Briefs: IHG brand to Crete; Ritz-Carlton Reserve debuts in Saudi Arabia

IHG brand to Crete: IHG Hotels & Resorts has signed the 205-room InterContinental Resort Crete, marking the brand’s launch on the Greek island. Slated to open in spring 2023, the hotel is being developed in partnership with London-based Henderson Park and Houston, Texas-based Hines. All the rooms in the hotel will include private verandas and half will feature private jacuzzis. The signing of the hotel is the latest among signings by IHG in Europe in the past 12 months. New properties across Europe include Ankara in Turkey, Baku in Azerbaijan and Canj in Montenegro. IHG also announced a 20-year extension of their agreement with InterContinental Athens.

Rendering of Nujuma, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Ritz-Carlton Reserve debuts in the Middle East: Marriott International’s Ritz-Carlton Reserve brand will debut in the Middle East off the west coast of Saudi Arabia. Marriott has signed an agreement The Red Sea Development Co. for Nujuma, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, which is expected to open in 2023. The resort will be located on a set of private islands, which are part of the Red Sea’s Blue Hole cluster of islands. The property will comprise 63 one- to four-bedroom water and beach villas, as well as 18 Ritz-Carlton Reserve branded residences. Nujuma will be the latest addition to the collection of only five Ritz-Carlton Reserves globally. The Red Se Project covers 28,000 square kilometers on the west coast of Saudi Arabia and the development includes an archipelago of over 90 natural islands along with dormant volcanoes, desert dunes, mountains and over 1,600 cultural heritage sites.

Wheelock return to San Diego: Wheelock Street Capital, Greenwich, Connecticut, has acquired two premium limited-service properties in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter — the 90-key Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Gaslamp and the 126-room Moxy San Diego Downtown/Gaslamp Quarter — from San Diego, California-based J Street. West Palm Beach, Florida-based Island Hospitality will assume management under Wheelock’s ownership. The acquisition of the two properties marks Wheelock’s return to the San Diego market, after having been the owner of Courtyard San Diego Downtown, Marriott Mission Valley and Hilton Del Mar. CBRE Group arranged the sales.

Dream Hotel to Texas: Dream Hotel Group, New York City, plans to open Dream Frisco, a 200-room hotel as part of the new Firefly Park mixed-use development in Frisco, Texas. Led by Texas-based Wilkis Development with masterplan design by UN Studio in collaboration with Sasaki Architects, the hotel will include a rooftop pool deck and bar, fitness center and four dining outlets. The hotel is expected to be the centerpiece of the new 230-acre Firefly Park and will open in 2026. The development will feature 2.75 million square feet of commercial office space, 2,200 residential, mid and high-rise units and townhomes, several F&B outlets, 380,000 square feet of retail space, a music hall and an outdoor amphitheater. Firefly Park is slated to break ground in 2023.

Mondrian debuts in Mexico City: Ennismore has announced the first Mondrian property in Mexico City, Mexico. The 183-key Mondrian Mexico City Condesa, a venture between Ennismore and Grupo Murano, will open this fall in the l421 mixed-use complex, which was earlier known as Conjunto Aristos. The hotel will include 18 suites, a fitness center, spa, event spaces and four dining venues.

Holiday Inn Express grows Singapore portfolio: IHG Hotels & Resorts and partner Marlow Hotels & Resorts have signed the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Singapore Novena. In Singapore, this is the brand’s fifth property, growing IHG’s portfolio to 14 hotels across seven brands. Slated to open in 2023, the hotel will be renovated and rebranded from the Quality Hotel Marlow. The hotel will feature 231 rooms, including 34 suites. It joins over 3,000 Holiday Inn Express properties worldwide and more than 650 in the pipeline.

Kimpton grows in Thailand: IHG Hotels & Resorts has signed the 124-key Kimpton Hua Hin Resort in collaboration with its long-time partner Asset World Corp. Slated to open in 2024, the resort will be the fourth Kimpton hotel in Thailand. The former Imperial Hua Hin, which closed in May 2019, will be renovated to offer four restaurants and bars, a swimming pool, spa, fitness center and event spaces. The agreement is part of a long-term strategic partnership between IHG and AWC to jointly manage properties in Thailand consisting of over 1,200 rooms, which includes the 302-key InterContinental Chiang Mai Mae Ping set to open later this year. The signing of this hotel is part of IHG’s latest move to grow its Luxury and Lifestyle portfolio in Thailand by 50% and double its estate across all its brands in the country by 2026. IHG currently has 30 hotels across Thailand and an additional 30 in the pipeline.

Accor’s new campaign: Accor has unveiled a multi-million marketing campaign, ALL – Accor Live Limitless, across the Pacific to promote as an all-encompassing digital destination for travel experiences coupled with loyalty benefits. The campaign leads with some of Accor’s brands like Sofitel, Pullman, Novotel, Mercure, Mantra and ibis and connects them to, highlighting the benefits of ALL – Accor Live Limitless loyalty program like room upgrades and other experiences. The campaign runs till September 30 and will be featured across paid media, promotional spots on Australia’s breakfast show ‘Sunrise,’ partner advertising, owned channels, a tactical rate promotion across the Pacific and a loyalty offer for members who book by June 30.

Mactaggart acquires Sleeperz: Mactaggart Family & Partners, London, has acquired a majority stake in Sleeperz Hotels. The London-based investor plans to grow Sleeperz Hotels by aiming for city-center hub destinations. It has also acquired Costain’s and Connection Capital’s stakes in Sleeperz along with the shares held by Sleeperz management and has also invested alongside long-time investor in the business, Andre Hoffman. Resident Hotels’ Chief Executive David Orr will work with Sleeperz CEO David Myers to review operations. Sleeperz plans to invest alongside Hoffman, with Sleeperz continuing as the principal investor and vice chairman of Roche Holding.

London Hard Rock Hotel for sale?: Starwood Capital Group, Miami Beach, Florida, and London & Regional are reportedly looking for buyers for the Hard Rock Hotel in central London. The hotel’s sale is likely to fetch around £500 million (US$624.48 million). JLL and Eastdil Secured have been appointed to search for a buyer. Formerly known as the Cumberland Hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel opened in 2019. In 2010, Starwood and London & Regional acquired the hotel from Royal Bank of Scotland. The hotel’s sale would be one of the largest transactions in the U.K. hotel market since the start of the pandemic.

Wyndham’s app for road trips: Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has launched the Road Trip Planner, a mobile app that allows travelers to plan and book road trips. The app will help travelers book several hotel stays at once and enable them to plan, create and customized trips. The app will also recommend routes and show multiple reservations on a single screen, look up amenities and share on-property requests. The app also offers mobile check-in and check-out, in-stay features, personalized experiences and additional features like Lightning Book, which allows guests to book the nearest Wyndham hotel for the night.

PwC predicts record RevPAR: The sustained improvement in top line metrics for hotels in the U.S. is likely to continue through the year, with strong demand in leisure business expected to compress demand during summer, driving room rates and resultant RevPAR levels to record highs, revealed PwC’s latest report ‘US Hospitality Directions: May 2022.’ If tensions decreased in Ukraine and immunity levels increased domestically, a more robust Q4 driven by the revival of business transient and group demand is expected. Annual occupancy for hotels across the U.S. could improve to 63.1%, while ADR is slated to rise 16.9% for the year with a resultant RevPAR surging 28.1%, around 106% of pre-pandemic levels, on a nominal dollar basis. As per the study, in 2023, demand growth from individual business travelers and groups is expected to more than offset a potential softening in leisure demand. Growth in occupancy and ADR is slated to improve YOY in RevPAR of 6.6%, around 114% of pre-COVID levels. Challenges to this trend include the ongoing war in Ukraine, potential impact of the Fed’s rises in interest rates on the U.S. economy and any new variants of COVID.

Churchwick, Rockledge acquire 9: Churchwick Partners, Woodmere, New York, and Rockledge have acquired nine extended-stay hotels across six states. The transactions comprises 1,085 keys and were sold by three sellers in Alabama, Ohio, Tennessee, Colorado, Illinois and New York. One property was acquired via auction, one fully on market and the remaining seven were part of the larger Sonesta portfolio and brokered by CBRE. The hotel brands in the deal included Choice Hotels International, IHG and Sonesta. Rockledge and Churchwick have partnered with J&P Asset Management to bring a new operating management to the properties.

Ocean Casino Resort property development: Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey, has unveiled more than US$85 million in property development plan, which will see the introduction of more than 460 rooms and suites, The Gallery Bar Book & Games and several new dining outlets. Available from July 1, the newly built 463 square foot Contemporary Blu rooms offer additional amenities like a dining area, wet bar and spacious lounge seating. The Gallery Bar Book & Games will open on July 1 and will include a 100-foot elevated bar and lounge, video poker, blackjack and roulette tables and 140 feet of LED walls. A 17-floor open-air staircase will connect to the Balcony Bar. Serendipity3 and Starbucks will also be making its debut on the Atlantic City property.

Modus Hotels adds to portfolio: Modus Hotels by PM Hotel Group, the Washington D.C.-based unit of PM Hotel Group, will be managing the 75-room Normandy Hotel in Washington, D.C. The boutique hotel’s street level patio will be activated and a new programming, including an evening wine hour ritual, will be launched under Modus’ management.

First Dao by Dorsett in Asia: Dao by Dorsett announced the launch of Dao by Dorsett AMTD IDEA Singapore, owned by DHI Downtown Pte Ltd., a joint venture company of AMTD Assets Alpha Group and Hong Kong-based Dorsett Hospitality International Ltd. The property marks Dao by Dorsett’s first property in Asia and will open on July 1. Developed by Dorsett Hospitality International, the aparthotel will be rebranded from Oakwood Premier AMTD Singapore. The hotel includes 268 fully serviced apartment units (consisting of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom options), two dining outlets and a pool deck overlooking downtown Singapore and the upcoming Greater Southern Waterfront. Roy Liang has been appointed as the property’s general manager.

Service Properties’ hotels sale in progress: Service Properties Trust, Newton, Massachusetts, has progressed on its plan to sell 68 Sonesta-branded hotels. So far, 42 hotels with a total of 6,348 keys have been sold for US$397.6 million. An additional 22 hotels with a total of 1,781 keys are under purchase and sale agreements for US$141 million and the company continues to market four more hotels for sale. Service Properties Trust currently anticipates the majority of the 22 hotels to close in the second quarter of 2022.

CBRE arranges refinancing for Bellweather and Beachcomber Resorts: CBRE announced it has arranged a US$105 million (US$407,000 per key) loan on behalf of a Gencom affiliate the refinancing of the newly relaunched 258-key Bellweather and Beachcomber Resorts in St. Pete Beach, Florida. The recently renovated full-service beachfront property is part of the broader Pinellas County. CBRE’s Hotels Debt & Structured Finance team consisting of Mark Owens, Olga Lepow and John Avanzino arranged the debt financing with German lenders in the lodging space. The CBRE team has closed over US$5 billion in hospitality financings since March 2020.

Commonwealth acquires Hotel Indigo: Commonwealth Hotels, Covington, Kentucky, has acquired Hotel Indigo Atlanta Vinings in Atlanta, Georgia, by Baraka Capital Management. The IHG hotel is the first Indigo property for Commonwealth Hotels in Georgia. Commonwealth and Baraka plan to continue partnering on more hotel acquisitions and management. Commonwealth currently manages 61 properties with around 7,600 rooms.