Some of the world’s top hotels are investing in their own superyachts, suggesting ownership might well be good for business. Knightsbridge boutique hotel The Wellesley, has just purchased its second superyacht, the 56m M/Y The Wellesley, built by Heesen on behalf of Oceanco back in 1993 and recently refit. Owner Khalid Affara, MD of Arab Investments, parent company of the hotel, spoke to The Superyacht Owner about his motivations for investing in such an asset.
“We were looking for a way to expand The Wellesley’s luxury offering and highly personal service and felt a superyacht offered an ideal platform for us to do this. The superyacht is a great opportunity to raise awareness for The Wellesley brand by allowing word to reach the Caribbean and Mediterranean ports – key markets for us.”
Affara had initially purchased a smaller 32m superyacht, M/Y The Wellesley II, but found that there was less demand for a yacht of this size. The new 56m offering has retained the crew of 12 from the original boat and post refit, has new decks, Jacuzzi, kitchen and room for 12 guests. “The hull was stretched by 6m, and we created the Beach Club at the stern, plus a new side door,” adds Affara. “We also introduced full AV equipment and a brand new outdoor cinema. The interiors are by Dennis Irvine who also designed the hotel interiors.”
Other hotels who are adopting this ownership model include the Four Seasons with their 39m S/Y Explorer and Cheval Blanc Randheli’s 30m Azimut, suggesting this is a model that is worth its financial weight. Affara agrees; “The management company responsible for her charters (Worth Avenue Yachts) have been doing a superb job in ensuring the yacht’s continued occupancy. Furthermore, ownership has allowed us to truly put our Wellesley stamp on the yacht and made it an extension of the hotel in every sense.”
The Wellesley is currently chartering in the Mediterranean starting at €220,000 per week plus expenses - visit mythewellesley.com for more.