London Calling: Hard Rock to make its UK debut

(Hard Rock Hotel London)

London and rock and roll go hand-in-hand, so it may come as a surprise that there isn't a Hard Rock Hotel there. Until now.

In 2018, the de facto birthplace of punk rock will get its first Hard Rock Hotel, in the Marble Arch neighborhood—the first Hard Rock Hotel in the UK.

To do so, London-based hotel owner-operator Glh Hotels is rebranding and converting its 1,000-room Cumberland Hotel off Oxford Street. Construction is slated to begin later this year.

The plan is backed by Marylebone landlord The Portman Estate, which is also spearheading developments in nearby Old Quebec Street, New Quebec Street and Seymour Place.

"Marble Arch and Edgware Road combine a key business district with a local neighborhood for residents and a place where many tourists and visitors base themselves," Kay Buxton, CEO of the Marble Arch London Business Improvement District, said in a statement. "The significant upgrading of The Cumberland Hotel to join the internationally recognized Hard Rock Hotel leisure brand sits extremely well within our vision to create and promote a new role and status for the Marble Arch and Edgware Road district."

Hard Rock currently has 23 hotels in its portfolio, and announced a property for New York City just last week. The 445-room hotel will open spring 2019 on a block of Times Square known in the past as "Music Row." Located on 48th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues, the hotel will be developed on a site owned by Extell Development, which purchased a parking garage on that spot for $46 million in December 2014.