Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 8 April 2005
Ah, Splendid, Here Comes Staybridge Suites
Marriott Reaches Its Double Century In The EMEA Region
DIFA's Fund Shows Its Fondness For Stuttgart
Jeddah Accepts Suites From Rezidor SAS
October Might Spawn A Revolution In Russia
Lovers Of Spanish Budget Hotels Start Here
Lovers Of Spanish Luxury Hotels Start Here
Sunčani Hvar: Perhaps Alone On Its Island No Longer
Clarion Collection Calls To Thee, Scandinavia

Ah, Splendid, Here Comes Staybridge Suites
A stay (preferably an extended one) in a hotel bearing the Staybridge Suites brand has until now been the preserve of travellers whose stay has been in the USA, Canada or Brazil. But as the brand enters its eighth year InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has decided it is high time Staybridge Suites saw more of the world. And so towards the end of 2006 two hotels will arrive in London. IHG will manage a 124-room property in Brentford under a 20-year contract it has signed with Stay Investments (a new joint venture led by BDL Hotels and its founder and Managing Director Louis Woodcock). Staybridge Suites will show up too on the South Bank in the form of a 113-room hotel. IHG's managerial tenure here will last for three years, after which time the contract with the Splendid Hotel Group will become a 17-year franchise agreement.

Marriott Reaches Its Double Century In The EMEA Region Return to Headlines
The Hotel Plaza Vendôme in Paris is in only its second year of operation but it has already made itself immortal as the answer to the quiz question, "what was the Renaissance Paris Plaza Vendôme Hotel known as before it became Marriott International's 200th hotel in the EMEA region?". The 97-room hotel joined Marriott's ranks after the company paid an undisclosed sum to take a 100% holding in the property's former owner and operator Tuileries Finances SAS.

DIFA's Fund Shows Its Fondness For Stuttgart Return to Headlines
Deutsche Immobilien Fonds AG (DIFA) demonstrated this week that its liking for the German city of Stuttgart remained undimmed by acquiring its third hotel there. The company's Immo-Invest fund paid insurance firm Aachener und Münchener Versicherungen some €32 million for the Le Meridien Stuttgart, which opened last November after a €19 million refurbishment. Le Meridien's long-term lease on the 281-room hotel remains intact following the deal. Meanwhile, one German newspaper has spotted four hotel companies and their respective consorts out and about in the city of Frankfurt. Shangri-La Hotels, Regent, Four Seasons Hotels and Ritz-Carlton are reportedly vying to secure a plot of land on the Opernplatz on which the lucky winner will build a luxury hotel.

Jeddah Accepts Suites From Rezidor SAS Return to Headlines
Rezidor SAS Hospitality's seventh visit to Saudi Arabia has taken it for a second time to the western city of Jeddah. The latest addition is the 57-suite Radisson SAS Royal Suite Hotel, which is owned by the Saudi Amjad Holding Company. The hotel is due to open next month and can feel superior to its sister, the Radisson SAS Hotel, Jeddah, which has only 38 suites among its 292 rooms.

October Might Spawn A Revolution In Russia Return to Headlines
A scheduled opening date of October 2005 for a 150-room hotel near Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport might seem meaningless now, but in future years that date could be commemorated as the moment Best Western International began its journey towards becoming the largest hotel chain in Russia and the CIS. According to The Moscow Times, the Russian construction firm Bonita Group holds the franchise agreement and 30% of the cash – the newspaper notes that the project could cost a total of US$250 million – that have the potential to propel Best Western to the crown; Bonita Group's target is said to be 50,000 hotel rooms by 2025, and its hunt for suitable cities in which to build new properties or renovate existing ones is likely to take it among other places to Moscow, Volgograd, St Petersburg (where the Best Western Hotel Neptun flies a solitary flag for Best Western in Russia), Samara and Yekaterinburg.

Lovers Of Spanish Budget Hotels Start Here Return to Headlines
The Spanish press carries the news that tourism group Globalia has plans to launch a chain of hotels – Pepe Hoteles – in 2007. The company, which already has four hotels in its Globalia Hotels & Resorts chain, is said to be keen on launching its new collection in Madrid. To this end, Globalia is reported to be in negotiations concerning four buildings in the Spanish capital that would be converted into the first examples of what will be an urban product targeting the budget segment. If these four prosper, then Pepe Hoteles will extend its reach by moving into the capitals of the Spanish regions.

Lovers Of Spanish Luxury Hotels Start Here Return to Headlines
The Spanish press suggests that Invercartera, the investment arm of savings bank Caixa Catalunya, is to team up with CAM bank and property developer Inmobiliaria Espais to create an as yet unnamed chain of luxury hotels in Spain. The threesome's plans call for the opening of ten hotels in Spain's main cities over the next four years, with existing buildings being redeveloped at a cost of a reported €180 million.

Sunčani Hvar: Perhaps Alone On Its Island No Longer Return to Headlines
Sunčani Hvar might have been forgiven for thinking that it might never find happiness in the arms of another. It placed its ad with the help of HFP – the Croatian Privatisation Fund – at least four years ago, and how the company's heart must have leapt in 2002 when rumour was that the late Six Continents was interested. That came to naught, and Sunčani Hvar was to have its hopes dashed again the following year when Slovenian spa operator Terme Čatež came close to carrying it off, only for the transaction to hit difficulties. So after these disappointments the excitement that rippled around the Adriatic island of Hvar, where Sunčani Hvar tends its nine hotels, might be imagined as HFP phoned up to say that the Orco Property Group had won the tender (HFP restarted the process last summer) and was now in exclusive negotiations with the Croatian government.

Clarion Collection Calls To Thee, Scandinavia Return to Headlines
The Clarion Collection, which was launched by Choice Hotels International in May 2003 as a boutique-style extension to the Clarion brand, will see its flag flying above more than 30 properties in Scandinavia by the end of the summer. Choice Hotels Scandinavia began its task in Norway last month by branding the 99-room Hotel Bastion in the capital Oslo and the 116-room Hotel Havnekontoret, which is due to open in May 2006 in the port of Bergen. The company was busy too in neighbouring Sweden signing up the 136-room Hotel Odin Residence in the city of Gothenburg. Eventually, Sweden should have a total of 16 hotels wearing the new livery; Norway will have 13 and Denmark two.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 31/03/05-07/04/05

NH Hoteles - ING repeated its 'Buy' rating.

Accor - Broker Cheuvreux placed an 'Outperform' rating on the stock and raised its target price to €43.

Sol Meliá - ING lowered its rating from 'Buy' to 'Hold'.