Briefs: Leading partners with Life House; Accor adds in Indonesia

Leading partners with Life House: The Leading Hotels of the World and tech-enabled management company Life House are teaming up to offer a turnkey solution for independent luxury hotel owners and developers with an operating platform that automates key back-office functions. Life House, which also has 60-plus properties open or under development across the U.S., Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Canada, will now be a preferred management strategic partner of Leading Hotels. Both companies are actively seeking opportunities in drive-to-leisure and urban core markets within North America. Several new hotels are currently under development.

Pebblebrook completes US$2B refinancing: Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, Bethesda, Maryland, has refinanced US$2 billion of credit facilities and term loans resulting in a US$650 million senior unsecured revolving credit facility and three-term loans totaling US$1.4 billion. The US$650 million credit facility’s maturity was extended to October 2027, including two optional six-month extensions. The first US$460 million loan matures in October 2024, while the second and third US$460 million term loans mature in October 2025 and October 2027. With the completion of the refinancing, the company has no meaningful debt maturities till October 2024.

The Student Hotel rebrands, plans to double portfolio: The Student Hotel, the Amsterdam-based hybrid accommodation company, has rebranded to The Social Hub to reflect its hybrid hospitality model, as it plans to double its European portfolio to 50 properties with shareholders APG and GIC. Valued at €2.1 billion (US$2.04 billion) in its last funding round, The Social Hub has 11,000 rooms across Europe. The company’s existing 13 properties offer big communal areas, student accommodation, co-working and meeting spaces, hotel rooms, bars, gyms and a community events program. The company is dedicating 15% of its portfolio to co-working, community and meeting spaces, with plans to double the space in future locations and retrofit its existing properties later on. The new openings this year are part of the first wave of the company’s expansion plan to grow its portfolio by 100%, with seven additional sites already in the pipeline. This autumn, the company will open in Madrid and Barcelona. Another property will open in Toulouse, France later this year.

Rendering of ibis New Yogyakarta International Airport Kulon Progo in Indonesia
Rendering of ibis New Yogyakarta International Airport Kulon Progo in Indonesia

Accor adds in Indonesia: Accor has signed two hotels at the new Yogyakarta International Airport — Novotel New Yogyakarta International Airport Kulon Progo and ibis New Yogyakarta International Airport Kulon Progo. The dual-branded project will offer a combined 413 keys in a single development, with two separate wings connected by a façade. The 11-story Novotel New Yogyakarta International Airport Kulon Progo will offer 189 rooms, while the ibis property will feature 224 keys in a nine-story glass and aluminum tower. The two new-build hotels are owned by PT. Lentera Prosper Indo and will be managed by Accor. Currently under construction, the property will open in Q4 2023. The two properties will add to Accor’s existing five hotels in Yogyakarta. Currently, Accor has 130 hotels and a pipeline of 53 properties in Indonesia.

Hilton may add Conrad in Singapore: Hilton is reportedly likely to take over management of Pontiac Land Group’s Regent Singapore and convert it to its Conrad brand. This will be the second Conrad property in Singapore, after Conrad Centennial Singapore, which is also owned by a company under Pontiac Land Group. The hotel is expected to undergo extensive renovations to raise it to the level of Hilton’s Conrad brand.

Yotel San Francisco sells for US$62M: Yotel San Francisco has been acquired at a foreclosure auction by an affiliate of New York-based Monarch Alternative Capital for US$62 million. The 203-key hotel was foreclosed on after Synapse Development Group, its owner, defaulted on loans worth US$64.5 million in March. When it opened in 2019, it was the company’s debut and only property on the West Coast. Synapse acquired the hotel for US$15.7 million in 2014. In March, the company was sued for US$458,000 in alleged unpaid construction costs by a building contractor. The following month, it received a notice of default from Starwood Property, its mortgage lender, for owing US$707,000 on its US$64.5 million loan.

Rubenstein hotel in New Orleans: New Orleans’ Rubenstein family is partnering with developer Joe Jaeger to transform the upper floors of five historic buildings in New Orleans, Louisiana, into the Rubenstein Hotel, a 40-key boutique hotel. Located on the corner of Canal Street and St. Charles Avenue, the hotel will be built above the Rubenstein Canal Street furniture store. The property will be operated by Jaeger’s MCC Real Estate under its J Collection, becoming the 12th  boutique hotel under the J Collection. The hotel is currently under construction and is expected to be completed by the year-end, with an opening scheduled in February 2023. The five buildings are mostly a mixture of two- and three-story structures that earlier served as Rubenstein distribution space and executive offices. The hotel will have two entrances, of which one will lead directly into a new bar. The corner building on Canal Street goes back to 1842 and is one of the few remaining buildings to feature a cast-iron façade on a commercial building.