Luxembourg’s best-known hotel Le Royal, part of the GMH group owned by Iraqi-born British businessman and philanthropist Sir Nadhmi Auchi, is to receive a €40 million makeover.
Emirates Capital Limited has lead-arranged an investment and capex facility to two subsidiaries of Sir Nadhmi’s General Mediterranean Holding SA, a strong and diverse multi-national organisation with activities ranging from banking and finance, real estate and construction to hotel and leisure, IT, telecommunications and aviation. The deal was jointly arranged with the Dubai International Financial Centre, an institution specialising in cross-border transactions, and a leading German real estate bank. It closed in October 2014.
The Emirates deal will be used to refinance and substantially refurbish Le Royal, a five-star, 210-room hotel located in a prime central spot of the tiny but beautiful little capital city of Luxembourg, right in the heart of Europe. Hotel management have explained that the work is needed to meet international luxury hotel standards and to better accommodate social and cultural events.
Senior executives of GMH and Emirates Capital have praised the transaction and commented that it has been a smooth and exemplary cooperation between a professional German real estate bank and a corporate finance company from the DIFC.
Le Royal opened in 1984 and has undergone several soft refurbishments as well as some notable extensions in its thirty-year history. It is renowned for its sophisticated European hospitality and impeccable service and is a long-standing member of the luxury hotel collection Leading Hotels of the World. Its concierge staff are also members of the not-for-profit International Association of Hotel Concierges known as the Golden Keys, “Les Clefs d’Or”. Clefs d’Or concierges are recognised by the insignia they proudly display on the collar of their uniforms. These crossed gold keys are more than just the emblem of the Association – they are the symbol of guaranteed high quality service.
With this significant investment, Le Royal is set to become the jewel in the European crown of GMH’s Le Royal Hotels and Resorts division, which also boasts a number of other five-star establishments in Madrid, Tangier, Hammamet, Sharm el-Sheikh, Amman and Beirut.
Due to efficient planning, few of the hotel’s staff have had to be laid off during the refurbishment programme, and those that were have been offered a generous social package and re-employment once the building works are complete. Meanwhile this iconic landmark in Luxembourg City will still be able to house many residential guests comfortably throughout its renovation, and two of its four excellent restaurants – the premier fine-dining La Pomme Canelle, renowned for its innovative French cuisine, and the more relaxed new Kritzel Bar with its mix of art and music – will happily be running as normal. The luxurious Club Santé, which features a hammam, sauna, fitness machines, solarium, spa treatments and a beauty salon for men and women, as well as a stunning heated indoor swimming pool, will remain open for the vast majority of the works.
The hotel is due to re-open fully in the autumn.