HVS EMEA Hospitality Enews - Week Ending 23 November 2007

The latest hospitality news from Europe, the Middle East and Africa

Hardly A Dwarf Deal

Dynamique Hôtels, a hotel investment fund, has added to its portfolio of hotels in its native France by paying an undisclosed sum for 19 budget hotels that operate under the brands Bonsaï Escale, Bonsaï Etape and Bonsaï Relais. The 19 hotels, which are sprinkled across France from Calais in the north to Marseilles in the south, have a total of 1,000 rooms.

Travelodge's Spanish Package Promises 100 Hotels

Travelodge has taken the bull by the horns in Spain. Not a difficult task. The animal was transfixed by the message inside Travelodge’s cape that read: 100 hotels in Spain by 2020. And when the startled spectators find their voices again they will cry “olé” as Travelodge charges off around the country opening budget hotels of around 80 to 100 rooms in Spain’s leading cities. Madrid and Barcelona, where Travelodge’s three existing Spanish hotels are to be found, and Valencia will be the cities initially visited. Travelodge has a budget of €1 billion for this project. The work will be overseen by Horacio Alcalá, Travelodge’s development director for Spain. He was formerly director of hotel investment with Metrovacesa, the Spanish real estate company.

Blakes Encourages Guests Who Invest

GuestInvest has made what it terms “a substantial investment” in Blakes, the boutique hotel in London. GuestInvest, which introduced the concept of the buy to let hotel room to the UK in 2004, will offer the rooms at Blakes to the hotel’s regular guests for a reported £1 million apiece. Those fashionable guests ought to hurry; reports indicate that the number of rooms will be lowered from 50 to 40 by a programme of refurbishment. The refurbishment will be overseen by Anouska Hempel, the interior designer and co-owner with her husband Sir Mark Weinberg of Blakes. Both will remain active in the business and Sir Mark will join the board of GuestInvest.

A Park Inn For Germany, A Park Inn For Russia

The candy stripes of the Park Inn logo have painted themselves across most countries in Europe. Germany and Russia are two that have applied for a fresh coat. In Germany, where Rezidor Hotel Group has 15 Park Inn hotels and another three under development, the lines lead to Heppenheim, to the northeast of the city of Mannheim, and a rebranded hotel of 111 rooms. In Russia, the paint stops at the western city of Voronezh. The 134-room Park Inn Voronezh is set to open in January 2008.

InterContinental Stands Tall In Nigeria

The InterContinental Lagos promises to be the tallest hotel in Nigeria. Those tiling the roof can expect do so at an altitude of 100 metres. The Milan Group is investing a reported US$80 million in the 350-room hotel, which will stand on Victoria Island in the city of Lagos. From the top floor of what will be InterContinental Hotels Group’s first hotel in Nigeria guests might be able to see the Fairmont Zanzibar, which opened this week. The hotel on the island of Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania, has 109 rooms. Alternatively, they can gawp at the first Westin hotel in South Africa. The 483-room ArabellaSheraton Grand Hotel, in Cape Town, will take the name The Westin Grand Cape Town Arabella Quays by the end of November.

So, Tell Me About The Legend Of Sofitel

If you want to know what a repositioned Sofitel looks like, then you will need to seek out a hotel called Wanda. Peer through the smog of a Beijing morning and you should see the Sofitel Wanda Beijing shuffling along to the top end of the luxury sector. Expect to see identical movements around the world between now and 2010 as Sofitel becomes a separate business within Accor complete with its own chief operating officer in Robert Gaymer-Jones. Within its new walls Sofitel Luxury Hotels will also be cloning itself and creating sister brands in Sofitel Legend (to be worn by hotels such as Sofitel The Grand Amsterdam) and So by Sofitel, which is the badge of the boutique hotel. The first So by Sofitel hotel is presently known as the Sofitel Arc de Triomphe. The 134-room hotel in Paris will assume its new identity in 2009.

Garrett Hopes For Movement With The Bauhaus

Ever wondered what the “poor man’s Malmaison” might look like? Officials with Aberdeen City Council may have some idea. Early next year they will be studying in detail plans submitted by local businessman Nick Garrett for the Bauhaus hotel, a hotel to which Garrett has reportedly applied the epithet. Garrett wants to build the 25-room boutique hotel on the site of a disused furniture shop in Aberdeen, northeast Scotland.

Purple Reign Starts Near Stansted

Purplehotel is a new brand from The Real Hotel Company. The brand promises “no frills chic”. The first hotel in the chain has 76 rooms and opened recently near Stansted airport in Essex. Purplehotel Braintree/Stansted will be joined in January 2008 by a hotel at Glasgow airport. A healthy pink glow emanates from the direction of Heathrow airport, where the 360-room Arora International Heathrow has just emerged from refurbishment work lasting six months and costing £1 million.

Henry Edwards – A Life Of Hotels

As you may know, Henry Edwards – a doyen of the British hotel industry with names to his credit such as Centre Hotels, Friendly Hotels and Adda Hotels to name but three – passed away on 3 September. His family is arranging an event to remember him and celebrate his life. It will be held in central London on Wednesday 5 December and all who knew him are welcome to attend. If you wish to do so, please send an e-mail to DROram@bulldoghome.com Click Here and full details will be sent to you.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 15-22 November 2007

InterContinental Hotels Group - The share price rallied amid the general gloom on news that Pacific Group had taken a 6% holding. This news was later proved erroneous: the stake taken was in a company called Intercontinental Real Estate.

Whitbread - The leisure sector as a whole was hit by SABMiller's warning that it would have to pass on to customers the rising price of raw materials.

NH Hoteles - The share price was among the heaviest fallers on the Spanish market as the same worries afflicting markets elsewhere in Europe affected the Ibex 35.

For the latest in the hospitality industry, please visit: http://www.hvs.com. You are also welcome to contact the following personnel.

Russell Kett, Managing Director rkett@hvs.com
Charles Human, Managing Director – HVS HWE chuman@hvshwe.com
Dominique Bourdais, Director dbourdais@hvs.com
Bernard Forster, Director bforster@hvs.com
Karen Smith, Director ksmith@hvs.com
Marc Finney, Director mfinney@hvs.com
Demetris Spanos, Managing Director – HVS Athens dspanos@hvs.com
Christopher Mumford, Managing Director – Executive Search cmumford@hvs.com
Philip Bacon, Managing Director – HVS Madrid and Managing Director, EMEA & Asia – HVS Shared Ownership Services pbacon@hvs.com
Adrian Jones, EMEA Hospitality Enews Author ajones@hvs.com