The collection of city centre hotels based in landmark buildings in the UK will officially launch on 1 November with properties in York, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow and London set to open under the new brand.
Starwood Capital has invested £150m in the portfolio, which will be set in buildings with architectural, historical and design-led attributes with each hotel to include bars, restaurants and 'luxury facilities'.
“At the heart of a great business is a unique and authentic story. Our people and our buildings have great stories to tell, and these stories differentiate you from the competition, giving your guests and your staff something to cheer about,” said Barry Sternlicht, chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital Group.
“Reviving these historic, grande-dame hotels is a truly great story - they are spectacular buildings in which we can create dynamic scenes. The story of each hotel, its amazing history and architecture is the opposite of the mass-produced chain hotel, and provides us with a canvas on which to curate a unique sense of place.”
One of the first hotels to open under the brand will be the Principal York, a 155-bedroom hotel with events centre, gym, swimming pool, the Chapter House bar and The Refectory Kitchen & Terrace. Formerly known as the Royal York Hotel, the property whas been given a 'sensitive restoration by 3D Reid and Goddard Littlefair.
Also launching will be Principal Manchester, a 270-bedroom hotel across three adjoining buildings on the corner of Oxford Street and Whitworth Street, previously the headquarters of The Refuge Assurance Company and featuring an iconic 66m clock tower. The remodelled building includes 17 meeting and event spaces, including the largest hotel ballroom in the northwest of England and The Refuge Dining Room and Public Bar, curated by DJs-turned restaurateurs Luke Cowdrey and Justin Crawford.
Completing the trio of hotels at launch is The Principal Edinburgh on George Street, a collection of five listed Georgian townhouses which include chef Colin Fleming's Printing Press Bar & Kitchen. They will be followed by the opening of The Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow, The Hotel Russell in London, both opening next year and the former Martins Bank which will open as The Principal Liverpool in early 2018.
The Principal brand will form part of The Principal Hotel Company's 40-strong UK hotel portfolio. Formed following Start Capital Group's acquisition of Principal Hayley in 2013, the company will now operate under two brands - Principal in city centres and DE VERE for its country estate hotels.