Major York hotel to be renamed and rebranded again under new owners

Under new management… the Principal York. Photograph: YorkMix
8 May 2018 @ 6.41 pm
| Business

One of York’s best-known hotels is to get a new name – three years after its last rebranding.

The Principal York has been snapped up as part of a major international deal.

Starwood Capital Group sold the Station Road hotel, along with 12 others mostly in the Principal group, to French investment firm FdR for a reported £800 million.

Under an agreement with FdR, the Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) is to rebrand all 13.

“This deal will establish IHG as the leading luxury hotel operator in the UK, taking it to more than 2k rooms in this valuable, fast growing segment,” IHG said.

Change is coming

A name change is coming. Photograph: YorkMix

So what does this all mean for the famous old hotel next to the station?

The Principal York will get a new name and a corporate makeover as part of the deal, but IHG has not disclosed which brand will be applied to the hotel.

The group’s luxury hotels come under the Kimpton brand – Principal hotels in London, Manchester and Edinburgh are likely to be rebranded as Kimptons.

But IHG is also planning to expand its famous InterContinental brand.

Alternatively, Principal York might become part of a brand-new upscale hotel brand being developed by the company.

A spokeswoman for IHG told YorkMix: “The open hotels currently operate under the Principal Hotels and De Vere Hotels brands.

“We intend to rebrand these in the one-to-two years following the deal’s completion.”

She said it was too early to speculate about the impact on jobs.

“It’s important to note that we are still at a very early stage with this deal – it was only signed on Thursday.”

Major investment

One of the Principal’s rooms, complete with view of York Minster. Photograph: Tim Winter

When Starwood Capital took over the hotel in 2015, it wanted to “bring back its glory years“.

It changed the name from the Royal York Hotel to Principal York and invested in creating new facilities.

These included the Chapter House bar and games room, the Refectory Kitchen & Terrace restaurant and a new garden room.

It also refurbished all 159 bedrooms and the hotel lobby, whilst creating new, destination restaurant and bar.

This year the Principal is shortlisted in three categories of the York Tourism Awards.

The history of the Royal York Hotel

Station Road and what was the Royal Station Hotel in 1955. Photograph © Ben Brooksbank on Wikipedia
Station Road and what was the Royal Station Hotel in 1955. Photograph © Ben Brooksbank on Wikipedia
A five-storey building of yellow Scarborough brick, the Royal Station Hotel was completed in 1878, a year after the new station opened.

It featured elegant, high-ceilinged banqueting rooms and 100 large bedrooms for anyone who could afford 14 shillings a night.

A 27-room west wing was added in 1896, named Klondyke after the US gold rush of the time. The hotel was later renamed the Royal York.

Source: History Of York