PRINCIPAL HOTELS BRING THE SECOND-TIER CITY LOVE TO THE UK
This time last year we were talking about how Ace Hotel were breaking the mould by putting down roots in second-tier cities like Pittsburgh and New Orleans; now, it appears that Starwood Capital’s forthcoming brand, Principal, is taking the concept of the secondary city to the UK.
The first Principal hotels, described as ‘a collection of city-centre hotels based in landmark buildings in exceptional locations’, will be setting up in Manchester, York and Edinburgh, with plans for more properties in Glasgow and Liverpool (as well as the relaunch of London’s Hotel Russell as The Principal London). Referencing the nostalgia trend that we’ve seen come to the fore over the last year, all three will be repurposing a classic building with contemporary purpose – The Principal Manchester will remodel three office buildings dating between 1895 and 1932, The Principal York will breathe new life into The Royal York Hotel from 1878, and The Principal Edinburgh will take over five listed Georgian townhouses.
If the contemporary hotel is all about creating dynamic scenes that tap into the spirit and history of their neighbourhoods, adopting a less mainstream hub as their home might be a savvy move by Principal. Barry Sternlicht, Chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital Group, certainly thinks so, explaining: “Our people and our buildings have great stories to tell, and these stories differentiate you from the competition”. And with global working patterns showing that you don’t need to be based in a capital city to be connected, bringing some contemporary flair to less established neighbourhoods makes sense.
[Photos: Principal Hotels]