RIU Hotels & Resorts is expanding into the United Kingdom with a new RIU Plaza hotel in central London. The property will open by the end of 2020 as a Riu following a total refurbishment of a building at 1 Neathouse Place, which is next to Victoria Station, Westminster Cathedral and Buckingham Palace.
RIU Plaza is RIU Hotels & Resorts’ city hotel brand. The company said that it had been seeking to expand in the UK, as that country represents a large proportion of its clientele in Spain and the Caribbean. RIU said the hotel will have 350 guestrooms, with a focus on leisure guests looking for a city visit to London. The city center location will also have a direct connection to Gatwick airport in 30 minutes.
In a written statement RIU Hotels & Resorts CEO Luis Riu said the company estimated the project will represent an investment of approximately 250 million euros to cover the purchase of the building and the refurbishment.
The building was originally constructed in the 1960s, and it was fully renovated in 1997. The new RIU hotel will keep the building’s structure while completely transforming the interior with a design update, as well as a focus on energy efficiency and sustainable operations. Some of the rooms will have views out over the city, and the hotel will also have a bar and restaurant and an open-air terrace, which Riu says is not common in central London.
London Victoria Station is the second-busiest station in the UK, Riu said, after Waterloo, with more than 75 million passengers annually using its underground, train and bus terminals.
RIU currently has six RIU Plaza hotels worldwide, as well as two undergoing construction: RIU Plaza España and a second in New York. The first city hotel opened its doors in Panama in 2010 and, since then, it has been joined by the Riu Plaza Guadalajara hotel in Mexico, RIU Plaza Miami Beach and RIU Plaza New York Times Square in the United States, RIU Plaza Berlin in Germany and RIU Plaza The Gresham Dublin in Ireland.