Briefs: Salter Brothers, Accor deal; Centennial Bank’s loan for Hilton project

Salter Brothers, Accor deal: In one of Australia’s largest hotel management portfolio agreement deals in over a decade, Salter Brothers has signed a management agreement in which its portfolio of hotels, which was part of the recent Travelodge acquisition, will join Accor at the start of the 2023 financial year. The agreement includes a link to ESG outcomes and will see more than 2,000 rooms getting rebranded to Accor’s ibis Styles, Mercure and Novotel brands. The deal is Accor’s largest integration since its US$1.2 billion acquisition of Mantra Group in 2018, which brought the Art Series, Peppers, Mantra and BreakFree brands under the Accor network.

Minor wins battle for restaurant group: Famed London restaurateurs Jeremey King and Chris Corbin have lost their fine dining group in an auction to Minor International and its Chairman William Heinecke. Minor reportedly paid more than £60 million on Friday morning. Minor had previously owned 74% of Corbin & King and had forced the company into administration. Corbin wrote in his newsletter on Friday, “I no longer have any equity interest in the business although for the time being, I remain an employee. I assume Minor will take immediate control of the restaurants.” Dillip Rajakarier, chief executive of Minor International, said the group looks forward to building on the existing strong foundations to drive growth in the UK and internationally.

Rendering of Tru by Hilton at Miramar, Florida

Centennial Bank loans US$10 million for new Hilton project: Centennial Bank has provided a US$10 million construction loan to launch a new Tru by Hilton property at Miramar, Florida. The loan will enable Tru at Miramar, LLC, managed by Dania Beach-based DP Hotels to develop the 97-unit hotel. DP Hotels acquired the 1.9-acre vacant plot of land from Progressive Casualty Insurance Co. Coastal Choice Construction has been as the project’s general contractor. The hotel is expected to feature an outdoor pool, conference room, fitness center, dining venues and a 97-spot parking space. adds level to loyalty program: announced a third level of benefits to Genius, its loyalty program. Genius Level 3 members can avail up to 20% discount on bookings made through the online platform. Genius Level 2 members can avail up to 15% discount and Genius Level 1 members can enjoy up to 10% off. Along with the complimentary breakfasts and free room upgrades at participating properties for Genius Level 2 and 3 members, members of the new tier can access priority customer support with a live agent for real-time support.

Retro Hospitality to manage Quirk hotels: Retro Hospitality, Richmond, Virginia, has taken over from, Hyatt Hotels to assume management of the 73-key Quirk Hotel Richmond and the 80-key Quirk Hotel Charlottesville. When Quirk Hotel Richmond opened seven years ago, it was managed by a boutique-focused management company which was later acquired by Hyatt. Quirk owner Ted Ukrop said while Hyatt is a global brand, he wanted Quirk to be an independent, authentic boutique hotel. Retro Hospitality has been a longtime asset manager and consultant for Quirk. While he didn’t share details, Ukrop said he expected management costs to decrease due to the transition to Retro. With the addition of the Quirk hotels, Retro now has four properties in its management portfolio and three more properties under its development pipeline.

January inbound travel to US jumps 140%: The total international inbound travel volume (non-U.S. resident arrivals) to the U.S. in January jumped YOY 140% to reach 2,508,236 but still 43% of the January 2019 arrival volume, according to data released by the National Travel and Tourism Office. International outbound travel volume (U.S. citizen visitor departures from the U.S.) in January reached 4,029,838, a YOY 69% rise but 62% of January 2019 departures. January was the 10th consecutive month in which total non-U.S. resident international visitor arrivals to the U.S. increased on a YOY basis. The highest number of international visitors were from Mexico (1,061,693), Canada (436,208), the U.K. (96,769), Brazil (70,214) and India (65,103). These top five inbound markets combined represented 69% of total international arrivals. Mexico registered the largest outbound visitor volume of 2,364,935 (58.7% of total departures). Compared to other international regions, the largest percentage increase was recorded by Canada (+411.8% YOY). Combined, Mexico (2,364,935) and the Caribbean (504,289) represented 71.2% of total U.S. citizen international visitors departures.

Stonehill’s bridge loan for Georgian Hotel: Stonehill, Atlanta, Georgia, has originated a US$73.8 million bridge loan to a joint venture between BLVD Hospitality and ESI Ventures to refinance the Georgian Hotel in Santa Monica, California. The joint venture, which acquired the historic hotel in August 2020 for an undisclosed price, has planned extensive renovations of the 1933-built, 84-room hotel. In February, Stonehill originated a US$58.1 million bridge loan for the acquisition of the Maui Seaside hotel in Kahului, Hawaii, and in January deployed a US$30 million financing package for the recapitalization of a national Hyatt hotel portfolio.

Lemon Tree signs in Jaipur, India: Lemon Tree Hotels, New Delhi, India, announced the signing of a Keys Lite by Lemon Tree Hotels property in Jaipur, Rajasthan. The hotel, slated to open in December, is owned by M/s T.F. Enterprises and will be managed by Lemon Tree’s management arm Carnation Hotels Pvt. Ltd. The hotel will feature 47 rooms, a restaurant and a conference room. Lemon Tree currently operates around 8,400 rooms in 86 hotels across 54 destinations both in India and other countries. Once its present pipeline becomes functional, the company will have around 10,600 rooms in 109 hotels across 65 locations.

Hyatt’s new corporate retreat offering: Hyatt Hotels Corp. is launching Work from Hyatt: Offsite, a new corporate retreat concept that offers team building opportunities focused on creating strong in-person connections along with group discounts. The offer will be introduced to over 30 participating properties in the U.S. through collaborations with local attractions, fitness studios and restaurants. The new offering will feature curated team-building experiences based on local offerings, dedicated on-site event planning and event experience managers and off-site discounts starting at 10% for meeting, work and social spaces, F&B and guest rooms. Standard World of Hyatt benefits will be applicable for companies and staff along with 2 elite tier-qualifying nights per US$5,000 in spend for the event planner.

Auberge Resorts’ social program: Auberge Resorts Collection, Mill Valley, California, introduced ‘Enriching Lives,’ a social commitment to enrich the lives of communities through education and learning in the locations where the company’s properties operate. Each property team will offer mentorships, raise money for non-profit organizations and scholarships through fundraising events, and volunteer time and resources to help those in need and create opportunities.