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Orient-Express Hotels acquires two luxury hotel properties in UK and Spain

Orient-Express<.> Hotels, who is the owner and operator of 37 deluxe hotels, tourist trains, restaurants and a river cruiser in 14 countries announced that it had concluded the purchase…

Orient-Express<.> Hotels, who is the owner and operator of 37 deluxe hotels, tourist trains, restaurants and a river cruiser in 14 countries announced that it had concluded the purchase from Virgin Hotels of Le Manoir Aux Quat` Saisons in Oxfordshire England, La Residencia in Deia, Mallorca, Spain and a half interest in the Petit Blanc restaurant chain with outlets in Oxford, Cheltenham, Birmingham and Manchester, England. The purchase price was $40 million.



Le Manoir Aux Quat` Saisons is located between London and Birmingham, about a 45 minute drive from London`s West End. The property has been developed by Britain`s famous chef, Raymond Blanc, and the hotel`s restaurant has two stars in the current Michelin Guide, placing it within the select top thirteen restaurants in the UK and Ireland.



The core of Le Manoir is a 15th century manor house set in 27 acres of gardens.



A $10 million expansion has been recently completed. The hotel has 32 suites, each decorated in a different theme derived from Raymond Blanc`s extensive travels. Chef Blanc has agreed to an 8-year commitment to continue his role with the property.



Deia, Spain is the hilltop village on Mallorca`s rugged northwest coast which was promoted as a center for artists and intellectuals by the classic writer Robert Graves. The island has very few truly five star hotel properties and certainly none which combine the beauty of the northwest coast, the charm of an historic village, the attraction of the cultural life and the picturesque Deia Cove on the sea within walking distance.



La Residencia has 63 rooms and the property occupies 30 acres. The core was created from 16th and 17th century houses. Three of the suites have their own pools and there is a large main pool and tennis courts. It is believed that expansion will be permitted provided it is done in the Mallorcan style.



These purchases compliment the Orient-Express Hotels group in that they provide for the first time a hotel presence in the U.K. and Spain. Each property is unique and has considerable scope for expansion. The company sees considerable rate upside in the Mallorcan property once minor improvements have been made, also the Petit Blanc restaurant chain has significant potential for profit improvement. Raymond Blanc will remain 50% owner of the Petit Blanc chain.



Simon Sherwood, President of Orient-Express Hotels, said that it was a great benefit to the group to have such a star as Raymond Blanc in the family. He stressed that these properties have not been affected by September 11th and serve the European market rather than the U.S. market.



Mr. James B. Sherwood, Chairman, said that these 3 properties bring Orient-Express Hotels` total to 40. He said that further acquisitions were currently under serious consideration and although the company generally tries to limit its purchases to 3 or 4 per year, industry conditions following September 11th have created a number of very special opportunities which need to be pursued.

Theodore Koumelis
Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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