Tag: hotel

Hilton Blackpool acquired by Britannia Hotels

Only a few months after being sold to the Starwood Capital Group, the Hilton Blackpool has been acquired by Britannia Hotels, and had a name change, twice.

Hilton Blackpool
The 4-star Hilton Blackpool is now part of the Britannia Hotels portfolio. Photo (c) Blackpool Gazette

In March 2018, Starwood, a global private investment firm, acquired a portfolio of seven Hilton-branded hotels from Park Hotels and Resorts (a Hilton company) in a deal understood to be worth £135m.

At that point, the 278-bed, 4-star hotel was being managed by Kew Green Hotels under a franchise agreement with Hilton Worldwide.

On 21 June, just three months later, the Blackpool Gazette reported that the hotel website was carrying the following message: “Please note that as of 26 June 2018, Hilton Blackpool will cease to operate as a Hilton hotel.” The hotel management was reported to be “remaining tight-lipped over who would be taking over”.

On 26 June, the Gazette carried photos showing the hotel without its Hilton branding. The report indicated that Hilton would cease operations at the site at midnight but that the hotel would remain open. The Gazette noted that there was still no word on who the new occupier of the building would be.

Hilton Blackpool
The Hilton branding has gone, and no indication of who the new operator will be. Photo (c) Blackpool Gazette

Two days later, on 28 June, the Gazette carried a story with the headline ‘Concern over new operator of former Blackpool Hilton’. It revealed that the hotel had been taken over by Cheshire-based Britannia Hotels (on 27 June). The newspaper reported concerns raised by civic leaders. Blackpool council leader Councillor Simon Blackburn was reported as saying that Britannia would not be their choice of hotel partner. Conservative group leader Counciller Tony Williams was reported as saying that Britannia catered to a “very different market” to that which Hilton attracted.”

It is unclear why Starwood chose to dispose of the hotel so soon after acquiring it. Starwood has been approached for a comment.

Britannia immediately renamed the hotel the Grand Hotel Blackpool. However, an online search for the hotel on hotel websites Booking.com and Expedia reveals the hotel listed under the name ‘Blackpool Hotel, Conference Centre & Spa’.

To try and clarify the situation, Britannia Hotels was contacted for an explanation. Within two hours a response was received from the central reservations team confirming that the name for the former Hilton Blackpool is ‘Blackpool Hotel, Conference Centre & Spa’. The email indicated that the website, which shows the hotel as the Grand Hotel Blackpool, will be updated soon. It is not known why Britannia has chosen to rename the hotel.

The hotel opened in 1982 as ‘The Pembroke’. It became the Stakis Blackpool in 1996 before becoming part of the Hilton group in 1999. The hotel was put up for sale in 2013 but no buyer was found. Park Hotels and Resorts was formed in January 2017 as a spin-off of Hilton.

Hilton Blackpool
The change in ownership revealed the name of The Pembroke Hotel, the hotel’s original name. Photo (c) Blackpool Gazette

As at today, 27 July 2018, Britannia Hotels’ website shows a portfolio of 60 properties. Its latest acquisitions, listed at www.britanniahotels.com/new-hotels are:
Grand Hotel Blackpool (to be updated to read Blackpool Hotel, Conference Centre & Spa)
Grand Hotel Sunderland
Hollins Hall Hotel & Country Club, Baildon, West Yorkshire
Sprowston Manor Hotel & Country Club, Norwich
Meon Valley Hotel & Country Club, Southampton
Grand Hotel Gosforth Park Newcastle

For more information about Britannia Hotels, go to www.britanniahotels.com

The Hotel Collection portfolio for sale

The Hotel Collection has placed what is understood to be its 10 remaining hotels on the market for what is reported to be a combined value of £130m.

The hotels include some of the coach tourism industry’s favourites, including The Majestic Hotel in Harrogate, The Redworth Hall Hotel in County Durham, The Imperial Hotel in Torquay and The Imperial Hotel in Blackpool.

Martin Rogers, head of UK hotel transactions at Savills, the property company handling the sale, says: “We are pleased to be bringing this significant collection of hotels to market. The distinctive heritage and character of each property has been maintained while generating a robust collective income. The Hotel Collection portfolio also offers numerous value-add and asset management opportunities to further enhance the long term revenue.”

The Hotel Collection, previously known as Puma Hotels, was acquired by US property investment firm Lone Star Funds in 2014. In 2015, Lone Star, which also owns Jurys Inn, announced the creation of Amaris Hospitality, a company focused on properties operating under various international brands such as Hilton, Doubletree by Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn from Hilton Worldwide, Mercure and MGallery from AccorHotels. At the time it was reported that Lone Star was likely to dispose of the individual properties that made up the Hotel Collection.

The 10 hotels are: The Majestic, Harrogate; The Old Ship Hotel, Brighton; The Redworth Hall Hotel, County Durham; The Imperial Hotel, Torquay; The Billesley Manor Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon; The Imperial Hotel, Blackpool; Shrigley Hall Hotel, Golf and Country Club, Macclesfield; The Stirling Highland Hotel; The Aberdeen Altens Hotel; and The Angel Hotel, Cardiff.

Note: Lone Star Funds was in the news again this week when it was announced that it had acquired Shearings Group.

Majestic Hotel, Harrogate
The Majestic Hotel in Harrogate is one of The Hotel Collection’s 10 hotels that has been put up for sale