Fattal picks up London’s Dilly: Fattal Group, the Israeli-based owner of Leonardo Hotels UK & Ireland, has acquired the 283-room Dilly Hotel in London. The new owner plans to invest £90 million (US$100.64 million) on extensive refurbishments to create a luxury hotel. The acquisition is part of a recently announced €400 million fund, which Fattal raised in partnership with a number of institutional investors. Bank Hapoalim supported the transaction. The historic hotel opened in 1908 as The Piccadilly Hotel and operated as a Le Meridien hotel before becoming an independent property under The Dilly name in 2021. Leonardo operates 52 properties across the U.K. and Ireland and is part of Fattal Hotels, which owns and operates more than 200 properties in over 100 destinations. In total, so far, Leonardo Hotels UK and Ireland has seen over 2,530 bedrooms refurbished across the group and has had more than 1,450 rooms added through new developments and acquisitions – including Leonardo hotels in Manchester, Bristol Glassfields, Chester, and new NYX Hotels opening in Dublin and Edinburgh. The development pipeline is being supported by the rebranding of the Jurys Inn portfolio to Leonardo Hotels.
NEOM signs Ennismore as first partner: NEOM’s Hotel Development unit, which aims to develop a future-centric hospitality ecosystem in Saudi Arabia’s northwest region, has signed Ennismore as its first hotel partner. It will see two of Ennismore’s brands — 25hours Hotels and Morgans Originals — in Trojena, NEOM’s mountain tourism destination featuring a ski village. Besides the hotels, the ski village will also comprise residential units around a public plaza and high-end retail and dining outlets. Early construction work has started, with the main construction work on the village expected to begin later this year.
The Hoxton to debut in Ireland: Deutsche Finance International (DFI) and BCP Capital, both based in London, have signed an agreement with Ennismore to operate the 129-key Central Hotel in Dublin as Ireland’s first Hoxton. The hotel is scheduled to open in 2024. The Central Hotel was acquired by DFI and BCP Capital in 2019. There are plans to refurbish and expand the property, with Irish interior designer Bryan O’Sullivan working on the interiors along with Ennismore and BCP Capital. The redevelopment will see a major increase in the existing bar, night venue and restaurant space and a revitalized Ri-Ra nightclub and The Globe bar. The redevelopment is being financed with a loan from a fund managed by an Apollo Global Management affiliate. The Hoxton has more openings planned in Brussels, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Vienna and Berlin.
Aimbridge Hospitality adds 5 extended stays: Aimbridge Hospitality, Plano, Texas, has announced the expansion of its Select Service Division with the addition of five extended stay properties totaling 603 keys recently acquired by New York-based Three Wall Capital. Aimbridge now manages over 70 extended-stay, select-service and full-service properties owned by Three Wall Capital since the companies partnered in 2019. Three Wall Capital plans to purchase and develop an additional 30 midscale and upscale extended-stay hotels in the next 18-24 months.
Leisure travel trends: Hotel leisure travel revenue in the U.S. is expected to end the year 14% above 2019 levels, while hotel business travel revenue is projected to come within 1% of 2019 figures, revealed the latest study released by the American Hotel & Lodging Association and Kalibri Labs. Post-COVID recovery will stay uneven, especially in most key cities and destinations where business travel continues to lag. Out of the top 50 markets, 80% will see hotel leisure travel revenue surpassing 2019 levels but only 40% will reach that milestone for business travel revenue. The uptick in revenue has been creating historic job opportunities, with over 115,000 hotel jobs currently open in the U.S. The predictions were not adjusted for inflation and real hotel revenue recovery is expected to take more years.
Ennismore’s new F&B concept studio: Ennismore has launched Carte Blanched, an in-house team of chefs, operators, mixologists and creatives specializing in bespoke, authentic and “culturally relevant” food and beverage concepts for Ennismore’s lifestyle brands. Carte Blanched will create new and develop the existing F&B brands for hotel owners, overseeing everything from conception to opening and beyond. Additionally, ahead of launching a new brand, Carte Blanched tests the concept in a three-month pop-up at La Cave in London, its incubator kitchen, to get customer feedback and build brand awareness. Across its 100 lifestyle hotels, Ennismore has 190 restaurants and bars which generate 50% of total revenue. Within its own portfolio, Carte Blanched has more than 40 brands and since 2021 has opened 17 new venues across Europe and the Middle East. The global team of Carte Blanched includes Oklava founders Selin Kiazim and Laura Christie’s award-winning duo behind Tayer & Elementary Monica Berg and Alex Kratena; Kris Yenbamroong of LA’s Night + Market; Andrei Soen of Singapore’s Park Bench Deli; the team behind Palomar, The Barbary, Evelyn’s Table and The Blue Posts in London, Layo Paskin & Zoe Paskin; and Dario Cecchini of Netflix show ‘Chef’s Table.’
Air passenger travel to and from US soars: U.S.-international air traffic passenger enplanements soared 96% to 17.057 million in September compared to last September, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office. Enplanements reached 85% of September 2019 volume, up from 82% in August. Non-U.S. citizen air passenger arrivals from foreign countries totaled 3.895 million, +230% from September 2021 and (-27.2%) compared to September 2019. U.S. citizen air passenger departures from the U.S. to foreign countries stood at 4.573 million, +87% compared to September 2021 and up (+2%) compared to September 2019. Europe continued to strengthen totaling 6.183 million passengers, up 204% over September 2021, but down only (-15.8%) over September 2019. South/Central America/Caribbean increased 33% to 3.628 million over September 2021, but was ‘flat’ compared to September 2019. Asia rose 260% to 1.221 million passengers from September 21, but still down (-60%) over September 2019.
Hong Kong airport traffic up: Passenger traffic in September at the Hong Kong International Airport surged by 133% from the previous year after the authorities lifted travel restrictions, which included mandatory hotel quarantine and a pre-boarding COVID test. Passenger volume increased 10% to 525,000, compared to August, fueled by travelers to and from Southeast Asia, as per the Airport Authority. Cargo throughput declined 25% to 341,000, continuing a long slump amid disruptions to the global supply chain and geopolitical headwinds. Cargo traffic to and from important regions in North America and Europe was among the worst hot, with both imports and exports declining by over 25%. Flight movements dipped 16% to 11,665 from 2021. During the first nine months of this year, passenger traffic jumped 140%, while cargo volume declined 13% and flight movements fell 4.7%.
Scandic ad campaign: Scandic is launching its first international advertising campaign since 2018 called “Your friend in town.” Based on local knowledge and personal service, the campaign highlights some of the everyday situations where a hotel stay can make a big difference, such as when visiting in-laws need a night of undisturbed slumber. The campaign has been developed by the advertising agency Drum. It will be launched on October 17 in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Germany and will last for five weeks with a focus on digital channels, displays, cinemas and outdoor advertising. It will also feature the Nordic Swan Ecolabel for the first time. Scandic has been collaborating with the Nordic Swan Ecolabel for nearly 30 years, and in 2022 and 2023, all of Scandic’s eco-labeled hotels will be re-certified.
Job platform for refugees: Hospitality Unite, a new platform, has been launched to support refugees and their families by providing them with job opportunities in the hospitality sector, backed by the Sustainability Hospitality Alliance. Free for job seekers and hotels, the platform is powered by Harri. Initially working as a pilot for Ukrainian refugees looking for hospitality jobs in Europe, the platform is a centralized space for hotel brands to post work opportunities and an online system for refugees to apply and interview for roles while in transit or planning to leave Ukraine. Available in English and Ukrainian, the website already has notifications of job opportunities from groups like Radisson Hotels Group, IHG Hotels & Resorts and Accor. The site will be shared through disaster relief agencies and local media. For now, employment opportunities can be offered by hotel properties in countries that have granted the right to work to Ukrainian refugees. Sustainability Hospitality Alliance is working with the International Rescue Committee to make opportunities available along with the Tent Partnership for Refugees.