HVS EMEA Hospitality Newsletter – Week Ending 7 December 2012

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

HVS Hodges Ward Elliott Advises Goldman Sachs’ Whitehall Fund and Gengate On The Largest European Hotel Transaction Of 2012

HVS Hodges Ward Elliott is pleased to announce that acting on behalf of Goldman Sachs’ Whitehall 2005 Global and International Funds and Gengate, it has successfully arranged the sale of shares in the owning company of five Marriott-operated four- and five-star hotels to Host Hotels & Resorts' European joint venture for a price of €440 million. Totalling 1,733 rooms, the portfolio includes four hotels in Paris, including Marriott's largest hotel in Europe, and one four-star hotel in Amsterdam. The properties are the 757-room Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel & Conference Center, the 402-room Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel, the 327-room Renaissance Paris La Défense Hotel, the 97-room Renaissance Paris Vendôme Hotel and the 150-room Courtyard Paris La Défense West – Colombes. All five hotels will continue to be operated by Marriott International. Host Hotels & Resorts acquired the hotels for its second European fund, which it holds in partnership with the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC and Dutch pension fund APG.

Bespoke Beefs Up Its Portfolio In The UK

London-based hotel operator Bespoke Hotels has taken over the management of Oxford Hotels and Inns’ 34-unit portfolio of boutique and luxury hotels across the UK, bringing the number of hotels operated by Bespoke in the UK up to 85. The new additions to the Bespoke family will be managed under its four-star Beloved and three-star Befriend collections. “By combining our strengths we’ll have an unrivalled collection of unique hotels and inns across the UK,” said Mark Edwards, Oxford Hotels and Inns’ managing director. “There are already a lot of synergies across the two hotel groups,” he added.

Sofitel Sold In Paris

Accor has sold the Sofitel Paris La Défense, in France, to Paris-based Amundi Real Estate and investment and asset management company Algonquin for €22 million under a sale-and-management-back agreement. Accor will continue to manage the 151-room hotel under a long-term management agreement.

InterContinental Goes West In London

This week, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) opened, its second InterContinental-branded hotel in London, the 256-room InterContinental Westminster, 36 years after the brand made its debut in the city with the 447-room InterContinental Park Lane. The five-star, six-storey hotel is owned by Supreme Hotels, which bought the site earlier this year for £101 million, and will be operated by IHG under a management agreement. The hotel’s building, Queen Anne's Chambers, is a former government building behind New Scotland Yard, headquarters of London’s Metropolitan Police force.

Ritz-Carlton To Arrive In Almaty In 2013

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company is on its way to making its debut appearance in Kazakhstan at the end of 2013 with a hotel in the country’s largest city, Almaty. The 145-room Ritz-Carlton, Almaty is to be developed within the 37-storey Esentai Tower, part of the city’s Esentai Park mixed-use development, which includes extensive retail facilities, a fitness club and residential housing. “Almaty is an important business centre in the region and we are delighted to now be able to offer the Ritz-Carlton experience to our global business travellers visiting this city,” said Herve Humler, Ritz-Carlton’s president and chief operating officer.

Rezidor Gets Footy In France

Rezidor Hotel Group has opened a new Park Inn by Radisson hotel in France in the city of Villenueve D’Ascq, in the north of the country. The 127-room Park Inn by Radisson Lille Grand Stade is adjacent to Grand Stade Lille Métropole, home of LOSC Lille Metropole football club and one of the venues for the 2016 UEFA European Football Championships.

Café Royal Opens

In 1998, Israeli real estate company, Alrov, agreed a deal with The Crown Estate to turn London’s historic Café Royal, a regular haunt of Oscar Wilde, into a hotel. This week, after a four-year restoration, the 156-room Café Royal has now officially opened, just in time for Christmas. Dating from 1865, the building’s frontage and the public rooms overlooking Regent Street are all Grade-I listed and have been preserved, but the rest of the building has been transformed into a modern, luxury hotel.

Mirror Mirror On The Wall…

…Who is the fairest of them all? The answer to this must be the first Ukrainian hotel to become a member of consortium Design Hotels. The 11 Mirrors Hotel, which celebrated its grand opening this week, is housed in an 11-storey building in Kiev city centre, just a few metres from the city’s National Opera House. The name of the 49-room hotel comes from its mirrored wall décor, which was created by local craftsmen, the Fomichev Brothers, and the abundance of mirrors in the hallways of each floor. This modern addition to the capital’s hotel market was dreamt up by heavyweight boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko, who wanted to create a hotel that would reflect the many different aspects of the city and his own experiences as a traveller. A total of US$17 million was reportedly invested in developing the hotel.

Paris Pullmans Get A Makeover

Accor has announced plans to refurbish its five Pullman hotels in Paris, France – the Pullman Paris Bercy, the Pullman Paris Montparnasse, the Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel, the Pullman Paris La Défense and the Pullman Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport. The work will reportedly take 30 months to complete and will include the renovation of more than 2,500 guest rooms and a complete overhaul of 26,000 m² of public space at the hotels. The five properties are all expected to remain open during the refurbishment, which is to be funded entirely by the hotels’ owners. “This project represents an unprecedented challenge in the Paris hotel sector with the virtually simultaneous refurbishment of five ‘heavy weight’ establishments,” said Denys Sappey, managing director of Pullman France. “No hotel brand has ever undertaken renovations on this scale in as many hotels in the same city in such a short time,” he continued.

Gatwick Airport Gets A Supersize Premier Inn

Whitbread’s Premier Inn chain reached 50,000 rooms this week with the opening of the Premier Inn London Gatwick Airport in the UK. With 630 guest rooms, the chain’s latest addition is its biggest Premier Inn yet. The hotel is part of a major expansion plan for the group and is one of nine Premier Inn properties due to open in Greater London by the end of 2013.

Pullman Says Goodbye To Mall Of The Emirates And Hello To Deira City Centre

The 481-room Pullman Dubai Mall of the Emirates is to be rebranded in January 2013 by a US operator, rumoured to be Starwood Hotels & ResortsSheraton brand. The hotel’s owner, Majid Al Futtaim Properties (MAF), has said that it made the decision to bring in an American operator for the property in order to diversify its portfolio of nine hotels in Dubai, which is currently managed entirely by European operators. MAF also announced this week that its 317-room Deira City Centre Hotel is to be rebranded as the Pullman Deira City Centre by February 2013, after the completion of an 18-month renovation of the hotel’s guest rooms.

A New Hilton For Alexandria

Hilton Worldwide has signed a management agreement with Delta for Tourism & Hotels Company for its second hotel in Alexandria, Egypt. The 158-room Hilton Alexandria Corniche is to be converted from an existing property and is slated to open on the beachfront on the city’s Corniche in 2013, becoming Hilton’s 19th hotel overall in Egypt.

St. Regis Steps Into Africa For The First Time

Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ St. Regis brand has made its African debut with the opening of the St. Regis Mauritius Resort, the 30th St. Regis to open worldwide. The 172-room resort is on the southwestern tip of the island of Mauritius, on Le Morne Peninsula, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Starwood signed a long-term management contract for the resort with Mauritian company Abkid Ltd at the end of 2008. It is the group’s third hotel on the island overall, joining the 198-room Le Méridien Ile Maurice, on the northwest coast, and the 15-villa Grand Mauritian, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, in Turtle Bay.

Sun International Docks Up In Port Elizabeth

Developer, operator and management company Sun International Hotels will open its second property in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, this month. The five-star, 140-room Boardwalk Hotel and Spa is housed in a Victorian building facing the Indian Ocean. Additionally, the group plans to open the four-star, Maslow Hotel in Johannesburg in January 2013.

Safari For All Four Seasons In The Serengeti

After signing a management agreement for the property in July this year, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts has officially opened the Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, in Tanzania, East Africa. Formerly the Bilila Lodge resort, the 77-room resort, in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, underwent an extensive upgrade before it was rebranded. It is the first Four Seasons property to open in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Gladen’s Tidings

The news from Spain by Esther Gladen, Consulting & Valuation Analyst, HVS Madrid. Barceló Viajes has signed an agreement to take control of Orizonia: the transaction will strengthen Barceló’s position in the world of tour operators significantly and will also help to improve the financial situation of Orizonia through the injection of €40 million by Barceló Viajes.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week – 29 November-6 December 2012

Rezidor Hotel Group – Rezidor had its biggest trailing week gain in two months.

Meliá Hotels Group – Meliá Strengthens on low volume.

Whitbread – Credit Suisse upgraded Whitbread to "outperform" from "neutral".

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