US investor Starwood Capital is to rebrand its UK hotels, including the Palace in Manchester, to Principal from 1 November following a £150m capital investment programme.
The Palace will shortly complete a £25m refurbishment that includes the New Refuge restaurant and bar, named after the original use as the office for the Refuge Assurance Company.
The distinctive illuminated red “PALACE” lettering on the clock tower will disappear following the rebrand and a new sign carrying the Principal name will be installed in its place.
The Principal Manchester will be joined at relaunch by hotels in Edinburgh and York, and followed in 2017 by others in Glasgow and London. The former Martins Bank, Liverpool will open as The Principal Liverpool in early 2018.
The Principal Manchester, on the corner of Oxford Street and Whitworth Street, occupies three adjoining buildings dating to between 1895 and 1932. Designed by Alfred Waterhouse, his son Paul, and Stanley Birkett, all three buildings were commissioned by The Refuge Assurance Company as its company headquarters, and they include the 217ft clock tower.
Following an investment of more than £25m, The Principal Manchester has been remodelled to create 270 bedrooms and suites designed by Michaelis Boyd Architects; 17 meeting and event spaces, including the largest hotel ballroom in the North West.