When it comes to business and tourism the hospitality sector for Britain remains active-and competitive. Plans have just been announced that a new £300 million luxury hotel is being planned by the iconic retailer and London landmark Harrods. The hotel will allow visitors to use a former car park as a tunnel to get to and from the retailer. Boutique Hotelier is reporting that the freehold site was acquired in 2013 by Kwek Leng Beng’s CDL property group of Singapore for £85million with a residential planning consent. Beng are also the owners of Millennium & Copthorne Hotels.
Qatari-owned Harrods has considered over the years of growing the department store internationally with upscale accommodations. The new hotel scheme for London will feature 120 bedrooms with eight floors and having an additional total of 23,000 square feet on the there basement levels devoted to a new spa and retail outlets. The design is being made by Hamilton Architects of the UK and is expected to take 30 months to build. The car park to be used in the plans was originally a warehouse for for Harrods.
Boutique Hotelier reports David Ashcroft, chief executive of Dartmouth, representing the developers, told The Times:
“When we bought the site we knew from the legal documents that there was a tunnel but it had been blocked up at both ends. We only found the entrance last week and informed Harrods of that. It’s in remarkably good condition, still green Harrods carpets and lots of Harrods signs.”
“I think you can be assured that a world class brand will be occupying it.”
2020 Hotel Outlook
So what can the UK expect as 2020 gets started for the hotel sector?
London & Partners are indicating that this year will see a high number of new hotels and hotel rooms for London.
"London’s MICE offering has received a further boost with the news that 7,995 hotel rooms across 65 new hotels will open next year, adding to 158,956 existing hotel rooms and marking the largest number of openings London has ever seen in one year ."
"New hotel room openings have soared from 3,222 in 2010 to 7,995 planned for 2020, according to data from STR. This means that in ten years (2010-2020), London’s overall hotel room capacity has increased by 41%."
London is forecast to have an addition of 121 hotels with 14,840 rooms between 2019 and 2020-a record. For the new rooms 10% are graded 5-star 31% being 4-star and 26% are budget accommodations.
From North America new properties are opening or being considered for the London market including The Standard which opened in July 2019 and the new Hard Rock Hotel.
London & Partners also report:
"Later this year, the newly renovated Biltmore Hotel will reopen as the first hotel to join Hilton’s New Luxury Collection – LXR Hotels & Resorts. Japan’s Prince Hotels will also debut The Prince Akotoki later this month, its first European hotel based in London’s Marylebone and showcasing Japanese minimalism."
Tracy Halliwell, Director of Conventions & Major Events at London Convention Bureau:
“London is a top global destination for leisure and business travellers, and we are delighted to see a record number of new hotels and rooms opening in the capital. We’ve seen a range of exciting and cutting-edge hotels open recently like The Hoxton Southwark, The Stratford and Bankside Hotel, and we look forward to the upcoming openings".