Aman to Build Luxury Resorts in Saudi Arabia

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Here are some excerpts from Daily Lodging Report from the past week. If you’re not a subscriber, you should be. Get news on hotel deals, development, stocks, and career moves. Sign up here, now.

Sunday, April 23

Hilton Burlington Lake Champlain will soon expand amenities and receive a new name: Hotel Champlain. Rooms in the Burlington, Vermont hotel were renovated during the past two years, and now its lobby, fitness center ,and exterior will get facelifts. The rebrand will transition the 258-room hotel into Hilton’s Curio Collection.  

Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced the official opening of Hyatt Regency Mexico City Insurgentes, marking the sixth Hyatt Regency hotel in Mexico and the second in Mexico City. The 24-story property features 201 guestrooms and suites, three curated food and beverage outlets, a fitness center, the Regency Club Lounge and 4,628 square feet of event space.

IHG Hotels & Resorts introduced the Vignette Collection to the UK with the signing of The Halyard at Ropewalks Liverpool, Vignette Collection. The property will open later this year under a franchise agreement with Molo Hotels and will be operated by Lighthouse Hotel Management. The 133-key luxury hotel boasts a restaurant, gym, conferencing facilities, and a rooftop terrace.

Radisson Hotel Group grew its footprint in Asia Pacific recently. In Thailand, it grew to 10 hotels with the signing of its first Radisson RED property in Patong Beach in Phuket, a new Radisson property in Bangkok, and the opening of Radisson Resort & Spa Hua Hin. In the same season, it signed the first Radisson Collection property in Vietnam.

Skift Take: For more on Radisson, read: Radisson Hotel Group Isn’t Finished With Transformative Strategy.

Monday, April 24

In the U.S., The Hospitality Asset Manager Association released the results of its Spring 2023 Industry Outlook Survey. Highlighted results include: The top three issues concerning hotel asset managers are wage increases (65%), labor availability (57%) and demand (52%). The survey found that 66% of members believe the U.S. economy either already is in or will slip into a recession in 2023, while 74% of members are pursuing acquisitions, while 59% of members neither have nor are contemplating a management or brand change.

The Peel Group has sold the allegedly haunted Midland Hotel in Bradford, UK, to the Britannia Hotels chain. Christie & Co, brokered the sale. 

Oyo announced it would add 50 properties in Ayodhya in 2023. About 25 will be homestays run by homeowners and 25 will be small and medium hotels with between 10 and 20 rooms each. Oyo Rooms is being actively supported by Ayodhya Development Authority and Uttar Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation to start the properties in a time-bound manner.

The Bent Inn will open sometime this summer in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada as the only LGBTQ-owned and operated hotel in the city. Featuring 33 rooms, the former Moonlight Motel is being developed by Mark Hunter and Greg Kafka. In addition to an onsite gastropub and coffee bar, the Bent Inn will feature a poolside food truck. 

Marriott International is planning to launch its select hotel brand Moxy in India by 2024. Marriott expects to open Moxy Bangalore Airport Prestige Tech Cloud and Moxy Mumbai Andheri West in 2024.

Hoshino Resort, which operates luxury resort facilities throughout Japan, will open a tourist accommodation facility, KAI Okuhida, in Okuhida Onsengo, Takayama City, Gifu Prefecture. The scheduled opening date is the fall of 2024. This will be the company’s first foray into Gifu Prefecture. KAI is the company’s brand of onsen ryokan in Japan, with most properties having around 50 guest rooms, characterized by its high price range. They plan to offer a hot spring bath with a view of the Northern Alps and a space that takes advantage of the Hida region’s advanced woodworking techniques.

Skift Take: For more on Oyo, read Oyo Cuts IPO Size Nearly in Half to $600 Million, Aiming for November Listing. For more on Hoshino, read: Hoshino Resorts Wants to Take Japanese Hospitality Overseas.

Tuesday, April 25

CIM Group, along with investor Tony Ressler, is moving forward to transform downtown Atlanta by turning a vacant rail yard into a $5 billion mix of hotels, restaurants and offices. Work has begun on the first hotel and residential building of Centennial Yards, know locally as “The Gulch”. 

In Newport, Kentucky, North American Properties plans to develop the region’s first Margaritaville Resort at its Newport on the Levee riverfront development. The planned resort would offer 264 hotel rooms, three restaurants and amenity spaces, including a rooftop pool, at a total investment of about $140 million. North American Properties plans to partner with Stormont Hospitality Group on the Margaritaville Resort. The completion date is set for February 2026.

Makan Hospitality shared its plan to build a new 14-story hotel, condo, restaurant and office-building, with the North Little Rock, Arkansas City Council. A final city council vote on the new Argenta hotel plan is expected to happen next month.

Fitch Ratings said the complete recovery of airport traffic in China to 2019 levels might only happen by the end of 2024.

Sol San Jose Owner, based in Seoul, has picked up a $26.4 million loan for a delinquent hotel project in North San Jose, California, and is poised to take control of the approved development. The Seoul, South Korea-based investor acquired the loan to the real estate firm that proposed the 200-room hotel at 7 Topgolf Drive in the Alviso district. The loan to Mirae-San Jose in is default. Sol San Jose took ownership of the mortgage. 

Far East Consortium also announced the opening of the Ritz-Carlton in Melbourne, also in West Side Place. The group debuted the 257-room Ritz on March 23 with its lobby located on the 80th floor of the property. Far East is currently developing five other hotels in Australia, which once opened will mean the group owns over 2,300 rooms in the country.

Chroma Hospitality, a unit of the Gotianun-led Filinvest Hospitality Corp, is aggressively expanding its footprint in the Philippines, with more hotels opening beginning next year under its Grafik brand. Chroma is opening Grafik Baguio in 2024, the Quest Plus Clark expansion which will break ground this year, the Crismon Resort and Spa Mactan expansion and then a second hotel in Mactan, called the Grafik Mactan. Chroma currently operates seven properties in the Philippines.

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts named Yigit Sezgin as Chief Brand & Commercial Officer. He joins the team after four years as Chief Commercial Officer for Accor IMEAT.

Skift Take: For more on Margaritaville, read: “The Margaritaville CEO on Just How Far the Jimmy Buffett Brand Can Go.”

Wednesday, April 26

Hilton kicked off earnings season with solid results. You could not get much better than Hilton’s with a solid beat, and a raise in guidance and even commentary on the conference call that they don’t expect what has been dogging the industry on Wall Street for a year, a massive recession to impact them. HLT’s CEO even said he is expecting a soft landing and seemed to feel the worst has passed. Judging by the reaction in HLT stock, as well as a spillover effect into Marriott and Hyatt stock, one would think Chris Nassetta said the exact opposite. We have a feeling the general public is just hypnotized into thinking the worst whether it is based on politics, the economy or something to do with social media. By the way, HLT repurchased $446 million worth of stock in the quarter and their development pipeline increased to 428,000 rooms from 416,000 rooms in the prior quarter, just in case you are thinking things like that could have caused the big sell off in the group. HLT was down $4.94 a share, MAR was down $7.74, H was down $4.84, CHH was down $3.62 and WH was down $2.25.

TNL (Travel + Leisure) beat expectations, bought back $102 million worth of stock and gave out more in dividends than expected. The stock went down. This could be a long earnings season. Perhaps we need the market temperature to be taken each day before passing judgment on an earnings report. TNL was down $1.59 a share.

Crain’s Chicago Business reported the joint venture of Lionstone Development and Virgin Hotels has hired Jones Lang LaSalle to sell the 250 room Virgin Hotel Chicago.

BWH Hotel Group’s SureStay Hotel Group has opened new SureStay Plus properties in Tennessee and New Mexico. The SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western Sevierville in Sevierville, TN, completed a half-million dollar renovation and offers 80 guestrooms and an outdoor pool. SureStay Plus by Best Western Silver City, in Silver City, New Mexico, features 61 guestrooms, an indoor heated pool, hot tub, and a gym. 

An HVS Anarock report on the Indian hotel market shows the number of hotel rooms in tier-II and tier-III cities increased to 38% of the total inventory at the end of 2022 from 33% four years ago. In 2022, 166 new hotels with 14,885 rooms were signed while 90 hotels with 5,702 rooms were rebranded. The sector closed the year with occupancy in the range of 59-61 percent only 5-7 pp lower than the full year 2019. HVS Anarock expects India-wide occupancy to improve to 66% in 2023 with a 16-17 percent increase in Average room rate, pushing RevPAR almost 18% higher than the pre-pandemic result in 2019.

Indian Hotels Company announced the addition of the 100th hotel to its Taj brand. IHCL partnered with Cochin International Airport on the 211 room Taj Hotel in Cochin, the second Taj hotel in the city. The hotel is located a short distance from the airport and will offer an all-day diner, a bar, a lounge and an open-air specialty restaurant. It will feature banqueting spaces and meeting rooms, a spa, a swimming pool and a gym. Across Kerala, the company has five other hotels under development. IHCL also announced the signing of two hotels in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. The Vivanta and Ginger-branded hotels are both Greenfield projects.

Hyatt Hotels and Sun Hung Kai Properties announced the opening of Andaz Nanjing Hexi in Greater China.

CBRE Hotels announced the Crystalbrook Collection is selling the luxury Crystalbrook Albion hotel in Surrey Hills.

Skift Take: For more on Hilton’s first-quarter commentary, read: Hilton Teases a Long-Stay Apartment Hotel Brand to Debut Soon.

Thursday, April 27

Aman Group announced two forthcoming destinations in Saudi Arabia in partnership with Diriyah Company – Aman Wadi Safar and Janu Diriyah. Aman Wadi Safar will be located near Riyadh and will have a 78-key Aman hotel, a collection of up to 34 Aman Branded Residences and amenities including an Aman Spa. Janu Diriyah is expected to open in 2026, located within close proximity to the Unesco Heritage Site of At-Turaif, also close to Riyadh. It will have 120 hotel rooms and a spa, as part of the Janu Wellness offering, along with a multitude of dining and experiences.

Sydney-Australia-based hotel investor/operator Pro-invest Group is starting to refocus on managing hotels in Europe. Via an investment platform with ICG Real Estate in September 2022, the firm is looking to invest US$623 million, initially in UK hotels. Right now all their hotels are located in the Asia Pacific region. The joint venture will focus on value-add, opportunistic investments into hotel assets in the UK. Pro-invest is weighing partnerships across UK and European markets. Their hotels in APAC are mostly with IHG’s Holiday Inn Express brand but definitely have favored all IHG brands. The investment with ICG is expected to yield 15 to 20 properties with a total of 3,000 to 5,000 keys.

DoubleDragon Corp of the Philippines, through its subsidiary Hotel101 Global Pte Ltd., signed a binding agreement to acquire a property in Madrid, Spain, for its first development in Europe. The deal is for the acquisition of 6,593 square meters of prime commercial land located in Avenida Fuerzas Armadas, Valdebebas, Madrid. Hotel101-Madrid will have about 736 rooms and will be the first Hotel101 development in Europe, set to be among the Top 5 largest hotels in Madrid and the first homegrown Filipino hotel chain to enter Spain. DoubleDragon expects to generate P8.8 billion in condotel sales revenues from Hotel101-Madrid project. 

Hotel occupancy in Egypt increased by about 20%-25% during the first quarter of 2023, compared to the same period last year, according to Asharq Business. Cairo hotels topped the list with 80% occupancy. Tourists from Germany, Poland, Italy, UK and the Czech Republic were the most nationalities that visited the Egyptian resorts.

Skift Take: For more on Aman’s strategy, read: Aman Resorts’ New Funding Set to Boost Its Niche Status in Luxury Travel.

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