Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 1 April 2005
NH Hoteles Slips Into The Harrington
Hilton Makes Its Debut In Portugal
Corinthia Gets Its Skis On
Le Meridien For A Fifth Time In Egypt
CHE Group No Longer At A Loss
Respect To You From The Family, Don Capital
Meridian Leisure Takes Holiday Inn To Sofia
M&N Butler Will Serve Up Hotel In Istanbul
Weymouth Has Five-Star Ambitions
That HVS Dinner In Berlin: First Picture

NH Hoteles Slips Into The Harrington
Hotel-watchers were twitching with excitement this week as the recently migratory NH Hoteles was sighted for the first time on the shores of the UK. The Spanish company, which has delighted observers with its novel swoops into Italy, Hungary and Romania, has made its nest at the four-star Harrington Hall Hotel in the South Kensington district of London. NH Hoteles has taken a 25% stake in the 200-room property, with the remainder held by its compatriot, the real estate firm Losan; the pair acquired the hotel for a total of €72 million, each party paying an amount proportional to its holding.

Hilton Makes Its Debut In Portugal Return to Headlines
The Portuguese knew that spring was here this year when they heard that Hilton International had arrived for the very first time. The company was in the resort of Vilamoura on the Algarve to sign a 20-year contract with Imocom Turismo to manage the Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas Resort & Spa. This mixed-use complex, which will include a 160-room, five-star hotel and 69 serviced apartments, is due to open at the start of 2007. Portuguese real estate firm Imocom Group purchased the site two years ago and envisaged from the outset that a high-quality development would be built there. The group's financial commitment will ultimately run to more than €75 million.

Corinthia Gets Its Skis On Return to Headlines
An experienced hotelier out a-wandering in the Dachstein mountains of Austria before Easter would have felt a certain chi that grew stronger the closer they got to the ski resort of Haus. Hardly surprising, really, as this is the newest location for CHI – Corinthia Hotels International. The company has signed a 20-year contract to manage the €32 million Corinthia Ski & Golf Resort, which will open towards the end of 2006 with facilities including a 182-room, five-star hotel. The project is doubly exciting for CHI as Austria is a new country to it and the venture is a departure from the company's focus on locations in cities or seaside resorts.

Le Meridien For A Fifth Time In Egypt Return to Headlines
The former Helnan Hotel on Dahab Bay is to close this month for an eight-month renovation costing some US$6 million. The 200-room property, which is owned by the Egyptian General Company for Tourism and Hotels, will emerge at the end of the process as the Le Meridien Dahab Resort & Spa and take its place as Le Meridien's fifth hotel in Egypt. Elsewhere in the region, if you are new to the United Arab Emirates, as the Courtyard by Marriott brand is, then it seems only natural somehow that you should be bound for the Green Community in Dubai. The 165-room Courtyard by Marriott Green Community Dubai is the latest addition to Union Properties' 67-hectare mixed-use development, the launch of which was announced in October 2003.

CHE Group No Longer At A Loss Return to Headlines
Choice Hotels Europe (CHE Group) has halted a run of five successive loss-making years by posting a pre-tax profit before exceptionals of £0.6 million for the year to 31 December 2004. Shareholders will also be joyed by the news that like-for-like turnover was up 5.2% on the previous year, at £79.4 million, and draw satisfaction from knowing that RevPAR across the portfolio of hotels in the UK was 5.0% higher (like-for-like), at £25.30. And the company's new management team is certainly not sleeping when it comes to growing the Sleep Inn portfolio: a 71-room example of the limited service hotel is now open in Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire, and a second is under construction in Derby.

Respect To You From The Family, Don Capital Return to Headlines
The investment company Don Capital is reported to have headed to the western fringe of its native Finland, where in the port of Vaasa it is said to have paid an undisclosed sum to take a majority holding in the family-owned 42-room Hotel Astor Wasa. In neighbouring Sweden, meanwhile, JM Entreprenad has the chance to shine after the subsidiary of Swedish property developer JM announced that it had been commissioned to renovate the Scandic Anglais in Stockholm. The 219-room hotel will receive 14 new guest rooms as part of the work, which is projected to be finished in summer 2006 and cost some €16 million.

Meridian Leisure Takes Holiday Inn To Sofia Return to Headlines
Meridian Leisure Hotels (MLH) will give Bulgaria its first taste of an InterContinental Hotels Group brand when it opens the 131-room Holiday Inn Sofia this November. MLH journeyed to eastern Europe from the UK, and to arrive in Romania Europa Group travelled down from Lithuania. The company is in the capital Bucharest for the purposes of spending up to a reported US$11.6 million on the conversion of a building into the 80-room Europa Royale Bucharest. A third, and the shortest, journey to the region was that undertaken by businessman Ivan Katavić, as his destiny lay within the borders of his native Croatia. He is to spend a reported US$4.4 million on the construction of a 38-room hotel and other facilities in the northern town of Križevci.

M&N Butler Will Serve Up Hotel In Istanbul Return to Headlines
The Turkish-American architecture and development firm M&N Butler Mimarlar has secured a US$3 million loan from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation that will allow it to convert a factory building in the Cengelkoy district of the Turkish city of Istanbul into a 14-suite hotel. The plans of Turkish tourism company Turaclar Yatirim are a little more ambitious; it is reportedly ready to invest US$49 million in the construction of a four-star hotel with 1,012 rooms in the southern town of Manavgat.

Weymouth Has Five-Star Ambitions Return to Headlines
The seaside resort of Weymouth on the south coast of England could find itself welcoming a five-star hotel, if the plans of George Afedakis are realised. The Greek hotelier and restaurant owner wants to raise the property as part of a mixed-use scheme on the seafront that would cost a reported £85 million. The waters in Bristol lap up against Crest Nicholson's Harbourside development, which is to have a 182-room Ibis hotel; work is now underway on the property, which will cost a reported £9 million and which is due to open next spring. Up in Stafford, meanwhile, property company Chaseregen is reported to have taken over a former asylum in the town; it has plans that could see the Grade II listed property converted into a 180-room, four-star hotel.

That HVS Dinner In Berlin: First Picture Return to Headlines
Celebrations of the 25th anniversary of HVS International got off to a flying start during the recent International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) conference in Berlin, when we hosted a dinner for clients and friends at the Dorint Sofitel Schweizerhof. Some 60 people attended, including several of our distinguished alumni, many of whom have become equally distinguished clients, and Steve Rushmore, president and founder of HVS International, spoke movingly of the early years of the firm and its accomplishments. In proposing a toast to 'The Next 25 Years of HVS International', Russell Kett, Managing Director of the London office, congratulated Steve and introduced the Managing Director designate of our Madrid office, Philippe Bijaoui, who joins us from Rezidor SAS in May. The following photograph shows the HVS team members who attended the IHIF. From left to right: Philippe Bijaoui, Charles Human (Managing Director, HVS Hodges Ward Elliott), Chris Mumford (Managing Director, HVS Executive Search), Rudy Reudelhuber (Managing Director, HVS Hodges Ward Elliott), Russell Kett, Steve Rushmore, Karen Smith (Associate Director, HVS International), Bernard Forster (Director, HVS International), Pascal Bichon (Senior Associate, HVS Hodges Ward Elliott) and Mark Elliott (President, HVS Hodges Ward Elliott).

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 24/03/05-31/03/05

Choice Hotels Europe - The company noted that performance in the current year could be affected by an increase in energy costs of almost 30%.

InterContinental Hotels Group - Shares on the FTSE-100 were affected by trading on Wall Street; IHG's shares went ex-dividend too.

NH Hoteles - Deutsche Bank's valuation was unaltered by NH Hoteles' acquisition of the Harrington Hall Hotel. The bank feels that London is a mature and quite competitive market.