Rocco Forte Hotels has sold its five-star St David's hotel and spa in Cardiff to Principal Hotels for £32.5m.
The company said that although it initially planned to retain management of the 132-room hotel, it has sold it following a premium bid from Principal and will use the proceeds to fund further expansion of the Rocco Forte brand in mainland Europe.
Rocco Forte currently has hotels in Munich, Geneva and Prague as well as a golf resort in Sicily under development, all of which will open within the next year.
Chief executive Sir Rocco Forte said: "We leave Cardiff with considerable sadness but I am proud that The St David's hotel and spa has played a very important part in the development of Cardiff Bay and has helped to put the city on the tourism map."
Unconditional contracts for the sale were exchanged today with completion due to take place on 5 April.
Principal Hotels chief executive Tony Troy said: "We are delighted with the addition of The St David's hotel and spa the Principal portfolio as it is a unique hotel in a strategically-important location for us."
Principal Hotels was acquired by private equity firm Permira for an estimated £300m in September last year. Principal currently has six four-star hotels in the UK, including The Russell in London and The George in Edinburgh.
Propoerty agents CBRE Hotels acted for Principal Hotels in the deal.
By Kerstin Kühn