Skift Take

In India, deal activity is strong for Indian Hotels Company (IHCL), Pride Group, and India’s first publicly traded real-estate investment trust, Embassy Office Parks. The country is on track to become the third largest lodging market in the world within about a decade.

Series: Daily Lodging Report

Daily Lodging Report

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Here are some excerpts from the Daily Lodging Report during the past week. If you’re not a subscriber, you should be. Sign up now, here.

Sunday, May 15

Hyatt Hotels Corp sold The Driskill hotel in downtown Austin, TX, as it moves forward with a plan to shed $2 billion worth of properties by the end of 2024. The company closed the $125 million sale on April 28. The buyer of the 189-room property is Woodbine Development Corp. Financial details were not disclosed. Hyatt will continue to run The Driskill as it will remain part of the Unbound Collection. Also in April, Hyatt sold the Grand Hyatt San Antonio River Walk and the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa in California. Hyatt also agreed to sell The Confidante Miami Beach, a deal expected to close in the second quarter. The four sales are expected to generate $812 million for the company. 

Aman has set an August 1 opening date for its debut in New York City. Aman New York will be the brand’s third U.S. property. Aman transformed the historic Crown Building into an 83-room, 22-residence sanctuary. The property features a fourteenth-floor lobby, dining and entertainment venues, and a wraparound garden terrace, providing 7,000 square feet of indoor-outdoor space, with fire pits and reflecting pools. It has a three-story spa. The brand has plans to open Aman Nai Lert Bangkok in 2023 and Aman Miami in 2024.

IHG Hotels & Resorts announced the extension of its multi-property development agreement for the DACH region, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, expanding the growth ambition to Italy and Poland. In 2022 alone, tristar GmbH will open four new Holiday Inn Express hotels and a Hotel Indigo in Vienna. IHG’s partnership with tristar is set to include 60 hotels by 2035, with openings across all IHG collections. 

Skift Note: These sales show that Hyatt is determined to become asset-light. Meanwhile, Aman New York is probably the most anticipated luxury hotel opening in the city for 2022. And IHG sees a chance at consolidation over the next decade in an eastward March across Europe.

Monday, May 16

India’s first publicly traded REIT (real-estate investment trust), Embassy Office Parks REIT, and Hilton announced the opening of Hilton Bengaluru Embassy Manyata Business Park and Hilton Convention Centre at Embassy Manyata Business Park Bengaluru. The 266-room hotel and connecting conference facilities join the 353-room Hilton Garden Inn Bengaluru Embassy Manyata Business Park, which opened earlier this year. The dual-brand hotel and convention center is owned by Embassy REIT and managed by Hilton. Hilton Hotel Embassy Manyata, with 619 rooms, is one of the largest hotel complexes in South India. The complex in North Bengaluru includes two hotels, five distinct dining experiences, a state-of-the-art convention center, and a retail hub that is in the works. The convention center includes a 13,000-square-foot pillarless grand ballroom and multiple versatile meeting and event spaces.

Emaar Properties is in discussions with Jamaica’s Ministry of Tourism and is eyeing St. Thomas and Portland, Jamaica, for potential hotel projects. Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett has been touting the potential of the eastern Jamaica parish since delivering his Budget presentation earlier this year. Bartlett said he would be meeting with five of the largest airlines in the world, including Etihad, Emirates, Saudia, Qatar, and Royal Jordanian, which will give the region coverage that could open new lines of investment in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean. St. Thomas is likely to become the new frontier for an industry expected to welcome 3.2 million visitors in 2022.

Skift Note: Compare India with China. India has only 2.6 million keys to hotel rooms for 1.4 billion people, versus China’s having 3.2 million guest rooms for 1.4 billion people. There’s room for growth. No wonder Hilton, for example, has 24 hotels open in India but 14 under construction. (Hilton has more to do, given that it has 460 hotels in China.)

Tuesday, May 17

Pride Group of Hotels presently has 44 properties in India and has embarked on an ambitious expansion plan to open 100 hotels by 2030. The hotels will be spread across regions, primarily in Tier I and Tier II markets. The focus is on an asset-light model for expansion, with a major portfolio slice managed directly by the company. Most of the new properties will be located in popular leisure destinations. Pride said it would have up to 50 hotels by year-end. Pride Group also has forayed into the premium serviced apartment space with the launch of its new “Pride Suites,” with the first property signed in Gurugram.

Truist upped their target price on Hyatt to $121 from $111 a share and maintained their Buy rating.

Starwood Capital Group has selected Davidson Hospitality Group to manage seven branded hotels under its Davidson Hotels operating vertical.

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants broke ground on a new hotel in Reno, NV. Opening in late 2024, the new Kimpton in Reno will become the first newly constructed non-gaming hotel built in the city. Owned by CAI Investments, LLC, Kimpton in Reno will outfit approximately 16 stories of a 20-story new-build, multi-use tower. It will feature about 270 guest rooms. It’s the brand’s first outpost in Nevada.

Skift Note: India has a demographic competitive advantage over China in its emerging wave of youth. The long-term trend for hotel development is large.

Wednesday, May 18

U.S. hospitality and hotel union Unite Here launched a campaign to encourage hotel guests to request daily hotel cleaning to help save jobs in the industry. It said hotel firms had used crises before to cut jobs and that the end of daily room cleaning in U.S. hotels would eliminate as many as 180,000 jobs. According to The Wall Street Journal, the union believes cleaning rooms only between stays adds more stress and leads to dirtier and harder to clean rooms.

Far East Hospitality is introducing two Australian brands into Singapore in the coming months, leveraging its long-standing collaboration with joint venture partner TFE Hotels (Toga Far East Hotels). They will rebrand existing properties to the Vibe Hotels and Adina brands. Vibe Hotel Singapore Orchard will open at The Elizabeth Hotel on Mount Elizabeth late this year. The 256-room property is part of Far East’s endeavor to achieve its target of 25,000 rooms by 2025 globally.

Skift Note: It’s unclear whether the hotel sector will ever return to daily housecleaning, but unions certainly hope the return will come.

Thursday, May 19

STR said India’s hotel performance recovery resumed early in 2022. Still, April seemed to be the turning point, with the country outpacing pre-pandemic comparables in occupancy and ADR [average daily rate] for three consecutive weeks. Using preliminary data over the 20-day streak, running seven-day occupancy in absolute terms ranging from 65-72 percent while running 7-day ADR has come in between INR6325-6484. STR said forward bookings appear healthy for the remainder of May, with most pickup remaining short-term. India’s most popular leisure markets, such as Himachal Pradesh, Goa, and Uttarakhand, have seen significant occupancy throughout 2022, exceeding pre-pandemic levels. Bengaluru and Pune are among the markets showing the fastest demand growth now. Mumbai also recorded upwards of 80% occupancy on almost all days in April 2022.

Indian Hotels Company (IHCL), owned by Tata Group, announced the signing of a new Ginger in Agra. The hotel is a fully fitted lease and will be designed around the brand’s lean luxe design. IHCL will now have three hotels across Taj, SeleQtions, and Ginger brands in Agra. The Ginger hotel is owned by The Dawar Group’s Kaivalya Infratech Private Limited. The 75 key Ginger is situated off Fatehabad Road. With the addition of this hotel, IHCL will have 16 hotels across brands, including seven under development in Uttar Pradesh.

Skift Note: In the long-term, expect India’s biggest growth in mid-scale and full-service segments.


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