InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is relaunching the Principal Manchester under its Kimpton brand next month and renaming the property the Kimpton Clocktower hotel.
The 270-bedroom, Grade II-listed building will reopen on 1 October under its new guise for the first time since lockdown. It will be the fourth Kimpton hotel to open in the UK.
The property is one of the last of the 13-strong Principal portfolio to rebrand after the group was acquired by Covivio from Starwood Capital Group in 2018 and IHG was appointed to manage the hotels following the £858m buyout. It is understood that the Principal Met Leeds, Principal York and Principal Grand Central Glasgow are still yet to rebrand or will remain unbranded.
The Kimpton Clocktower building opened in 1890 as the Refuge Assurance Company headquarters and it still has Victorian features, including its clock tower and carved wooden staircases. Contemporary additions include a three-metre-tall bronze horse by artist Sophie Dickens in the lobby.
Guest rooms nod to Manchester's music scene, with vinyl records of the city's bands, such as the Stone Roses, Oasis, Elbow and Take That, available to play on record players in each room. Rooms will also have yoga mats and free tuck boxes.
As for food and beverage spaces, the hotel has the all-day Winter Garden interior glasshouse, and the Refuge by Volta bar and restaurant, serving globally inspired small plates, craft beers and cocktails. The hotel also offers 17 meeting rooms.
Acorn Award-winner Johan Scheepers has been appointed general manager. Scheepers most recently spearheaded the reopening of the InterContinental the George following its rebrand in October 2019, and was also general manager of the Principal Charlotte Square in Edinburgh during its transition from Principal to Kimpton.
He said: "I am very much looking forward to being part of the next phase for this iconic Manchester hotel and opening it as the Kimpton Clocktower hotel. This is the latest addition to the global Kimpton brand, and the last site to open here in the UK – I believe we have saved the best until last."
Double rooms at Kimpton Clocktower start from £120.
Kimpton was launched as a boutique hotel brand of design-forward hotels in the US in 1981. Kimpton now operates more than 60 hotels and 80 restaurants, bars and lounges across urban locations, resort destinations and up and coming markets in the US, Europe, Caribbean and Greater China.
IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns more than 5,900 hotels in more than 100 countries, with more than 1,900 hotels in its development pipeline. As well as Kimpton, its brands include Six Senses, Regent Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo, Even Hotels, Crowne Plaza, Voco, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Staybridge Suites.