Luxury London hotel The Cavendish is to be transformed into luxury serviced apartments following its sale to serviced residence owner-operator Ascott.
The Singapore-based company bought the 230-bedroom hotel on the corners of Duke Street and Jermyn Street in Mayfair for £158.8m from The Barclay Brothers' Ellerman Investments on Friday, in a deal brokered by Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels.
Ascott currently operates six serviced residences in London under its Ascott and Citadines brands - Ascott Mayfair, Citadines Prestige Trafalgar Square, Citadines Prestige Holborn-Covent Garden, Citadines Prestige South Kensington, Citadines Barbican and St Marks serviced residence. The Cavendish will become Ascott St James when work is completed to turn it into a serviced residence.
Ascott chief executive Chong Kee Hiong said the move was part of the company's plans to invest in 'key growth' cities in Asia and Europe. It currently operates about 22,000 serviced residence units in cities in Asia Pacific, Europe and the Gulf region, and has 8,000 units under development.
"London is one of the strongest and most resilient hospitality markets where demand from business and leisure travellers for international-class serviced residences continues to grow," he said. "This is an attractive opportunity to acquire a quality operating property which is strategically located in the prestigious Mayfair area. We see the potential to transform this property into one of the best luxury serviced residences in London."
The company, who will take it over in the last quarter of the year, will continue to operate The Cavendish as a hotel before deciding when to transform it into luxury serviced apartments. A spokesperson said 'no huge changes' would be made immediately and that current staff would remain in their jobs.
A subsidiary of Ellerman Investments, owner of The Ritz, bought The Cavendish in September 2006. The building, which includes the Petrichor Restaurant, has operated as a hotel since 1966.
George Nicholas, executive vice president for Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, said: “The sale represents an outstanding conclusion to the investment in this hotel by Ellerman Investments, which originally purchased the hotel in 2006 and is further evidence of the resilience and strength of the London hotel investment market.”