The Spanish chain has acquired the emblematic building from Anida, a subsidiary of the BBVA bank, and the hotel will open before the 2012 Olympics
Palma de Mallorca – Sol Meliá has announced the acquisition from Anida, a subsidiary of the BBVA bank, of the City Bank building in London, redesigned as a cutting-edge contemporary hotel by the British architect Norman Foster, winner of the Pritzker Prize for architecture and the Prince Felipe of Asturias Award for the Arts.
The hotel is in the final stage of construction and is located in the tourist and business heart of London, next to Covent Garden and Trafalgar Square, in the district of Holborn. The building has 10 room floors and four underground floors and occupies a triangular piece of land which was previously the site of the famous “Casa Marconi” and the City Bank building. The hotel will provide 173 rooms in four different categories and its strategic location and characteristics – it will also offer a 730 m2 Convention Centre and spectacular restaurants and bars – will make the future ME London Hotel an icon of the London hotel industry for both business and leisure travellers.
The ME London is expected to open in 2012 and will become the second hotel for the Sol Meliá chain in the British capital, joining the Meliá White House, located next to Regent’s Park and which has enjoyed a decade of uninterrupted success.
The acquisition has been made for 133 million euros and Sol Meliá will take over responsibility for finalising construction and equipping the hotel, estimated in 52 million euros.
Strategy and Brand for difficult times
The operation supports the Sol Meliá strategy for growth in its hotel business through enhanced brand equity, one of the focuses of the company’s Strategic Plan in recent years, and thanks to which the company has been able to combine rigorous control over costs and investments while also taking advantage of the most attractive market opportunities which have arisen during the crisis, including assets which have become available due to the real estate crash.
As explained by the Vice Chairman and CEO of Sol Meliá, Gabriel Escarrer Jaume, “this deal brings the addition of a strategic asset in a key destination, and also positions the brand in one of the most important feeder markets in the world travel industry”.
Sol Meliá is confident that the ME London, located in the heart of London’s social and business life, will further raise its brand awareness and reputation in international markets. The ME by Meliá brand is the most innovative and avant-garde luxury brand operated by Sol Meliá and currently includes two hotels in Spain, the ME Madrid and ME Barcelona, and two in Mexico, the ME Cancun and ME Cabo, with the addition also scheduled of the ME Vienna, occupying 22 floors of the tallest building in the Austrian capital.
Designed to be integrated like the other ME brand hotels within the fabric of city life, the Foster-designed hotel will have 2 destination restaurants and bars at ground level, a „The Level“ floor, and a lounge providing an extraordinary setting for leisure and business travellers, astonishing urban views and distribution of internal spaces.
Built in line with the most rigorous standards, the ME London hotel is scheduled to open in 2012 with “Biosphere Hotel“ certification, a social and environmental hallmark already granted to the ME Madrid, ME Cancun and ME Barcelona” hotels of the same brand.
About Sol Meliá
Sol Meliá was founded in 1956 in Palma de Mallorca (Spain) and is one of the world’s largest resort hotel chains, as well as Spain’s leading hotel chain in both the business and leisure markets. It currently provides more than 300 hotels in 26 countries on 4 continents under its brands: Gran Meliá, Meliá, ME by Meliá, Innside by Meliá, Tryp by Wyndham, Sol, Paradisus y Sol Meliá Vacation Club. www.solmelia.com
Sol Meliá is the only travel company included in the exclusive “FTSE4GoodIbex” Spanish stock market index and is a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact. In 2008 the company approved its Global Sustainability Policy and in 2009 it was named the first “Biosphere Hotel Company” by the Responsible Tourism Institute, supported by UNESCO. That same year the company was also awarded the Prince Felipe Award for Tourism Excellence for the second time.
The company currently employs more than 33,000 people worldwide with staff from over 90 different countries. The company fully respects equal rights and balance in its contracting of male and female staff and 10% of its workforce is made up of immigrants.