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KKR and Marriott Do a 14-Hotel Deal in Japan

Alan Woinski

May 7th, 2024

Skift Take

KKR and Marriott International announced their entry into Japan’s midscale hospitality market, with the conversion of 14 acquired Unizo hotels into Four Points Express by Sheraton, marking Marriott’s midscale debut in Asia Pacific.

The South China Morning Post reported the Hong Kong tourism industry only saw two-thirds of pre-pandemic levels during the May Day Holiday. The city recorded 893,764 inward trips over the five day mainland break, up 23.5% from a year ago but only 66.8% of the 2019 number. 85% of the tourists were from the Mainland.

Savills Hanoi said there is not likely to be any new three-star hotels in Hanoi in the next thee years as tourists prefer to stay at places with higher ratings. Savills said new four and five-star hotels opened their doors to guests in the first quarter. Savills data shows nine five-star hotels are set to account for 76% of new hotel supply in the coming years with four-star properties accounting for the remaining 24%. Hanoi hotels reported an occupancy rate of 65% in the first quarter, up 7 percentage points year on year with room rates up by 11%. Vietnam received 4.6 million international visitors in the first quarter, up 72% year on year with the leading sources of tourists being South Korea and China.

The Wafaifo Hoi An Resort in the ancient heritage capital of Hoi An in central Vietnam will open its doors to guests on September 1 this year. The Phase 1 opening of the privately and locally-owned boutique property will ultimately offer 134 rooms and suites and a range of dining and lifestyle outlets. From September 1, four-room categories will be available at the new downtown resort: Faifo, Swim City, Faifo Terrace and Wheelchair Friendly. The initial inventory of rooms will include balcony options, king-sized or twin beds, and all the amenities international guests would expect in a high-end urban resort in Asia. The Xua & Nay international and Vietnamese restaurant will have the only Josper oven and grill in central Vietnam. Other amenities will include the 25 x 6 meter swimming pool and unprecedented wellness, spa, gym, fitness, beauty and health options unique to central Vietnam. A highlight for visitors meeting or relaxing in the lobby and adjacent areas of the resort will be a replica Japanese Bridge, a water fountain that dances to music and a terracotta statue heritage walk. In October, the resort will open its fully-equipped, high-tech meeting facilities. In early 2025, the Wafaifo Resort Hoi An will add luxurious suites and a signature Vietnamese fine dining outlet.

KKR and Marriott International announced the launch of each company’s foray into the midscale hospitality space in Japan, which follows KKR’s completion of the acquisition of Unizo Hotel Company, Limited and a portfolio of 14 hotels in Japan from Unizo Holdings. The 14 hotels will be converted to Four Points Express by Sheraton. This marks Marriott’s entry into the affordable midscale segment in Japan and the brand’s debut in Asia Pacific following its global launch in this space in 2023. The 14 hotels are located in major tourist destinations in 10 cities across Japan including HakodateMoriokaUtsunomiyaYokohamaKanazawaNagoyaOsakaKyotoKobe and Hakata. The properties are expected to open in the second half of 2024, adding more than 3,600 new rooms to KKR’s and Marriott’s respectively hotel portfolios in Japan.

AC Hotels by Marriott announced the opening of AC Hotel Chengdu North, marking the lifestyle brand’s debut in Southwest China. The hotel is situated at the junction of Chengdu’s Jinniu District and Xindu District, located in Phoenix Mountain Sports Park, a multi-functional commercial center integrating sports, art, business and entertainment. The AC Hotel Chengdu North features 240 well-appointed guest rooms and suites. The hotel features a series of multifunctional shared spaces including the all-day dining restaurant AC Kitchen and the AC Lounge features an outdoor terrace that transforms into a bar at night. The hotel houses a multi-functional space, including a 188 square meter function room and a 50 square meter boardroom. In addition the hotel has a 24-hour fitness center.

Accor announced the debut of the Pullman brand in TasmaniaAustraliaRed Panda Property said Accor will manage its first hotel project, a five-star Pullman hotel in the heart of Launceston. The $45 million Pullman Launceston will regenerate a heritage-listed educational building into a prestigious 139-room hotel with restaurants, bars and meeting and event spaces. The project is on a hillside on Wellington Street overlooking the city and is expected to be completed in the first half of 2027, marking the debut of Accor’s Pullman brand in Tasmania but Accor’s sixth hotel in Launceston. The hotel tower will be the second tallest building in Launceston. The top of the hotel will feature a rooftop bar.

A first receiver’s report into the finances of Queenstown’s Carlin Boutique Hotel has found debt of about $45 million, as well as substantial assets. Carlin Hotel Property Management Limited and Queenstown Views Villas Limited were placed in receivership in February following Kevin Carlin’s death. BDO Christchurch was named as the receiver. The $30 million Carlin Boutique Hotel was his retirement project. The first receiver’s report into Queenstown Views Villas Ltd. found company assets valued at $26 million, the majority being land and buildings. Debts were $30.8 million. About two-thirds of the hotel property is owned by Queenstown Views Villas with the rest owned by Pablo Pty Limited. The hotel facility includes nine suites, a ground-floor reception, restaurant, bar area, gym and car parking, managed by Carlin Hotel Property Management Ltd. A separate receiver’s report suggests the management company has sustained significant trading losses and cash flow constraints since the hotel opened in April 2022.

Accor’s Mercure brand announced the expansion of its footprint in India with the opening of Mercure Chandigarh Tribune Chowk. The hotel is located in the Chandigarh capital region, an area that includes the cities of Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali. The hotel is located 30 minutes from the international airport in Chandigarh and includes 60 rooms and suites along with versatile banqueting facilities. The Superior Suite provides a setting for intimate gatherings or business meetings with panoramic views of the city of Chandigarh. The owner of the hotel, and Accor’s franchise partner, is KLG Group. They previously teamed up on the Novotel Chandigarh Tribune Chowk, which opened in 2021. Accor currently operates 62 hotels in India under a host of different brands with a pipeline of 30 hotels under development.

Sarovar Hotels announced the opening of V Sarovar Portico Jaipur in Rajasthan. The hotel has 106 rooms and is the sixth property in the city for Sarovar.

Alan Woinski

May 7th, 2024

Companies: AC Hotels by Marriott, Accor, Carlin Hotel Property Management, Four Points by Sheraton, Marriott International, Mercure Hotels, Pullman, Sarovar Hotels and Resorts, Savills

Locations: Chandigarh, Chengdu, Christchurch, Hanoi, Hoi An, Hong Kong, Japan, Rajasthan, Tasmania

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