Briefs: Host sells Sheraton Times Square; JV acquires Postcard Inn in St. Pete’s

Host sells at big loss in Times Square: In one of the biggest hotel deals in New York City in almost two years, Host Hotels & Resorts is reportedly selling the 1,780-room Sheraton New York Times Square to New York-based MCR for a reported US$356 million, which represents a nearly US$400 million loss based on the US$738 million price Host paid in 2006. The 51-story hotel, which opened in 1962 as the Americana and has been operating as a Sheraton since 1979, boasts the city’s third largest room count.

Postcard Inn on the Beach

LCP Group, Safanad acquire Postcard Inn: A joint venture between The LCP Group and Safanad, both based in New York, has acquired the 196-key Postcard Inn on the Beach at St. Pete Beach, Florida. The price and name of seller were not disclosed. However, records indicate Rhodes Island-based Procaccianti Cos. bought the property in 2017 for about US$48 million. The joint venture plans to renovate the property to modernize the guest rooms and refresh the food and beverage offerings. Crescent Hotels & Resorts will be managing the hotel under its Latitudes Collection brand.

Additional £105 million debt funding for edyn: edyn, London, has secured an additional £105 million (US$137.65 million) in debt funding from Blackstone Mortgage Trust and KSL Capital Partners’ European Capital Solutions platform to accelerate its expansion across Europe. The new funding follows the £195 million (US$255.65 million) multi-asset debt facility agreed in 2021 with Blackstone and KSL, which brings the total funding through the facility to £300 million (US$393.30 million). The new funding will be utilized for the upcoming Locke properties, with sites opening in Zurich and Lisbon in the next 12 months. Last month, edyn announced the purchase of Hotel Ascot in Zurich, which will be converted into a Locke-branded property and open in 2023 with 80 mixed-style rooms. In Lisbon, a historic Portuguese convent will be converted into a 369-key Locke-branded hotel. Slated to open in 2023, the 21,090 square meter property will be the largest Locke hotel to date.

Chatham acquires Hilton Garden Inn: Chatham Lodging Trust, West Palm Beach, Florida, has acquired the 111-key Hilton Garden Inn Destin Miramar Beach in Florida in an off-market transaction for US$31 million (US$279,000 per room). The beachside hotel opened in 2020 and its acquisition is expected to generate an estimated stabilized NOI yield of 8% to 8.5%. Chatham said the hotel will generate strong cash flow from the outset and generate a 2022 RevPAR premium of around 50% over their current portfolio. The acquisition was funded using Chatham’s available cash and borrowings under the company’s credit facility. The hotel will be managed by Island Hospitality Management, which is owned by Jeffrey Fisher, Chatham’s chief executive officer and president. Currently, Chatham owns 43 hotels with 6,451 rooms and suites across 16 states and the District of Columbia.

DFI, CELLS Group acquire in Berlin: Deutsche Finance International (DFI), London, in partnership with Germany-based CELLS Group, has acquired the 394-room Sheraton Berlin Grand Hotel Esplanade in Berlin from Archer Hotel Capital and Event Hotels for €116 million (US$126.30 million). DFI’s European value-add fund was the majority shareholder in the deal. There are plans to improve and reposition the property and create a mixed-use development consisting of an upgraded hotel, offices and food and beverage venues. A major focus of the project will be to upgrade the property’s ESG credentials and aim for the highest sustainability standards. The acquisition was financed by Berliner Sparkasse. The buyers were advised by GSK Stockmann, Ernst & Young, HFK Rechtsanwälte, Cushman Wakefield and CBRE; while the seller was advised by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Ernst & Young, Eastdil Secured and CBRE.

Ascott to acquire 5 properties in Japan: Ascott Residence Trust, Singapore, will invest JPY10.4 billion (US$89.87 million) to acquire four rental housing properties and its first student accommodation property in Japan. The five properties will be purchased on a turnkey basis from two separate sellers on a willing buyer and willing seller basis. The deals are slated to be completed between Q1 2022 and Q2 2023. With these acquisitions, Ascott will have invested SG$905 million (US$663.49 million) in longer-stay properties since January 2021 and will increase its longer-stay properties to 17% of its portfolio value. Three rental housing properties are located in central Osaka and one is located in Fukuoka. The student accommodation property in Osaka will serves the main campus of Kindai University, which has more than 30,000 undergraduate students.

Pathway for sustainability in hospitality industry: The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance has launched the Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality for the Planet, which provides a four-step guidance framework as a free tool that supports all parts of the hospitality value chain. The framework includes a detailed action plan for hotel operators, brands and asset owners which apply to both single as well as multi-unit companies. The Pathway defines environmental ambitions and scope across four stages, which take account of different levels of sustainability maturity in the industry. The Pathway has been created in direct collaboration with the hospitality industry and its value chain, in consultation with industry and environmental experts. The approach and vision is supported by the World Travel & Tourism Council. The first two stages of the framework have now been launched and the final two stages will be launched later in the year.

Holiday Inn returns to Najran, Saudi Arabia: IHG hotels & Resorts has signed a management contract with Al Rabea Hotels and Trading Co. for the 87-room Holiday Inn Najran, a conversion property in Najran, Saudi Arabia. The hotel will be returning to IHG, after it operated as a Holiday Inn property from 1995 to 2015. The hotel’s two-phased rebranding will be completed by the end of 2023. The hotel will offer 82 rooms and five villas, an outdoor pool, a gym, sauna and steam and jacuzzi. Currently, IHG operates 36 hotels in Saudi Arabia across five brands, with 28 additional hotels in the development pipeline which are set to open in the next three to five years.

Preferred grows partnership with Leela Palaces: Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Newport Beach, California, has expanded its partnership with Mumbai-based The Leela Palaces, Hotels & Resorts by adding two new properties to its portfolio. With the launch of The Leela Bhartiya City Bengaluru in September 2021 and the addition of The Leela Palace Jaipur in November 2021, Preferred’s partnership with Leela has grown to 10 properties in India with plans to further expand. As a result, Preferred has expanded its portfolio to 30 member hotels in South Asia, including 24 in India. Preferred and Leela began their partnership in 2008 with The Leela Kempinski Mumbai (now known as The Leela Mumbai), The Leela Palace Kempinski Bangalore (now known as The Leela Palace Bengaluru) and The Leela Kempinski Goa (now known as The Leela Goa).

International visitors spend rises to US$8.2 billion: International visitors spending on travel and tourism-related activities within the U.S. in January jumped 63% (compared to January 2021) to US$8.2 billion, revealed data from the National Travel and Tourism Office. Americans spent over US$7.5 billion in traveling abroad, generating a balance of trade surplus of US$721 million in January, the third consecutive month in which the U.S. enjoyed a balance of trade surplus for travel and tourism. Travel exports, however, fell this January to US$8.2 billion from US$10.4 billion in December 2021 and US$9.6 billion in November 2021, but was higher than US$7.1 billion in October 2021. Purchases of travel and tourism-related goods and services by international visitors traveling in the U.S. surged 207% to US$3.5 billion in January (compared to US$1.1 billion in January 2021). Fares received by U.S. carriers from international visitors increased 101% to stand at US$1.4 billion in January (compared to US$690 million in January 2021). Expenditures for educational and health-related tourism and all expenditures by border, seasonal and other short-term workers totaled nearly US$3.4 billion in January (compared to US$3.2 billion in January 2021), increasing by 4%.

Mission Hill acquires Killington Mountain Lodge: Mission Hill Hospitality, the Denver, Colorado-based KSL Capital Partners portfolio company, has acquired the 102-key Killington Mountain Lodge, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, in central Vermont’s Green Mountains. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. This is Mission Hill’s 15th property addition since the company was launched in March 2021. Last year, the hotel completed a US$5 million capital improvement program, which renovations of the entire hotel including guest rooms, public space, full-service bar and restaurant and back-of-the-house operations. The hotel also includes 3,000 square feet of event space, indoor and outdoor pools, fitness center and a ski shuttle service.