5 things to know: 23 May 2018
5 things to know: 23 May 2018
23 MAY 2018 9:26 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Hilton partners with China’s Country Garden
  • Fattal Holdings selling Leonardo Royal Hotel for $157m
  • How Caribbean hoteliers are rebuilding and reinvesting
  • Hotels cater to hard-to-please tweens
  • Air travel projected to hit record high this summer

Hilton partners with China’s Country Garden: Hilton has entered into a strategic partnership with Shanghai-based Country Garden Hotels Group, according to a news release. Under the partnership, Hilton will manage numerous Country Garden hotel properties, mostly under Hilton’s DoubleTree by Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn brands.

There are six hotels now owned by Country Garden trading as Hilton-branded properties or in the pipeline, according to the news release. Country Garden is one of China’s largest developers and currently has more than 120 hotels trading, under construction and in planning. Hilton has 470 hotels trading or under development in China, 266 of which are in construction.

"Country Garden is a widely admired property developer and we are thrilled to be extending our partnership with them," Hilton President and CEO Chris Nassetta said in the release. "Ultimately, our goal is to provide exceptional experiences to our guests wherever they may be, and through this partnership, we have an opportunity to bring Hilton's signature hospitality to even more locations across the country."

Fattal Holdings selling Leonardo Royal Hotel for $157m: Fattal Holdings 1998 is selling Munich’s 424-room Leonardo Royal Hotel for $157 million, according to Israeli business daily Globes. The price comes in at €25 million ($29.3 million) more than the hotel’s book value.

Fattal will lease the property from the buyer under a 30-year contract for €7.2 million ($8.4 million) a year in management fees or 32% of the property’s revenue turnover, whichever of the two is higher, according to the article.

“The current deal again shows that Fattal Europe is carefully selecting its properties and improving them,” Fattal Chairman and CEO David Fattal told the newspaper. “It is able to take advantage of sale opportunities at prices substantially higher than the book value of the properties. In this deal, we spotted a terrific opportunity to sell the Leonardo Royal Hotel in a sale and leaseback deal at a price 20% higher than the property's book value.”

How Caribbean hoteliers are rebuilding and reinvesting: The hurricanes that hit the Caribbean in 2017 will have lasting effects, but hotel experts speaking on a panel at the Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit said there is still reason to invest in the region as it rebuilds, writes HNN’s Sean McCracken.

Chris Barbe, SVP and GM of global sales and project development at DCK Worldwide, said pricing expectations for real estates have increased as people have remembered what is special about the region. Hotel prices have been complicated, however, because some properties are seeking equity investors to help pay to rebuild after the storms and some are effectively distressed assets.

“We’re starting to see assets come up for sale because they can’t get to a point of rebuilding themselves, and those are probably undervalued versus residential real estate,” he said. “Many are in a position where they have to move on or take on a partner.”

Hotels cater to hard-to-please tweens: Hotels are beginning to offer tween-oriented activities to keep their guests ages 8 to 12 happy, which in turn gives their parents time to themselves, making the family more likely to come back, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The age group has proved a challenge because they are too old for children activities but not yet old enough to hang with the teens and their dance parties, according to the article. Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas opened a tween-only nightclub, Club Rush, which holds karaoke contests and offers a smoothie bar. The Rosewood Bermuda has supervised activities, such as hiking to a local cave and learning how to make traditional fish cakes. The Gleneagles in Scotland has The Den, which has a movie room, photo booth, pool table, videogames and traditional board games.

Citing findings by marketing and research firm MMGY Global, the article reports 77% of travelers said their children influence their vacation planning and 54% said their children helped them pick out a hotel.

Air travel projected to hit record high this summer: Trade group Airlines for America is forecasting 246.1 million people will fly on United States airlines between 1 June and 31 August, USA Today reports, averaging out to almost 2.7 million people a day. The forecast represents a 3.7% year-over-year increase in air travel, beating 2017’s record of 237.3 million travelers.

“As the economy grows along with household net worth, passengers are taking advantage of persistently low airfares for their summer travel plans,” John Heimlich, A4A’s chief economist, said in a statement for the paper.

Compiled by Bryan Wroten. 

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