Westin Hotels & Resorts is being touted as the likely operator of a new £8m hotel under construction in London's Kensington.
The 128-bedroom hotel is being built in Harrington Gardens, just down the road from the Gloucester hotel which is itself at the centre of a major project by CDL Hotels International (Caterer, 21 July).
The site was formerly the Eden Hotel, although only the façade is being retained by the developers, who have spent the past six months demolishing what lay behind it.
Mystery surrounds the identity of those involved with the project, although one source suggested the construction company, Italian group Impresa Castelli, was contracted to a French leisure group.
Previous speculation has linked the site to Accor's Sofitel brand. However, sources close to the project are now talking of Westin as the likely management company.
A spokeswoman for Westin in London said no management agreement had been confirmed with the developers, although she admitted the US group was impatient to have a property in London.
Westin has been looking to enter the UK market for some time, and is known to have cast its eye over the Londonderry before its recent sale. It also wants hotels in such cities as Milan, Paris and Madrid.
The group, which is controlled by shipping magnate Ow Chio Kiat, last week established a flagship for the group with the purchase of the five-star Parkroyal Hotel in Melbourne for A$60m (£28.7m).
Earlier this year, it acquired the Peppers Hotel in Sydney's Double Bay as part of a A$22m (£10.5m) deal to buy the Cosmopolitan Centre.
Then in May it bought the Ramada Hotel in Sydney's North Ryde for A$39m (£18.7m).
According to the Australian Financial Review, the group is now looking to acquire hotel properties in Europe, as well as other countries in the Pacific region.
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