Canadian hotel group Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has taken over the management of London's Savoy hotel and the adjacent Simpons's-in-the-Strand restaurant.
As a result, the iconic Edwardian hotel will be reflagged as "the Savoy: a Fairmont hotel" from 28 January.
The change follows the acquisition of the two properties last year by a joint venture set up by Fairmont, Kingdom Hotels International (which is owned by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal) and Bank of Scotland Corporate to invest up to £800m in luxury hotels across Europe.
Advised by CB Richard Ellis Hotels, the joint venture paid an estimated £200m to buy the Savoy and Simpson's-in-the-Strand from Quinlan Group, a collection of Irish investors who bought the four-strong Savoy Group for £750m in April last year.
The Savoy represents Fairmont's first UK property and its second in Europe. In December, the joint venture bought the 619-bedroom Monte Carlo Grand hotel in Monaco, which is to undergo a $50m (£26.6m) refurbishment.
The Savoy, which dates back to 1889, will benefit from a $48m (£25.5m) revamp of its bedrooms and public rooms that will be completed by April 2005.
"As a long-term investor in Fairmont and Fairmont hotel properties, we believe our joint venture's focus on European luxury hotel acquisitions is an excellent strategic choice for growth," said Prince Alwaleed.
"The Savoy hotel is a wonderful addition to Kingdom's portfolio and is truly one of the finest hotels in Europe."
by Angela Frewin
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