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Global hotel pulse: Europe news
June 21 2011

International development starts to churn in this week’s roundup of European hotel news.

  • The Europe hotel development pipeline comprises 802 hotels totaling 131,536 rooms, according to the May 2011 STR Global Construction Pipeline Report.
  • InterContinental Hotels Group added 54 hotels to its European pipeline in the year from June 2010 to May 2011.
  • Meliá has changed its name to Meliá Hotels International to emphasize the company’s focus on global expansion. each week features a news roundup from a different region of the world. Today’s compilation covers Europe.

Europe development pipeline
The Europe hotel development pipeline comprises 802 hotels totaling 131,536 rooms, according to the May 2011 STR Global Construction Pipeline Report.

Among the chain-scale segments, the upscale segment accounted for the largest portion of rooms in the total active pipeline at 21.7% of the pipeline with 28,504 rooms. Two other segments each made up more than 15% of rooms in the total active pipeline: the unaffiliated segment (19.3% with 25,376 rooms) and the upper-midscale segment (19% with 25,045 rooms).

IHG signs 54 hotels in Europe
InterContinental Hotels Group added 54 hotels to its European pipeline in the year from June 2010 to May 2011.

The 7,874 rooms are spread across the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Russia, Turkey, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.

Langham looking for global partnerships
The Langham name has been attached to hotels for more than 140 years since the opening of the Langham in London, but now the company wants to accelerate its growth as a global brand.

Bob van den Oord, VP of sales and marketing, said Langham Hotels International is aiming to open properties in a number of key gateways in North America in addition to its continued expansion in Europe and Asia.

In the U.S., Langham operates hotels in Boston (formerly Le Meridien) and Pasadena (formerly a Ritz-Carlton). A Chicago hotel will open in 2013 in the former IBM building on Wabash Avenue.

• Read “Langham looking for global partnerships.”

Spanish hotel deals to be stagnant
Spain’s hoteliers may be experiencing a turnaround in their fortunes after several years of crisis, but for the immediate future, sector investment is expected to remain anemic, according to the latest report by Spanish real estate and hospitality consultants IREA.

Last year, 17 hotel transactions worth €515 million (US$729.2 million) and involving 20 properties totaling 3,485 rooms took place. This was a 35% drop in value from 2009 and roughly the same amount as a decade ago, the last time the Spanish industry suffered a recession.

• Read “Report: Spanish hotel deals to be stagnant.”

Travelodge launches small prototype
Travelodge late last month unveiled its “Metro” model for smaller hotels. These properties that will be between 20 to 40 rooms in size, will allow Travelodge to build small hotels in high-priced, sought-after locations and occupied office buildings across the U.K.

Von Essen portfolio hits market
Von Essen Hotel’s portfolio of 27 hotels across the U.K. was put on the market following Barclays and Lloyds Banking Group forcing the company into administration on 21 April, according to Conference & Incentive Travel.

The portfolio includes hotels such as Cliveden, in Berkshire and Dalhousie House in Edinburgh and is expected to fetch around £200 million (US$324.4 million).

Christie & Company has been appointed to sell the portfolio.

42 Marriott operated hotels falls into administration
The holding company of 42 Marriott-operated hotels in the U.K. has gone into administration, according to 4Hoteliers. Receivers have now been brought in to take control of the portfolio, which comprises approximately 8,000 rooms.

The Royal Bank of Scotland was unable to restructure £700 million (US$1.13 billion) of debt with the hotels’ owners. The portfolio, which originally included 47 hotels, was acquired in 2007 for £1.1 billion (US$1.8 billion) by private equity firm Quinlan Private, Israel-based Delek Real Estate and Israeli investor Igal Ahouvi.

A new name for Sol Meliá
Sol Meliá has changed its name to Meliá Hotels International to emphasize the company’s focus on global expansion.

This new stage is also accompanied by a renewal of the company’s mission, culture and values, which are now defined as Vocation for Service, Excellence, Innovation, Proximity and Coherence, all due to become the main attributes of the new Meliá Hotels International.

Deals and developments …
• W Hotels Worldwide marked its entry into Russia with the opening of the W St. Petersburg. Owned by Real Estate Development Limited, W St. Petersburg provides an integrated contemporary lifestyle experience through it 137 stylish guestrooms, a signature restaurant miX, bar and rooftop lounge by three Michelin star chef Alain Ducasse, and a signature spa.
• Jumeirah Hotels will open its first hotel in Germany this August. The Jumeirah Frankfurt will be located right in the heart of the city within walking distance of the Stock Exchange and prestigious shopping streets.
• Retail conglomerate LVMH Group has chosen Paris to be the home of the first spin-off property of its luxury Cheval Blanc hotel in Courchevel 1850, France, according to HVS. LVMH Group plans to invest €450 million (US$643.2 million) in renovating the La Samaritaine building, a former department store along the River Seine that closed in 2005. The 142-year-old building will be transformed into a mixed-use complex including the 80-room Cheval Blanc hotel. Construction of the project is expected to start next year and will be completed in 2014.
• Glasgow-based BDL Management signed a management contract for nine Ramada hotels, bringing its hotel portfolio of owned and managed hotels to 46 (more than 5,000 rooms) and a combined workforce of more than 2,700 across the U.K.
• BDL Management also announced the signing of a franchise agreement to rebrand Five Lakes Golf & Spa Resort into the U.K.’s first Crowne Plaza Resort. The resort is presently undergoing a multi million pound refurbishment.
• Sveafastigheter and Midstar have acquired the 96-room ibis Hotel Nyköping in Sweden as they continue to consolidate their portfolio, according to HVS. In November last year Sveafastigheter and Midstar bought Accor’s local operating company and 14 hotels. They acquired the ibis Malmö in February this year.
• Kempinski Hotels has signed a letter of intent with Vienna-based Porr Solutions Real Estate and Infrastructure Projects Limited to take over the management of the Royal Spa Kitzbühel hotel in the Jochberg mountain resort, Austria, according to HVS. The 144-room hotel, which will continue to be managed by Vienna International Hotelmanagement until 31 July 2011, is to close at the beginning of August to undergo renovation in order to bring it in line with its new brand. It will reopen at the beginning of the 2011 winter season.

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