MARRIOTT GETS REGULATORY NOD FOR CITY EXPRESS ACQUISITION: Marriott International, Inc. has received the green light from Mexico’s Federal Economic Competition Commission for the acquisition of the City Express brand portfolio from Hoteles City Express, S.A.B. de C.V. The acquisition will pave the way for Marriott’s entry into the midscale segment. First announced in October 2022, the transaction is expected to close in the second quarter. Upon closing, Marriott will acquire the Hoteles City Express brands. The portfolio includes 150 hotels totaling nearly 17,000 rooms in 70 cities across Mexico and three more countries in Latin America. Marriott will update the City Express brands with its “by Marriott” signature endorsement. Once the deal closes, City Express will be Marriott’s 31st brand. The deal will help Marriott ramp up its presence in the Caribbean and Latin America by 45% to more than 480 properties in 37 countries.
MANDARIN ORIENTAL TO GREECE: Mandarin Oriental has launched its first luxury resort in Greece with the Mandarin Oriental, Costa Navarino. Slated to open this summer, the resort is part of Costa Navarino, the sustainably-driven destination in southwest Peloponnese. Situated on a landscaped hillside overlooking a beachfront, the resort offers 99 suites and villas with private pools and terraces, five restaurants and bars, an 18-hole golf course and a spa with a swimming pool. The resort, which includes more than 4,000 replanted olive trees and over 500,000 planted native shrubs, will be single-use plastic free.
FAIRMONT ADDS IN SOUTH AFRICA: Accor’s brand Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has expanded its footprint in sub-Saharan Africa with the Cape Grace in Cape Town, South Africa. The property was recently acquired by the PE platform Kasada Hospitality Fund LP. The 120-room hotel will transition into a fully branded Fairmont property by the end of the year. The hotel includes two dining venues and offers ocean views.
WESTIN PHUKET TO REBRAND: Marriott International, Inc. has signed an agreement with Asset World Corp. to introduce The Ritz-Carlton to Phuket, Thailand. As per the agreement, the existing Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa, Phuket, will be converted and rebranded into the Ritz-Carlton hotel. Overlooking the Andaman Sea, The Ritz-Carlton, Phuket will comprise 182 rooms, suites and private villas, eight restaurants, bars and lounges and four function rooms with 544 square meters of indoor space and 168 square meters of pre-function area. The hotel will also offer a fitness center, three swimming pools, a spa with eight treatment rooms, plunge pools and a salon. Currently, Marriott operates nine hotels across seven brands in Phuket.
$24M FINANCING FOR CROWNE PLAZA UNION STATION: Los Angeles-based Vista Capital Co. has arranged and closed $24 million of financing for the Crowne Plaza Union Station in downtown Indianapolis. An affiliate of a European investment firm provided the financing. The 10-year fixed-rate financing will be used to fund a significant hotel renovation project. The Crowne Plaza is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The historic, full-service, upscale hotel comprises 273 rooms, including 26 original Pullman Traincar. This is the second time Vista Capital has financed the hotel in the past 11 years.