Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 27 May 2005
Sunny Delight As Kempinski Goes For Bulgaria
Yields Lead London & Regional Into Temptation
Serbia and Montenegro Both Have Hotels On Offer
Geneva Gets First Swiss Suitehotel
IHG Makes A Positive Start To The Year
Six Senses Feels Omani Project Coming On
NH Hoteles Eyes Full House In Badajoz
Thor Halvorsen Hammers Out Rainbow Alliance In Norway
What Will The London Trocadero Become?

Sunny Delight As Kempinski Goes For Bulgaria
The Kempinski Hotel Grand Hermitage is more than just Kempinski Hotels’ third property in Bulgaria; it is the largest hotel in the company’s portfolio too, offering as it does a total of 730 rooms and suites. In a deckchair waiting for Kempinski to roll in and sign the management contract was Sunny Travel, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sigma Capital Hospitality and the mastermind behind the hotel’s construction. The five-star hotel, which stands on the Golden Sands Resort, near the city of Varna, on the Black Sea, will get its soft opening this summer.

Yields Lead London & Regional Into Temptation Return to Headlines
London & Regional Properties, apparently drawing inspiration from seeing Topland pay a yield of 6% on the six UK properties it purchased from Thistle Hotels last month, has licked its lips and reportedly put 13 of its own UK hotels on the market. The collection of 12 Ibis hotels and one Etap has an asking price of £85 million, or an initial yield of a reported 5.5%.

Serbia and Montenegro Both Have Hotels On Offer Return to Headlines
Hotel owners Budvanska Rivijera and Miločer would be delighted to hear from suitably qualified hotel/resort operators who would like the opportunity to operate three luxury hotels on the coast of Montenegro. The winner of the tender receives a lease, to run for 20 years initially, and the keys to the 117-room Sveti Stefan, the 27-room Miločer and the 46-room Kraljičina Plaža. The successful party will also be obliged to invest at least €20 million in the renovation of all three properties over the first 36 months of its tenure. If a threesome on the beach is not your thing, and you think one is best, then this is where the Serbian Privatisation Agency can lend a hand. The 476-room Hotel Jugoslavija in the capital Belgrade is up for sale, with the minimum bid set at a reported €42.4 million.

Geneva Gets First Swiss Suitehotel Return to Headlines
Geneva will be entitled to bragging rights over its rival cities in Switzerland as it will be the location for the first Suitehotel in the country. The 86-room, three-star Suitehotel Genève will partner the recently opened 204-room Etap Hotel Genève on the same development. And though the town of Borehamwood cannot claim similar rights on the Ibis brand in the English county of Hertfordshire – those are held by the city of Stevenage – reports suggest that the town will get a 120-room Ibis hotel of its own if Salmon Harvester Properties can secure planning permission.

IHG Makes A Positive Start To The Year Return to Headlines
One read through of InterContinental Hotels Group’s (IHG) results for its first-quarter to 31 March 2005 was all Chief Executive Andrew Cosslett needed to see that IHG had made what he termed ‘a positive start to the year.’ Group operating profit for the quarter was up 49% on the previous year’s comparable, at £76 million; the hotels division weighed in with operating profit of £65 million, an increase of 41%. To earn the biggest pat on the roof for its RevPAR performance a hotel needed to be in the Asia Pacific region, where the portfolio returned growth of 8.0%. The EMEA region overcame a flat RevPAR performance from hotels in continental Europe to return growth of 3.1%.

Six Senses Feels Omani Project Coming On Return to Headlines
Six Senses, the company that develops and manages spas and resorts, is to bring one of its boutique-class Evason Hideaway properties to Oman. The 85 poolside villas and suites on the US$27 million development, which is owned by Al Marsa Travel & Tourism – Oman, will nestle in Zighy Bay and are due to be finished by the end of 2006. Oman will have its Innovative Style, while Dubai could potentially see the innovative concept in budget hotels that easyGroup founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou came up with two years ago arrive on its shores in the next few years. The first easyHotel, where you can secure a room from £5 a night, is due to open in London this summer.

NH Hoteles Eyes Full House In Badajoz Return to Headlines
The new face in the city of Badajoz in southwestern Spain is the one that belongs to NH Hoteles. The company will arrive this summer to take up the management of the 60-room, five-star NH Gran Casino de Extremadura, which has absorbed an investment of €31.5 million. Meanwhile, NH Hoteles’ compatriot Fadesa Inmobiliaria is reported to have sold five plots of land at the Mediterrania Saïdia resort development to Grupo Tasa for more than €15 million. Tourist complexes will be built on two of the sites in the city of Saïdia in northern Morocco.

Thor Halvorsen Hammers Out Rainbow Alliance In Norway Return to Headlines
Norwegian property company Thor Halvorsen Eiendom is reported to have signed a franchise agreement with Rainbow Hotels that will see the 155-room Scandic Triaden in the Norwegian capital Oslo and the 84-room Scandic Arendal in the town of Arendal in southern Norway wearing the Rainbow brand from 1 September 2005. Another property company from Norway – Vital – will be spending the time between October 2005 and summer 2007 engaged with Rezidor SAS Hospitality in an extensive refurbishment of the 195-room Radisson SAS Hotel in the northern city of Tromsø. The work will cost a reported €24.7 million.

What Will The London Trocadero Become? Return to Headlines
Certainly not the 600-room budget hotel that the Tchenguiz/Stanhope partnership apparently had planned, after they were one of the two runners-up to the Golfrate Group in the contest to win the freehold interest in the London Trocadero and the London Pavilion. However, at least one report gives out hope that the vacant upper floors of the Trocadero might yet welcome a hotel, with the floors beneath being occupied by retail outlets. The properties off Piccadilly Circus in central London were put on the market in March by Burford Holdings and now belong to Golfrate after it parted with more than £220 million.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 19/05/05-26/05/05

Whitbread - The share price surged on rumours that several private equity firms were investigating how they might break up the company.

Millennium & Copthorne - Merrill Lynch raised its rating from 'Sell' to 'Neutral' on valuation grounds.

InterContinental Hotels Group - UBS regarded the company's first-quarter results as a 'strong set of numbers'. UBS retains its 'Neutral 2' rating.