Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 27 August 2004
Sanderson Follows St Martins Lane To Market
Will Thistle Move Into The Cumberland?
Second Helpings Of All Your Favourites In The Middle East
Celuisma Looks Up To See A Tenth Hotel In Spain
Hilton: Strong Arms That Hold Its Figures Up
The Asti Region Has A Farm; And On That Farm It Will Have A Hotel
Investors Hope To Ink A Deal On Peruvian Wharf in London
Bulgarian Hotels Great And Small
Beamish Hall Claims The Hotel Laurels For Stanley
Autumn Brings The 4th Annual European Hotel Finance & Investment Summit

Sanderson Follows St Martins Lane To Market
The Times reports that Morgans Hotel Group, the company formerly known as Ian Schrager Hotels, and its joint venture partner, the property investment firm Burford Holdings, are to sell their two designer hotels in London. The newspaper predicts that the 204-room St Martins Lane and its West End sibling the 150-room Sanderson could together fetch more than £100 million, and quotes Morgan's Executive Vice President of Operations Niels Sherry as saying that the company would retain its operating contract on both hotels. Mr Sherry added that the proposed sale was timed to take advantage of a market currently favourable to those selling hotels.

Will Thistle Move Into The Cumberland? Return to Headlines
BIL International has confirmed that its subsidiary Thistle Hotels has been in talks that could result in Thistle's taking a long-term lease on The Cumberland Hotel, which stands near Marble Arch in London. The property was one of 11 hotels in the UK and Ireland that the Royal Bank of Scotland took back under its wing in summer 2003 as Le Meridien, which operated those properties, faced up to its financial difficulties. The Cumberland then closed that autumn in preparation for a programme of extensive renovation work costing some £90 million; and while construction workers have been busy raising the room count from 894 to 1,020, newsdesks have occasionally taken time out to speculate on the hotel's future. In April, for example, The Times suggested that the Sheraton flag might fly there, although as spring turned to summer so other sources began to mention Thistle's name. BIL has promised to let everyone know one way or the other once the negotiations are complete.

Second Helpings Of All Your Favourites In The Middle East Return to Headlines
Devotees of the Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at The First Residence who may have been wondering what the view is like from the opposite bank of the River Nile now have the chance to find out after Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts opened its second hotel in the Egyptian capital: the 366-room Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza. The sultanate of Oman is offering visitors a second taste of the Golden Tulip brand. The 177-room former Novotel Seeb Muscat is now the Golden Tulip Seeb thanks to a franchise agreement signed by Golden Tulip Hotels (GTH) and the hotel's owner – the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. GTH's long-term partner Flamingo Hotel Management is the manager of the four-star property. The emirate of Dubai is the place to be for a second slice of Ramada International; the company has opened the 189-room Ramada Continental Hotel in Deira.

Celuisma Looks Up To See A Tenth Hotel In Spain Return to Headlines
Spain's Celuisma Hotel Group offers 'high personality' hotels and it is doubtful whether they will come much higher than the one that the company reportedly has planned for the northwestern Spanish town of Ponferrada. The company is to invest €8 million in establishing a 120-room, four-star hotel in the 28-storey Torre de La Rosaleda, which will also contain offices and flats. Another story in the Spanish press this week concerns Hoteles Center, which will be on a high next month when it sees the refurbished 171-room, four-star Hotel Granada Center reopen in the southern city of Granada.

Hilton: Strong Arms That Hold Its Figures Up Return to Headlines
Over the six months to 30 June 2004 Hilton Group's betting arm remained as strong as ever: operating profit was up 50.9%, to £153.7 million; but what of the company's hotel arm that has been fractured by the weight of troubles that have afflicted the hotel industry at large? Chief Executive David Michels' diagnosis is that the arm is not expected to fully recover before 2005; however, it is not wanting in muscle: operating profit was up 19.6%, to £67.1 million, and RevPAR for the portfolio worldwide was 9.2% higher, at £45.15. The two arms working in unison raised group pre-tax profit by 71.7%, to £189.7 million, on group turnover of £5.6 billion, an increase of 41.9%.

The Asti Region Has A Farm; And On That Farm It Will Have A Hotel Return to Headlines
The council in the northern Italian province of Asti is to meet part of the cost of turning a farm on the Mercantile estate in the town of Castagnole Monferrato into a 42-bed hotel with a convention centre. Elsewhere in Italy, Spanish chain Hotusa Hoteles has opened the four-star Eurostars International Palace in Rome, its second hotel in the city to bear the Eurostars brand. Spanish eyes should not flash with envy, though, as Hotusa will be treating its homeland to the 110-room, five-star Eurostars Gran Valencia, which is due to open on 1 September.

Investors Hope To Ink A Deal On Peruvian Wharf in London Return to Headlines
Capital & Provident, which is representing a consortium of offshore investors, has submitted an application to Newham Council that outlines the consortium's plans for the £300 million redevelopment of Peruvian Wharf in east London. A hotel will be one feature of the mixed-use site, which covers 19.5 acres and lies across the Thames from the Millennium Dome. The council is expected to respond to the application towards the end of this year. It is not far from there as the red Escort drives to the Essex resort of Southend-on-Sea, where local developer the Robert Leonard Group has begun work on a 60-room, four-star hotel that will be part of a mixed-use development on the seafront. The 6.5-acre site was formerly a gasworks. Reports suggest that the company might also redevelop the adjacent Esplanade House office block into a hotel, a casino or a conference centre.

Bulgarian Hotels Great And Small Return to Headlines
Bulgarian businessman Georgi Gergov, who runs the Park Hotel St Petersburg in the southern Bulgarian city of Plovdiv, reportedly has plans to establish a chain of hotels bearing the name St Petersburg. The first stop on his journey seems likely to be the Black Sea resort of Slanchev Den, where he will invest a reported US$19.7 million in the construction of a 198-room, five-star hotel that should be ready by June 2005. NL Partners' investment in a hotel of its own on the same stretch of coastline was a little more modest, but it was sufficient to raise the 14-room, two-star Del Mare hotel in Nesebăr. To find something a little smaller, one must strike inland in a northerly direction and head for the town of Pleven. Native construction firm Yanmex, which has already treated the townsfolk to the 26-room, four-star Orbita Palace hotel, is to build a 12-room business hotel there that should be ready by the end of the year.

Beamish Hall Claims The Hotel Laurels For Stanley Return to Headlines
Property developer David Craggs has plans to turn Beamish Hall, a seventeenth-century stately home near Stanley, Co. Durham, in the northeast of England, into a 60-room, five-star hotel. The work should be finished in 2006. In the East Midlands, meanwhile, Nottingham City Council will be viewing local businessman Richard Wilkinson's projections for turning the Odeon cinema and surrounding land in the city centre into a mixed-use development featuring a hotel. Away in the West Country, there will no doubt be plenty of talk at the Jack Rabbit Inn in Plymouth about the 74-room Innkeeper's Lodge that is due to open alongside the pub on 20 September.

Autumn Brings The 4th Annual European Hotel Finance & Investment Summit Return to Headlines
The 4th Annual European Hotel Finance & Investment Summit: what a very special three days, late September in Piccadilly. Yes, on 22 September the doors will open at the Le Meridien Piccadilly in London and in will flood many of the leading names in the hotel world – Robert Riley (CEO, Le Meridien), Anders Nissen (CEO, Pandox) and Belinda Atkins (Director of Operations, Cendant Hotel Group Europe) to name but three. HVS International's London office will be represented by its Managing Director Russell Kett, who will be moderating the panel 'Hotel Real Estate As An Investment', and Director Simon Hudspeth, who will be giving presentations entitled 'Operators and Owners – A Match Made In Heaven' and 'Mastering the Underlying Economics of the Budget Hotel Market'. For more information on the conference, which is brought to you by Euromoney Seminars, visit www.euromoneyseminars.com. click here

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 19/08/04-26/08/04

Whitbread - Deutsche Bank expects next week's interim trading update to be free of significant surprises; it has a 'Hold' rating on the stock.

Jurys Doyle Hotel Group - Occupancy and room rate across hotels in Dublin this July were ahead of last year's figures. Analyst Goodbody has an 'Add' rating on the stock.

NH Hoteles - A report by INE (the Spanish bureau of statistics) reported that occupancy for July across hotels in Spain was 1.3% lower than the previous year's comparable.