Briefs: Rosewood taking famed Raleigh; Vignette Collection to Portugal

Rosewood taking over at The Raleigh: New York-based real estate developer SHVO announced on Tuesday that the iconic Raleigh hotel in Miami Beach will be managed by Rosewood Hotels & Resorts when it finally reopens in 2025. Noted architect and designer Peter Marino will lead the US$243 million development deal for the hotel closed since 2017. The project includes a new 17-story condo tower with 44 units facing the beach and a members-only beach club. The iconic Raleigh swimming pool is expected to remain intact.

PE giant invests in Columbian operator: Private equity giant Advent International is investing in Bogota, Colombia-based third-party manager GHL Hotels to support its expansion in Latin America through new management contracts, additional investments in hotels and acquisitions of other third-party hotel operators. GHL currently operates 62 hotels (more than 7,000 rooms) across Colombia, Ecuador, Perú, Central America, Chile and Argentina. This investment follows Advent’s acquisition of a majority stake in U.S.-based third-party giant Aimbridge Hospitality, which has approximately 1,500 properties in 20 countries. As of December 31, 2021, Advent had US$88 billion in assets under management.

New AAHOA leader: Following a vote by the AAHOA Board of Directors, Laura Lee Blake, Esq., will be the new president and CEO of AAHOA, the nation’s largest hotel owners association, effective May 16, 2022. Blake will succeed Ken Greene, who served in the role for a short time in 2021 and part of 2022. Blake has been an attorney for more than 25 years and most recently was a partner with Connor, Fletcher, and Hedenkamp in Irvine, California. Blake previously worked for AAHOA for nearly 10 years, from 2005 to 2014, and says it was one of the highlights of her career.

Six Senses Fiji sells: Six Senses Fiji, one of the major luxury 5-star resorts in the region, has been acquired by Sequitur Resorts, announced restructuring expert Vaughan Strawbridge and David McGrath of FTI Consulting. JLL Hotels & Hospitality brokers Nick Thompson and Peter Harper managed the sale. Completed in 2018, the resort features 24 villas in Malolo Island. After being closed for over two years, the resort had reopened following the restructuring.

Reuben Brothers acquire Chesterfield Lodge: The Reuben Brothers from London have acquired the 53-room boutique resort Chesterfield Lodge in Palm Beach, Florida. An organization led by Richard Launder sold the resort for US$42 million or US$792,000 per key. Spread across 33,000 square feet, the resort includes the Leopard Lounge Bar, a courtyard and swimming pool.

KSL Resorts promotes Palmeri: KSL Resorts has promoted Michael Palmeri to chief investment officer. Palmeri, formerly the senior vice president of investments and business development, will continue to direct the company’s owned hospitality real estate and management portfolio into derivative leisure-oriented real estate and operating businesses. Palmeri joined KSL five years ago. Earlier, he was the senior vice president, head of acquisitions and development for Lowes Hotels and has also held senior leadership roles directing investments and management for Chartres Lodging Group and Abacus Lodging Investors.

IHG’s new Vignette Collection signing: IHG Hotels & Resorts has signed Casa de Companhia in Porto, Portugal to its luxury and lifestyle Vignette Collection soft brand. The hotel is slated to open later this year. Featuring 40 luxury suites, the hotel’s interiors have been restored to their original 18th century design for the hotel’s reopening. Casa de Companhia includes a spa, fitness center, outdoor terrace and indoor and outdoor pools. The hotel’s restaurant will feature a new menu, which is still being developed. The property marks IHG’s third partnership with MERCAN Group, after partnering on pipeline projects in Europe — Holiday Inn Express Evora and Holiday Inn Express Porto. Currently, IHG has 17 properties in Portugal and eight pipeline projects. Vignette Collection, which was launched in August 2021, is IHG’s sixth brand in four years. IHG currently has 17 brands in almost 6,000 hotels in over 100 countries.

Rendering of a room at Casa de Companhia in Porto, Portugal

Banyan Tree grows Mexico portfolio: Banyan Tree has announced the addition of its newest and sixth resort to its Mexican portfolio — Banyan Tree Veya Bacalar. The Veya-branded property is slated to open in 2025 and is situated among the jungle of the Bacalar Lagoon region near the Belize-Mexico border, also known as the ‘Lagoon of seven colors.’ Comprising 35 villas and five residences, the resort will cost US$28 million to develop. It will also feature a large pool and four waterfront restaurants, with one of the eateries located directly over the lagoon. This will mark Banyan Tree’s third property in the Yucatan region and fifth under the Veya umbrella.

MGM continues to rebound: MGM Resorts International on Monday reported 1Q earnings on Monday with losses narrowing to US$18 million, 6 cents a share, on revenue of US$2.85 billion versus a net loss of US$331.8 million, 69 cents a share, on revenue of US$1.65 billion a year earlier. It also announced plans to acquire LeoVegas, a Swedish mobile gaming company to boost its global online gaming activity. Strong hotel room revenue in 1Q led to US$485 million in revenue versus US$144 million in 2021. ADR jumped 78% for the quarter to US$197 a night from US$129 a year earlier.

2021 European transactions: Hotel transactions in Europe saw a strong recovery in Europe in 2021, with a total of €16.4 billion (US$17.24 billion) worth of hotels changing hands, representing 322 individual deals, 498 hotels and 79,000 rooms, revealed the 2021 European Hotel Transactions report by HVS. About 65% of the transactions by monetary volume were single assets, while 35% were portfolios. Overall, hotel prices per room were more expensive compared to 2020 and 2019, driven by considerable price increases in single-asset transactions, especially in the Nordics. Portfolios that traded mostly had more hotels and more rooms per hotel than in 2020, highlighting confidence among investors. The most active investors were mostly European, followed by North American investors. Asian investors were found to be more active than in 2020, while Middle Eastern investors were considerably less active. Almost all investor types were active buyers throughout 2021, with hotel operators disposing most hotels. Institutional and private equity investors were the biggest net buyers. Despite total volume doubling as compared to 2020 figures, it declined roughly 40% below 2019 levels due to significantly lesser portfolio deals. Single-asset transaction activity is projected to stay strong, looking forward. With an uptick in tourism and conferencing indications, it is expected to help in driving top-line hotel revenues.

Canadian investment study: Hotel transaction activity in Canada has returned with real estate gaining considerable momentum in 2021 and volume reaching almost C$2 billion (US$1.55 billion), revealed the Canadian Hotel Investment Report by Colliers Hotels. Trades for continued hotel use totaling C$1.18 billion (US$916 million) amounted to an impressive performance compared to around C$400 million (US$310.58 million) in 2020. The average price per room, which included all types of transactions, was C$158,100 (US$122,758), up 15% YOY and 16% from pre-pandemic transaction trends. Acquisitions for hotel use was more dominant throughout 2021 at nearly 60% of total volume and traded at comparatively strong pricing averaging C$134,000 (US$104,046) per room, compared to C$130,100 (US$101,017) in 2019. Government subsidies and a supportive lending community mitigated significant distress in the hotel asset class, with lender driven sales staying at historical lows (2% of volume). Significant hotel transactions in major urban and resort markets saw considerably higher volumes, with eight trades more than C$50 million (US$38.82 million), accounting for around a third of the year’s total.

Trump inaugural committee settles with DC: Donald Trump’s family business and his 2017 U.S. presidential inaugural committee have jointly agreed to US$750,000 to settle a lawsuit by Washington, D.C.’s attorney general who claimed that the Trump International Hotel in Washington illegally received excessive charitable funds from the Trump Presidential Inaugural Committee, a nonprofit corporation. The payment is almost three-quarters of the US$1.03 million that Attorney General Karl Racine said the committee dramatically overpaid to rent the hotel’s event space, including for a private party costing several hundred thousand dollars for Trump’s adult children on the night he became president.