Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 15 October 2004
Menzies Is Said To Be Looking For A Buyer
One, Two, Three: Arcotel On The Beat In Vienna
Caesars' Thumbs Up To Wembley
Le Meridien: A Tower In Kuwait
Cries Of 'We Want The Rollers' Heard In Edinburgh
Dolce International Appoints Attia
GuestInvest Takes On Alias Hotels
Skanska To Exhibit Its Building Skills In Stockholm
Wait! It's More On Those Swingers

Menzies Is Said To Be Looking For A Buyer
Menzies Hotels is a privately owned company that has 14 luxury four-star hotels, a total of almost 1,200 rooms, in the UK. It could also soon be placing an advert in an estate agent's window offering itself for sale at £115 million, according to a report in The Times. The newspaper suggests that private investment firm Pedersen Group (UK) or the recently formed Dawnay Shore Hotels might be potential purchasers. The Times goes on to speculate that an alternative possibility could be a management buyout led by the company's founder and current chairman Nicholas Menzies. Mr Menzies is said to have put in an offer of £110 million, which might be acceptable to one of the hotel company's backers – BancBoston Capital – should the market prove unresponsive.

One, Two, Three: Arcotel On The Beat In Vienna Return to Headlines
Look through one of the many windows at the UNO-City building in the Austrian capital Vienna next summer and you might be lucky enough to see Arcotel Hotels & Resorts and Raiffeisen Evolution Development starting work on the construction of a 290-room, de luxe four-star hotel. The result of this project, one which is expected to cost some €27.5 million, will be a third Arcotel property in the city. The newcomer will line up alongside the 225-room Arcotel Wimberger and the 70-room Arcotel Boltzmann in spring 2007. Should you tire of keeping a vigil at the window, then you could nip over the border into the Czech Republic and refresh weary eyes by gazing on the newly opened Residence Pachtuv Prague. This collection of 50 serviced apartments, which is operated by MaMaison Residences, occupies the former Pachtuv Palace.

Caesars' Thumbs Up To Wembley Return to Headlines
Caesars Entertainment of Las Vegas had never played the European card; that was until Quintain Estates and Developments came up trumps. The UK property developer has led its new partner down Wembley way, where the crowds will soon be roaring their approval of Caesars Wembley. The US$600 million development will cover 13 acres of a site adjacent to the upcoming new Wembley Stadium in northwest London and will boast a 400-room luxury hotel, among other facilities, alongside the obligatory casino. Should the hotel happen to be full on match day, then where to stay? Well, if you have at least £1.8 million in your pocket then you could solve that problem before it arises by investing in a block in Earls Court, southwest London, that has been converted into 15 serviced apartments. The property on Eardley Crescent is one of 31 lots that will go under the hammer on 21 October.

Le Meridien: A Tower In Kuwait Return to Headlines
Le Meridien's second hotel in Kuwait is the first in the region to offer the company's Art + Tech rooms. The 70-room Le Meridien Tower Kuwait stands at the heart of the capital. At the opposite end of the Gulf, in the emirate of Dubai, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has signed a management agreement with HH Sheikh Al Nahyan and Omar Al Askari for the Mövenpick Resort Jumeirah Beach. The 298-room hotel, which is due to open in 2006 as part of the Jumeirah Beach Residence development, will be the Swiss company's fourth hotel in the United Arab Emirates.

Cries Of 'We Want The Rollers' Heard In Edinburgh Return to Headlines
The paintbrushes are apparently being primed in readiness for refurbishment work that is due to start next month at the Radisson SAS Hotel, Edinburgh. The 238-room property will remain open throughout the six-month procedure, which is costing a reported £5 million. Any brick dust swirling in through the windows to settle on freshly painted surfaces could well be that blowing south from the Scottish city of Perth. The council is reportedly searching for a developer willing to build a 120-bed hotel next to the city's new concert hall, which is due to open in September 2005. Another city in Scotland hoping to hear the ring of builders' shovels is the northeastern city of Aberdeen. The council there is reportedly reviewing a planning application for a 40-room Innkeeper's Lodge.

Dolce International Appoints Attia Return to Headlines
Global conference centre company Dolce International is poised to open the Dolce Sitges near the Spanish city of Barcelona and has another six properties in Europe besides. Couple these facts with the prospect of new developments over the next few years and it is little wonder that the company has appointed a Vice President, Operations Europe. Philippe Attia, currently the Managing Director of Dolce Chantilly, will retain this title but shed his other role as Dolce's Regional Area Director for southern Europe. Dolce International has also run its own presidential election, with the result that Mr Attia will doubtless be seeing more of Steve Giblin. One of the new President's tasks will be operational responsibility for direction in Europe.

GuestInvest Takes On Alias Hotels Return to Headlines
LHM is reported to have signed a conditional agreement to sell its Alias Hotels chain to London-based hotel property firm GuestInvest for £30.4 million in cash. The opening in mid 2006 of the Alias Ropewalks in Liverpool will give Alias a total of five lifestyle hotels in the UK; this total could rise to 15 over the next five years as GuestInvest is said to be keen to push forward with the plans LHM already had in place. What will be new is GuestInvest's plan to allow private investors to buy a lease on a hotel room, a plan that could have its trial run at the Alias Hotel Seattle on the south coast in Brighton. Under this scheme, which GuestInvest already has in operation at the Guesthouse West in London's Notting Hill, investors are entitled to stay in the room for 52 nights in the year and they get a return on their outlay by letting the room for the remainder of the year.

Skanska To Exhibit Its Building Skills In Stockholm Return to Headlines
Remember, remember the 15th of November: Skanska Sweden certainly will. For that is the day when it will don its hard hat, clamber onto the roof of Hall C at the Stockholmsmässan in the Swedish capital Stockholm and begin work on a 248-room hotel. The company is not due to descend the ladders until the third quarter of 2006, and when it does so it will meet Rica Hotels mounting the scaffold with the keys to the property in its hand. Elsewhere in the country, Choice Hotels Sweden will ring in the new year by welcoming guests to the Quality Hotel Konserthuset. The 76-room property in the city of Växjö will continue to be known until then as the Hotell Teaterparken.

Wait! It's More On Those Swingers Return to Headlines
Only Neil Armstrong-Nash among hoteliers could ask a group of swingers for their ideas on forming a chain and not be shocked by the result. The former accountant and his wife Lianne livened up the Leicestershire countryside near Lutterworth earlier this year by opening Liberation – the first luxury hotel in the UK dedicated to swinging. The presence of more than 1,000 eager members in ten rooms may sound like a swinger's fantasy but Mr Armstrong-Nash clearly needs more room for manoeuvre. Hence, he is said to be planning to extend the Liberation property by 30 rooms and seeking new sites around the UK. A 140-room hotel could possibly be opening somewhere in Greater London next year.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 07/10/04-14/10/04

Choice Hotels Europe - The share price rose as the company reiterated its plans to invest £5 million in its UK portfolio.

Millennium & Copthorne - ABN Amro placed a 'Hold' rating on the stock.

Accor - The terrorist attacks in Egypt gave investors in the hotel sector cause for concern.