Briefs: PM Hotel Group, Modus align; Nobu debuts in Greece

PM Hotel Group, Modus Hotels align: PM Hotel Group, Chevy Chase, Maryland, announced its merger with Washington, D.C.-based Modus Hotels. The company’s expanded lifestyle portfolio will combine Modus’ lifestyle properties. Modus’ portfolio consists of upscale lifestyle and micro hotels. Modus’ portfolio includes Motto DC, Hotel Hive, The River Inn, One Washington Circle Hotel (all in D.C.) and The Windsor Suites Philadelphia and Motto Philly in Philadelphia. Modus also has two projects under development — Maison Kesh in Washington, D.C. and the Hyatt House Orlando Hotel.

Kadoorie to increase share in The Peninsula: Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels’ major shareholder Kadoorie family announced it would invest HK$2.6 billion (US$333 million) to increase its share to 72.43% from the current 59.98%. Kadoorie reached a conditional agreement with Solis Capital and its parent company, Seekers Partners, to buy 205 million shares of the owner of The Peninsula at HK$12.8 (US$1.64) a piece. The deal is subject to regulatory approval and completion is conditional upon the purchasers having obtained a waiver from the Executive Director of the Corporate Finance Division of the Securities and Futures Commission to make a mandatory general offer.

Nobu Hotel and Restaurant Santorini

Nobu’s debut in Greece: The Nobu Hotel and Restaurant Santorini, Nobu Hospitality’s first hotel and restaurant in Greece, will open this spring, the company announced, after signing a long-term management agreement with MonteRock International. Offering panoramic views of the Caldera and Aegean Sea, the boutique hotel will include a signature Nobu Restaurant, five pool villas and a dual-level infinity pool. The hotel marks Nobu’s 26th one globally and 10th property in Europe, with properties in Rome, San Sebastián and Hamburg under development.

IHG announces new non-executive chair: InterContinental Hotels Group announced the retirement of Non-Executive Chair Patrick Cescau from the IHG board, effective from August 31. Cescau has held the position since 2013. He will be succeeded by Deanna Oppenheimer from September 1. Oppenheimer is non-executive chair of Hargreaves London plc and sits on the board of Thomson Reuters Corp. Previously, she served as the non-executive director of Whitbread PLC and chair of their remuneration committee. She will join the nomination committee of the IHG board upon her appointment as the non-executive director from June 1 and will subsequently chair the nomination committee after taking on her new role from September 1.

Greene leaving AAHOA: Asia American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) President and CEO Ken Greene will leave the organization in February to pursue another opportunity. The AAHOA Board of Directors will immediately begin its search for his replacement. Greene was brought on as interim president and CEO in June of 2021 and dropped the interim title in September. Greene is leaving AAHOA for another career opportunity with IBF Hospitality, Dallas, Texas. His last day at AAHOA will be February 11, 2022.

Oakwood expands in Asia Pac: Oakwood, the wholly owned subsidiary of Mapletree, announced its plans to double its portfolio in Asia Pacific by 2025. The company is aiming at 20 new openings in 2022 across Asia Pacific, including the launch of Oakwood Beluxs, a brand which was launched in Mainland China in 2020 and created in partnership with Country Garden Commercial and Culture Tourism Group. The new brand plans to open 10 Oakwood Beluxs properties in China by 2030, with the first three slated to launch in April, August and October in Dalian, Yantai and Qingdao, respectively. Oaktree also signed a strategic partnership deal with China Green Development Group to grow in China’s southern resort island of Hainan. The company started the year by opening Oakwood Hotel & Apartments Azabu Tokyo in Japan. In April, Oaktree will mark its entry into Bangladesh with the opening of Oakwood Hotel & Apartments Dhaka and Oakwood Suites Dhaka, both owned by Aara Hospitality.

Richard (Dick) Ferris dies: Pebble Beach Co. announced the death of its longtime Co-Chairman Richard (Dick) Ferris after a three-year battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). He was 85. A legend in the worlds of business and golf, Ferris joined Westin Hotels, then known as Western International Hotels, as a staff planner, going on to become the general manager of the Continental Plaza Hotel in Chicago four years later. In 1991, he partnered with Peter Ueberroth and bought a stake in Guest Quarters Suites Hotels from General Electric Investments Corp., going on to acquire DoubleTree Hotels in 1993. He acquired the Pebble Beach Co. and returned Pebble Beach Resorts to American ownership. In 1999, Ferris along with Ueberroth, Arnold Palmer, Clint Eastwood, Bill Perocchi and other business leaders and athletes acquired Pebble Beach from Sumitomo Bank and Taiheiyo Club. Ferris served as the company’s co-chairman of board for more than 20 years and was the director until his death. The World Golf Wall of Fame will honor Ferris and Ueberroth on March 9 with their first ever Lifetime Achievement Award.

Cross Hotels launches new collection: Cross Hotels & Resorts announced the launch of Cross Collection, a collection of resorts and city hotels in first-tier tourist and business destinations across the Asia Pacific. Cross continues to add to its portfolio of boutique properties with 72-key Haven’t Met Bangkok By Cross Collection and 16-room residential-style resort Itz Time Hua Hin Pool Villa. Cross Hotels’ portfolio currently consists of more than 23 hotels across five brands in Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Japan.

Andaz Wall Street rebranding: Hyatt Hotels Corp. announced the rebranding of the Andaz Wall Street to Hyatt Centric Wall Street New York. The 253-room hotel underwent renovations in 2019 to include modernized rooms and an enhanced lobby and will resume operations from January 26. Owned by Navika Group of Companies, the hotel will be managed by Blue Sky Hospitality Solutions. Navika plans to invest US$5 million to further revitalize the hotel over the next few years. The Wall & Water restaurant, an open-air eatery concept serving breakfast and dinner, will also reopen on January 26. It will be led by New York chef and food and beverage director Alan Ashkinaze. David Cohen has been named as the hotel’s general manager.

Dellisart adds to portfolio: Dellisart LLC has added the three-story Candlewood Suites Williamsport in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, to its portfolio management portfolio. Owned by KJ Singh, the hotel comprises 100 suites with each suite consisting of fully equipped kitchens, flexible workspace, 24-hour fitness center and an outdoor grilling area.

The Thinking Traveller, White Key Villas partnership: The Thinking Traveller, London, announced its partnership with Greek villa company, White Key Villas, to become the largest operator of luxury villas in Greece, building on its existing portfolio of more than 70 villas in the Greek islands. The Thinking Traveller acquired White Key Villas following the £7 million (US$9.56 million) investment from Piper in November 2020.  The expansion will cover the Cyclades and Saronic Islands as well as the Peloponnese and will also include destinations like Mykonos, Paros, Tinos and Antiparos. The partnership will see The Thinking Traveller providing access to a collection of villas in Greece and the wider Mediterranean and White Key Villas offering a beneficial business model with a proven track record.