Thistle Hotels has taken over the long-term lease and management of London's Cumberland hotel, which it will use to launch Guoman, a new de luxe brand.
Guoman, which means "international gateway" in Mandarin, signals Thistle's intention of creating an upscale international brand in major gateway locations.
This may, in the future, see Thistle venture outside the UK for the first time. Meanwhile, the plan is gradually to move key Thistle properties in the UK that fit the brand under the Guoman banner.
The Cumberland, which has over 900 bedrooms, will reopen next month following a £95m rebuild and refurbishment. The hotel is owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland and was formerly run as Le M‚ridien Marble Arch.