W Hotels signs 2 in Italy: Marriott International has signed agreements to launch two new W Hotels in Italy. The hotels, W Milan – Duomo and W Naples are set to open in 2024 after the recent opening of W Rome and the signing of W Florence in 2021. W Milan, which was signed with Gruppo Marseglia, was built in the 1920s as a bank. It will feature 166 rooms and 36 suites. The W Naples was signed with Solido S.p.A. and also functioned as a bank. It will receive a multi-million-pound renovation and will consist of 78 rooms, including 17 suites. The hotel’s interiors will be developed by Rockwell Group and there are plans to add a signature restaurant, lounge and a fitness center. Currently, W Hotels operates 14 properties and residences across Europe, the Middle East and Africa and has new openings planned in Portugal, Greece, Scotland and the Czech Republic.
Nobu grows footprint in Spain: Nobu Hospitality, Miami Beach, Florida, has announced its fifth property in Spain, a hotel and restaurant in Madrid. Nobu is entering into a long-term agreement with Millennium Hospitality Real Estate SOCIMI to develop Nobu Hotel Madrid, which is their second project after the recent announcement of Nobu Hotel and Restaurant San Sebastian. An existing office building will be transformed into the Nobu Hotel Madrid and will feature a tri-level Nobu restaurant and bar, rooftop bar, lounge, fitness center and a spa. The restaurant will be reimagined by California-based Studio PCH, led by Severine Tatangelo. Studio PCH has designed several Nobu properties, including Nobu Malibu and the Nobu Hotel San Sebastian which is opening in 2023. This will be the 11th Nobu hotel in Europe.
Kessler announces mixed-use project: The Kessler Collection, Orlando, Florida, has announced a US$150 million small-scale mixed-use village development in Cashiers, North Carolina, designed by architect Christian B. Sottile. Cashiers East Village is expected to break ground in 2023 and one-third of the property will be open for green space and park land. The 24.5-acre development will include a boutique lodge, mountain cottages, glamping cabins, two full-service restaurants with a rooftop bar, a café, retail and art spaces, an event pavilion, retail and community center — Cashiers Hall — and a residential village. The first phase of Cashiers East Village is slated to be completed in 2025 and will be the brand’s sixth property in the Carolinas. The project connects the mixed-use village, the Ramble Greenway Trail and the Village Green located within Cashiers.
Kimpton expands in North Carolina: Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants will open a hotel in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina in late 2025 as part of a 20-story mixed-use development with residences. Owned by New York City-based Tidal Real Estate Partners, the hotel will occupy the first six floors and include 179 rooms, including 20 suites. Earl Swensson Associates will work on the architecture with interiors by INC Architecture and Design. The hotel will also feature three restaurant and bar concepts, including a rooftop bar and lounge, and over 6,500 square feet of event space. When it opens, Kimpton in Raleigh will be the brand’s fourth property in North Carolina.
Hay Creek adds in New Hampshire: Hay Creek Hotels, Exeter, New Hampshire, has assumed management of the Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa in Whitefield, New Hampshire. The 141-room is one of the last remaining Grand Resort Hotels in New Hampshire’s White National Forest. A member of the Historic Hotels of America, the hotel is situated on 1,600 acres of land and includes more than 20,000 square feet of event space, several restaurants, a spa, nine-hole golf course and indoor and outdoor pools. The resort is set to undergo renovations of its lobby, clubhouse and employee housing along with upgrades to the IT systems, a plan for additional event space, a new dining venue and enhancements to the existing dining outlets.
Airbnb to quit China?: Airbnb is reportedly shutting its domestic business in China. All listings of homes and experiences in mainland China are expected to be removed by summer. Stays within China constituted merely 1% of revenue in the past few years. Airbnb is expected to focus instead on providing listings for Chinese guests traveling abroad since Chinese outbound travel has proved to be a better opportunity for the company. Sources said the company will maintain one office in Beijing with hundreds of employees. Airbnb launched in China in 2016 and has since faced stiff competition from local players. Already considered a complex and costly platform, Airbnb faced further issues since the pandemic. In 2017, in an effort to expand, the company renamed its Chinese operation Aibiying, which was easier to pronounce for Mandarin speakers.
Abrdn acquires in Munich: Abrdn Investments Deutschland AG, the German division of Edinburgh, U.K.-based Abrdn Group, has acquired for an undisclosed price the 135-room B&B Hotel in Munich for a Luxembourg Abrdn real estate fund. The seller, Bahrain-based Al Zayani Investments, received legal advice from Baker McKenzie, Frankfurt am Main, while Cushman & Wakefield facilitated the deal. The buyer received legal advice from LPA-GGV Munich, technical and ESG advice from CBRE and Stuttgart and commercial advice from GMA, Hamburg and Select Hotel Advisory, Dusseldorf.
Oyo mulls delaying IPO: Oyo Hotels, Gurugram, India, is reportedly postponing its plans to launch an IPO this year following a market downturn that will impact its valuation. As per sources, the Softbank Group Corp.-backed company is planning to settle for a lower valuation of around US$7 to 8 billion against the US$11 billion it was initially aiming for. The board of Oyo, known as Oravel Stays Ltd., has been mulling a change in the IPO’s timing and might launch it in 2023. Oyo’s decision to delay its IPO could make it a high-profile casualty from a global economic downturn in the technology industry. Softbank hold around 47% stake in Oyo. In August 2021, when Oyo raised US$5 million from Microsoft, it was valued at US$9.6 billion.
Raines adds Fairfield Inn: Raines, Florence, South Carolina, has added the 84-key Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Charlestown North/Ashley Phosphate in North Charleston, South Carolina, to its portfolio of third-party managed hotels. This deal marks the fourth third-party managed property in the company’s portfolio of operator-owned properties and the seventh hotel in the Charleston area. The hotel will undergo some renovations and upgrades, which includes new televisions, minor upgrades to bathrooms, landscaping and a refresh of parking spaces, curbing, sidewalks and seating in the lobby. Trishul Hospitality acquired the hotel in March. Raines and Trishul have a long-term relationship which goes back to the pre-development of the Hilton Garden Inn in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, which is also managed by Raines.
Travel recovery outlook: As pent-up demand drives the travel and tourism sector’s post-pandemic recovery, the road to recovery still remains long with US$4.5 trillion in GDP and 62 million jobs lost in 2020, showed the World Economic Forum’s latest Travel & Tourism Development Index. The difference in international tourist arrivals in January 2021 and January 2022 was as much as the growth throughout 2021. Travel restrictions, vaccination rates and health security, evolving market dynamics and consumer choices along with ability of businesses and destinations to adapt will determine how the sector performs. The report asked four business leaders to reflect on the state of the sector’s recovery and the conditions essential for the success.
Summer travel insight: Leisure travel is expected to lead recovery this summer but despite reducing COVID-19 concerns, it is likely to be hindered by financial stress, revealed Deloitte’s new report ‘Getting Back to Getaways: 2022 Deloitte Summer Travel Survey.’ According to the survey, 46% of Americans will travel and stay in paid lodging this summer. While hotels were the preferred choice (79%), 20% of the respondents said they were likely to stay in private rentals, with one out of seven using this type of lodging for the first time this summer. Six in 10 Americans will travel this summer, up from five in 10 Americans last year. Travelers will take an average of two trips this summer, with 83% planning to stay in hotels and/or rentals. About 51% intend to fly to their destinations and 57% plan on going for road trips.