London’s five-star Lanesborough Hotel is to become part of the St Regis Hotels & Resorts chain following a decision by its owners to appoint fresh operators. Rosewood Hotel & Resorts, which has managed the hotel since it opened in 1992, will end its relationship with the Lanesborough at the end of this month. Jim Brown, president of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, said: “The Lanesborough is a truly unique hotel that fits especially well within the Rosewood collection.” He added: “When you are running a business, however, there sometimes comes a point where you have to start thinking with your head and not just your heart. We recently reached that point with the owners of the Lanesborough and we had to face facts that we could not agree on terms that made business sense for us.”
Brown said that Rosewood’s business strategy for the future was to only enter into long-term management agreements and not shorter arrangements such as the 10-year contract it had with the Lanesborough. The decision to change operators comes after the Lanesborough’s owners, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, decided not to sell the 95-bedroom hotel because of the impact of 11 September on the hotel industry. It had previously been in talks over a sale to Simon Halabi, who owns the former Naval & Military Club in Piccadilly, London, for a rumoured £120m. The Lanesborough will become the 11th hotel to be operated by St Regis. Its only other European property is in Rome, Italy.