Formula One mogul Bernie Ecclestone is the UK's richest hotel investor, according to the Sunday Times Rich List 2006.
Ecclestone, who owns the 16-bedroom boutique Hotel Oden in Gstaad, Switzerland, topped the poll with a personal net fortune of £2.24b, making him the 13th richest person in the country.
He was followed by oil and Highland Spring water tycoon Mahdi al-Jahir, who owns the Sheraton Park Tower hotel in London and is worth £2.2b.
Others on the list include property entrepreneur Simon Halabi, the owner of the In and Out club in Piccadilly, London (£2b); Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay, owners of London's Ritz hotel (£1.8b); and Richard Caring, owner of the Ivy and Le Caprice restaurants (£500m).
Hotel consultant Michael Hirst said it showed there was money to be made in the industry. "People like Caring are astute and when they buy into a hospitality business they think it through carefully," he said.
Robert Barnard, partner at accountancy firm PKF, said the figures also showed a trend for trophy assets in the sector. "Investors are attracted to the long-term strength of these properties," he said.
By Tom Bill