Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 18 May 2007
TUI Tucks Into Tuscany
Luton Claims England's First Hilton Garden Inn
Hyatt Comes To Düsseldorf
Mövenpick Makes A Move For Kuwait Again
Oman Takes An Ecos Hotel
Hotel du Vin Dives Into Poole
Peab To Extend The Hotel Gothia Towers
Clarion Called Up For Point Duty
The Sefton Group Buys Hilton Isle of Man
Fairmont Gives News Of The Savoy's Renovation

TUI Tucks Into Tuscany
To give you an idea of scale, the biggest tourism project in the history of German firm TUI measures 11 km². TUI has purchased land in the Tuscany region of central Italy through Tenuta di Castelfalfi, a company in which TUI holds a stake of 85%, and it will invest several hundred million euro in developing on that land the Toscana Resort Castelfalfi. In addition to renovating certain elements of the site – and these include a medieval castle and an 18-hole golf course – TUI will, subject to approval by the local authorities, build three hotels: one Robinson Club, one Dorfhotel and one Iberotel. To leave you with an idea of what the finished resort might look like: think of Germany’s Land Fleesensee, the biggest holiday resort in northern Europe, which TUI, and others, opened in 2000.

Luton Claims England's First Hilton Garden Inn Return to Headlines
Hilton Hotels Corporation has announced that the first hotel in England to take the Hilton Garden Inn brand will reside in the town of Luton, in Bedfordshire. The Hilton Garden Inn Luton North, which will have 155 rooms, is scheduled to open at the Butterfield Business Park in 2008. The hotel is owned by Luton Hotel Syndicate. The brand’s perambulations in Europe have previously taken it into Germany and Italy; indeed, the Hilton Garden Inn Rome Airport has the distinction of being the 300th Hilton Garden Inn hotel.

Hyatt Comes To Düsseldorf Return to Headlines
Hyatt International’s fifth hotel in Germany, and its first in the western city of Düsseldorf, is to be the Hyatt Regency Düsseldorf. The company signed an agreement with Projektgesellschaft Hafenspitze for the 16-storey, 286-room hotel, which is due to open in the MedienHafen district of the city in 2010.

Mövenpick Makes A Move For Kuwait Again Return to Headlines
Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has opened its second hotel in Kuwait. The 306-room Mövenpick Resort & Residence Al Bida’a will be a companion for the Mövenpick Hotel & Convention Centre Kuwait. The amphibious Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts – with its Nile cruisers the company is equally at home on the water as it is on dry land – might care to wave and cry, “hello, sailor” to Emeco Travel. The Egyptian firm has strengthened its own flotilla on the Nile by launching the 64-room, five-star Tu-Ya, the sister ship of the 62-room Ti-Yi. Both floating hotels are managed by Creative Hotels & Resorts.

Oman Takes An Ecos Hotel Return to Headlines
Those who follow green issues in the Middle East will know that in April Coral International Hotels launched its budget (two-star) chain Ecos Hotels, which as the name suggests is a chain that will adopt environmentally sound practices. What eco-warriors might not know is that one of the first hotels will be built in the sultanate of Oman. Property owner Sheikh Suleiman Mohammad Al Yahyai has agreed with Coral that he will introduce a 200-room hotel to the country.

Hotel du Vin Dives Into Poole Return to Headlines
Marylebone Warwick Balfour noted in March that its boutique chain Hotel du Vin was in negotiations over a site in the resort of Poole in the county of Dorset, in southern England. Those negotiations have had a favourable outcome; reports indicate that Hotel du Vin has secured a property that will become its fourteenth hotel in the UK. The company has paid private owners the Goddens an undisclosed sum for the 32-room Mansion House Hotel and will spend several million pounds reportedly on refurbishment and on raising the room count at the Georgian building to 38. The new hotel is scheduled to open in April 2008.

Peab To Extend The Hotel Gothia Towers Return to Headlines
With its 704 rooms, the Hotel Gothia Towers is already the largest hotel in the Nordic region. The property in the city of Gothenburg, in southwestern Sweden, will be the largest hotel in the whole of Europe once Peab, the Swedish construction firm, is finished. The company has signed a deal with Svenska Mässan (the Swedish Exhibition Centre) that will see the hotel receive 500 new rooms in work that is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2008. The work, which will include the construction of a 29-storey tower, has a projected completion date of 2010 and is expected to cost around SKr580 million (roughly €60 million).

Clarion Called Up For Point Duty Return to Headlines
Point Village Company was earlier this year granted planning permission for a development costing a reported €800 million in the Docklands area of the city of Dublin. One component of The Point Village, a mixed-use scheme of 12 acres, is a four-star hotel, and reports in the Irish press note that Point Village Company has called on Choice Hotels Ireland to operate a property that will cost a reported €100 million. The 250-room Clarion Hotel, the fourth property in Dublin to take the Clarion brand, is set to open in 2009. Another in Ireland jigging with joy after receiving planning permission is Tadhg Lyne, a director of the company that owns the Riverside Hotel in the northwestern town of Sligo. The 66-room property, formerly part of the chain Irish Court Hotels, is to be converted into a 30-unit aparthotel.

The Sefton Group Buys Hilton Isle of Man Return to Headlines
The Sefton Group is reported to have paid an undisclosed sum for the 136-room Hilton Isle of Man. The hotel in Douglas, the capital of the Isle of Man, which lies off the coast of northwest England, will take the name Palace Hotel and Casino. The Sefton Group is said to have plans to replace the property within five years with a new four-star Hilton hotel. The company also has aspirations to build a hotel of at least 150 rooms as part of a mixed-use complex elsewhere in the town.

Fairmont Gives News Of The Savoy's Renovation Return to Headlines
The US$200 million question (or £100 million, if you prefer) is when is The Savoy to close for its much anticipated renovation? Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has no need to phone a friend, for it knows that the answer is definitely December 2007. The company, which manages the world famous 263-room hotel in London, noted that the work, which is set to cost in excess of £100 million, is scheduled to last for around 16 months.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 10/05/07-17/05/07

InterContinental Hotels Group - The company's shares touched a record high of 1,419p as fresh takeover rumours circulated. IHG denied the rumours.

Millennium & Copthorne - A company that has been a rumoured takeover target too benefited from the talk surrounding InterContinental Hotels Group.

Whitbread - ABN Amro reiterated its 'Buy' rating and raised its target price from 2,100p to 2,240p.