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09 Dec 2019

50 new UK luxury and premium hotels open in just a year as London luxury market stays buoyant

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50 new luxury and premium hotels have opened in the UK in just the past year, largely driven by the strong London luxury market, says Boodle Hatfield, the leading private wealth law firm.

The total number of luxury hotels in the UK rose to 3,380 in 2018/19, up from 3,330 in 2017/18. In comparison, the number of 3 star and lower hotels fell to 4,120 in 2018/19, down from 4,160 in 2017/18*.

Boodle Hatfield explains that the data shows the luxury hotel sector in London is holding up well despite signs of a slowdown in other parts of the UK economy. Previous research by Boodle Hatfield revealed there are 210 new hotels currently in the development pipeline in London.

Private investors from the Middle East and Asia have been particularly key in growing London’s luxury hotel sector. The Kensington Hilton was sold to Kurdish hotel investor, Bakir Colar for £260m. Meanwhile Queensgate Investments, a vehicle for a number of UHNW individuals and family offices, completed a £1 billion acquisition of the Grange Hotel portfolio of four central-London hotels.

Boodle Hatfield says that, during what has been uncertain times, the fall of Sterling against the dollar has played a key role in attracting an influx of international tourists, as it has made it significantly cheaper to visit the UK. Tourists are forecast to spend a record £24.5bn** in the UK in 2019, up from £22.9bn in 2018.

Greater economic certainty post-general election would likely lead to a rise in the value of Sterling but any connected, slight drop-off in tourist numbers would be far outweighed by the wider cementing of investor confidence, encouraging even more growth in the luxury hotel sector, adds Boodle Hatfield.

New luxury hotel openings in London in 2019 include:

  • A 5-star hotel, The Biltmore Mayfair is Europe’s first LXR Hotel & Resort property -Hilton’s new collection of luxury hotels. The hotel will include restaurants from Michelin Star restaurateur, Jason Atherton
  • The Standard at Kings Cross is the first property under The Standard brand to open outside of the US, with 266 rooms and a rooftop restaurant by Peter Sanchez Inglesia with 360-degree views around London
  • The Prince Akatoki at Marble Arch will become the first international 5-star hotel by Japanese brand The Prince

Adam Chamberlain, Partner in the Real Estate team at Boodle Hatfield, comments: “London’s luxury hotel sector is still buoyant, and certainty over Brexit would be another positive for overseas investors in the market.”

“The luxury hotel market outside of London has showed some signs of cooling off, but the opportunity to invest in a landmark London hotel is still one that attracts wealthy individuals and families the world over.”

“UHNWs from the Gulf and Asia have long found luxury London hotels to be attractive assets, both as major trophy properties and income investments. That shows no signs of changing.”

This article first appeared in CityAM and The Caterer on 9 December 2019.