Rocco Forte Hotels has responded to widespread reports that two of the company's three UK hotels are up for sale.
Speaking on behalf of the group of 11 luxury hotels, brand marketing director Richard Power said that the 188-bedroom Balmoral in Edinburgh and 165-bedroom Lowry hotel in Manchester are two great properties which always created a lot of interest.
"They are both market leaders and iconic hotels within both cites, but we are not talking to anybody about them at the moment," explained Power.
"If the time ever came to sell either hotel, we would only consider doing so provided that the management remained with the brand."
Power also commented about losing the Augustine hotel in Prague from its portfolio due to its uneconomic lease.
"In a strong city, we may have been able to sustain the lease, but the Prague market was softer than we had expected when we took it on," he said. "We tried to get a reduction on the rent, but unfortunately we were not successful.
"It is a great shame as the hotel was really one of the nicest in the group."
Power went on to explain that the company is currently investing in many of the hotels, including a major refurbishment of the Balmoral and the development of a new restaurant at the Astoria in St Petersburg.
Meanwhile, Rocco Forte Hotels has four hotels in the pipeline, with one in Jeddah due to launch within 12 to 18 months, and three others set to open at a later date in Luxor, Cairo and Marrakech.
Power said that business in the UK was currently positive, but unpredictable. "One week we can be up into double digit figures, the next we may record zero growth. The US, traditionally our biggest market, is very up and down for us at the moment, while South America, Germany and Russia are strong."