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Blakes owners outline international expansion plans

12 October 2010 by

The new owners of London's iconic Blakes hotel have outlined their ambitions to transform the boutique property into an international brand.

Speaking to Caterersearch, co-owner Meir Abutbul said that while there wasn't likely to be a second Blakes in the UK, a plan to take the boutique brand international was already in motion.

"It's likely we would take Blakes to key cities in Europe, either as a franchise or full management arrangement," Meir said. "New York could also work as they have a great understanding there of how to make the most of a brand."

Meir added that, almost 30 years on from its launch by designer Anouska Hempel in 1981, the 51-bedroom hotel was still unique, making it relevant and attractive to today's potential international investors and partners.

Hempel is involved with the new project as creative director - essentially a consultancy role - and is currently working to freshen up and modernise the hotel's rooms, several at a time. She is also likely to lend her expertise to taking the Blakes brand international.

Meir, a hotelier and owner of the pâtisserie chain Apostophe, bought Blakes for about £20m with hotelier Navid Mirtorabi earlier this month.

Blakes had been trading while in administration following the collapse of owner GuestInvest in October 2008.

London's Blakes hotel rescued from administration >>

Administrator to buy out GuestInvest investors >>

GuestInvest to sell rooms in Blakes >>

By Chris Druce

If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.caterersearch.com/tabletalk

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