Article Summary:

In this roundup of news from Europe: Travelodge and its landlords in dispute over proposed financial reorganization; Deutsche Hospitality plans to reopen all of its German portfolio; one of the continent’s most-iconic hotels is to reopen 1 July; and more.

Primary Category: Europe

Secondary Categories: News

Hotel News Now each week features a news roundup from a different region of the world. This week’s compilation covers Europe.

STR: Europe hotel performance for April 2020
Reflecting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Europe’s hotel industry reported unprecedented performance lows during April 2020, according to data from STR, the parent company of Hotel News Now. In terms of Euro constant currency, year-on-year occupancy fell 84.6% to 11.1%, average daily rate fell 30.1% to €77.52 ($86.26) and revenue per available room fell an eye-widening 89.2% to €8.58 ($9.55). The absolute occupancy and RevPAR levels were the lowest for any month on record in Europe, analysts said.

It might be unfair to pick out any one market, but The Netherlands in the same month reported the lowest absolute occupancy and RevPAR levels for any month in STR’s Netherlands database. Occupancy in year-on-year terms was down 90% to 8.2%, and RevPAR declined 94.2% to €6.76 ($7.52). ADR in that period fell 41.6% to €82.69 ($92.01).

Travelodge UK, landlords face off in battle over rent
The battle between landlords and operator Travelodge (U.K.) took its next turn on 3 June when the hotel firm issued details of its proposed corporate voluntary arrangement, which seeks to have the rent it pays to those landlords capped at £230 million ($292 million), that “being approximately 62% of the contracted sum due” and that “94% of leases will receive at least 50% rent through to the end of 2021,” writes Hotel News Now’s Terence Baker.

Travelodge claims the changes are needed to tide it through the COVID-19 crisis, but landlords, grouped together under the umbrella of the new Travelodge Owners Action Group, claim that the CVA will mean small landlords with perhaps, one, two or three assets will lose out more in per capita terms than larger ones, and far more so than Travelodge’s financial backers, which include Goldman Sachs.”

Travelodge has proposed its CVA will be discussed and voted in at an extraordinary, virtual meeting on 19 June.

STR: Scotland occupancy betters UK average
Scotland has reported higher average occupancies (32%) than the rest of the United Kingdom (24%) and, in Edinburgh and Glasgow, its largest two cities, forward business on the books between August and November bodes well for some form of recovery, according to STR director Thomas Emanuel.

Emanuel is posting weekly videos (every Monday) on the continuing COVID-19 crisis in the U.K. and the effects of it on hotel performance. For the week 25 May to 31 May, he added that occupancy for all the U.K. hovers at approximately 30% on weekday and approximately 20% on weekends (for hotels open and reporting business).

Deutsche Hospitality CEO lays out reopening plan
With its home market Germany being one of the European countries least affected by COVID-19 in regards to deaths in percentage terms of its population, Deutsche Hospitality—the parent of brands such as Steigenberger Hotels & Resorts—has outlined its reopening strategy, in line with federal and state government regulations, according to Terence Baker.

Speaking to HNN, CEO Thomas Willms, 89 of whose hotels are in Germany, said reopening is not just about the health of guests but also those of owners. He added “(Deutsche) did not waste any time and quickly assessed the various scenarios in order to hold open and very transparent discussions with our shareholders, property owners and partners. Constructiveness and fairness were the key elements in finding solutions. … In this context, we were also granted deferments on rents.”

Q&A with a GM: Denmark hotel opening delayed by crisis
All hoteliers are suffering from the current crisis but spare a thought for those hotels due to have opened right when European countries were first announcing their lockdowns but when preopening preparations and staffing were complete. One example, writes HNN’s Danielle Hess, is the Villa Copenhagen in Denmark’s capital that had been due to open on 1 April.

Its GM Peter Høgh Pedersen told Hess he had overseen the signing of “the last of 180 employment contracts” the week before Denmark effectively closed down. “But at that time (in early March) … we didn’t have any anticipation to what extent this would be affecting (us). But boy, did we get a wake-up call over that week,” Pedersen said, who added the hotel, which like everyone else saw a lot of cancellations for April, May and June, now has pencilled in an early July opening.

Deals and developments

  • On 2 June, Denmark-based Zleep Hotels, 51% owned by Deutsche Hospitality, opened its largest hotel so far, the 211-room Zleep Hotel Copenhagen Arena.
  • Deutsche Hospitality also announced the opening on 2 June of a hotel of one of its other brands, IntercityHotel, with the debut of its 221-key IntercityHotel Hamburg-Barmbek, the brand’s fourth outing in that German city.
  • The 118-room Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, part of luxury hotel Oetker Collection and in Cap d’Antibes, France, is to reopen on 1 July as it celebrates its 150th anniversary this summer.
  • Spanish hotel chain Room Mate Hotels has signed its second hotel in Portugal, a 78-room property in Porto that will open at the end of 2022. Its Portuguese debut in Lisbon already announced will open in at the end of 2021.
  • MyShareCompany, a joint venture of insurance group AXA and real-estate investor Atland-Voison, has agreed to buy the Lagrange Apart’hotel in Mulhouse, France, from developers Alcys Realizations and KS Group. Purchased on a forward-funding basis, the 81-key aparthotel will open in 2022 and be operated by the Lagrange Group under a 12-year lease.

Compiled by Terence Baker.

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