Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 9 February 2007
Blackstone's Interhotels
Fans Of Mandarin Oriental Head For France
Sun, Sea, Sand And St. Regis
Mövenpick Opens A Fifth Hotel In Saudi Arabia
Interstate On The Highway To Russia
A "Tall Inn" For Tallinn
Dolphin Spotted Off The Dalmatian Coast
Chessington Moves For A Holiday Inn
A Radisson For Hamburg Airport
EasyHotel Touches Down In Luton
There Was A Hotel Company Called Marriott…
Send For A Four-Star Hotel. Good, My Lord

Blackstone's Interhotels
The Blackstone Group, the US private equity firm, has completed the purchase of Deutsche Interhotels, a group that owns 14 hotels (around 4,500 rooms) in cities across Germany including Berlin, Dresden and Leipzig. The properties fly the flags of Accor, Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Rezidor. The Blackstone Group did not disclose the purchase price. However, Aareal Bank, which held a stake of around 33% in Deutsche Interhotels, noted that the transaction price was “in the three-digit million euro range.” Not only does The Blackstone Group buy hotels in the German market but it sells them too. The company has sold the 301-room Hotel Nikko Düsseldorf to Benson Elliot for €114 million.

Fans Of Mandarin Oriental Head For France Return to Headlines
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group (MOHG) has signed a lease agreement for what will be its first hotel in France. The 150-room Mandarin Oriental, Paris, which is due to open in late 2010, will be the product of the redevelopment of an Art Deco building on Rue Saint Honoré, in the centre of the French capital. The agreement, which is subject to the receipt of planning approval, was signed with Société Foncière Lyonnaise. MOHG gets to choose the furniture; the company will invest around US$40 million from 2009 onwards in this and in meeting pre-opening costs.

Sun, Sea, Sand And St. Regis Return to Headlines
The St. Regis brand is coming to the Middle East. Starwood Hotels & Resorts has signed a 30-year management agreement with Resorts Development Company, an affiliate of the Qatari Alfardan Group, on the 346-room St. Regis Doha Hotel. Two 14-storey towers will contain 328 of the rooms; there will also be 18 bungalows. The hotel is expected to open in Doha, the capital of Qatar, on 1 May 2010.

Mövenpick Opens A Fifth Hotel In Saudi Arabia Return to Headlines
Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has four hotels under development in Saudi Arabia and four in operation. No, correction. The company has just informed the world that it now has a fifth hotel in operation. The 159-room, five-star Mövenpick Hotel Qassim, which stands in the town of Buraydah, in the central region of the country, is in its opening phase.

Interstate On The Highway To Russia Return to Headlines
Interstate Hotels & Resorts, an independent hotel management company from the USA, is to manage what will be its fifth hotel in the Russian capital Moscow. The object of Interstate’s desire is being built by Monarch Construction, with whom Interstate has signed the contract. The 300-room hotel is scheduled to open in late 2008. Interstate is enjoying an intense relationship with Europe at present; the company is looking forward to the opening this year of its first properties in the Republic of Ireland and Belgium: respectively, the Ashbourne Marriott and the Marriott Ghent.

A "Tall Inn" For Tallinn Return to Headlines
If you were in Estonia in 2005 then you will remember that spring as the season in which Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts met with OÜ Tornimäe Hotell to sign a management contract on what would become the Swissôtel Tallinn, Estonia. If you are in the Estonian capital Tallinn this summer, then your abiding memory of that season will be the opening of this 238-room hotel, which at 30 storeys is the tallest building in the city.

Dolphin Spotted Off The Dalmatian Coast Return to Headlines
Dolphin Capital Investors, a real estate investment firm, has made its first foray into Croatia. The company, which is managed by Dolphin Capital Partners, is to spend €35 million (to be paid in instalments) on a 90% stake in the Livka Bay Resort. This residential resort, which will include a mix of facilities, including a luxury 80-room hotel, is to be built on 56 hectares of land at the southern end of the Adriatic island of Šolta. Construction work is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2008.

Chessington Moves For A Holiday Inn Return to Headlines
Down at Chessington World of Adventures, in Surrey, the sea lions are applauding the news that an enclosure for humans will be arriving this June next to the theme park they inhabit. Owls will have informed the assembled animals that the enclosure is what humans refer to as a hotel: in this instance, one of the species Holiday Inn. The Tussauds Group, which owns a number of visitor attractions in the UK, of which Chessington is one, has agreed a franchise deal with InterContinental Hotels Group for the 150-room, four-star Holiday Inn London – Chessington, which has cost a reported £15 million to build. BDL Hotels will manage the property.

A Radisson For Hamburg Airport Return to Headlines
At the airport that serves the city of Hamburg in northwestern Germany is a plot of land owned by Freie Hansestadt Hamburg. And on that land Rezidor Hotel Group, in partnership with Airport-Hotel-Hamburg and FAY Management Holding, is to build the Radisson Airport Hotel. The 270-room hotel will be connected directly to Terminal 2 and is set to open in July 2009. Fly north from Hamburg to the Norwegian capital Oslo. If you do, then you will notice that 1-2-3 Hotels, a budget hotel operator, has taken a 35-year lease on what is its second property in its native land. The 35-room City Hotel joins the 16-room Sjøgløtt Hotel, in Kristiansand, in the company’s nascent portfolio.

EasyHotel Touches Down In Luton Return to Headlines
Those orange streaks in the skies over Luton are easyJet aircraft zooming into and out of the town’s airport. That orange streak on the ground is the frontage of what will be the fourth easyHotel in the UK. The Hotel St Lawrence, which is only three miles from the airport, is to be converted into the 58-room easyHotel Luton, which is due to open towards the end of the year. Eclipse Hotels will operate the property under franchise.

There Was A Hotel Company Called Marriott… Return to Headlines
The trick with the second line is finding something sensible to rhyme with “Marriott”. This limerick may not be going anywhere but Marriott International is going to Limerick, in the Republic of Ireland. The 94-room Limerick Marriott Hotel, the company’s sixth hotel in the country, is set to open this spring as part of a mixed-use development. Marriott International signed a franchise agreement with Irresistible Hotels, which is a sister company of Castletroy Park Management.

Send For A Four-Star Hotel. Good, My Lord Return to Headlines
The ninth Earl of Lansdowne has submitted a detailed planning application which if approved would allow him to build a four-star hotel and a spa in the grounds of his Bowood Estate, which lies near the town of Chippenham, in the English county of Wiltshire. Work on the 43-room hotel, which would occupy land next to Bowood Golf and Country Club, is scheduled to begin this August and to finish in autumn 2008.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 01/02/07-08/02/07

Accor - UBS had a 'Buy' rating and raised its target price from €70 to €85.

Millennium & Copthorne - The share price rose on perceptions that the company could be a property play.

NH Hoteles - Jefferies International maintained a 'Hold' rating.