InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has lost the management contract to run the Westminster hotel it opened with considerable fanfare less than two years ago.
Supreme Hotels, part of the Splendid Hospitality Group and owner of the 256-bedroom property, and IHG have mutally agreed to part company, and Supreme has signed a franchise agreement with Hilton Worldwide to rebrand the InterContinental Westminster as the Conrad London Westminster from September.
The brand previously adorned the 160-unit all-suite hotel at Chelsea Harbour until 2007 when the Wyndham Hotel Group took over the property's management. Earlier this year the hotel was re-branded again as the Chelsea Harbour hotel as the first in a new group of hotels called the Monogram Collection from Millennium & Copthorne Hotels.
A spokesperson for IHG confirmed that it has signed an agreement with Supreme Hotels to terminate the management agreement for the property.
"This agreement will take effect from 31 August 2014, after which Supreme Hotels will be free to seek an alternative brand for the hotel," she said.
"The InterContinental brand will continue to have a strong presence in London, with InterContinental London Park Lane and InterContinental London The O2, which is due to open in 2015."
The loss of the InterContinental Westminster will be a major disappointment for IHG, which opened the hotel in December 2012 as only the second InterContinental hotel in the UK following the launch of InterContinental hotel on Park Lane in 1976.
However, IHG and the Splended Hospitality Group continue to enjoy a good working relationship. Splendid, through Sojourn Hotels, a sister company of Supreme Hotels, operates six IHG hotels under franchise agreements: Hotel Indigo Edinburgh, Holiday Inn Express Leeds - East, Holiday Inn Express Glenrothes, Holiday Inn Express York and Holiday Inn London - Wembley, with a seventh, Hotel Indigo York, set to open in 2015.
At the time of its opening Andrew Coney, the then general manger, told The Caterer that IHG was positioning the hotel as being at "the hub of the locality, somewhere politicians, lobbyists, journalists and civil servants will migrate to meet and gossip".
An extravagant party held soon after its opening, attended by many politicians, indicated that the hotel quickly established itself as a popular watering hole for MPs.
Coney moved to the Kensington hotel, London, a Doyle Collection property, in April.
The hotel, which is situated in the Broadway between Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace, is the first of two properties owned by Supreme Hotels to open under a Hilton Worldwide brand within a year. Next summer will see the launch of its Hilton London Bankside hotel.
John TA Vanderslice, global head, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Worldwide, said: "Conrad creates inspired experiences for our guests in the world's gateway cities and most sought after leisure destinations. London continues to be a political, cultural, and economic powerhouse in the world, which makes it a natural destination for international travellers."
Shiraz Boghani, chairman of Supreme Hotels, said: "It is supremely exciting to be announcing our second involvement with Hilton Worldwide in as many weeks! Together with Hilton London Bankside, we will be offering two significant destination hotels for London."
The Conrad brand currently operates 23 hotels worldwide.
The Splendid Hospitality Group is the owner, operator and developer of 13 hotels in the UK, ranging from budget to luxury properties. It currently works with IHG, Hilton Worldwide and Choice Hotels in operating eight branded hotels and has a further five hotels under development