Hilton is to launch its new luxury brand LXR Hotels & Resorts into Europe with the opening of the Biltmore hotel in London, following the signing of a management franchise agreement with Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (M&C).
The 308-bedroom hotel on Grosvenor Square is currently undergoing a £50m redevelopment from what was previously the 336-bedroom Millennium Hotel London Mayfair. Due to launch in the Spring, the property has been closed since July 2018.
The rebranding of the hotel to the new Hilton badge marks a change of heart by the property owner M&C as it was originally billed to join its own luxury brand, Leng's Collection, reflecting the name of the company chairman Kwek Leng Beng. Hilton will operate the hotel under a 10-year management franchise agreement, with M&C having the option to take over the operation of the hotel under the LXR brand after five years.
Details of the food and beverage concepts are yet to be announced, but will include a year-round alfresco terrace and cocktail bar. There will also be a ballroom for up to 70 guests and a fitness suite.
Patrick Fitzgibbon, senior vice-president, development, EMEA, Hilton, said: "The Biltmore, Mayfair is a stunning addition to the new collection and prestigious extension to Hilton's growing luxury portfolio in London. Guests will experience first-class service in the heart of Mayfair, and the unique craftsmanship and historic surroundings of the hotel will make for a truly memorable stay."
Kwek Leng Beng, chairman of M&C, explained that the rebranding is "part of the group's repositioning of the former four-star property as "a new five-star deluxe hotel". He added: "We are familiar with Hilton, having partnered them on several hotel management contracts such as Millennium Seoul Hilton, Millennium Bangkok Hilton and Millennium Hilton New York."
LXR Hotels & Resorts is intended to be a luxury brand for independent hotels. It was originally formed by Blackstone Real Estate Advisors in 2005 when it acquired Wyndham International. Most of the properties were rebranded in 2007 when Blackstone acquired Hilton. Blackstone sold its stake in Hilton in May 2018.
The first of the new breed of LXR Hotels & Resorts opened last year in Dubai at the 234-bedroom Habtoor Palace.
Hilton has a portfolio of 16 brands comprising more than 5,500 properties in 109 countries.
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels owns and manages more 130 hotels, across four brands: Leng's Collection, M Collection, Millennium Collection and Copthorne Collection.