1) Marriott International to buy Starwood Hotels in £8b deal
In what is expected to be a record-breaking year for global hotel deals, there is no doubt which one was the biggest and perhaps the most surprising. The announcement in November that Marriott International was to acquire Starwood Hotels & Resorts for $12.2b (£8b) to create the world's largest hotel company was unexpected, as Hyatt Hotels Corporation had been thought to be frontrunner in the scramble to acquire Starwood's 1,270 hotels.
The merger of the two US companies involves an unprecedented 30 brands, uniting the likes of Ritz-Carlton, Edition and Moxy with Marriott St Regis, Sheraton and W from Starwood.
Combined, the two companies operate or franchise more than 5,500 hotels with 1.1 million rooms worldwide.
2) Lone Star acquires Jurys Inn portfolio of 32 hotels for £680m
The largest UK deal came at the start of the year when Jurys Inn was sold in a ￡680m deal to private equity company Lone Star Funds.
Lone Star then announced the creation of Amaris Hospitality, with 89 hotels it had bought over two years. Alongside Jurys Inn, the properties included 21 hotels from Moorfield operating under Accor's Mercure and MGallery brands, 17 Hotel Collection properties and 19 Thistle hotels. A sum of £100m was put aside to rebrand and upgrade.
Amaris is focused on groups of branded hotels, primarily under the Jurys Inn, Mercure and Hilton Worldwide brands, while the Thistle name has been dropped.
3) Malmaison and Hotel du Vin sold for £363m
The sale of boutique hotel brands Malmaison and Hotel du Vin for £363.4m to Singapore-owned Frasers Hospitality UK earned a decent profit for former owners, USA-based private equity firm KSL Capital Partners.
KSL had bought the group of 27 hotels only two years earlier for £200m. It added two hotels to create a total of 16 Hotel du Vin and 13 Malmaison properties.
Guus Bakker, chief executive of Frasers Hospitality UK, said the high price paid for the two brands reflected the high returns the hotels command, with average room and revpar rates 50% higher than the competitor set.
4) Starwood Capital Group announces new brand of urban lifestyle hotels
The most creative prospect coming from recent deals comes from the announcement in March of a new brand of urban lifestyle hotels by US private investment firm Starwood Capital Group.
The brand comprises a property treasure trove built up from February 2013 with the acquisition of Principal Hayley Group's 22 four-AA-star hotels in the UK and one near Paris, for £356m.
David Taylor, former general manager of the London Edition hotel, is heading brand development as chief operating officer.
More big deals
Kew Green Hotels - the largest franchisee of Holiday Inn hotels in Europe - was acquired in August by HK CTS Hotels Co, a wholly-owned subsidiary of China National Travel Service Group Corporation, for £400m.
Private investment company Topland, owner of the Hallmark and Menzies portfolios and the Royal Crescent Hotel, snapped up the eight Feathers Group hotels in January. It later announced the merger of Hallmark and Menzies under the one Hallmark brand.
Single-asset investments have included the sale of St Ermin's Hotel in Westminster, London, to US-based Tei Fu and Oi-lin Chen for an undisclosed sum; five-red-AA-star, 232-bedroom Gleneagles Hotel in Auchterarder, Perthshire, to Ennismore off a price guide of £200m; and five-AA-star, 132-bedroom Cameron House, Loch Lomond to KSL Capital Partners for £70m.