HVS EMEA Hospitality Newsletter – Week Ending 21 September 2012

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

Orbis To Sell A Mercure Hotel In Poland

Warsaw-based hotel group Orbis has signed an initial sale and purchase agreement that will see it sell the 288-room Mercure Zakopane Kasprowy, in the southern Polish mountain resort of Zakopane, to Bachleda Grupa Inwestycyjna for PLN52 million (US$16.5 million). Once the final agreement for the hotel has been signed, Orbis will receive 80% of the purchase price; the remaining 20% will be paid in three instalments by the end of 2019. The deal is expected to be finalised by the end of the year and is subject to approval by the group’s shareholders and supervisory board and the forming of a franchise agreement with the new owner, in order for the hotel to remain operating under the Mercure brand.

QFIB Picks Up Two Properties In The UK

Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB) has entered the UK market with the purchase of two properties in London for an undisclosed sum. QFIB bought the properties, which include the 19th-century Leinster Inn Hotel, with a consortium of investors from across the GCC region. QFIB plans to convert the Grade II-listed hotel and Westbourne House, a 1980s office building, into residential apartments.

The Return Of A Regency Era At Rezidor

Regent Hotels and Resorts and Rezidor Hotel Group have signed a strategic alliance agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, Rezidor will develop and operate new Regent hotels in Russia, the CIS countries, the Baltic region, the Middle East and Africa, and Rezidor and Regent will jointly develop Regent properties in the rest of Europe. The Regent brand was previously part of Carlson and Rezidor before it was acquired by Formosa International Hotels Corporation a couple of years ago. “The acquisition of the Regent brand and business by Formosa in 2010 allowed us to focus on our core brands Radisson Blu and Park Inn by Radisson, and to strengthen our network in 70 countries across EMEA,” said Kurt Ritter, Rezidor’s president and chief executive officer. “A luxury brand was however never off our agenda, and we are delighted to complement our portfolio with Regent now,” he added.

Waldorf Astoria Opens In Edinburgh

Hilton Worldwide has launched a new Waldorf Astoria hotel this week. After a £24 million renovation and refurbishment, the 254-room Caledonian Hilton Edinburgh hotel, in Scotland’s capital, has reopened as the 241-room Caledonian, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The hotel, which is more than 100 years old, has been operated by Hilton since 2000. It has become the group’s second Waldorf Astoria property in the UK, alongside Syon Park in London.

Ten In Turkey, A Debut In Paris And Three New Signings In Europe

It’s been a busy week for Marriott International! The group announced plans to open its tenth hotel in Turkey, in the city of Izmir, on the Aegean coast. The Renaissance Izmir Hotel is due to open at the end of the year. Once open, the 110-room hotel will become Marriott’s first hotel in Izmir and its fifth Renaissance property in the country. Additionally, Marriott has signed a franchise agreement with SHEPI SNC for its first AC Hotel by Marriott property in Paris. When it opens in 2014, the 166-room AC Hotel Paris Port Maillot will be Marriott’s 14th hotel in the French capital and the third AC Hotel by Marriott in France. Marriott also revealed plans to open three new Autograph Collection properties in Europe by the end of the year. The Collection will make its debut in Portugal with the 72-room Fontecruz hotel in Lisbon, and France is to welcome two new Autograph Collection hotels: the 78-room Hotel De Bourgtheroulde in Rouen and the 72-room Hotel L’Hermitage Gantois in Lille; the buildings of both hotels, in the north of France, date back to the 15th century.

Starwood Brings A New Element To Europe

Starwood Hotels & Resorts has signed an agreement with German real estate and investment company Bari Gruppe that will see the group’s environmentally friendly, extended stay brand, Element, make its debut in Europe. The new-build Element Frankfurt Airport is expected to open in 2014 at the Gateway Gardens area in Frankfurt, Germany, with 133 studios and one-bedroom suites. “This is the beginning of what we anticipate will be a long-term relationship with Starwood as we introduce Element Hotels to Europe and establish it as the continent’s most eco and guest-friendly extended stay brand,” said Marco Bari from Bari Gruppe. Starwood currently operates Element hotels across the USA, but also has properties in the pipeline for Canada and the Middle East due to open in the next few years.

Hilton Gets Set To Smash Some Wickets In Southampton

Hilton Worldwide has signed a franchise agreement with RB Hotels Ltd for its second hotel in the city of Southampton, on England’s south coast. The Hilton at the Ageas Bowl/Southampton is to be developed in one of the country’s renowned cricket venues, the Ageas Bowl, which is England’s latest test match venue. The 171-room, six-storey hotel will be operated by Sanguine Hospitality. Work is due to start on the development within the next few weeks and is expected to take 18 months to complete, with the hotel scheduled to open at the beginning of 2014. The new hotel is not the first property that Hilton has operated within a sports stadium and it will offer guests a unique opportunity – 85 of the hotel’s rooms will also double up as private boxes on match days, from which guests can watch the day’s play.

Patrick Fitzgibbon On The Power of Advice

The world's most successful hospitality leaders have contributed their views to the award-winning film The Power of Advice. The film, presented by HVS Executive Search, offers insight into the careers of the most successful industry personalities as each discusses their personal experiences with giving and receiving advice and how it impacted their path to success. The second of the film's Bonus Features is an interview with Patrick Fitzgibbon, the senior vice president of development for Europe and Africa at Hilton Worldwide. "If you wouldn't say it, don't write it," shares Fitzgibbon about the importance of creating and maintaining strong relationships with staff, colleagues and customers. He also highlights the significance of advisers balanced with the ability to take ownership of the decisions that you make. Who does Patrick Fitzgibbon seek advice from? Watch the interview here to find out.

Swissôtel To Debut In Dubai

Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts has got together with real estate, management and investment company Aabar Properties to develop its second hotel in the Middle East. The Swissôtel Jadaf Dubai, in the UAE, is scheduled to open at the beginning of 2016. The 280-room hotel will be part of a mixed-use project in Dubai’s Jadaf district containing three hotels, serviced apartments and retail and leisure facilities.

A Crowne Plaza For Al Marjan Island

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has signed an agreement with Kuwait-based Almadina Real Estate Development for its first Crowne Plaza Resort in the UAE. The 442-room Crowne Plaza Resort Ras Al Khaimah is currently under construction and is due to open on the manmade Al Marjan Island, three miles off the coast of Ras Al Khaimah, in 2015. The resort, which will cover more than 18,000 m², will also include nine food and beverage outlets and leisure and retail facilities. It is the second hotel IHG has signed for the emirate (an InterContinental hotel is due to open in 2014).

Gladen’s Tidings

The news from Spain by Esther Gladen, Business & Market Intelligence Analyst, HVS Madrid. Mercer Hotels has opened a new 28-room hotel in Barcelona. The five-star de luxe hotel is located in the Gothic Quarter. Mallorca continues its course of upgrading and restructuring beach properties. Over 20 per cent more refurbishments have been authorised, compared to last year. The Barcelona Fira has a new brand.The hotel, operated and managed by its owners Catalonia Hotels, now runs under the brand Renaissance by Marriott. The Pacha Group plans to open its new hotel Destino in Ibiza in 2013. The property, close to the beach and to the centre of the island, will offer 170 rooms.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week – 13-20 September 2012

Meliá Hotels International – Meliá dips 0.4%.

NH Hoteles – NH Hoteles strengthens 0.2% on low volume.

InterContinental Hotels Group – IHG drops 1.6% 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, Chairman – HVS London (@russellkett) rkett@hvs.com
Charles Human, CEO – HVS London/HVS Hodges Ward Elliott chuman@hvshwe.com
Tim Smith, Director – HVS London tsmith@hvs.com
Chris Martin, Director – HVS Hodges Ward Elliott cmartin@hvshwe.com
Demetris Spanos, Managing Director – HVS Athens dspanos@hvs.com
Hala Matar Choufany, Managing Director – HVS Dubai hchoufany@hvs.com
Christopher Mumford, President, EMEA – HVS Executive Search (@ChrisMumford) cmumford@hvs.com
Philip Bacon, Managing Director – HVS Madrid and Managing Director, EMEA & Asia – HVS Shared Ownership Services pbacon@hvs.com
Louise Fury, Senior Editor and EMEA Hospitality Newsletter Author – HVS London lfury@hvs.com