Briefs: Royal Sonesta franchising in US; Dorchester Collection adds in Japan

Royal Sonesta franchising in US: Sonesta International Hotels Corp., Newton, Massachusetts, has announced that The Royal Sonesta brand is now available for franchising in the U.S. The Royal Sonesta now provides franchisees with an upper upscale option for city and leisure destinations and furthers Sonesta’s global development strategy by adding a high-end brand to its franchise portfolio. Sonesta Franchising launched in the U.S. in September 2021 with a platform of franchise services, hotel operations and franchise support. It comprises 13 brands with a range of hotel services. Currently, Sonesta has 1,200 properties totaling 100,000 rooms under 16 brands across eight countries.

Rendering of Tokyo Torch

Dorchester Collection adds in Japan: Mitsubishi Estate Co. Ltd. and Tokyo Century Corp. have selected Dorchester Collection to manage the hotel in Torch Tower, the highest building in Japan. Tokyo Torch, the hotel, will open in 2028 and marks Dorchester Collection’s first property in Asia. Located on the upper floors of the building, Tokyo Torch will offer a panoramic view of the Tokyo Bay, the city center and Mt. Fuji. Dorchester Collection’s portfolio includes nine properties in London, Paris, Rome, Milan and Los Angeles. The company will open its first hotel in the Middle East — The Lana, Dubai.

Another Naples hotel trade: The 58-room Trianon hotel in Old Naples, Florida, reportedly has been acquired by Florida hotel developer Ocean Properties for almost US$24.5 million. Ocean Properties is also developing the Old Naples Hotel in Naples. Hunter Hotel Advisors handled the transaction for the sellers, Olde Naples Grand Hotel Inc.

Service robotics growth trends: The service robotics industry will record a CAGR of 21.5% to reach US$216 billion in 2030, fueled by investments across consumer-facing industries including travel and tourism, as per the latest report by GlobalData. The overall robotics industry will grow from US$70 billion in 2022 to US$568 billion. Consumer robots, logistics robots, drones and inspection, cleaning and maintenance robots are expected to receive the highest investment from companies from the travel and tourism value chain. Earlier considered a gimmick and used as early as 2015 for guest experiences without improving efficiency for staff, investment in robots has now picked up. Consumer robots and logistics robots are projected to grow at a CAGR of 29% and 21% respectively between 2020 and 2030 as robotic intelligence and cloud robotics develop, coordinated cleaning fleets and language translation check-in assistants will become useful and more common.

Schroders Capital acquires 50% in Sofitel Amsterdam: Schroders Capital has acquired a 50% stake in the 177-key Sofitel Legend The Grand in Amsterdam, the Netherlands for €150 million (US$149.68 million) in an off-market transaction. More than €40 million (US$39.91 million) is expected to be invested to upgrade and refurbish the property. Schroders has acquired AccorInvest’s interest, with Oman’s Yahya Group owning the rest 50% of the asset.

Union Investment acquires in Germany: Hamburg, Germany-based Union Investment marked its entry into the resort hotel market by acquiring the 125-room Marriott Bonvoy Autograph Collection on Lake Tegernsee in Germany. The acquisition was made on behalf of a special fund from a subsidiary of the, a partner company of Salzburg, Austria-based Soravia. The purchase price has not been disclosed. The hotel, which is still in the interior designing phase, is scheduled to be completed in December and will open in March 2023. The hotel will feature 100 double rooms, 11 junior suites and 14 suites along with a 90-seat restaurant, a 180-seat rooftop bar, a wellness area and a pool. 4 Peaks Hospitality GmbH, a Soravia Group company, has concluded a 20-year lease. The hotel will be operated under Caro & Selig, Tegernsee, Autograph Collection, which is owned by Marriott.

HVMG adds to portfolio: Hospitality Ventures Management Group, Atlanta, Georgia, has added the new 112-key Aloft Lawrenceville Sugarloaf to its third-party hotel management portfolio. Owned by RADCO Companies, the newly developed five-story hotel opened in early October. The hotel includes around 750 square feet of flexible meeting space and a 24/7 pantry. Currently, Hospitality Ventures Management Group operates 56 hotels and one convention center across 16 states totaling more than 9,000 rooms.

Club Med updates: Club Med, Miami, has announced several new developments, including ski resort openings in the French Alps and Japan, a reimagined luxury French sailing yacht, and renovations in Punta Cana. Club Med will debut three mountain resorts this winter, including Tignes Val Claret and Club Med Val d’Isère in the French Alps and Club Med Kiroro Peak in Hokkaido, Japan. The all-inclusive pioneer with some 70 properties also plans to open a resort in Utah in 2025, marking its first in the U.S. in more than 20 years as well as the first-ever Exclusive Collection mountain resort in North America. In addition, after a multimillion-dollar refresh, the French sailing yacht Club Med 2 will set sail once again in December 2022. Club Med has also announced renovations and additions, including a destination wedding venue, to the Club Med Punta Cana resort in the Dominican Republic.

Hotel renovation projects up in Canada: Canada’s hotel construction pipeline at the close of the third quarter increased a marginal 2% by projects and rooms YOY to 263 projects/34,825 rooms, according to Lodging Econometrics. Projects currently under construction in Canada stood at 54 projects/6,984 rooms. Projects scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months rose 24% by projects and 37% by rooms YOY to 105 projects/14,270 rooms. Projects in the early planning stage showed a slight 2% increase with 104 projects/13,571 rooms.  Hotel renovations, however, surged with project counts three times larger than the corresponding period last year. Renovation totals stand at 48 projects/5,808 rooms and conversion totals stand at 56 projects/6,505 rooms. Combined, renovations and conversions reached a cyclical high by projects and closed the quarter at 104 projects/12,313 rooms.

Top 3 provinces with highest pipeline projects:
Ontario – 148 projects/20,396 rooms
British Columbias- 47 projects/7,239 rooms
Quebec – 20 projects/2,633 rooms

Top 3 cities with highest construction pipeline:
Toronto – 62 projects/9,147 rooms
Vancouver – 19 projects/2,694 rooms
Montreal – 15 projects/2,140 rooms

Top 5 companies with highest construction pipeline:
Marriott International – 73 projects
Hilton Worldwide – 64 projects/7,824 rooms
IHG – 43 projects/4,426 rooms

JLL closes 2 Marriotts in Boston: JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group has closed the sale of two Marriott-branded Residence Inn extended-stay hotels totaling 221 keys in the Boston communities of Norwood and Framingham. JLL represented APEX Capital Investment Corp., the seller, in the sale to JNR Management Inc. The properties include the 96-key Residence Inn Boston Norwood/Canton and the 125-room Residence Inn Boston Framingham. JNR has retained the Residence Inn by Marriott brand for both properties under a long-term franchise agreement with Marriott International.