Briefs: Kerzner grows in Dubai; Crescent acquires Madison in DC

Hilton London Olympia sells: Singapore-based Hotel Properties Ltd. and Como Holdings Pte Ltd., Singapore, sold the 405-key Hilton London Olympia to London-based Frogmore and C1 Capital for £130 million (US$166.8 million). The property includes three food and beverage venues, 11 meeting rooms and fitness and business centers. The hotel is undergoing a £1.3 billion (US$1.66 billion) redevelopment. The acquisition was part of Frogmore’s recent hotel acquisitions, which included the Park by Radisson Northampton and Stifford Hall, as part of a joint venture.

Kerzner grows in Dubai: Kerzner International Holdings Ltd., Dubai, has launched a new vertical — Rare Finds, a collection of resorts. Under the new vertical, Kerzner has assumed management of Bab Al Shams, Dubai’s desert resort which is owned by Meydan. The property will undergo extensive refurbishments and will close between May and early 2023 before reopening as a Rare Finds-branded property. The reimagined resort will feature reenergized dining venues, a rooftop lounge, desert infinity pool and an indoor courtyard pool, spa, and meeting space that can accommodate up to 500 attendees. Gilles Sohier has been appointed as general manager of the resort.

Stonebridge acquires in Denver: Denver, Colorado-based Stonebridge Companies has acquired the Denver Airport Marriott at Gateway Park from RLJ Lodging Trust at an undisclosed price. Stonebridge will serve as the hotel’s operator and property owner. The hotel is slated to undergo renovations from Q4 2022, with a projected completion date of summer 2023. The hotel will continue to operate as a full-service Marriott hotel.

The Madison Hotel in Washington, DC

Crescent acquires Madison Hotel: Crescent Real Estate has acquired The Madison Hotel, a 356-room hotel in downtown Washington D.C., as its first investment with Crescent’s GP Invitation Fund III. The price and name of the seller were not disclosed. The historic hotel has undergone a brand conversion and will now be a part of Marriott Bonvoy. The hotel is also set to undergo multi-million-dollar renovation. HEI Hotels & Resorts has been appointed to manage the hotel.

Kolter Hospitality grows Florida portfolio: Kolter Hospitality, a division of The Kolter Group, has acquired the 180 all-suite Embassy Suites by Hilton Sarasota in Sarasota, Florida. No deal details were made available. The 18-story hotel was built in 2018 and marks the company’s second hotel in Sarasota after the Westin Sarasota. Currently, Kolter Hospitality operates 11 hotels totaling over 1,900 keys.

US construction pipeline sees marginal rise: The U.S. construction pipeline in Q1 showed a slight increase over YOY, up 2% by projects but fell 3% by rooms, according to Lodging Econometrics. The construction pipeline stands at 5,090 projects/606,302 rooms. Currently, there are 961 projects/128,784 rooms under construction, down 27% by projects and 28% by rooms YOY. At 1,911 projects/223,030 rooms, projects scheduled to start in the next 12 months were up 2% by projects and 3% by rooms YOY. Projects and rooms in early planning reached a record high in the first quarter, standing at 2,218 projects/254,488 rooms, up 24% by projects and 12% by rooms YOY. Similar to the last few years, upscale and upper-midscale chain scales dominated the pipeline in Q1 with 63% of projects in the pipeline concentrated in these two chain scales. There were 1,420 projects/184,692 rooms in the renovation or conversion pipeline, and project conversions and room conversions reached an all-time high and increasing 59% by projects and 48% by rooms YOY. Through year-end 2021, 826 projects opened with 106,192 rooms. Fully, 113 hotels/12,464 rooms opened in Q1 of 2022. A total of 68 hotels/7,154 rooms were in suburban locations, but 41 hotels/4,703 rooms of newly opened hotels, or 36%, were in a top 25 market.

Marriott’s milestone in EMEA: Marriott International launched The Westin London City, the group’s 1,000th hotel in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). The flagship Westin also marked the first ever Westin in the U.K. market. Marriott announced it plans to add over 200 properties, accounting to 38,000 rooms, in EMEA. Moxy Hotels is set to add over 26 more hotels across the region in 2022 and 2023. Slated to open in 2023, there will be two Fairfield by Marriott openings,  while Residence Inn by Marriott plans to open 15 more hotels in cities like Naples, Paris and Vienna. In the Middle East, anticipated openings include W Dubai – Mina Seyahi (later this month) and The Ritz-Carlton, Amman. The company has four luxury hotel openings in Saudi Arabia, while the W Residences Dubai – The Palm is expected to add four additional branded residential projects. In Africa, the company plans to open over 20 hotels, which include six Protea Hotels by Marriott properties.

Demand for all-inclusive travel: There is a strong interest in all-inclusive resorts among travelers, with 75% of them stating that the best way to travel is by booking an all-inclusive trip and 77% said an all-inclusive vacation is the least stressful way to travel, according to a poll commissioned by Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. Responding to this emerging trend, Wyndham announced a strategic alliance with Playa Hotels & Resorts and announced a new all-inclusive resort brand, Wyndham Alltra. The first Wyndham Alltra resorts are the family-friendly 458-key Wyndham Alltra Cancun and the adults-only 287-key Wyndham Alltra Playa del Carmen. Both the properties opened in December 2021 in Mexico.

Hard Rock in New York: Hard Rock International announced the opening of the 446-room Hard Rock Hotel, New York on Music Row in Midtown Manhattan. Paying tribute to Music Row, the new hotel offers live music in all the public spaces. As part of its partnership with Audacy, the hotel houses an integrated Audacy Live performance studio and entertainment hub. The hotel also features The Venue on Music Row, an entertainment space spread across two floors which will host performances along with fashion shows, after-parties and gala dinners. The hotel also includes the Rock Star Suite, a glass-enclosed two-story penthouse with expansive city views, original contemporary artwork, music memorabilia bar and a terrace measuring 1,600 square feet.

Avion grows management portfolio: Dallas, Texas-based Avion Hospitality has been awarded the management contract for five hotels in Texas which are owned by Mac Haik Enterprises. The properties include Embassy Suites by Hilton College Station, Embassy Suites by Hilton Energy Corridor, Embassy Suites by Hilton Houston West- Kay, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Energy Corridor and Home2 Suites by Hilton Houston-Energy Corridor.

The Guild adds 4: The Guild, Austin, Texas, announced the addition of four properties to its portfolio. Following its recent acquisition of CREA Management, the company has added BH Club in Bay Harbor, Florida; Bishop Arts in Dallas, Texas; The Guild Austin l Lofts on 5th in Austin, Texas; and 141 North 4th Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. These furnished apartments include personalized services and amenities like rooftop terraces, outdoor pools, gyms and private members’ club. With these additions, The Guild now has presence in eight markets across five states.