HVS EMEA Hospitality Newsletter – Week Ending 30 November 2012

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

Blackstone Buys The Burlington

US-based investment firm Blackstone has purchased the Burlington Hotel in Dublin, Ireland, out of administration for €67 million. The hotel was put on the market in August after being placed into receivership in February. With 501 rooms and 3.8 acres of land, the four-star property is the largest hotel in the city. Blackstone now intends to spend an additional €16 million refurbishing the hotel, which originally opened in 1972, and is reportedly planning to rebrand it as a DoubleTree by Hilton, marking the brand’s entry in the Irish market. The group also commented that it is hoping to find other investment opportunities in Ireland. It was also announced this week that Blackstone is planning to put a portfolio of hotels in Germany on the market for €550 million, after some of the properties became insolvent earlier this year. The group bought Deutsche Interhotel’s portfolio (12 properties comprising 4,450 rooms) in the former East Germany in 2007 from 70% shareholders Deutsche Bank and Aareal Bank.

Steigenberger Goes Back To The Beginning

The owning company of Steigenberger Hotels, Brierly Gardens Investments Ltd Cyprus, has acquired the Steigenberger Europäischer Hof hotel in the spa town of Baden-Baden, southwest Germany, from investment holding company Dinu Patriciu Global Properties for an undisclosed sum. The 125-room hotel opened on the banks of the River Oos in 1930 as Steigenberger’s very first hotel, although the building housing the property was constructed in 1892. The group now intends to invest in an extensive overhaul of the hotel to restore it to its former glory.

Redefine Plumps Up Its Portfolio

Through one of its subsidiaries, Redefine International has acquired 60% of the shares in BNRI Earls Court Ltd (BNRI) from Camden Lock and Earls Court LLP for £8.7 million. BNRI owns the Holiday Inn Express London – Earls Court. The remaining 40% interest in the 150-room hotel is retained by Camden Lock and Earls Court LLP. The hotel was previously part of a Splendid Hotels portfolio formed of seven hotels, five of which were purchased by Redefine in December 2010. The freehold hotel is subject to a franchise agreement with InterContinental Hotels Group until 2023. Redefine now has a portfolio of seven hotels in the UK, six of which are in London.

Mandarin Oriental Might Buy Paris Hotel

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group’s parent company, Mandarin Oriental International Ltd, announced this week that (pursuant to a preliminary sale agreement) it has acquired an option to purchase the freehold interest in the building that houses the 138-room Mandarin Oriental Paris, in France, and two street-front retail units from Société Fonciére Lyonnaise for €290 million. The group has put down a deposit of €10 million and needs to pay the balance by 15 February 2013, otherwise the option will expire. Mandarin Oriental currently holds a 12-year lease for the hotel.

From Administration To New Owners

The Staybridge Suites Newcastle, in northeast England, has been sold by its administrators to Westmont Hospitality Group for an undisclosed sum. The hotel’s former owner, Trinity Hotels, went into administration in June 2012. The 128-room hotel, which was built in 2009, is one of only two properties in the UK to operate under InterContinental Hotels Group’s (IHG) extended stay Staybridge Suites brand. Westmont is one of the largest franchisees and co-owners of IHG hotels worldwide. In northwest England, family owned Zaman Hotels purchased the Paddington House Hotel, in the town of Warrington, out of administration. The price of this transaction was also not disclosed. This 37-room, budget hotel was previously owned by Venture Hotels Group, which fell into administration in November 2011.

Hampton by Hilton Lands In Luton

The 188-room Hampton by Hilton London Luton Airport opened this week, about a mile from the airport’s main terminal. It is Hilton Worldwide’s tenth Hampton by Hilton to open in the UK, and the fifth to open in the country this year, highlighting the ongoing growth of the brand. Hilton currently has 40 Hampton by Hilton properties in the pipeline for Europe, nine of which are for the UK.

Best Western’s Bavarian Beauty

Best Western International has opened a new hotel in Germany. The 67-room Best Western Plus Hotel Alpenhof is nestled amongst the mountains of the Bavarian Alps, in the town of Oberstdorf. “I am delighted to be able to introduce such a stunning new property to the Best Western portfolio,” said Glenn de Souza, vice president of international operations at Best Western. He went on to add that the new hotel is “a prime example of how far our brands are progressing in the international market”.

Milton Keynes Gets A Mercure

Accor’s Mercure brand has signed a deal for a new property in the UK. The hotel, in the town of Milton Keynes, is currently undergoing a £1.5 million refurbishment and is due to open as the 88-room Milton Keynes Abbey Hill Hotel in January 2013. Adjacent to the Abbey Hill Golf Club, the hotel is owned and operated by Clubhouse Group. “We are delighted to welcome the Mercure Milton Keynes Abbey Hill Hotel to the network in the UK,” said Jonathan Sheard, managing director of operations for MGallery and Mercure Hotels in the UK and Ireland. Accor now has 75 Mercure hotels across the UK and it aims to increase this network by 2015, largely through its growing franchise development in the country.

Ascott Joins Somerset In Doha

Singapore-based serviced residence operator The Ascott Limited has opened its second property in Qatar and its first Ascott-branded apartments in the country. The 229-unit Ascott Doha is at the north end of Doha’s waterfront, at the heart of the city’s diplomatic district. The new property joins the group’s first apartments in Qatar, the 200-room Somerset West Bay Doha.

A Growth Spurt For Madinat Jumeirah

The emirate of Dubai has announced plans to carry out a US$680 million expansion of the country’s Madinat Jumeirah resort. This fourth phase of expansion, backed by Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, will include a luxury five-star, 420-room hotel; a villa complex; and food and beverage and retail space. The work is scheduled to be completed before the end of 2015. Some of the villas and hotel apartments will be run by Jumeirah Living, a subsidiary of Jumeirah Group, which runs Madinat Jumeirah.

Gladen’s Tidings

The news from Spain by Esther Gladen, Consulting & Valuation Analyst, HVS Madrid. New hotel to open in Madrid’s Moncloa district: the four-star Arcos de Moncloa will have 161 rooms and 800 m² of gourmet dining space, following the concept of Mercado San Miguel near Plaza Mayor. The property’s highlight will be a rooftop terrace with outstanding views over the city. A second DoubleTree to open in Girona: the four-star La Mola Hotel and Conference Centre is in Gualta, five kilometres from Terrassa. The hotel has 186 rooms and is scheduled to open as a DoubleTree by Hilton hotel at the beginning of 2013. The hotel was previously managed by Principal Hayley.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week – 22-29 November 2012

Hyatt Hotels – Hyatt started at "buy" by CLSA.

NH Hoteles – NH keeps rising: up 10.7% in six days.

Meliá Hotels International – Meliá strengthened above its EMAP.

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 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, President, EMEA – HVS Executive Search (@ChrisMumford)cmumford@hvs.com
Philip Bacon, Managing Director – HVS Madrid and Managing Director, EMEA & Asia – HVS Shared Ownership Servicespbacon@hvs.com
Louise Fury, Senior Editor and EMEA Hospitality Newsletter Author – HVS Londonlfury@hvs.com