Global hotel pulse: Europe news
Global hotel pulse: Europe news
07 NOVEMBER 2018 8:23 AM

In this roundup of news from Europe: The continent sees mixed performance in October and Whitbread PLC launches super-budget Zip by Premier Inn.

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 September 2018
Europe’s hotel industry reported mixed results in the three key performance metrics during September 2018, according to data from STR, the parent company of Hotel News Now. In the month, occupancy dipped 0.7% to 80.7%, but average daily rate rose 3.6% to €123.09 ($140.53) and revenue per available room increased 2.8% to €99.38 ($113.43).

Sofia, Bulgaria, is one market that showed double-digit ADR and RevPAR growth. ADR rose 20.5% to 167.29 Bulgarian levs ($97.61), the highest for a September since 2008, and RevPAR increased 27.9% to 125.98 levs ($73.50). Occupancy in Sofia grew 6.2% to 75.3%.

Whitbread launches Zip brand
Whitbread PLC, the hotel company behind Premier Inn, has launched a new “super-budget” brand Zip by Premier Inn that CEO Alison Brittain said is “for customers who currently do not stay at Premier Inns, who might sleep in their vans or just drive a long way overnight to get home.”

The brand, characterized by small spaces (only 91.5 square feet) and a low rate, starting at £19 ($24.78), will debut with a 138-room property next spring in Roath, a suburb of Cardiff, Wales. The property will mirror future siblings by being near but not immediately in urban centers. A second property, with 140 rooms, will be built in Southampton.

Minor buy almost all remaining stock in NH Hotels
Thai hotel group Minor International, which previously owned approximately 45% of Spanish hotel firm NH Hotels, has now scooped up nearly all of it, some 94.1%. According to Minor’s CEO Dillip Rajakarier, this and previous share acquisitions value NH, which has 160 assets, at approximately $2.9 billion.

Minor, a hotel owner, operator and investor, now has a portfolio of 549 hotels in 53 countries under the Anantara, Avani, Oaks, Tivoli, NH Collection, NH, Nhow, Elewana, Marriott, Four Seasons, St. Regis, Radisson Blu and Minor International brands.

CEO Barr wants IHG to be faster, more agile
Keith Barr, CEO of InterContinental Hotels Group, said his focus is to make the company more agile and to move faster to accelerate growth and put more resources closer to owners to drive performance.

In an interview with HNN’s Jeff Higley during the Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific Program in Hong Kong, Barr said “We want to make sure we’ve got the right products on the shelf for our guests and for our owners. When we have a gap, we want to fill that gap as best we can.”

Pandox, Fattal acquire £115m Manchester asset
Swedish hotel firm Pandox AB and Israeli operator Fattal Hotels Group together acquired the 312-room Midland Manchester in England for £115 million ($150 million). The property will be operated by Fattal under a revenue-based lease agreement and was acquired on 12 October by a new bank loan and existing credit facilities.

An accompanying news release stated that the “acquired hotel property has a yield of approximately 5.7%, before transaction costs.” More than £10 million ($13 million) will be spent on a renovation.

Deals and developments

  • Monaco-based Cola Holdings has bought the 603-room Hilton London Kensington for approximately £260 million ($339 million).
  • Hard Rock Hotels has announced it will opening the 159-room Hard Rock Hotel Madrid in the Spanish capital in 2019 with owner ActivumSG Capital Management.
  • On 12 October, German firm Union Investment Real Estate GmbH bought on the dual-branded Premier Inn City Centre Royal Mile and Hub by Premier Inn Edinburgh Royal Mile in the Scottish capital for £38 million ($49.6 million) from Luxembourg-listed MAS Real Estate.
  • Pandox AB has bought the 247-room Radisson Blu Glasgow, Scotland, from management company Azure Hotels for £39 million ($50 million). Pandox will operate the asset.
  • U.K. real estate investment trust LXi has bought the 247-room Jurys Inn Plymouth, which was refurbished in 2016, for £30 million ($39.1 million) and 70-room Travelodge Edinburgh Park, also in the Scottish capital, for £6.6 million ($8.6 million).
  • Radisson Hospitality AB will open the 202-room Radisson Larnaca Beach Resort on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus in the third quarter of 2019, with local operator Sunnyseeker Hotels managing the asset; the 100-room Radisson Red Tbilisi Old Town, Georgia, in the fourth quarter of 2020; and the 289-room Radisson Blu Hotel, Rome Fiumicino International Airport, in the second quarter of 2022.
  • IHG opened its first Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants asset in the U.K. on 24 October with the 334-room Kimpton Fitzroy London, formerly the Principal London, in a 1898, Grade II-listed building on Russell Square in the Bloomsbury neighborhood.
  • U.K. real estate management firm Henderson Park completed the €550-million ($627.6 million) acquisition, first announced in December, of the 428-room Westin Paris-Vendôme from Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC.
  • Owned by Definition Capital, its debut asset, the 161-room East London Hotel opened in the U.K. capital’s Bethnal Green district.

Compiled by Terence Baker.

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