Briefs: STR, TE upgrade US recovery timeline; Four Seasons grows in Italy

STR, TE forecast for US recovery: STR and Tourism Economics have upgraded the recovery timeline of RevPAR for the U.S. On a nominal basis, the metric is now likely to exceed 2019 levels this year, as per the latest forecast presented at the 44th NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference. The significant factor in the new timeline was a +US$11 adjustment in the 2022 ADR. Occupancy through the year is expected to fall under the pre-pandemic comparable, while ADR and RevPAR are projected at US$14 and US$6 higher than 2019, respectively. The earlier version of the forecast predicted nominal RevPAR recovery in 2023. When adjusted for inflation, the complete recovery of ADR and RevPAR are not expected till 2024, while central business districts and the top 25 markets are unlikely to see full recovery of RevPAR before 2024. While demand and occupancy have grown as per predictions, pricing continues to surpass expectations influenced by inflation and the economic fundamentals supporting a rise in guest spending. Despite lingering concerns around the cost of labor and services, and hotels in some key markets still lagging in the recovery timeline, the outlook for hotel performance stays positive.

Roberto Wirth dies: Roberto Wirth, owner of the historic Hotel Hassler in Rome, has died. He was 72. The fifth generation of a famous Swiss hotelier family, he also owned Hotel Vannucci in Città della Pieve in Umbria, Italy, and the luxury resort Borgo Bastia Creti in Umbria along with the luxury residence Parco del Principle in Tuscany, Italy. The iconic Hotel Hassler, a meeting point of Italian and foreign political and cultural elite, has hosted guests like Audrey Hepburn, the Kennedy family, Prince Rainier of Monaco and Grace Kelly,  Henry Kissinger, Gabriel Garcia Márquez, Pablo Picasso, Bill Gates and more. Profoundly deaf since birth, he established the Fulbright Roberto Wirth scholarship in 1992, providing deaf students the opportunity to specialize at the Gallaudet University, Washington D.C.

Hotel Danieli in Venice

Four Seasons expands Italian portfolio: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, in partnership with Gruppo Statuto, has announced that Four Seasons will manage Hotel Danieli in Venice. The property will be reintroduced as Hotel Danieli, Venezia, A Four Seasons Hotel following extensive renovations in 2025. Designer Pierre-Yves Rochon will oversee the hotel’s interiors. The property will remain operational during the renovation process with some services and amenities being available. During this time, the hotel will be managed and operated by Gruppo Statuto under the name The Hotel Danieli, Venezia. The hotel comprises three buildings, the 14th century Palazzo Dandolo and two 19th century additions interconnected by bridges — Palazzo Casa Nuova and Palazzo Danieli Excelsior. Guests of the luxury hotel will arrive on boat via the adjacent Grand Canal. Rooms feature views of the Grand Canal and the property also houses four restaurants and bars and seven meeting spaces.

Virgin Limited Edition, Virgin Hotels partner: Virgin Limited Edition, the private global collection of properties and islands owned by Sir Richard Branson, and Virgin Hotels have announced a partnership to jointly pursue global opportunities. The partnership will allow Virgin Limited Edition to utilize Virgin Hotels’ business development team, led by Chief Development Officer Greg Doman. Virgin Hotels will be expanding into the U.K. with two new hotels in Scotland. Besides international expansion in major locations, Virgin Hotels will also be debuting into the residential market. Adding to its current hotel pipeline, the brand is in the development phase of a branded residential platform.

1 Hotels to Texas: 1 Hotels has announced plans of launching 1 Hotel Austin, the brand’s entry into Texas. Set to open in 2026, the property is being developed in partnership with Lincoln Property Co. and Kairoi Residential. The hotel will be a part of a mixed-use hotel, residential and retail project which is currently under construction. Once completed, the property is slated to be the tallest tower in Texas. The hotel will include a pool on the 16th floor.

Soul Community Planet grows California presence: Soul Community Planet Hotels, Laguna Beach, California, announced the expansion of its hotel offerings with the addition of two restored inns — Glendeven Inn & Lodge and Inn at the Cobbler’s Walk — in Van Damme State Park in California. Following renovations, the two properties will combine to become the eight SCP Hotel and will be rebranded as SCP Mendocino Inn and Farm. The two inns feature 31 rooms, with most of them offering wood-burning fireplaces and ocean views, along with 15 acres of farm pastures, organic gardens, wellness and dining spaces. The property will undergo renovations that will include upgrading the rooms and public areas and adding sustainability systems for waste, energy and water. The company will also add wellness facilities and a full spa with dedicated yoga and meditation space. Other additions include a Terra Kitchen Restaurant, Wayfarer Club and Provisions Market.

Hyatt closes 4 sales: Hyatt Hotels Corp. announced it closed the last of four previously announced asset dispositions which generated US$812 million or 40% of its existing US$2 billion disposition target. This indicates an aggregate multiple of 15.7x 2019 EBITDA. The company has entered into a long-term management agreement for each of the properties upon sale. The dispositions include Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa, Grand Hyatt San Antonio River Walk, The Driskill in Austin, Texas, and The Confidante Miami Beach. Additionally, Hyatt is also marketing two additional owned hotels for sale. The company’s operational metrics improved in May, with system-wide RevPAR outside of the Asia Pacific region actualizing 3% above 2019 levels for the second consecutive month.

Four Seasons hotel in Vatican?: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has reportedly started negotiations with the Catholic Church’s Order of the Holy Sepulcher for a potential new 75-room hotel close to St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. The hotel is expected to be built in the building of Palazzo di Domenico della Rovere in Borgo or “Palazzo della Rovere.” Bill Gates’ Four Seasons is believed to be focusing on a 27-year, US$52.4 million deal for the hotel, which will include a spa, gym, restaurants and an underground parking space. The contract reportedly mentions annual rent of US$1 million, which includes the building’s reconstruction and art restoration works. The hotel’s business plan currently includes 64 guest rooms, 11 executive suites and two super suites. The new hotel is slated to open before Jubilee of Hope in 2025. Earlier, a significant part of the building was leased to a family-run hotel company and functioned as Hotel Columbus before closing down in 2018. The Renaissance-era building comprises a turret, large courtyard and ancient frescoes by Italian artist Pinturicchio and is the only property that is owned by the Order of the Holy Sepulcher.

Tempo/Homewood Suites by Hilton in Virginia: Pembroke Square and its hotel partner Landmark Hotel Group have announced a new-to-market hotel concept slated to open in Virginia Beach, Virginia, in 2025. The 14-story Tempo/Homewood Suites by Hilton dual-brand hotel is expected to break ground this winter and will be a part of the upcoming mixed-use community destination coming in place of Pembroke Mall. The hotel, which will be located at the earlier SunTrust Bank on Virginia Bach Boulevard, will include a nationally-recognized restaurant, a rooftop tapas style restaurant and lounge, and a parking garage. The hotel will include an open lobby concept with dedicated spaces to relax, work and dine, dining options, fitness center, outdoor patio and flexible meeting spaces. The hotel marks the first dual-branded property in Hampton Roads and one of the first Tempo by Hilton properties to open globally. ODA Architecture is the project’s architect and Kimley-Horn will provide civil engineering services.

Southern Sun Africa sells in Nigeria: Southern Sun Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa, is selling its 75.55% majority stake in Southern Sun Ikoyi Hotels, one of Nigeria’s biggest business hotels, to Kasada Albatross Holding, the subsidiary of Johannesburg-based Kasada Hospitality Fund LP. Nigerian companies own the remaining 24.45% stake. Valued at US$30.4 million, the deal consists of US$29.1 million in shares and another US$1.3 million in shareholder loan claims. Southern Sun Africa purchased the majority shares in 2013 in a US$65 million deal. Once the deal is finalized, the hotel is expected to be rebranded as part of the Accor Group of Hotels. All of Kasada’s hotels operate under Accor’s brands.

Banyan Tree launches storytelling platform: Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts has launched a storytelling platform, Compass. The platform will shine the light on personal narratives of frontier disruptors and change-makers as they share stories of their creative journeys and rituals through podcasts, interviews and panels. Compass will launch later this month, with its first content series ‘The Possibility Podcast’ hosted by TedX speaker and sustainability advocate Mukul Bhatia. Each of the podcast’s eight episodes will be based on change-makers and their journeys, with the first four focusing on environmental activist.

Pathfinder adds Wingate by Wyndham: Pathfinder Hospitality, Austin, Texas, has added the 100-key Wingate by Wyndham Round Rock Hotel & Conference Center in Round Rock, Texas, to their portfolio of managed contracts. This will be the company’s first hotel in the San Antonio market. The hotel includes a full-service restaurant and bar, a 15,000 square foot conference space, an on-site lounge, business and fitness centers and a backyard with a pool.