By David Shrimpton
Robin Sheppard, former general manager of Forte's Bath Spa Hotel, has set up his own hotel company.
The firm opens its first property in Sheffield on 4 September, and plans a second next year.
The 112-bedroom Hotel Bristol, employing 35 full-time and 15 part-time staff, is in the centre of Sheffield, close to the Stakis and Holiday Inn hotels.
Converted from a redundant office block, it will include a 150-seat brasserie, called Picasso. Weekday rates will start at £59 a room, falling to £49 at weekends.
Sheppard said the hotel aimed to fill a market niche somewhere between a Travelodge and a Posthouse, with a "sprinkle of some of the new wave of hotels coming out of New York" thrown in.
His privately funded company, the Bristol Hotel Group, is now negotiating for a site in central Bristol as well.
The second hotel would have 120 bedrooms and construction could start in September. Sites in London have also been looked at, but the firm plans no more than one new hotel a year.
A further venture for the company is the 120-seat Aqua restaurant in Bristol, which is due to open later this month featuring a simple, Italian-influenced menu.