HVS EMEA Hospitality Enews - Week Ending 23 May 2008

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

Starwood Hotels & Resorts To Sell Iconic Scottish Golf Resort

Starwood Hotels & Resorts is to sell the Westin Turnberry Resort, on the coast of Ayrshire in southwest Scotland, to Leisurecorp, a subsidiary of Dubai World, for £55 million. The two companies have signed a letter of intent and the sale is expected to be completed by 31 October 2008. Starwood will still operate the resort under a 30-year-plus management contract. The resort’s 219-room hotel is due to close later this year to undergo a full refurbishment which is expected to cost between £20 and £30 million. The hotel will then reopen in time for the 2009 Open Championship under Starwood’s Luxury Collection brand.

Rezidor’s African Adventure

Rezidor Hotel Group has already made five trips to Egypt, to open hotels in Taba, El Quseir and Sharm El Sheikh, and outing number six has resulted in the first Radisson hotel in Cairo. The 427-room Radisson Hotel Cairo, Heliopolis is expected to open in December 2008. From Cairo Rezidor then travelled south to Ethiopia and came to a stop at the foot of Mount Entoto to announce a Radisson hotel for Addis Ababa: the 209-room Radisson Hotel Addis Ababa, which is owned by The Emerald Addis Hotels plc, is scheduled to open during the first quarter of 2009 in front of the United Nations Conference Centre. This hotel will be Rezidor’s first hotel in Ethiopia, increasing its presence in the EMEA region to 52 countries.

Ritz-Carlton To Manage A Luxury Resort In Saudi Arabia

Emaar, the Economic City, the company developing King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) in Saudi Arabia, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Ritz-Carlton to manage a luxury resort within the Resort Cove district of KAEC. The resort, which is to be developed on a 180,000 m² beachfront plot on the Red Sea coast, is scheduled to open in 2011 with a mix of guest rooms and private villas. Ritz-Carlton’s Middle East portfolio currently consists of hotels in Bahrain, Egypt, Qatar and the UAE.

Mövenpick Debuts In Saudi Arabia

During the next few days the city of Al Khobar, in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, will see the opening of its first Mövenpick hotel. The 143-room Mövenpick Hotel Al Khobar will be the sixth hotel in Mövenpick Hotels & Resort's Saudi Arabian portfolio, and the company also has four hotels under construction in the country.

A Westin Hotel For Abu Dhabi

Starwood Hotels & Resorts has travelled to Abu Dhabi to provide the emirate with its first Westin hotel. The 148-room Westin Hotel & Spa Abu Dhabi is scheduled to open as part of a mixed-use resort at the end of 2009. Starwood currently has around 58 hotels in the Middle East region, two of which are under the Westin brand.

The Island Of Usedom Welcomes The Steigenberger Hotel Kaiserbad

The Steigenberger Hotel Group is to open a luxury hotel on the Island of Usedom on the Baltic coast, in the north German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The Steigenberger Hotel Kaiserbad, which is expected to open in autumn 2010, is to have more than 150 rooms and suites and it will be located in the coastal resort of Heringsdorf. The hotel will be managed by Steigenberger Hotels. The developers Berlin-based Meermann-Chamartin Group and Kassel-based company ID&C are investing €50 million in the project.

One Small Step For Premier Inn; One Giant Leap For The Hotel Industry

Don’t expect there to be much of an atmosphere at Premier Inn’s latest hotel site…The Daily Telegraph has reported that the UK budget hotel chain has paid the bargain price of £24 for the option to purchase a 43,500 ft² plot of land, for £1 million, on the moon! Patrick Dempsey, Premier Inn’s managing director, said "Given the pace of space exploration and transportation possibilities beyond earth's atmosphere, we feel that it is now more feasible than ever to expect travel to and from the moon to become a common occurrence within the next 20 to 30 years”.

The Real Hotel Company Announce A Trading Update For 13 Weeks Ending 3 April 2008

The Real Hotel Company has announced that its revenue for the 13 weeks to 3 April 2008 is up by 4% to £17.0 million. Hotel revenue for the UK increased by 5% from £11.8 million to £12.4 million and revenue for European hotels grew by 8% from £2.7 million to £2.9 million. Like for like revenue for premium limited service hotels increased by 1% from £0.9 million to £1.0 million with a RevPAR increase of 1%. Like for like revenue for mid-market, full service hotels declined by 10.7% from £10.5 million to £9.4 million, resulting in a RevPAR decreae of 7.7%. The company’s trading results were impacted by the early Easter holiday this year, which reduced high-rate commercial business over the Easter period.

Kiessling’s Corner

Gabriele Kiessling, an Analyst within our Market Intelligence team who is based at HVS’s Madrid office, is to become a regular contributor to HVS EMEA Enews. Kiessling’s Corner will provide up-to-date news from the Spanish hotel market.The hotel chain Best Hotels has reduced its portfolio by selling the three-star, 108-room Best Carabela Hotel in La Pineda on the Costa Dorada, in the Spanish region of Catalonia. The hotel, which previously belonged to the owner association Pivise, has been acquired by Igor Rothensteyn, an entrepreneur and administrator of the Viajes Terramar-Tour agency (Apsis Hotels). The hotel chain Side Balear Quality Hotels (BQ Hoteles) has acquired the three-star, 145-room Summa Paguera Hotel, in Majorca town centre, from Summa Hoteles. The hotel recently opened as the Boulevard Paguera and is to be transformed into a four-star hotel. Summa Hoteles is also planning to sell the Summa Llorca Hotel, also in Majorca; however, no buyer has been found so far. The sale of these two establishments gives the impression that Summa Hotels is trying to abandon its Balearic market.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 15-22 May 2008

Whitbread - M&B remain in talks with Whitbread regarding a possible stake sale or further acquisitions.

InterContinental Hotels Group - New visa restrictions in China are reported to be affecting the company's trade.

Accor - Morgan Stanley downgraded Accor to equal weight from overweight and cut its target price to €57 from €59.

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