Hyatt to invest €70 million in Lisbon

Hotel group Hyatt is to invest €70 million in a new luxury hotel for Lisbon.

The project, which marks the group’s entry into the Portuguese market with UIP – United Investments Portugal, should be completed by the end of 2020.

The five-star (Superior) Hyatt Regency Lisbon will be the first unit from the US hotel chain in Portugal and will be located next to the Lisbon Congress Centre between Rua da Junqueira and Avenida da Índia, with views over the River Tagus.

There will be 200 rooms including some luxury accommodation units with typologies ranging from studio to three-bedroom to complement the hotel offer.

The hotel is the result of a franchising contract signed between Hyatt and Realtejo – Hotelaria e Turismo, SA, held by United Investments Portugal (the company behind Pine Cliffs in Albufeira and the Sheraton Cascais Resort and Yotel) and Grupo Fibeira SGPS, S.A. a real estate investment management company specialising in real estate and hotel development and associated services.

The hotel will be aimed at tourists and business travellers. Worldwide, the hotel chain has 190 establishments under the brand Hyatt Regency spread over 30 countries in urban areas and resorts.

The Chicago-based Hyatt holding company, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, manages 19 international brands with over 850 properties in over 60 countries.

Since August 2018, Hyatt and Small Luxury Hotels of the World signed an agreement to include the brand’s hotels in its loyalty programme.

In Portugal, there are 15 units included in this partnership, including the Palácio Hotel Estoril, Pousada de Lisboa and Hotel da Estrela in Greater Lisbon.

Essential Business (part of the Open Media Group) was the first publication to announce plans for Hyatt’s entry into the Portuguese market with medium to long-term plans to open hotels in Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve.

Nuno Galvão Pinto, Hyatt’s Regional Vice-President of Acquisitions and Development, told Essential Business at the Essentia tourism conference in 2018, that the hotel chain would be expanding to Portugal from 2019, adding that the Algarve, in particular, has “enormous potential” for the group.

Galvão Pinto said that Hyatt had been scouting for locations to open new hotels for around a year, but one of the difficulties has been “finding suitable sites”.

Another difficulty had to do with the “financial returns that it and its investors have to make” since currently there had been a “disconnect between the asking prices in the market and the investment that can be supported”.

“Regarding resorts, our preference is for beachfront properties, but these are increasingly hard to find due to legislation governing and limiting new coastal construction,” he admitted.

“This is why we are looking for other options in the Algarve,” Galvão Pinto added.

Hyatt says that it is very interested and flexible regarding commercial investments, brand standards and beach hotels.