The Franklin hotel in Knightsbridge, London is set to become the first in a small chain of boutique hotels across Europe planned by its new owner in Rome.
It marks GILAF's first foray into the hotel sector and the company has plans to build up a small collection of boutique hotels in key European cities such as London, Paris, Amsterdam and Rome.
The Franklin will be run by hotel management company Paragon Hotel Corporation.
Property agents Jones Lang LaSalle and Knight Frank handled the sale on behalf of Townhouse Hotel Investments, which put the Franklin on the market in July 2005 along with its Knightsbridge sister, the 30-bedroom Egerton House hotel.
Red Carnation Hotels snapped up Egerton House in September 2005 and the sale of the Franklin leaves directors David Naylor-Leyland and Alistair Haddon-Payton with one property, the 89-bedroom Dukes hotel in St James's Place.
Although they put the Dukes up for sale in February 2004 with a price tag in excess of £40m, the hotel was subsequently taken off the market.
By Angela Frewin