Starwood has big plans in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East over the next two years with 50 new hotels in the pipeline. The International Hotels Investment Forum has been taking place in Berlin and Starwood Hotels is publicizing its growth. There are 13 hotels scheduled to open this year with the Sheraton Bratislava being the latest addition for Europe. The Sheraton Batumi in Georgia and the Sheraton Rhodes, Greece are scheduled to open in the next three months. Sheraton Milan Malpensa is slated for summer 2010.
What I have gathered from financial news is banks are reluctant to provide lending for big projects that may fail which indicates to me that the major hotel chains have the branding allure to bring new hotels into the fold. This means that Europe, a place where only 30% of hotels are associated with major hotel brands like Starwood, Marriott, InterContinental Hotels Group, Carlson, Accor, and Hilton will be a place of significant hotel rebranding over the next few years.
Starwood aloft Brussels is scheduled for a summer opening and the brand was recently opened in Abu Dhabi.
Four Points will have two properties in Africa in Lagos, Nigeria and Tripoli, Libya.
Le Meridien is opening a hotel in Oran. I had to Google that one. Oran is in Algeria.
Dubai just recently rebranded the Grosvenor House as a Luxury Collection hotel. 72 degrees right now at 2am in Dubai sounds like a cool time.
The Romanos, another Luxury Collection Hotel, will open in Costa Navarino, Greece in June. A new Westin hotel will open there too. I just recently watched the Daryl Hannah movie “Summer Lovers” for the first time since 1983. Greece in summer 2010…?
W Hotels are slated for Paris, London, St. Petersburg, and Amman.
St. Regis Hotels are planned for Mauritius, Cairo, Doha, and Abu Dhabi. Those locations sound hot. No I mean hot, like walking outside might be uncomfortable. But I have always wanted to see Mauritius.
Hotels refer to projects in the works as the hotel pipeline. When I am trying to count hotels in a hotel chain I find it bothersome that frequently the websites count hotels in the brand that are not actually yet built. Do a search of Starwood Hotels for China and you can get an idea of what I mean. 11 hotels show up for China, but only 52 are actually open to date.
Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) hotel pipeline peaked in the second quarter 2008. In 2009 hotel project cancellations removed a quarter of the pipeline. Europe has about 375 hotel projects underway and about as many still projected for construction. Tough lending standards make it hard to get a hotel project financed. That is why the big hotel companies will see growth over the next few years as the projects seek brand recognition as a key to success. Half the projects that have been cancelled had no hotel brand affiliation. Too many rooms and not enough guests means hotel construction is predicted to taper off after 2011.
Room Rates in Europe
Room rates in Europe did not decline in the past month. Room rates in Europe did decline 7 percent in the past year. The average room rate is 93 pounds or about US$140 per night according to the trivigo Hotel Price Index (tHPI). 34 of 50 European cities have seen rate declines over the past year. London is a bright spot where rates have risen 6% to an average 126.
- UK = 100£ or US$150.00
- London = 100£ or US$189.00
- Geneva = 177£ or US$266.00 (most expensive city in Europe)
- Oslo = 142£ or US$213.00
- Milan = 139£ or US$209.00
- Stockholm = 122£ or US$183.00
- Paris = 120£ or US$180.00
- Copenhagen = 118£ or US$177.00
- Edinburgh = 108£ or US$162.00
- Amsterdam = 106£ or US$159.00
- Vienna = 105£ or US$158.00
- Dublin = 103£ or US$155.00
- Rome = 103£ or US$155.00
- Barcelona = 99£ or US$149.00
- Madrid = 88£ or US$132.00
- Berlin = 86£ or US$129.00
- Athens = 84£ or US$126.00
- Istanbul = 81£ or US$122.00
- Lisbon = 79£ or US$119.00
- Prague = 62£ or US$93.00
- Krakow = 58£ or US$87.00
Prague was my destination for my last trip to Europe. My wife went to Poland in 2007. Our hotel rooms were certainly priced higher than $87. Praha is on my mind again.