HVS EMEA Hospitality Newsletter – Week Ending 1 May 2015 (May 2, 2015)

Accor Announces Sale-and-Franchise-Back Deal

Accor has sold 29 hotels (3,354 rooms) across Germany and the Netherlands under a sale-and-franchise-back deal for €234 million. The acquisition price for the hotels (18 in Germany and 11 in the Netherlands) is €209 million but the portfolio's buyer is to invest a further €25 million in renovation of the properties. The deal, with one of its main franchisees, Germany-based Event Hotels, is expected to close before the end of the summer. The portfolio includes two ibis budget hotels, 12 Mercure properties and four Novotel hotels.

Nhow Say Hello to the Biggest Hotel in the Netherlands

Spanish group NH Hoteles will be the proud owner of the biggest hotel in the Netherlands. The 650-room Nhow Amsterdam RAI is set to be developed on an empty plot next to Amsterdam's RAI convention centre, in the city's Zuidas business district. The 91-metre-high property, which will be housed in three blocks all set at different angles, was designed by Rotterdam-based architects OMA. The hotel will be the fourth property in the Nhow chain, which currently has hotels in Rotterdam, Milan and Berlin.

Thistle Express the New Budget Brand on the Block

London based GLH has announced that it plans to launch a new budget brand: Thistle Express. The first hotel under the new chain is due to open in London in 2016 and GLH aims to open a further ten hotels across the UK over the next five years. This the fourth new brand that GLH has announced since the group was rebranded from Guoman in June 2013. The Thistle Express properties are to be new-build hotels and conversions from hotel and non-hotel buildings (excluding existing Thistle hotels). GLH commented that the Thistle Express hotels will offer the fastest Wi-Fi within the budget sector. "Research told us that fast, free Wif-Fi is not just a luxury for luxury hotel guests, but an expectation for economy hotel guests too," said Mike DeNoma, chief executive of GLH.

Whitbread's Chief Executive Announces Retirement

Andy Harrison, chief executive of Whitbread, has announced that he plans to retire after five years at the helm of the UK-based group. He will step down from the role at the end of February 2016 (the end of the current financial year) and a search has already begun for his replacement. Whitbread's chairman, Richard Baker, commented that under Harrison's leadership the group had gone from strength to strength and delivered "constant rapid and profitable growth". Whitbread's Premier Inn brand currently operates 59,138 guest rooms across the UK and this is set to rise to 85,000 by 2020.

Two New Properties in Egypt For FRHI

FRHI Hotels & Resorts has signed agreements with real estate developer Citystars Properties for two new projects in Egypt: a Fairmont hotel in Soma Bay, south of the Red Sea resort of Hurghada, and a Swissôtel property in Cairo's up-and-coming Katameyah district. The 300-room Fairmont Soma Bay will be part of a 10 million square metre mixed-use development, which will also have 150 Fairmont-branded residences for sale. The Swissôtel in Cairo will have 250 rooms and 50 residential units, under the Swissôtel Living brand. This isn't the first time FRHI has teamed up with Citystars. The pair also have a mixed-use project under development in Sharm El Sheikh, which will include Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel properties.

Wyndham Takes a Tryp to Abu Dhabi

Wyndham Worldwide's select-service urban hotel brand Tryp by Wyndham has made its first appearance in the Middle East with the opening a 146-room hotel in Abu Dhabi, in the UAE. The Tryp by Wyndham Abu Dhabi is adjacent to the Sheikh Khalifa Energy Complex, on Khalifa Street, at the centre of Abu Dhabi's business district.

Bulgari Bags a Spot on Jumeirah Bay Island

Rome-based luxury goods firm and hotel chain Bulgari has got together with Dubai-based Meraas Holding to develop a resort on Jumeirah Bay Island, off the coast of Dubai. The resort, Bulgari's first in the Middle East, will include a 101-room Bulgari hotel, 20 hotel villas, 165 apartments, 8 penthouses and 15 mansions. The project, spread across 1.7 million square feet, will also have a 50-berth marina and Bulgari yacht club and is expected to be finished in 2017. Bulgari currently operates three hotels in the UK (London), Italy, (Milan) and Indonesia (Bali).

Saudi Arabia Getting a Second Ritz-Carlton this Summer

Marriott International's Ritz-Carlton subsidiary is to open its second hotel in Saudi Arabia this summer. The 224-room Ritz-Carlton, Jeddah has been developed on Al Hamra Corniche, covering eight acres of land. The hotel, which will be operated by The Ritz-Carlton Company on behalf of the Ministry of Finance, will join sister property, the 493-room Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh. The hotel's room inventory includes 30 royal suites measuring 500 square metres each, and the property will also offer 63,356 square metres of meeting space.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week – 23-30 April 2015

NH Hoteles –  Standard and Poor's affirmed a 'B-' rating on the hotel group. 

Melia Hotels International Plans to invest €26 million in the cancellation of preferred stock

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) [email protected]
Charles Human, CEO – HVS London/HVS Hodges Ward Elliott [email protected]
Simon Tucker Brown, Managing Director – HVS Executive Search Europe & Middle East [email protected]
Chris Martin, Senior Director – HVS Hodges Ward Elliott [email protected]
Puneet Kanuga, Director – HVS Hodges Ward Elliott [email protected]
Arlett Oehmichen, Director – HVS London [email protected]
Sophie Perret, Director – HVS London [email protected]
Tim Smith, Managing Partner – HVS Cape Town [email protected]
Demetris Spanos, Managing Director – HVS Athens [email protected]
Hala Matar Choufany, Managing Director – HVS Dubai [email protected]
Ezio Poinelli, Director – HVS Milan [email protected]
Louise Fury, Senior Editor and EMEA Hospitality Newsletter Author – HVS London [email protected]

Disclaimer: Information provided above has been gathered from various market sources. HVS has not independently verified the accuracy of the information provided. Interested parties should not rely on the information as statement of facts and are advised to make their own independent checks to verify the information provided. For further information, please feel free to contact HVS London.

Superior Results through Unrivaled Hospitality Intelligence. Everywhere.