Braemar Hotels & Resorts Inc | December 28, 2021
Braemar Hotels & Resorts Inc. (NYSE: BHR) ("Braemar" or the "Company") today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the 96-room Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Dorado, Puerto Rico (the "Property"). In addition, the Company is also acquiring the income stream attributable to fourteen luxury residential units adjacent to the Property that participate in a rental management program. The acquisition is expected to close on or prior to February 1, 2022, subject to certain customary closing conditions. Because the acquisition is subject to certain customary closing conditions, the Company can give no assurance that the transaction will be consummated by such date or at all.
"The acquisition of Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve is an opportunity for us to acquire one of the most iconic luxury assets in the Americas As the first Ritz-Carlton Reserve in the Americas and one of only five Ritz-Carlton Reserve properties worldwide, this unique property fits perfectly with our strategy of owning high RevPAR luxury hotels and resorts and further diversifies our portfolio."
-Richard J. Stockton, Braemar's President and Chief Executive Officer.
With its premier beachfront location on the North coast of Puerto Rico, the Property is situated within Dorado Beach Resort, a 1,900-acre master planned community in one of the most sought after residential real estate markets in both Puerto Rico as well as the United States. In addition to the amenities of the self-contained Dorado Beach community, the resort also benefits from its location within the town of Dorado. Dorado is an upscale suburb of San Juan featuring many restaurants, retail outlets, and other amenities and leisure activities in the surrounding area. Additionally, the town is 20 miles from Old San Juan and 22 miles from Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport, making it very accessible from the capital city.
Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve was opened in 2012 and underwent an extensive $78 million renovation in 2018. It has 96 luxurious and spacious rooms, including 12 suites, that average 1,288 sq. ft. in size. The hotel offers an array of amenities, including the award-winning, full-service, 5-acre Spa Botanico, and three food and beverage outlets (in addition to in-room dining). The Property also boasts the acclaimed COA Restaurant, over 4,800 sq. ft. of meeting space, and an infinity pool with direct access to the beach. Additionally, the surrounding Dorado Beach residential development contains several other amenities that guests of the Ritz-Carlton Reserve can access during their stay, including: 2.5 miles of pristine beachfront, the TPC Dorado Beach Golf Club with two 18-hole Championship golf courses, a Tennis Center with five Har-Tru clay courts offering lessons and clinics for all skill levels, a state-of-the-art fitness center, the Encanto Pool, "The Watermill" – an expansive water park ideal for kids and families, three additional food and beverage outlets, as well as Dorado Farms – a 500-acre site including skeet shooting, equestrian center and culinary offerings – that is currently under construction. While not included in the Property's fee simple collateral, the acquisition includes the income from 14 additional residential units, ranging in size from 2,200 to 6,600 sq. ft., which are part of a rental management program.
Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve has been the recipient of the following awards:
AAA Five Diamond Award – 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020
Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Award - Hotel – 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020
Forbes Travel Guide Five Star Award – Spa Botanico – 2017, 2020
Conde Nast Traveler - Reader's Choice Awards 2019 – Top 50 Resorts in the Caribbean - #1
Conde Nast Traveler - Reader's Choice Awards 2019 – Top 50 Resorts in the World - #14
Travel + Leisure – World's Best Award – 2016
US News & World Report – Best Caribbean Hotel - #1 - 2020
Golf Magazine – Top 100 Resorts in North America 2019/2020 – Best for Luxury - #5
Wine Enthusiast – Best 100 Restaurants – COA - 2019
The total consideration for the acquisition is $186.6 million ($1.7 million per key, inclusive of the residential units in the rental program). The acquisition will be funded with approximately $104 million of cash, six million shares of Common Stock, and the assumption of a $54 million mortgage loan. No additional equity will be issued to fund the cash portion of the consideration. The cash portion of the consideration will be funded from available excess cash. The purchase price for Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve represents, based on forecasted financial results for 2021, a capitalization rate of 9.8% on hotel net operating income of $18.2 million and a 10.2x hotel EBITDA multiple, according to the Company's preliminary estimates based on unaudited operating financial data provided by the seller. The Company expects to realize a stabilized yield of approximately 8% on its investment in the next three to five years. On a trailing 12-month basis as of November 30, 2021, the Property achieved RevPAR of $1,129, with 57% occupancy and an average daily rate (ADR) of $1,968, according to unaudited operating financial data provided by the seller.
Trivago | October 27, 2021
trivago, a leading global accommodation search platform, and HUAWEI, one of the world’s largest providers of information and communications technology infrastructure and smart devices, announced a partnership in the development of travel products for use on the HUAWEI Mobile Services platform.
A new trivago app will launch on HUAWEI’s AppGallery enabling users to instantly compare millions of accommodations worldwide from hundreds of booking sites to find their ideal choice at a great price. trivago currently offers more than 5 million hotel and alternative accommodation options in 190 countries. As of September 2021, HUAWEI’s AppGallery had a diverse, global audience of 580 million monthly active users in more than 170 countries. In 2020, the platform saw app distribution reach 384.4 billion, an increase of more than 120% over 2019.
In addition, trivago and Huawei will jointly develop solutions for accommodations listings of the paid hotel search feature on HUAWEI’s Petal Search and Petal Maps. This will empower HUAWEI users around the world with direct connectivity to their travel providers of choice, driving a frictionless user experience. The commercial launch of trivago in Petal Search will be on the 29th of October.
“HUAWEI is a Global leader in mobile devices and technology solutions and we are excited to partner with them on the development of accommodation solutions as part of their Petal Ecosystem,Jointly driving the functionality and adoption of Petal Search, Petal Maps and the AppGallery will allow us to contribute to the development of travel solutions going forward.”
-Axel Hefer, trivago CEO
We are happy to partner with trivago, a leading global provider of accommodation search and price comparison. We believe that this partnership will allow us to jointly develop technology and solutions that will stand out in the market, said William Tian, the WEU President of Huawei Consumer BG.
trivago is a leading global hotel search platform focused on reshaping the way travelers search for and compare hotels and alternative accommodations. Incorporated in 2005 in Düsseldorf, Germany, the platform allows travelers to make informed decisions by personalizing their hotel search and providing them access to a deep supply of hotel information and prices. trivago enables its advertisers to grow their businesses by providing access to a broad audience of travelers via its websites and apps. As of March 31, 2021, trivago has established 54 localized platforms connected to over 5.0 million hotels and alternative accommodations, in over 190 countries.For more information on trivago, visit https://www.trivago.com/.
HUAWEI's products and services are available in over 170 countries and are used by around one third of the world's population. HUAWEI is one of the largest smartphone suppliers and currently operates 14 research and development facilities and 36 innovation centres with partners. HUAWEI's Consumer Business Group is one of HUAWEI's three business units, along with Carrier Network and Enterprise Business, covering smartphones, audio, mobile broadband, wearables, computers, accessories and cloud services. HUAWEI's global network is based on over 30 years of experience in the telecommunications industry and offers consumers all over the world the latest technological innovations.
ABOUT HUAWEI PETAL SEARCH
Petal Search is a HMS-native search engine app that allows HUAWEI smartphone owners to easily search for and find the things they need – including news, videos, images, shopping, flights, local businesses, and more – directly from their home screen.
With Petal Search, HUAWEI is committed to maintaining an open search ecosystem as well as building a unified and complete search service experience. The company seeks to provide an enriched search experience for all HMS mobile phone users while providing a platform that drives business interest and operational efficiency for developers and partners.
ABOUT HUAWEI AppGallery
HUAWEI's official app store, the HUAWEI AppGallery, provides users of HUAWEI devices with a simple and secure platform to search, install and use a wide variety of apps. The HUAWEI AppGallery enables easy installation of apps and convenient management for users. HUAWEI continuously develops its HUAWEI AppGallery with great effort. In this way, the company ensures that users always find directly what they really need. HUAWEI's exclusive service has a professional, fourfold security system to ensure that privacy is protected all around. The system reliably detects harmful behaviour and is consistently scanned for potential security risks. It also manually checks the security of real names and devices, and authenticates real environments to guarantee the security of all apps at all times. In addition, the HUAWEI AppGallery always offers lucrative discounts and VIP privileges for HUAWEI users.
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HotelPlanner | October 20, 2021
HotelPlanner, a leading travel technology platform powered by proprietary artificial intelligence, announced the launch of its new Alexa-enabled hotel booking feature that immediately connects customers to a global gig-based ‘Hotel Planner’ agent to book a discounted hotel stay – anywhere in the world – at any time, an industry first.The announcement is well-timed with the rise in voice-activated technology and the ‘Internet of Things’ revolution that is already disrupting every industry across the globe.
How Alexa-Enabled Hotel Bookings Work
Using an Alexa device or the Alexa app, a customer must first say “Alexa – enable the HotelPlanner skill.” Once the skill is enabled, customers can then activate the feature any time by saying “Alexa – open HotelPlanner” or “Alexa – ask HotelPlanner to make a new reservation in Boston.”
Once a customer tells Alexa their travel details, the service immediately connects the customer to a live Hotel Planner as a priority call, which bypasses the call queue. The Hotel Planner can then typically offer a discounted rate before completing the booking. This is equivalent to having a personal hotel concierge at one’s beck and call anytime help is needed with hotel bookings.
HotelPlanner’s proprietary artificial intelligence and VOIP capabilities will also try to route customers to a gig-based Hotel Planner who either lives in, or knows about, the customer’s desired destination so that they can provide localized and personalized service.And this new booking feature is completely free of charge.
Staying Ahead of the Technology Curve
Since its founding in 2004, HotelPlanner has sought to stay ahead of the technology curve with next generation features that anticipate evolving customer needs to further simplify and automate the hotel booking process.
For example, HotelPlanner pioneered the electronic Request for Proposal (eRFP) process for group bookings in 2004, and then added an online negotiation capability in 2009. In 2014, the company launched its instant group booking feature. In May 2020, at the height of the pandemic, HotelPlanner launched its global gig-economy based reservations platform in response to an influx of customer calls, an industry first for an online travel agency.
“We believe that adding Alexa-enabled hotel bookings is an industry game changer,As the Internet of Things and smart homes, smart cars and smart offices become more ubiquitous, HotelPlanner is ready to provide a tech-forward solution that embraces voice activation and anticipates how consumers will interact with technology to make travel plans. And this capability is sustainable, scalable, and complementary with the ongoing expansion of our gig-based Hotel Planner reservation platform.”
-John Prince, Co-Founder & Chief Information Officer, HotelPlanner.
The transaction is expected to enable HotelPlanner to transform into a diversified hotel and event booking platform with complementary revenue streams, and to provide the combined company opportunities to realize multiple operating synergies to drive growth at scale.
HotelPlanner is a leading travel technology company that combines proprietary artificial intelligence capabilities with a 24/7 global gig-based reservations and customer service network. HotelPlanner travel agents can customize all traveler hotel & accommodation needs from a single platform while providing localized advice. HotelPlanner is one of the leading providers of individual, group and corporate travel bookings, specializing in unique “Closed User Group” discounted rates offered in unpublished private sale environments. Founded in 2004, HotelPlanner has enduring partnerships with many of the world’s largest OTAs, well-known hotel chains, individual hotels, online wedding providers, ancillary lodging providers, corporations, professional and amateur sports teams and franchises, universities and government agencies.For more information, please visit https://www.hotelplanner.com
Reservations.com is an award-winning online travel company on a mission to bring the human-touch back to travel. Founded in 2014 with a focus on helping consumers create memorable travel experiences, Reservations.com has experienced rapid growth. Reservations.com's user-friendly website offers unparalleled visibility into hotels, including: descriptions, pricing information, and reviews of nearly 500,000 properties globally. The company is on a journey to enable customers to not only reserve hotels, but to create memories.more information, please visit www.reservations.com
About Astrea Acquisition Corp.
Astrea Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: ASAXU) is a blank check company organized for the purpose of effecting a merger, capital stock exchange, asset acquisition or other similar business combination with one or more businesses or entities. While we intend to evaluate opportunities in many industries, we are targeting technology-enhanced high-growth companies that have clear differentiated business models suited for disruption in their sectors. The diverse experience, extensive relationship network, and successful SPAC experience of our management team and board of directors make Astrea an ideal partner for businesses that have the potential to become outstanding public companies.