Briefs: Summit invests in glamping; Hyatt Place portfolio sells for US$55M

Summit invests in glamping: Summit Hotel Properties has acquired a 90% joint venture interest in Onera Fredericksburg, a premium glamping asset located in Texas wine country, as well as a 90% percent interest in an adjacent land parcel for future expansion. The deal marks the first standalone glamping investment from a public REIT. Summit CEO Jonathan Stanner stated, “Well, we’ve obviously started pretty small. And I think we’re highly aware that we own 102 hotels worth about plus or minus US$3 billion and one glamping site worth US$5 million. And, so, we’ll obviously manage accordingly. We have tried to structure this for some level of growth. And again, I think you can extrapolate over a four- or five-year period that if we did 10 projects, and they’re all US$25 million, plus or minus, you can get a couple of hundred million dollars invested in this business.”

The six Hyatt Place-branded hotels sold for US$55 million

Hyatt Place portfolio sells for US$55M: HKB Hotel Group has acquired for US$55 million six Hyatt Place branded select-service hotels totaling 754 keys across Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Kansas. JLL worked on the deal and worked on behalf of Argentic Services Co., as a special servicer for the seller’s two CMBS Trusts. The hotels were offered unencumbered by management and with long-term Hyatt franchise agreements. The properties were constructed between 1995 and 1997 and comprise 126 rooms, except for the hotel in Georgia which features 124 rooms.

Soho House founder to step down: Soho House Founder Nick Jones has decided to step back as CEO of the private members’ club after 27 years after revealing he has been diagnosed with a prostate cancer diagnosis in an email to members. The 59-year-old businessman on Wednesday announced that he was “transitioning from CEO to his original role as founder ”and would step back from the day-to-day operational role. Announcing that he was cancer-free after receiving treatment following his diagnosis in June, Jones mentioned in the letter that he will be focusing on the “creative and membership aspects of Soho House” and also on the company’s Hope Foundations programs. Jones will be replaced by Andrew Carnie, who earlier served as the company’s global president. As the CEO of Soho House for the past 27 years, Jones has transformed the club from a single location in London’s Soho district to a publicly listed company with 38 locations and 211,000 members globally.

Ruby Hotels to Edinburgh: Munich, Germany-based Ruby Hotels is entering Scotland with a new 300-room hotel in Edinburgh, which is expected to open in late 2025. The hotel will also feature a rooftop bar and retail space below, which earlier housed Zara and Next stores. Ruby has partnered with Edinburgh-based Hunter Real Estate Investment Management for the project. The £100 million (US$118.82) plan will see the conversion of the existing building and some new construction, with the redevelopment of the last major store site still lying vacant on Princes Street. A major public consultation will be launched later in the month.

Molo acquires in Italy: Glasgow-based Molo Hotel Group has acquired its first hotel in Italy, the 4-star Hotel Alexandra in Rome, for an undisclosed sum. The 57-key hotel features an external restaurant and a bar nearing completion. Molo has prepared an investment plan to reposition the property into a lifestyle hotel. Like all other Molo properties, Hotel Alexandra will be operated by Muskego, Wisconsin-based Lighthouse Hotel Management. CBRE worked as the exclusive advisor on the hotel’s sale. This was the company’s first acquisition in Continental Europe, following the purchase of the Manchebo Beach Resort and Spa in Aruba last year. Molo will open two new locations — Holiday Inn Express Liverpool Ropewalks and The Reach at Piccadilly in Manchester — in 2023 and is also planning more purchases in Europe and the Caribbean.

US performance improves: Hotel performance in the U.S. was higher than last week’s and improved from 2019, revealed STR’s latest data through November 12.
• Occupancy: 64.6% (+0.9%)
• ADR: US$148.43 (+17.1%)
• RevPAR: US$95.89 (+18.2%)
Among the top 25 markets, Norfolk/Virginia Beach posted the largest occupancy increase over 2019 (+14.3% to 63.6%). San Diego reported the largest ADR increase (+35.2% to US$202.86). The steepest RevPAR declines were recorded in San Francisco (-26.7% to US$154.46) and Minneapolis (-16.3% to US$68.41).

Ireland performance update: Regional hotels in Ireland ended the summer on a good note with RevPAR for September touching €119 (US$123.59), compared to €93 (US 96.59) in 2019, according to the latest study by Horwath HTL. The surge in RevPAR was driven entirely by increased rates. September year-to-date RevPAR was 23%, €18 (US$18.69) ahead of the same period in 2019. At 90%, September occupancy was the same as in 2019 which is of interest as international travelers to Ireland are still less than 2019 levels. This suggests the reduced capacity of hotel rooms which helped insulate the hotel market, to some extent. Cities of Cork, Galway and Limerick benefitted from similar growth trends, where rates were the dominant growth factor. Dublin’s hotels continued their good performance, with ADR continuing to surpass pre-COVID comparables. The rate was mostly driven up by transient leisure demand, especially around major events like sporting or music events. Occupancy bounced back to 2019 levels to 92% in September, by YTD occupancy is still behind 2019, due to the COVID restrictions at the beginning of the year.

Asia Pac pipeline increases: The construction pipeline at the end of the third quarter in Asia Pacific, excluding China, increased 7% by projects and 5% by rooms YOY to 1,881 projects/401,545 rooms, as per Lodging Econometrics. There are 946 projects/206,629 rooms under construction, up 10% by projects YOY. Projects expected to start construction within 12 months stand at 300 projects/63,221 rooms. Projects in early planning reached peak room counts at 635 projects/131,695 rooms, up 26% by projects and 21% by rooms YOY. The luxury and upper upscale chain scales touched peak project counts, representing 27% of the projects in the region. The Asia Pacific region, outside of China, had 207 new hotels/39,330 rooms open through the close of the third quarter.

Top 5 Asia Pac countries with highest pipelines:
India – 352 projects/43,364 rooms
Indonesia – 252 projects/40,821 rooms
Vietnam – 233 projects/86,847 rooms
Thailand – 174 projects/42,371 rooms
Japan – 163 projects/35,407 rooms

Top 5 Asia Pac cities with highest pipelines:
Bangkok, Thailand – 67 projects/17,766 rooms
Seoul, South Korea – 64 projects/12,484 rooms
Jakarta, Indonesia – 54 projects/10,047 rooms
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – 45 projects/13,128 rooms
Phuket, Thailand – 35 projects/8,992 rooms

Travel trend survey: Travelers are exploring smarter ways to see the world, with 32% of U.S. travelers more concerned about value for money than ever before, according to the latest survey by Expedia Group. In 2023, 40% of travelers in the U.S. plan to stay in 1-3-star hotels, and 34% will book. A vacation with added value inclusions, like free breakfast or parking. In a shift in mindset and moving towards a more spontaneous approach, one-third of travelers would rather go on more trips in 3-star hotels than spend on a single luxury getaway. Most industry professionals expect leisure (71%) and business (70%) travel to return to pre-2020 levels in two years. About 51% in the industry feel that business is their organization’s highest priority in 2023. Many travelers are looking for options aligned with their personal values, like inclusivity, sustainability and accessibility. About 60% of travel businesses made changes in the past year to ensure their services were inclusive and accessible. One in five industry professionals said they plan to invest in sustainability in 2023.