Valor adds to the management portfolio: Valor Hospitality Partners, Atlanta, Georgia, announced that it has been appointed to manage The Dunluce Lodge, a new 35-key, 5-star luxury hotel and spa in Portrush, Northern Ireland, overlooking the Royal Portrush Golf Club. The nine-acre land, which was previously privately owned, is set to open in 2023. The hotel, owned by US-based Jonathan Harper and Robert Covington, is the area’s first 5-star property. Maxwell and Co., Inverness, were appointed as architects of the hotel.
Record ad sales in Sydney: Former Sydney Lord Mayor and philanthropist Nelson Meers AO has acquired the Crossroads Hotel in Sydney for A$160 million (US$119.34 million), setting a record for a pub sale in Australia. The off-market deal was brokered by HTL Property and sold by Rob Macdonald. In 2020, the pub made headlines after becoming the site of one of the largest outbreaks of the Delta variant of COVID-19 which caused lockdowns in Sydney.
Selina, TechnoArt partnership: Selina announced its strategic partnership with TechnoArt, the growth platform for tech startups, to launch TechnoArt Selina. The partnership creates one of the world’s first innovation programs to support the digital nomad community. TechnoArt also announced the launch of a dedicated innovation fund through which it will syndicate investments to up to 12 graduate companies per year. The partnership includes two programs — Born and Grown. Born is a 12-week innovation program to help early-stage startups create their vision into a business, while Grown is a digital platform to meet the needs of the digital nomad community. TechnoArt Selina members can apply for funding through the partnership’s dedicated website, which will be reviewed by the partnership’s investment committee and presented by TechnoArt to its strategic investment partners. TechnoArt plans to allocate between 1 and 5 million US dollars per investment.
HEI to manage Saddlebrook Resort: HEI Hotels & Resorts, Norwalk, Connecticut, has announced the addition of Saddlebrook Resort in Wesley, Florida to its independent resort portfolio. Mast Capital, Miami, Fla., and Amzak Capital Management, based in Boca Raton, Fla., acquired the resort in March and plan to make major upgrades to the property. This is the second property that Mast has entrusted the management to HEI. Spread over 480 acres, the 519-key condominium resort includes two Arnold Palmer-designed golf courses, 43 tennis courts, a spa, 100,000 square feet of meeting space as well as Saddlebrook Prep, a tennis academy and golf.
Radisson Inn & Suites will sign 100 properties: Radisson Hotel Group Americas Development has announced plans to sign 100 Radisson Inn & Suites over the next 12 months. The upper mid-range brand was launched last month.
Leisure travel takes off: According to EY’s latest Future Consumer Index, leisure travel is seeing incredible levels of pent-up demand, especially for ‘bucket list travel’, while business travel may be slow to return at normal levels. The index, which has been monitoring consumer behavior and sentiment since April 2020, showed that 61% of respondents have booked or plan to book holidays for the next six months, while 78% expect to spend more or for the same on vacation as in previous years. The top three reasons consumers don’t book a holiday are health reasons (27%), waiting for further easing of restrictions (26%) and saving money (24%).
Benchmark Pyramid adds to the portfolio: Benchmark Pyramid has taken over management of Riverhouse on the Deschutes, the 221-room hotel located on the Deschutes River in Bend, Oregon. The hotel includes a large convention center that can accommodate up to 1,600 attendees, a restaurant, and eco-friendly and sustainable wellness treatments at the spa. It is the third Pacific Northwest destination to join Benchmark Pyramid, following Skamania Lodge in Stevenson, Washington, and Woodinville, Washington.
Mitsis Hospitality launches a five-year investment plan: Mitsis Hospitality, Athens, Greece, is launching a five-year investment plan worth 500 million euros ($543.83 million) to develop new tourism projects in Greece. Scheduled to be completed by 2027, the investment plan will concern new luxury hotels in Mykonos, Rhodes, Crete and Piraeus. On the island of Rhodes, Mitsis has acquired 150 hectares of land and plans to build three hotels, a shopping center and a marina. In Mykonos, the group plans to develop a 225-key hotel on 15 hectares of land, while it is in talks with local entrepreneurs in Crete to purchase two hotels in Crete. In the port of Piraeus, the company plans to transform an old factory into a boutique hotel with 150 keys.
Thailand relaxes testing requirements for visitors: Thailand plans to scrap mandatory RT-PCR testing on arrival for foreign visitors from May to attract more international tourists. Vaccinated travelers will no longer be required to book a hotel night to obtain a visa. RT-PCR tests will be replaced by antigen tests at airports. Thailand’s hospitality industry has demanded the cancellation of the Test & Go visa program, which is seen as a deterrent to inbound travellers. Besides Thailand, Australia, Singapore and the Philippines have relaxed entry requirements for tourists.
The Meridian sells for $30.5 million: Cambridge Lansdowne, Miami, Florida, has acquired the Meridian Hotel in Miami Beach for $30.5 million from Miami-based Urbanica Hotels. Cambridge secured an $18.3 million loan from Bradesco BAC Florida Bank to partially finance the purchase. The four-story hotel has 70 rooms. Urbanica acquired the 16,110 square foot hotel for US$5.5 million in 2013 and doubled the size of the hotel, adding 16,479 square feet, while retaining the building’s original facade.
St. Regis in Goa: Marriott International has announced that it has signed an agreement with Ceres Hotels, the Kuala Lumpur-based subsidiary of Metrod Holdings Berhad, to rebrand The Leela Goa as St. Regis Goa. The hotel is set to undergo a complete transformation in phases and open as the St. Regis from October. Under the agreement, Marriott will control and oversee the hotel’s operations. This will be Marriott’s ninth property in Goa. Spanning 49 acres, the hotel will feature 206 rooms and five specialty restaurants. Hotel Leelaventure sold The Leela Goa to Kuala Lumpur-based MetTube, a major shareholder of Metrod, in 2015 for Rs. 725 crores ($95.5 million). Currently, Marriott has 129 properties across 16 brands in India.
DRB Approves Naples Beach Club Redevelopment Plan: The Design Review Board has approved plans to replace the Naples Beach Hotel in Naples, Florida. Athens Group and MSD Partners have acquired the Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club sold for more than US$362 million to redevelop it into a 216-key hotel and resort managed by Four Seasons, up to 185 luxury residences and amenities high-end club. The Beach Club was owned and operated by the Watkins family and closed permanently in May 2021, but its sale was delayed due to legal challenges filed by Greg Myers who opposed the redevelopment.
Hybrid hotel brand in Arabia: Arbah Capital, a Saudi Arabia-based investment group, has partnered with Dubai-based Strategic Housing Group to form a joint venture to develop and launch Innov8, the region’s first integrated hybrid co-housing hotel. The brand will expand both regionally and internationally, with the first properties in its pipeline in Dubai and Riyadh. The joint venture is targeting a portfolio of US$500 million. The properties will offer private rooms and studios as well as shared facilities such as dining rooms, communal kitchen lounges, laundry services, coworking, entertainment and social spaces, convenience stores, fitness equipment and Moreover.
Hotel Properties will sell two JV companies: Hotel Properties, through its 80% owned joint venture HPL Olympia, has entered into a share purchase agreement with a party to sell its 100% equity stake in JV HPL Olympia and Maple Olympia Propco 4 Sarl. The total value of the transaction is 40.8 million pounds sterling (53.17 million US dollars), the sale of the stake will ensure a profit of 20 million US dollars for the company. After the divestiture, the JV companies will no longer be indirect JV companies of Hotel Properties. The cost of the transaction was negotiated at arm’s length on a “willing buyer and seller” basis and will be settled entirely in cash, the group said.
Eiendomsspar acquires in Oslo: Eiendomsspar AS, Oslo, Norway, has acquired the 4-star Cristiania Teater hotel from the Oslo-based Strawberry Group. The hotel is currently undergoing major renovations. Originally built to house a theater by Danish architect Hack Kampmann, the building was converted into a hotel in 2010.
Weave, PGIM acquires in Hong Kong: Weave Living, Hong Kong, has entered into a $200 million joint venture with US firm PGIM Real Estate to acquire the 435-key Rosedale Hotel in Kowloon, Hong Kong for HK$1.37 billion (174 millions of dollars). Weave will serve as the joint venture’s asset manager, operations and development director and will retain a 10% stake alongside its third-party financial partner. The single transaction is expected to increase the number of rooms in Weave’s portfolio by 40%. The company plans to continue its expansion to double the number of its properties and manage more than 1,500 properties. Following the hotel’s renovation, the 111,000 square foot property will consist of shared spaces on three levels and will include an entire floor for work-from-home facilities and a 4,000 square foot rooftop terrace.
Pandox is selling Hotel Mora: Cibola Holding AB has acquired Mora Hotel & Spa in Mora, Sweden, from Swedish owner and operator Pandox AB for SEK 114 million ($12.06 million). The 140-key hotel also has meeting rooms, a restaurant and a spa.
SomnOO is developing in France: SomnOO has announced the acquisition of the minority stake in the 230-room portfolio of four properties across France. Properties include the 38-key Hotel de L’Univers Arras, the 48-key Best Western Plus Hotel Le Lavarin Avignon, the 80-room ibis styles Aries Palais des Congrès and the 64-room ibis budget Aries Palais des Congrès. keys. SomnOO currently operates a portfolio of 50 hotels in France and Germany, eight of which are majority owned and 42 minority owned with preferential redemption rights.