MCLEAN, VA—The Biltmore, Mayfair is set to open in April as the newly launched LXR Hotels & Resorts’ first U.K. property, following an agreement between Hilton and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels plc.
The collection welcomed its maiden property in Dubai, UAE, with the Habtoor Palace, a 234-guestroom luxury hotel, which was rebranded from the St. Regis Dubai last year.
“LXR will be a global collection of hotels and resorts offering seasoned luxury travelers a diverse range of experiences with representation on all five [inhabited]continents,” Martin Rinck, EVP/global head of Hilton’s luxury and lifestyle group told Hotel Business. “LXR properties are truly best-in-class hotels, known for their distinctive character and unrivaled service. We are incredibly excited that The Biltmore, Mayfair will bring to life everything that the brand stands for by joining as the first LXR hotel in Europe.”
The LXR name was chosen because it connotes luxury. “Hilton chose a name that connotes luxury and transports guests directly to that space, as confirmed through independent market research,” he said. “The three letters [LXR] sit in a classic formation and are intentionally designed to add to any existing property branding versus distracting from it. Hilton chose to omit ‘collection’ from the formal branding as each hotel is meant to stand out on its own.”
He continued, “The hotels will offer unparalleled accommodations and remain steadfastly true to their unique heritage and locality to create authentic luxury experiences for guests.”
While many hotel brand companies are scaling up their offerings, creating new and diverse brands to complement their legacy ones, it’s important to make sure that there’s no brand blur—that each offering is distinctive in its own right and doesn’t create adverse competition among a company’s family of brands. Rinck said the collection is different from other Hilton brands.
“LXR is a luxury collection brand composed of existing, independently established properties with unique and powerful identities that are looking to increase their competitiveness and commerciality with the benefits of the Hilton enterprise,” he said, pointing out that this is quite different from the other brands in Hilton’s luxury portfolio. “Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts are typically conversions, adaptive-reuse or new-build properties that are united by their consistent brand identities. LXR will build on the legacy of the Waldorf Astoria and Conrad brands, but will provide a new diverse offering for Hilton’s luxury guests.”
This is the second iteration of the LXR name, which was originally created by The Blackstone Group when it used the brand to reposition a portfolio of high-end assets it acquired when it bought Wyndham International Inc. “Hilton’s LXR Hotels & Resorts is separate from the LXR Luxury Resorts brand launched by Blackstone in 2005,” he said. “The properties that were formerly a part of LXR Luxury Resorts have since become affiliated with other Hilton brands or have remained independent. Currently, there are no plans to have any hotels that were once part of Blackstone’s LXR Luxury Resorts portfolio join LXR Hotels & Resorts.”
The Biltmore, Mayfair – LXR Hotels & Resorts has undergone a multimillion-dollar redevelopment following its closure in early July 2018. Designed by Goddard Littlefair, the hotel will have 257 guestrooms, many with views over Grosvenor Square, as well as 51 highly curated and designed suites, which will reflect the property’s origin as a sophisticated and elegant London private residence.
The property will have new culinary concepts headed by internationally renowned chefs, an all-year-round alfresco terrace, an exclusive cocktail bar and a large Gym-Tech fitness suite. The hotel will also have a more-than-5,300-sq.-ft. ballroom for large-scale events and weddings, with capacity for up to 700 guests for cocktail receptions. For smaller functions, the Waterloo and Manhattan Suites will be suited to more intimate receptions of up to 100 guests, while the Kendal Suite will lend itself to small groups of 25 guests or boardroom meetings.
“LXR is designed to bring together the best of luxury in global destinations,” said Patrick Fitzgibbon, SVP of development for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) for Hilton. “The Biltmore, Mayfair is a stunning addition to the new collection and prestigious extension to Hilton’s growing luxury portfolio in London. Guests will experience first-class service in the heart of Mayfair, and the unique craftsmanship and historic surroundings of the hotel will make for a truly memorable stay.”
Tan Kian Seng, interim group CEO of Millennium & Copthorne Hotels plc, is excited that the property will be one of the first in the collection. “This hotel, located on the prestigious Grosvenor Square in Mayfair, has undergone a complete refurbishment,” he said. “With its prime location, bespoke products and quintessential services under LXR, The Biltmore, Mayfair will be fit for royalty, well-traveled guests from around the world and senior corporate executives. We look forward to welcoming our first customers in the coming spring.”
While only two properties currently comprise the luxury collection of hotels and resorts, more will be coming soon. “LXR Hotels & Resorts is primed for growth with a number of deals from around the world in various stages of development,” said Rinck. “We look forward to welcoming a mix of iconic landmarks and impressive resorts, as well as new, modern hotels to the collection.” HB