Principal Hotel Company announces big plans for Birmingham’s The Grand

The hotel at The Grand, one of Birmingham’s most iconic buildings, is to be redeveloped into a luxury, 180-room hotel through a partnership announced today between Hortons’ Estate – which owns the Grade II* listed property – and Principal Hotel Company, an owner and operator of 39 hotels across the United Kingdom that is a portfolio company of controlled affiliates of Starwood Capital Group, a leading global private investment firm. Financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed.

The Grand was developed by the Horton family between 1879 and 1895 and contained shops, offices and the Grand Hotel, which the family ran until 1969. The hotel was subsequently managed by a number of operators until it closed in 2002.

“The Grand is a magnificent building in a great location. We have no doubt that it can once again become the finest hotel in the city,” said Cody Bradshaw, managing director and head of European Hotels at Starwood Capital Group. “By adding Birmingham to our portfolio of Principal hotels, we further strengthen what we believe is already the finest collection of U.K. hotels ever to be assembled in a single portfolio, which includes our flagship London hotel, due to open on Russell Square this autumn following a stunning, £75m restoration.”

Starwood Capital Group in November 2016 launched Principal, a collection of city-centre hotels based in landmark buildings in exceptional locations across the United Kingdom. The creation of Principal is a part of Starwood Capital Group’s rebranding of its portfolio of U.K. hotels under the new name of Principal Hotel Company, which also comprises De Vere – modern, country estate hotels, with mansion houses at their heart, mixing leisure with market-leading conference facilities. Principal Hotel Company is currently in the midst of a £250m investment programme across the portfolio.

“This partnership with Hortons not only consolidates the strength of our newly launched Principal urban lifestyle hotel brand, it also illustrates the confidence of our partners and investors in the potential of what we have created –potential that is already being realised by The Principal Manchester, The Principal York and The Principal Edinburgh George Street,” said Tony Troy, CEO of Principal Hotel Company. “Our ambitious plans for 2017 include the opening of our flagship hotel, The Principal London on Russell Square, as well as a second Principal Hotel in Edinburgh, with city-centre hotels in Glasgow, Cardiff, Liverpool, Leeds and Oxford joining Principal in late 2017 and over the course of 2018.”

Tony Green, chief executive of Hortons’ Estate, said: “We have always believed that the restoration of The Grand would not be complete if it did not include a luxury hotel. After considerable time and effort, we have chosen to work with Principal on the project because they share our commitment to creating the city’s finest hotel and because of their impressive track record working on similar buildings in other major cities.”

Martin Fullard


Martin Fullard

Martin Fullard: journalist, presenter, producer. Martin is the Deputy Editor at Conference News and Conference & Meetings World magazines. He leads the digital channels on Mash Media’s Conference Division as well as heading up Mash TV. He is formerly a web editor at a national newspaper in the Middle East and motoring journalist.

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