Marriott International has acquired the Berners hotel in London and plans to renovate it over the next 18-24 months, rebranding it under its Edition brand.
Edition was conceived by American hotelier and developer Ian Schrager and the news that the Berners will become the London Edition comes just weeks after the grand opening of the first Edition hotel in Hawaii.
Marriott declined to reveal how much it paid for the 193-bedroom London property, but it was put up for sale for a price in excess of £60m in August by Jones Lang Lasalle after its former owners, JJW Hotels & Resorts, which also owned the Eton Collection of seven boutique hotels, went into administration earlier in the year.
Commenting on the deal, Arne Sorenson, president and chief operating officer of Marriott International, said: "We are delighted to acquire Berners. It is a perfect property for an Edition hotel in London. With its great location and beautiful façade, the building is a perfect canvass for creating a true work of art."
Ian Schrager added: "I am thrilled to be returning to London for an incredibly special and historical building like Berners hotel. I am excited and passionate about creating an authentic and original experience for this special Edition hotel in this gateway city."
Earlier this year, Marriott also acquired the Seville Hotel in Miami Beach to redesign and redevelop into an Edition hotel. As part of Marriott's long-standing business strategy, the company expects to manage the hotels under long-term agreements after selling them over time to third-party owners. Marriott expects to open the brand's second property, the Istanbul Edition, in the first half of 2011.
The Berners hotel dates back to 1835. The property originally comprised five residential houses and was later converted into a hotel. The layout includes a basement, ground and seven upper floors, and incorporates original architectural features, such as ornate ceilings and a marble-clad reception area.
By Neil Gerrard
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