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Global hotel pulse: Europe news
January 15 2013

Mixed hotel performance could not slow a slew of new openings in this month’s roundup of hotel news from Europe.

Hotel performance mixed
The Europe hotel industry posted mixed results in year-over-year metrics when reported in U.S. dollars, euros and British pounds for November 2012, according to data compiled by STR Global, sister company of

“Europe’s occupancy stagnated over recent months,” Elizabeth Randall Winkle, managing director of STR Global, said in a news release. “November 2012 is no exception, as hotels reported 65.4% occupancy, the same as November 2011. Average daily rates continued to rise, reporting year-on-year increases throughout all months thus far in 2012.”

More delays for Berlin airport
Completion of the Berlin Brandenburg Airport was delayed again this month, from its scheduled opening date in October 2013 to March 2014. The continued setbacks are one of several factors dampening hotel performance in the German city. Also plaguing hoteliers is increases in supply, which are keeping pace with or outpacing growth in demand, sources said.

“There is still a reasonable amount of new supply coming (to Berlin),” said Arlett Oehmichen, associate director for HVS London. “That is sort of viewed as challenging.”
Whitbread announces $82.3 million sale and leaseback
Whitbread, parent of U.K. budget chain Premier Inn, exchanged agreements with NFU Mutual and Standard Life Assurance Limited for the sale and leaseback of seven properties operating as Premier Inn hotels and joint site restaurants.

On completion, which was expected 19 December 2012, the respective parties will pay £51 million ($82.3 million) in cash for the properties and enter into 25-year leases with Whitbread, which will continue to operate the properties. This represents a net initial yield of less than 5.3%.
Meliá signs JV for new themed resort
Meliá Hotels International completed a joint venture with the Katmandu Group and its operating company, Producciones de Parques SL, further reinforcing the cooperation agreement between both companies first  announced last summer.

The joint venture comprises the merger of the Magalluf Park Hotel and the adjacent Katmandu Park to create Sol Katmandu Resort in Mallorca, Spain, which is set to deliver a unique themed destination resort experience. The project will include the integration of all the facilities, operations and communications of both businesses.

Deals and developments

  • Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts opened a new 175-room hotel in Baku, Azerbaijan.
  • DoubleTree by Hilton has announced the opening of its fifth hotel in Turkey, the 231-room DoubleTree by Hilton Istanbul – Avcilar.
  • The brand also opened its first hotel in Spain—the 87-room DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Spa Emporda.
  • Accor announced four new hotels in London and Ediburgh, according to HVS. The French hotel company will own and operate a 310-room Novotel is expected to open in mid-2015 in London’s Canary Wharf financial district. The group also will own and manage a 103-room Ibis Styles on St Andrews Square in Edinburgh, which is due to open in the second half of 2013. The other two Edinburgh hotels will also operate under the Ibis brand but will be leased properties.
  • Accor opened three new properties in Milan, Italy: the 158-room Uptown Palace; the 172-room Grand Visconti Palace; and the 78-room Grand Hotel Villa Torretta.
  • Accor also opened its first Novotel in Sofia, Bulgaria.
  • InterContinental Hotels Group has signed contracts with Tristar Hotel & Management GmbH for the Holiday Inn Express Friedrichshafen Nord and the Holiday Inn Offenbach City Tower; with Foremost Hospitality for the Holiday Inn Express Stuttgart City Hauptbahnhof; and with Pandox GmbH for the Holiday Inn Lübeck—all four in Germany.
  • IHG also signed its third Holiday Inn hotel in Madrid, which is set to open in April 2013 following a conversion from a Velada hotel.
  • The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group opened the 150-room Park Inn by Radisson Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.
  • The group also announced the 240-room Radisson Blu Hotel, Kayseri in Turkey, which is set to open during the first quarter of 2014.
  • Meliá announced its third Innside by Meliá hotel in Madrid: the Innside Madrid Suecia, scheduled to open in 2014.
  • Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has launched its first hotel in Paris—the 281-room Mövenpick Hotel Paris Neuilly.  

Compiled by Patrick Mayock.

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