December 4, 2023

Inside Nordic Choice Hotels’ Response to Ransomware Attack

Read the latest hotel industry news from around Europe. During the Hospitality Sales & Marketing…

Inside Nordic Choice Hotels’ Response to Ransomware Attack

Read the latest hotel industry news from around Europe.

During the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International Europe event in Oslo, Norway, executives from Nordic Choice Hotels spoke exclusively to Hotel News Now about the company’s recent ransomware attack. Kari Anna Fiskvik, vice president of technology, Nordic Choice Hotels, said at the top of the to-do list is to maintain transparency and communication to all stakeholders.

The hotel firm was shut down for six hours, but fortunately there was no compromise to guest data. Fiskvik said many protocols in place for other potential problems such as power outages and fire alarms could be adapted very quickly for a ransomware attack. She added it was vitally important to have third-party help that could be trusted and that had tech skills above and beyond the usual skills found in hotel staff.

Henderson Park, a London-based private-equity firm, has acquired the business and hotel management platform of Amaris Hospitality, but not its name. Henderson Park has formed a new management entity, Klarent Hospitality, to manage Amaris’ 30 properties, all located in the United Kingdom and Ireland, including 12 Hilton-branded hotels Henderson Park bought in November in a separate deal from LRC Group.

The new portfolio will grow largely by renovations and refurbishments. Renovation plans are in place to add 31 rooms at the Hilton Edinburgh Carlton and 20 at the DoubleTree Edinburgh Airport. The company also has planning applications for more rooms at the DoubleTree Coventry and DoubleTree Bristol North, as well as refurbishments at the DoubleTree Chelsea, DoubleTree Dartford and DoubleTree Southampton.

TUI Group, the Anglo-German package vacation and hotel operating firm, has partnered with a subsidiary of German pension fund Hansainvest on a fund valued at 500 million euros ($571 million) that will be used both for acquisitions and development.

TUI, which will own 10% of the fund, said it will focus on hotels outside of Europe, traditionally its core market, and the fund might also be invested in hotels already managed by the firm.

Hoteliers in the United Kingdom are very hopeful that hotel performance metrics will improve and even climb above 2019 levels in 2022 as concerns over the omicron variant of COVID-19 appear to be subsiding. The industry will “likely pick up a head of steam,” according to Cristina Balekjian, CoStar’s senior hospitality analyst, U.K.

Average daily rate is already strong, she said.

“While the surge in demand has led to occupancies closer to their pre-pandemic performance, rate has exceeded their historical levels, especially during the weekends,” Balekjian said. “Robust leisure demand from the staycation market has given hoteliers more leverage with prices as they reached capacity on peak nights.”

Alison Brittain, CEO, Whitbread PLC, owner of the Premier Inn hotel chain, said in the 13 weeks of trading through Nov. 25, the firm has seen sales increase 10.6% compared to full-year 2020, and “like-for-like U.K. accommodation sales 5.5% ahead.” But in the first few weeks of 2022, Whitbread has seen occupancy drop 7% due to customers reacting to the omicron variant.

Brittain said she expected revenue per available room would return to pre-pandemic levels within the next 12 months, in line with previous guidance, but that supply-chain and staff-absence concerns are adding strain. One implication of that, she added, is that despite “a bumper crop of new hotels opening this year … it is on the refurbishment program that we will have to slow down on, and some will slip into next year.”

  • French investment firm Perial Asset Management has agreed to acquire nine hotels in Spain managed by budget hotel firm B&B Hotels. Via a fund managed by SCPI PF Hospitalité Europe, the 58.4-million-euro acquisition will be completed in May, when the final 33.4 million euros are due.
  • HIH Invest Real Estate has renewed the lease on the 179-room IntercityHotel Vienna, on the city’s Mariahilfer Strasse street, with an addition to the 25-year contract being sustainability clauses.
  • Hotel investment firm Stoneweg Hospitality and Bain Capital Credit have agreed on the acquisition of the 173-room Los Monteros Spa & Golf Resort in Marbella, Spain. Last year, the same fund the two partners put together acquired the Andalucía Plaza in Puerto Banús that in June is to become the 384-room Hard Rock Hotel Marbella.
  • German real estate owner Union Investment has agreed to acquire the 182-room Radisson Blu Barcelona Sagrada Familia, which opened in 2018 as the Hotel Barcelona 1882.
  • Kerten Hospitality and family office firm Santucci will open its first European hotel for its Cloud7 brand. The hotel is located in Rome, close to the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain, and due to open in 2023.
  • Yotel has announced the April opening of Yotel Shoreditch, a renovation of the former East London Hotel. Its next European hotel to open this year is a property in Geneva.
  • Irish hotel firm Dalata Hotel Group has agreed to acquire its first hotel outside of Ireland and the U.K. in Düsseldorf. The deal is with Art-Invest Real Estate, with the Hotel Nikko Düsseldorf due to open in mid-February.
  • IHG Hotels & Resorts has debuted its Voco brand in Germany with the Voco Düsseldorf Seestern in partnership with investment firm Hotelite Management.

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