See the Olympics in luxury
THOSE that have more than £1m at their disposal and a wide group of friends should make plans now to rustle up about 50 or more guests to visit the UK next year.
Only a Lotto winner could afford to stay at Leeds Castle for six weeks, paying for accommodation at six-star rates plus room rates a night — but this is what is on offer in time for the Olympic Games.
Anne Porter’s UK associates Knight Frank have been mandated to make Leeds Castle in Kent available to a single lessee for the 2012 Olympic Games, which will run from late July to late August. The lease, priced at more than £1m, comes with full hospitality catering and back-up services.
Leeds Castle originates from the 12th Century when it was Edward I’s palace and it has, over the years, been modernised extensively. It is now run by a trust. Under its last private owner, Lady Baillie, it gained a reputation as a social hub frequented by politicians and showbiz personalities.
Earlier in its history — in Tudor times — it was home to Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’S first queen, and as a princess Elizabeth I was imprisoned there for a time as she was seen as a threat to Queen Anne, Britain’s last Catholic monarch. The castle is close to Ebbsfleet International station, which is 11 minutes by high-speed rail to the Olympic venue. The castle is encircled by a moat and has its own park in which a range of activities is offered, including golf on a ninehole course, archery, jousting, falconry, horse and quad-bike riding, fishing and hot air ballooning.
The castle has 52 bedrooms and sumptuous dining and banqueting rooms.
Lavish state apartments in St James Palace owned by the queen, are also now available for hire.
The palace’s throne room, tapestry room and Queen Anne room can all be leased for about £30 000 for a single function.
Anne Porter, chairperson of Anne Porter Knight Frank, said: “Right now I can think of no single client with more than R13m to spare, but with eight months still to run it is just feasible that a toprated hotelier could make a go of this proposition.
“If this does not happen I expect a Middle Eastern or Indian billionaire to take up the opportunity to host the party of the decade,” she says. Contact: Anne Porter 082 554 7944 Office 021 671 7120