Briefs: Kingdom completes Four Seasons sale; first Vignette Collection in Asia

Kingdom completes Four Seasons stake sale: Saudi Prince Alwaleed’s Kingdom Holding Co., Riyadh, has reportedly completed its sale of a 23.75% equity stake in Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts to Bill Gates-led Cascade Investment for US$2.21 billion The transaction represents an enterprise value of US$10 billion for Four Seasons and Kingdom will remain a 23.75% investor in the group. London’s Avington acted as exclusive financial advisor to Kingdom on the transaction.

Turnstone acquires The Shire Woodstock: Turnstone Ventures, San Mateo, California, announced the acquisition of the 50-room The Shire Woodstock in Woodstock, Vermont. The company hired New York-based Life House Hotels to manage the property, marking the hotel operator’s first hotel in Vermont and 20th hotel in New England. The hotel will operate “as-is” under its present branding and will later be reimagined as a boutique hotel. The deal was marketed by Earle Wason and Joe Cardillo of Wason & Associates, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Interior at the Sindhorn Midtown

IHG, Siam Sindhorn to launch Asia’s first Vignette Collection: IHG Hotels & Resorts and Siam Sindham Co. Ltd. have teamed up to launch Asia’s first Vignette Collection hotel in Bangkok. The 393-room Sindhorn Midtown will join IHG’s newest Luxury & Lifestyle collection brand in March. Both companies previously collaborated for the opening of Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok in 2020, which introduced IHG’s boutique brand into South East Asia. IHG plans to open their second Vignette Collection hotel in Pattaya and hopes to add 100 Vignette Collection hotels across the world in 10 years. IHG currently has 29 hotels across eight brands in Thailand with 34 properties in the pipeline.

Greek hotel loans sold: Eurobank and Piraeus Bank have sold their c. €135 million loan exposures in G. Kipriotis & Sons S.A. Athens, Greece, to funds managed by H.I.G. Capital. AXIA Ventures Group acted as exclusive financial advisor to the banks in relation to the transaction. The banks’ aggregate loan exposures were secured by G. Kipriotis & Sons hospitality assets, which include a complex 1,500 keys at three 4-star and two 5-star hospitality assets in the Greek island of Kos.

Sterling acquires Hotel Tucson City Center: Sterling Real Estate Partners, Scottsdale, Arizona, has acquired the 278-room Hotel Tucson City Center in Tucson, Arizona, in an off-market deal for an undisclosed price. The company is planning to convert the seven-building hotel into a 210-unit apartment complex. Sterling will become a franchisee of Choice Hotel and has appointed Ledgestone Hospitality to operate the four-story building as a hotel, while the adjacent buildings will be transformed into apartments. The site of the hotel was also approved for 154 more units which will be developed at a later date.

Jaipur hotels report cancellations: Hotels in Jaipur, India, are reporting increased number of cancellations as the number of COVID cases surges in the country, with cancellations rising to 30-50% across the city. The hospitality industry is pinning hopes on an investor summit, for which more than 800 rooms have been booked in city on January 24 and 25. With winter being a favored time for weddings in India, hotels reported that while several weddings were postponed, others will take place with reduced number of guests as per government guidelines.

Summit completes acquisition of Embassy Suites: Summit Hotel Properties, Austin, Texas, has completed the acquisition of the 120-key Embassy Suites by Hilton Tucson/Paloma Village in Tucson, Arizona, for US$25.5 million via its joint venture with GIC. The jv acquired the property with a combination of cash and an assumed loan which has a balance of around US$13.3 million. The Company expects the hotel to generate a full year 2022 net operating income yield between 7% and 7.5%. The Summit-GIC joint venture also owns the Homewood Suites by Hilton Tucson/St. Philip’s Plaza University, which is located less than three miles of Embassy Suites.

The Bedford by Martha Stewart to open in Las Vegas: The Bedford by Martha Stewart, a restaurant concept designed by lifestyle icon Martha Stewart and Marquee Brands, is set to open at Paris Las Vegas in spring. The 194-seat restaurant will offer a glimpse of how Stewart lives and draws inspiration from her farmhouse in Bedford, New York. Stewart and her team have been developing seasonal dinner, weekend brunch and holiday menus.

Meeting industry stabilizes: Although group meetings in the U.S. during December 2021 dipped 16.8% over November, this change is in line with normal seasonal trends, according to monthly meetings and events data by Knowland. While average attendees decreased from 101 in December 2021 compared to 140 in December 2019, average space inched closer to 2019 (2,363 square feet in December 2019 compared to 2,254 square feet in December 2019). The top five growth markets were Seattle, Oahu Island, Grand Rapids, Tucson and Chattanooga. The corporate sector accounted for 64% of meeting and event business, with technology and healthcare leading as the largest industry groups.