidor lifted 2.1% on low volume.

Meliá Hotels International – Stock rose on high volatility and expanding price range.

Hyatt Hotels – Hyatt initiated with an "equal" weight at Evercore.

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 Elliott chuman@hvshwe.com
Chris Martin, Director – HVS Hodges Ward Elliott cmartin@hvshwe.com
Tim Smith, Director – HVS London tsmith@hvs.com
Arlett Oehmichen, Director – HVS London aoehmichen@hvs.com
Sophie Perret, Director – HVS London sperret@hvs.com
Demetris Spanos, Managing Director – HVS Athens dspanos@hvs.com
Hala Matar Choufany, Managing Director – HVS Dubai hchoufany@hvs.com
Louise Fury, Senior Editor and EMEA Hospitality Newsletter Author – HVS London lfury@hvs.com