Briefs: Gaw Capital acquires in Portugal; Rosewood coming to Venice

Gaw Capital acquires in Portugal: Gaw Capital Partners, Hong Kong, has acquired the historic, 5-star Infante Sagres Hotel in Porto, Portugal, from Porto-based The Fladgate Partnership at an undisclosed price. The deal was finalized in May. Fladgate acquired the hotel in 2016 and reopened it in 2018 following an investment of around €8.5 million (US$8.93 million). Fladgate is preparing to build a luxury hotel in Gaia, Portugal, with 85 rooms and views of the Riviera. The hotel will come up on the site of the former Fonseca warehouses and the investment is expected to amount to €30 million (US$31.54 million).

Rosewood Hotel Bauer will reopen in 2025 in Venice, Italy

Rosewood adds in Italy: Rosewood Hotels & Resorts has been selected to manage Hotel Bauer in Venice, Italy. Owned by Innsbruck, Austria-based SIGNA Prime Selection, the hotel will undergo a multi-year renovation in November during which it will remain closed. It will reopen as the 110-room Rosewood Hotel Bauer in 2025. Led by Venice-based architect Alberto Torsello and interior design firm BAR Studio, the existing building will be restored and most of the hotel’s historic framework will be repaired and integrated into a new design, including the original façade, winding staircase and other interior elements. The hotel is targeting to achieve three sustainability certificates — the Green Pass, Casa Klima and LEED Gold. More than half of the rooms will be suites, including signature and presidential suites. The property, Rosewood’s seventh in Europe will include retail space spanning over 32,200 square feet.

Selina delays IPO: Global nomad and cowork friendly hotel brand Selina is reportedly delaying its planned IPO via SPAC through a merger with BOA Acquisition Corp. until the third quarter of 2022 from the first half of this year. With some 155 properties open, Selina also reported 1Q22 revenue of US$39.9 million, a 150% increase year over year. In a statement, Selina said, “The closing timeline for the transaction is subject to various factors, some of which are not within our control. As many have been experiencing with these transactions, some things are taking longer to work through than originally anticipated, but nothing has changed our commitment to the process and getting this closed as quickly as possible.”

Falkensteiner’s €300 million plan for Croatia: Falkensteiner Michaeler Tourism Group, Vienna, Austria, plans to invest around €300 million (US$315.43 million) in Croatia in the next five years in destinations where it already operates. Of the seven European countries where it does business, Croatia was one of its key countries for growth, the company said. Of the total amount to be invested, around €150 million (US$157.71 million) is planned in Zadar to enhance the quality and product at Punta Skala and to upgrade Hotel Didaora to a 5-star property. The company also plans a major investment at Borik and is in talks with Zadar City authorities to build a green apartment resort. The group plans a second destination in Punat and will invest €65 million (US$68.34 million) to transform an existing car campsite into a 5-star luxury campsite with 250 lots, around 150 mobile homes and is slated to open this autumn. Falkensteiner currently has 30 hotels across seven countries.

Onex halts Parkdean sale: Onex Corp., the Canadian owner of Parkdean Resorts, has reportedly called off talks with potential buyers of the holiday parks after an auction that lasted over six months. The sale of the holiday parks across England, Scotland and Wales was expected to generate up to £1.6 billion (US$1.96 billion). The company said the board will revisit the decision to sell the parks once the “macro economic backdrop” improves, hinting to inflation data and cost-of-living crisis. The sale was being handled by Morgan Stanley. Parkdean, which runs 66 parks, was acquired by Onex Corp. in 2016.

Q1 hospitality insights: RevPAR for entire U.S. stood at 97% of 2019 levels in 1Q22, as per the Q1 Hospitality Dashboard & Insights by hotelAVE. With group pickup going strong although very short-term, May results showed strength in mid-week, indicating that big corporate has returned. Net growth fell 30% from 2019 levels. Supply of under construction projects in top 25 markets was 3.5% and only New York City was double digit. The reduced supply and inflation were both positive for growth in ADR. Wage rates continue to climb, with non-supervisor wage rates rising 20% compared to pre-pandemic figures. Lodging has a high correlation to GDP and non-residential fixed investment. Cost of debt rose 100 to 250 bps compared to 4Q21. Overall borrowing rates were pressured by higher capital reserve and hedging expenses, along with looming Federal Reserve tightening actions. Cap and discount rates continue to highlight the imbalance of assets for sale and demand for investment opportunities. Competitive deal pricing is pushing base case returns lower. On a risk-reward basis, mezzanine debt returns looked more appealing than equity yields in many situations.

Proposed privatization of Frasers Hospitality Trust: Frasers Hospitality Asset Management Pte. Ltd., Singapore, and Frasers Property Hospitality Trust Holdings Pte. Ltd., a fully owned subsidiary of Frasers Property Ltd. (FPL), have announced the proposed privatization of Frasers Hospitality Trust (FHT) through the purchase by Frasers Property Hospitality Trust Holdings Pte. Ltd. of all the securities of FHT held by the stapled securityholders of FHT other than securities held by TCC Group Investments Ltd. and FPL and/or its subsidiaries by a trust scheme of arrangement. Following the strategic review announcement made on April 8, independent directors of FHT held discussions with all parties on the strategic options available to FHT, during which FPL had said hospitality was one of its core businesses and that FPL was ready to discuss a privatization of FHT with independent directors. FHT’s portfolio consists of 14 assets across nine key cities in Asia, Australia and Europe, with a total appraised value of S$2 billion (US$1.22 billion).

Airbnb’s new safety feature: Airbnb has launched a new product to promote a safe and secure experience for solo travelers. According to the online home rental platform’s internal data, solo travelers booked 26% of all nights in 2021 and over 50% of nights booked for long-term stays in the first quarter of 2022. A Solo Traveler in-app allows bookers to share reservation itinerary with trusted people in case of emergency as well as offer expert tips to help stay safe when traveling alone. The feature is initially being rolled out for English speaking guests and will be aimed at bookings by solo travelers to shared or private rooms. The feature will be extended to more countries and languages in the coming year and will include full home listings as well.

Sandpiper acquires in Central Florida: Sandpiper Lodging Trust has acquired two Residence Inn by Marriott extended stay hotels in the Central Florida market at an undisclosed price, Sandpiper Gainesville in Gainesville, Florida, and Sandpiper Lakeland in Lakeland, Florida. The two properties are the first Residence Inn in Sandpiper’s portfolio. With these acquisitions, Sandpiper has widened its brand and sector diversity in one of its strategic diversity. The group currently owns 23 properties across four brands in eight states.