Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 6 February 2004
Rezidor SAS Prefers Park To Country
The Grosvenor House and The Shelbourne Smell The Paint
Moscow's Garden Ring: Stabilnaya Liniya Answers
African Nations' Cup Runneth Over
Still A Chance Of Glory For Tottenham
Capona Finds Home Is Where The Hotels Are
Apex Hotels Reaches New Heights
Stars Makes Splendid Purchase
The Return Of Principal Hotels
Starwood Had A Pleasant Year

Rezidor SAS Prefers Park To Country
Having remained single for just over a year, the Park Inn Berlin – Alexanderplatz suddenly finds itself with four new partners in Germany. Rezidor SAS Hospitality has rationalised its portfolio in the country and as a result four properties have exchanged the Country Inn brand for Park Inn. The city of Munich welcomes two of the newcomers, the 167-room Park Inn München-Ost and the 81-room Park Inn München Frankfurter Ring. Eastern Germany receives the others: the 97-room Park Inn Erfurt-Apfelstädt and the 86-room Park Inn Chemnitz-Hartmannsdorf. Meanwhile, it is a variant spelling of 'Park' that makes the news in northern Germany. The Nordsee Tropen Parc holiday village in the coastal town of Tossens has been acquired by Center Parcs Europe for an undisclosed sum from EuroHypo AG. The complex contains a 76-room hotel and 345 villas, and will be slotted into the SeaSpirit from Center Parcs category.

The Grosvenor House and The Shelbourne Smell The Paint Return to Headlines
Marriott International has put flesh on the bones of a statement issued last December in which the company revealed that it would be managing two former Le Meridien hotels. Marriott has signed lease agreements with the Royal Bank of Scotland on the Grosvenor House Hotel in London and the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin. Both properties will undergo extensive renovation work between now and 2007, at which time the 498-room The Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott Hotel (complete with added spa) and the 276-room The Shelbourne, a Renaissance Hotel will emerge. The London property will be the first in the UK to fly the JW Marriott flag and brings the number of hotels in Marriott International's portfolio in the capital to nine.

Moscow's Garden Ring: Stabilnaya Liniya Answers Return to Headlines
A report in The Moscow Times suggests that Stabilnaya Liniya is to invest up to US$40 million in the construction of ten boutique hotels sharing one common feature: they will all stand inside the Garden Ring in Moscow. A 28-room hotel costing a reported US$4 million will start the three-year project rolling; none of the hotels is expected to exceed 50 rooms and most of them will rise from the rubble of demolished buildings. The newspaper adds that Stabilnaya is not yet sure whether to manage the hotels itself or call in foreign expertise. Those who prefer construction work at higher altitude should head for the mountains of western Georgia, where work is due to start this spring on the four hotels of the Didveli tourist complex in Bakuriani.

African Nations' Cup Runneth Over Return to Headlines
Ramada International's name is on the scoresheet in Egypt after it opened two properties on the shores of the Red Sea: the 160-room Ramada Ras Sudr Resort and the 42-room Ramada El Sokhna Resort. Tunisia, meanwhile, is also set to score twice: once through Concorde Hotels, which is to open the 128-room Les Berges du Lac hotel in Tunis, and again thanks to Spanish chain Vincci Hoteles. It is to open what will be its seventh property in the country, the 246-room Hotel Vincci Selección Saphir Palace in Hammamet. Morocco is also in the game; Belgian architect Atelier d'Art Urbain Group is to collaborate with unnamed French and Dutch companies to build a 6,000-bed tourist complex in the Atlantic coastal resort of Essaouira.

Still A Chance Of Glory For Tottenham Return to Headlines
The Earl of Cardigan has led the charge to the local council offices with a plan that could see the Grade I listed Tottenham House, near Marlborough, in Wiltshire, transformed into a 150-room luxury hotel. If planning permission can be secured, then work on the £50 million project, which incorporates a championship golf course, could begin this autumn. Also awaiting planning approval is property investment firm British Land, which is keen to join hands with US gaming and entertainment company MGM Mirage and build a hotel and casino in Sheffield. The mixed-use development, which could cost up to £250 million, would rise next to British Land's Meadowhall Shopping Centre.

Capona Finds Home Is Where The Hotels Are Return to Headlines
Swedish hotel and leisure company Capona has completed the purchase of 19 hotels from Norwegian real estate company Home Invest. As payment for the properties, which have a total market value of a reported €174.1 million, Home Invest takes 6 million newly issued shares, which translate into a 24.3% holding in Capona. The deal gives the Swedish firm another 16 hotels in Sweden, two in Norway and one in Denmark. It may have gained hotels but Capona has lost its Managing Director Olle Persson, who resigned shortly before the deal was announced. Clas Hjorth will fill Mr Persson's role until a permanent successor is found.

Apex Hotels Reaches New Heights Return to Headlines
Edinburgh-based Apex Hotels has ventured south of the border for the first time to sign a deal that will see it open a 120-room, four-star hotel in London this November. A clause in the contract means that the exact location of the £20 million property cannot yet be revealed publicly, although one report states that the hotel is close to the Tower of London. Apex is thought to be negotiating terms for a second property in England, this time one in Newcastle. Across in Ireland, property developer Howard Holdings now has all the necessary contracts in place that will allow it to press ahead with its €100 million City Quarter mixed-use development at Lapps Quay in Cork. The 191-room Clarion Hotel Cork forms part of the scheme.

Stars Makes Splendid Purchase Return to Headlines
The recently formed Montenegro Stars Hotel Group has bought itself a second hotel in the Adriatic resort of Bečići with the US$3 million purchase of the 185-room Hotel Splendid. The group is to spend an additional US$5.9 million over the next two years on renovation work. Further north along the coast, in Dubrovnik, Croatia, MG Adriatic, a subsidiary of Bulgarian industrial concern MG Corporation, is reportedly ready to sell the Hotel Libertas. In Bulgaria itself, meanwhile, native hotelier Plamen Hrankov is to sell two of his hotels in the capital Sofia. A report from the region puts the asking price for the 69-room, five-star Castle Hrankov Hotel and the 38-room, four-star Hawaii Hrankov at US$5.1 million and US$4.4 million, respectively. Elsewhere, an unnamed Israeli company is heading for Siófok in western Hungary, where if it can secure planning permission it will begin building a four-star hotel and casino this September.

The Return Of Principal Hotels Return to Headlines
Tony Troy has rolled back the years by heading up a new company called Principal Hotels. And who else would the new company turn to for its first hotels but Le Meridien. The Royal Bank of Scotland has leased out five of the former Le Meridien properties in its possession, the names of which will ring familiar to Mr Troy: the 371-room Hotel Russell in London; the 204-room Selsdon Park Hotel & Golf Course, near Croydon; the 252-room The Palace Hotel, in Manchester; the 118-room Hotel Metropole, in Leeds; and the 165-room The Royal York Hotel, in York. Troy's new company will concentrate on the upper four-star market and the conference sector in particular.

Starwood Had A Pleasant Year Return to Headlines
Starwood Hotels & Resorts' Chairman and Chief Executive Barry S. Sternlicht pronounced himself 'generally pleased' with the company's performance over the course of 2003. Indeed, RevPAR at comparable owned hotels worldwide was up 1.3% on the previous year, although it was flat at the same properties in North America alone. Total EBITDA for the year of US$938 million was down 13% on the previous year's comparable. The company expects RevPAR to grow at between 5% and 6% in the coming year.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 29/01/04-05/02/04

InterContinental Hotels Group - News from Starwood proved reassuring. Goldman Sachs has an 'Outperform' rating on the stock.

Accor - The cancellation of certain transatlantic flights and fears over bird flu had their effect on the share price.

NH Hoteles - The company revealed that like-for-like RevPAR in Europe for the year 2003 was down 7.15% on 2002.