MWB Group Holdings*


* No longer trading

MWB Group Holdings was a property investment firm that owned or operated two quite distinct UK boutique hotel brands, Malmaison



THE 2010s



  • November 2004 MWB sells the five-star Howard hotel in London for £75m to Samosir. It continues to be managed by Swissotel.
  • October 2004 MWB buys the six-strong Hotel du Vin chain for £66.4m from entrepreneurs Robin Hutson and Gerard Basset, 10 years to the day after its creation in 1994. The group has a seventh hotel in the pipeline which opens in Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire in March 2005.
  • Summer 2004 The first Malmaison café, called TEA, opens at the Newcastle hotel.
  • June 2004 The five-star 301-bedroom Marriott West India Quay hotel opens.
  • March 2004 MWB buys the McCausland hotel in Belfast, and reopens it as the first Irish Malmaison in December. It includes two rock’n’roll suites designed by managing director Robert Cook.
  • January 2004 Robert Cook comes on board from Ken McCulloch’s Unique Hotel Coporation to head up Malmaison, where he had worked from 1997 to 2000.
  • November 2003 MWB’s Charterhouse Square property opens as London’s first Malmaison.
  • July 2003 MWB raises funds by issuing £15m new unsecured loan stock.
  • March 2003 MWB signs a 35-year management and turnover lease on a former prison in Oxford that is planned to open in 2005 as a Malmaison. It will be the first in which MWB does not own the freehold).
  • November 2002 MWB opens both the £45m Radisson Glasgow and the five-star 157-bedroom London Marriott Hotel Park Lane in London following a £95m renovation of the property.
  • September 2002 MWB buys out Rezidor’s stake in Malmaison for £6m and takes over its 18-year management contract for a further £7m.
  • October 2002 MWB opens the sixth Malmaison, in Birmingham.
  • May 2002 MWB raises £20m from the issue of 25 million new shares at 80p per share.
  • 2002 MWB reveals plans to open hotels on London’s Park Lane and Glasgow’s Argyle Street Glasgow on 20-year operating and management contracts. It will also refurbish its Howard hotel and West India Quay hotel and serviced apartment properties in London.
  • July 2001 MWB wins planning consent for a £300m mixed-use development on a 10-acre-site alongside London’s ExCel centre. French hotel Accor has signed up for the first £35m phase to build two hotels (a Novotel and its first UK SuiteHotel) with a combined 413 bedrooms that are schedule to open in spring 2003.
  • March 2001 MWB announces plans to convert its Charterhouse Square property in Smithfield, London, into the first London Malmaison.
  • October 2000 MWB buys the five-strong mid-market boutique hotel group Malmaison for £65m, acquiring properties in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle. It buys the rights to the Malmaison name for £11m in a joint venture with hotel operator Rezidor SAS Hospitality, which secures a 20-year management contract for the brand.
  • July 2000 MWB acquires the Liberty retail store in London’s Great Marlborough Street.
  • March 2000 MWB buys a 95-year lease on the five-star Howard hotel in London from Ellerman Investments for £40m. It subsequently spends £15m refurbishing the property, which is managed by Swissôtel.

THE 1990s

  • 1998 MWB buys a former hospital in London’s Charterhouse Square to become the first of a four-star line of boutique hotels. In fact, it becomes the first London Malmaison at the end of 2003.
  • November 1997 MWB agrees to build a £56m Sofitel hotel on Crown Estate land in Pall Mall, London, for French hotel group Accor. The 186-bedroom hotel – originally planned to be completed by January 2000 – finally opens in April 2002 after several delays.
  • June 1997 MWB becomes a public company through a reverse takeover of the listed Ex-Lands Properties plc.
  • 1994 Marylebone Warwick Balfour Group is co-founded by Richard Balfour-Lynn, John Harrison and Joe Shashou