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edition 3 (228)
March 2018

Looking for a place to stay

Anna Pakulniewicz

Looking for a place to stay
The Raffles hotel in Warsaw, after the extensive modernisation and refurbishment of the building of the former Hotel Europejski

POLAND Polish hotels will have more than 10,000 beds in 2018. The market in Poland is still developing, but it already includes over 2,700 registered hotels with a total of over 135,000 rooms. “This is still not much compared to Western European markets and the number of hotel rooms per capita in a given country,” explain consultants Walter Herz.

However the demand for hotel services continues to rise in Poland, due to increasing numbers of both tourists and business travellers alike. According to data from the Central Statistical Office [GUS], the number of overnight stays by tourists registered in hotels was up by 1.5 mln compared to the same period of the previous year, representing a 6 pct increase.

Lots of new beds

The Warsaw hotel market will grow by over 5,000 rooms over the next three years. There is still room for new hotels of all segments in the capital. This year Warsaw will see the opening of the Raffles hotel after the modernisation and refurbishment of the former Hotel Europejski as well as of the Renaissance hotel at Chopin Airport, the Four Points by Sheraton hotel in Służewiec, the Moxy Koneser in Warsaw’s Praga district, a Hampton by Hilton on ul. Postępu, and the Krakowska Residence and Ibis Styles on ul. Grzybowska. Other hotels that are also planned in Warsaw over the coming years include: the Warsaw Motel One in Śródmieście, the Hotel Port Praski, a combo hotel with two brands: (Residence Inn and Moxy), a number of Ibis Styles hotels, a Holiday Inn at the Dworzec Zachodni (Warsaw West) railway station, the Focus Hotel in Służewiec, the Puro Warszawa Centrum hotel, the Autograph Collection hotel in the city’s Old Town and the first Staybridge Suites hotel in the city’s Ursynów district, which is scheduled to open at the end of next year. In Gdańsk, an Ibis Budget hotel will soon start operating in the city’s Jelitkowo district as well as the Deo hotel on the Granary Island [Wyspa Spichrzów], a Holiday Inn, the Grano Residence, a Hampton by Hilton in the Old Town and a hotel in the Uphagen Court. Over the next two years, a total of over 1,000 hotel beds will be added to the city. In Wrocław The MGallery by Sofitel and the Klasztor Hotel of the Arche group are to open in 2019. A number of hotels are set to open in Kraków including a Puro hotel in Kazimierz, Radisson Red hotel, B&B Kraków Centrum, two boutique hotels: Ferreus and H15 as well as Autograph Collection, which is a brand by Marriott International. Construction work is also to begin on the Best Western Balice Airport hotel this year. In Poznań, the Hampton by Hilton and Focus Hotel Poznań are scheduled to open this year and in the future will be joined by a Moxy hotel at Poznań-Ławica Airport. The Best Western Hotels & Resorts chain will also be opening two new hotels in the city: the Edison Park Hotel, which will be part of the chain’s Premier Collection brand, and a Sure Hotel in the city’s Old Town square. According to Walter Herz, there is increasing interest from investors and franchisors in Poland’s smaller cities and towns. For example, Hampton by Hilton is to open a hotel in the Calisia One centre, which is being developed through the conversion of a former piano factory in Kalisz; Hampton by Hilton is also to open a hotel in Oświęcim, while a Radisson Blu is to be opened in Zakopane and a Hilton Garden Inn will come to Kołobrzeg. According to Walter Herz, in Poland most of the hotels are individually owned and operated by Polish companies.

A rival for office buildings

Hotels in Poland are also becoming a popular investment product. Last year saw hotel transactions with a combined value of EUR 350 mln, according to a report by CBRE. This set a new record, both in terms of the number of transactions and the overall volume. The largest transactions in Poland over the last year included the sale of the Sheraton Grand in Kraków, the Radisson Blu Centrum Warsaw, the Westin Warsaw, the Sangate Hotel (which was formerly known as the Gromada) on ul. Żwirki Wigury in Warsaw and the sale of a portfolio of Warimpex hotels. CBRE predicts that investment in hotels in Poland will continue to rise because of the need for investment funds to diversify their real estate portfolios to reduce risk by investing in more than one sector of the real estate market. The capitalisation rates of so-called ‘prime locations’ are comparable and sometimes competitive for the office market, coming to around 5 pct in the centre of Warsaw for a good, long-term operator with a lease. “Due to the specific type of investors that are now entering the hotel market in Poland, we are seeing an increasing number of operator contracts based on leases,” claims Marta Abratowska-Janiec, a senior consultant at CBRE Hotels. Among the most active investors are German investment funds that purchase hotels that operate based on lease agreements.

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