Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 2 March 2007
Death Of Lord Forte Announced
Nikki Beach Establishes A Luxury Hotel Division
Sharaf Ropes In Protea For Middle Eastern Adventures
Orascom For Oman, Via Rotana
A Sudan Opening For Rotana
Rezidor Doing It Large In Oslo
Many A Good Tune Played On An Old Warehouse
The Bonding Warehouse In York Looks For A New Friend
Shopping In Norrköping
The Sea Shall Have Them
Pinehall Passes Planning Exam In Cheltenham
A Trading Update From Whitbread
Sol Meliá Shows There's Life Beyond 50
NH Hoteles' Full-Year Results

Death Of Lord Forte Announced
The hospitality industry is mourning the death of Lord Charles Forte, who died in London on 28 February at the age of 98. He began his career by opening a milk bar in London in 1935 and rose to become the head of a business empire that included hotels, restaurants and pubs. In 1970 he merged his company Forte Holdings with Trust Houses to form Trust Houses Forte, which eventually became one of the world’s largest hotel and catering businesses. He retired as chairman in 1992. Our sincere condolences go to his son Sir Rocco Forte, the chairman of Rocco Forte Hotels, his daughter Olga Polizzi, herself a successful designer and hotelier, and their family.

Nikki Beach Establishes A Luxury Hotel Division Return to Headlines
If you know the brand Nikki, then you will know that she is into music, clothes and all other ventures cool and glamorous. Nikki Beach is the name she adopts when she is on the sand at one of her beach clubs, be it in Miami or Marbella, St-Tropez or Sardinia. Those clubs, though, lack suitable accommodation, and so Nikki Beach wants now to get into beach clubs with hotels, which she will do in the company of Mr Jihad El Khoury. The pair, who will sign in under the name Nikki Beach Hotels & Resorts, plan to build their “six-star” hotels in Morocco, Spain, Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Egypt, Lebanon and Dubai over the next seven years. A maximum of ten hotels, each having between 30 and 90 suites, will be developed in a project costing €350 million. The first property, which is set to open in summer 2008, will be fashioned from an existing 40-suite hotel on the Spanish island of Ibiza, in the Mediterranean.

Sharaf Ropes In Protea For Middle Eastern Adventures Return to Headlines
Reports indicate that Sharaf Group, of Dubai, has teamed up with South African hotelier Protea Hotels to form a company known as Sharaf Protea Hotels Middle East. The intention of this new company is to manage luxury hotels and furnished apartments – none of them serving alcohol – in the Middle East. An all-suite hotel under construction at the Jumeirah Beach Residence development in Dubai will set the pair on their way towards their target of having 20 hotels under management by 2012.

Orascom For Oman, Via Rotana Return to Headlines
Orascom Hotels & Development, part of the Egyptian Orascom Group, is to manage the five-star Salalah Rotana Resort when the property becomes operational in early 2010. Orascom has signed a ten-year agreement with Rotana Hotel Management on the 350-room hotel, which stands in the coastal town of Salālah, in the sultanate of Oman. No need to wait until 2010 for the Diplomat Radisson SAS Residence: the property in Manama, Bahrain, is open now. The 121 apartments in what is Bahrain’s first five-star corporate residence occupy a 14-storey building that stands adjacent to the 246-room Diplomat Radisson SAS Hotel.

A Sudan Opening For Rotana Return to Headlines
Rotana Hotels has opened its first property in the African nation of Sudan. The 235-room, five-star Al Salam Rotana Hotel is part of an office complex in the capital Khartoum. One might expect the Portuguese with their navigational heritage to find their way easily to Africa, and operator ARTEH – Hotels and Resorts has not disappointed. The company has ventured to the city of Marrakech in western Morocco to open the five-star Sublime Ailleurs. The hotel complex provides accommodation in three buildings: Jinane Villa, Villa Jomana and a four-bedroom riad.

Rezidor Doing It Large In Oslo Return to Headlines
Rezidor Hotel Group has stormed into second place in the chart that registers the largest hotels in Norway with that old favourite the Radisson SAS Airport Hotel in Oslo. The property, which has been in operation since 1998, now has 503 rooms, after the opening of an extension supplying 153 guest rooms. The hotel needs only another 171 rooms to overtake the Radisson SAS Plaza Hotel, which is also sited in the Norwegian capital, at the top of the chart. Rezidor has also recorded a hit in the port of Fredrikstad, in the southeast of the country. A new 172-room hotel there is the nineteenth Radisson SAS hotel in Norway.

Many A Good Tune Played On An Old Warehouse Return to Headlines
Hochtief Construction AG is tuning up to construction pitch after the consortium of which it is part clinched the contract to build the Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg, northwest Germany. The firm will orchestrate the planning and construction work, which is worth €241.3 million, on a project that will see a warehouse above the River Elbe turned into a complex with three concert halls and a five-star hotel with some 250 rooms. Work is set to begin next month.

The Bonding Warehouse In York Looks For A New Friend Return to Headlines
Drinking in The Bonding Warehouse and then drinking in the adjacent River Ouse after an accidental post-pub dunking: memories for some of a bygone age in the English city of York. Those same river waters that spoiled many a good pair of trousers also spoiled the beer rather when they came washing through the Victorian building in 2000. The Grade II listed property has been derelict ever since but it might soon be echoing to the clunk of suitcases rather than the chink of glasses. The Helmsley Group, a property developer, in partnership with hospitality firm Marmadukes wants to buy the building from the city council and turn it into York’s first five-star hotel.

Shopping In Norrköping Return to Headlines
Norgani Hotels, the Norwegian operator, has sold the mixed-use property Sprutan 6 to Portieren Norrköping for 46 million Swedish kronor (€4.9 million). The property in the port of Norrköping, in southeast Sweden, has a lettable area of some 7,000 m²; more than half of this area is occupied by the 119-room Best Western Princess Hotel. Another representative of the Norwegian nation – the investor Arthur Buchart – has his sights set on Sweden’s neighbour Finland. He has applied to the authorities in Helsinki for permission to build a hotel of 200 to 250 rooms in the Finnish capital. Buchart is working on the hotel project in partnership with Artek, a Finnish interior design company.

The Sea Shall Have Them Return to Headlines
It was in 2002 that the company Hydropolis put forward the idea of building the world’s first underwater hotel, in Dubai. The concept was given a boost this week when Crescent Hydropolis Resorts (the name that Hydropolis took in early 2005) signed a memorandum of understanding with HE Sheikh Fawaz Abdullah Al Khalifa, a member of the Bahraini royal family. He will assist in the development of hotels that Crescent would like to see lie beneath the waves that wash the emirate of Dubai and the cities of Muscat, in Oman, and Jedda, in Saudi Arabia.

Pinehall Passes Planning Exam In Cheltenham Return to Headlines
It is not often that one sees bulldozers and dumper-trucks doing the school run, but venture to the town of Cheltenham, in western England, and see the machinery of construction forming an orderly queue outside the gates of the former site of Dunalley Primary School. Plans submitted in November by Pinehall Properties for a 132-room hotel and residential units on the site have been given full marks. Hoping that Pembrokeshire County Council will be putting a big tick on its plans is Martello Quays, a subsidiary of The Conygar Investment Company. Those plans are for a development at Pembroke Dock, in southwest Wales, that will include a hotel and marina among other facilities.

A Trading Update From Whitbread Return to Headlines
Whitbread’s latest financial year closed on 1 March 2007 but the ledgers showing the sales figures for the first 50 weeks (to 15 February) of that year are open. Shareholders perusing the books will see that the like-for-like sales column is topped by Premier Travel Inn, the budget hotels returning growth of 8.1%. Nineteen new hotels joined the portfolio over the course of the year and the addition of their 1,700 rooms helped the chain reach its target for the year (to 1 March) of 2,500 new rooms. In second place in the like-for-like sales column is Costa, with growth of 6.7%. And when shareholders return from their coffee break they will continue drinking in the results – right down to the bottom line, where they will see that Whitbread as a whole has seen like-for-like sales growth for the first 50 weeks of 4.3%.

Sol Meliá Shows There's Life Beyond 50 Return to Headlines
When one reaches 50 it is a comfort to know that one’s finances are in order. Meet Sol Meliá, the quinquagenarian Spanish operator, which reached its half-century in 2006 and has this month celebrated the financial results for that year. The figures would seem to be in order: a 13.2% rise in EBITDA, to €326 million, and a 7.9% increase in revenues, to €1.2 billion. RevPAR across the company’s three hotel divisions (European resorts, European cities and the Americas) grew by 7.5%.

NH Hoteles' Full-Year Results Return to Headlines
NH Hoteles has published its results for the year ending 31 December 2006. The Spanish company saw EBITDA rise by 4.4%, to €188.9 million, and revenues increase by 10.8%, to approximately €1.1 billion. Marketwide RevPAR grew by 9.7% and finished just shy of €52.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 22/02/07-01/03/07

Whitbread - The company's trading update helped counter the heavy falls seen across the markets that resulted from fears over the Chinese economy.

InterContinental Hotels Group - The share price did not fall as far as some, as it was supported by further bid talk and a research note from broker Cazenove that suggested a fair value for IHG was 1,638p a share.

NH Hoteles - The company's full-year figures came in below the expectations of Jefferies International, which reiterated its 'Hold' rating and its target price of €17.0.