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Standard International Seeks APAC Expansion

Alan Woinski
September 28th, 2022 at 7:09 AM EDT

Skift Take

  • Dajia Insurance Group Co has put three hotels in the US up for sale, hoping to generate US$1.3 billion to take advantage of an expected surge in leisure travel and resort business.
  • U.S. hotel operator Standard International is betting on Thailand’s post-pandemic tourism recovery. Bloomberg said Standard is hoping to power an expansion in Asia that will see it open properties in popular and less-explored destinations.
  • The new $340 million dual-tower Docklands development in Melbourne, Australiawill include a huge rooftop infinity pool, spanning 35 meters when it opens in 2026.

Dajia Insurance Group Co has put three hotels in the U.S. up for sale, hoping to generate US$1.3 billion to take advantage of an expected surge in leisure travel and resort business. The Wall Street Journal reported Dajia put up for sale the Montage in Laguna Beach, California; the Four Seasons resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming; and the Four Seasons in Scottsdale, ArizonaBofA Securities and Eastdil Secured LLC are marketing the hotels on behalf of the seller. The three properties are part of Dajia’s Strategic Hotels & Resorts portfolio. Dajia is the company that took over most of the operations of China’s Anbang Insurance Group. They had an agreement to sell the entire Strategic portfolio to South Korea’s Mirae Asset Financial Group back in 2019 but that deal fell through. Dajia is looking to raise $300 million for each of the two Four Seasons’ properties and $700 million from the Montage Laguna Beach.

U.S. hotel operator Standard International is betting on Thailand’s post-pandemic tourism recovery. Bloomberg said Standard is hoping to power an expansion in Asia that will see it open properties in popular and less-explored destinations. Thai developer Sansiri Pcl is the majority owner of Standard. The plan is to open boutique hotels under the flagship brand ‘The Standard’ in the seaside resort town of Pattaya and tourist island Phuket by 2025. They also aim to manage as many as five properties under the Bunkhouse brand for the first time in Asia in smaller towns such as Chiang Mai. Besides Chiang Mai, Standard is also considering historically-rich Thai towns Sukhothai and Ayutthaya, as well as the seaside province of Krabias possible locations for new hotels. The plan follows the opening of The Standard in Bangkok’s Mahanakhon Tower in July. The company plans to open more of its branded hotels in Singapore and Melbourne next year, with eight more lined up for Europe and North America, taking the worldwide tally of properties under its management to at least 20 by 2026.

The new $340 million dual-tower Docklands development in Melbourne, Australia will include a huge rooftop infinity pool, spanning 35 meters when it opens in 2026. This Pearl River Road project will be the fourth mixed-use hotel development for Capital Alliance. TFE Hotels will operate the development’s two accommodation towers under the A by Adina and Collection by TFE Hotels banners. They will be linked by a sky bridge that will house a 1,000-person conference center with 360-degree views of Melbourne’s skyline. The development will also include a day spa, restaurant precinct and retail offering. 

Blackstone sold some of its shares in Embassy Office Parks REIT, raising about US$325 million. Embassy Office Parks REIT is India’s first Real Estate Investment Trust. Blackstone sold 7.7 crore shares/units in the REIT to institutional investors at Rs 345 per share. That will bring Blackstone’s stake down to 24% from around 32%. Some of the buyers are said to be Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Kotak and ICICI Prudential HDFC Life.

Dubai Holdings announced the appointment of Katerina Giannouka as the new Chief Executive Officer of Jumeirah Group as of this coming December. Katerina joins Jumeirah Group from Radisson Hotel Group where she was President Asia-Pacific since 2017.

Elgin Hotels and Resorts, a luxury heritage hotel chain in India, announced the appointment of Rea Oberoi as their Vice President. Ms. Oberoi is the daughter of Mr. B.R. Oberoi, founder and managing director of Elgin Hotel Pvt Ltd.

Property consultant Knight Frank said the UAE’s hospitality sector will continue to gain momentum and add another 48,000 keys by 2030 due to a strong influx of tourists. The firm said the delivery of the planned hotel room supply is forecast to cost about $32 billion. Dubai is expected to get the lion’s share of the total, with 76% of all new rooms coming to the emirate, which already has over 130,000 rooms. Knight Frank said 70% of all the rooms planned will fall in the 4- and 5-star category. They expect Hilton Hotels to add the most rooms overall with close to 5,000 new keys expected by the end of the decade, up 43% from today. This mirrors Hilton’s plans in Saudi Arabia where they expect to emerge as the second biggest operator by 2023 with 19,000 rooms under management, around 3,000 rooms more than the group will have in the UAE by that stage. By 2030, Knight Frank expects Accor to cement its place as UAE’s largest hotel room operator, with close to 25,000 rooms under management, a position the group also enjoys in Saudi Arabia.

StayWell Holdings has embarked upon an aggressive expansion project as part of its global market consolidation strategy across key growth regions. The expansion plan breaks ground in Q4 2022. The medium- to long term expansion exercise will include setting up to deliver 250 hotels in key bespoke hospitality destinations in critical regions. These include the UAE. The Middle East is expected to get the lion’s share of new hotels and resorts from StayWell’s expansion. They already have 4 operational hotels and would like to add their luxury brand The Prince Akatoki to the region. The other major regions for expansion include Europe, US and South East Asia. The expansion project is expected to be completed by 2032 and will primarily focus on an asset-light model with a major portion of the portfolio managed directly by the group. They recently signed a new hotel brand, Park Proxi, in Egypt. Their first hotel under the Park Regis evolved brand banner, Park Regis by Prince Deira Islands, was recently signed in Dubai, expected to open by Q1 2023.

Alan Woinski
September 28th, 2022 at 7:09 AM EDT

Companies: Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Accor, Blackstone, Bunkhouse, Dajia Insurance Group, Dubai Holdings, Elgin Hotels and Resorts, Embassy Office Parks REIT, Four Seasons, Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts, Knight Frank, Sansiri, Standard International, TFE Hotels

Locations: Abu Dhabi, Arizona, Bangkok, California, Chiang Mai, Dubai, Melbourne, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sukhothai, Thailand, Wyoming

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