With 126 rooms and suites, The Ritz London it is per key the most expensive hotel ever sold
24 April 2020
As London went into lockdown at the end of March and the capital’s businesses shut their doors, The Ritz London was quietly sold to a mystery investor for £800m. The amount was not without controversy. The Barclay family, which bought the hotel for £75m in 1995, put the five-star Mayfair property up for sale in October last year. A public feud soon arose, when Sir Frederick Barclay released a statement warning legal action against his family if the hotel was sold for less than £1bn.
“I take great pride in The Ritz hotel and its success ever since I personally wrote a £7.5m cheque as downpayment in 1995,” he wrote. “A sale below the proper value would give rise to further litigation. This would be regrettable.”
The new proprietor of The Ritz is Abdulhadi Mana Al-Hajri, a 40-year old business tycoon who is also brother to the second wife of Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani, the Emir (ruler) of Qatar. It is thought that the Emir's family now owns more of London than The Queen, with a portfolio including Harrods, Chelsea Barracks and Canary Wharf. The Sheikh is no stranger to London, having previously studied at Harrow in 1997, before training at Sandhurst.
Al-Hajri has reportedly kept on all staff while the hotel is closed during the coronavirus pandemic and is paying them full salaries, which is certainly a promising start.
The Ritz London, 150 Piccadilly, St. James's, London W1J 9BR, theritzlondon.com