HVS EMEA Hospitality Enews - Week Ending 12 September 2008

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

A Le Meridien Hotel For Algeria

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide is to stage the grand debut of its Le Meridien brand in the North African country of Algeria. Starwood has signed a management agreement with the Algerian state-owned oil and gas company Sonatrach SpA to operate the Le Meridien Hotel & Conference Center in the country’s second-largest city the northwestern port of Oran on the Mediterranean coast. The 296-room hotel is expected to open in February 2010, and it is to be part of a mixed-use project being developed by Sonatrach. The new Le Meridien property will join Starwood’s other two properties in Algeria: the Sheraton Club Pins Resort and Towers, in Algiers, and the Sheraton Oran Hotel & Towers, in Oran.

Fairmont’s First Foray Into Morocco

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has also set foot on the shores of North Africa this week. Fairmont has travelled to Marrakech, in central west Morocco, to team up with Moroccan company Ste l’Eden de Marrakech and announce the Fairmont Marrakech, Morocco. The 190-room resort is expected to open in 2011 and it will become part of the Les Parcs de l'Agdal residential development.

CHI Hotels & Resorts To Manage Two Hotels In Sharm el Sheikh

Maltese-based company CHI Hotels & Resorts (formerly Corinthia Hotels International) has signed a long-term management agreement with Egyptian company Cyrene Tourism Investment Corporation to operate two new hotels in Sharm el Sheikh, a resort on the southern tip of the Sinai Penisula in Egypt. The de luxe five-star, 220-room Corinthia Hotel will be located on the beach in Montazah and is expected to open in the last quarter of 2009. The four-star, 600-room Tiran Island Hotel will open in the first quarter of 2009. Both hotels will form part of the Corinthia Beach Resort and they will be the first hotels to operate under the Corinthia brand in Egypt. This venture will bring owning company Cyrene’s hotel portfolio to around 2,200 rooms and suites.

A Delano For Dubai

To stay in a Delano hotel you would need to travel all the way to the USA as the 208-room Delano Hotel in Miami is currently the only one in the world…but not for much longer! Morgans Hotel Group, which has eight hotels across the USA and two in London, has started its international expansion by signing a 20-year management contract with an undisclosed real estate development firm for a new Delano property in the emirate of Dubai. The Delano Dubai will be developed as part of a three-building complex at Dubai Waterfront, overlooking the Palm Jebel Ali, and it is expected to open by 2012 with approximately 200 rooms and 100 branded residences. Morgans Hotel Group has also been in the news this week for its rejection of a bid of US$1.4 billion from Dubai-based Zabeel Investments. The Times reported that Morgans Hotel Croup is understood to consider that its expansion plans will deliver much greater long-term value to its shareholders than Zabeel’s bid, despite the current economic climate.

Two New Premier Inns For The UAE

In line with its aim to operate more than 6,000 rooms in the Middle East by 2012, Premier Inn, through its joint venture with the Emirates Group, has secured sites in the emirates of Ras el Khaimah and Umm al Qaiwain for the development of a 232-room hotel and a 186-room hotel, respectively. The company also hopes to announce the acquisition of more sites in Fujairah, Abu Dhabi, Muscat in Oman, Doha in Qatar and Saudia Arabia in the future.

The Banyan Tree Desert Spa And Resort In Bahrain Up For Sale

The Middle Eastern Islamic investment bank Gulf Finance House (GFH) is to sell the Banyan Tree Desert Spa and Resort, which opened in 2007 in Al Areen, Bahrain, to an unnamed investor from Singapore for an undisclosed sum. The 76-villa resort is part of the mixed-use Al Areen project which is being developed by Al Areen Holding Company (a joint company owned by the government of Bahrain, GFH and regional investors) over 2 million m² in Sakhir in the south of Bahrain with an investment of more than US$1.3 billion.

Host Hotels & Resort’s European Adventure

The European joint venture between Host Hotels & Resorts, Stichting Pensioenfonds and GIC Real Estate has toured France, the Netherlands and Germany this week and picked up six new hotels as a souvenir. An agreement has been entered into for the purchase of the 757-room Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel & Conference Center, the 327-room Renaissance Paris Hotel La Defense, the 97-room Renaissance Paris Vendome Hotel and the 150-room Courtyard by Paris Defense West-Colombes in Paris, France; the 381-room Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands; and the 221-room Courtyard by Marriott Düsseldorf Seestern, in Düsseldorf, Germany. The venture will acquire the hotels, which comprise 1,954 rooms, for approximately €565 million, bringing its portfolio to 17 hotels (approximately 5,500 rooms) across eight European countries.

TUI Senses Success With Its New Brand

German tourism and shipping company TUI is to establish a new hotel brand called Sensimar (meaning ‘experiencing the sea through the senses’). The first three hotels under the new brand are to open in summer 2009 on the Greek islands of Crete and Rhodes and in Side on the Turkish Riviera. The Sensimar Port Royal Villas & Spa, on Rhodes, and the Sensimar Side Resort & Spa, in Side, are to be new build hotels. The Hotel Sensimar Seaside Resort & Spa in Crete is to be converted from an existing property to the brand’s specifications; however, TUI plans to franchise the brand name and concept to hotel operators rather than develop and manage the hotels itself. But why stop at three hotels? TUI’s aim is to have a chain of ten to 15 seafront, four-star to four-and-half-star hotels operating under the Sensimar brand in major tourist destinations by 2012, in order to maximise the number of hotel rooms which can only be booked through TUI’s travel business. All of the properties will have no more than 250 rooms.

Accor Stakes Its Claim In Poland

Accor has acquired an additional 4.53% stake in the Polish Orbis group, with a total investment of €35 million, increasing its stake in the group to 50.01%. Accor has held a share of 45.48% in the Orbis group since 2007, and it has been a shareholder since the group was privatised in 2000. Accor has increased its stake as part of its hotel development strategy in central Europe. Orbis currently has 62 hotels in operation in Poland’s largest cities, of which 42 are operated under Accor’s Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure, Ibis and Etap brands.

The First JW Marriott Hotel In The UK Opens In London

After an extensive four-year, multimillion pound renovation and a rebranding the iconic Grovsvenor House, on Park Lane in London, UK, has reopened as the 494-room Grovsvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel. The five-star property, originally a mansion, first opened as a hotel in 1929 and it is the first JW Marriott branded hotel to open in the UK. A new spa is scheduled to open at the hotel in late 2009/early 2010.

Kiessling’s Corner

The latest news from Spain by Gabriele Kiessling, HVS Analyst, Madrid. Confortel opens its fourth establishment in Madrid: The Confortel Atrium will open at the end of the month opposite the congress centre IFEMA and close to the airport. The four-star hotel has 195 guest rooms, including 20 Suites each with different characteristics. The hotel is a newly constructed building with six storeys and it has a gym, a reading area, Internet access and food and beverage and meeting facilites. Confortel has three more hotels in Madrid: The four-star Confortel Pio XII, the four-star Confortel Suites Madrid and the four-star Confortel Alcala norte.

Russia & CIC Hotel Investment Conference 2008

This year's event will take place over the 21 and 22 October 2008 at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Moscow. Click here to buy your ticket for the two-day conference which will include talks from many industry professionals, including Charles Human from HVS Hodges Ward Elliott and HVS Executive Search's Tatiana Veller.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 4-11 September 2008

Whitbread - Shares in Whitbread rose after the company reported an increase in sales.

Millennium & Copthorne - Shares dropped in the company owing to the weaker pound and the absence of tax credits.

Sol Melia - Merrill Lynch gave Sol Melia an 'underperform' rating.

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 Directorrkett@hvs.com
Charles Human, Managing Director – HVS HWEchuman@hvshwe.com
Hadrien Pujol, Directorhpujol@hvs.com
Demetris Spanos, Managing Director – HVS Athensdspanos@hvs.com
Hala Matar Choufany, Director – HVS Dubaihchoufany@hvs.com
Christopher Mumford, Managing Director – Executive Searchcmumford@hvs.com
Philip Bacon, Managing Director – HVS Madrid and Managing Director, EMEA & Asia – HVS Shared Ownership Servicespbacon@hvs.com
Louise Fury, EMEA Hospitality Enews Authorlfury@hvs.com