Park Inn London Hotel Sold
The independent hotel chain Crimson Hotels Group (owned by Aly Kassam), has bought the 214-bedroom four star Park Inn London (sometimes referred to as the Bonnington) from the Ernst & Young, (the administrators of WG Mitchell) for an estimated £45 million. The property was bought by WG Mitchell in 2007 for £70m. The sale is believed to have gone through without virtually any associated debt transfer from the previous owners. Mr Kassam told the Times: Our acquisition of the Park Inn London, Russell Square, fills a Central London gap in our group. We had been looking for a Central London asset for some time. London hotel opportunities have been rare, so this property coming to the market gave us the chance to secure a well-located freehold trading asset.
The sale represents a glimmer of hope for the struggling hotel industry which has seen property values and occupancy rates fall throughout 2009. Following fifty guided tours of the Hotel during the sales and bidding process the sellers subsequently received sale £1 billion worth of bids. This demonstrates a keen interest in premier hotel locations (that rarely come on to the market) and in the hospitality and hotel industry generally. In the 1960s the hotel was infamously used to host trade union negotiations. The good news sentiment also echoed in a recent hotel conference in which key speakers highlighted the slow return of business from the disastrous 2008. In particular the growth of domestic tourism from UK travellers. Managing director of Visit Manchester, Paul Simpson said in Caterer search:’The challenge for hoteliers is to seek new routes to their markets, either by using their tourist boards, maximising local events, or through websites,”
This news comes at a time when the average room rates and occupancy levels have fallen across the UK regions. However the rate of fall in ondon has been not as bad as competing European cities for premier hotel locations such as Paris, Rome, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Prague. This is supported a survey by TRI Hospitality Consulting found that out of 107 UK chain hotel general manager’s 61% said they were either optimistic or very optimistic about their hotel’s trading performance.
The Park Inn is located in London’s historic district of Bloomsbury, between Holborn and Russell Square tube stations. The hotel is a stone’s throw from the British Museum and walking distance to top attractions such as Covent Garden, the West End and the shops on Oxford Street. The Park Inn London, Russell Square has a prime central London location near the West End theatres and shopping districts, the city and attractions. These include Covent Garden. Holborn and Russell Square tube stations are St Pancras International Station. All 4 star facilities are provided for a business trip or a city break. In addition, the hotel offers a restaurant, a bar and 12 modern and fully air-conditioned meeting rooms accommodating up to 200 delegates for a conference or 150 for a dinner. Crimson which currently owns and manages 11 hotels in the UK, Portugal and Dubai plans to invest considerable monies in re-branding the hotel to reflect the new owner’s identity including upgrading the reception area, restaurants and meeting rooms. Jeremy Jones, director at Christie & Co, the property agents in charge of the sale, said there were a number of offers for the hotel before the deal was finally secured.