Worldwide briefing

20 October 2004 by
Worldwide briefing

Essential news from around the world…

Starbucks ups stores target
Starbucks has upped the target for the number of stores it wants to open worldwide from 25,000 to 30,000. The long-term goal was set by chairman Howard Schultz last week. There are currently more than 8,500 Starbucks in the world, 6,000 of which are in the USA.

Hilton pulls plug on São Paulo The Hilton group is pulling the plug on the Hilton São Paulo, in Brazil after 30 years. Following a sharp fall in business to the district where the hotel is located, the group has decided to prematurely end the lease on the 380-bedroom property. Fifty-five staff have been transferred to another Hilton property in the south of the city.

Méridien closes Seychelles hotel for refurb
Le Méridien Barbarons in the Seychelles is to close for six months while work on a £6.9m refurbishment takes place. Before the hotel reopens in May 2005, its 124 bedrooms will be enlarged, the interior will be given a more modern feel and two new restaurants will be created.

Japanese opening for French hotel firm

NH sails into Venice Spanish group NH Hoteles has bought a 384-bedroom hotel and conference centre near Venice, Italy. It paid €10.5m (£7.3m) for the long-term lease on the four-star Laguna Palace hotel and plans further Italian acquisitions in the future. NH has 240 hotels in 17 markets in Europe and Latin America.

Marriott to open 45th hotel in China Marriott International has agreed to manage a 325-bedroom hotel in China's south-west province of Guangxi. The US hotel giant made the deal with Guangxi Eastern Real Estate Development and will run the property when it opens in 2006. The hotel, Marriott's 45th in China, will be located in the provincial capital of Nanning.

New York deal for hotel property firm MeriStar Hospitality has bought a 49.9% share in the 705-bedroom Radisson Lexington hotel in Manhattan, New York. MeriStar, which is one of the largest US hotel real estate investment trusts, paid £27.6m and hopes to see an annual return of £3.18m.

Malaysian opening for Le Méridien Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur opened its doors on 8 October. Malaysia's latest five-star hotel comes two weeks after the opening of the Hilton Kuala Lumpur. Both are located in the KL Sentral area of the capital. The 422-bedroom, 35-storey, property has a sultan's ballroom, which can hold 750, and nine function rooms with a capacity of 200 each.

Schrager hotel out of Chapter 11 The Morgans Hotel Group, formerly Ian Schrager Hotels, has announced that its San Francisco Clift hotel has emerged from chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Under the reorganisation plan, all of the company's lenders and creditors will be repaid in full and the group will receive £39.3m in a sale/leaseback deal that will provide it with financing to make improvements to the property.

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