InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has revealed the rebranding of seven hotels following the acquisition of the 13-strong Principal portfolio by Convivio from US-based Starwood Capital Group in May.
French investor Convivio (formerly Foncière des Régions) appointed IHG to manage the hotels following the £858m buyout.
IHG confirmed the prediction made by The Caterer at the time of the acquisition that the Principal hotels in London, Manchester, Edinburgh Charlotte Square and Blythswood Square in Glasgow will join the luxury boutique Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants brand.
Kimpton will make its debut into the UK with the addition of the 334-bedroom London hotel on Russell Square – which only launched as a Principal hotel in April – later this year. The other three hotels will join Kimpton in 2019.
IHG will also introduce a second new brand to the UK with the transformation of the Principal St David’s hotel in Cardiff to Voco (pictured), which is akin to sister upscale brand Crowne Plaza, but with more focus on the leisure market. At the time of its launch in June, IHG said Voco, meaning ‘to invite’ or to ‘come together’ in Latin, will combine the informality and charm of independent properties with the quality and reassurance of a global brand.
Edinburgh will see the return of the InterContinental brand with the Principal George Street taking on the luxury badge. The hotel previously operated as an InterContinental property until its sale by IHG in 2005.
The Principal Met Leeds hotel will join the boutique Hotel Indigo brand in 2020.
Meanwhile, the Principal York is set to be rebranded at a later stage and De Vere Wotton House, near Dorking, Surrey, will operate unbranded as Wotton House.
Details of the rebranding of the Principal Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow, the Principal Oxford Spires hotel and De Vere Oxford Thames will be announced later this year. The 13th hotel acquired from Starwood is a development project in Birmingham.
Kenneth Macpherson, chief executive, EMEAA, IHG, said that the rebranding of the hotels confirms IHG as “the leading luxury operator” in the UK. “By launching these brands in prime city centre and destination locations around the country we will give our guests even greater choice.”