Accor will launch the first UK property under its MGallery brand when London’s St Ermin’s hotel reopens next month.
The France-based hotel group has signed an affiliation deal with the new US owner of St Ermin’s, Amerimar Enterprises. The London property, which is housed in a Grade II Listed Victorian building close to St James’s Park station, is undergoing a £30 million revamp to re-launch as a four-star deluxe hotel in mid-April – see online news February 2 for more information.
Accor launched MGallery in 2008 and describes it as “a collection of upscale hotels notable for their personalities” (see online news August 29, 2008). There are more than 30 properties under the marque in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific.
Jean-Jacques Dessors, chief operating officer of Accor UK and Ireland, said in a statement that the move “underlined Accor’s ambitious plans to open 300 hotels by 2015 in the UK as well as increasing its upscale offering in London”.
It means that members of Accor’s AClub loyalty scheme will have another choice of London hotel for earning and redeeming points. The group already has the luxury Sofitel London St James in the capital, as well as a range of properties in its budget and mid-range categories.
Jon Cummins, chief operating officer of Amerimar, told Business Traveller: “MGallery was very interested in the [St Ermin’s] project and made it clear that it was something it wanted in its family. We think it’s a really good fit because it enables us to maintain our identity and at the same time brings us into the strongest distribution channel in Europe.”
Like the other MGallery hotels, St Ermin’s will retain its own name rather than being fully branded as an MGallery property.
Cummins added: “Accor as a family of brands does not have a particularly large presence in London vis-à-vis the size of its system, and that’s really why it was particularly excited to bring us on board, because it has unsatisfied demand there. It enabled Accor to bring on a high-quality asset that complemented well with its other London properties, particularly the Sofitel.”
Positioning-wise, Cummins said St Ermin’s would sit “half a step below” the Sofitel St James.
Report by Michelle Mannion