Location: Bond Street, Mayfair
Names: The Westbury
No. of Keys: 225 currently – plans are to reduce room count with larger rooms
The Properties: Cola Holdings selling assets including the five-star 225-key Westbury hotel in London’s Mayfair. Cola Holdings, the hotel company founded by Kurdish born Bakir Cola, has hired Savills to find a buyer for assets including the Westbury Hotel and the adjacent Burberry store, which currently produces a rental income.
In 1999 Cola, the now 77-year-old Kurd, came to the UK when Saddam Hussein took power in his native Iraq, bought the 68-bedroom De Vere Park hotel and sold it on two years later….now The Baglioni. He also built both Kingsway Hall and Harrington Hall, which he owned until April 2005 when it was sold to NH Hoteles for £49.6m. More recently it changed hands again to a JV between London Central Portfolio and APG for around £130m.
The Holiday Inn started life as Trusthouse Forte hotel (as was The Westbury), which he bought from InterContinental Hotels Group for £70m in 2002. In 2018 Cola acquired the Hilton London Kensington hotel for £260m following the administration of Vincent Tchenguiz’s hotel business.
The 603-bedroom hotel was the largest of 10 put on the market after the property developer’s Zinc Hotels business entered administration and the transaction was one of the largest single asset hotel sales across Europe in 2018.
Planning permission has been secured to remodel The Westbury, to extensively redevelop the hotel, including an extension to the rear, the rebuild of the sixth and seventh floors, and a new eighth floor. This will enable a reconfiguration of the floors to create much larger rooms and a number of suites. The plans suggest one would end up with 196 rooms and suites.
Main Photo: The flagship Westbury Hotel, corner of Bond Street and Conduit Street
Brand/Management: TBA – currently The Westbury is an AC by Marriott
Financials: Financials available upon signing of a NDA
Current Owner: Family company – Bakir Cola and son Azad
Agent: Savills, who sold Cola’s Kingsway Hall to Shiva Hotels in 2014 for around £90m and acquired Hilton London Kensington for Cola.
Guide Price: Supposedly £1bn…in reality….
Guide Price per Key: Around £4.4m! excluding rebuild cost – not going to happen
Date Posted: February, updated March 2020
THPT Comment: What a shame we couldn’t have got this off-market! the real prize is The Westbury…further to our original post, when we thought all three hotels were included in the price tag of £1bn…so for just 225 rooms and a further cost to redevelop, not such the bargain we first thought it was!
Bakir Cola has done really well, having been in the serviced apartment business as an early adopter with 130 Queensgate and Roland House.
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