Oaktree helps Arsenale expand in Italy; Wyndham expands in EMEA – HOTELSMag.com

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Oaktree helps Arsenale grow in Italy: Arsenale Spa, Rome, has secured up to €300 million ($340 million) in equity and financing from funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, Los Angeles, to complete its fleet of six Orient Express “La Dolce Vita” in collaboration with Accor, Trenitalia-Gruppo Ferrovie dello Stato and Fondazione FS, as well as to further expand into the Italian luxury hotel space. Arsenale is expected to create new destinations across Italy in synergy with its luxury train lines which are expected to enter service in 2023. Oaktree’s investment will also support Arsenale’s development of the future Orient-Express Hotel from La Minerve to Rome and the Palazzo Donà-Giovannelli in Venice. The company was created as a partnership between the Barletta Group and Annabel Holding, who remain the majority shareholders, while Oaktree reportedly took less than 20% of the company’s capital. Rothschild & Co. acted as financial advisor for Arsenale and MedioBanca for Oaktree.

Ramada by Wyndham Varanasi Katesar, India

Wyndham is expanding in EMEA: Wyndham Hotels & Resorts continues to grow in Europe, the Middle East, Eurasia and Africa with a lineup of openings planned for 2022. Some of the upcoming openings include the company’s first hotel in Poland, Wyndham Wroclaw Old Town 205 keys; the 267-room Wyndham Garden Munich Messe in Germany; a Super 8 branded hotel in Koblenz, Germany, in collaboration with GS Star; and the first Tryp-branded hotel in Greece. In Turkey, Wyndham will open the Ramada Encore and Days Inn by Wyndham, with more properties in Istanbul, Rize and Elbistan. Other openings include the debut of Wyndham’s eponymous brand in Cyprus – Wyndham Nicosia; expansion in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Georgia; the 278-key Wyndham Grand Doha West Bay Beach in Qatar; and two other openings in Saudi Arabia. In India, Wyndham has a development pipeline of 30 hotels, eight of which are expected to open this year. The company will also open a Ramada by Wyndham Gangtok Hotel & Golden Casino in Gangtok City and the 300-key Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Mumbai Sahar.

Kimpton offers free therapy for customers, staff: Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants has partnered with Talkspace, the online behavioral health company, to provide mental health services to its customers and more than 4,000 employees across the United States. The KimptonxTalkspace partnership will provide mental health support to hospitality employees who served as frontline workers during the pandemic. Up to 1,000 free videotherapy sessions with counselors will be offered to guests over the age of 18 at Kimpton properties. Kimpton will also provide a $100 promo code to apply to a Talkspace plan for guests through December. Employees will receive a free one-year subscription to Talkspace.

Pebblebrook’s advice encourages: Pebblebrook Hotel Trust’s 4Q21 earnings were relatively in line with The Street’s expectations with comparable revenue down -28.9% from 2019 and adjusted EBITDA of $41 million. He said bookings were trending very positively and expects big improvements in March and April. Same-property room RevPAR was +192.6% year-over-year and -30% from 4Q19. Pebblebrook forecasts capital expenditures of US$100-120 million in 2022, an increase partly attributable to planned renovations at two recently acquired hotels, Jekyll Island Club Resort and Estancia La Jolla Hotel and Spa.

Earnings missed by Sunstone: Sunstone Hotel Investors reported 4Q21 results with adjusted EBITDA of US$31.2 million, more than 20% below consensus guidance. He said he was facing a shortfall due to COVID-related group cancellations, particularly in San Francisco and Washington, DC. The results were all below expectations with total revenue of -33.3% compared to 2019; Adjusted FFO/share USD 0.08; Adjusted EBITDA of US$31.2 million and comparable hotel EBITDA of US$36.2 million. Sunstone also announced the previously announced sale of the 419-room Hyatt Centric Chicago Magnificent Mile for $67.5 million ($161,000 per key). Pricing represents 13.3x EBITDA and an NOI cap rate of 5.6% on 2019A metrics.

The online travel market will reach US$765.3 billion by 2025: Driven by accelerating digitalization, the global online travel market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8% to reach US$765.3 billion between 2022 and 2025, according to research by GlobalData. Post-pandemic, most travelers want to reduce physical contact, which has changed consumer behavior. According to a recent study by GlobalData, 24% of consumers used an online travel agency the last time they booked a vacation, while only 7% of consumers used an in-store travel agency. Travel intermediation has shifted from brick-and-mortar stores with in-person travel agents to a fragmented online marketplace.

The global build pipeline remains constant: The global hotel construction pipeline for all of 2021 fell 1% by projects and remained virtually unchanged by rooms at 13,770 projects/2,304,836 rooms, according to Lodging Econometrics. There are 6,101 projects/1,136,680 rooms under construction, while projects expected to start construction in the next 12 months stand at 3,547 projects/518,159 rooms. Early planning stage projects and conversion projects peaked at 4,122 projects/649,547 rooms and 1,448 projects/190,322 rooms, respectively. The United States, led by the number of projects, has 4,814 projects/581,953 rooms and China has reached a new record with 3,693 projects/700,567 rooms. Dallas, Texas is the city with the largest pipeline with 152 projects/18,180 rooms; Chengdu, China, with 144 projects/29,485 rooms; and Atlanta, Georgia, with 133 projects/17,593 rooms. The top franchise companies in the global construction pipeline by number of projects are Marriott International with 2,536 projects/426,744 rooms, Hilton with 2,521 projects/376,251 rooms; InterContinental Hotels Group with 1,652 projects/244,179 rooms; and AccorHotels with 940 projects/166,411 rooms. These four companies represent 56% of all projects in the global pipeline.

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