BUSINESS

US funds in local hotel market

ILIAS BELLOS

TAGS: Tourism, Business

Two major US private investment funds, Blackstone and KKR, are methodically expanding their holdings in the Greek hospitality market through their subsidiaries active in the hotel sector – following up their expansion in Spain with similar growth in Greece.

KKR subsidiary Apple Leisure Group is undertaking the management of three of the five units that Hotel Investment Partners (that belongs to Blackstone) has in Greece. These are hotels acquired a year ago from the Louis Group for 178.7 million euros.

Hotel Investment Partners controls 64 units in the Mediterranean with a total of 19,248 rooms and is present in Spain, Greece and Portugal. It is also the third biggest hotel investor in Europe. For its part, Apple Leisure Group, which besides KKR is co-owned by fellow US investment fund KSL Capital Partners, is a vertical tourism group with a significant presence in the US travel market.

Having understood Americans’ increased appetite for holidays in the Mediterranean and especially in Greece in recent years, they appear willing to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the purchase, innovation, management and commercial development of hotels.

Despite the pandemic, Hotel Investment Partners is continuing its acquisitions, and its chief executive (and also one if its co-founders) Alejandro Puértolas has told Kathimerini that it intends to invest further in the local tourism sector with the aim of becoming the market leader.

The three new units, on Crete, Corfu and Zakynthos, will be managed by AMResorts, the hotel brand management subsidiary of the Apple Leisure Group, and are located in privileged seaside locations. Between them they have 845 rooms and will operate under the name Dreams Spas & Resorts on Crete and Corfu and Alua Hotels & Resorts on Zakynthos.

The new, five-star unit at Maleme beach on Crete will bear the name Dreams Crete and boast 357 rooms. The five-star hotel on Corfu will be named Dreams Corcyra and offer 327 rooms, while that on Zakynthos, the four-star Alua Soul Plagos Beach, will have 161 rooms.

All three hotels will be renovated by Hotel Investment Partners and open their doors in summer 2022.

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