Edwardian Hotels London has become the new name for the group of 12 owner-operated hotels in London and Manchester, previously known as Edwardian Group London.
The rebranding of the company, founded by Jasminder Singh in 1975, aims to clarify what the company of four- and five-AA-star hotels offers.
Paul Mansi, chief operating officer of Edwardian, said that the Edwardian stems from the name of the first hotel in the group and intends to reflect the service culture of the historical era. "It was important we had the word hotels in the name to reflect what we do and London shows where the company is primarily based," he explained.
Edwardian Hotels operates 11 of its hotels under the Radisson Blu brand, following the signing of a franchise agreement with Carlson Rezidor in 1993. They are all four-AA-star properties, except for two five-AA-star hotels: the Radisson Blu Edwardian, Hampshire in London's Leicester Square and the Radisson Blu Edwardian, Manchester. The company also owns and operates the five-AA-star May Fair hotel, which sits within Carlson Rezidor's Quorvus Collection of "independent" hotels.
Expansion of Edwardian Hotels London is currently focused on the development of a 350-bedroom hotel, costing in excess of £300m, on the site of the Radission Blu Edwardian Leicester Square hotel and Odeon cinema.
"We shall be creating an iconic, visually strong hotel, which will feature 51% of the floor space below ground," said Mansi. "It will be an urban resort with a two-level spa, a destination restaurant on the lower ground floor, a tapas restaurant on the ground floor and a two-tier bar overlooking the lobby."
Due to open in 2019, the hotel is being designed by architects Woods Bagot, with interiors by Yabu Pushelburg. A decision has yet to be taken as to whether it will be aimed at the four-star or five-star sector or if it will be branded.
Mansi, who joined the company in 1982 as an operations executive, said that further growth for the group would be "opportunistic" if the market was right. "Historically we have bought properties when the market is depressed, we will never pay exorbitant prices. We benefitted from acquiring the Leicester Square site as the sitting tenant. Its value is already £200m more than the investment."
As both owner and operator, Edwardian has "flexibility, dynamism and individual flair", explained Mansi. "We influence every aspect of the running of the hotels, spending heavily - around £12-20m every year - on refurbishments and updating of technologies."