Briefs: Mandarin Oriental to Greece; Hyatt’s plans in Santorini

Mandarin Oriental to Greece: Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Hong Kong, and Greek developer and operator TEMES S.A. will introduce the first Mandarin Oriental in Greece at Costa Navarino in spring 2023. The Mandarin Oriental, Costa Navarino will consist of 99 rooms, including 48 pool villas with outdoor terraces, five restaurants and bars overlooking the Bay of Navarino. The resort is designed by Greek architects Tombazis & Associates Architects and K-Studio and features Costa Navarino’s sustainable principles. The resort will also include a 1,500 square meter spa and fitness center with a 25-meter indoor-outdoor pool.

Magma Resort Santorini

Hyatt announces plans for Magma Resort: Hyatt Hotels Corp. has entered into a franchise agreement with Thera Island Suites S.A., owners of Magma Resort Santorini, to bring The Unbound Collection by Hyatt to the Greek Island this summer. The first ever Hyatt-affiliated resort in the Greek islands will be operated by Athens-headquartered SWOT Hospitality. The resort will feature 59 rooms, including 24 suites. The resort’s restaurant, Magma by Spondi, will be curated by a two-starred Michelin chef. The property’s design and architectural development is being led by PEOPLE and ELASTIC Architects. Once open, it will be the ninth Unbound Collection by Hyatt in Europe.

Marina Bay Sands’ US$1 billion reinvestment plan: Marina Bay Sands has started a US$1 billion reinvestment program for its existing property, including hotel rooms and suites, new F&B offerings and other enhancements that will position the Integrated Resort (IR) for stronger growth. The reinvestment is the biggest since the IR opened in 2010 and is in addition to the multi-billion-dollar expansion announced in April 2019, which includes developing an entertainment arena, an ultra-luxury hotel tower and more MICE space adjacent to the existing IR. The US$1 billion reinvestment for Marina Bay Sands is part of Las Vegas Sands’ current program to elevate customer experience and design across its properties in Singapore and Macao. The investment will see upgrading all the rooms and suites in Towers 1 and 2 of the hotel and the introduction of signature experiences on the 55th floor of all three hotel towers.

Mission Hill acquires in New York: Mission Hill Hospitality, a KSL Capital Partners portfolio company based in Denver, Colorado, has acquired the 92-key Residence Inn by Marriott in Kingston, New York, for an undisclosed amount. This is Mission Hill’s 14th addition to its portfolio since the company was launched in March 2021.

edyn acquires Hotel Ascot: edyn, the U.K.-based hospitality group specializing in the extended-stay sector, has acquired Hotel Ascot in Zurich, Switzerland. The six-story hotel will be converted into a Locke property, edyn’s lifestyle brand, and will feature 80 rooms, a combination of studio and one-bed suites, a restaurant, coffee shop and bar. The hotel’s interiors will be designed by Sella Concept. edyn has secured additional funding from Blackstone Mortgage Trust and KSL Capital Partners, who have extended their £195 million (US$263.72 million) multi-asset debt facility to facilitate the acquisition. The hotel, which is slated to open in summer 2023, marks edyn’s entry into Switzerland. The company’s Locke brand has been expanding in Europe, with six new launches in 2021, including London, Dublin, Cambridge and Munich. Currently, there are 11 trading Locke properties with 1,768 trading keys spread across five markets.

TSH grows in Italy: The Student Hotel, Amsterdam has agreed with UniCredit for social and environmental impact financing of €145 million (US$165.79 million) for the development urban campus-style properties in Rome San Lorenzo and Florence Belfiore. SACE, the financial insurance company specialized in supporting the growth and development of businesses and the Italian economy, supports the financing with a green guarantee of €54 million (US$61.74 million). The loan includes terms for the achievement of a BREEAM “Very Good” rating for both locations and adherence to the EU Taxonomy for sustainable activities as criteria for the green guarantee by SACE. TSH and UniCredit will include impact financing terms in the form of a discount on the interest rate, which TSH has committed to reinvest by providing students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds scholarships in the form of rent reductions. Construction of the 396-room hotel in Rome will start in March 2022 with a total investment of over €90 million (US$102.91 million) by TSH is due to open in winter 2023/24. In Florence, the development consists of a 550-room hotel and is expected to open before summer 2024. TSH will invest over €160 million (US$182.95 million) in the project. The financing supports TSH’s growth strategy as it looks to open 10 hotels across Europe by 2025, taking the total amount of operational hotels to 25. TSH has recently secured €300 million (US$343.03 million) from existing shareholders to fund the growth strategy.

Australia to reopen to fully vaccinated travelers: Australia will reopen for fully vaccinated international travelers from February 21, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced. International travelers need to have received both doses of an approved vaccine unless they are eligible for a medical exemption. State-based caps on quarantine period will continue and these quarantines will be decided by state and territory governments. Currently, fully vaccinated citizens, permanent residents and families, international students, backpackers and migrant workers are allowed to enter Australia. The country had closed its borders since early 2020 due to the pandemic and has been gradually easing requirements from November 2021 by allowing programs with New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Japan.

Davidson adds Lorien Hotel: Davidson Hospitality Group has added the 107-key Lorien Hotel & Spa in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, to its management portfolio, the third hotel in the Washington, D.C. area to be managed under the company’s Pivot lifestyle operating division. Pivot also operates Thompson Washington D.C. and Hotel Madera in the D.C. metropolitan area.

UK business leaders seek VAT rate cut: About 261 hospitality business leaders in the U.K. have written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak urging the government to maintain VAT at 12.5% to aid in the recovery of the distressed hospitality and leisure businesses. The planned increase to 20% in April will “exacerbate the squeeze on household finances” and could be a “cliff edge” for the hospitality industry, the letter said. The letter asked Sunak to reconsider the increase as a rate cut is more important as customers are feeling the pinch from rising costs while companies face inflated prices for labor, energy and supplies. Business leaders from Apex Hotels, Hilton, IHG, Nobu, The Savoy Hotel Group, Bourne Leisure, Big Table Group, Center Parcs, Pizza Hut and Pizza Express are some of the signatories of the letter.

Sandpiper Lodging Trust acquires in Tampa: Sandpiper Lodging Trust, Richmond, Virginia, has acquired the new 122-key WoodSpring Suites extended stay hotel in Tampa, Florida, for an undisclosed sum. The hotel was developed by Orlando, Florida-based Liberty Investment Properties. Sandpiper acquired it upon completion. Sandpiper now owns 19 properties across eight states, spanning from the mid-Atlantic region to Texas and Colorado. Sandpiper Hospitality, an affiliated hotel management company, will manage the hotel.