The Caterer

Starwood Capital eyes UK expansion for Treehouse and Baccarat brands

21 November 2019 by
Starwood Capital eyes UK expansion for Treehouse and Baccarat brands

Starwood Capital already has expansion plans for the UK just weeks after opening its first Treehouse hotel in London (pictured).

Speaking to The Caterer, president of subsidiary operating company SH Hotels & Resorts Arash Azarbarzin said the group is looking at other opportunities in London and elsewhere in the UK for the Treehouse brand.

He said: “London is a big enough city to have more than one [Treehouse] location. We have considered a couple of different locations already but there is nothing definitive yet.”

Barry Sternlicht’s US private investment company Starwood teamed up with the Cairn Group to transform the former St Georges hotel near Oxford Circus into its debut property for the Treehouse brand.

Azarbarzin said he felt the Treehouse brand would sit well in most cities in the UK. He said: “We will go where the opportunity is the right match for our brand and the right partner. As many as I can execute effectively, and I think I can at least execute six or seven more effectively…

“The building is not as important as where the building sits… I think we can make any building work as long as there is enough square footage that can accommodate our footprint.”

He said the ideal Treehouse property would have at least around 100 bedrooms (the recently opened Treehouse London has 95) and they are looking at areas such as Shoreditch, Covent Garden and Soho in London.

As well as bringing its sustainable luxury 1 Hotels brand to Mayfair in 2022 following the refurbishment of the Holiday Inn London Mayfair, owned by Crosstree Real Estate Partners, Azarbarzin also confirmed the group is seeking to bring its Baccarat brand to the UK.

“There are two cities that need a Baccarat and that’s Paris and London,” he said. “We have looked at a number of sites in London already... Baccarat I think will do extremely well in the UK.”

Although Starwood is best known in the UK for creating the Principal brand of city centre hotels, which it sold in May 2018 for £858m to French investor Covivio, Azarbarzin said the focus is on growing the SH Hotels portfolio and there are no immediate plans to sell all or part of the portfolio.

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