Check in! – latest hotel highlights from across EMEA

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


Village Hotel Group has ambitions to double its estate within the next five years

Village Hotel Club has revealed its aggressive expansion plans to almost double its estate within the next five years and is actively look for additional sights across the UK, on both sides of the Irish border and even into other international markets.

KSL Capital Partners, which acquired Village from De Vere Group four years ago for GBP485 million, is backing an investment plan that aims to increase the number of UK hotels from 30 to 50 by 2026, creating 2,400 jobs.

The mid-market hotel brand currently has 30 hotels across the UK after its latest opening in Bristol, plans to open five hotels over the next two years, with at least a further fifteen sites planned by 2026. The hotel group’s research has indicated that there are over 100 potential Village Hotel locations across the UK.

Its standard model moving forward is ideally based around a 2.5 acre site and offers 153 keys at full amenity. This includes a licenced pub, comfortable restaurant, on-site Starbucks, meeting and events venue, and a modern Village gym with heated swimming pool. Its recent Bristol and Portsmouth hotels follow this model with smaller, more high-tech rooms, versus the 123 average previously. The five new-build properties opening over the next two years in Southampton, Basingstoke, Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Slough will all offer 153 rooms.


Vienna sees the largest drop as European hotel prices slip in Jan-2019

Average hotel prices are falling during the first month of 2019 compared to Dec-2018 across almost all European cities listed on the trivago Hotel Price Index (tHPI), the monthly data report by global hotel metasearch trivago.com. Of the European cities it lists, Vienna sees the most significant drop in hotel prices; the average overnight hotel rate for a standard double room in January is down 28% to EUR94.

Elsewhere, travellers visiting Reykjavik this month will pay on average EUR124 for a standard double room per night, which is 22% less expensive compared to the average hotel price of EUR158 per night during the previous month. The same trend of decreased hotel prices applies to London as well, where the average hotel price has fallen to EUR118 per night, a 20% decrease on a month-on-month comparison.

In both Amsterdam and Lisbon average hotel prices have dropped by 20% at EUR108 and EUR70, respectively. The only European city on the index where hotel prices have remained the same this month compared to last is Moscow, where a stay in a standard double room costs an average of EUR60 euros per night in Jan-2019.


Whitbread secures development site for 180-bedroom Dublin Premier Inn hotel

Whitbread, the owner of the Premier Inn hotel chain, has completed a freehold deal to purchase the Twilfit House development site in Dublin 1 for a new build 180-bedroom Premier Inn hotel. It will be its second property in the Irish capital city, where it is seeking to ultimately deliver up to 2,500 bedrooms. The site is located close to O’Connell Street, Temple Bar, Trinity College and many other major tourist attractions and its proximity next to the Jervis Street Luas stop also makes it a highly accessible location from across the city.

Kevin Murray, head of acquisitions (North & Ireland) for Whitbread, says the deal “builds strong momentum” to its acquisition drive in Dublin. “We are actively pursuing other live freehold and leasehold opportunities, including potential office-to-hotel conversions and going concern purchases, as we seek to secure up to 2,500 Premier Inn bedrooms in the city,” he adds.

The freehold was purchased from Abarta Investments ICAV, which had already secured full planning permission from Dublin City Council to build a 180-bedroom hotel on the site.  This planning consent was upheld by An Bord Pleanála in late Dec-2018 and, upon expiration of the existing tenancies, Whitbread will demolish the existing three-storey building and construct the seven-storey Premier Inn hotel on the site.

The purchase of Twilfit House is the second Premier Inn hotel to be secured in Dublin city centre after Whitbread confirmed last autumn it had secured planning permission for a 97-bedroom Premier Inn hotel on South Great Georges Street, where demolition work is anticipated to commence in Q1 2019 with the hotel scheduled to open in summer 2020.  Premier Inn also has an existing 213-bedroom hotel at Dublin Airport.


News Briefs

  • Malta International Airport has launched a tender for initial design concept for its SkyParks 2 airport campus project, requiring investment of around EUR40 million. The complex will include office and commercial space, as well as a 1,400 square metre hotel. The property will have a rating “of at least 4 stars” and will primarily look to serve business travellers. A separate invitation for tenders issued at a later stage will form part of the selection process of an operator for this hotel.
  • Hotel management company Cycas Hospitality signed a first property management contract in Germany to operate the privately owned 133 suite Element Frankfurt Airport hotel, under a long term lease. Originally opened in 2014, the seven-storey property is located at Gateway Gardens; a global business village within walking distance of Frankfurt International Airport’s Terminal 2. It will be Cycas Hospitality’s tenth European hotel and sixth airport property.
  • One of Ireland’s most accomplished property entrepreneurs and a well-known philanthropist, Stephen Vernon has acquired a 5% shareholding in aparthotel lettings specialist Staycity Group. The deal has been completed through the John Pollard Foundation, named after his grandfather. Mr Vernon joins the Staycity board as a non-executive director but intends to take an active role by working with CEO and co-founder Tom Walsh and his team in achieving their growth targets.
  • The Mondrian London, located on the South Bank area of the River Thames in the UK capital, is now under the management of Lore Group and has been rebranded as Sea Containers London. The 359-room hotel, previously managed by SBE, the owners of the Mondrian brand, opened in 2014.

And finally…

Miami Beach was the most expensive destination in the world for accommodation on New Year’s Eve last year, according to a new survey by CheapHotels.org. With a nightly rate of USD281 for the least expensive room, Miami Beach was the clear leader, ahead of Sydney at USD274 per night and Dubai at USD272 per night. The destination with the highest relative rate increase for New Year’s Eve was the Taiwanese capital of Taipei where guests had to spend USD175 per night for the most affordable room – that’s almost 500% more than a regular night’s stay in January. The survey compared hotel rates in 50 cities across the globe based on the cheapest available double room in a centrally located property for a 3-night stay from 30-Dec-2018 to 02-Jan-2019.