Centre Stage For Hilton In Leeds As Plans Unveiled For Arena Hotel

Second Hilton Hotels & Resorts Hotel for the City Set to Open on the Doorstep of First Direct Arena

December 05, 2013

LEEDS, U.K. and McLEAN, Va. - Following September's opening of the First Direct Arena, Leeds' state-of-the-art entertainment venue, Hilton Worldwide and GB Group have reached an agreement to bring the flagship Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand to the site by 2016.

Under a franchise deal over £30m will be spent on the new development of the upscale Hilton Leeds Arena, due to be managed by Redefine|BDL Hotels.  Located just 300m from the 13,500 capacity arena, which has already hosted the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Sir Elton John, the hotel will add its own touch of stardust for visitors to the complex.

Rob Palleschi, global head of Hilton Hotels & Resorts, said, "We're delighted to bring another hotel to the city of Leeds.  Our brand has strong ties with the entertainment industry, so we're particularly excited to be locating so close to one of the UK's most sought-after new venues.  With Hilton Leeds City also undergoing a £4m refurbishment this signing underlines our ongoing commitment to the Leeds market."

Along with 206 guest rooms and suites, the property will boast a destination restaurant, business centre, gym and a rooftop bar offering views of the city skyline from a 14-storey height.  Whilst enjoying unrivalled proximity to the First Direct Arena guests are also within walking distance of Leeds Rail Station and directly next to the Rose Bowl conferencing facility, affiliated to Leeds Metropolitan University.

Patrick Fitzgibbon, senior vice president, development, Europe & Africa, Hilton Worldwide said, "The First Direct Arena has already welcomed hundreds of thousands of people through its doors since opening in September.  It has solidified the city's status as one of the UK's leading entertainment and retail destinations, attracting over 25 million visitors a year.  Hilton Leeds Arena will provide the quality accommodation such a top class venue demands and serve to complement our existing city centre Hilton Hotels & Resorts and DoubleTree by Hilton hotels."

This is GB Group's second new hotel development in partnership with Hilton Worldwide following the successful delivery of Hilton Garden Inn Luton North, in Luton, Bedfordshire.  GB Group was advised by Jones Lang LaSalle Corporate Finance and CBRE Hotels in relation to the hotel brand and operator search and selection.  Watson Farley & Williams were legal advisors to GB Group.  Award winning architects Dexter Moren Associates designed the hotel.

Martin Smout, chairman and CEO of GB Group, said, "This is a key development for us, and marks an important milestone in our evolution from a developer contractor into a property owner investor. We are thrilled to have secured the go-ahead and funding to deliver this ambitious scheme at the heart of one of the UK's most exciting cities, and look forward to working closely with our partners to build what will become the premier destination for business and leisure in Leeds."

Hilton Leeds Arena will become the first Hilton Hotels & Resorts branded hotel to be managed by Redefine|BDL Hotels, which currently has 58 properties under management contracts and long-term leases.  Hilton Worldwide's partnership with the UK's largest independent hotel management company includes three further properties across Europe, Middle East and Africa, under the rapidly expanding DoubleTree by Hilton brand in Cape Town, Dundee and the soon to open hotel in Edinburgh City Centre.

Hilton Worldwide currently operates more than 110 hotels in the UK across five brands having opened four hotels in 2013 in Bristol, Exeter, Dundee and Birmingham.  It has had a presence in Leeds since 1971 and the opening of Hilton Leeds City and Hilton Leeds Arena will become its third hotel in the city following the addition of DoubleTree by Hilton Leeds City Centre in 2011.

About GB Group
The GB Group is an award winning property and construction solutions provider.  Uniquely, GB offers its clients complete end to end property and construction solutions in:

These services include help finding sites, development funding, full design, management and construction of new and refurbished facilities, through to aftercare and asset management.

Our 'total solution' approach means we can offer our clients a wide range of property and construction solutions delivered by our integrated group companies operating from five offices throughout England.  This ensures a local but consistent client experience wherever we work, with each office operating to our core values of 'Trust, Care and Commitment'. Visit www.gbgroup.co.uk for more information.


Huw Harrow
Hilton - EMEA
+971 (0) 56 416 1323

Jacqueline Toppings
Hilton Hotels & Resorts
+1 703 883 5381

About Hilton Hotels & Resorts

For nearly a century, Hilton Hotels & Resorts has been proudly welcoming the world's travelers. With more than 575 hotels across six continents, Hilton Hotels & Resorts provides the foundation for memorable travel experiences and values every guest who walks through its doors. As the flagship brand of Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts continues to set the standard for hospitality, providing new product innovations and services to meet guests' evolving needs. Hilton Hotels & Resorts is a part of the award-winning Hilton Honors program. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else, free standard Wi-Fi, and digital amenities like digital check-in with room selection and Digital Key (select locations), available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton Honors app. Begin your journey at www.hilton.com and learn more about the brand by visiting news.hilton.com or following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Hilton

Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, with a portfolio of 14 world-class brands comprising more than 5,200 properties with more than 856,000 rooms, in 105 countries and territories. Hilton is dedicated to fulfilling its mission to be the world’s most hospitable company by delivering exceptional experiences – every hotel, every guest, every time. The company's portfolio includes Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Curio Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Tru by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton Honors. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose exactly how many Points to combine with money, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else, and free standard Wi-Fi.  Visit newsroom.hilton.com for more information and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.