Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 1 October 2004
Renaissance In Kazakhstan: Not Once, But Twice
Kempinski Makes A Second Visit To Slovakia
Accor Catches Up With Reading
A Breeze For Mövenpick In Egypt: One Temperature-Controlled In Germany
De Vere Group Knows That Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining
Grupo Prasa Purchases Vilamoura
What's A Guoman? It's A De Luxe Brand: Ask Thistle
Appointments Galore
Hilton To Arrive In Croatia In 2005
Rezidor SAS Appoints Regent In Berlin
Corus Hotels To Sell The Elmville Collection

Renaissance In Kazakhstan: Not Once, But Twice
The real estate firm Capital Partners has tempted Marriott International into making its first trip to the republic of Kazakhstan. Down on the shores of the Caspian Sea, the pair first gazed in a southwesterly direction and beheld the port of Aktau, where CP Hotels Aktau is building the 120-room Renaissance Aktau Hotel. Much pleased with what they saw, they turned next to face north, where in the town of Atyrau the second of Capital Partners' subsidiaries, CP Hotels Atyrau, is raising the 202-room Renaissance Atyrau Hotel. The properties, into which Capital Partners has invested a total of US$40 million, are both scheduled to open under Marriott's managership in 2005. Marriott has of late been particularly partial to this corner of the world, having recently opened the 225-room, five-star Armenia Marriott Hotel Yerevan in the republic of Armenia. AK Development acquired the former Hotel Armenia in 1998 and in 2001 began renovating the property using funds from the International Finance Corporation and the US government agency OPIC.

Kempinski Makes A Second Visit To Slovakia Return to Headlines
Slovakia perhaps ought to make 2006 the year of the bee in tribute to Kempinski Hotels & Resorts, which will be busy that year opening not one but two hotels in the country. The first property was announced in April: the 220-room, five-star Kempinski Hotel RiverPark, which is to open in the capital Bratislava. Kempinski's second hotel is owned by J&T Global and sits high up in the Tatra Mountains in the village of Štrbské Pleso. A building that opened as a luxury resort in 1906 is currently being renovated and will become the 117-room Grand Hotel Kempinski Vysoké Tatry. HVS International advised J&T on this deal. Travellers wanting an immediate taste of honey may care to cross the border into the Czech Republic and put their noses in at the door of the andel's Suites Prague, which marked the start of October by opening its 51 luxury apartments.

Accor Catches Up With Reading Return to Headlines
A cinema, a Boar's Head and a director named Paul Newman. Is a new version of Lord of the Flies hitting the screens? In short, no. The cinema is the former ABC on Friar Street and the Boar's Head the pub adjacent that Osborn Securities' new Property Director Paul Newman will see transformed into a 178-room Novotel and a 182-room Ibis. The hotels in the centre of the English town of Reading are the spearhead of Osborn's £60 million mixed-use redevelopment. It is not only cinemas and pubs but castle ruins and defunct museums too that can be reborn as hotels. Dalquharran Castle, near Dailly in South Ayrshire, Scotland, is set to be transformed into a 130-room Ritz-Carlton hotel at a cost of a reported £20 million. South of the border, a Grade II listed mansion in Salford, Greater Manchester that was once home to the Lancashire Mining Museum has seen neither hobnail boot nor clog cross its threshold for four years, but could find itself transformed into a 59-room hotel if the council approves the plans.

A Breeze For Mövenpick In Egypt: One Temperature-Controlled In Germany Return to Headlines
In early 2005 Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts will chalk up its eleventh property in Egypt with the opening of the de luxe 434-room Mövenpick Resort & Casino Taba in Taba, on the Red Sea. Meanwhile, in the German city of Brunswick there is really only one port of call for all fans of quality air conditioning: the four-star Mövenpick Hotel Braunschweig, the city's only fully air conditioned hotel. This summer marked the end of a four-year renovation programme at the 148-room property. In 2003 and 2004 Mövenpick and insurance group Allianz spent €2.9 million on the renovation of the rooms.

De Vere Group Knows That Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining Return to Headlines
How typical of the British to mention the weather even in the midst of giving a pre-close update on trading for the year ending 26 September 2004. Yet this was no mere small talk on the part of De Vere Group, more a tale of how the company triumphed over the leaden skies so characteristic of summertime in the UK. Quite clearly fed up with trying to coax damp barbecues into raging infernos, people left home to stay at a De Vere Hotel – the portfolio recorded a 2.5% increase in like-for-like RevPAR on the previous year – or at one of the Village hotels, which saw RevPAR climb 7.2%, to £44.43. The company also gave a progress report on the two hotels as yet unsold of the four it put up for sale in January, and, like the financials, this news too was a ray of sunshine. De Vere Group has exchanged contracts on the 136-room De Vere Bellhouse in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, and expects to make £14.4 million gross. The sale of the 115-room De Vere Dormy is continuing and the hotel on the south coast near Bournemouth is expected to fetch more than its book value.

Grupo Prasa Purchases Vilamoura Return to Headlines
Planfipsa, a holding company owned by Grupo André Jordan, has sold the Vilamoura luxury resort development on the Algarve in Portugal to Spanish real estate firm Grupo Prasa for an undisclosed sum. Grupo André Jordan will continue to own and manage the five golf courses at the resort, while Grupo Prasa will be making full use of the building rights it acquired in the deal to judge from reports. These suggest that over the next 12 to 18 years the group will spend €1 billion on the construction of more hotels, golf courses, homes and shopping centres. Elsewhere in Portugal, Altis Hotels has signed the franchise agreements that will allow it to bring two more Golden Tulip hotels to the capital Lisbon. The Portuguese firm, which already owns the 303-room Golden Tulip Altis, enhances its collection with the 300-room Golden Tulip Altis Park and the 42 apartments of the Golden Tulip Altis Suites.

What's A Guoman? It's A De Luxe Brand: Ask Thistle Return to Headlines
Guoman. Guests at the refurbished, reopened Cumberland Hotel in London will trace each letter of the name embossed on the towels and wonder as they zip them inside their suitcases from where the name might derive. For Guoman is the brand under which Thistle Hotels is operating the Cumberland, the company having ended recent speculation by taking up the management of the former Le Meridien hotel near Marble Arch. Thistle Hotels would like to see more guests, especially those staying at upscale hotels in major gateway locations, glance up at the flagpole and whisper the name Guoman.

Appointments Galore Return to Headlines
Starwood Hotels & Resorts has paused to refresh its upper echelons with the appointment of The Coca-Cola Company's former President and Chief Operating Officer Steven J. Heyer as its new Chief Executive Officer. Mr Heyer succeeds Barry S. Sternlicht, who becomes Starwood's Executive Chairman. The new boy at The Stein Group is Pierre Boppe; the former President and CEO of the Peninsula Hotels Group is now the Barcelona-based firm's new President. David Kong has been confirmed in the role of President and CEO of Best Western International; he has been acting President and CEO since mid August. In contrast, Whitbread will need to start the search for a new Finance Director, after David Richardson decided to retire from the post at the end of next April.

Hilton To Arrive In Croatia In 2005 Return to Headlines
The Hilton International desk diaries for 2005 will show May as the month when the company makes its official debut in Croatia. A note in the margin might say 'send chocolates to Atlanska Plovidba and Bau Holding Strabag' as they are, respectively, the shipping company and the construction company that have helped Hilton realise the 147-room Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik, which has been wrought from two former hotels at a cost of €20 million.

Rezidor SAS Appoints Regent In Berlin Return to Headlines
Rezidor SAS Hospitality has taken the former Four Seasons hotel in Berlin and turned it into The Regent Berlin. The 204-room hotel will now receive an immediate investment of €2.5 million, with some of the money to be spent on a new restaurant and bar. The 500-room Radisson SAS Hotel London Stansted Airport offers you not only a bar but also a 'Wine Tower', which rises in the atrium to a height of more than 13 metres and holds 4,000 bottles of wine. Perhaps a few of those bottles might already have been emptied in celebration of the safe arrival of what is the tenth Radisson SAS hotel in the UK.

Corus Hotels To Sell The Elmville Collection Return to Headlines
Elmville is a joint venture company that has a portfolio of five UK hotels and a leisure club. Corus Hotels and Intermediate Capital Group (ICG) invite prospective purchasers to swallow the collection whole if they can in return cough up some £46.5 million. Alternatively, Corus and ICG may give buyers permission to pick their own. The club and two of the hotels – the 138-room, three-star Richmond Hill Hotel and the 68-room, four-star Richmond Gate Hotel – are in Richmond-upon-Thames in Greater London. The rest of the crop is widely spread: the 53-room Buckerell Lodge Hotel is in Exeter, and the 45-room Makeney Hall Hotel stands in Derby. Those equipped with strong shoes can complete the third leg of the journey by striding up to Bassenthwaite in the Lake District to view the 48-room Castle Inn Hotel.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Two Weeks 16/09/04-30/09/04

Whitbread - Dresdner Kleinwort this week placed a 'Buy' recommendation on the stock.

NH Hoteles - Citigroup Smith Barney began its coverage with a 'Buy' rating; it feels that the sector should expect to see recovery by mid 2005.

De Vere Group - The company said trading was in line with expectations, and CSFB agreed; it reiterated its 'Outperform' rating.