Grosvenor House up for sale after going into administration
It is believed that the five-AA-star, 494-bedroom hotel could raise in excess of £500m, having previously been sold by RBS in 2010 for £470m, a figure regarded as the largest hotel transaction in London on record.
The hotel will continue to be managed under a 37-year long lease with Marriott International, who operate it under its luxury JW Marriott brand. Since taking over the running of the property, Marriott has invested £142m in its restoration and is currently undertaking a refurbishment of all the bedrooms which will continue until 2017.
Representatives of Deloitte were appointed as administrators after the Bank of China pulled the plug on the owner, Sahara Grosvenor House Hospitality.
Subrata Roy, the Indian tycoon who heads up Sahara, was jailed a year ago following his arrest in connection with a failure by the company to refund £1.9b to 30 million Indian investors after allegedly illegally raising the money through a retail bond scheme.
Roy had been granted temporary day release to allow him to conduct negotiations for the sale of Grosvenor House and two New York hotels - the Plaza and Dreams Downtown - to raise around $1.6b (£1b)in bail money. However, despite reported bids from the Sultan of Brunei, the Qatar royal family and the Poonawalla family in India, he failed to secure a deal.
Now property agent JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group has been appointed to sell the hotel which offers some of the most extensive conference and banqueting spaces in London, including the renowned Great Room, which holds 250 events annually.
It also comprises the JW Steakhouse & Terrace, Corrigan's Mayfair, the Park Room & Library, Red Bar, Bourbon Bar and Park Lane Market.
Mark Wynne-Smith, global chief executive of JLL, said: "The last hotel transaction on Park Lane took place two years ago and as the market has strengthened since then, we are looking forward to engaging with investors in an open marketing process.
"The hotel is set apart from its Park Lane hotel peers due to its extensive banqueting facilities, whilst the lease to Marriott International means that we expect the asset to appeal to a broad range of local and global investors."
Designed by architect Sir Edwin Luytens, the hotel opened on the site of Grosvenor House, the former London residence of the Dukes of Westminster in 1929. Today it sells around 160,000 room nights and serves some 650,000 covers a year. Turnover in 2012 was £78m.
Its general manager, Stuart Bowery, was named Hotelier of the Year by The Caterer in 2013.
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