Overseas investors purchase significant UK hotel portfolio

Overseas Investors Purchase Significant UK Hotel Portfolio

Two agents have advised on the sale of three branded UK hotels to an Asian joint venture. Joint agents Christie & Co and JLL advised real estate business Dominvs Group on the sale of Discount Holidays © Holiday Inn Darlington, Discount Holidays © Holiday Inn Dumfries and the Mercure Sheffield Parkway for an undisclosed sum off a guide price of 12m. The buyer was a joint venture between Thailand-based Fico Corporation and Singha Estate.

This is a significant deal post the EU referendum result, explained Gavin Wright, director of the hotels and hospitality group at JLL.

All three hotels benefit from being operated by well-known brands and offer stable and steady income.

The total portfolio comprises 229 guest bedrooms. Fico Corporation and Singha Estate already own 26 Mercure hotels across the UK. Both the Mecure Sheffield Parkway and Discount Holidays © Holiday Inn Darlington are freehold, while the Discount Holidays © Holiday Inn Dumfries is held on a long leasehold basis.

The sale came as part of Dominvs Group s wider strategy to grow their going concern portfolio and development pipeline. In July, development finance lenders criticised Sadiq Kahn s plans1 to reduce the amount of London property sold to overseas investors. Last month, a Hong Kong-based group purchased a 42m central London hotel2.

Jeremy Jones, head of hotels brokerage at Christie & Co, suggested that the Dominvs Group deal was indicative of continued demand from overseas investors following the EU referendum.

This portfolio sale follows on from a number of recent high-profile sales processes.

It is further evidence of the appetite from both domestic and overseas buyers for good-quality regional UK hotel assets.


  1. ^ criticised Sadiq Kahn s plans (
  2. ^ 42m central London hotel (

Rising payroll costs squeeze UK hotel profits

The study, Benchmarking Beyond RevPAR, which polled a consistent sample of nearly 45,000 hotel bedrooms across the UK over 15 years, revealed that payroll costs now make up almost a third of a regional hotel s cost base. In the last 15 years payroll costs in regional hotels rose by an average of 26 per cent while profit per available room fell 26 per cent – from 41.67 in 2000 to 30.49 in 2015. The 80 per cent increase in the National Minimum Wage during that period is said to be main driver of increasing staff costs.

While profit has already taken a notable drop, the gulf between pay and profit is expected to widen further this year with the introduction of the National Living Wage in April and prospective annual increases, said HotStats.


The hospitality intelligence firm predicts that managing payroll levels will remain a challenge for UK hoteliers as the number of hotel staff employed on minimum wage contracts in the UK is projected to increase to 40 per cent by 2020. HotStats CEO Pablo Alonso said the findings went some way to explaining the growth within the budget hotel and serviced apartment sectors.

It is not hard to understand the acceleration in the development of limited-service hotels when it is the service which is now the biggest cost of a hotel operation,” he said. Alonso said hoteliers should prepare for a further squeeze following Britain’s vote to leave the EU.

According to law firm Simpson Millar, businesses wanting to hire staff from outside the UK after Britain leaves the EU could face a bill of almost 3,000 per employee.

The ability of UK hoteliers to manage payroll levels could be further tested if the fall out from Brexit triggers a significant policy change regarding immigration to the UK,” he said.

The Best Dates to Book Your Holiday Travel

It doesn t feel like it should be time to book your Discount Holidays © holiday travel just yet we haven t even closed out the summer with Labor Day getaways but many people think that the sooner you secure your tickets and hotel rooms, the better the deals you ll get. Turns out, that may not be entirely true. According to a recent study by Skyscanner, a global travel search engine, the time when you ll truly get the most bang for your buck is no more than four weeks prior to each of the end-of-year holidays Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.

Skyscanner reviewed the U.S. roundtrip booking habits of its more than 50 million users and discovered that there are even possible savings if you book your flights the same week. However, if you aren t up for that much risk with booking your trips, the site does suggest alternative time frames.

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When Should I Book My Discount Holidays © Holiday Travel?

For Thanksgiving, the data crunchers suggest booking the week of October 31 to get the most savings (7.7%) or the week of October 17 (for savings of 5.1%). If you re planning Christmas travels, you may want to do so the week of November 21 for the best deals (6.4% savings). If you don t want to add one more thing to your list of things to do around Thanksgiving, the week of December 5 will reportedly get you a savings of almost 5%. And if it s New Year s travel you re planning, you could do so at the same time as your Christmas plans, as the week of December 5 will reportedly get you a 10.5% savings. These travel experts say waiting to make New Year s travel plans until the last minute could pay off for you, with last-minute bookings (one week away) offering savings of 6.7% or two weeks out a 6.6% savings.

And what about when it comes to specific dates? Many experts recommend booking your travel to fly in or out of town on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Sunday. Travels on Friday and Sunday are typically considered the most expensive, so you ll want to avoid those if possible.

Budgeting for Discount Holidays © Holiday Travel

If you aren t new to traveling for the holidays, you know how expensive it can get. It s a good idea to figure out how much of an expense your wallet can handle and take some time to search for deals that fall within your budget. You may also want to look for additional ways to save, like using a travel credit card3 that offers perks like the opportunity to check your bag for free.

Just keep in mind that these cards often require a good credit score4 to qualify, so if you re thinking of applying for one, it s a good idea to check your credit scores ahead of time so you have an idea of whether you ll be eligible. (You can see two of your credit scores for free5, updated each month, on

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