HVS EMEA Hospitality Enews - Week Ending 3 October 2008

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

MH Buys The Freehold To Hotel Prince de Galles

MH Limited Partnership has paid Caisse Autonome Nationale de la Sécurité Sociale dans les Mines €141 million for the freehold interest in the Hotel Prince de Galles. MH Limited Partnership, a holding company owned by the Musallam family from Saudi Arabia, already has the leasehold on the 168-room hotel, which stands on Avenue George V in Paris. The hotel, which Starwood operates as part of its Luxury Collection, is set to undergo refurbishment work costing €80 million.

Stake In The Can In Cannes

Qatari Diar, the real estate investor, has paid an undisclosed sum for a stake of 22.7% in Société Fermière du Casino Municipal de Cannes and is said eventually to want to raise that holding to 40%. SFCMC operates two four-star hotels – the Hôtel Gray d’Albion and the Hôtel Majestic Barrière – and two casinos in the resort of Cannes, in southeastern France. Qatari Diar wants to assist the Desseigne Barrière family, the majority shareholder in SFCMC, to develop the company overseas.

Von Essen Gains Full Marks From The Spencers

When von Essen Hotels goes out a-hunting in the English countryside it invariably comes back with something in its sack. This week it turned up on the doorstep of the Spencer family and proferred a sum unknown for the Spencers’ Callow Hall. This 16-room country house hotel, which stands near the village of Ashbourne, in Derbyshire, joins von Essen’s classification known as The Country Set. Von Essen Hotels now has 29 hotels in the UK.

Saadiyat Island To Welcome A Park Hyatt

Abu Dhabi National Hotels has signed up Hyatt to manage the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi. The hotel, the third in the Middle East to fly the Park Hyatt flag, will stand on the northern fringes of Saadiyat Island and should be ready in 2010. The Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi will have 270 rooms and 44 private villas.

Puteri Hotels To Manage Five In Saudi Arabia

The Malaysian chain Puteri Hotels has signed a deal to manage five five-star hotels in Saudi Arabia. The hotels are currently being built in the cities of Medina, Mecca, Riyadh and Jeddah. Medina will be Puteri’s first destination; the company will arrive there in September 2009 to manage a hotel with 267 rooms.

Radisson Resorts To Morocco Again

Rezidor Hotel Group has been back to Morocco to sign up for a second Radisson Resort & Spa in the country in the space of two months. This second property is destined for the northern port of Tangier, where developer Société Hôtelière et Immobilière du Nord will coax 155 rooms and 41 villas into being and have them open in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Sovereign Rules In Tripoli

Sovereign Hospitality Holdings has added extra cement to its already strong bond with InterContinental Hotels Group by agreeing to invest more than US$130 million in the development of an urban resort in Libya. The resort on the seafront in the eastern part of the Libyan capital Tripoli will include a 252-room Holiday Inn hotel and a mix of 100 villas and apartments that will be serviced by the hotel. This first Holiday Inn in Libya is set to open in 2011.

In The Pink And Getting Pinker

Rezidor Hotel Group is in the pink; it has been to Toulouse, la ville rose – the "pink city" – in southern France to open the Radisson SAS Hotel, Toulouse Airport. The 200-room hotel is the eleventh in France to fly the Radisson flag. No doubt turning pink from exposure to the sun is Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, which has been to the island of Mauritius to open the Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita. The hotel provides accommodation in 123 villas and residences.

Sir Alan Hires Whitbread

Whitbread has more than served its apprenticeship; so there must be another reason why the company has been hanging around outside the headquarters of Sir Alan Sugar’s business Amstrad UK in Brentwood, in Essex. The local press suggests it is because Whitbread and Sir Alan, through his real estate firm Amsprop, want to spend a reported total of £6 million on turning Brentwood House into a 122-room Premier Inn hotel. Brentwood House will become vacant at the end of this year when Sir Alan removes to the nearby town of Loughton.

Kiessling's Corner

Axor Hotels is the name of a new hotel chain that has been created in Madrid. Two establishments, standing next door to one another in the northeastern part of Madrid, will be the first links in the chain. The Axor Suites Barajas will be a four-star hotel with 217 rooms and the Axor 7 Trebol Feria a three-star hotel with 285 rooms. Both hotels are close to the conference centre IFEMA and to the airport, and are thus ideal for business and meetings. By Gabriele Kiessling, Analyst, HVS Madrid

Mexico: New Investment Opportunities In The Tourism Sector

HVS is helping to organise an investment forum in Spain targeted at new investment opportunities in the Mexican tourism industry. The conference will be held on 6 November at Casa de America, in Madrid. This initiative is being organised in conjunction with the Mexican embassy in Spain and the Mexican Tourism Ministry (SECTUR). Key topics that will be discussed include the overall situation in the Mexican tourism industry, interesting investment opportunities that exist in the country as well as an open debate on subjects that will arise during the conference. Nexus is the communication agency in charge of the organisation of the conference, and those interested in attending this event should email their full contact details to foro@nexus-fp.com. Further details are available from Jan Alessie, Director of Nexus. Telephone: +34 650 161050 alessie@nexus-fp.com

All The Names At The International Hotel Conference

The great and the good of the hospitality world will shortly be descending on the Rome Cavalieri Hilton for the International Hotel Conference www.internationalhotelconference.com click here. Only the venue won’t be the Rome Cavalieri Hilton by the time the conference opens on 15 October: it will be the Rome Cavalieri, having dropped the Hilton part on entering Hilton Hotels Corporation’s Waldorf=Astoria Collection. The 370-room hotel is the first in Europe to take the luxury brand. It is in the hotel’s extensive conference space that delegates will be assembling; none, presumably, will have changed his or her name. The speakers lined up include Gabriele Burgio (CEO, NH Hoteles), Frank Fiskers (president and CEO, Scandic Hotels) and Katherine Doggrell (editor, Hotel Report). He could snap his lapel badge in half but Russell Kett (managing director, HVS London) would still be recognisable by his bowtie and moustache. But if she is wearing a moustache then you won’t recognise Gabi Baumann (associate director, HVS London).

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 25 September-2 October 2008

Sol Meliá - Deutsche Bank gave a 'Buy' rating but cut its target price from €10.60 to €8.40.

InterContinental Hotels Group - The share price fell as a result of the general weakness of the US economy.

NH Hoteles - Citigroup cut its rating from 'Hold' to 'Sell'.

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
Tim Smith, Director tsmith@hvs.com
Demetris Spanos, Managing Director – HVS Athens dspanos@hvs.com
Hala Matar Choufany, Managing 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