HVS EMEA Hospitality Enews - Week Ending 11 July 2008

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

HVS Hodges Ward Elliott Advises REIT Asset Management As It Sells Three UK Hotels

REIT Asset Management, advised by HVS Hodges Ward Elliott, has sold three hotels from its Brentwood Hotels portfolio to Moorfield Group. The hotels, which have 182 rooms in total, are the St George Hotel in Harrogate, the Eden Arms Hotel in Rushyford and the George Hotel in Chollerford. The hotels were operated under the Swallow Hotels brand; under Moorfield's ownership the operation has transferred to Shearings. HVS Hodges Ward Elliott is acting as agent on behalf of REIT Asset Management for the Brentwood Hotels portfolio.

Realstar Shines Anew

The Canadian property company Realstar Group was a real star in the eyes of the UK hotel world back in 2005 when it took the role of “R” in LRG Acquisition, a joint venture that bought 73 hotels from InterContinental Hotels Group in a £1 billion deal. Realstar takes centre stage again and audiences from elsewhere in Europe besides those in the UK will get the chance to applaud the company’s future purchases. Realstar has formed Realstar European Capital I, a fund with equity of €300 million that is targeting the hospitality, leisure and residential markets primarily.

Eurostars Lights Up Paris And Lisbon

Paris and Lisbon, the stars have come out for you: Eurostars Hotels has opened its first property in each of these cities. In Paris, the light shines on the Eurostars Panorama, a 43-room boutique hotel. The hotel was already part of Hotusa Group, the owner of Eurostars, and was refurbished to bring it up to Eurostars’ standard. The hotel in Lisbon too is a boutique hotel and like its Parisian cousin was already in the Hotusa Group portfolio. Lisbon, your hotel is the 107-room Eurostars Das Letras.

SRV Sells The Park Inn Ekaterinburg

SRV Russia has sold its shares in ZAO Nordrus Hotel, the owner of the 160-room Park Inn Ekaterinburg, for €22.5 million. The shares were bought by Wenaas Hotel Russia, which is part of the Norwegian firm Wenaas Group. The deal, which is subject to the approval of Russia’s competition authorities, is expected to complete sometime in early autumn. SRV Russia is part of the Finnish construction firm SRV Group.

St. Regis Marches Into Dubai

Put your feet up, St Christopher, and take a well-earned rest: there is a new patron saint of travellers and it comes from within the hotel world; its name is St. Regis. The sand beneath St. Regis’s sandals on its tour of the Middle East is on this occasion that in the emirate of Dubai, where in 2012 The St. Regis Dubai is set to open. The hotel will have 220 guest rooms, and 80 residences taking the name The Residences at The St. Regis Dubai. The St. Regis Dubai is part of the mixed-use development Starhill Towers & Gallery, which is owned and is being built by ETA Star Property.

IHG To Manage Four Hotels At Port Ghalib

People will say they’re in love, Sovereign Hospitality Holdings and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). The couple have already been seen together in Damascus and Dakar, and the two continue to wander through the alphabet and have reached “E” for Egypt. No marriage contract as yet, but instead a management contract offered by Sovereign to IHG on properties at Port Ghalib, a resort that has been operational in Marsa Alam, on the Red Sea coast, since 2002. IHG is to manage the four hotels (1,200 rooms) presently open at the resort: one under the InterContinental brand, and two under the Crowne Plaza brand. The other hotel, the four-star Marina Lodge, will not be taking an IHG brand. IHG will also manage a convention centre.

Burj Al-Fateh Opens In Khartoum

Steel and glass have been worked to produce Burj Al-Fateh, a luxurious 230-room hotel that is poised to open in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. Take a stroll down the Nile Road, keep looking skywards and the hotel’s unmistakeable shape will soon fill your eyes.

Rezidor In Belgium; Domina In The Netherlands

Rezidor Hotel Group is to have a second Park Inn in Belgium. The 133-room Park Inn Leuven will open in the third quarter of 2010 as part of a mixed-use development near the central railway station that serves the town of Leuven (Louvain). A hotel company entering a country for the first time has to start somewhere; for Rezidor and Park Inn that somewhere in Belgium was the city of Liège. For Italian chain Domina Hotel Group that first somewhere in the Netherlands is the city of Rotterdam. The 189-room Domina Hotel & Conference Rotterdam, on which Domina has signed a lease with Hotel Blijdorp, will open next month. Hotel Blijdorp is a company controlled by the Dutch construction firm Heddes Bouw.

Von Essen Hotels Might Have Attraction For Magnate

The Times reports that Lakshmi Mittal, the Indian who has made his fortune in steel, is interested in taking a stake of up to 40% in von Essen Hotels that could cost Mittal anything up to £200 million. The newspaper suggests that von Essen Hotels might use the money to buy, for example, the hotels in Europe belonging to Orient-Express Hotels. Von Essen Hotels has 26 hotels spread throughout the UK and one hotel in France.

Kiessling's Corner

The Hesperia Sagrada Familia Sport & Spa Hotel will be opening this September in the centre of Barcelona. Each of the 63 rooms in the four-star hotel will take the theme of sport and health. The hotel will be Hesperia’s tenth in the province of Barcelona. Elsewhere in the city of Barcelona, Best Western has included Hotel Medicis Barcelona in its portfolio. The 93-room, three-star hotel is a third hotel in the city for Best Western and the hotel is owned and managed by Molsan Inmobilaria 2000. By Gabriele Kiessling, Analyst, HVS Madrid

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 3-10 July 2008

InterContinental Hotels Group - Hopes of a cut in interest rates were not fulfilled and the effects were reflected in the company's share price.

Accor - SG Securities kept a 'Buy' rating but cut its target price to €55.

Whitbread - The share price was one of several to suffer as the markets feared the onset of a full-scale recession.

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
Hadrien Pujol, Director hpujol@hvs.com
Demetris Spanos, Managing Director – HVS Athens dspanos@hvs.com
Hala Matar Choufany, Director – HVS Dubai hchoufany@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