The Welsh Rugby Union has acquired a building next to the Principality Stadium in Cardiff to transform it into "Cardiff's most luxurious hotel".
The WRU has bought the former Post Office building on Westgate Street, one of the oldest buildings in the Welsh capital, and hopes to relaunch it as the Westgate hotel by December 2020.
The hotel will feature 165 bedrooms, 15 VIP suites, two restaurants, a rooftop spa with outside jacuzzi, as well as meeting facilities and a ballroom for 400 guests. Subject to planning and listed building consent, construction work will begin in June this year.
The development will also include the former Inland Revenue building, later known as the County Court, already owned by the WRU. The buildings will undergo "significant transformation and refurbishment", with the intention to restore the buildings' historic features.
Martyn Phillips, chief executive of the WRU, said: "Developing this new hotel will allow us to diversify and supplement our current stadium-based hospitality and conference offering with the additional revenue generated through this business re-invested back into the game at all levels."
"The long-term financial gain generated by the Westgate hotel will be a direct shot in the arm for the PRB as it decides upon the reallocation of funds to the professional game in the years ahead. The Westgate hotel will also be a major asset in the Principality Stadium facilities and events portfolio and highlights both the scale of ambition and potential for growth of Welsh rugby."
The project is being developed by Rightacres (RAP) and funded by Legal & General as part of its ongoing investment into the regeneration of Central Square.
Paul McCarthy, chief executive of RAP, said: "There is no doubt that central Cardiff has been missing a luxury hotel for a long time and this is a special opportunity to bring activity and vibrancy back into the iconic Post Office building. Given that this project involves the restoration of an historic building, each guestroom will have its own unique layout with distinct features including the original turrets, eaves, windows and skylight"
Tom Roberts, head of strategic investment at Legal & General, added: "We are delighted to be funding what is widely regarded as the best hotel site in Cardiff and entering into partnership with the WRU and RAP."Get The Caterer every week on your smartphone, tablet, or even in good old-fashioned hard copy (or all three!).