Weaker pound driving investment in London's hotels

London’s first Hard Rock Hotel is taking over the site of the Cumberland Hotel. Photo credit: Hard Rock Hotels (Hard Rock Hotel London)

A new report monitoring hotel capacity across European cities shows London is set to add 11,600 guestrooms to its hotel sector by 2020.

Further analysis from the 2018 London Hotel Development Monitor Report published by JLL and London & Partners, indicates the growth of the capital’s hotel market is set to outpace a number of major European cities by 2020, including Paris, Berlin, Lisbon and Milan.

As London continues to attract high levels of business and leisure visitors, hotel operators are showing a strong appetite for increasing hotel capacity across the city, with an 8 percent uplift predicted by 2020 for both high-end and economy hotels.

The report highlights the growth of the lifestyle-hotel market segment or those that place an emphasis on design, art and the latest technology features. In London these include CitizenM, Soho House, Rosewood and The Ned. 

“London is one of the most liquid hotel markets in Europe and a popular investment hotspot for both domestic and international investors,” said  Graham Craggs, managing director, JLL Hotels & Hospitality, in a statement. “The weaker pound has attracted a variety of overseas hotel operators and investors to invest in hotel real estate. Despite political uncertainty, investors and hotel companies continue to view London as a key destination. This is evidenced by the willingness to consider new development opportunities and the number of new hotel brands opening in the London market.”

New and Notable

Here are some of the notable new and upcoming properties opening in London.

Scheduled to open in 2020 on Leicester Square, the 15-story Londoner will have 350 rooms and 15 suites; five concept restaurants and lounges, including a rooftop bar; a ballroom for up to 1,000 guests, two new Odeon Luxe cinemas and a subterranean spa. 

The Principal London opened earlier this year in a Grade II-listed landmark building that occupies the eastern flank of Russell Square in Bloomsbury. The opening of the 334-room hotel this past spring restored the grande dame to her original glory. 

The former U.S. Embassy in Mayfair will be turned into a Rosewood Hotel. The property will have 137 guestrooms and suites, as well as a variety of dining and entertainment spaces, including five restaurants. The property also will include a spa, six flagship retail spaces and a grand ballroom that accommodates up to 1,000 guests. 

Slated to open in April, the Stratford at the Manhattan Loft Gardens is meant to reflect the growing creative community that is London’s East End. The Manhattan Loft Corporation is behind the 150-room property, which occupies the seven lower levels of Manhattan Loft Gardens, a mixed-used development with three “sky gardens,” a gym, restaurants, cafés and bars.

Opening in the spring, London’s first Hard Rock Hotel is taking over the site of the Cumberland Hotel. Close to Oxford Street, the Hard Rock Hotel London will have 1,000 rooms and suites and a signature Hard Rock Café, as well as two bars. As with all Hard Rock properties, the London hotel will showcase a memorabilia collection, paying tributes to celebrities such as Jimi Hendrix, Diana Ross and Stevie Wonder.

Situated around the site of London’s historical Grade II-listed Battersea Power Station, the Art’otel London Battersea Power Station is expected to open in 2020. The 160-room lifestyle hotel will have a rooftop pool and bar, a signature restaurant and a gallery.