Hotel Brands

Easyhotel opens latest property in Ipswich


Super-budget hotel chain Easyhotel has opened its latest hotel in Ipswich, featuring 94 rooms.

Easyhotels said they chose the location as Ipswich is “rapidly becoming a stylish technology hub” with more than 100 technology start-ups have made their home in the town and the Waterfront area.

St John Harvey, chief cultural historian at easyHotel, said: “Alongside its cosmopolitan culture, Ipswich really is a cradle of British innovation and inventiveness. Not many people know that the world’s first commercially marketed powered lawnmower was built by Ransomes in Ipswich in 1902.

“But it’s not all about lawn mowing. The plough, the iron bridge, the fried clam, a fully hydraulic auger for winemakers and fruit growers, a test that has drastically reduced the number of diabetics suffering heel ulcers at the town’s hospital and the HI Kayak rescue method were all invented in the town.”

Commenting on the design of the hotel Easyhotel said they have brought a “sort of upgraded seventies minimalist chic” to the rooms.

St John Harvey added: “Stylish, simple rooms, our signature orange colour, integrated en suites and simple, convenient touches such as integrated bedside USB charging points.”

EasyHotel’s currently owns 11 hotels comprising of 1,219 rooms and has a further 24 franchised hotels with 2,039 rooms. Alongside Ipswich the hotels are located in Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester, Reading and London.

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Dominvs Group acquires the Arbor City Hotel


Dominvs Group has acquired the Arbor City Hotel in Central London to add to its UK hospitality portfolio.

Arbor City, located at 12-20 Osborn Street, London E1 is a 4-star hotel comprising 115 rooms and suites, with meeting and events space including a cinema room and a large function room.

Dominvs Group is partnering with Hilton Worldwide to rebrand Arbor City to a Hampton by Hilton, as part of its London focused strategy. The group said it is also exploring options for development and expansion of the existing building in order to add more than 150 rooms to the property.

Sean Brookes, COO of Dominvs Group, said: “We are very pleased to announce our partnership with Hilton Worldwide on this project. This deal represented a great opportunity to acquire an established hotel in a key location to add to our growing UK-wide hotel portfolio.

“Sites include two luxury and upper upscale hotels currently in development in St Paul’s and Tower Bridge, as well as Old Marylebone Road, Holborn, Heathrow, Hammersmith, Milton Keynes, Bath, Oxford City Centre, York, Glasgow and Aberdeen. With an extension of the property planned, this will more than double the current room inventory, adding to a portfolio of over 2000 hotel rooms in London and the Regions.”

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The Biltmore to join Hilton’s new luxury collection


The Biltmore is set to open under Hilton’s new luxury collection brand  LXR Hotels & Resorts’ following an agreement between Hilton and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels.

The luxury hotel, located in the heart of Mayfair on Grosvenor Square, will open for business in Spring 2019, marking the new brand’s European debut.

The hotel, which will be known as The Biltmore, Mayfair – LXR Hotels & Resorts, has undergone a multimillion-pound redevelopment following its closure in early July 2018. Designed by Goddard Littlefair, the hotel will offer 257 luxury guest rooms, many with views over Grosvenor Square, as well as 51 curated suites.

Martin Rinck, executive vice president and global head Luxury & Lifestyle Group, Hilton said: “LXR properties are truly best-in-class hotels, known for their distinctive character and unrivalled service. We are incredibly excited that The Biltmore, Mayfair will bring to life everything that the brand stands for by joining as the first LXR hotel in Europe.”

LXR is a collection of independent hotels which Hilton says is distinguished by an “unrivalled commitment to personalised attention and luxurious yet locally immersive experiences for guests”. Last year, the collection welcomed its maiden hotel in Dubai at Habtoor Palace, a 234-guest room luxury hotel situated on Sheikh Zayed Road.

The Biltmore, Mayfair will feature an all-year round alfresco terrace, an exclusive cocktail bar and a large gymtech fitness suite. In addition, the hotel will showcase an 500 sqm ballroom with capacity for up to 700 guests, with further suites available for smaller events.

Patrick Fitzgibbon, senior vice president, Development, EMEA, Hilton, said: “LXR is designed to bring together the best of luxury in global destinations. The Biltmore, Mayfair is a stunning addition to the new collection and prestigious extension to Hilton’s growing luxury portfolio in London. Guests will experience first-class service in the heart of Mayfair, and the unique craftsmanship and historic surroundings of the hotel will make for a truly memorable stay.”

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Whitbread acquires Dublin freehold for 180-room Premier Inn


Whitbread has completed a freehold deal to purchase the Twilfit House development site in Dublin 1 for a new build 180-bedroom Premier Inn hotel.

The purchase is Whitbread’s first freehold acquisition in Dublin and represents a significant step in Premier Inn’s expansion into Ireland as the business looks to fulfil a requirement for 2,000-2,500 bedrooms in Dublin.

Kevin Murray, head of acquisitions (North & Ireland) for Whitbread, said: “Securing Twilfit House is an important landmark in Premier Inn’s expansion into Ireland and builds strong momentum to our acquisition drive in Dublin. Being close to many major tourist attractions and  great transport links makes Twilfit House an excellent location for a Premier Inn hotel and we expect it to trade very well on opening.

“The deal marks Whitbread’s first freehold investment in Dublin city centre and we are actively pursuing  other live freehold and leasehold opportunities, including potential office-to-hotel conversions and going concern purchases, as we seek to secure up to 2,500 Premier Inn bedrooms in the city.”

Whitbread has acquired the freehold on the Twilfit House site from Abarta Investments ICAV. The investment fund had previously secured full planning permission from Dublin City Council to build a 180-bedroom hotel on the site. The planning consent was upheld by An Bord Pleanála in late December 2018 and, upon expiration of the existing tenancies, Whitbread will demolish the existing three-storey Twilfit House building and construct a new seven-storey Premier Inn hotel on the site.

Daniel O’Connor, senior vice president JLL Hotels Ireland, who advises Whitbread on its expansion in Ireland, added: “We are delighted to advise Whitbread PLC on this high profile off-market acquisition of the Twilfit  House site in Dublin 1. The acquisition is an excellent fit for the company’s first freehold purchase in Dublin, given its prime location and expertly designed hotel scheme. The hunt is very much on for further Dublin opportunities for the business.”

The purchase of Twilfit House is the second Premier Inn hotel to be secured in Dublin city centre after Whitbread confirmed last autumn it had secured planning permission for a 97-bedroom Premier Inn hotel on South Great Georges Street.

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Village Hotel Club to invest £480m in ‘aggressive’ UK expansion plans


Village Hotel Club has revealed its “aggressive expansion” plans to open five hotels over the next two years, with a further 15 sites planned by 2026.

Executive chairman Gary Davis announced the plans as the hotel chain opened its 30th hotel this month, in Filton, in what he called the “heart of Bristol’s technology and business hub”.

According to the group, the development of the business will cement the hotel chain’s “significance as a big employer in regions across the UK”, with the group investing £24m and employing 120 people per hotel – a total planned investment of £480m over the next eight years.

Davis said: “At Village Hotel Club, we do things differently. For us it is all about being a part of the local community – not only through investment in the local area, but in offering both guests and local residents alike the opportunity to take advantage of our full lifestyle offering.

“We offer more than just rooms, but a thriving hub for locals, gym goers, the business community and guests for our events, such as our hugely popular live tribute acts.”

He added: “We are continuing to innovate and develop the product with the modern visitor and resident in mind, and I look forward to working with the entire Village team to ensure that we continue to deliver success.”

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Interstate extends management deals with three properties


Interstate Hotels & Resorts has extended its management of three properties – the Drayton Manor Hotel, Ibis Dublin Hotel and The View Hotel in Eastbourne – all under long term agreements.

Interstate retained management of the Ibis Dublin Hotel in Ireland, in partnership with new ownership. The hotel was recently acquired by IBIS Red Cow, jointly owned by Duddy Group and Propiteer.

In Eastbourne, at The View Hotel, owners Unite the Union have extended their management agreement with Interstate.

Nicholas Northam, managing director for the UK at Interstate Hotels & Resorts, said: “It’s fantastic to be extending our working relationships with each of these properties. The owners’ decisions to continue working with Interstate proves testimony to the hard work of our strong regional team of professionals and the strength of our management services.”

Drayton Manor Hotel is owned by Drayton Manor Park Ltd. Colin Bryan, chairman of Drayton Manor Park, added: “We’re thrilled to have extended our employment of Interstate Hotels & Resorts as the hotel management company here at the park.The knowledge and expertise of the team has brought numerous benefits to our hotel and we’re looking forward to continuing to work with Interstate over the coming years.”

The string of deals takes Interstate’s portfolio to more than 100 properties, including a signed pipeline across the UK, Europe, Russia and eastern Europe. In early 2018 the company expanded its European portfolio with the addition of 12 hotels, including Interstate’s first entry into France.

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Thornton Hall awarded AA Silver Star Award


Thornton Hall, the luxury four-star hotel situated in the heart of the Wirral countryside, has been awarded an AA four Silver Star rating for its “exceptional standards of hospitality, service and cleanliness”.

Introduced in 2015, The AA’s Hotel Silver Star status is defined as “Highly recommended hotels offering a superior level of quality within their star rating, high standards of hotel keeping, in particular, hospitality, service and cleanliness and an AA Rosette award for the quality of their food.”

According to the inspector’s report, “the management, proprietors and staff at Thornton Hall have reinforced their efforts in many aspects of the inspection process. New team members and new operating standards have been established, and importantly have shown a lift to the guest experience at Thornton Hall. Results were extremely positive and were comfortably in line with The AA’s exacting standards to achieve their Silver Star award.”

Over the past five years the hotel has experienced “substantial investment” including improved spa facilities and extensive interior refurbishment across bedrooms, function rooms and The Lawns restaurant.

General manager, Geoff Dale, said: “We’re delighted to have received a four AA Silver Star Award, which is testament to the tireless hard work and dedication of our entire team. We look forward to what else 2019 has in store and continuing to offer an exemplary guest experience.”

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Dumfries and Galloway hotel joins Best Western


Best Western Great Britain has announced the arrival of Sure Hotel Lockerbie, to its portfolio of over 260 independent hotels.

The Victorian property stands in three acres of its own grounds and gardens and features  21 rooms which will be increased to 30 as part of a £400,000 pound refurbishment.

Glen Wright, proprietor at Sure Hotel Lockerbie, said: “We’re extremely proud to join the newest Best Western brand and take our property to the next level.

“Looking ahead to the future, we are confident that with the help of Best Western we can share the success of a global brand that is committed to supporting its properties and maintaining excellent customer service, whilst maintaining our individuality and demonstrating what makes us unique, something we can’t wait to showcase to our guests.”

Rob Paterson, CEO at Best Western Great Britain, added: “We’re delighted to welcome Sure Hotel Lockerbie to our brilliantly different collection of independently owned properties. Best Western members are investing for the future and changing for the better and our Sure Hotels brand is an example of how we are delivering more to our guests. We look forward to working in partnership with the team at the hotel to showcase and celebrate their hotel both locally and globally.”

Best Western Great Britain’s members have invested over £210m since 2015 improving properties and guest experiences.

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Nadler Hotels to open flagship Covent Garden hotel


Nadler Hotels will open its fifth property, The Nadler Covent Garden, on the corner of Bedford Street and the Strand on 4 February 2019.

Overlooking the Strand, the 57-bedroom boutique hotel, minutes from Charing Cross and Covent Garden stations, will feature six levels, including a reception and lounge on the ground floor.

All bedrooms will offer free ultra-fast Wi-Fi, free UK phone calls, pocket-sprung beds, interactive TVs, work desks with USB and power points, spacious bathrooms and independently controlled AC throughout.

Each room also features a bespoke mini kitchen with microwave, sink, fridge , BRITA filter water tap, kettle, crockery and cutlery, and a Nespresso coffee machine with complimentary capsules.

Located in a 1907 Edwardian property, many of the building’s original features have been restored.

David JM Orr, CEO of Nadler Hotels, said:  “Our team is extremely excited to open our newest hotel in the heart of one of London’s most enchanting destinations.

“As with all our hotels, our focus is to provide guests with exceptional service, comfort and convenience, and curate a special connection with the local area. The property will also feature many beautiful design enhancements, which we can’t wait to reveal to our guests.”

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Marriott: Five million passport numbers ‘compromised’ during data hack


Hospitality giant Marriott has announced that approximately 5.25 million unencrypted passport numbers were included in the information accessed during a data breach of its Starwood Hotel brand last year.

According to the hotel brand the information accessed also includes approximately 20.3 million encrypted passport numbers, but added that there is no evidence that the unauthorised third party accessed the master encryption key needed to decrypt the encrypted passport numbers.

The group said it is putting in place a mechanism to enable its designated call center representatives to refer guests to the appropriate resources to enable a look up of individual passport numbers, allowing guests to see if they were included in this set of unencrypted passport numbers.

On 8 September 2018, Marriott received an alert from an internal security tool regarding an attempt to access the Starwood guest reservation database in the United States, which potentially exposed the information of about 500 million guests.

However, Marriott learned during the initial investigation that there had been unauthorised access to the Starwood network since 2014. At the time, Arne Sorenson, Marriott’s president and CEO said: “We deeply regret this incident happened. We fell short of what our guests deserve and what we expect of ourselves. We are doing everything we can to support our guests, and using lessons learned to be better moving forward.

“Today, Marriott is reaffirming our commitment to our guests around the world. We are working hard to ensure our guests have answers to questions about their personal information, with a dedicated website and call center. We will also continue to support the efforts of law enforcement and to work with leading security experts to improve.”

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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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