Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 18 June 2004
Whitbread Twitches The Curtain As Marriott Performs
Accor Primes Genotel For Action In Switzerland
Pearl To Be Found In Swansea Bay
Hawthorn Suites Heads For East Africa
Hotel In Turkey Starts A Revolution
Haydens Seeks A New Owner In Ireland
Greco: A New Work In Valencia
BAA Lynton Sells Its Ground Lease In The EHI At Stansted Airport
Radisson SAS To Enter Macedonia
Jarvis Harvest For Festival

Whitbread Twitches The Curtain As Marriott Performs
The Marriott hotels may have been top of the like-for-like sales growth league at 3 June 2004, yet their return of 6.0% growth over 13 weeks may not be enough it would seem to save some of the players from being transfer-listed. One report quoted Whitbread's Finance Director David Richardson as saying that come the autumn some assets in the Marriott portfolio might feature in a sale and leaseback deal worth between £150 million and £200 million. It is only a month since Whitbread announced that the UK's entire stock of 11 Courtyard by Marriott hotels was on the market, a sale that the company notes has attracted a number of offers. That was not the only point of interest for shareholders assembling at this month's annual general meeting: the slide in the presentation illustrating Marriott's performance will have shown that Travel Inn was in second place in the sales growth rankings with a return of 5.9%, ahead of David Lloyd Leisure on 5.0%. The results have given Whitbread's board confidence that the company can make further good progress in the financial year ahead.

Accor Primes Genotel For Action In Switzerland Return to Headlines
Genotel knew from its birth two months ago what its purpose was, and now, notes a report in the Swiss press, that purpose can be fulfilled. Acting on behalf of Accor, the company is to invest a reported €23.5 million in the construction of an 86-unit Suitehotel and a 204-room Etap hotel in the Swiss city of Geneva. Accor's favourite Swiss builder Losinger should have the hotels open in September 2005. Accor has plans too for Romania, the press there reporting that the company wants to have more than 20 Ibis and Novotel hotels open in the country by 2007. Reports suggest that the capital Bucharest will receive Romania's very first Novotel in March 2006: a 277-room hotel costing €33 million. Accor currently has one Ibis and one Sofitel in Bucharest.

Pearl To Be Found In Swansea Bay Return to Headlines
The 99-room Ramada Encore Swansea Bay has had an exciting start to life in south Wales, welcoming new owners across the threshold almost as soon as it had opened. Pearl Hotels, which expects this hotel to be the first of three purchases it will make in the next two years, paid BDL Hotel Group an undisclosed sum for the property, which BDL will manage for at least the next six months through its BDL Management arm. The city of Swansea is bracing itself for further excitement at the start of next month when the Grand Hotel is set to reopen. Irish company Moloney Properties has spent a reported £2.3 million on restoring the 31-room, four-star property, thereby giving the hotel a chance to recapture its glory days of the 1930s.

Hawthorn Suites Heads For East Africa Return to Headlines
US Franchise Systems (USFS) announced last month that its Hawthorn Suites brand had sent down roots in the west African republic of Nigeria. This month the company has arrived in east Africa where its focus is on the neighbouring states of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Nyamajeje & Associates, which is based in Tanzania, has signed a master franchise agreement on the Hawthorn Suites brand to cover all three countries, and Tanzania is to lead off. Work will begin in the town of Mwanza this July on the renovation of the Pamba Hotel; Dar es Salaam will receive a new-build property, and USFS has plans too for the town of Arusha. It was off the coast of Tanzania, on the island of Zanzibar, that Bahrain Hotels Company recently opened its five-star Ocean Paradise Resort. Flushed with that success, the company is reportedly poised to continue its international expansion programme by signing management agreements on hotels in Egypt, Oman and the Iranian city of Shiraz.

Hotel In Turkey Starts A Revolution Return to Headlines
You find that the hotel room is gently spinning even before you have had a chance to raid the minibar: welcome to what is said to be the world's first rotating hotel, in Antalya in southern Turkey. The 20-suite property will perform its gyrations supported on a bed of compressed water, and will form part of a complex of more than 200 rooms that the Marmara Group expects to have open in March 2005. Those who prefer the same view from their window each morning can seek sanctuary elsewhere on the south coast: in Mersin, which has welcomed the 250-bed, four-star Olbios Marina Resort Hotel, or in Kemer, which has seen Rixos Hotels open its sixth property: the 368-room Rixos Hotel Kemer.

Haydens Seeks A New Owner In Ireland Return to Headlines
The Lynch Hotel Group is reported to have conducted a strategic review and concluded that its future lies in hotels in leisure destinations and populous areas. The Lynch Haydens Gateway Hotel does not fit the mould, and consequently the 48-room, three-star property in Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, is on the market and expected to sell for around €6 million. It is thanks to another strategic review, this time one conducted by the White Hotel Group, that The Killeshin Hotel in Portlaoise, Co. Laois, finds itself in the auctioneer's waiting room ahead of a sale later this month. The 50-room, three-star property is expected to fetch more than €4 million. A happy ending is to be found in Co. Carlow, where the town of Tullow will this August welcome the 140-room, four-star hotel that forms part of the €25 million Mount Wolseley Country Resort.

Greco: A New Work In Valencia Return to Headlines
Savings bank Bancaja and construction company Greco are poised to start work on the redevelopment of the La Lanera building in the Spanish city of Valencia and turn it into a five-star hotel ready to open in early 2006. Reports in the Spanish press suggest that Starwood Hotels & Resorts will manage the 145-room hotel under its Westin brand. Sol Meliá, meanwhile, is away in Sardinia welcoming guests to what is its second hotel on the island. The 224-room, four-star Meliá Olbia forms part of the Geovillage Resort and overlooks the Gulf of Olbia.

BAA Lynton Sells Its Ground Lease In The EHI At Stansted Airport Return to Headlines
BAA Lynton, BAA's commercial property arm, has sold for £7.25 million its ground lease interest in the Express by Holiday Inn currently under development at Stansted Airport in Essex. The lease landed in the lap of the Airport Hotels Partnership (AHP) and consequently has not flown far from BAA, which established AHP in March 2000 as a limited partnership that would enable new investors to acquire stakes in some of BAA's hotel assets. The 255-room Express by Holiday Inn, which when it opens in February 2005 will be the first budget hotel at the airport, will be operated under franchise by Kew Green Hotels. Another airport making the news is the one in the Norwegian city of Bergen. State-owned airports operator Avinor has signed up Choice Hotels Scandinavia to manage a 200-room hotel that is due to open at the airport in 2006.

Radisson SAS To Enter Macedonia Return to Headlines
Radisson SAS Hotels can tick off another new country on its itinerary after signing a contract to manage the Radisson SAS Palace Hotel in Macedonia; the €25 million 140-room property is due to open in Ohrid in March 2006. Novelty-seekers touring eastern Europe will find plenty to please them too in the Hungarian capital, which has welcomed the arrival for the first time of Ramada International (with the 182-room Ramada Budapest), and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, which is now taking bookings at the 179-room Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest.

Jarvis Harvest For Festival Return to Headlines
The Edinburgh-based Festival Group has clinched its biggest acquisition deal to-date with the purchase, in a private transaction, of three Scottish properties from Jarvis Hotels. Festival paid an undisclosed sum for two hotels in Edinburgh – the 60-room Ellersley House and the 56-room Learmonth – and Jarvis's 98-room hotel in Aberdeen. These three hotels take Festival Group's portfolio to 12; it has set itself a target of 50.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 10/06/04-17/06/04

NH Hoteles - Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein raised its rating from 'Reduce' to 'Hold' in anticipation of a recovery in demand in Spain and Germany.

Hilton Group - Citigroup Smith Barney repeated its 'Buy' advice.

Accor - Accor's purchase last week of a 28.9% stake in Club Med caused some analysts concern. CDC Ixis lowered its rating from 'Buy' to 'Add', and UBS retained its 'Buy 2' rating.