Briefs: McNeill brings 12 hotels to jv; first Avani hotel in Australia

McNeill forms JV with Prospect Ridge, Fulcrum Hospitality: McNeill Investment Group, Germantown, Tennessee, earlier known as McNeill Hotel Investors, has entered into a strategic partnership with New York-based Prospect Ridge and Jersey, New Jersey-based Fulcrum Hospitality, contributing 12 of its wholly owned, newer vintage, premium branded select-service and extended-stay hotels in dynamic university and medical center submarkets to the partnership. McNeill retains the property management responsibility of all the properties controlled by the partnership and will grow its portfolio of owned and third-party managed hotels, including in its present focus on Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt-branded extended-stay and select-service properties across the U.S. Property management assignments will be organized under McNeill Hotel Co., with the Prospect Ridge JV and McNeill Hotel Co. units of the newly created McNeill Investment Group. McNeill has also concluded its property management and investment relationship with New York-based Almanac Realty Investors, a unit of Neuberger Berman.

Real I.S. acquires 2 in Germany: Real I.S. AG, Munich, Germany, has acquired the Hampton by Hilton and Premier Inn in Stuttgart, Germany, from a project company of the Baltringen, Germany-based Matthaus Schmid group. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Completed in 2021, the two properties total 300 rooms and offer about 15,600 square meters of space. Both the hotels have long-term lease agreements and operators with high credit ratings.

Rendering of Avani Mooloolaba Beach Hotel in Mooloolaba, Australia

Minor announces first Avani in Australia: Minor Hotels, Bangkok, Thailand, will launch its Avani Hotels & Resorts branded in Australia with a new-build property in Mooloolaba on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Designed by Cottee Parker Architects and developed by Kenneth Wagner of KPAT, the 180-room Avani Mooloolaba Beach Hotel will break ground in 2023 and open in 2025. The hotel will grow the Avani brand in the country, which currently consists of four Avani-branded residential properties in Adelaide, Melbourne and the Gold Coast. Minor Hotels also manages a portfolio of over 530 properties across six continents, including 65 Oaks Hotels, Resorts and Suites in Australia and a NH Collection property currently under construction.

OTO Development acquires Doubletree by Hilton: OTO Development, Spartanburg, South Carolina, has acquired DoubleTree Beach Resort by Hilton Tampa Bay-North in North Redington Beach, Florida, from the hotel’s original private ownership group at an undisclosed price. Built in 1987, the seven-story, 125-key hotel faces the Gulf of Mexico. OTO Development will implement scaled efficiencies in operations, revenue management and marketing support, with an extensive renovation planned to start from late summer 2023. The renovation will see a complete refresh in all the common spaces, enhancements to the property’s exterior and aesthetic updates and bath upgrades in guest rooms. The hotel will stay open during the renovations and once completed, it will operate under the DoubleTree by Hilton flag. The deal was brokered by The Plasencia Group, Tampa, Florida, and closed on Monday. The hotel is the 10th oceanfront property which has been acquired by OTO since Q4 2018 and one of the seven along the coastlines of Florida.

Fire Island resort trades: Bowline Hospitality Group, Key West, Florida, has acquired the Ice Palace Resort on Fire Island, New York, for US$7.2 million. The sale includes the 63-key Grove Hotel and the Ice Palace nightclubs, which can only be accessed by boat. The seller was represented by Mitch Muroff of the Muroff Hospitality Group, who also secured the buyer. First National Bank of Long Island provided a loan on the deal, but amount wasn’t disclosed. Bowline plans to renovate and enhance the properties. The Grove Hotel first opened in 1885 as Perkinson’s Hotel and was later renamed as Duffy’s. This was replaced by the Cherry Grove Hotel in 1958. In 2015, the property was almost gutted in a fire after which it reopened as The Grove.

Spanish bank sells 23-asset portfolio: SAREB, Spain’s ‘bad bank’ which is owned by the country’s banks, has sold a portfolio comprising 23 commercial assets for tourist use for €235.4 million (US$238.57 million) to an undisclosed buyer. The portfolio consists mostly of real estate properties along with some loans secured by income-producing assets. The properties included in the sale comprise hotels, tourist apartments and aparthotels totaling 1,729 keys spread across provinces of Malaga, Murcia, Almeria, Madrid and Valencia.

Kimpton’s first European resort: Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants has announced its first resort hotel in Europe, which will open in Mallorca, Spain, this summer. Designed by local architect Guillermo Reynes, the 79-key Kimpton Aysla Mallorca will have bookable workshops with resident artisans on the island to educate guests about local traditions, along with a program of fitness and wellness activities. The hotel also includes two outdoor pools, two restaurants and two bars. IHG Hotels & Resorts’ Kimpton brand will open seven properties globally this year and is also set to debut in Bali this year, with openings planned in Mexico, Germany, China, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Hong Kong in the next three to five years.

Novotel adds in Australia: Accor and Singapore-based Fragrance Group Ltd. have announced the Novotel Devonport in Tasmania, Australia. With construction nearing completion, the 187-key hotel is expected to open in Q4 this year. Designed by Lyons Architecture, the hotel was planned to be a horizontal land bridge, visually linking the Mersey River to the city of Devonport. Singapore-headquartered Kreat Studio is working on the hotel’s interior design. The hotel is collaborating with local photographer Nuala Byme to work on a mural of northwest Tasmania scenery, which will be featured behind bedheads in every guest room. The hotel will mark Fragrance Group’s fifth project in partnership with Accor in Australia.

Sunstone Hotel Investors to join S&P SmallCap 600: Sunstone Hotel Investors, Irvine, California, will replace Vonage Holdings Corp. in the S&P SmallCap 600 effective from before trading opens on July 21.

Palisociety launches culinary arm: Palisociety, Los Angeles, California, is launching its culinary unit, Palisociety Dining Group, this summer. The unit will focus on restaurant concept development and evolving the company’s presence in the dining sector under the new Creative Director of Food & Beverage Casey Lane and new Managing Director of Food & Beverage Will Marquardt. Currently, Palisociety operates 17 food and beverage outlets and will be adding four new venues across three new hotels this year. In 2023, Palisociety will add 10 more venues across nine new hotels. Palisociety Dining Group will focus on a new F&B model, which will be based upon creating and developing four key concepts across the portfolio — Italian, French, all-day and Mediterranean — which will be implemented in hotels based on their market, culinary history and audience.

Sentral, Airbnb collaborate: Sentral, Denver, Colorado, has partnered with Airbnb to allow qualifying Sentral residents to host their properties exclusively on the booking platform. Sentral residents can now list their apartments on Airbnb across Sentral communities. Sentral’s Homeshare Manager will help residents manage their listings, availability, rates and photographs. Sentral residents will be able to share up to 150 nights per year and will be covered by Airbnb’s existing policies.

Confidence in Europe aviation slips: Consumer confidence on Europe’s aviation industry has been slipping, which began in the last week of May and has gradually worsened, as last-minute bookings in the week till July 10 fell by 44%, compared to 2019 levels, showed data by ForwardKeys. As per recent trends in intra-European flight bookings in July and August and changes in seat capacity, airports are struggling to cope with rising demand amid staff shortages and news reports of flight cancelations. Bookings from Amsterdam dropped 59% and from London by 41%. The disruption in travelers’ schedules is indicated by the increase of partial cancelations and changes to total bookings, which jumped to 36% from May 30 to July 10 (from 13% in 2019). Amsterdam and London are the most impacted cities by the slowdown. By the end of May, bookings for Amsterdam for July-August were 9% less than 2019 levels and from London were 9% ahead. The figures fell back to 22% and 2% behind, respectively, equivalent to a 13-percentage-point slowdown from Amsterdam and an 11-percentage-point slowdown from London. Intra-European seat capacity has also dipped by 5% across the continent, with Amsterdam and London suffering the largest declines at 11% and 8% respectively.