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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.

References

  1. ^ criticised Sadiq Kahn s plans (www.developmentfinancetoday.co.uk)
  2. ^ 42m central London hotel (www.developmentfinancetoday.co.uk)

French climber Kenny Elissonde set to sign for Team Sky?

Reports suggest Elissonde has signed a two year deal with the British team from FDJ

French Climber Kenny Elissonde Set To Sign For Team Sky?

Kenny Elissonde at the 2016 Vuelta a Espa a (Yuzuru Sunada)

Team Sky1 inked a two-year deal with French climber Kenny Elissonde that will allow him to ride in with the British squad starting in 2017, according to VeloPro website.

>>> Chris Froome not writing off Giro d Italia ride in 20172

Elissonde, 25, won the Angliru summit finish stage3 in the 2013 Vuelta a Espa a4 and in this year s race, placed second in the Col d Aubisque stage5. He carried the mountains jersey through the final mountain stage, where he was edged to second in the classification by Spaniard Omar Fraile (Dimension Data). He closed the Vuelta, 20th overall at 42-26 behind Nairo Quintana6 (Movistar). Last year, he placed 16th. Since turning professional in 2012, the five-foot-six 52kg rider from Paris raced in FDJ s white colours.

Over the last five years, he raced five Grand Tours. He moved his base to the C te d Azur in Nice, where he trains with others including Sky s riders.



He has yet to race the Tour de France7, and Sky may not change that. Instead, he could support Sky in the steep and high-mountain stages in the 2017 Giro d Italia8 next year. In his first Grand Tour, he rode clear of a breakaway group on the 23.5% ramps of the Alto de L Angliru. Neither Sky nor Elissonde confirmed the deal.

If it goes through, he would be the first Frenchman on the team since the British team s debut in 2010. Then, it had Nicolas Portal and Sylvain Calzati. Portal is now one of Sky s sports directors.

Elissonde had been in contact with team principal David Brailsford in the last days of the Vuelta so it would not be a surprise if he made the switch to the WorldTour team.

References

  1. ^ Team Sky (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  2. ^ >>> Chris Froome not writing off Giro d Italia ride in 2017 (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  3. ^ Angliru summit finish stage (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  4. ^ Vuelta a Espa a (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  5. ^ second in the Col d Aubisque stage (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  6. ^ Nairo Quintana (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  7. ^ Tour de France (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  8. ^ Giro d Italia (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)

North Korea’s six-star hotel slammed by tourists on TripAdvisor

Dozens of outraged tourists have slammed North Korea’s only six-star hotel for its ‘prison-like’ conditions, online. The Ryanggang Hotel in Pyongyang – which is described by locals as a ‘first class’ establishment – has received 31 reviews on TripAdvisor1, with the majority of tourists giving it a big thumbs down. But for tourists seeking an alternative luxury accommodation, the capital’s other premier hotel, Kim Jong Un’s swanky 1,082ft-high Ryugyong Hotel, remains unopened, 29 years after the project began.

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North Korea's Six-star Hotel Slammed By Tourists On TripAdvisor

Underfire: A ‘six-star’ hotel in North Korea is making waves for its ‘prison-like’ conditions with dozens of guests slamming it online

North Korea's Six-star Hotel Slammed By Tourists On TripAdvisor

The Ryanggang Hotel in Pyongyang – which is described by locals as a ‘first class’ establishment – has received 31 reviews on Trip Advisor

Simon Ryder from Wirral, Merseyside, who booked a room at Ryanggang Hotel in May 2012, wrote: ‘The beds are so hard I think the floor was more comfortable… I flushed the toilet and my feet got a wash.’

Another guest from Cape Town, South Africa, echoed Mr Ryder’s sentiments, writing: ‘Classic Soviet style hotel. Dismal, poorly lit, rock hard beds, miserable food, and intermittent hot water – and these are the good points!’

However, looking on the bright side, the traveller concluded that the hotel stay was all part of the ‘North Korean experience’. David Templeman from Estonia merely described the Ryanggang as ‘old and cold’. Talking about the electrics, he wrote: ‘The electric wiring is in a really poor state.

Half of power sockets are broken, and there’s bare (and possibly live) wires coming out of the floor and just end abruptly.’

North Korea's Six-star Hotel Slammed By Tourists On TripAdvisor

One guest wasn’t impressed with the bathroom or bed at the Ryanggang Hotel in Pyongyang

North Korea's Six-star Hotel Slammed By Tourists On TripAdvisor

A visitor said ‘western prisons are more welcoming’ than the luxury establishment

North Korea's Six-star Hotel Slammed By Tourists On TripAdvisor

Good value for money? There is no word on how much rooms at the Ryanggang Hotel go for and there is no website for the business

He continued, with a touch of humour: ‘But on the plus side, there was a huge flat-screen TV with one channel: the North Korean propaganda channel, where the female narrator tries her best to sound upbeat while clips of Kim Jong Un and some fields and buildings show.’

There is no word on how much rooms at the Ryanggang Hotel go for and there is no website for the business. Many guests said they booked while being led around the city on a tour. Overall the Ryanggang emerges with a rating of 2.5 out of five on TripAdvisor, with the majority of reviewers marking it ‘average’ or ‘poor’.

North Korea's Six-star Hotel Slammed By Tourists On TripAdvisor

Atmospheric: A photo of the dining area shows dozens of empty tables

North Korea's Six-star Hotel Slammed By Tourists On TripAdvisor

A bad night’s sleep: Lots of reviews complained about the hard beds

North Korea's Six-star Hotel Slammed By Tourists On TripAdvisor

Happy meal? Many guests weren’t impressed with the food offerings

In North Korea it appears that luxury hotels are lacking. For years, visitors have been anticipating the opening of Kim Jong Un’s swanky 1,082ft-high Ryugyong Hotel. However, the pyramid-like glass and steel building which has apparently cost more than $750millon ( 565million) to construct, remains unopened.

Work actually began in 1987 under the regime of Kim Jong-Un s grandfather, Kim Il-Sung, and was meant to open two years later as a calculated snub to neighbouring South Korea. As Seoul hosted the 1988 Olympics, North Korea would open what would then have been the world s tallest hotel.

North Korea's Six-star Hotel Slammed By Tourists On TripAdvisor

One man said: ‘I flushed the toilet and my feet got a wash’

North Korea's Six-star Hotel Slammed By Tourists On TripAdvisor

Many photos of the Ryanggang Hotel left by guests show it in an unflattering light

The structure of the mighty pyramid was quickly completed, but work came to a shuddering halt in 1992 after the collapse of Pyongyang s benefactor, the Soviet Union. It was an economic disaster for North Korea and provoked a devastating famine that killed up to 3.5million people.

So what was supposed to have been a towering symbol of the country s technical mastery instead became an idle landmark which has attracted international ridicule. An inspection by a European delegation in the Nineties concluded that the shell was irreparable and it should be torn down because of its poor-quality concrete and crooked elevator shafts.

North Korea's Six-star Hotel Slammed By Tourists On TripAdvisor

For years, visitors have been anticipating the opening of Kim Jong Un’s swanky 1,082ft-high Ryugyong Hotel

North Korea's Six-star Hotel Slammed By Tourists On TripAdvisor

Long-running project: However, the pyramid-like glass and steel building which has apparently cost more than $750million to construct, remains unopened

Esquire magazine described it as the worst building in the history of mankind . Others labelled it the Hotel of Doom. The name has stuck.

In 2008, after 16 years of inactivity and to the astonishment of Western observers, work suddenly resumed. Then in 2011 its concrete was strengthened and its exterior coated in 111million worth of glass, which dazzles when it catches the sun. Its fortunes were further revived by the deep-pocketed Egyptian Orascom Group which took over as developer in 2008 after reportedly signing a $400 million deal to establish a mobile phone network in North Korea.

Orascom were responsible for installing the glass panels along with a telecom antennae.

References

  1. ^ TripAdvisor (www.tripadvisor.co.uk)

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