The Shangri-La Hotel At The Shard opened in May. Located on the South Bank of the River Thames in the iconic 1,000-foot Shard, the hotel will be the Hong Kong-based luxury hotel group’s third in Europe. Morgans Hotel Group opened its newest hotel, Mondrian London at Sea Containers, located on London’s property outside the US. Hampton by Hilton launched the brand’s opening of Hampton by Hilton London Gatwick Airport North Terminal. addition to its growing London portfolio, the brand’s 10th hotel in the capital area. Having undergone a multi-millionpound refurbishment, the full-service hotel is located in the heart of fashionable Islington, close to many of London’s major tourist attractions. The property is the brand’s 10,000th room in Europe. This coincides with the recent opening of DoubleTree by Hilton London-Chelsea.
“Since 2007, the brand has grown from no presence in the UK to nearly 25 properties, with 10 of these in the London area,”says John Greenleaf, global head, DoubleTree by Hilton.
On the Continent, the pace of growth is markedly slower; nevertheless, new hotels are opening their doors. In its New Supply report released in September, global intelligence gatherer Lodging Econometrics reports that Europe will see 235 new hotels openings in 2014, adding 39,178 rooms. The report states that many of these projects had begun in 2012 and were subsequently stalled in the pipeline. Thus, the forecast is for new projects to taper off over the next two years based on current trends, slowing to 211 hotels in 2015 (34,451 rooms) and 216 hotels in 2016 (34,060 rooms).
Displaying confidence in Europe’s future, InterContinental Hotels Group recently announced the signing of two flagship hotels in Portugal: InterContinental Lisbon and Crowne Plaza Porto. Situated in Lisbon’s city center, IC Lisbon was built in 1984 as Le Meridien Hotel, before becoming the Tiara Park Atlantic Lisbon Hotel in 2008. After a phased refurbishment of its lobby and public areas, the revamped luxury hotel features 237 deluxe rooms, 78 executive rooms, 16 Suites, 18 meeting rooms, fitness center, restaurant and bar.
Expecting to attract business travelers because of the hotel’s proximity to Porto’s commercial area, the Crowne Plaza Porto, previously operated as the Park Atlantic Hotel Porto, is scheduled to open this fall after an extensive refurbishment. The hotel offers 161 deluxe rooms, 29 executive rooms and 42 suites, 11 meeting rooms, and all-day dining restaurant.
“Lisbon is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Southern Europe and the signing of InterContinental Lisbon is a significant development for the brand in this region,”says IHG’s Robert Shepherd, chief development officer, Europe.“Equally, Crowne Plaza Porto will be a meetings destination in its own right and well placed to provide quality accommodation and meeting support to business travelers and companies in the area.”IHG operates 30 InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and 82 Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts in Europe.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts is also expanding its footprint in Europe. “Starwood will continue to grow its luxury brands in Europe, where it operates nearly