France boasts over US$2.5 billion in hotel investment

Imagery of Hotel Tour Triangle courtesy of Herzog & de Meuron.
French high end hotel developments have attracted more than US$2.5 billion in financing, according to the latest data from THP.

The database shows the country’s premium pipeline has at least 93 ongoing projects comprising 14,237 keys.

Ready for the rebound

The latest analysis follows the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) prediction that France’s travel and tourism sector could surpass pre-pandemic levels this year, when it is projected to rise 2.2% above 2019 levels.

The forecast from WTTC’s latest Economic Impact Report (EIR) shows the sector’s contribution to GDP could reach more than €216 billion by the end of the year.

Opening rates

Hotel developers are already preparing the northern European nation’s portfolio for a forthcoming surge, with at least 38 high end sites due to launch in 2023.

The country’s Olympic 2024 host status could be another factor maintaining the opening rate, with a further 29 properties scheduled to complete next year.

Currently, the levels swiftly drop to six in 2025, two in 2026 and three in 2027. The remaining 15 have yet to be designated a delivery date.

City and stars

Capital city Paris continues to be the centre of hotel development gravity in France, with at least 33 high end hotels in the offing. And it’s no wonder when the WTTC rated Paris as the world’s most powerful city destination with a travel and tourism sector worth almost US$36 billion in 2022, in terms of direct GDP contribution to the city.

Nice comes in a distant second for forthcoming hotels on eight sites, while Bordeaux completes the podium on five.

Upscale properties dominate the pipeline, with at least 61 four star projects underway, representing 66% of the total. The remaining 32 hotels (34%) are five star luxury sites.

Brand standings

Major hotel groups IHG Hotels & Resorts and Accor are battling for supremacy in French hotel development. According to the THP database, IHG has at least 13 projects on the slate, while Accor has at least 12. Hilton Worldwide looks to be in touching distance, with at least nine sites planned.

In terms of individual brands, IHG’s voco and Accor’s Handwritten Collection have scheduled at least four developments each. Accor/Ennismore’s Mama Shelter, Radisson Hotel Group’s Radisson Collection, Hilton’s Hilton Garden Inn, and UK-headquartered Light Human Hotel are all on at least three projects apiece.

Ones to watch

One project making waves in Paris is Hotel Tour Triangle, a 180-m-high mixed use tower designed by renowned architects Herzog & de Meuron. The pyramid-shaped building will house a 128-key four star hotel between the 13th and 18th floors, offering terraces with Parisian cityscape views. The 13th floor will feature a large lobby, and across this and the 14th level there will be a skybar and restaurant open to all. A dedicated fitness centre will be located on the 17th floor. Construction has already begun, with completion scheduled for Q1 2026.

Elsewhere, IHG’s Six Senses Loire Valley is taking shape outside Orleans and will result from the conversion of a well-preserved chateau. The luxury hotel will comprise 88 keys, encompassing suites and villas clustered as enclaves in the woodland landscape and built alongside streams and waterways. Amenities will include a restaurant and bar, event facilities including function lawns plus a garden with an earth sculpture and a water feature. Opening is due for Q1 2025.