Branded development in the Baltics is on the rise

Hilton Świnoujście Resort & Spa is due to open by 2020 on an island in northwest Poland. Photo Credit: Hilton Hotels & Resorts

It's been a good year for hotel development in the Baltic states and the surrounding areas. Just this week, Hilton announced plans to open a new hotel on the Baltic Sea following a franchise agreement with Zdrojowa Hotels. Hilton Świnoujście Resort & Spa is due to open by 2020 on an island in northwest Poland.

"Demand for hotels in Poland is on the rise," said Patrick Fitzgibbon, SVP of development, EMEA, Hilton. "Baltic resort cities, such as Świnoujście, Kołobrzeg and Gdańsk, are increasingly popular domestically and abroad. Once open, Hilton Świnoujście Resort & Spa will be a leading resort hotel on the Baltic coast." Located on Usedom Island, near Poland's border with Germany, Świnoujście is popular with Polish, German and Scandinavian visitors.

Construction has already started on the property, which will include a minimum of 167 guestrooms, a spa, fitness room and gym, restaurants, and lobby and rooftop bars. Guests also will have access to the already-open indoor water park, which includes five pools, slides, surf wave and saunas.

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A Growing Trend

Other international companies are planning Baltic development this year. For example, earlier this summer, Radisson Hospitality signed an agreement for a new Radisson hotel in Riga, Latvia, a first for the core brand in the Baltics. Radisson Hospitality teamed with long-term partner Astor Group to develop the Radisson Old Town Riga Hotel, and will manage and operate the hotel, the fourth Radisson Hotel Group property in the city.

That announcement followed the group's deal to open the Park Inn by Radisson Vilnius Airport Hotel & Business Center in Lithuania. The 120-room hotel, which is slated to open in 2020, will not only be Rezidor's sixth hotel in operation and in Lithuania's pipeline, but also the company's fourth in the capital city. The group will manage and operate the Park Inn along with two existing Radisson Blu hotels in the city. 

Last month, British hospitality company IHG and investment management company Lords LB Asset Management set plans to open Latvia's first Holiday Inn in September 2022. Lords LB Asset Management acquired the Preses Nams building and the land a year ago. The hotel will have 280 rooms, a restaurant, a conference hall with a seating capacity of 400, six meeting rooms, a parking lot and a fitness center.

The project is the fourth agreement since the beginning of this year on building an IHG hotel in Eastern Europe, where there are 25 IHG hotels operating under the InterContinental, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Express brands. 

And back in January, Marriott International added the AC Hotel Riga to its European development pipeline, planning a 2019 opening following an extensive renovation and rebrand of the Albert Hotel. The property will have 239 guestrooms once the renovations are complete. Operator Legendhotels Latvija will take over operations the property in line with a 20-year franchise agreement with Marriott International.

Regional Appeal

Commenting on the Baltic region's appeal for development, IHG Development Director in Poland and Eastern Europe Miguel Martins said the number of tourists traveling to Riga has been growing, hence the need for trusted hotel brands in the city and its surrounding areas.

And Estonia’s tourism sector also has been on the rise. In August, more than 448,000 domestic and local travelers used hotels in the country, a 3-percent increase compared to August 2017, according to official statistics. At least 263,000 foreign visitors spent at least one night in Estonia in August.