Looking at India’s hotel sector, JLL said contracts in mid-market and budget brands grew 74% between January and September 2022 as compared to the same period in 2019. There management contracts are largely for smaller hotels with about 50 rooms on an average in tier 2 and 3 cities. International operator signings went up 36% from 36 hotels with 4,794 rooms in 2019 to 49 hotels with 5,106 rooms in 2022. India has about 150,000 branded hotel rooms. JLL said they are seeing a lot of conversions from privately-branded hotels to chain hotels in mid-market and budget hotel categories post-Covid. Owners are said to be picking Indian hotel brands to work with because Indian hotel operators are flexible with scale, product specifications, agreement terms and fees. International chains tend to avoid hotels in the 40-60 room range. Sarovar Hotels & Resorts confirmed this saying they have a pipeline of 45 hotels in the next five years, looking at opening about 10 hotels a year, most new projects in tier 3 and 4 locations.
Meanwhile, Marriott International’s St. Regis Hotels and Resorts brand announced the opening of the St. Regis Goa Resort, located near India’s south-western coastal city of Goa. The resort is located a 60-minute drive from Goa International Airport, nestled in 49 acres of lush greenery fringing the Mobor Beach on the shores of the Arabian Sea. The resort features 206 guestrooms including 46 suites offering private terraces overlooking the tranquil lagoons or the golf course. There are 20 suites and villas with plunge pools, private access to the beach and all day dining at The Manor. The resort offers four dining venues and two bars. There is a swimming pool surrounded by foliage, along with a well-equipped gym for fitness enthusiasts. The St. Regis Spa and a total of more than 32,000 square feet of dedicated event space round out the amenities.
Bengaluru-based real estate developer MS Ramaiah Developers and Builders plans to invest about Rs 1,100 crore over two years across real estate sectors in Karnataka, Goa, and Andhra Pradesh. It also plans to develop 200 acres of residential townships across Karnataka. While most of the development will be residential and more commercial, in North Goa, next to the upcoming airport, they have a land parcel of over 25 acres they are planning two hotels for. Overall more than 75% of the projects will be commercial, including hospitality and retail.
Aquis Entertainment, the operator of Casino Canberra in Australia, is expecting approval and completion of the sale of its flagship property within the fourth quarter of this year. They filed with the stock exchange that they are undergoing a review of the expected proceeds from the transaction, including assessing new business opportunities, repayment of debt and a potential distribution of funds to shareholders. Iris Capital is expected to purchase the property for A$63 million.
Marriott International’s Le Meridien Hotels and Resorts brand and AI Rayyan Tourism Investment Company have unveiled Le Meridien City Center Doha. The 43-story hotel is located in the city’s modern West Bay area between its commercial and leisure districts. The hotel offers 353 guest rooms, including 48 suites, and 97 residential apartments. The hotel neighbors the City Center Mall, one of the most visited malls in Qatar. The hotel has 1,600 square meters of recreation facilities including temperature controlled indoor and outdoor swimming pools, Le Spa, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam rooms and a fully equipped gym. There is a Kids Club, 900 square meters of versatile meeting space and distinctive dining experiences.
Katara Hospitality, in partnership with Accor and Rixos Hotels, announced the opening of Rixos Gulf Hotel Doha. This will be the first 5-star all-inclusive hotel in Qatar. The fully restored Gulf Hotel Doha is now the Rixos Gulf Hotel Doha, with two towers comprising 378 luxurious rooms and suites. The hotel also includes the Anjana Spa, a selection of restaurants, sports activities, professional entertainment, kids activities and more.
IHG Hotels & Resorts announced they signed a management agreement with Dana Bay Tourism Company to open the InterContinental Al Khobar Dana Bayin Saudi Arabia. The hotel is scheduled to open its doors in December 2024, located just 30km from the city center and 45km from King Fahed International Airport. The surrounding development of Dana Bay is spread over 2.8 million square meters with 14km of beach line. The InterContinental Al Khobar Dana Bay will feature 133 rooms, 90 InterContinental Residences and 36 villas. There will be four dining options, an indoor and outdoor pool, a health club and a spa. The hotel will also offer a business center and four meeting rooms. IHG has 37 hotels operating across five of its core brands in Saudi Arabia with an InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Staybridge Suites and three Holiday Inn hotels in Al Khobar. They have a further 31 hotels in the development pipeline due to open in the Kingdom within the next three to five years.
Minor Hotels announced an upcoming addition to its portfolio in Dubai. As part of the 46 story mixed-use Sidra Tower development on the city’s Sheikh Zayed Road, NH Collection La Suite Hotel, Dubai is the first NH Collection property to be announced in the United Arab Emirates. The NH Collection La Suite Hotel, Dubai will have 265 keys, including guest rooms, suites and one, two and three-bedroom apartments. Among the featured facilities are an all-day dining outlet, lobby lounge, kids club, meeting spaces, a gym and recreational spaces, along with leasable retail areas. The property will be operated by Minor Hotels from Q1 2023 and will undergo an extensive renovation before being launched with the NH Collection flag later in 2023. The hotel is owned by Ali bin Khalfan Al Mutawa Al Dhaheri, the founder and chairman of ABK Investments and Ali & Sons Holding. Minor Hotels currently operates nine properties in Dubai and a total of 14 properties in the UAE across its Anantara, Avani and Oaks brands.
JLL announced the appointment of Luke Xie as director, hotel project services for South East Asia. He will be based in Singapore, with the newly created role coinciding with the evolving demand for differentiated guest experiences across the Asia Pacific hotels sector. Xie joins JLL from Oakwood where he was director of technical services.