Briefs: BWH Hotel Group grows global portfolio; NewcrestImage, HCP acquire 16 hotels

BWH Hotel Group grows global portfolio: BWH Hotel Group has added new hotels across Europe, North America and Asia. The new properties have been added in countries like the U.S., France, Austria, Germany, England and Thailand, among others. With this addition, the group has now added around 200 hotels to its portfolio in Europe, North America and Asia in the last year, with 90 more expected to open by the end of the year. Currently, BWH’s portfolio includes 4,500 hotels in more than 100 countries globally. The company has also expanded its collection of soft brand hotels and has added over 60 soft brand hotels globally in the past year.

Courtyard by Marriott North Charleston Airport/Coliseum in North Charleston, South Carolina

NewcrestImage, HCP acquire 16 hotels: A joint venture of NewcrestImage and Hospitality Capital Partners has reached an agreement to acquire 16 Marriott-branded properties totaling 2,155 rooms in nine states in the U.S. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter. The portfolio includes 13 Courtyard and three Residence Inn properties in Georgia, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, New York, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Texas. Hospitality Capital Partners and its principals have owned around 50 properties in the western U.S. Dallas, Texas-based NewcrestImage has been actively acquiring properties after selling 27 hotels to Summit Hotel Properties in January. Since March and including this transaction, the company has added 76 hotels totaling 7,600 rooms.

Leadership change at Apple Leisure Group: President and CEO of Apple Leisure Group (ALG) Alejandro Reynal, has decided to pursue opportunities outside the company, announced Hyatt Hotels Corp. ALG was acquired by Hyatt in November 2021. Reynal has spent three years with ALG and his last day will be September 30. Effective October 1, Mark Hoplamazian, president and CEO, Hyatt, will assume leadership of ALG, with Ray Snisky, Group President ALG Vacations taking on additional responsibilities related to business coordination and other operational matters.

WorldHotels Collection grows footprint: WorldHotels Collection, a privately held soft brand within the BWH Hotel Group network, has expanded its footprint in key destinations across North America and Europe. The properties have been added in countries like Switzerland, the U.S., Scotland, England, Italy and more. With the addition of these hotels, WorldHotels has added more than 20 properties to its portfolio in Europe, Asia and North America in the past year, with 12 more slated to open by the end of this year.

Hilton, Voyager Space partner for space stations: Voyager Space, the aviation and aerospace company specializing in the space exploration industry, has named Hilton as its official hotel partner of Starlab, Voyager’s planned free-flying commercial space station. The partnership will see Hilton bringing in customer focus to Starlab. Voyager and Hilton will partner in architecture and design, leveraging Hilton’s creative design and innovation experts, to develop Space Hospitality crew headquarters board Starlab, including communal areas, hospitality suites and sleeping arrangements for the astronauts. The Teams will also seek to explore opportunities together for longer-term efforts, including ground-to-space astronaut experience, global co-marketing and branding and other tourism, educational and commercial efforts. Voyager, and its operating company Nanoracks, were awarded US$160 million in funding by NASA in 2021 for Starlab, which will replace the International Space Station. Starlab is expected to have the capacity to continuously host up to four astronauts and feature the George Washington Carver Science Park.

Grand Hotel Regina gets new owner: Fortimo Group AG, the Swiss real estate developer, has acquired the 77-key Grand Hotel Regina in Grindelwald, Switzerland, for CHF18.5 million (US$19.15 million) through an auction process. The new owner plans to further develop and build a new chalet resort within the existing framework. The new building is expected to feature around 60 apartments in the lower part, divided into five apartment buildings. The site is also expected to include a new generation 14-room, 4-star Revier-branded hotel. Grindelwald AG, the former owners of Grand Hotel Regina, had large-scale conversion plans for a hotel complex with 246 beds and five luxury apartment chalets. The hotel has been lying vacant for 10 years after Grindelwald AG failed to secure funding for the ambitious project.

Madison Realty Capital originates loan for Four Seasons: Madison Realty Capital, New York, has provided a US$315.6 million loan to Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Carpenter & Co., Inc. and Woodward Interests, LLC for the completion of the renovation at the Four Seasons Hotel and Residences New Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana. The 341-key hotel, which opened in July 2021, is part of a mixed-use building that also features 92 residential units on the top floors. Offering one- to three-bedroom units and four-bedroom penthouses, the condominiums have a private entrance from the hotel and are operated by Four Seasons. So far, the property has sold 50% of the residential units. The 33-story hotel and residence include event space, two restaurants, a full-service spa and an outdoor pool. The building also houses Vue Orleans, an observatory with panoramic views of the city and cultural and historic exhibits. Riaz Cassum and Henry Schaffer from JLL Capital Markets arranged the financing.

Braemar Hotels’ properties are safe: Braemar Hotels & Resorts Inc. said none of its properties sustained damages from Hurricane Fiona. The company’s 96-room Ritz-Carlton Reserve Dorado Beach in Dorado, Puerto Rico, and the Company’s 180-room Ritz-Carlton in St. Thomas, USVI were not damaged. Both the properties have resumed normal operations and the company expects minimal clean-up.

Radisson grows presence in Middle East: Radisson Hotel Group is deepening its focus on the Middle East region, with Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. remaining its core markets. The group has announced plans to sign at least five hotels and open over 1,000 keys in the next 12 months. In the U.A.E., the group will open the Radisson Beach Resort Palm Jumeirah later this year, after the opening of the first Radisson resort in the Middle East earlier this year, the Radisson Resort Ras Al Khaimah on Marjan Island. Radisson will also open a property at West Beach, Palm Jumeirah in Dubai. The group has over 25 hotels and serviced apartments in operation and under development in the U.A.E., including the upcoming openings of Radisson Blu Hotel, Riyadh Convention Center and Exhibition Center and Park Inn by Radisson hotels in Makkah’s Thakher City Development. The company plans to 400 more keys by the end of the year, closing the year with around 1,000 keys signed and around 1,500 keys opened across the GCC and Levant sub-regions. Besides the upcoming Radisson Blu hotel in Jordan, the group has announced its second brand in Kuwait with the signing of a Park Inn by Radisson Kuwait Hotel & Apartments. The 250-key, new-build property is slated to open by 2023-end. Radisson currently operates 52 properties in the Middle East with over 11,000 keys and is working on 25 properties in the Middle East with over 5,000 keys under development.

IHG evolves EVEN Hotels: IHG Hotels & Resorts has launched the latest evolution of its upscale EVEN Hotels brand through an updated design, refreshed restaurant and integrated wellness experience. The new EVEN Hotels prototype has been developed in collaboration with franchisees. With 50 properties open or in the pipeline globally, the brand’s changes have been designed with choice and flexibility in mind. The prototype includes enhanced in-room fitness options delivered through three new room types. The enhanced features also include restorative moments (signature sleep experience, spa-inspired showers), a focused F&B offering and an athletic studio and complimentary on-demand digital content. The new prototype will be showcased this week at the annual Lodging Conference in Phoenix, with elements of the new design coming up at future openings across the U.S. Additionally, EVEN Hotels will enter the San Diego market with a recently signed dual-branded property which will break ground in 2023.

Treehouse Hotel in US: SH Hotels & Resorts, the sustainable brand management company and an affiliate of Starwood Capital Group, has announced its first Treehouse Hotel in the U.S. will open in Sunnyvale, California, in late 2023. Treehouse Sunnyvale will repurpose several existing structures and elevate a six-story building constructed offsite through modular methods. Most of the 254 rooms, including 21 suites, will feature private outdoor spaces, from ground floor patios to balconies and terraces on the upper floors. Trees felled during construction will be reclaimed by local artists into socially conscious sculptures created onsite. Amenities include outdoor event space, three meeting rooms, a café, garden and a courtyard pool. SH Hotels & Resorts is expected to open two more Treehouse Hotels — Treehouse Hotel Manchester (the brand’s second location in the U.K.) in early 2023, followed by Treehouse Hotel Brickell in Miami, Florida, 2025.

Raines adds in Florida: Raines, Florence, South Carolina, has added the 87-key Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Pensacola West to its portfolio of hotels, marking the company’s first property in Florida. This property is Raines’ sixth third-party management agreement. The hotel is owned by Season 21, LLC. This is the first tine Season 21 is doing business with Raines. With this addition, Raines’ portfolio comprises 22 properties of which nine are Marriott properties including two other Fairfield assets. The hotel will soon undergo renovation, which includes upgrades to the guest rooms and public spaces and improvements to the curb appeal.

Aleph Hospitality grows Middle East footprint: Aleph Hospitality, Dubai, has signed its first hotel management agreement in Doha, Qatar, and the planned opening of its office in Saudi Arabia. Set to open just in time for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar next month, La Maison will consist of three towers featuring 448 rooms and serviced apartments, a health club, pool, multiple food and beverage outlets, retail facilities, several meeting rooms and two banquet halls. The company, which is aiming for 50 hotels in the Middle East and Africa by 2026, manages hotels directly for owners, on a franchise basis or branded properties or as a white label operator for independently branded hotels. Aleph will be opening its Saudi Arabia office in the fourth quarter.