New group plans 12 townhouse hotels

01 January 2000
New group plans 12 townhouse hotels

Charles Vere Nicoll, former chairman of Regal Hotel Group, has joined forces with Jonathan Wix, owner of townhouse hotel 42 The Calls in Leeds, to form a new hotel group.

The Scotsman Hotel Group intends to open about 12 hotels in key UK cities such as London, Glasgow and Manchester. European targets include Milan and Lisbon.

It will use an initial £90m secured from venture capitalist Botts & Company and the Bank of Scotland.

"My focus is on townhouse hotels with 60-80 bedrooms and a rack rate of £140," said Vere Nicoll.

He said he had considered buying the boutique chain Malmaison, but his aim was to develop new sites, rather than buy another group.

"Malmaison is a very cleverly branded four-star group, a wonderful product but not quite what we're going for."

Wix, who has become development director, last year acquired the Scotsman building in Edinburgh, former home of the Scotsman newspaper. The group plans to open it as its flagship hotel in early 2001.

Each of the group's hotels will have a separately run restaurant and Vere Nicoll confirmed that some chefs had already been approached about running a restaurant at the 70-bedroom Edinburgh hotel.

Vere Nicoll, who is to be ordained as an Anglican priest this week, resigned from Regal in January amid rumours of a boardroom row with the majority shareholder.

"You are always going to have shareholders to answer to," he said. "I think part of the reason [for leaving] was because I wanted to build something up again."

by Christina Golding

The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking