Hotel group Thistle is understood to be the favourite to take over London's Cumberland hotel, the last of the 11 Le Méridien properties taken back under the control of owner Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).
The 1,020-bedroom hotel, which is scheduled to complete its £90m renovation at the end of this month, could be the first of Thistle's new-style hotels.
Last week Caterer revealed that Thistle was going to ditch its name and open hotels radically different in style to its current properties. The Cumberland, which is being renovated in a hi-tech, modern style, would fit with Thistle's new vision.
Bev King, chief operating officer at Thistle, would not comment on the deal. However, sources close to the company said it was in discussions with RBS, but that no agreement had yet been signed. US hotel group Starwood has also been linked to the hotel but refused to comment.
Source: Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, 29 July 2004