Briefs: STR, TE forecast; InterContinental launches NFTs

STR, TE maintain ADR, RevPAR predictions: STR and Tourism Economics have adjusted ADR marginally downward but maintained earlier projections for ADR and RevPAR in their final U.S. hotel forecast revision for this year. RevPAR continues to be on track for full recovery this year on a nominal basis, but not until 2025 when adjusted for inflation. The updated forecast lowered occupancy by less than a percentage point. Challenges around labor continue to be a concern with high levels of unemployment and increased spending on contract labor causing costs to soar on a per-available-room basis above 2019 levels. Oxford Economics expects a slight recession in the first half of 2023, with increased interest rates and inflation curtailing real consumer spending and business investment. Although weaker economic momentum will temper travel recovery, the rebuilding of business travel and continuing prioritization of leisure travel will support the ongoing lodging demand growth the next year.

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts collaborates with Claire Luxton to launch 10 NFTs

 InterContinental launches NFTs: InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, in collaboration with British contemporary artist Claire Luxton, has launched 10 exclusive non-fungible tokens (NFTs). A first for both the brand and the artist, each NFT is inspired by global travel using natural flora and fauna signature to Luxton’s work to illustrate InterContinental’s heritage and destinations. Each of the 10 NFTs includes a rare utility, an inclusion which adds value to the NFT beyond just the artwork; ownership of an NFT featuring 1-of-10 custom artwork from Luxton; InterContinental Ambassador status; and a one-night stay at the new InterContinental Rome Ambasciatori Palace which will open in 2023. A selection of NFTs will initially be available to IHG One Rewards members, followed by more activations. Ownership of the NFT is permanent, enabling access to all NFT trading rights. This will mark InterContinental’s third installment of its partnership with Luxton.

Flynn, Värde acquire 80% stake in 89-hotel portfolio: San Francisco, California-based Flynn Properties and Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Värde Partners have acquired an 80% joint venture stake in 89 select-service and extended stay hotels in a US$1.1 billion implied total enterprise value deal. The hotels were sold by affiliates of Highgate and Cerberus Capital Management. The portfolio includes 58 Marriott-branded hotels, 24 Hilton-branded hotels, four Radisson properties, two IHG properties and one Choice-branded hotel. The sellers will maintain a 20% interest in the investment, with Highgate continuing to manage the properties on behalf of the JV. The acquisition brings Flynn’s limited-service portfolio to 115 properties. This is the second JV between Flynn and Värde after the acquisition of 20 Marriott and Hilton-branded hotels from Apple Hospitality in 2021.

Ascott unveils Somerset: The Ascott Ltd. has launched Somerset, its refreshed brand which champions sustainability and inclusivity. The refresh includes new experiences anchored in sustainable travel for multigenerational families and follows Ascott’s recently announced Ascott CARES, a sustainability framework which aligns the company’s growth strategy with ESG considerations. The brand’s refresh is part of Ascott’s Brand 360 strategy, an initiative to strengthen its brand portfolio and the introduction of signature experiences and programs. While the company’s Citadines brand underwent a refresh in September, Ascott, Oakwood and The Crest Collection will also be unveiling new brand signatures and programs in 2023.

Accor, partner: Accor has partnered with to extend its commitment to ending violence against women. Launched as a collaboration between organizations including the Global Network of Women Shelters, UN Women, National Network to End Domestic Violence and Meta, is a platform and global directory of support services for victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence. Backed by a charitable grant program, ALL Heartist Fund, Accor will assist to grow the reach of its global directory by translating the platform’s content into the 15 most common languages. Accor will contribute to essential awareness-raising activities to increase engagement with the platform among local authorities, organizations and vulnerable persons.

Sancus acquires in Spain: Sancus Hotels has debuted in Spain with the acquisition of two Madrid hotels — the Rosewood Villa Magna and the Bless Hotel Madrid — from Mexican hotel operator RLH Properties for €130 million (US$133.35 million). RLH reportedly acquired the 154-key Rosewood Villa Magna for €134 million (US$137.45 million) in 2018 and spent €49.6 million (US$50.87 million) to acquire a 51% stake in the 111-room Bless Hotel Madrid in July 2021. Sancus Hotels is a division of Spanish asset manager Sancus Capital.

Pyramid expands portfolio: Pyramid Global Hospitality, Boston, Massachusetts, has added two hotels to its portfolio — the 55-room Pine Mountain Ski & Golf Resort in Iron Mountain, Michigan and the 55-suite Four Seasons Island Resort in Pembine, Wisconsin. Both the properties are owned by Indianapolis, Indiana-based Storie Co. Pyramid’s portfolio includes over 220 properties across the U.S., Caribbean and Europe.

Hmlet launches first hotel: Hmlet, the Singapore-based flexible living brand, along with real estate partners TCRE Partners and JMD Group, will launch Owen House by Hmlet in Singapore. TCRE and JMD acquired the 106-key hotel earlier this year, and have collaborated with Hmlet to refurbish the property ahead of its opening as Hmlet’s first hotel. The property will open early next year. The hotel will offer rooms for both long and short-term stays and a lobby and island bar. Hmlet merged with Germany-based housing network Habyt in April. Owen House by Hmlet will join the newly formed Habyt’s group’s global portfolio, which consists of 8,000 rooms under management across 10 countries and 20 cities. The hotel will be a part of the Hmlet Boutique Collection after the launch of its serviced apartment Hmlet Cantonment in August 2019.

Zleep adds 16th in Denmark: Zleep Hotel, Deutsche Hospitality’s economy brand, will open its 16th hotel in Denmark in 2024 as it becomes the first hotel partner of Recharge City in Horsens. When it opens, the 164-room hotel in Recharge City will be a part of the new 270,000-square-meter center which will also feature restaurants, parking spaces and a filling station. The hotel will be spread across five floors and will include a lounge and breakfast area and a bar and reception. Recharge City is an EU platinum-certified parking and recharging center. The center has space for 450 trucks, road trains and a special train of carriages and will also include a service station, filling station, charging stations, repair and washing area, restaurants and outdoor areas. Zleep Hotels’ portfolio currently comprises 15 hotels in Denmark and one in Sweden with plans to operate 40 properties in 2025 together with Deutsche Hospitality.