EMEA Hospitality Enews - Week Ending May 26 - 2006

Weekly Hotel Industry News Roundup from Europe, Middle East and Africa

HVS David Michels Might Establish A Hotel Investment Fund
David Michels may no longer be making things happen at Hilton Group, but he could well be about to make things happen elsewhere in the hotel world. Michels, who stepped down as the chief executive of Hilton Group after Hilton International was sold to Hilton Hotels Corporation earlier this year, is reported to be interested in setting up a fund that will invest in hotels in Europe. The Times notes that Mr Michels has been in talks with institutions in the City of London that might be prepared to meet his requirement of around £1 billion. The newspaper adds that the fund might be floated on the Alternative Investment Market.

Get In Trim This Summer With Fitzwilliam Hotel Group
The Fitzwilliam Hotel Group will be treating the Republic of Ireland to consecutive months of hotel openings this summer. The experience will begin in July in the town of Trim, in Co. Meath, where the bunting will be out for the 68-room Trim Castle Hotel. In August the company will process the short distance to the western outskirts of Dublin for the unveiling of the 155-room Park Plaza Tyrrelstown. A most interested and gratified spectator will be Park Plaza Hotels Europe, which in 2004 signed up Fitzwilliam Hotel Group to be its franchise partner in Ireland. This hotel, in which Twinlite Developments has invested a reported €40 million, is the first Park Plaza in the Republic of Ireland and Fitzwilliam's sixth hotel in the country.

Carlton Hotel Collection In First Act In Brussels
You will know if you have the sticker album at home that the Carlton Hotel Collection has seven hotels in the Netherlands and two in the UK. Around October 2007 you will need to contact your newsagent for a new album, as a fresh page will have been inserted - for Belgium. La Mondiale, the development firm, has begun work on a 150-room, four-star hotel called The Dominican on a site behind the opera house Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels.

Renaissance Brand Will Arrive At St Pancras
It was known as the Midland Grand Hotel. From 2009 we shall all know it as the Renaissance St Pancras Hotel London. The 245-room hotel is in the plans of Manhattan Loft Corporation, which, in partnership with London & Continental Railways, was granted permission in March 2005 to begin the restoration of the Grade I listed building at St Pancras railway station in London.

Maritim Hotels Makes Its First Visit To Egypt
HMS International has conveyed Maritim Hotels to another new destination. In March it dropped the German hotelier off in Estepona on the Costa del Sol in Spain. This month the destination was Cairo in Egypt; the Solaimaneyah City development, to be precise. The name of the property that Maritim Hotels is to manage there will lengthen as the property expands. It starts off this autumn as the Maritim Hotel Solimer Cairo, which will have 122 rooms, and ends up as the Maritim Hotel & Conference Centre Solimer Cairo on the addition of 240 guest rooms and a conference centre by the end of 2007.

Diplomat Radisson SAS Residence Now Resident In Bahrain
The Diplomat Radisson SAS Hotel in Manama, the capital of Bahrain, has had to be patient in its wait for a neighbour. That patience will be rewarded in October when the Diplomat Radisson SAS Residence and Spa sets up home in a 14-storey building adjacent to the 246-room, five-star hotel. The newcomer brings with it 121 luxury apartments that are available on leases of a year or more.

Thomas Cook Books The Sale Of Inhova
Tour operator Thomas Cook AG expects to have completed the sale of its 41.5% stake in Inhova (Inversora de Hoteles Vacacionales) by the end of June. The Spanish hotel company is to be bought for an undisclosed sum by Spanish bank Caja Madrid and its compatriot Iberostar, the hotel chain. Inhova has three hotels in Croatia and one on the island of Majorca.

Golden Tulip (UK) Reveals Its Latest Expansion Plans
A report from South Yorkshire gave an early indication that Golden Tulip (UK) was on the move again. The company, which apparently wants to introduce another ten hotels (most of them Tulip Inns) to the UK over the next 18 months, has selected land on St Mary's Gate in the city of Sheffield as the site for one of them. Expect to see the 119-room Tulip Inn Sheffield arrive in 2008. Other towns and cities selected are said to include Chippenham, in Wiltshire, Stoke-on-Trent and Belfast.

The Princess And The Tulip
Golden Tulip Hospitality will have its first hotel in Nigeria come 1 January 2007. The 54-room Golden Tulip Princess Emotan, which is being built in the city of Lagos, will be operated by Golden Tulip West Africa, a joint venture established by Golden Tulip and The Lionstone Company. The talk in the Nigerian capital Abuja is not of tulips but of who will submit the highest bid for the government's 99% stake in the 577-room Abuja International Hotel. Seven companies are in the running.

Barceló Makes A Second Trip To Istanbul
Spanish firm Barceló Hotels & Resorts is to manage a second hotel in the Turkish city of Istanbul. The 96-room Beyaz Saray Hotel (now the Barceló Saray) will be a companion for the 249-room Barceló Eresin Topkapi. Meanwhile, AC Hotels has remained in Spain for the opening of its latest property: the AC Vila de Allariz. The 39-room hotel in the northwestern town of Allariz belongs to AC Desarrollo de Hoteles, the joint venture formed in 2002 by AC Hotels and Corporación Financiera de Galicia, a wholly owned subsidiary of savings bank Caixa Galicia.

Comfort Inn Action At Midway (Traffic) Island
The Comfort Inn Portlaoise will write its own paragraph in the book of Irish hotel legends when it opens in July. The entry will come under the heading 'the Republic's first motorway hotel'. The 90-room property is part of the Midway development at the Togher interchange near Portlaoise in Co. Laois. The development, which is reported to have cost €30 million to build, includes a Club Vitae leisure complex, and food outlets.

The Fourth International Hotel Conference: Book Now!
The fourth International Hotel Conference opens on 11 October 2006. But don't delay booking your place until the leaves are falling; those who act while the hawthorn is still in bloom can get a discount of €200 on their registration fee (offer ends 31 May). The hits counter at www.internationalhotelconference.com click here is certain to start spinning once word gets round that the conference is to feature speakers of the calibre of Stephen Bollenbach (CEO, Hilton Hotels Corporation) and Roberto Wirth (president, Hassler Roma). The latter will certainly feel at home: the three-day conference is being held at the Rome Cavalieri Hilton. HVS International's Steve Rushmore, Russell Kett, Dominique Bourdais and Philip Bacon, and Rudy Reudelhuber of HVS HWE, will among the 90 speakers.

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