The holding company of the Fairmont St Andrews hotel, St Andrews Bay Development, has been acquired by a new Hong-Kong based company headed by a passionate golfer.
Investment and asset management business Great Century has bought the hotel, which features two championship golf course, as its first investment.
The 211-bedroom, five-AA-star hotel had been owned by real estate investment company Kennedy Wilson, which sold the hotel together with Leavesden Park business park near Watford for $178m (£135m). The hotel was put on the market for offers around £35m in June 2014 and bought by the business in August 2014 for £32.4m. The company performed a valuation exercise on the property, and at 31 December 2018 it was valued at £43.4m.
Accor’s Fairmont brand will continue to manage and operate the hotel under its long-term management agreement.
Cym Chan, co-chairman of Great Century, said: “As a member of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club and a passionate golfer with over 30 years’ experience in the golf & hospitality industries, it is a privilege and an honour to participate closely in the future enhancement of this great property.”
Peter Lam, chairman of Lai Sun Group and co-chairman of Great Century, expresses similar excitement: “I am extremely confident about the future potential that the Fairmont St Andrews holds. I am proud to be a partner in this long-term investment.”
Marc Dardenne, chief operating officer of luxury brands in Europe for Accor, said: “Fairmont St Andrews is one of the most prestigious addresses in Accor’s portfolio and we are delighted that it has become Great Century’s first investment.”
John Keating, general manager of Fairmont St Andrews, said: “This partnership marks a special day for Fairmont St Andrews, bringing together the strengths, passions and vision of Great Century, Fairmont and Accor to create greater opportunities for the hotel in the domestic and international markets.”
Mike Pegler, head of UK for Kennedy Wilson, added: “Following the completion of our renovations at the Fairmont St Andrews, including a targeted sustainability program, we have significantly improved the operating performance and grown NOI by over 50% during our ownership. A healthy hospitality investment market and the strong growth credentials of the repositioned Fairmont St Andrews resulted in this successful disposition.”
Last week it was announced that the Arora Group’s Windsor hotel is set to be the UK’s third Fairmont-branded property, joining the Savoy in London and Fairmont St Andrews.