Qatar has agreed to buy London's Grosvenor House hotel as energy revenue enables the wealthy Gulf state to go on a buying spree despite a blockade by its neighbours.
A source with knowledge of the deal said the acquisition of Grosvenor House - located on Park Lane in London's Mayfair district - had been agreed on Tuesday November 6 with the vendor, private US real estate investment firm Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. The price was not disclosed.
Ashkenazy Acquisition did not respond to a request for comment and nor did the Qatar Investment Authority, which is buying the hotel via its Katara Hospitality holding.
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Qatar has already bought of one of New York’s most iconic buildings, the Plaza Hotel, for around $600 million.
"There is another hotel acquisition in the works in Europe coming soon as well," the source said.
Buying Top Hotels
Qatar has been buying top hotels and luxury properties in the West over the past decade as part of a drive by its $300 billion-plus sovereign wealth fund to diversify the wealth it accumulates from gas and oil exports.
Qatar, the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, already owns London's Savoy and Connaught hotels and the high-end department store Harrods.
Grosvenor House History
The Grosvenor House Hotel was built in the 1920s on the site of Grosvenor House, the former London residence of the Dukes of Westminster, whose family name is Grosvenor.
It is known for one of the largest ballrooms in Europe, the Great Room, which award ceremonies and charity balls. The Great Room was originally built as an ice-rink and in 1933 Princess Elizabeth, the future Queen Elizabeth, learnt to skate there.