Briefs: Louis Vuitton hotel; Waldorf Astoria to Costa Rica

Louis Vuitton hotel: Louis Vuitton’s corporate office in Paris is going to be transformed into a new complex that will include the first Louis Vuitton branded hotel, WWD reported. LVMH executives hope the hotel will open within five years. In the last 18 months, LVMH has already opened in the same neighborhood the renovated La Samaritaine department store and the Cheval Blanc hotel.

Rendering of Waldorf Astoria Guanacaste in Costa Rica

Waldorf Astoria signs first in Costa Rica: Hilton has signed the first Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts in Costa Rica. The new build Waldorf Astoria Guanacaste, which is under construction, will open in 2025. The hotel will feature 190 rooms and 25 branded residences in Guanacaste and will focus on sustainable luxury. All resort vehicles on the property will be electric. Owners of the residences will be able to access all resort amenities. The property will also offer a wellness center, spa, 10,000 square feet of event space and a ceremonial pavilion for weddings. The hotel will be managed by Hilton and owned by Revolution, Cacique Investors, and Garnier & Garnier, the project’s Costa Rican developer. GFG Securities raised equity and debt financing. Waldorf Astoria Guanacaste will be a part of the Cacique Costa Rica community, which will offer retail, residences and wellness experiences. Currently, Hilton’s Caribbean and Latin American portfolio includes 200 hotels, with a development pipeline of over 100 hotels.

Primestar grows Berlin footprint: Primestar Group, Berlin, Germany, has acquired Mercure Hotel Berlin Mitte. The 120-room hotel is the first joint franchise project with Accor and Primestar’s first Mercure-branded hotel. The building’s owner, P&L Real Estate GmbH, is part of the group company of Lambert Immobilien GmbH. With this acquisition, Primestar now has three hotels in Berlin. The hotel also grows Primestar’s franchise hotel portfolio to 15 hotels totaling 3,454 rooms across Germany.

Melbourne performance improves: Hotel performance in Melbourne touched a pandemic-era high, as per preliminary October data by STR.

  • Occupancy: 69.9%
  • ADR: AU$232.07 (US$155.30)
  • RevPAR: AU$162.21 (US$108.55)

Melbourne’s ADR was the highest for any month on record, while RevPAR and occupancy were highest since November 2019 and February 2020, respectively. Although an improvement, occupancy stayed 17.5% below the pre-COVID comparable.

Australian market outlook: Although international arrivals to Australia improved gradually since the country reopened its borders in December 2021, the road to recovery now faces the challenges of the war in Ukraine and air space in the region restricted, a ban on Russian carriers by several countries and intentions around travel to the region affected, revealed a latest hotel market outlook and insight survey on Australia by Horwath HTL. Leisure travel and MICE continue to improve, with the return of business travel. However, the recovery of business travel is expected to take longer and might look different than it did before the pandemic. With the expected slower return of corporate travel, key cities (like Sydney and Melbourne) are projected to face challenges during the recovery. Sydney and Melbourne will return to the pre-COVID RevPAR level in 2023. ADR continues to surpass growth expectations. Recovery of RevPAR in all eight markets is rate-driven, with ADR surpassing the pre-COVID comparables in all the markets.

London performance update: ADR and RevPAR in London were higher than the pre-pandemic levels, revealed STR’s preliminary October data.

  • Occupancy: 83.8%
  • ADR: £199.95 (US$235.29)
  • RevPAR: £167.60 (US$197.22)

Although occupancy remained 4% below the pre-COVID level, ADR and RevPAR levels were higher than last month. In terms of daily data, the market continued to show high occupancy levels on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, indicating a demand in business, with the highest daily occupancy for the month (93%) being recorded on October 12 (Wednesday).

Improved performance in Riyadh: Riyadh’s hotel industry improved from the previous month, as per STR’s October data.

  • Occupancy: 72.3%
  • ADR: SAR771.24 (US$205.37)
  • RevPAR: SAR557.28 (US$148.39)

ADR and RevPAR levels exceeded the pre-2019 levels, with occupancy staying slightly below October 2019 (-4%). ADR and occupancy were the highest for any month since this March, while RevPAR was the highest since May 2011.

IHG adds Vignette Collection in Thailand: IHG Hotels & Resorts has announced Vignette Collection, the company’s Luxury & Lifestyle collection brand, will grow its portfolio with Dinso Resort Phuket, Vignette Collection in Patong, Thailand. In partnership with Dinso Resort Co. Ltd., the sustainability-focused property will open in mid-2023. The hotel will feature 148 rooms and suites and 26 tree-top pool villas with views of the Patong coast. The resort will be IHG’s fourth opened or pipeline Vignette Collection property in Thailand, following the launch of its 17th and latest brand last year. IHG currently has 30 hotels across nine brands in Thailand, with a pipeline of 36 properties which will grow the Luxury and Lifestyle portfolio in the country by 50% by 2026 and double the company’s estate across all brands.

US$40M construction financing for Auburn hotel: JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group has arranged US$40 million in construction financing for the development of the 177-key Graduate Auburn hotel Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. JLL worked on behalf of Adventurous Journeys Capital Partners, the sponsor, in securing the five-year, floating-rate loan with Southern States Bank. Designed by Hartshorne Plunkard Architects and AJ Capitals’ in-house interior design team, the hotel will join a collection of 35 more Graduate Hotels and will be the brand’s seventh location in the SEC conference.

Tommy Bahama’s new resort concept: Lowe is partnering with Tommy Bahama to launch a new resort concept in 2023, the Tommy Bahama Miramonte Resort & Spa in Indian Wells, California. CoralTree Hospitality, Lowe’s wholly-owned subsidiary, will continue to manage the property with Tommy Bahama’s parent company, Oxford Industries, making a minority equity investment in the venture. The reimaged Miramonte property will feature 215 rooms, including 23 suites, 35,000 square feet of event space, three pools and a 12,000 square-foot spa. After over a decade of involvement in the resort, Lowe acquired Miramonte in 2020 and invested to restore the property, including adding a signature outdoor lounge and dining area. As part of the last phase of the renovation, Lowe will reimagine the public spaces, launching a new concept indoor/outdoor restaurant, opening a retail boutique and transforming the bar experience. The property will stay open during the transformation.

Marriott to add 30 hotels in Greater China: Marriott International has announced plans to grow its select-service portfolio in Greater China with 30 new hotels in the segment by the end of 2023. The additions will complement the existing portfolio of over 460 properties across 67 cities in the region. The additions will grow Marriott’s presence in second and third-tier cities, like Changchun and Foshan, while deepening its footprint in first-tier cities like Shanghai. Marriott is also enhancing its positioning in the region through dual-branded projects and a franchise-plus model. The company signed six dual-brand hotels this year, representing 14 properties. The franchise-plus model will help Marriott to streamline hotel openings and initial-stage operations.

WorldHotels expands into Canada: WorldHotels, the privately held soft brand under the BWH Hotel Group, has launched the WorldHotels brand in Canada, with the debut of nine hotels across the Luxury, Elite and Crafted Collections. All the upscale properties located in British Columbia are owned by Kelowna, Canada-based Prestige Hotels & Resorts.

The Hoxton to French Alps: The Hoxton, part of Ennismore, will debut Hox Chalet in Morzine, France, in February 2023. The three-level luxury chalet in the French Alps will be run in partnership with Treeline Chalets. With space for up to 12, guests will be able to spread out across six en-suite bedrooms. The property will have a dedicated chef on hand, barrel sauna, cocktail bar, wine cave and a plunge pool. Hox Chalet runs from February 25, 2023 to April 15, 2023 in partnership with Treeline Chalets and Grey Goose Vodka.

Under Canvas launches resort brand: Under Canvas has launched Ulum, a new safari-inspired, outdoor resort brand that will open in March 2023. The brand’s first location, Ulum Moab, will open in Moab, Utah. The resort, surrounded by 100-foot cliffs on three sides and views of Canyonlands National Park, will feature all-suite accommodation tents along with dipping pools, upscale dining and complimentary, wellness-focused programming. Each of Ulum Moab’s suite tents offers a bedroom with a king-size bed, with evaporative cooling fans and wood stoves.