LONDON: Leading NRI businessman Yusuffali MA has acquired an iconic Scottish hotel based in Edinburgh in a 120-million-dollar deal clinched by Twenty14 Holdings (T14H), the hospitality investment arm of his Abu Dhabi headquartered Lulu Group International.
The Caledonian, a grand Edwardian hotel overlooking Edinburgh Castle, joins his portfolio of 650-million-dollar worth of luxury properties across the UK, the Middle East and India.
The T14H today announced plans to invest 28 million dollars for the expansion and enhancement of the historic hotel under its ownership, while retaining its heritage and distrinctive architecture.
“We are excited to add The Caledonian to the portfolio of Twenty14 Holdings. With more than 100 years of history, The Caledonian brings with it a rich heritage, character and unique opulence,” said Adeeb Ahamed, managing director of T14H.
Ahamed added that the company plans to honour the “Scottish landmark”, while adding to the experience the hotel already offers.
Among some of the plans for the site, the T14H intends to engage local craftsmen to work on the hotel’s historic Caledonian suites.
“Luxury and style will be the keynote of these improvements. Bespoke furniture, eclectic artwork and en-suite bathrooms featuring marble and burnished chrome fittings will feature among a host of exclusive additions,” T14H said.
The latest acquisition fits into the company strategy of investing in profitable luxury sites while preserving their historical legacy.
The Caledonian operates under the Hilton group’s flagship Waldorf Astoria brand.
First opened in 1903 as part of the old Princes Street Railway Station, the hotel currently has 241 rooms and is home to two famous restaurants operated by Michelin-starred brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin – the Pompadour by Galvin and Galvin Brasserie de Luxe.
It also houses the only spa by French skincare brand Guerlain in the UK, echoing the glamour of its counterpart in Paris.
Twenty14 Holdings was founded in 2014 as the hospitality arm of Lulu Group International to capitalise on the growth in the global hospitality industry.
The group, which had acquired the Old Scotland Yard headquarters in London in 2015, has struck a 110-million-pound agreement with property developer Galliard Homes to create a boutique five-star hotel on the site – 1-5 Great Scotland Yard.
The custom-built 92,000 sq ft project is to be called the Great Scotland Yard Hotel.
Among its other properties worldwide, T14H co-owns the landmark Sheraton Oman Hotel in Muscat, a 230 room five-star hotel re-opened in 2016, and owns the Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay in Dubai besides hotels in Kerala and Karnataka.