D&D to open London hotel

D&amp;D London, the company formerly known as Conran Restaurants, is marking its return to the hotel business with a new &pound;50m boutique hotel in Moorgate.<br /><br />D&amp;D, which is still 51 per cent owned by Sir Terence Conran, will work with property developer Frogmore to create a luxury 80-room hotel, which it hopes will receive planning permission and be open for business by 2012.<br /><br />The firm sold its 50 per cent stake in Liverpool Street&rsquo;s Great Eastern Hotel to US rival Hyatt in 2006, but vowed to return to the market as soon as possible. <br /><br />D&amp;D chairman and chief executive Des Gunewardena said it had previously held back on this project, but that a launch in the hotel space was now viable. <br /><br />The Moorgate venture heralds the start of D&amp;D&rsquo;s development of a small chain of city boutique hotels, with a site in&nbsp; Birmingham being looked at closely by the group.<br /><br />The Pont de la Tour and Blueprint Caf&eacute; owner also plans to open three restaurants and bars on the rooftop of The Cube development in Birmingham.<br /><br />It said that trading in its eateries was a better than a year ago, although a recovery in private dining has yet to be matched by business spending, especially on corporate events.<br /><br />The group owns 30 restaurants, including ones in New York, Tokyo and Paris &ndash; with total revenues of around &pound;75m a year. <br /><br />The firm changed its name to D&amp;D London after Gunewardena and managing director David Loewi and their management team acquired a 49 per cent stake. <br />