Hilton takes over lease of London's Waldorf hotel

03 December 2003 by
Hilton takes over lease of London's Waldorf hotel

Hilton Group has officially signed the lease to take over the operation of London's Waldorf hotel.

The property, one of two Le Méridien hotels owned by Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and put into administrative receivership in July, will be renamed the Hilton Waldorf.

Hilton will take over the lease of the 303-bedroom property by 31 January 2004 and will also take all the hotel's staff, including general manager Amanda Scott.

The group said the addition of the hotel to its portfolio would "fill the gap" that will be left when its management contract at the 439-bedroom Langham Hilton hotel near London's Oxford Street expires next May.

Hilton would not comment on the financial details of the deal with RBS, but said the lease was "significant".

Analysts reacted soberly to the news. "One hotel is not going to transform the group, but they will do well with it," said one.

Observers agreed that the addition of the hotel would be positive for Hilton's profile, adding another central London trophy property to the group, but said it was too early to say how good a deal it was.

An operator for the 453-bedroom Grosvenor House hotel on Park Lane, the second of the RBS-owned properties placed into administrative receivership, has not yet been officially appointed, but US-based hotel group Marriott International is understood to be the frontrunner in the race to take it over.

RBS is also in the process of appointing operators for the other nine hotels it owns, with former UK and Ireland managing director of Le Méridien Tony Troy rumoured to be taking control of up to five of the properties.

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