SINGAPORE — In a strategic acquisition that further solidified its position as one of the leading players in the global real estate industry, City Developments Limited (CDL) has announced a €240 million (approximately S$350.2 million) acquisition of the Hilton Paris Opéra hotel ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games.

The landmark deal for the prestigious 268-room, 5-storey freehold deluxe hotel was sealed through CDL wholly-owned subsidiary, Copthorne Hotel Holdings Limited, from funds managed by Blackstone.

The hotel was designed by renowned French architect Juste Lisch and was the first in the world to have guest lifts when it opened during the 1889 World’s Fair (Exposition Universelle) in Paris. It underwent an extensive renovation in 2015 under a €43.4 million refurbishment programme, and achieved the BREEAM In-Use Very Good certification for sustainable building performance two years prior.

According to CDL, their newly acquired Hilton Paris Opéra hotel is strategically located in the heart of the iconic shopping area in Paris’ central business district. It is also adjacent to the Saint-Lazare train station and within minutes’ walk of the world-renowned Galeries Lafayette and Printemps department stores, which offers easy access to the main Parisian tourist attractions and convention centres.

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With the acquisition of the Hilton Paris Opéra hotel, CDL now has three hotels with 670 rooms in the French capital. Its other two properties are the 163-room M Social Hotel Paris Opéra and the 239-room Millennium Hotel Paris Charles de Gaulle.

The other two hotels are owned and operated by the company’s other wholly-owned subsidiary, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels.

Photo credit: Hong Leong Group

“Throughout history, Paris has been one of Europe’s most recognisable and enduring cities, and a premier travel destination, beloved for its culture, cuisine, and fashion,” said Mr Kwek Leng Beng, CDL’s executive chairman. (pictured above, in white coat, during the launch of his biography)

He added, “This acquisition provides us with the rare opportunity to enhance our hospitality portfolio with a trophy asset, expand our presence in a key gateway city in Europe ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympics and bolster our recurring income with potential for value-add.”

Paris will be hosting the Olympic Games from Jul 26 to Aug 11 and the Paralympic Games from Aug 28 to Sep 8, with the French capital expecting to welcome more than 15 million visitors during this period. Paris is a popular and one of the world’s most attractive tourist destinations averaging between 38 to 40 million visitors annually. 

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An independent study by the University of Limoges, a research institute in France specialising in the economic and legal aspects of sport also revealed that the Olympic Games is set to generate between €6.7 billion and €11.1 billion in net economic benefits.

Although the tourism industry in Europe was previously severely impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis, post-pandemic Paris recorded the highest Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) rebound among key European cities, with upscale and luxury hotels showing the fastest recovery and outperforming 2019 levels in 2022.

Recent data shows that the hotel industry, particularly in Paris, experienced a significant rebound, driven by domestic and international leisure travellers, as well as business travellers contributing to the ongoing rebound in occupancy rates, which are now close to pre-pandemic levels.