High end European hotel projects attract nearly US$65 billion in investment

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Representing 299,565 keys, the current collective worth of these undertakings is estimated as US$64.9 billion.

Compact upscale

When we last analysed THP’s European records a year ago, the totals stood at 1,791 schemes comprising 304,060 rooms, with this year’s numbers equating to a 5% increase and a 1% decrease respectively. This indicates a trend towards smaller sites receiving the green light across the continent.

In this year’s figures, we see the continental pipeline weighted 69% to 31% towards four star hotels compared to five stars, with 1,302 upscale projects as against 583 luxury developments.

UK leader

Topping the list by country is the UK, with 429 sites representing 59,926 keys. Second in the rankings is Germany, with 304 schemes equating to 47,197 rooms, and Spain completes the podium, numbering 175 hotels and 23,936 keys.

By individual city, the UK’s capital, London is far and away the leader, with 91 high end projects comprising 16,302 rooms. Irish capital Dublin is in the runners-up spot with 43 properties numbering 6,296 keys, while French capital city Paris has 33 upcoming hotels representing 5,416 keys.

Newbuilding ahead

Investment for newbuildings is still going strong, as they form the majority (57%) of the European premium hotel pipeline, equating to 1,069 sites. Conversions and refurbishments are fairly level at 20%/373 properties and 19%/350 hotels respectively, while the remaining 5%/93 schemes are extensions.

The openings will be coming thick and fast, with 30% of the pipeline (566 hotels) due for completion this year. A further 23%/473 high end sites will join the continental portfolio in 2024, although the pace is currently dropping in each subsequent year, with at least 212 and 71 properties definitively scheduled for 2025 and 2026, respectively.

Ones to watch

Brands making strong pushes in high end segments across Europe are headed by Hilton Worldwide’s Hampton by Hilton, with at least 30 developments, while Radisson Hotel Group’s Radisson Blu Hotels & Resorts and another Hilton group brand, Hilton Garden Inn, both have at least 18 each.

Some of the megaprojects to look out for throughout Europe include the 163-key Novotel Überseequartier-Hamburg Süd, which will join sister Accor group brands Pullman, Novotel and ibis Styles to collectively open around 830 rooms in Q4 2023 within a mixed-use district on the river Elbe within the German Hanseatic city.

Another site to watch is Park Hyatt London River Thames – One Nine Elms in London, UK, a 203-room hotel situated within the two-tower One Nine Elms hospitality and residential development. The first 18 floors of the River Tower will house the five star hotel, including a luxury spa, ballroom and clubhouse restaurant set above the hotel room floors.

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