Hotel Brands

Travelodge eyes 100 new hotels as turnaround bears fruit


Travelodge has announced it is planning to open 100 new hotels in the next five years after seeing its turnaround plan lead to an 8.8% rise in revenues.

For the year ending 31 December, Travelodge delivered total revenues of £693.3m, up from £637.1m the previous year. It also reported adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation increased £9.6m to £122m.

The company also revealed that RevPAR was up 3.2% to £41.69 (2017: £40.40), average room rate was maintained  at £53.09 (2017: £53.13) and occupancy was up 2.5pts to 78.5%. During the period Travelodge also opened an additional 17 hotels.

However, commenting on its outlook, the company said the UK economic situation remaining “uncertain” and “well documented cost pressures facing the wider sector” led it to maintain a cautious short term outlook.

Peter Gowers, Travelodge chief executive, said its “strategic focus on location, price and quality” has enabled the group to deliver a “set of excellent results”, attributed to extending its network of hotels, remaining focused on delivering “attractive prices” and increasing its quality.

He said: “Once again we outperformed our competitive segment and delivered another year of strong growth, with EBITDA up £9.6m to £122m. These are uncertain times and we are not immune from the short term challenges, but beyond, we remain confident that there are more opportunities ahead.

“These results highlight Travelodge’s transformation over the last five years. Over that period, Travelodge’s sales are up by more than £250m, we’ve outperformed our competitive segment for five years in a row, opened more than 60 new hotels and more than trebled our profitability.”

He added: “We’ve invested in better quality and choice for our guests, while staying true to our budget roots. People are noticing the difference, culminating in our being recognised, for the first time, as one of the world’s top 10 global hotel chains by TripAdvisor. The long term growth opportunities for the budget sector remain strong and we expect to open 100 new hotels over the next five years, creating approximately 3,000 jobs.”

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The Fattal Hotel Group acquires four Grange Hotels leases


The Fattal Hotel Group has announced that it has agreed to acquire the long term lease on four Grange Hotels in London, marking the group’s first entry into the central London market.

Totalling over 1,300 bedrooms, the new hotels include the Grange Tower Bridge Hotel, the Grange St Paul’s Hotel, the Grange City Hotel and the Grange Holborn Hotel, which, following a significant investment programme, will undergo major refurbishments as the group continues to pursue a strategy to drive performance and growth.

The new hotels will be operated by Jurys Inn and Leonardo Hotels UK and Ireland, with Tower Bridge, St Paul’s and City Hotels operating under Leonardo Royals, and Holborn, following extensive refurbishment, will become the group’s first NYX Hotel by Leonardo Hotels in the UK.

Acquired by Queensgate Investments, the hotels boast meeting and events spaces that can facilitate over 4,500 people, 14 bars and restaurants, and extensive leisure facilities – including swimming pools, gyms, beauty spas and holistic therapy rooms.

The addition of these hotels brings the total number within the Jurys Inn and Leonardo Hotels UK and Ireland Group to 53, following a year of “significant expansion”. In total, it now has over 11,000 bedrooms across the group.

Jason Carruthers, managing director of Jurys Inn and Leonardo Hotels UK and Ireland, said: “We are delighted to add these prominent hotels to our portfolio, which are in excellent locations within the very heart of London, as we continue to increase our offering in the UK following a year of significant growth.

“As we start 2019, we believe our portfolio, our strategy and the proven capabilities of our people puts Jurys Inn and Leonardo Hotels UK and Ireland in a unique position to leverage and capitalise on the emerging opportunities in the UK hotel sector and to help create exceptional customer experiences.”

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Marriott International reveals three-year growth plan


Marriott International has revealed its three-year growth plan, which includes opening more than 1,700 hotels around the world.


At its meeting today (18 March) with institutional investors and security analysts at the New York Marriott Marquis, the hotel brand will outline its plan to add between 275,000 and 295,000 rooms by 2021, supported by the strength of its record 478,000-room pipeline, including roughly 214,000 rooms already under construction.

Marriott will also disclose that its new room openings during this period could contribute $400m (£301m) in fee revenue in 2021 and $700m (£527m) annually when stabilised. The company’s three-year growth plan assumes, but does not forecast, comparable hotel revenue per available room (RevPAR) growth of as much as 3%, compounded annually.

Arne Sorenson, Marriott International president and chief executive officer, said: “Starwood has made us a more formidable competitor, providing a more valuable loyalty program, brands with strong appeal to loyalty members and owners, talented associates, terrific locations, particularly in the fast-growing Asia Pacific region, significant cost synergies and meaningful scale.

“We launched our newly branded loyalty program, Marriott Bonvoy, just last month. The program reached 125 million members as of year-end 2018 adding roughly 50,000 members per day.”

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Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants opens first property in Scotland


Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, the global boutique luxury brand from IHG, has opened its first hotel in Scotland; Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel.

Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel is located in one of Edinburgh’s most beautiful squares in the Georgian New Town area and is a UNESCO world heritage site. The 184 rooms and 15 suites are part of seven interconnecting Georgian townhouses including No. 33, a hotel within a hotel that can be booked for exclusive use for up to 24 guests.

The space includes the Townhouse Suite, three signature suites, three junior suites, and six other bedrooms. The dining room and drawing room can also be used for entertaining guests.

Johan Scheepers, general manager, Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel , said: “Kimpton has built its brand on the belief that heartfelt human connections make people’s lives better. We inspire curiosity and embrace people exactly as they are, creating truly meaningful guest experiences. Each Kimpton hotel is an escape from the ordinary, and Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel will offer a vibrant Scottish service full of charm and personality, in one of the world’s most historic cities.”

Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel features to restaurants – The Garden, where guests can sit back and relax for a drink or a meal, whatever the time of day or night or the destination restaurant BABA inspired by the flavors of the Levant and offers mezze dishes.

Guests can also meet fellow travelers at Kimpton’s daily social hour in the hotel’s BABA Bar, take part in free fitness and wellness classes at the recently refurbished, state-of-the-art gym, or enjoy a relaxing treatment at The Spa.

Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel is the second UK opening for the brand following the successful opening of Kimpton Fitzroy London in October 2018. Kimpton said it plans to continue to grow its UK footprint in the coming months with anticipated openings in Glasgow and Manchester.

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Marriott, Hilton, IHG and Accor account for 55% of global pipeline


Marriott, Hilton, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and Accor accounted for over half (55%) of the global hotel pipeline at the end of 2018, a new report has found.

According to Lodging Econometrics’ (LE) Global Construction Pipeline Trend Report, which compiles the construction pipeline counts for every country and market around the world,the leading franchise companies in the global construction pipeline by project count areMarriott International with 2,544 projects/420,405 rooms, Hilton Worldwide with 2,252 projects/333,209 rooms, IHG with 1,716 projects/249,379 rooms, and AccorHotels with 966 projects/177,052 rooms.

Brands leading in the pipeline for each of these companies were found to be Marriott’s Fairfield Inn with 397 projects/43,089 rooms, Hampton by Hilton with 619 projects/79,591 rooms, IHG’s Holiday Inn Express with 731 projects/91,691 rooms, and AccorHotel’s Ibis Brands with 321 projects/48,368 rooms.

The report also found, at the close of 2018, the total global construction pipeline hit record highs with 13,573 projects/2,265,792 rooms, a 7% increase in projects and a 6% increase in rooms year-over-year.

It added the global pipeline has been ascending for eight consecutive years after reaching its cyclical low in 2010. All regional pipelines, with the exception of South America, continued their upward trend.

Additionally there are a record high 6,352 projects/1,172,591 rooms currently under construction worldwide. Projects scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months are at 3,860 projects/572,483 rooms. Projects in the early planning stage stand at 3,361 rooms/520,718 projects, also at an all-time high.

The top countries by project count are the United States with 5,530 projects/669,456 rooms, and China with 2,761 projects/580,635 rooms whose pipeline reached a new all-time high.

The U.S. accounts for 41% of projects in the total global construction pipeline while China accounts for 20%, resulting in 61% of all global projects being focused in just these two countries. Distantly following are Indonesia with 387 projects/65,405 rooms, Germany with 283 projects/52,569 rooms, and the United Kingdom with 266 projects/38,590 rooms.

Around the world, the cities with the largest pipeline counts are New York City with 171 projects/29,457 rooms, Dubai with 168 projects/49,943 rooms, and Dallas with 163 projects/19,476 rooms. Los Angeles follows with 147 projects/23,404 rooms, and Guangzhou, China with 132 projects/28,694 rooms.

Last year saw a total of 2,675 new hotels/403,153 rooms open around the world. As a result of the current global pipeline being at an all-time high, LE forecasts that new hotel openings will continue to climb with 2,844 hotels expected to open in 2019. In 2020, new openings are forecast to accelerate further to 3,088 hotels.

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Crerar Hotels unveils £15m investment into ‘future of Scottish hospitality’


Crerar Hotels is “reinforcing its commitment to Scotland”  by investing £15m to position its portfolio in the “top end of Scottish hospitality”.

Crerar said the move is being made to meet the “growing demand” from affluent UK custom and to meet demand from the “significant growth in high value tourism from the emerging Asian markets”.

To match demand, the group is in the final stages of phase one investments at a numbers of its hotels, including Oban Bay, Loch Fyne (Inveraray), Golf View (Nairn), Glencoe Inn (Glencoe) and Isle of Mull Hotel (Mull), with committed spend to date in the region of £10m.

It added that each hotel noted is now at or set to achieve a minimum of high four-star status. The remaining retained hotels in its portfolio will follow the same investment route and market positioning, with phase two investment of £5m.

The company revealed the investment so far has been self-financed by trading profits and profit from asset disposal. The final phase will also be funded from trading and, potentially, from the sale of up to three more hotels, which were announced last week.

Controlling shareholder and chief executive, Paddy Crerar CBE, said: “This is one of the most exciting times in our history where we can plainly see a global market itching to discover what we locals already know about Scotland. We are so fortunate to live in such a brilliantly beautiful country and a country that remains steadfastly hospitable as well as inclusive.

“It’s simply our duty to put our heart and soul into giving every visitor as good an experience as we possibly can.We also recognise that the debacle of Brexit is a true and dangerous threat both to how others see our country, by association, and also who will or can join our workforce.”

He added: “At a time when Scotland has record employment no one can afford to ignore the net negative impact that loss of freedom of movement will place on business and communities, particularly those in rural locations.

“That’s another reason why investing in our business is so important – with an inevitable shortage of labour, skilled and unskilled, we have to be the employer of choice. We have to be more attractive as an employer than anyone else, hospitality people need more than good wages – they want and need to believe in the business they join. We are confident that with the best hotels in the best location we will attract and retain the best.”

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IHG to open first Staybridge Suites in Scotland


InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has opened its first Staybridge Suites in Scotland in Dundee.  

Staybridge Suites Dundee offer 85 one-bedroom and studio suites and has been converted from an abandoned linen mill. Located in the heart of the city, many of the suites have the original features including exposed brick ceilings and iron beams.

With a “modern and industrial interior design”, the lobby provides an adaptable work and social space where guests can make use of free Wi-Fi. There is also a fully-stocked onsite shop called The Pantry, where guests can purchase food essentials 24 hours a day, and free laundry facilities and 24/7 fitness room.  

Dianna Bruce, hotel manager for Staybridge Suites Dundee, said: “Designed for the modern traveller, we have created a hotel where our guests can stay in a style of room that suits them best, perfect for business and family travellers alike.

“The hotel is a short drive from the city’s train station and airport, allowing guests a central base to enjoy the attractions of the city. Across the courtyard, guests can dine at the 2 AA Rosette Daisy Tasker restaurant, which has been named after a former mill worker.

The hotel is to be managed by Focus Hotel Management, an independent hospitality management company with a portfolio of 15 hotels open, under development and in planning totalling 1,948 bedrooms.   

The company operates hotels including independents, such as Sketchley Grange Hotel, Oxford Witney Hotel and Hotel Colessio, and also operates hotels under franchise agreements with DoubleTree by Hilton, Hampton by Hilton, Mercure, Ibis Styles and Hotel Indigo.

Director of hotel operations at Focus Hotels Management, Steven Frewer, added: “The property is the second hotel in Dundee for owners Percor Capital, following the opening of the Hotel Indigo last year. We are thrilled to announce the opening of this latest hotel in the vibrant city of Dundee, which represents the third Scottish property to join Focus Hotel’s’ portfolio in the last year.”  

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SBE launches new global lifestyle brand


SBE, the international hospitality group that develops, manages and operates global hospitality brands, has launched a new luxury global brand in partnership with Accor.

The House of Originals is a luxury collection of properties which will include the Sanderson and St. Martins Lane in London, 10 Karakoy in Istanbul, and the Shore Club in Miami Beach.

SBE said the new brand aims to “create a community for its guests, predicated on luxury experiences and centered around sbe’s iconic culinary and mixology offerings”. SBE added that Accor will be critical in establishing the brand internationally by offering its customers and partners access to an “unparalleled” global distribution and procurement infrastructure.

Sam Nazarian, founder and CEO of SBE, said: “At SBE we are always looking to create memorable experiences. The House of Originals will include our existing incredible destinations, the Sanderson, St Martins Lane, Shore Club and 10 Karaköy and create a community and network of unique global properties.

“I am proud to partner on this project very closely with the Accor team and Gaurav Bhushan, who will provide us invaluable support in helping us create a truly international suite of properties.”

Gaurav Bhushan, chief development officer Accor, added: “The lifestyle market continues to grow rapidly and has one of fastest growth rates in the industry. Accor has had very strong acceleration in the lifestyle sector and now offers the widest portfolio, with 10 brands to be developed internationally from economy to luxury.

“The House of Originals is the perfect combination of sbe’s know-how in entertainment and F&B, and will benefit from Accor’s global platform, particularly in terms of distribution, loyalty and network development. With already five new hotels in the pipeline and an exciting pipeline underway in key gateway cities such as Dubai, London and Paris, this brand brings a new lifestyle flavour into the Accor portfolio.”

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Mandarin Oriental to reopen 10 months after fire


Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park will reopen in its entirety on Monday 15 April, having completed the most extensive restoration in its 117-year history just ten months after a fire ravaged the hotel.

Following the re-opening of the public spaces in December, the hotel has now unveiled all new guest rooms and suites, including two newly created penthouse suites.

Internationally renowned designer, Joyce Wang, has overseen the redesign of all guest rooms and suites, along with the creation of the hotel’s new Penthouses. All 181-guest rooms and suites are designed to be more “luxurious and comfortable than ever before”, with art deco-inspired features including curated artworks and custom-designed furniture.

Each of the hotel’s 40 suites range in size from the smallest, at 47 square metres, located within the turrets of the hotel, to the largest, at 444 square metres, which comprises the new three-bedroom Mandarin Oriental Penthouse with private terraces.

Consisting of two penthouse suites, the Mandarin Penthouse and the Oriental Penthouse can be interconnected to create one of London’s largest suites with three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a private dining room, two kitchens, and expansive views of Hyde Park and the London skyline.

New York designer Adam D. Tihany, has overseen the redesign of the next-generation Spa featuring 13 individual treatments rooms, an Oriental Suite with two massage beds and a Rasul water temple. Tilhany also has overseen the “light” refurbishment of Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Bar Boulud, London and Mandarin Bar.

The hotel’s Ballroom and Loggia have also been restored to include 24-carat gilding of many original features. The renovation also includes a beautiful hand-painted Butterfly Terrace by artist Leah Wood, along with two new versatile meeting spaces, Asquith and Balfour, for private meetings and social soirees.

General manager Amanda Hyndman said: “Mandarin Oriental is enormously proud of the heritage of this historic hotel. The scope and intricate detail of this momentous renovation is designed to ensure this iconic London establishment is recognised as one of the finest hotels in the world. We look forward to welcoming our guests with kind and intuitive service that is truly British but reflective of our Oriental heritage.”

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Jurys Inn and Leonardo Hotels recieve four star AA accreditations


Jurys Inn and Leonardo Hotels UK have announced that 80% of its hotels have now received four star AA accreditation, with the entire portfolio expected to achieve this by the end of 2019.

Some £75m has been invested across all Jurys Inn and Leonardo Hotels over the last five years with the aim of raising the standard of service and product to meet AA four star standards.

According to the hotel groups, the investment has “transformed and enhanced” the look and feel of the hotels, while striving to meet the “ever-changing needs and expectations of guests”.

It added that training and investment of staff has also been a “key focus” to ensure that the service throughout the hotels is of a consistently high standard, the results of which can seen in the group’s Guest Review Index which sits at 87.5%.

Jason Carruthers, managing director at Jurys Inn and Leonardo Hotels UK and Ireland, said: “To have so many of our properties four star AA accredited is a great honour and testament to the excellent service and product offered by Jurys Inn and Leonardo Hotels in the UK.

“We’re inherently proud of our offering and will continue to work toward full AA four star accreditation across the board.”

The AA accreditation system has been used to classify hotels since 1912 ensuring standards are comparable to quality standards across the UK. The star rating system merits cleanliness, service, food, bedroom, bathrooms and overall hospitality, setting high standards for the hotel industry that guests can rely on.

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A recent survey from hotel solutions provider HRS has found that the demand for innovative technology in hotels is on the rise

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