St Giles reveals UK hotel expansion plans

By Melodie Michel

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: United kingdom, City of london

St Giles' Heathrow hotel will be expanded
St Giles' Heathrow hotel will be expanded
Hotel brand St Giles has revealed plans for a £300m development in Blackfriars, along with expansion of its Heathrow hotel and the potential opening of a small hotel in Richmond.

Following the announcement that St Giles Hotel Group is allocating an initial sum of US$160m for expansion in North America, Europe and Africa, the groups’s head of UK, Europe and USA Abigail Tan gave BigHospitality the details of the UK plans.

“US$160m is a very conservative figure. In the UK alone the first cash injection will be £100m, but the total project will be around £300m. This will be spent on a mixed residential, commercial and hotel project in Blackfriars,” she said.

St Giles’ parent company IGB Corporation has entered into a joint venture for a mixed development project on a 1.81 acre site in London Blackfriars for US$196m. Due to be completed in about three year, it will include a 400-bedroom St Giles Premier hotel with innovative dining and entertainment concepts.

“The hotel portion of that will join our St Giles Premier category, but there is the potential for it to go into our luxury brand collection,” added Tan.

“We’re still in the very early stages but as part of the concept we would like to offer a good retail mix for the ground floor and to make use of the great views we have of London. We will also use new technology to create a different experience.”

Heathrow expansion

St Giles is also looking at expanding its Heathrow hotel with the addition of a wing including 100 extra bedrooms. Tan explained that some planning permissions have been received for this, “but not for the scope that we’d like”.

Additionally, one of the group’s properties in Richmond could be turned into an 18-bedroom hotel with direct river access. It all still needs to be confirmed, as our Richmond property is a listed building,” Tan adds.

Regional development

As part of its strategy to move into large hub cities, St Giles does not exclude the possibility to open hotels in other parts of the UK. “If we find something for example in Manchester we could look at that, but for the moment the focus is still London,” points out Tan.

St Giles has begun conversion work for a new hotel in Sydney, Australia (scheduled to open in 2015) and a hotel in Penang, Malaysia (scheduled to open in 2015), and identified other locations in Africa and Europe, which will be announced in due course.

IGB reported revenue of approximately US$311m in the financial year 2013, and hopes to achieve better sales in FY14. The firm recorded a 21.4 per cent year-on-year growth in the first quarter of 2014.

Related topics: Hotel, Openings

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