Briefs: Waldorf Astoria to Sydney; Marriott Bonvoy’s suite for Man U fans

Waldorf coming to Sydney: Hilton will add a Waldorf Astoria hotel in Sydney, Australia, in 2025 with construction underway on a mixed-use development at One Circular Quay. The 220-room hotel with 41 suites will have two restaurants, a rooftop bar, and a spa. It will mark the brands first hotel in the South Pacific and the 6th in Asia Pacific. Globally, the luxury brand has more than 30 hotels open and 20 in its pipeline.

Aldar adds in Ras Al Khaimah: Aldar Properties PJSC, Abu Dhabi, has reportedly acquired from RAK Hospitality Holding US$210 million the 715-room all-inclusive Rixos Bab Al Bahr in Ras Al Khaimah, bringing Aldar’s investment in Ras Al Khaimah to US$408.38 million. As part of the deal, Aldar acquired development rights for an additional 250,000 square feet of gross floor area for residential and commercial use.

Trinity, Oaktree acquire Hyatt resort: A joint venture among funds managed by Trinity Fund Advisors, an affiliate of Fort Worth, Texas-based Trinity Real Estate Investments, and funds managed by Los Angeles, California-based Oaktree Capital Management has acquired the 530-key Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa in Greater Palm Springs, California. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The JV partners will undertake a multi-million-dollar capital improvement plan to reposition the property. The improvement project includes the addition of a water park and full renovation of the guest rooms, refurbished dining spaces and guest offerings. Hyatt Corp. will continue to manage the resort as per a long-term management agreement. This deal marks the JV’s sixth one in seven assets totaling more than 4,500 keys.

Marriott’s expansion plans in Vietnam: Marriott International plans to quadruple its portfolio in Vietnam, with a signed pipeline of around 30 hotels. The company said it will be adding around 9,000 rooms in Vietnam and launching Ritz-Carlton Residences, Westin, Marriott Hotels and Courtyard by Marriott. Sheraton Hotels & Resorts is expected to debut in several new destinations across the country, while a new Renaissance Hotels is scheduled to open in the seafront city of Danang. Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts will open properties in Danang and Cam Ranh, with Marriott Hotels debuting in Hanoi and Hoi An. Westin will open in Hanoi and Cam Ranh, while Marriott Executive Apartments will open in Danang. The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Hanoi is also expected to launch in Vietnam in 2024. Currently, Marriott operates 10 properties in Vietnam totaling 3,294 rooms across six of the group’s brands.

RADCO acquires in Atlanta: The RADCO Companies, Atlanta, Georgia, has acquired from Legacy Ventures, Atlanta, at an undisclosed price, the 315-key American Hotel in downtown Atlanta. Legacy will continue to manage the hotel. RADCO plans to brand the hotel to Hilton’s Tapestry Collection. This is the third acquisition made by RADCO’s new hotel arm which was launched in 2021. Legacy acquired the property in 2015 and rebranded it as The American Hotel in 2017 after completing a US$16 million renovation program. The historic hotel, which opened in 1962 as the American Motor Hotel, has been known as the first racially integrated hotel in downtown Atlanta and hosted meetings of civil rights movements and leaders like Martin Luther King Jr.

Shinta Mani to Nepal: Shinta Mani Hotels, owned by Bangkok-based designer Bill Bensley, has signed an MOU with Nepal-based Sherpa Hospitality Group to redevelop Moksha Mustang in Jomsom, Nepal. Shinta Mani will reportedly manage the hotel from October and rebrand it as Shinta Mani Mustang.

US profitability bounces back: After declining to around US$20 in January, gross operating profit for hotels in the U.S. touched nearly US$59, the highest level since October 2021, according to STR’s February 2022 P&L data release.

  • GOPPAR: US$58.88
  • TRevPAR: US$169.77
  • EBITDA PAR: US$39.29
  • LPAR (Labor Costs): US$56.63

February GOPPAR was almost 77% of the 2019 comparable, but independents (108%), luxury (94%) and midscale (88%) chains were much higher than the national average, the data revealed. The highest deficits were seen in the upper upscale (67%) and upscale (70%) segments. Some of the Top 25 Markets, like Miami (135%) and Phoenix (118%), surpassed pre-pandemic levels in GOPPAR, with only New York (-340%) and Chicago (-187%) recording negative profit levels. Total labor costs were up to 97% of the pre-pandemic comparable, which was the second-highest index to 2019 of the pandemic-era, behind December 2021. However, labor costs leveled out in the February data, which is likely because the increased costs were absorbed by rise in room rates.

Marriott Bonvoy Sleepover Suite

Marriott Bonvoy’s sleepover suite for Man U fans: Marriott Bonvoy and sports team Manchester United is offering the opportunity to win for the first time an overnight stay at Old Trafford Stadium, the iconic football stadium in Manchester, England, and the home of Manchester United, in a suite transformed into a Marriott room overlooking the pitch. The winner of the Suite of Dreams global sweepstakes will enjoy the stay the night prior to the home Premier League match against Chelsea in May and also participate in some behind-the-scenes experiences, including watching the team train, an opportunity to interact with club legends, a tour of the stadium and match day tickets and hospitality.

Legendary hotelier dies: U.K. hotel icon Willy Bauer has died at age 84. He retired in 2016 after working as chairman of AB Hotels and was widely known for running London’s Savoy hotel. The German-born hotel turned around London’s Hyde Park hotel (now the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park), which became Trust House Forte’s leading hotel, and then did the same for London’s Grosvenor House. He was recognized with the OBE honor in the Queen’s 2011 New Year’s Honour’s list.

Fosun acquires full ownership of Bund Finance Center: China-based Fosun International will buy back its 50% stake of the Bund Finance Center in Shanghai for RMB6.34 billion (US$995 million). Once the deal is complete, Fosun International will get full ownership of the waterfront complex, enabling the company to build a commercial complex project “more in line with the group’s ecosystem,” Fosun said in a statement. The company sold half of its interests in the mixed-use complex in 2016 to improve financial flexibility and drive liquidity. Located along the Huangpu River, the 420,000 square meter complex integrates ecology with office, hotel, retail, art, health, entertainment and tourism and includes an arts center, designed by Norman Foster, and shopping mall housing renowned international brands including Lanvin’s flagship store in Asia.

JPI Hospitality acquires in Rotterdam: JPI Hospitality Investors Club, Vienna, Austria, has acquired the 115-key Hotel Rotterdam City in Rotterdam, Netherlands. PKF Hospitality Group served as advisor to JPI in the transaction. The hotel, which was built in 1940, was renovated in 2008 and also features a brasserie, lobby lounge and a breakfast area. The new owner plans to redevelop the hotel in a contemporary way, into a hip lifestyle hotel.

Loan extension at Hudson Yards: Related Companies has reportedly modified its US$1.2 billion balance sheet loans and extended it for four years with lead lenders Deutsche Bank and Bank of China for The Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards in New York City. Fully, 14 lenders make up the lending syndicate on the existing debt.

Angels Landing gets key support: African American developers Don Peebles of The Peebles Corp. and Victor MacFarlane of MacFarlane Partners have received entitlements from the city of Los Angeles and support from local unions to help move forward its mixed-use Angeles Landing project with two hotels in Downtown LA. The project will be the third tallest building in LA and the tallest in the United States to be developed by Black developers. Hotel operators have not yet been named but the developers are planning a 255-room 4-star hotel and a 260-room 5-star property. The project will also feature two towers that will span more than 1.2 million square feet and include condominiums, apartments, retail, restaurants and park.

Cross grows in Bali: Cross Hotels & Resorts, Bangkok, has added the Tanadewa Resort & Spa Ubud and Tanadewa Villas & Spa Nusa Dua to its portfolio in Bali. Cross has partnered with PT. Bumi Pesona Mandiri for the two hotels. The addition of these two resorts brings Cross’ Bali portfolio to four.