The fates and fortunes of London hotels are always twisting and turning, but few have been as dramatic as those of the Grosvenor House Hotel of late.
The hotel, part of the Sahara Group, was initially mortgaged unsuccessfully in January, in an attempt to raise the £1billion needed to bail its Indian owner Subrata Roy out of prison. Roy currently remains in jail after being charged with contempt of court in 2014 over the sale of illegal bonds.
Now it has been announced that the Grosvenor House Hotel has been placed into administration, after Sahara Grosvenor House Hospitality Ltd apparently defaulted on a loan. The hotel has now been put up for sale, with a number of high profile potential buyers already waiting in the wings.
Despite the dramas behind the scenes, the hotel will continue to operate and greets guests as usual, as it is actually run by Marriott.
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The hotel is widely expected to sell for far more than the staggering £470million that Sahara paid for it five years ago. The prestigious luxury hotel has more than 400 rooms and 70 suites, and an expansive ballroom.
The latest potential buyer to hit the headlines is Hyatt Hotels. According to City AM, Hyatt are currently considering the proposition, with SVP for acquisitions and development Peter Norman telling City AM, “we will take a look at the Grosvenor as we look at all potential sites, but I won’t know until I see the information whether it will work for us.”
Whoever the eventual buyer is, it is expected that the hotel’s operations will continue unaffected for the time being, but it is a potent reminder of how quickly London’s great institutions of hospitality can change hands.
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Photo credits: Grosvenor House Hotel.