HVS EMEA Hospitality Enews - Week Ending 18 January 2008

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

Strong Finnish The Promise For CapMan

Northern European Properties (NEP) expects to have sold its entire portfolio (38 hotels) of hotels in Finland and one hotel in Sweden (the Holiday Club Åre) by the end of March to the Finnish private equity firm CapMan. Besides Holiday Club, brands featured on the hotels sold include Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Radisson and Ramada. The sale price of the 39 hotels, which have a total of 6,477 rooms, is €805 million. NEP is to use the money to fund further acquisitions in another of its favoured territories: Russia.

JJW Hotels Buys Two Hotels On The Algarve

Put up for sale three months ago and now sold: the breathless recent history of two hotels on the Algarve in Portugal. JJW Hotels & Resorts has paid a total of around €180 million for the 196-room Le Méridien Penina Golf & Resort and the 154-room Le Méridien Dona Filipa. The seller was Starman UK Company Services. The new arrivals join JJW Hotels & Resorts’ existing hotel on the Algarve, the 61-unit, four-star Formosa Park Hotel Apartment.

Lampsa Lights On Half A Hilton

Lampsa Hellenic Hotels and a company called Plaka (it owns the Blue Palace Resort & Spa, on Crete) have each taken a 50% stake in Tourist Resorts, the owner of the 404-room Hilton Rhodes Resort which stands on the Greek island of Rhodes. Ionian Hotel Enterprises sold its 100% holding in Tourist Resorts for a total of €35.5 million.

Fresh Tulips From Amsterdam

The 16-year partnership between Golden Tulip Hospitality (GTH) and WestCord Hotels has blossomed further in 2008 with GTH signing three new franchise agreements with WestCord, bringing the total number of hotels that WestCord has under contract with GTH to nine. The 106-room Tulip Inn Amsterdam City Centre, formerly the Ramada Amsterdam City Centre, is the only existing hotel of the three new additions. The 272-room Golden Tulip Amsterdam Fashion, which is currently under construction, is expected to open in the second quarter of 2009. The 144-room Golden Tulip WTC Leeuwarden will be the first Tulip to flower in Leeuwarden, in the north of the Netherlands. This hotel is due to open by the end of 2009 as part of a €20 million mixed-use development at the city’s World Trade Centre.

IHG And Aldar Get Busy In Abu Dhabi

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and Aldar Properties have signed a development agreement that will result in a number of hotels with IHG’s brands appearing in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. For the moment, the pair will content themselves with three, all of which will be managed by IHG. An InterContinental hotel of more than 300 rooms will open at the Al Raha Beach development in 2011. Over at the Yas Island development (home of a Ferrari theme park) two hotels will be vying to see who can take the chequered flag first in 2009. Will it be the 430-room Crowne Plaza or the 165-unit Staybridge Suites? A hotel commentator with the Murray Walker gene already excited about that race will have an overheating microphone if he stays in Abu Dhabi much longer. “And here comes – yes, it’s Rotana. Rotana in a Marina.” Rotana Hotels has paired up with National Investment Corporation to manage a luxurious 600-room hotel to be built at Abu Dhabi Marina.

Banyan Tree And Taj Both Attracted To Saraya Islands

Ras al Khaimah has this week been almost as much of a bustle as its fellow emirate Abu Dhabi. Banyan Tree Holdings arrived from Singapore to sign a management agreement with Saraya Holdings on a property at the mixed-use development Saraya Islands: the 150-suite Banyan Tree Resort. Saraya Islands also welcomed The Indian Hotels Company, whose subsidiary Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces is to operate the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa. The five-star hotel will have 180 rooms.

Saraya Holdings Holidays In Sochi

Before it prepared to welcome hoteliers to Saraya Islands, Saraya Holdings took the chance to snatch a holiday in the resort of Sochi, on the Black Sea in Russia. Saraya’s companion was the Russian real estate firm Sistema-Hals. It was a working holiday; the two spent their time drawing up plans to redevelop a mixed-use resort on the site of the former Kamelia Hotel. A wholly owned subsidiary of Saraya has taken a 50% stake in the resort and on that 6.3-hectare site the Saraya Sochi will rise. The new resort will include a five-star hotel of at least 200 rooms and a set of “club-style” apartments.

Scandic's First Hotel In Russia

Not for Scandic Hotels Travelodge’s new method of building hotels. Why go to the trouble of bolting together what are essentially shipping containers when you can get the hotel you want simply by nipping down to IKEA? Scandic Hotels has taken advantage of this week’s special offer: a 300-room hotel at an office complex owned by IKEA in Moscow. IKEA is to start building the Scandic Khimki Moscow (following plans perhaps reading: “Attach Girder ‘A’ to Girder ‘B’ using the rivets provided”, and so on) in a few months’ time. The hotel at the Khimki Business Park is set to open in mid 2010; it will be Scandic Hotels’ first hotel in Russia.

GuestInvest Keeps Up With The Jones

Jones, commonplace? Then you have obviously not seen the latest hotel in London from GuestInvest. The Edwardian, Grade II listed building in the Bayswater district that GuestInvest has bought was designed by the same architects responsible for The Ritz in London. GuestInvest is to refurbish the building and reopen it this summer as The Jones. GuestInvest has also bought a row of houses in the Notting Hill area of the capital. These buildings too will be refurbished to bring to six GuestInvest’s portfolio of “buy to let” hotels. The properties, for which GuestInvest paid a total of a reported £120 million, will together add 433 rooms to that portfolio.

Accor Reports Full-Year Revenue

Accor has reported its revenue for the year ending 31 December 2007. The grand total was €8.1 billion, a like-for-like increase of 6.5% on the previous year’s figure. Accor’s hotels contributed €5.8 billion to that total, an increase (like for like) of 5.8%. Encouraged among other things by like-for-like revenue growth of 6.9% in its hotel business in the last quarter of the year, Accor raised its forecast of full-year pre-tax operating profit from the €870 million to €890 million stated in August to a figure “slightly above” €900 million.

Announcing The Hotel Report Awards 2008

A tongue of red carpet will be rolled out (or perhaps shot out, from a cannon) in front of The Honourable Artillery Company’s headquarters in the City of London on 21 February to welcome stars from the hospitality world to the Hotel Report Awards 2008. Placing a well-heeled shoe on the carpet will be our own Russell Kett, managing director of the HVS office in London, who has been nominated in the category “Individual of the Year”. But we wouldn’t want you to vote for him; oh, no. I mean I know HVS London has recently moved to more spacious offices, but we fear even this floor space would be insufficient to contain his ballooning ego were he to actually win. So when you visit www.hotelreportawards.co.uk click here to cast your vote, please bear this in mind.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 10-17 January 2008

Accor - Dresdner Kleinwort downgraded the stock from 'Add' to 'Hold' and cut the target price to €54.

Sol Meliá - Merrill Lynch cut its target price from €19.5 to €12.0.

Millennium & Copthorne - Citigroup lowered its rating from 'Buy' to 'Hold' and cut its target price from 580p to 380p.

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
Hadrien Pujol, Director hpujol@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