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North America

Ennismore Moves to Market All-Inclusives Amid International Push

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
September 26th, 2023 at 9:06 PM EDT

Skift Take

  • Corporate travel data company TRIPBAM reports a 25% increase in booking volumes for US travel in mid-September compared to 2022, with expectations of a return to pre-Covid levels by the end of the quarter and surpassing them in 2024, albeit slower in tech-heavy San Francisco.
  • The third edition of the Hospitality Industry Sentiment survey shows a shift in expectations, with group demand and major events on the rise, while labor costs and supply challenges remain top concerns for the hotel industry.
  • Various hotels announce renovations and openings, including Le Meridien Tampa, Springhill Suites Truckee, Hotel Dena Pasadena, Omni Charlottesville Hotel, and a new hotel project in East Austin. Nashville International Airport opens a new international arrivals facility, and citizenM appoints Rani Gharbie to lead its Americas expansion. Ennismore aims to change the reputation of all-inclusive resorts, and LEGOLAND Windsor Resort announces a LEGO Woodland-themed holiday village. London & Regional is close to acquiring the Kempinski Hotel Bahia in Estepona, Spain.

The DJIA fell 382 points while Nasdaq was down 208, the S&P 500 fell 64 points and the 10-year treasury yield was up another .02 to 4.56%.  Lodging stocks were lower. AHT was down -6% to a new 52 week low.

Truist held a webinar with corporate travel data company TRIPBAM. They are solely focused on individual/business transient travel. The main takeaways include that booking volumes in mid-September are up 25% in the US for the trailing 30 days compared to the same period in 2022.  TRIPBAM anticipates the gap between current volumes and pre-Covid levels will close by the end of this quarter and will be surpassed in 2024 if the economy holds true to form. Corporate room rates are modestly higher compared to the same period last year and pre-Covid.  The past 30 days it was $257 vs. $248 for the same period in 2022.  TRIPBAM is expecting large tech companies to further increase travel spend but will likely still lag pre-Covid levels next year.  Not surprisingly San Francisco was pointed out as the location have the slower recovery.

STR completed the third edition of the Hospitality Industry Sentiment survey. Between the first and second waves of this survey, there were some subtle shifts in experts’ expectations for industry performance. Leisure demand was tapering off, but group demand and major events were on the rise. Now with the third survey completed, some patterns have become further established, and some new trends emerge as well. ADR expectations across the globe remain positive, while optimism for occupancy growth has slipped into the minority. This is true whether looking ahead to the short-term or in medium-term predictions. Across all demand segments, all regions reported the greatest improvement expected in group demand, followed by business transient and leisure transient demand. Labor costs and supply challenges remain the top concern for hotel industry professionals, but recession-related concerns are close behind. About a third of respondents indicated that blended business-leisure travel is still a major strength for their business. Bleisure travel took the top spot, with leisure demand and major events rounding out the top three strengths. 

Le Meridien Tampa, The Courthouse unveiled its extensive renovation. The renovation has completely transformed all 130 guestrooms, the lobby, fitness center, and Courthouse Ballroom as well as redesigned onsite dining options. Located in Tampa, Florida, Le Meridien Tampa, The Courthouse is managed by Evolution Hospitality.

Island Hospitality Management has been named the operator of the 114-room Springhill Suites Truckee, located in Truckee, California. The property is owned by Mission Hill Hospitality.

Hotel Dena, Pasadena Los Angeles, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel is officially open in Pasadena, California.  The 311-room hotel is owned by Monarch Alternative Capital and managed by HHM Hotels.  Hotel Dena is part of HHM’s Independent Collection. The property offers a restaurant, bar and lounge, and 29,000+ square feet of versatile event and meeting space including a ballroom, boardroom and several outdoor options.  Also available is a 15-seat, retro-inspired screening area. Additional amenities include a fitness center, electric car charging services, parking and a self-serve market. 

Omni Charlottesville Hotel, in Charlottesville, Virginia, will soon debut its $15 million renovation of its 199 guestrooms, public spaces and new dining venues. The conference space offerings have been renovated as well with three new flexible meeting rooms, including a private dining venue, giving the hotel up to 14,000 square feet of function space. The renovations are scheduled to be complete by October 2023.

A five-story hotel is set to rise on a half-block in East Austin, Texas.  According to site plans filed with the city, East Austin 7th Street Hotel is owned by 1610 JFH LLC, while the phone number listed directs to Floridays Development Co.  Floridays advertises an in-development Home2 Suites + Hampton Inn at an unspecified East Austin address on its online portfolio.  The hotel would include 133 rooms and a lobby cocktail lounge.  A construction timeline is unclear and two homes need to be demolished prior to the start of construction.

Nashville International Airport (BNA) in Tennessee will open its new international arrivals facility on September 27, marking the completion of a key project in the airport’s $1.4 billion BNV Vision expansion plan initiated in 2017.  The airport will also open BNA Marketplace on the same day, adding 15 new dining and retail options for passengers.  The opening of the international arrivals facility and the new retail area mean the airports terminal lobby renovation is completed. Overall, the BNA Vision project is set to be finished by the end of this year, with the opening on an onsite Hilton Hotel in December. Following that, BNA will start $1.5 billion in additional improvement and expansion projects, to be competed by 2028, including a new air cargo building and terminal roadway improvements.

Personnel Moves

citizenM appointed Rani Gharbie as Managing Director, Investment & Development for the Americas, marking an important step in the company’s ambitious growth plans. Gharbie will spearhead citizenM’s initiative to actively grow its Americas portfolio.  Important locations of the next phase of the company’s expansion include new markets in the South, Southeast, and West Coast, as well as Toronto, Vancouver, and other major cities in Canada.  Additionally, citizenM is actively exploring opportunities to acquire or develop additional properties in cities where it already has a presence, including New York City, Washington D.C., Miami, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago and Austin.  Prior to joining citizenM, Gharbie founded Cedar Funds and held senior roles with hotel groups globally such as Virgin Hotels, IHG, Hyatt and BD / POD Hotels. 

The Hunter Hotel Investment Conference welcomes Daphne Lin as manager of Strategic Partnerships. Lin will work with sponsors and vendors in the newly imagined role to create valuable and unforgettable experiences at HUNTER. Lin joins HUNTER as part of a strategic structural reorganization that will enable the conference to grow and drive success in 2024 and beyond. Previously, Lin managed brand partnerships at Warner Bros. Discover, where she connected brands across TV, digital, social and experiential platforms. 

International News

According to Skift, all-inclusive resorts have had a downmarket reputation and Ennismore aspires to change that. Ennismore launched a website to market its all-inclusive resorts, The company’s all-inclusive resort collection has 38 properties under the Rixos, SO/, and Swissotel brands. Ennismore plans to grow its portfolio to 50 resorts in the next three years, partly by adding all-inclusive resorts under additional brands, depending on the need of the market and region, such as Hyde, Mondrian, SLS, and Fairmont. It plans to have about 100 resorts by 2027. Focusing on  memorable experiences is a key for Ennismore, for example, their approach to kid’s facilities is much better that what is typical as their children’s facilities are in excess of 2,000 or 3,000 square meters. When it comes to food, Ennismore’s in-house food and beverage laboratory, Carte Blanched, will lead the design of the creation of restaurants and bars at the various properties. Another challenge for Ennismore will be creating an impression of “plenty”, a core of the all-inclusive concept without creating waste. Ennismore’s announcements have focused on Turkey, the Middle East, and Central Asia.  But executives have larger ambitions, including having a couple of projects already committed under development in Vietnam.

The LEGOLAND Windsor Resort is now taking bookings for the UK’s first LEGO Woodland-themed holiday village, opening in May 2024. Lodges sleep between two and five people with a separate sleeping nest for little adventures, while 10 Premium Lodges can sleep up to seven people. The 10-acre site which is designed around the resort’s woodland area will also host a nature tail, complete with a variety of animals built out of LEGO bricks. 

The British fund London & Regional is one step away from becoming the new owner of the Kempinski Hotel Bahia, located in Estepona, Spain, a town close to Marbella. As confirmed by several sources, the vehicle of the Livingstone brothers is exclusively negotiating the closing of the operations, the outcome of which could be imminent. The current owner, who controls the establishment through the company Clavita, commissioned JLL to organize an orderly process of sale.  With the acquisition of the Kempinski, the Livingstone brothers will be able to revalue their ability to attract luxury brands and reposition assets, since the current lease is about to expire, which opens the door to carry out a transaction of this type. 

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
September 26th, 2023 at 9:06 PM EDT

Companies: Accor, Ashford Hospitality Trust, citizenM, Ennismore, Fairmont, Hunter Hotel Advisors, Hyde, Kempinski Hotels, Le Meridien, Marriott International, Mondrian, Omni Hotels & Resorts, Rixos, SLS, SO/ Hotels & Resorts, SpringHill Suites, Tribute Portfolio, Truist Securities

Locations: Austin, California, Los Angeles, Nashville, Spain, Tampa, Virginia

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