Check in! – hotel highlights across EMEA

The Blue Swan Daily brings you a round up of the latest key hotel news from across Europe, Middle East and Africa.

  • Bulgari Hotel and Resorts brings a bit more luxury to Parisian hotel scene
  • Icelandair Hotels sees good prospects for its properties as tourists warm to country’s potential
  • Travelodge set to open 20 new properties in 2018 including its largest new build to date
  • Wyndham Group boosts Ramada offering in Europe through HR Group alliance
  • Hotel News Briefs…

Bulgari Hotel and Resorts brings a bit more luxury to Parisian hotel scene
Bulgari Hotel and Resorts has revealed its eighth property is scheduled to open in Paris in 2020. The luxury brand already has a presence in Bali, Beijing, Dubai, London, Milan and properties due to open in Shanghai this year and Moscow in 2020. The Bulgari Hotel Paris will be located on Avenue George V, within the so-called Triangle d’Or – the area formed by the intersections of Avenue George V with the Champs Elysees and Avenue Montaigne. It will have 76 rooms, mainly suites, as well as a spa, 25-metre swimming pool, a restaurant and bar, and a courtyard garden, according to Bulgari. The new property is being designed by Italian architecture firm Antonio Patricia Viel, alongside the renowned Parisian architects Valode & Pistre.

Icelandair Hotels sees good prospects for its properties as tourists warm to country’s potential
Icelandair Group has predicted the number of tourists visiting Iceland is expected to grow 10% year-on-year in 2018. The company reported the prospects for Icelandair Hotels in 2018 are “quite good” and the company’s hotels are better booked than at the same time in 2016. Icelandair Hotels will this year focus on “reconsidering established older brands, while continuing the development of new projects”. Moreover, the company says it will “prioritise continued digital development and focus on streamlining all operations”. Continuing development and opening of new hotels will play a key role at Icelandair Hotels in 2018. Two new Reykjavík hotels are in the making, the first in Hafnarstræti in downtown Reykjavík and opening this month, and the second planned to open by the end of 2019. Franchise agreements with Hilton Worldwide have been signed for both hotels to be branded among its Curio Collection of luxury properties. Additionally, the 59-room Icelandair Hotel Mývatn will welcome its first guests in the summer of 2018, taking over the well-established Hotel Reynihlíð close to Lake Mývatn.

Travelodge set to open 20 new properties in 2018 including its largest new build to date
UK budget hotel chain Travelodge has confirmed it plans to open 20 new hotels offering over 1,900 rooms across the UK in 2018, creating 550 new jobs and expanding its network to 578 Travelodge hotels in the UK, Spain and Ireland. These hotels are being developed by third party investors, with an approximate equivalent investment value of GBP240 million. Over the past five years, Travelodge has opened 78 new hotels which represents an approximate investment value of over GBP600 million for third party investors and created over 2,000 new jobs. Its latest ranche of properties, which spread from Stirling to Dover, includes its  largest ever new build hotel to date, London City Travelodge, a 395-room property in the heart of the City of London, located on Middlesex Street, close to the Gherkin. In addition, following the successful roll out of 1,000 SuperRooms, the company’s new premium economy concept in 2017, this year, the group is investing in a further 400 SuperRooms. These will be rolled out to seven more Travelodge hotels in London and regional cities such as: Bristol, Edinburgh, Manchester and York.  This investment will take the total to 1,400 SuperRooms. It says it is experiencing a rise in corporate and SME business customers which now “represent a higher proportion of overall sales than leisure customers”.

Wyndham Group boosts Ramada offering in Europe through HR Group alliance
Wyndham Hotel Group has entered into a strategic alliance with German hotel management company HR Group to open multiple properties across Europe under the Ramada brand. At least four new Ramada hotels will be opened in Berlin, Munich, Hanover and Bottrop, adding to recent openings in the Netherlands and Germany – the 222-room Ramada Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and the Ramada Flensburg, a recently refurbished 95-room hotel in the heart of the historic town of Flensburg with views of its harbour and Baltic sea.  As part of the planned separation of its hotel business from its vacation ownership and timeshare exchange businesses that was revealed in Aug-2017, Wyndham Worldwide recently confirmed it has entered into a definitive agreement for the sale of its European vacation rental business to Platinum Equity for approximately USD1.3 billion. In conjunction with the sale, the European vacation rental business has entered into a 20-year agreement under which it will pay a royalty fee of 1% of net revenue to Wyndham’s hotel business for the right to use the by Wyndham Vacation Rentals brand.

Hotel News Briefs…

  • Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism says the United Arab Emirates (UAE) city recorded a +10.3% year-on-year rise in guest nights compared to 2016. Its latest data shows 4.3 million full year guest nights across the 131 hotels and apartments that provide 26,821 rooms. The Al Ain region recorded a +5.5% increase to 450,328 guests across 20 hotels and the Al Dhafra region reported an +8.2% increase to 130,180 guests at 11 hotels and hotel apartments. A shallower growth has been seen for the start of 2018 with the emirate recording a +7.4% increase in guest numbers to 437,228 in Jan-2018.
  • Capital Travel & Tours CEO Yoosuf Riffath, via his personal Twitter account, said the Maldives is “now in a very precarious situation due to the #StateOfEmergency and political instability”. He added: “Investor confidence is diminishing, #economy is retracting. It’s time for resolving political disposition with meaningful dialogue”. Mr Riffath earlier noted: “Average occupancy dropping to less than 50% in resorts. This is our high season with 90%+ occupancy normally. It’s the direct results of the #unconstitutional #StateOfEmergency in #Maldives”.
  • Primorsky Krai Governor Andrey Tarasenko has asked Russia’s Aide to the President Igor Levitin to consider the inclusion of the project for the reconstruction of Vladivostok Knevichi Airport’s runway in the federal programme for the development of the transport system from 2020 to 2022. The airport also plans to commence planning work for infrastructure development projects in 2018 including the construction of a new airport hotel.
  • Preliminary Feb-2018 data for London, England, from benchmarking specialist STR indicates a continuation of recent trends. Based on its daily data for the month, room supply in the city increased +2.2% and demand increased +1.8%, resulting in a -0.4% fall in occupancy to 77.3%. However, the average daily rate (ADR) was up +1.2% to GBP133.84 and revenue per available room (RevPAR) up +0.8% to GBP103.48.
  • European leisure company TUI Group has confirmed its hotel portfolio in Mexico will grow from 18 to 20 properties in 2018 with the opening of the RIU Palace Hotel on the Costa Mujeres in Cancun and the Baja California on the Mexican Pacific coast. Mexico is TUI Group’s fifth largest destination after Spain, Egypt, Greece and Turkey for its hotel and resorts business, also holding the position as its most important long haul destination for this segment, followed by the Dominican Republic and Jamaica.