Lon­don Ritz – yours for $1B

Edmonton Sun - - COFFEE BREAK -

LON­DON — The own­ers of Lon­don’s Ritz ho­tel, a haven for roy­als, states­men and movie stars, have hinted that they’d be open to sell­ing the lux­ury es­tab­lish­ment for $1 bil­lion US, a source close to them said Thurs­day.

Opened in 1906 by Swiss hote­lier Ce­sar Ritz, the high-so­ci­ety ho­tel hosted Char­lie Chap­lin in the 1920s and was used as a meet­ing place by Win­ston Churchill, Dwight Eisen­hower and Charles de Gaulle to dis­cuss op­er­a­tions dur­ing the Sec­ond World War.

To­day, it of­fers its well-heeled global clien­tele 111 rooms, 25 suites, a range of bars and restau­rants, and the Palm Court, where an elab­o­rate af­ter­noon tea is served and men have to wear ties. The Ritz has been owned since 1995 by David and Fred­er­ick Bar­clay, twins who also own the Daily Tele­graph news­pa­per. The pair usu­ally de­cline in­ter­views and give lit­tle away in pub­lic about their busi­ness strat­egy.

A source close to the twins said they had re­cently re­ceived sev­eral un­so­licited of­fers for the Ritz, and its lat­est ac­counts gave a val­u­a­tion for the ho­tel, a move that has fu­elled spec­u­la­tion they’d sell if they re­ceived a high enough bid.

TOBY MELVILLE/REUTERS

A taxi drives past The Ritz Lon­don ho­tel in Pic­cadilly yes­ter­day.

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