Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 25 June 2004
Thistle Shows The Green Light In King's Cross
Raffles Cracks The Russian Market
In The Corridors Of Whitehall The Talk Is Of Queens
Atlantis, The Palm To Double In Size
Mövenpick's Latest Fruit Is Orange
NH Hoteles May Bring Sotogrande To Sicily
Dolce Arrives In Germany For A Second Time
The Noga Hilton In Geneva Looks Set To Be Sold
UNA Hotels In The Fast Lane
Canaries Detect The Presence Of Two Hotels
Liverpool's Royal Insurance Building Could Have Hotel Policy
HVS International Releases The European Hotel Valuation Index 2004

Thistle Shows The Green Light In King's Cross
A rumour abroad in the press last September that Thistle Hotels would be selling two properties in the King's Cross district of central London has now crystallised into fact. Kirkmore Securities has paid a total of £55 million in cash for the freehold on each of the 375-room Thistle Islington and the 211-room London Ryan, and leased both hotels out for 35 years to the Travelodge chain. Each property has instantly adapted to the lifestyle of its new operator and will become further immersed in the ways of the budget world as Travelodge undertakes conversion work that will include the addition of some 50 new rooms. The deal means that Travelodge now has three hotels in the area, and the company has swelled its stock across central London as a whole to almost 2,000 rooms.

Raffles Cracks The Russian Market Return to Headlines
Raffles International will set foot on Russian soil for the first time in May 2005 when it opens the Swissôtel Riverside Towers, Moscow. Raffles International (Russia) Pte signed a management agreement on the 235-room, five-star hotel with JSC Moskva Krasnye Holmy, a company which was established at the end of 1994 specifically to develop the Riverside Towers mixed-use complex on Kremlin Island. The new hotel, which will be the world's twenty-fifth Swissôtel, is an important step in Raffles' strategy of growing globally through management or lease contracts.

In The Corridors Of Whitehall The Talk Is Of Queens Return to Headlines
Queens Moat Houses (QMH) surfaced for a brief moment from its immersion in its ongoing strategic review to note that it had received an approach from Whitehall Street Real Estate Fund, the real estate arm of Goldman Sachs, that may or may not lead to an offer. QMH then quickly submerged again, leaving the press to ponder. Dominic Walsh writing in The Times noted that the offer of some £580 million would mean that QMH's proposed sale of its three hotel divisions – in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands – would be made redundant, as Whitehall's intention would be to keep the company together. The newspaper added that any offer would be good news for QMH's shareholders – left sorrowing by QMH's announcement last month that they could finish up empty-handed come the end of the strategic review – as it would include a payout to those holding ordinary shares and junior debt. This is the second time inside a month that Whitehall has come calling; in May it was part of the W2001 Britannia consortium that purchased a 19.0% holding in QMH from investment vehicle Trefick.

Atlantis, The Palm To Double In Size Return to Headlines
Last September Kerzner International announced that it was bringing its Atlantis brand to the Palm Island development off the coast of Dubai. The figures quoted then were impressive enough: 1,200 rooms and a development cost of US$650 million. Well, Kerzner can now top those original figures: how does 2,000 rooms for US$1.1 billion sound? The company and its partner Istithmar wish to make the most of their 120-acre plot on The Palm, Jumeirah by adding another 800 rooms to meet the demand resulting from the emirate's ever strengthening appeal to tourists. Construction work on the enhanced Atlantis, The Palm is due to start in 2005 and finish by late 2007. Judging from reports, the desire for enlargement has permeated Dubai and pricked the conscience of Accor, which is said to be thinking of doubling the room count of the Ibis World Trade Centre Dubai to 420 by early 2006. Hotels that may have no particular ambition to be bigger should at least strive to be beautiful; seven months of renovation work began this week at the 350-room Doha Marriott Hotel in Qatar.

Mövenpick's Latest Fruit Is Orange Return to Headlines
The Dutch city of Amsterdam is a key location in Europe and as such it fits Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts' expansion strategy nicely. The 410-room Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam will form part of the new Oostelijke Handelskade quarter of the city and will be the company's third hotel in the Netherlands. Mövenpick also finds European capital cities appealing, as it proved back in March when the company opened the Mövenpick Hotel Berlin in Germany. The 243-room property has caught the eye of Düsseldorf-based investment fund WestInvest, which announced this week that it had acquired the hotel.

NH Hoteles May Bring Sotogrande To Sicily Return to Headlines
By the end of next month the Mediterranean island of Sicily should know whether it will be seeing NH Hoteles bring to its shores a tourist complex similar to Sotogrande in southern Spain. According to reports in the Spanish press, NH Hoteles is in talks with an unnamed Italian family-owned company that could result in a luxury resort arriving near Syracuse on the island's southeastern coast. While NH Hoteles has one project possibly about to start here, away in the Belgian capital Brussels it has already completed another: the task of refurbishment. The NH Stephanie, the NH Brussels City Centre and the NH Grand Place Arenberg were the beneficiaries of the work, which cost a reported €8.3 million.

Dolce Arrives In Germany For A Second Time Return to Headlines
Dolce International is now managing its second hotel in Germany after the company signed a contract with Bierwirth & Partners, the owners of the hotel in question: the 176-room, four-star Parkhotel Berlin Müggelsee. The German capital is where Maritim Hotels expects to be from next summer with a 505-room property, but as construction work is drawing to a close there the company must seek out the aroma of fresh brick dust elsewhere in Germany. So step forward the southeastern city of Dresden, where within the next few weeks work will start on the conversion of the Erlweinspeicher warehouse into a conference hotel. Maritim also has plans for a similar hotel at the airport in the western city of Düsseldorf. Over the border in Austria, meanwhile, Spanish chain Hotusa Hoteles is treating its Mate hotel in Vienna to a programme of renovation work; it has completed the first phase.

The Noga Hilton In Geneva Looks Set To Be Sold Return to Headlines
French banking group BNP Paribas and its Swiss counterpart UBS AG are thought to have signed binding agreements to sell the Noga Hilton Genève. Two separate reports in the Swiss press suggest that a group of unnamed private investors will pay some €200 million for the 410-room property, which has been in the banks' possession for three years. The reports add that the potential new owners will make further investments in the five-star hotel, which stands on the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland.

UNA Hotels In The Fast Lane Return to Headlines
Autostrade, which operates a network of motorways that span the length of Italy, is two years into a seven-year, €800 million revamp of that network. The project will see 12 service stations receive one hotel each in a programme of building work costing a reported €80 million. The Italian press reports that native firm UNA Hotels & Resorts has been handed a contract to manage all 12 properties until 2028. The hotels are set to open in late 2006 or early 2007 and will have between 80 and 112 rooms.

Canaries Detect The Presence Of Two Hotels Return to Headlines
The island of Fuerteventura in the Canaries is this month's destination of choice for two Spanish hotel chains, and they have both headed for the same stretch of beach in the south of the island. Riu Hotels & Resorts reopened the 209-room, four-star Hotel Riu Palace Jandía on the completion of a programme of renovation, while Barceló Hotels & Resorts is admiring the new 649-room Barceló Jandía Playa. As they relax on the beach after their exertions, the pair can catch up with news from the Spanish mainland, where their compatriot Urbanizadora Santa Clara, a developer based in Seville, is planning the construction of a mixed-use development in the southern province of Granada that will include a five-star hotel and cost the company a reported €260 million over the next five years.

Liverpool's Royal Insurance Building Could Have Hotel Policy Return to Headlines
The Grade II listed Royal Insurance building in Liverpool is to be put on the market with a guide price of a reported £4 million. Potential purchasers may be interested to know that the property already has planning permission for conversion into a luxury 95-room hotel. A 120-bed hotel is now part of the plan for the Broadway development in Bradford, West Yorkshire, after property developer Stannifer revised the original proposals for the £300 million mixed-use development. Further north, in Newcastle upon Tyne, BDL Hotel Group has plans of its own: to open a 130-room Express by Holiday Inn hotel next summer. And the UK's largest water park, the Cotswold Water Park near Cirencester in Gloucestershire, hopes to meet the anticipated upsurge in visitors by developing two hotel complexes. Across the waters of the Irish Sea, businessman Chuck Feeney has sold the Castletroy Park Hotel to a property company headed by accountant Michael Daly. The 107-room, four-star property in Limerick fetched close to a reported €25 million.

HVS International Releases The European Hotel Valuation Index 2004 Return to Headlines
HVS International’s London office has released the latest edition of the annual review of European hotel value trends – the Hotel Valuation Index (HVI). The survey covers upscale hotels in 28 gateway and other major cities across the continent. The HVI 2004 shows that hotel values declined on average by 4% across Europe in 2003 compared with a decrease of 1.5% in 2002, a decrease of 2% in 2001, and increases of 11% in 2000, 4% in 1999 and 6% in 1998. In this year’s HVI only four markets recorded growth in euro value per room: Moscow (9%), Vienna (6.5%), Dublin (2%) and Prague (2%). For the second year running, the euro values of hotels in London were exceeded by those of hotels in Paris. In terms of average values per room, hotels in Paris top the list with €436,000 (down from €470,000 in 2002), followed by London with €430,000 (down from €457,000 in 2002) and Milan with €426,000 (down from €428,000 in 2002). Copies of the HVI 2004 may be downloaded free of charge from the HVS International website www.hvs.com click here.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 17/06/04-24/06/04

Jurys Doyle Hotel Group - Bord Fáilte said that it expected a 4% rise in the number of tourists coming to Ireland this year.

Hilton Group - UBS lowered its rating from 'Buy' to 'Neutral' on valuation grounds.

Whitbread - HSBC lowered its rating from 'Buy' to 'Add' to reflect the recent strength in the share price caused by market speculation about possible disposals.