The 258-bedroom Ace Hotel London, which has proved a hit with the surrounding creative community of Shoreditch since opening in September 2013, has been sold for its asking price of £150m.
Originally a Crowne Plaza hotel, the property was acquired out of administration by Starwood Capital Group in June 2012, before undergoing an extensive refurbishment and rebranding to an Ace hotel.
The new owner, venture capital company Limulus, has paid the equivalent of £580,000 per bedroom, a record figure for the locality. Ace Hotel Group, which operates properties in Los Angeles, New York, Palm Springs, Seattle and Panama, will continue to manage the hotel of behalf of the new owners.
Situated on Shoreditch High Street, the hotel was marketed by JLL's Hotels & Hospitality Group using an upbeat video highlighting the use of public spaces as a hub for the local community. The hotel features the Hoi Polloi restaurant, three bars, coffee shop, three retail outlets, nightclub and 10 meeting spaces.
Adam Wilson, vice-president of JLL's Hotels & Hospitality Group, said: "This transaction sets a new benchmark for hotel pricing in the local area and represents a narrowing of the gap between east and west London pricing. This sales process attracted over £1b of equity from all over the globe and is indicative of the insatiable appetite for London hotel real estate."
Nick Chadwick, vice-president of Starwood Capital Group, added that the company had considerable enhanced the value of the property by positioning it to take advantage of the growth prospects of the Shoreditch market.
"We were early in recognising the potential of Shoreditch to emerge as one of London's hottest neighbourhoods, as the home of so much of the city's creative output in the areas of technology, media and the arts. With the Ace Hotel London Shoreditch, we have created a 24/7 gathering place that reflects the area's palpable energy, and which should continue to enhance the community by inspiring residents and visitors alike."
The sale of the hotel comes a week after Starwood Capital Group announced that it will be creating a new brand of eight iconic urban lifestyle hotels from an extensive portfolio of properties it has acquired over the past two years.
The opening of Ace Hotel London in 2013 marked the first move outside of the US for the Ace hotel group, which was launched by Alex Calderwood in 1999, when it quickly made a name for itself for having an un-hotel like approach to locally-inspired design with signature pieces of vintage furniture, unpainted metal doors and original artwork, alongside in-bedroom record players and staff-curated vinyl. It was honoured for achieving the Best Renovation at the 2014 European Hotel Design Awards.
Unfortunately, Calderwood was found dead in the Ace Hotel London two months after the property opened. He had suffered an alcohol and drugs overdose.