Swiss Investor Buys Stylish Berlin Hotel

Eastern Property Holdings has purchased the 304-key Nhow Hotel in the Friedrichshain neighborhood.
Nhow Hotel Berlin lobby area. Image courtesy of NH Hotel Group

Eastern Property Holdings has acquired an 89.9 percent ownership of the Nhow Hotel in Berlin from the Jesta Group, of Montreal, and its partner. The acquisition price was not disclosed.

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The property is leased to Nhow Hotel, part of the NH Hotel Group, Europe’s third-largest business hotel group. The lease has more than 15 years left, with the option to extend by a further 10 years. Designed by Berlin architect Sergei Tchoban and completed in 2010, the hotel features 304 guestrooms, 86 underground and 39 surface parking spaces, a spa, a restaurant and two music studios. It’s on the north bank of the Spree River, roughly 2 miles east of Museuminsel and in the upcoming Friedrichshain area.

An investment company listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange, EPH holds interests in office, residential and retail properties. It’s managed by Valartis International Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Valartis Group AG. The acquisition reportedly is part of EPH’s strategy to diversify its portfolio across major Western European markets, adding attractive CRE investments in stable markets with strong long-term economic outlooks.

A safe but growing market

The Nhow brand, according to NH Hotels, is intended for “hotels that are unconventional and cosmopolitan, each with a unique personality in major international cities.” In addition to Nhow, NH Hotels operates the NH, NH Collection, Tivoli, Anantara, Avani, Elewana and Oaks brands. Last October, NH Hotel Group agreed to take over management of the 187-key Marker Hotel in Dublin, rebranding it as the first Anantara property in Europe.

As Germany’s capital and largest employment hub, Berlin is the nation’s most attractive tourist destination, with 12.9 million arrivals and 31.3 million overnight stays in 2019, according to EPH. The meetings and conferences market generated around 8.1 million overnight stays in Berlin in 2018, which is expected to grow further following the completion of substantial additions to exhibition space.

The Berlin hotel market has been a steady performer, according to a February report from HVS. Over the past decade, its annual and cumulative percentage changes in hotel values (denominated in euros) have put it nearly dead center among 33 major European cities. Similarly, Berlin is ranked among the five least volatile European hospitality markets, along with Rome, Edinburgh, Hamburg and Vienna, also according to HVS.