HVS EMEA Hospitality Newsletter – Week Ending 30 September 2011

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

Rumour Has It

The rumour is that London-born businessmen Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay have completed a deal with Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) that will see them achieve full ownership of the Maybourne Hotel Group. NAMA has reportedly sold the Barclay brothers loans in excess of €800 million that were provided to the Maybourne Hotel Group by two Irish banks in 2005 as funds for the acquisition of its three hotels in London: Claridge’s, the Berkeley and the Connaught. Back in January this year, the Barclay brothers acquired a 24% stake in Coroin, the parent company of the Maybourne Hotel Group, and it was reported at the time that the brothers also reached an agreement with Irish property entrepreneur Derek Quinlan to acquire his 35% interest in Coroin, giving them a 60% share in the group.

A Croatian DoubleTree And A Turkish Trumpet

Hilton Worldwide has signed a management agreement with Zagreb-based BP Pluto for its first DoubleTree by Hilton property in Croatia. The DoubleTree by Hilton Zagreb is expected to open in Croatia’s capital in spring 2012, as part of BP Pluto’s €80 million Green Gold mixed-use complex, which will include office and retail space. The construction cost of the 152-room hotel is reportedly expected to reach €25 million. Once open, this will be Hilton’s third hotel in Croatia, alongside the 147-room Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik and the 314-room Hilton Marjan Split. This week also marked the opening of Hilton’s fourth Garden Inn hotel in Turkey and its first in Istanbul. The Hilton Garden Inn Istanbul Golden Horn can be found tooting its own trumpet on the banks of the Bosphorus Strait, in the European side of the city.

InterCityHotel On The Move

InterCityHotel, a wholly owned subsidiary of Frankfurt-based Steigenberger Hotels, has signed a cooperation agreement with Austrian property developer PORR Solutions Immobilien-Und Infrastrukturprojekte. This new partnership will see the brand expand outside of Germany and Austria with the development of 15 InterCityHotel properties across Central and Eastern Europe over the next few years. InterCityHotel will operate the hotels as the leaseholder and PORR Solutions will be responsible for developing the sites. Commenting on the agreement, Joachim Marusczyk, InterCityHotel’s managing director, said, “As the economies of Central and Eastern Europe continue to develop, demand for upper mid-range hotel accommodation is growing. There has been a significant increase in the number of business travellers in the countries of Eastern Europe. We are convinced that this region provides a major opportunity to advance our brand.”

From The Spice Islands To The Eternal City…A Meliá Journey

At the beginning of next week, Meliá Hotels International will be packing its snorkelling kit and heading to tropical climes. On 1 October, the Spanish group plans to open its first property in Tanzania on the island of Zanzibar, off the east coast of Africa. The Meliá Zanzibar lies in the northeast of the island, set in a 100-acre site with its own private beach, with 100 rooms and seven villas. This is Meliá’s sixth hotel in Africa (four in Egypt and one in Cape Verde). Meliá has also announced that it plans to open its fourth hotel in Italy in December. Overlooking the Vatican and the River Tiber, the 116-suite Gran Meliá Roma will be the company’s second hotel in Rome.

Timbers Turns Tuscan Castle Into A Hotel

Private, US-based boutique resort and residence club developer Timbers Resorts recently announced that after a five-year restoration the Hotel Castello di Casole in Tuscany, Italy, will open its doors on 2 April 2012. The renovated tenth-century castle has been transformed into a five-star hotel with 41 suites. The site, with more than 100 acres of vineyards and olive groves, will also contain casali (farmhouses) and villas sold on a whole or fractional ownership basis. This will be the group’s first property in Italy.

Catch Some Zs In London

So far this year, a number of luxury hotels have opened in the UK’s capital city, including the W, the Corinthia, the Four Seasons on Park Lane and many more! However, this week brought news of a new budget brand that is poised to pounce on the central London market – Z Hotels’ flagship property, Z Hotels Soho, is due to open on 10 October. The 85-room hotel, at the heart of the city’s Soho district, is the result of a conversion of 12 Georgian townhouses.

Tulips All Year Round In Amsterdam

Accor has bought its all seasons brand to the Netherlands for the first time. The all seasons Amsterdam City opened earlier this week along one of Amsterdam’s famous canals. True to the culture of its host country, all of the hotel’s 44 rooms feature tulip decorations. Accor currently has 40 hotels in the Netherlands, and the French group plans to double this figure by 2015.

Who Will Be The King Of The Castle?

The UK is a land of castles, but it is not often that the chance arises to own one. However, for those seeking such an abode, this could be your lucky week. Hoteliers Colin and Roselyn Thompson have made the decision to concentrate on their other business interests and they have put the Dornoch Castle Hotel in the county of Sutherland, northern Scotland, on the market for £2.5 million. The castle housing the 25-room hotel dates back to the 15th century and was originally the home of the Bishop of Sutherland.

A Four-Legged Tale From Dubai

A new hotel opened in Dubai, UAE, recently. But this “seven-star” haven is not for the likes of you and me. Only pampered pooches and fussy felines will get a room at this inn! Urban Tails Pet Resort is the brainchild of Irish-born Dubai resident Aideen O’Mara and it provides short- and long-term boarding facilities for pets when their owners are away. The resort, which can cater to 70 dogs and 40 cats, is described by Aideen as the “pet equivalent of the Burj Al Arab.”

African Expansion For Millennium

Millennium & Copthorne is restructuring its operations in the Middle East and North Africa so that its regional headquarters in Abu Dhabi will also cover the entire African continent. Previously Millennium & Copthorne Middle East and North Africa, the new division will now be called Millennium & Copthorne Middle East and Africa. “We see tremendous opportunity in Africa. There are many key markets underserved by quality hotels offering international standards…There is also significant bilateral trade between the Middle East and many African countries. We look forward to spearheading the group’s foray into this continent. We already have a few agreements on the table and look forward to announcing our first African properties soon,” said Ali Hamad Lakhraim Alzaabi, Millennium’s president and chief executive officer for the region.

Gladen’s Tidings

The news from Spain by Esther Gladen, Business & Market Intelligence Analyst, HVS Madrid. Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa in Majorca scheduled to open in March 2012: the 120-room luxury hotel is group’s first project in Europe. Construction work on the 18,000 m² resort is in the final phase and the opening is scheduled for March 2012. Owner of Nueva Rumasa and Marsans takes over portfolio from GH Hoteles: Angel de Cabo has taken over the small GH Hoteles chain, which consists of three hotels in Galicia, with a total of 400 rooms. All three properties will be managed and operated by their new owner.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week – 22-29 September 2011

Meliá Hotels International – Meliá jumped 7.6% on firm volume, ending a four-day streak of losses.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) – IHG hit a two-month high during the past week.

Accor – Accor rose 9.4% on high volatility.

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 – HVS London (@russellkett)rkett@hvs.com
Charles Human, Managing Director – HVS Hodges Ward Elliottchuman@hvshwe.com
Tim Smith, Director – HVS Londontsmith@hvs.com
Chris Martin, Director – HVS Hodges Ward Elliottcmartin@hvshwe.com
Demetris Spanos, Managing Director – HVS Athensdspanos@hvs.com
Hala Matar Choufany, Managing Director – HVS Dubaihchoufany@hvs.com
Christopher Mumford, Managing Director – HVS Executive Search (@ChrisMumford)cmumford@hvs.com
Philip Bacon, Managing Director – HVS Madrid and Managing Director, EMEA & Asia – HVS Shared Ownership Servicespbacon@hvs.com
Saurabh Chawla, Director – HVS Asset Management and Strategic Advisoryschawla@hvs.com
Louise Fury, Senior Editor and EMEA Hospitality Newsletter Author – HVS Londonlfury@hvs.com