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Niche hotel sale signals

10 August 2006

Boutique hotel operator Niche Hotels has sold its first hotel for more than £6m as it moves its portfolio towards larger properties with conference centres.

Niche, which was set up four years ago, bought the Queensgate hotel in South Kensington in November 2002 for £4.4m. It has now sold the 26-bedroom Georgian townhouse property to private investors who own the five-star Concorde El Salam hotels in Egypt. The acquisition gives the buyers their first UK property.

Alan Corlett, managing director at Niche, said the group will be focusing on period properties with more rooms in key cities and up-and-coming locations, although the group is set to announce a new acquisition in London shortly.

"As part of the rationalisation, Niche Hotels plans to refocus the collection of hotels on a bedstock of about 50, with technical and contemporary conference facilities," said sales and marketing director Alison Corlett.

Later this year, Niche will complete a £3m refurbishment of Wyck Hill House hotel in Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire. Other properties include the Grey Street hotel in Newcastle, the Royal hotel in Cardiff and the Royalist hotel in Stow-on-the-Wold.

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