Thistle Hotels

Thistle Hotels

Infobox Company
company_name = Thistle Hotels
company_type = Private
foundation = 1965
location = Uxbridge, England
key_people = Tim Scoble CEO
Quek Leng Chan Chairman
Steve Bailey CFO
area_served = United Kingdom
industry = Hospitality
products =
revenue = £287m (2004)
operating_income =
net_income =
num_employees =
parent = [ BIL International Ltd]
subsid =
homepage =
footnotes =

Thistle Hotels is a UK-based hotel company with a portfolio of forty one hotels, operating in the three and four star sector. It is the sixth largest hotel chain in the UK by bedroom numbers (10,000), but the largest hotel chain in London. It has six hotels in Scotland (three in Aberdeen, and one each in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness) and one in Wales (Cardiff).

It has hotels at the airports of East Midlands, Heathrow, and Aberdeen.


It was set up by Scottish & Newcastle in 1965, to combine its own traditional legacy hotels with purpose built hotels. Mount Charlotte Investments bought thirty four Thistle hotels from S&N, and acquired the Thistle brand name for £645m in November 1989. Debt acquired from the transaction surrogated Mount Charlotte Investments with no choice but to be taken over by Brierley Investments of New Zealand for £664m in 1990.

In 1997, the company floated on the Stock Exchange, to become Thistle Hotels plc, valued at £620m. In September 1998, it sold 30 provincial hotels to Grace Hotels (owned by the Lehman Brothers investment bank) for £62.7m, becoming managed by Peel Hotels. In July 1999, it sold the Charles Dickens Hotel in London to the [ Ryan Hotel Group] for £20m. In June 2002, it initially sold 37 of its hotels to Orb Estates of Jersey for £598m, continuing to manage the propeties, but the hotels are eventually sold to Atlantic Hotels for £700m and being operated under the Thistle name. In June 2003, the company was bought for £627m by BIL International, a private equity company based in Singapore owned by the Hong Leong Group and the majority shareholder since 1990. BIL is actually, for accountancy purposes, registered in Bermuda. Thistle Hotels was delisted from the London Stock Exchange. In 2004, it opened its Cumberland Hotel in London after a £95 million renovation, which operated under the [ Guoman] deluxe brand. In May 2005, it sold six hotels to the [ Topland Group] under a leaseback deal for £185m.

It used to be based on "The Calls" in Leeds, then moved to Uxbridge.

In 2004, budget hotel company Travelodge bought two Thistle Hotels in London.

Thistle Hotels is currently under going a re-branding in order to maintain consistency across the group.

Thistle Cardiff The Parc has now re-opened after being closed for 17 months due to fire and has been refurbished throughout


The CEO, Tim Scoble, was the CEO of Little Chef for two years from 2004-6.

Guoman brand

It operates three luxury hotels in London under this brand, namely the Thistle Tower Hotel and the [ Cumberland Hotel] in Marble Arch and the Thistle Charing Cross. The Royal Horseguards, Thistle Victoria and the Thistle Marble Arch hotels are planned to be converted to the exclusive brand.

External links

* [ Thistle Hotels]
* [ Guoman Hotels]
* [ Review at DooYoo]
* [ Two reviews of the Thistle Euston at Ciao!]

News items

* [ Thistle Cardiff damaged by an arson attack in December 2006]
* [ Tourism downturn hits Thistle Hotels in 2002]

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