HVS EMEA Hospitality Newsletter – Week Ending 6 May 2011
Firmdale Buys Back Its First Hotel
UK-based Firmdale Hotels has purchased the Dorset Square hotel in London for an undisclosed sum. However, this isn't the first time the 37-room hotel, which went into administration earlier this year, has been part of the Firmdale portfolio, as it was the group's first ever hotel when it was launched back in 1985. Firmdale sold Dorset Square eight years ago and, now that it has been bought back into the fold, the hotel is to undergo an extensive refurbishment before it reopens at the end of the year. This acquisition brings Firmdale's portfolio up to seven hotels in London and one in New York; the company has also recently received planning permission for a 90-room hotel in Soho which is expected to open as the group's flagship hotel in 2013.
A Grand Party For London Hotel
If you happened to pass by the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, in London, last night you might have heard the sounds of party poppers and clinking champagne glasses. This celebration was to mark the official relaunch of the 245-room hotel exactly 138 years to the day after it originally started life as the Midland Grand Hotel. The Grade I-listed hotel, which cost £200 million to develop, is owned by London-based Manhatten Loft Corporation.
Premier Inn To Float Into Leicester Square
Premier Inn is planning to open a hotel with a difference on London's Leicester Square in February 2012. Each room in the 84-key property will be formed from independent boxes and will "float" on thick neoprene pads, ensuring that guests won't be disturbed by the noise from the area's busy nightlife. The design, which has taken six months to develop, will also include quadruple glazing and acoustic linings on the walls and ceilings. Construction on the soundproof hotel is due to start later this month.
Armani Coming To London?
It was reported this week that Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani is in talks to discuss developing the first Armani-branded hotel in the UK. Rumours abound that a hotel of more than 200 rooms could be built in London's Knightsbridge area.
Biltmore Coming To The Middle East
The iconic 683-room Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, USA, is currently one of a kind, but not for long! Millennium and Copthorne now plans to bring the luxury brand to the Middle East. A Biltmore hotel has been announced for Abu Dhabi's Al Bateen district and is scheduled to open by 2013, and a hotel for Dubai is expected to be announced soon. Millennium also intends to take the brand to Saudi Arabia; however, the Middle East is just the first stop off on Biltmore's expansion out of America. "We are going to refurbish one of our London hotels to be the Biltmore London. We will own our own Biltmore Singapore as well", said Ali Lakhraim, Millennium's president and chief executive officer Middle East and North Africa.
A String of Adagios For Accor in the Middle East
Accor has announced plans to bring its extended stay Adagio brand to the Middle East in 2012 with a hotel in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The Adagio City Aparthotel will then be followed with a second hotel in Saudi Arabia. Accor intends to open 80 Adagio hotels in the EMEA region by 2014; a total of five properties will open in Abu Dhabi, four in Dubai and two in Fujairah. Accor Middle East's managing director, Christophe Landais, has said that Accor's projects will add more than 5,250 new rooms in the UAE by 2014.
Two New Starwoods For The UAE
Starwood Hotels and Resorts has signed an agreement with property developers Abdulsalam Alfafi Group for its fourth Sheraton-branded hotel in Dubai, UAE. The 660-room Sheraton Dubai Sheikh Zayed Road Hotel is expected to open at the beginning of 2014 as part of a three-tower mixed-use project. Starwood also announced this week that its Four Points by Sheraton brand is to make its debut in the emirate of Sharjah, UAE. The group has signed an operating services agreement with Dr Hassan Ahmad for the 220-room Four Points by Sheraton Sharjah Hotel, which is scheduled to open in 2013 as part of a mixed-use development.
First Garden In Qatar
Hilton Worldwide's Garden Inn brand is to make its first appearance in Qatar. Hilton has signed a management agreement with Smile Trading and Contracting for the 258-room Hilton Garden Inn Doha Al Sadd, which is expected to open in mid 2012. Once open, this will be Hilton's third Garden Inn property in the Middle East. Hilton also has plans for two more Hilton-branded hotels in Qatar: the 309-room Hilton Doha and the 288-room Hilton Doha Residence.
Two New Staybridge Suites And A Holiday Inn
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has signed an agreement with Dubai-based Action Hotels for two new Staybridge Suites in the UAE. The 80-unit Staybridge Suites Ras Al Khaimah is scheduled to open in 2012 and will be converted into a hotel from an existing building. The newly built 112-unit Staybridge Suites Abu Dhabi Rawdhat is to open in 2014 close to Abu Dhabi airport. IHG now has three properties under development with Action Hotels in the Middle East. IHG also signed a contract this week with Saudi Arabian-based Al Aqeeq Real Estate Development Company for the 400-room Holiday Inn Medina – Al Safwa. IHG currently has ten Holiday Inn hotels in operation in Saudi Arabia but this will be the first of the brand to open in the city of Medina.
Bahrain To Get The Middle East's First Residence
Marriott International has signed a long-term management agreement with International Trading and Investment Co. for the Residence Inn by Marriott Juffair in Manama, Bahrain. The 78-unit extended stay hotel is expected to open later this year as the first Residence Inn-branded property in the Middle East, just ahead of the 83-unit Residence Inn in Jizan, Saudi Arabia, which is due to open in 2012.
Hyatt's First-Quarter 2011 Results
Hyatt Hotels has reported a net income of US$10 million for the first quarter of 2011, compared to US$5 million in the same period last year. However, revenue decreased by 4.2%, from US$451 million to US$434 million, and adjusted EBITDA fell by 2.7%, from US$112 million in 2010 to US$109 million. RevPAR at comparable owned and leased hotels increased by 2.0% on the first quarter of 2010. "Transient demand was very strong in the first quarter with both occupancy and rate improvements across many markets…Our international hotels continued to perform well and we saw particularly strong performance in China and Brazil", said Mark S Hoplamazain, Hyatt's president and chief operating officer. "Management and franchise fees earned during the quarter increased approximately 23%, partially as a result of new managed or franchised hotels opened over the last few years in addition to RevPAR growth at existing hotels around the world", he added.
2011 – Starwood's First Three Months
Starwood Hotels and Resorts recorded a net income of US$28 million for the first quarter of 2011, a drop of 6.6% on the same period in 2010. RevPAR for the group's total hotel portfolio increased by 10.4% in the first quarter, to US$105.28. Occupancy increased by 2.8% to 63.7%. Adjusted EBITDA was US$208 million and management fees, franchise fees and other income grew by 15.7% on 2010. Commenting on the results, Frits van Paasschen, Starwood's chief executive officer, said, "We were able to exceed expectations despite turmoil in North Africa and the Middle East and the devastating earthquake in Japan. This is thanks to our laser-focus on growing faster than the market and flowing this outperformance down to the bottom-line. The outlook for the rest of the year looks promising as we view the events of the past few months as not having derailed the overall global economic recovery…As such, we remain cautiously confident for 2011 and are bullish about our long-term prospects."
The news from Spain by Esther Gladen, Business & Market Intelligence Analyst, HVS Madrid. Bluebay Group adds the Bluebay Banús in Marbella to its portfolio: BlueBay Group is to lease the BlueBay Banús, a 24,000 m² four-star resort with 315 rooms in Puerto Banús (Marbella). Development plans for three hotels in Andalusia: Andalusia will receive regional economic incentives of €4 million for the development of three hotels in El Ejido (Almería), Granada and Écija (Seville). The total investment will be €40.2 million. The four-star property in Almería will have 299 rooms. The project in Granada includes the modernisation and upgrade of the Alhambra Palace Hotel from four to five stars and the addition of six suites to its room inventory. The project in Seville comprises the conversion of an 18th-century building into a four-star hotel with 12 rooms. Pierre & Vacances to open a resort on the Costa del Sol: Pierre & Vacances Center Parcs will add a new 140-unit resort in Benalmádena (Málaga) to its portfolio. The Pierre & Vacances Benalmádena Playa, its fourth property in the country, is scheduled to open this month. The hotel will be operated under a lease contract with real estate group Nosa, the main owner of the property. A second NH Hotel for Algeciras: NH Hoteles' portfolio now includes the new 73-room NH Algeciras Suites in Algeciras (Cádiz). First five-star hotel for Tarragona: the local government of Tarragona has approved the conversion of a historic building into the city's first five-star hotel. Lookotels has expansion plans: Lookotels plans to open its first hotel in Madrid next October. The 64-room hotel will offer low prices and bookings by the hour. The chain aims to expand its portfolio to ten hotels over the next six years; two of the new properties will be in the centre of Madrid (120 and 70 rooms), Barcelona will have one new 150-room hotel and Seville another two with 72 and 90 rooms. Ibersol takes over the Hotel Regina & Spa on the Costa Dorada: the 46-room, four-star hotel is housed in an Art Deco building in Vallfogona de Riucorb (Tarragona). Construction work on the new Travelodge in Barcelona to start in July: Travelodge will invest €28 Million in the 250-room hotel which is scheduled to open in 2012. Another Catalonia recently opened in Madrid: the 82-room, four-star Catalonia Plaza Mayor is housed in a historic building on Calle de Atocha, where Catalonia recently opened the Catalonia Atocha. Catalonia's portfolio currently includes six hotels in Madrid.
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