Corinthia prepares for hotel launches amid uncertainty between Russia and Libya

Maltese brand Corinthia will open new hotels in Bucharest, Rome, Doha, New York and Brussels next year and in 2024, but parent company International Hotel Investments (IHI) faces uncertainty over its operations in Russia and Libya.

Details were given in a company statement released to the stock exchange by IHI covering the period up to December 2021, i.e. before Russia invaded Ukraine.

IHI has had a hotel in St. Petersburg, Russia with an attached shopping center for 20 years. The group also holds a 10% stake in a hotel and residence project in central Moscow. The combined stake in St. Petersburg and Moscow represented approximately 8% of the group’s total revenue and assets in 2021.

The Corinthia Hotel St Petersburg remains operational, but the group said the sanctions imposed on Russia and the counter-sanctions that Russia itself has introduced are being carefully monitored and fully complied with on the advice of its specialist legal advisers. The consequences of the current situation will largely depend on the duration of the conflict.

The Moscow project began in 2019 when IHI acquired a 10% stake for US$5.5 million in a company formed with a consortium of investors that acquired a historic property near Red Square. The acquisition was made with the aim of developing the site to include a 42-room Corinthia luxury boutique hotel, 109 high-end serviced residential apartments for resale, high-end retail, outlets shopping malls and underground parking. In 2021, discussions continued with financing banks, authorities and contractors with a view to starting work later in 2022. Further progress on this project depends on the current situation in Russia, the group said.

New Corinthia Hotels in New York, Bucharest, Rome

IHI said its hotel operating subsidiary CHL has been contracted to operate and manage a Corinthia hotel in New York City once it opens after a full renovation in early 2023. The hotel was acquired by the company from private investment Reuben Brothers in 2020 and is located in the luxurious upper neighborhood of New York. East Coast. It will have 97 rooms including 33 suites, 5 signature suites and 12 luxury residences. The design work is almost complete.

The former Grand Hotel on the Boulevard in Bucharest.

Redevelopment works are also advanced at the former Grand Hotel du Boulevard in Bucharest, which will become the Corinthia Hotel Bucharest when the project is completed in July 2023.

The rebuilt hotel will include 33 luxury suites as well as a fully restored Grand Ballroom and various dining and entertainment venues.

The building that housed the Italian Central Bank in Rome, currently being rehabilitated and converted.The building that housed the Italian Central Bank in Rome, currently being rehabilitated and converted.

The Corinthia Hotel Rome, housed in the former headquarters of the Bank of Italy in Parliament Square, will also open next year. The property is currently undergoing major reconstruction and renovation works. It will have 60 rooms including several suites, two restaurants, bars and lounges wrapped around a central garden. It will also have a spa and other facilities.

‘Unparalleled services’ at the new Corinthia Hotel Brussels

IHI said Corinthia Hotel Brussels is scheduled to open in 2024. The owner of this investment is NLI Holdings Ltd, in which IHI has a 50% stake. NLI acquired the former Grand Hotel Astoria in Brussels in 2016 for £11million. The purchase of empty land adjoining the listed hotel building and four vacant townhouses to the rear of the original hotel. When completed, the hotel will be operated by Corinthia Hotels Limited.

A planning permit was issued in December 2017 for the restoration of the historic ground floor and facade of the original hotel, as well as the digging of the basements, the demolition and the reconstruction of all the upper floors, adjoining lots and townhouses. The new hotel will have 126 luxury rooms and suites. “It will offer unparalleled amenities for the city of Brussels, including a fully restored grand ballroom, an 850 m2 spa, various dining venues, meeting rooms and high-end retail stores,” IHI said.

2024 will also see the opening of a Corinthia hotel in Doha. IHI said CHL has signed an agreement with United Development Company (UDC), the Qatari master developer of The Pearl in Doha, to manage and operate a Corinthia luxury hotel being built on UDC’s newest flagship property development. , named Gewan Island. The Corinthia Hotel Doha will occupy an area of ​​13,000 m2 and will include 110 rooms, a banquet hall that can accommodate 1,000 people, several restaurants and a luxurious spa. The development will also include 18 luxury villas for sale or rental nearby, a golf course and a beach club, which will also be managed by CHL under the Corinthia brand umbrella.

The beach and the yacht club should open this year. The hotel and luxury villas will open in 2024.

Corinthia Renovation Plan, Attard

Regarding its investments in Malta, IHI said that a renovation plan was being prepared for the Corinthia Hotel in Attard. Design work is well advanced for most of the hotel’s interior and exterior spaces, including all guest rooms and Villa Corinthia, the original upscale restaurant where the Corinthia brand was born.

In the Hal Ferħ complex, now renamed the Corinthia Oasis Project, the architectural designs have been largely completed for a low-rise, highly landscaped luxury resort sensitive to Malta’s character, materiality and rural environment. An application to the planning authority has been submitted. UK-based designers and landscape experts were engaged. Work will begin once permits have been obtained, expected later in 2022.

Last year, IHI acquired the remaining 50% of the issued share capital of Golden Sands Resort Limited, owner of the Radisson Golden Sands Resort. IHI said that since its full acquisition, it has adopted a strategy for the future of the hotel, including a medium-term plan to declutter the property and acquire timeshare allowances. An existing management agreement with Radisson to operate the hotel has been revamped to end by the end of 2024, or earlier by the end of 2023 at the company’s discretion.

The stalled Benghazi project

IHI said that while it continues to operate its hotel in Tripoli, plans for a new Corinthia hotel in Benghazi have been stalled for years.

IHI holds a 55% stake in Libya Hotel Development and Investment JSC, a company that acquired an abandoned building formerly known as the El-Jazeera Hotel and adjoining site in Benghazi, Libya. The aim was to develop a five-star hotel with 228 rooms, 2,000 m² of shops and 10,000 m² of offices. While planning permits were issued by the Benghazi planning authorities and demolition works started in January 2014, in light of the prevailing situation in Libya, all works relating to this development have been suspended. and current plans need to be reviewed based on future developments in Libya. .

Diversify into the four-star sector

IHI said that with its Corinthia brand now firmly established as a luxury operator on four continents and an operating infrastructure capable of further globalizing the brand, it decided to expand into the 4-star sector.

The group already owns or manages several hotels under its own name or as franchises of other brands.

Work has begun to identify an international consultancy team and agencies to select a name and develop property and operating standards, a marketing package and a distribution network for this class of hotels. The group’s objective is to launch its new brand by next year.

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