The Handbook
The Handbook

It's exciting news in the hotel industry, Corinthia Hotels has just  released details about its £270m five-star luxury hotel in central London, which is expected to open early next year.

The Corinthia Hotel London, currently under construction in what was the original Metropole Hotel from the 1880s and subsequently part of the Ministry of Defence, will be the group's ninth hotel.

In addition to two restaurants, a concept cocktail bar, boardroom meeting facilities and a refurbished grand ballroom, the hotel will have 294 bedrooms, including 45 suites. The average room-size will be 45sq m and the two-bedroom Royal Suite will be more than 470sq m.

The adjoining 10 Whitehall Place property will be redeveloped to include a luxury spa operated by ESPA. Chef Massimo Riccioli, owner of La Rosetta in Rome, Italy, will be responsible for the fish and seafood restaurant at the Corinthia and the hotel will also provide for all-day dining with a new-wave British restaurant.

Alfred Pisani, chairman and founder of the Corinthia Hotel Group said: "Once again, the eyes of worldwide travellers are turning towards the business and cultural attractions of London.

"I am dedicating myself, personally and with great passion, to delivering to London a five-star, luxury hotel, which will be amongst the best-of-the-best in the world. Corinthia Hotel London will be a true grand hotel for the 21st century."

A consortium made up of International Hotel Investments (IHI) of Malta, and two of its principal shareholders, Libyan Foreign Investment Company and Nakheel Hotels of Dubai, purchased the Metropole building and the adjoining 10 Whitehall Place from the Crown Estate in 2008.

Last year the investors secured a £135m bank loan raised from a syndication of banks led and arranged by Barclays. The other members of the syndicate include the Libyan Foreign Bank, the Arab Banking Corporation and the Bank of Valletta of Malta. The bank loan matched the £135m invested as equity by the developers, setting a 50:50 loan-to-equity gearing on the project.