SOUTHAMPTON, UK—Hilton Worldwide announced the signing of a franchise agreement with RB Hotels Limited to open Hilton at the Ageas Bowl / Southampton at England’s latest test match cricket venue and the home of Hampshire County Cricket Club.
Hilton at the Ageas Bowl / Southampton is expected to open in early 2014 as part of an ongoing stadium development. The six-story property will be operated by Sanguine Hospitality, with whom Hilton Worldwide already operates a number of hotels. The hotel will feature 171 rooms and four suites, with eighty five of the rooms doubling up as corporate hospitality venues on match days.
In an announcement, Patrick Fitzgibbon, senior vice president, development, Europe & Africa, Hilton Worldwide, said, “We are delighted to be opening our second property in Southampton, complementing the existing Hilton Southampton with a new landmark hotel at the Ageas Bowl. English cricket has experienced a period of great success; and we are excited to become a part of that in a year where Hilton Worldwide has contributed to developing a lasting legacy for sports tourism in the UK.”
This announcement follows a summer which has seen Hilton Worldwide open two flagship properties at iconic sporting locations. Hilton London Wembley, which opened in July; and Hilton Worldwide’s first dual branded property in the UK, Hilton and Hampton by Hilton at St George’s Park, Burton upon Trent, which debuted last month at the new National Football Center.
Specialist hospitality builder Denizen Contracts has secured in excess of £27m for the development, the majority of which was provided by the Co-operative Bank. The project will be built by Denizen Contracts and is anticipated to take 18 months to complete. Work is expected to start on site within weeks.
Paul Bolton, Chairman of Denizen Contracts, said, “This has been a challenging planning and design process which leaves us looking forward to the successful delivery of an exceptional venue at this historic ground. Uniquely, the design allows for domestic and international cricket fans to watch a day’s play from one of 85 boxes, while guests on the other side of the hotel will enjoy stunning views across the Ageas Bowl County Golf Club. There will be nothing standard about this development.”