Boutique hotel group Firmdale Hotels has secured funding for the next stage of an expansion of the chain which includes a new 92-bedroom hotel on the Ham Yard site near London's Piccadilly Circus.
The London-based hotel group will receive £188m in funding from Barclays Corporate specifically for new developments. The Ham Yard site in Soho will add another boutique hotel to the operator's portfolio as well as comprising 23 residential apartments and 12 retail units.
Uniquely styled rooms
Firmdale currently own and operate six boutique hotels in London as well as one in New York. The 150,000sqft Ham Yard development will feature bedrooms that are all uniquely styled, a trademark of the group, and a restaurant, bar and rooftop garden. Work has already started on the site with an estimated completion date of late 2013.
Malcolm Soden, finance director, Firmdale Hotels said: "As a hotel developer as well as operator our banking relationship is critically important to not only our existing business but also to our growth aspirations. Having already provided development finance for five of our hotels over the years, Barclays have once more stepped up to the plate and enabled our new Ham Yard development to progress."
The funding facility is the latest development in a 14 year relationship between the bank and the hotel firm. Tim Helliwell, head of hotel finance, Barclays Corporate, said: “The ongoing success of Firmdale during a challenging time for the sector generally is truly impressive, and we look forward to supporting the Group’s future growth ambitions.”
Fastest growing segment in hotel industry
In September BigHospitality reported that London's boutique hotel sector was set to add over 2,500 rooms by 2013 , according to hotel consultancy firm HVS London.
The doubling in size of the sector would make it the fastest growing segment of the hotel industry. HVS said the key to the success of boutique hotels was offering a unique and exclusive experience.