HVS EMEA Hospitality Enews - Week Ending 22 January 2010

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

Double Doubletree Delight For Turkey

Others may be replete with turkey so soon after Christmas, but not Hilton Worldwide; it could wait no longer than 21 days before announcing it was ready to tuck in again. Hilton’s latest assault on Turkey is two-pronged: not with a carving fork but with a pair of Doubletree by Hilton hotels. These franchised hotels, the first hotels in Turkey to wear the Doubletree brand, will be the newly built 172-room Doubletree by Hilton, Istanbul-Old City and an existing hotel in the town of Avanos, in the central region of Cappadocia, that will be renovated and turned into the 126-room Doubletree by Hilton, Avanos-Cappadocia. Both hotels will open in mid 2010.

A Second For First In Bergen

Norwegian construction company Betonmast Bygg is to build big in Bergen: a 248-room hotel of some 12,000 m² that will have conference facilities capacious enough to hold 700 people. Construction work is expected to start in January 2011 and take a year to complete. The hotel will be close to the terminal at Flesland, the airport serving the city of Bergen, on the southwestern coast of Norway. First Hotels is to operate the hotel, which is owned by BGO Bygg, as the First Hotel Flesland.

Hilton Brand Rides Into Riyadh

HVS Hodges Ward Elliott exclusively advised the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI), a semi-state owned insurance and pensions company, to select Hilton Worldwide as a partner to operate its new-build Granada hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Hilton Riyadh Hotel & Residences will feature 480 guest rooms and 350 apartments and will be strategically situated on the Eastern Ring Road, which links Riyadh’s international airport with the city centre. The hotel will benefit from its location between the Granada Shopping Centre, the country’s largest mall, and the Granada Business Park, both owned and developed by GOSI. This will be the first Hilton-branded hotel in the capital and its opening is scheduled for the end of 2013. By Michelle Weiss, Senior Associate, HVS Hodges Ward Elliott

Range To Be Found In Iraq

UK-based developer Range Hospitality and the Abu Dhabi investment company Noor Capital have teamed up to develop a complex of five-star serviced apartments in Iraq. The Range – Karbala, in the city of Karbala, in central Iraq, is to have upwards of 650 units (a mix of studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments) and is scheduled to be finished in 2013. Reports put the cost of the development at US$100 million.

University’s Challenge Is To Revitalise Hotel

Loughborough University, in Leicestershire, is closing in on the purchase of the former Quality Hotel Loughborough and hopes to complete the deal within the next few weeks. Danish property fund EjendomsInvest put the 94-room hotel up for sale early last year. The university is to completely renovate the hotel and rebrand it as The Link at Loughborough. The management of the hotel will be in the hands of Imago, the university’s subsidiary that deals with the organisation of conferences and events.

York House In Bristol Could Become A Hotel

York House Retail Investment has applied to Bristol City Council for permission to convert York House, a block of disused offices in the centre of the city of Bristol, in southwest England, into a hotel with 182 rooms. If permission is granted – and a decision is expected to be reached by mid February – then the hotel would occupy the floors above a coffee shop and restaurant on the ground floor. Travelodge is named in reports as one operator to have expressed an interest in the project.

Gladen's Tidings

Hilton Worldwide is looking to expand more aggressively in Spain by introducing new lower segment brands such as Hampton by Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn in the capitals of Spanish provinces. However, the introduction of luxury brand Waldorf=Astoria is only being considered in Madrid, Barcelona or Seville. By Esther Gladen, HVS Madrid

Accor Reports Its Full-Year Revenue

Accor reported a total revenue of approximately €7.1 billion for the full-year 2009. That this figure was down 7.9% (like for like) on the previous year was little surprise in the current economic climate. The RevPAR returns for the year were similarly depressed. Among the upscale and midscale hotels in Europe, a final figure of €57 was down 13.3% (like for like), whereas the like-for-like decline among Accor’s economy hotels in Europe was 8.2%, the final figure here being €37. Nevertheless, Accor noted that hotel business had improved in the final quarter relative to the preceding three and that occupancy had in December shown the first signs of stabilising.

A Trading Update From Kingdom Hotel Investments

Kingdom Hotel Investments (KHI) has issued a trading update covering the three months to 31 December 2009. The update revealed that system RevPAR had increased by 3% on the previous year’s comparable. Across KHI’s properties in sub-Saharan Africa, RevPAR was up by 15%. At the Four Seasons George V, in Paris, RevPAR had improved by 16%.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 14-21 January 2010

Marriott International - The share price hit a year-high towards the end of last week as the company projected higher revenue.

Accor - The shares rallied amid rumours that Accor was considering selling its 49% stake in Lucien Barrière.

Millennium & Copthorne - Towards the very end of this week Goldman Sachs raised its rating from 'Neutral' to 'Buy'.

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
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