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.
By Chris Druce
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