WHAT IS PROJECT 1898?
There’s yet another new hotel collection on the block, although this one has a very interesting pedigree.
Project 1898 is a luxury collection based in the UK and Europe and owned by Starwood Capital, which recently launched Baccarat and 1 Hotels. In early 2013, Starwood Capital bought the Principal Hayley chain, along with De Vere Hotels and Four Pillar Hotels. Then last spring, Starwood was looking to offload about 16 or so hotels in the portfolio, keeping about 12 former De Vere Hotels and 16 former Principal Hayley hotels.
We can’t say for certain if those other hotels got picked up by another company (it looked like Hand Picked Hotels was interested but not sure if they sealed the deal.) However, what’s clear is that a few of these remaining hotels are being rebranded as Project 1898. Tagline: Exclusively for Everyone. (We likey.)
history lesson robust description from the hotel brand’s website (emphasis ours):
1898… and Britain was on the cusp of modernity: Harrods department store installed the first escalator; North Petherton became the first town to replace gas street lamps with acetylene; HG Wells published War of the Worlds and poor old Oscar wrote The Ballad of Reading Gaol. Over in America, Will Kellog invented the corn flake, the Goodyear Tyre Co. was launched, the first production car was sold, and the first car insurance policy issued (whilst back in Britain, a chap from Brighton became the world’s first fatality of an automobile accident).
Gracie Fields came kicking and screaming into the world, without an inkling that a working-class gal would rub shoulders with royalty. It was a vintage year, too, for the finer things in life — Christie’s sold a single bottle of 1898 Chateau Lafite-Rothschild for $3,416 in May 2013, and the Fredrick Hotel Company opened the Hotel Russell in Bloomsbury, to designs by Charles Fitzroy-Doll that ushered in an era of glamour and luxury.
As you can guess, the Hotel Russell is the star property of this new collection. But also included are Royal York Hotel in York; The Palace Hotel in Manchester; The Blythswood Square in Glasgow; The Grand Central in Glasgow; The Bonham Hotel in Edinburgh; The George Hotel, and The Roxburgh Hotel, all in Edinburgh.
Project 1898 is very much a work in progress (indeed, the hotels above are still sticking with the PH Hotels branding) but we’ll be sure to keep you updated as the public unveiling gets near.
[Photo: Hotel Russell]