Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 13 February 2004
Churchill Insures Hyatt's Return To London
Designer Tulip From Amsterdam
Feeding-Time In Regent's Park
If You're Single, Give Hilton A Call
Nissen Steers Pandox To A Good Performance
Portland Billed In Edinburgh
US Marshall Signs With BIC For Irish Hotel
I See George Might Be On The IHG Hit List
Rezidor Leads Radisson SAS To Water
If Rossiya's Stay Of Execution Is Short, Moscow Gets A Long-Stay Car Park
So Solid Marriott

Churchill Insures Hyatt's Return To London
After an absence of just over two years, Hyatt International is to return to London on 1 May. On that day the company will gather around the pole for the lowering of the InterContinental flag at the 445-room Churchill Hotel on Portman Square in the West End. The property, which is owned by The Churchill Group, will then start a new life as The Churchill Hyatt Regency London. A connection between Hyatt past and Hyatt future is the hotel's new General Manager Michael Gray, who held the same position at the Hyatt Carlton Tower; Hyatt's managerial contract on that hotel expired on 31 December 2001. With the assistance of Heritage Properties, Hyatt International will be making its first call on Ireland in 2006, with the opening of the five-star Park Hyatt Dublin at the Grand Canal Harbour. Work on the 150-room hotel is due to start later this year and HVS International in tandem with its partner INVESCO Real Estate Advisers is advising the developer.

Designer Tulip From Amsterdam Return to Headlines
Golden Tulip Hotels is claiming for itself the first four-star design hotel in Amsterdam. The 60-room Golden Tulip Amsterdam Art is set to open on 26 February alongside the existing Tulip Inn Amsterdam Art. Both properties are managed by WestCord Hotels, which already holds a franchise on five Golden Tulip properties it owns in the Frisian Islands. Amsterdam will hold a special place in Ramada International's heart from this week forward as the city where it opened its 200th hotel: the 107-room Ramada Hotel & Suites Amsterdam. The city is to welcome another two of the company's hotels later this month: the 106-room Ramada Amsterdam City Centre and the 32-room Ramada Amsterdam City Centre South.

Feeding-Time In Regent's Park Return to Headlines
Jarvis Hotels may have disappeared from the stock market's radar screens after Kayterm's successful buyout, but this should not deter interested parties from scrambling over to central London. The company has honoured a statement it made in December that the Ramada Plaza Regent's Park would go on the market within a year of the buyout; the 377-room property has an asking price of a reported £65 million. The eventual purchaser has the opportunity to develop an adjoining building into extra bedrooms or up to 29 serviced apartments. Those with money to spend who prefer the countryside to the city should head for Oxfordshire, where the privately owned 18-room, three-star Studley Priory country house hotel is on offer for a reported £3 million. The ever-hungry Von Essen Hotels is said to be interested. Further north, in West Yorkshire, Golden Tulip (UK) has already made an acquisition: a 1.6-acre portion of a 334-acre site under development near Castleford. And on that land, for an outlay of £5.5 million, a 119-room Tulip Inn will rise courtesy of Waystone and Yorkshire Forward. The hotel, which is due to open by the end of the year, will be the fourth in the UK to fly the Tulip Inn flag.

If You're Single, Give Hilton A Call Return to Headlines
The Hilton Barcelona will have a companion from next year, after Hilton International signed a 20-year lease agreement with Ápex Inmobiliaria, the property arm of the Iberdrola Group, on a 434-room, five-star hotel in the Diagonal Mar district of the Spanish city. Hilton has shown similarly tender thoughts towards another lonely property: the Hilton Helsinki Strand, which has now been joined in the Finnish capital by the Hilton Helsinki Kalastajatorppa. The company created this 238-room, five-star hotel by unscrewing and removing the Scandic nameplate and then treating the property to a thorough refurbishment costing €25 million. Helsinki will also be welcoming InterContinental Hotels Group for a fourth time, early next year. Native hotel and restaurant company Restel is to renovate the former Hotel Hesperia and reopen it as the 349-room Crowne Plaza Helsinki.

Nissen Steers Pandox To A Good Performance Return to Headlines
Anders Nissen, the Chief Executive Officer of Swedish hotel company Pandox, attributed his company's good performance in 2003 to its focused strategy, the quality of its hotel portfolio and active ownership. Income before tax for the year to 31 December rose 2.9% to €22.8 million, beating the company's expectations of €21.6 million, although property revenue of €61.5 million was down 1.2% on the previous year. Alongside the figures came news of the progress of Eiendomsspar and Sundt's joint venture APES Holding, which set out last November on its takeover quest. As at 6 February, APES' stake in Pandox was 98.9%; the Swedish joint venture company has applied for the compulsory purchase of the remaining shares and for Pandox's delisting from the Stockholm stock exchange on 23 February.

Portland Billed In Edinburgh Return to Headlines
Queens Moat Houses (QMH) has agreed to sell the Edinburgh Capital Moat House to Hotel Property Fund (Syndicate 1), an associated company of Portland Hotels, for £5.25 million in cash. If the necessary approvals are secured, then QMH expects to complete the sale of the 111-room hotel, which as at 29 December 2002 had a book value of £5 million, by the end of March. The deal would give QMH net proceeds of £2.45 million and Portland Hotels its fifth property in Scotland.

US Marshall Signs With BIC For Irish Hotel Return to Headlines
Marshall Management has for the last 23 years been content to manage hotels solely within its native USA. Now it has decided to venture across to Europe, and has chosen Ireland as its first port of call. The company has signed an agreement with Baltimore International College (BIC) on the 43-room Park Hotel in Virginia, Co. Cavan. Marshall stated that it expected to secure another five to ten management contracts before the year was out, although whether any of these will be in Europe it did not say. Across in Dublin, meanwhile, McEniff Hotels has opened The Grand Canal Hotel, its third property in the capital. The 142-room hotel was built on the site of the Kitty O'Shea's pub, and former regulars will be pleased to hear that a new premises with the name has been incorporated into the hotel. Over the border in Northern Ireland, property group Greenfarm Leisure is deciding how best to utilise the former headquarters of Ulster Bank in Belfast. One option is to convert the listed building into an 80-room lifestyle hotel.

I See George Might Be On The IHG Hit List Return to Headlines
A report in The Times suggests that InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is poised to sell as many as 20 of its UK properties. IHG is known to have been conducting an asset-by-asset review of its portfolio, although it has not said that any property is for sale. Nevertheless, The Times has named the 303-room Crowne Plaza Hotel Midland-Manchester as its favourite as the first hotel to be sold; Quintessential Hotels is thought to be approaching with up to £40 million in its hand. The newspaper speculates that £13 million would be enough to buy you the 221-room Holiday Inn Gatwick-Crawley, and puts forward the 195-room InterContinental The George – Edinburgh as another candidate facing the axe. The bulk of the hotels on offer might well be made up of former Posthouse hotels that were rebranded as Holiday Inn properties.

Rezidor Leads Radisson SAS To Water Return to Headlines
Rezidor SAS Hospitality has decided that its latest two Radisson SAS Resorts – each of which is to open in mid 2005 – would be suited to the island life. The chosen locations are Sylt off the North Sea coast of Germany, which will welcome a 184-room property to the town of List, and the Mediterranean island of Malta. Here, the 300-room, five-star Radisson SAS Golden Sands Resort is rising on the cliffs above Golden Bay. Two new Radisson SAS hotels in the UK will also enjoy looking out over water. A 197-room hotel is due to open in Liverpool this weekend, while on the opposite side of the country, Closegate Developments is to start work on the construction of a £31 million property on a riverside site in Durham. The 209-room hotel is due to open in spring 2006.

If Rossiya's Stay Of Execution Is Short, Moscow Gets A Long-Stay Car Park Return to Headlines
Motorists, it would seem, have the most to gain from the proposed demolition of the Hotel Rossiya: much of the vacant site would be given over to car parking. The 3,000-room hotel is the largest in Europe and it could become the third Soviet-era property in Moscow to face the wrecking-ball; the infamous Intourist hotel disappeared from the skyline last year, and the end of the Hotel Moskva is nigh. Croatia is concerned more with construction rather than destruction. The Wallner family is to spend a reported US$32.1 million on building the five-star Kristalni Paviljoni in Split. Radisson SAS Hotels is said to be in line to manage the 120-bed property. On the same stretch of coast, Adriatic Luxury Hotels will reopen the Dubrovnik Palace Hotel & Conference Centre in May. The 322-room, five-star property has been enjoying a year-long renovation that has cost a reported US$40.7 million.

So Solid Marriott Return to Headlines
Marriott International turned in what it regarded as a solid performance for the full year 2003 and it has the figures to prove it: revenue up 7% on the previous year, to US$9 billion; operating income 17% higher, at US$377 million; and RevPAR at comparable properties worldwide 3.7% better than that recorded in 2002. Further buoyed by current booking patterns, Marriott is looking at 2004 being an even better year, with RevPAR growth of 3-4% predicted in North America.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 05/02/04-12/02/04

Gresham Hotel Group - The consortium involved in takeover talks raised its offer to €1.45 a share.

NH Hoteles - The company announced a single yearly dividend, payable in April, with a yield of 2.5-2.6%.

Accor - Morgan Stanley favoured the company with an 'Overweight' rating.