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Claridge's could become a Four Seasons

04 August 2004
Claridge's could become a Four Seasons

Claridge's, one of London's best-known hotels, is rumoured to be joining the Four Seasons portfolio.

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Claridge's: Four Seasons will take over management, say sources
Industry sources have exclusively revealed to Caterer that Canada-based Four Seasons is poised to take over management of the five-star, 203-bedroom property imminently. The deal would give the group its third property in the capital to go with the 220-bedroom hotel on Park Lane and a 142-bedroom property in Canary Wharf. Claridge's is part of the Savoy Group of hotels, which was bought by Irish property investor Derek Quinlan in April for £750m. The conversion of Claridge's to a Four Seasons hotel will not come as a surprise to many. Quinlan already owns Four Seasons hotels in Dublin, Milan, Budapest and Prague, and is understood to have wanted to bring Claridge's under the Four Seasons umbrella since he bought the Savoy Group. None of the remaining three hotels in the group - the Savoy, the Connaught and the Berkeley - will be brought under Four Seasons management. Four Seasons was linked to the Savoy Group during its sale via another investor. Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, who has substantial stakes in both Four Seasons and its rival Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, was understood to have been bidding to buy the group of hotels and convert one or more of them to Four Seasons or Fairmont. A spokeswoman for Four Seasons said: "We continue to look at new opportunities but there's nothing to confirm on Claridge's." Scotland's Taymouth Castle in Perthshire is also understood to be coming under the Four Seasons banner, although the company could not yet confirm this. If planning permission for the conversion of the castle is granted, the group claims it will become the UK's first "six-star" hotel. *Source: Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, 5 August 2004*
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