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Hempel hotel is sold to consortium for £16.5m

17 March 2005 by

West London's stylish Hempel hotel has been sold to a consortium of private Irish investors for a cool £16.5m.

The sale of the 40-bedroom property, with six apartments and garden - famed for its appearance in the blockbuster film Notting Hill - was finally clinched by a small

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Michael McBride: fronted group mystery Irish investors to clinch deal
group of mystery Irish investors fronted by hotelier Michael McBride. McBride, formerly general manager of the Herbert Park hotel, Dublin, is now managing director of Hempel Hotels after the sale by O&H Properties. Hempel Hotels said it planned to spend "several million" on refurbishing the property over the next six to eight months. McBride declined to comment on exact changes, but said there were plans to bolster its leisure facilities, as well as general refurbishment. Staffing levels are expected to be increased to two staff per guest. "The plan is to give the operation a Four Seasons or Mandarin Oriental feel and level of service," said McBride. London-based interior designer Max Bentheim will oversee the refurbishment.Room rates will rise from their current range of £300-£1,300 a night to £400-£2,000 a night. The property's six apartments, formerly incorporated into the hotel business, will be run as long-term lets. Hempel Hotels will also be looking for further properties "in the next year or so". "We will look anywhere, but specifically would like sites within a one-mile radius of the Hempel," said McBride. Property agent Knight Frank handled the sale. McBride's consortium was represented by Millar Kitching. The Hempel was opened in 1997 by designer Anouska Hempel, and sold to O&H Properties in 2003. *Source: Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, 17 March 2005*
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