London Ritz – yours for $1B
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.
A taxi drives past The Ritz London hotel in Piccadilly yesterday.