Briefs: Accor raises guidance, to sell HQ; voco signs first in Belgium

Accor raises guidance, to sell HQ: Accor expects its EBITDA to return to breakeven in the second half of this year, led by a strong summer activity and the full benefit of marketing and sales investments made in the first half of 2022. The group is increasing its FY22 EBITDA guidance to be between €610 and €640 million (US$587-615.88 million) from the earlier €550 million (US$529.27 million). Accor has also announced that it has entered into exclusive negotiations with London-based Valesco Group to sell its headquarters, Sequana Tower, in Paris for €465 million (US$4447.47 million). The sale is subject to a 12-year sale and leaseback agreement. The deal, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year, is part of Accor’s asset-light strategy which seeks to simplify the group’s balance sheet structure.

Service Properties Trust to sell 16 hotels: Service Properties Trust, Newton, Massachusetts, has entered into a purchase and sale agreement to sell 16 Marriott-branded hotels totaling 2,155 keys for US$137.3 million, excluding closing costs. The company plans to close the deal in Q4 2022. In connection with the earlier announced marketing of 68 Sonesta-branded hotels, Service Properties Trust has sold 61 of the properties totaling 7,751 keys for US$523.1 million, excluding closing costs. The company has entered into agreements to sell six more hotels, totaling 790 keys, for US$34.2 million. The sale of the six additional hotels are expected to close in the third and fourth quarters of 2022. Service Properties Trust continues to market one more 219-key Sonesta-branded hotel. The proceeds of these transactions will be used for general corporate purposes, including repayment of debt.

Rendering of voco Brussels City North

voco signs first in Belgium: IHG Hotels & Resorts, in partnership with operating research organization Living Tomorrow, has signed voco Brussels City North. The hotel marks the brand’s entry into Belgium. Set to open in 2023, the 92-room hotel will be operated by Prem Group, a strong partner for IHG in the region. The hotel will include a restaurant and conference center, which will join the Innovation Center which is already open on the site. The property will also feature a 50-meter tower with glass windows providing panoramic views of the city. The site is expected to be Europe’s biggest experimental lab to innovate and create ideas for the future. voco hotels launched in 2018 and is present in over 15 countries. The brand has had 40 openings with 34 more properties in the pipeline. It has 15 open hotels in Europe, with 14 more in the pipeline.

US performance update: Hotel performance in the U.S. improved from the last week and showed better comparisons with 2019, as per STR’s latest data.

  • Occupancy: 70% (-1.5%)
  • ADR: US$157.99 (+15.7%)
  • RevPAR: US$110.60 (+13.9%)

Among the Top 25 markets, Orlando saw the highest occupancy increase over 2019 (+7.9% to 72.2%). Notably, New York City saw the highest absolute occupancy level (89.9%), driven by the High-Level Week of the United Nations General Assembly. Anaheim posted the largest ADR gain over 2019 (+31.7% to US$214.61). The steepest RevPAR declines were reported in New Orleans (-16.7% to US$86.68) and Minneapolis (-16.1% to US$90.11).

Zleep Hotels adds in Germany: Zleep Hotels, Copenhagen, Denmark, has announced the addition of Zleep Hotel Leipzig in Leipzig, Germany. Slated to open in 2024, the hotel will offer 150 rooms, a snack bar, parking spaces and sustainable breakfast options. The hotel marks Deutsche Hospitality’s third property in Leipzig, alongside Steigenberger’s Grandhotel Handelshof Leipzig and IntercityHotel Leipzig. Deutsche Hospitality’s portfolio currently consists of 160 hotels globally under eight brands.

IHG’s Nordic expansion: IHG Hotels & Resorts has signed Crowne Plaza & Holiday Inn Express Stockholm Arlanda Airport in Sweden. The dual-branded property will be the group’s first hotel in Sweden since its return to the market. IHG has entered into a strategic partnership with owning company Björnbäckens Fastighets AB for the franchise deal to grow IHG’s footprint in the Nordic markets. The hotel will comprise 420 rooms, 120 in the Crowne Plaza and 300 at the Holiday Inn Express property, a full-service conference center, gym facilities along with a bar and restaurant. Expected to open in 2026, the hotel will be operated by Mogotel Development Holding. Currently, IHG has eight hotels operating under three brands in the Nordic countries, along with two Six Senses properties in the pipeline.

IHG updates on cyber-attack: Following an “unauthorized activity” in the technology systems which disrupted IHG’s booking channels and other applications earlier this month, the company said it has re-activated its booking websites and mobile app with most of its other booking channels and revenue-generating systems. Since the disruption on September 7, service at the company’s reservation and customer care call centers has been recovered and all systems have been restored, IHG said in a statement. During the disruption, all IHG-branded hotels continued to operate and took reservations directly. IHG said it took additional steps as part of its recovery and assurance plans to review and further enhance security measures. External specialists have investigated the incident and found no evidence of unauthorized access to systems storing guest data. The company has also reported the criminal activity to law enforcement, it added.

Berkadia arranges sale, financing of Florida Hilton: Berkadia Hotels & Hospitality has arranged the sale and financing of the 221-key DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Deerfield Beach — Boca Raton in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Berkadia has arranged around US$70 million of the total transaction volume from the sale and financing of the hotel. Managing Directors Michael Weinberg and Preston Reid and Senior Director Wyatt Krapf of Berkadia Hotels represented the seller, Canada-based Vista Hospitality. Vista Hospitality invested over US$7 million since 2018 in capital improvements, which saw enhancements to all guest experiences. Managing Director Scott Wadler of Berkadia Miami secured an acquisition financing on behalf of DoveHill Capital Management, the Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based private equity investment and development organization that acquired the full-service hotel. A local Florida bank originated the three-year loan with two one-year extension options. The hotel was renovated in 2020 and comprises a nine-story building with an on-site restaurant, outdoor pool and fitness center.

Four Seasons luxury yachts: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has launched Four Seasons Yachts, which will bring together partners Nadim Ashi and Philip Levine, luxury entrepreneurs, and shipbuilding group Fincantieri. Together, the partners will deliver the first new vessel by the end of 2025-end. Luxury travel industry veteran Larry Pimental will lead the new enterprise. Tillberg Design of Sweden will work on the architecture of the exterior and guest suites, while London-based Martin Brudnizki Design studio will lead design of the guest spaces. The design partner will be paired with the creative direction of Prosper Assouline. The order, which was announced last July, includes an option for two more vessels and amounts to €1.2 billion (US$1.15 billion). The inaugural journey of Four Seasons Yacht will start in late 2025. This will be the first of a fleet of Four Seasons Yachts over the next five years, with the first being designed in Trieste, Italy. The first vessel will be 207 meters long and 27 meters wide with 14 decks. The cost to build comes to US$4.2 million per suite. The vessel will offer 95 units featuring a network of joining suite combinations creating villa-like, adaptable residences. Each suite will have floor-to-ceiling windows and access to terrace decks. The biggest residence — the Funnel Suite — spans four levels with over 892 square meters of combined indoor/outdoor living space, including a private wading pool and a dedicated private spa area. The vessel will also feature restaurants, lounges, and bar concepts along with a full-service spa, salon and wellness area.