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The UK gains four Kimpton hotels and one InterContinental as it rebrands Principal Hotels

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In May this year IHG announced the aquisition of 13 UK properties from Starwood Capital (not related to Starwood Preferred Guest) including Principal Hotels and two De Vere hotels.  This was exciting news because Starwood Capital has spent a huge amount of money refurbishing the main Principal Hotels and they are now some of the best regional hotels in the country.

IHG has now confirmed that four of these hotels will be rebranded as Kimpton.

Currently there is only one Kimpton property in Europe, the Kimpton De Witt Amsterdam which we reviewed here.

principal london Kimpton

The first Kimpton to open in the UK will be the rebranded Principal London in Russell Square – previously the Hotel Russell – which has recently undergone an £85 million refurbishment and only re-opened in April.  The seafood restaurant at this hotel, Neptune, has been attracting a lot of positive press reviews.

The Principal London will be rebranded as a Kimpton later this year.  Principal Manchester, Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square and Principal Blythswood Square Hotel Glasgow will follow in 2019.

IHG has also confirmed speculation about some of the acquired hotels joining its newest brand Voco. The Principal St. Davids Hotel in Cardiff will be the first Voco hotel in the UK.  You can find out more about Voco, IHG’s new ‘conversion brand’, in our article here.

InterContinental returns to the regions

The Principal Edinburgh George Street will return to being an InterContinental hotel late in 2019.  This hotel had previously been an InterContinental until 2005.

The Principal Met Leeds Hotel will be rebranded as an Indigo in 2020 and the De Vere Wotton House in Surrey will operate unbranded as Wotton House whilst IHG decides what to do with it.

Rebranding for the Principal York and the Grand Birmingham, which is currently undergoing refurbishment, has not been announced yet.

Three further ex-Starwood Capital hotels are expected to join the IHG portfolio later this year:  the Principal Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow, the De Vere Oxford Thames and the Principal Oxford Spires Hotel.

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Comments (36)

  • ColinJE says:

    Rob, any views as to when these will be bookable on points? The Russel Sq Kimpton quite appeals, as someone from ‘the regions’.

  • Paco Martinez-Soria says:

    Rob, I follow your blog from ages ago, and can’t thank you enough for introducing me to this wonderful hobby. I’m just back from a lovely 4 night stay in Amsterdam where our family of four got the chance to try both the newly open QO Amsterdam and the Kimpton de Witt. As a Spire Elite I was given wonderful upgrades in advance (extra interconnecting room at the QO, large family room at the Kimpton) plus lots of drinks vouchers, breakfast discounts, etc…we truly had a wonderful time and it was all on points plus a free night certificate.

    You really do an amazing job, but with all due respect your continuous reference to the average earnings of your reader base (£100k+ apparently is the norm), and the undertone of superiority when referring to “the regions” or other cultures, makes it really difficult for me to connect. I am sure I am not the only one being put off by this. London is not the centre of the universe, nor is the UK, despite what British Airways may think and you, as a well travelled man, know this better than anyone. Some people may think it is quintessentially British to think of oneself as “different”, or “better”, but I think in this digital age, we could do with using a more inclusive language. I have no doubt you are a wonderful man in person but I do find some of your online comments quite unpalatable at times.

    Please take this for what it’s worth, a bit of honest feedback from a regular reader that may not fit the image of HFPs standard demographic in your head, but really likes to be part of this community.

    Thanks and keep up the good work