Date: December 2018
Location: London, UK
Name: nhow London – opening Summer 2019, four star
No. of Keys: 190
Seller: Located between the City, Islington and Shoreditch, within the ‘250 City Road’ development designed by Sir Norman Foster’s acclaimed architectural firm Foster + Partners, the four-star hotel will be NH Hotel Group’s second property in the UK. The 1.9 hectare site was acquired by Berkeley Homes in 2011.
Buyer: NH to manage for AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets, on behalf of a large US pension fund, in a forward fund committed in November 2015. This transaction further strengthens AXA IM – Real Assets’ €2.7 billion alternatives platform, including healthcare facilities, (80 plus) hotels, and forestry assets, primarily in Europe.
Hideki Kurata, then Head of Alternatives at AXA IM – Real Assets, commented at the time: “The acquisition ties in to the ongoing expansion of our alternatives platform, which is uniquely structured with sector experts working seamlessly with our local transaction teams, as we continue to diversify our investment offering.
The hotel market is underpinned by robust economic fundamentals and this transaction extends our relationship with NH Hotel Group. Our aim is to leverage our team’s specialist knowledge of both the hotels sector and the London market together with the world-class expertise of NH Hotels to generate attractive returns for our clients.”
Huw Stephens, Head of UK Transactions at AXA IM – Real Assets, commented: “250 City Road is another excellent addition to our steadily increasing Central London portfolio. The robust levels of activity we have undertaken in this market over the past few years are synonymous with our belief in London’s place as a leading global city and its continued ability to attract international investors. We believe that these key fundamentals will provide further attractive opportunities to identify and secure deals which create value for our clients.”
JLL and Hall Kemp acted as joint-advisers to the vendor, in 2015.
Under the theme ‘London Reloaded’, the design will combine traditional British icons with unconventional contemporary elements.
Architect James Soane, co-director of the London-based Project Orange interiors studio, and his team are responsible for the interior design of nhow London. The eight-storey hotel will feature guest rooms, a restaurant, bar, gym, networking spaces and several meeting rooms.
A ‘Big Ben’ rocket sculpture will be one of the lobby’s most striking elements. Eclectic ensembles of colourful furniture on ‘pixelated’ carpets will invite guests to unwind, while an installation made from wooden boards around an LED fireplace creates a relaxing atmosphere.
The restaurant – The Bell – will be an avant-garde version of a traditional British pub, with green leather seating coiling through the room and tables featuring cockney rhyming slang. Huge gold bell lights, a reminder of the city’s famous church bells, will softly light the space. In contrast, the central pillar will feature a pixelated LED grid generating ever-changing moving images.
Maarten Markus, Managing Director Northern Europe of NH Hotel Group, is delighted with this forthcoming addition to the portfolio in the popular UK market: “As a vibrant, international metropolis, London is the perfect location for a nhow hotel. Cosmopolitan cities are inherently dynamic, ceaselessly producing new cultural, social and artistic trends.
Our nhow hotels are an expression and measure of this dynamic. nhow London will reflect both the industrial past and technological future of its location and will become a creative hub for the neighbourhood.”
In keeping with the other hotels under the nhow brand, guests will enjoy surprising and unconventional details and services. Architect James Soane from Project Orange explains: “nhow London will have a unique interior concept, perfectly tailored to its location. Visitors will find themselves immersed in a world of art and design that tells a story and engages the senses; a dynamic melting pot created to surprise and inspire the guests.”
Colourful textures will confront contemporary art in the rooms, creating an unforgettable version of London. Punk will meet high tech style, while graffiti will appear alongside unconventional images of past monarchs.
nhow is NH Hotel Group’s urban design and lifestyle brand. Every nhow hotel has its own unique character, inspired by the city in which it stands.
NH Hotel Group is breaking new ground with its nhow hotels, combining the contemporary architecture and designs of renowned trendsetters such as Matteo Thun (nhow Milano), Rem Koolhaas (nhow Rotterdam/nhow Amsterdam RAI), Karim Rashid (nhow Berlin) and Teresa Sapey (nhow Marseille) with urban trends. nhow hotels shape their surroundings with their striking designs, becoming hotspots and destinations for travellers and locals alike.
In devising the design concept for each nhow hotel, NH Hotel Group works with Enrique Tellechea, founder of the branding consultancy The Null, who is working top-down on the brand’s construction. Nothing at a nhow hotel is preordained. Everything is unexpected, iconic, inspirational and surprising, from the lobby to the rooms, the restaurants, the corridors, the meeting rooms and the creative spaces. The nhow experience is unique for each guest but has the ‘wow’ factor in common. Located in key urban areas undergoing a transformation, nhow hotels quickly become landmarks for self-discovery, experimentation and creativity.
‘THPT Comment: NH, now owned by Minor Hotels – MINT, operates over 350 hotels with almost 55,000 rooms in 28 countries, hosting more than 16 million guests a year across Europe, America and Africa in top destinations such as Berlin, Madrid, Amsterdam, Buenos Aires, Rome, Mexico City, Bogota, Barcelona, and New York. The nhow brand will work great in this trendy part of London.
First Seen: Hospitality & Catering News
The Hotel Property Team (THPT) are a small group of highly experienced business professionals. Between us, we provide a range of skills and experience which is directly relevant to those involved in the hotel property market.