Industry Update
Editorial Article 9 August 2010

HVS EMEA Hospitality Newsletter – Week Ending 6 August 2010

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Out With The Budget, In With The Boutique | A former budget hotel, the Elizabeth Hotel, in Victoria, London, is to reopen as boutique hotel the Eccleston Square Hotel, following a £6.5 million renovation to the Grade II-listed building. Due to open in spring 2011, the 40-room Eccleston Square Hotel is now owned by David Byrne who has previously operated hotels in Paris.


Second base2stay In The UK | Hotel company base2stay has opened its second hotel in the UK: the base2stay Liverpool; hotel number one being The Kensington London Hotel. Despite the £14 million spent on the hotel’s development, the Grade II-listed building, which dates back to the 1850s, has retained many of its original features such as original timbers and brickwork. Chief executive officer, Robert Nadler, said of the group’s decision to open a hotel in Liverpool, “We looked across the UK but it became clear very quickly that Liverpool is the coolest destination by a long way.” Plans to open a third base2stay in Soho, London, have been delayed by the Crossrail project.

Bremen’s First Marriott | The Courtyard by Marriott Bremen, Marriott International’s first hotel in Bremen, Germany, has opened under a franchise agreement with Baum Hotelbetrieb Bremen GmbH. Of the 155 bedrooms, 70 are housed in the renovated Lloyd Building, which dates back to 1913 and was formerly used as a railway building, while the remaining 85 bedrooms are in a newly constructed wing of the hotel. Amy McPherson, president and managing director of Marriott International in Europe said of the opening, “We are excited to add the Courtyard Bremen to our growing portfolio in Germany and to be represented in this dynamic and historic city.”According to Marriott’s website, there are currently 30 Marriott hotels in Germany.

Rezidor Announces Two New Park Inns | Rezidor Hotel Group has announced two new Park Inn hotels: the Park Inn Veliky Novgorod and the Park Inn Sofia. The Park Inn Veliky Novgorod is the rebranded former 225-room Beresta Palace Hotel in the Russian city of Veliky Novgorod. Kurt Ritter, president and chief executive officer of Rezidor commented, “The property brings our portfolio of Park Inns in Russia/CIS to 25 hotels in operation and under development – a clear sign of our commitment to this emerging region.” The 113-room Park Inn Sofia is Rezidor’s first Park Inn in Bulgaria and it is scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2010. This property is the rebranded former Greenville Hotel and Apartments, which originally opened in 2005. HVS is pleased to have advised the owners on this transaction. Commenting on the Park Inn Sofia, Mr Ritter said: “This new property will strengthen our presence in Sofia; it complements our successful Radisson Blu Grand Hotel which is located opposite the National Assembly.” Further Park Inn hotels are under development or in operation in other Eastern European locations such as Krakow, Bratislava, Prague, Ostrava, Sárvár and Wroclaw.

Eurazeo Extends Exclusive Talks | Paris-based investment company, Eurazeo, has announced that it is in talks to sell its B&B Hotels chain to US private equity firm, the Carlyle Group. Eurazeo said in a statement that the negotiations assume an enterprise value for the business of €485 million, although nothing has been finalised yet. After initially giving the Carlyle Group exclusivity for one week, Eurazeo has extended the talks until October. Eurazeo commented, “With the fulfilment by Carlyle of certain financing conditions, negotiations are continuing under a renewed period of exclusivity.” B&B Hotels currently comprises more than 200 hotels in France and Germany and is expanding in Italy, Poland and Portugal.

A New Chief For Scandic | As of 1 September this year, Anders Ehrling will take on the role of president and chief executive officer of the Scandic hotel chain. Mr Ehrling is the former chief executive officer of airline company SAS Sweden. Mr Ehrling will be following in the footsteps of Frank Fiskers, who is moving on from Scandic to become a partner in a hotel property company in London; however, Mr Fiskers will still be an investor in Scandic and will continue to serve on the Scandinavian company’s board.

Jumeirah Heads For The Hills | The Dubai-based Jumeirah Group has signed a management agreement with Egyptian development company Palm Hills Developments (PHD) for the Jumeirah Gamsha Bay Resort. The 250-room hotel is part of PHD’s mixed-use Gamsha development on Egypt’s Red Sea coast. The resort stretches for about 37 miles along the coast, north of Hurghada. This is Jumeirah’s first management agreement in Egypt.

Premier Inn To Venture To Qatar | Qatari company Dohaland and UK hotel chain Premier Inn have formed a joint venture which will result in the introduction of the Premier Inn brand to Qatar. The first project of the joint venture to be revealed is a 200-room hotel to be constructed at the Doha Education City development, on the outskirts of Doha. Premier Inn already has a presence in the Middle East with three hotels in operation in Dubai and a further two under development in Abu Dhabi. Commenting on the new venture, Darroch Crawford, managing director of Premier Inn in the Middle East, said: “This partnership lends further weight to our commitment in the region and our intention to be the largest and best provider of value for money hotels in the region.”

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