Bliss Hotels has announced ambitious plans to launch its first property this year ahead of rolling the brand out nationally.
With the support of a £15m funding package from asset manager ICG, Bliss is refurbishing and rebranding the 133-bedroom Ramada Plaza hotel in Southport, Merseyside, within the city’s Waterfront development. The group acquired the hotel in 2016 and then the entire leisure development in 2017 in a deal thought to be worth £15m.
The hotel, which is remaining open during the refurbishment, will be the first in the UK to trade under Wyndham’s Trademark soft brand of independent, upper-midscale hotels under a franchise agreement.
The phased refurbishment will see the relaunch of the hotel at the end of the year as the Bliss Hotel Southport with the creation of three new penthouses on the fifth floor.
The hotel will feature a 3,000 sq ft roof garden as well as the brand’s concepts including Bliss Kitchen and Blissonik, the latter which will put music, film, fashion and live entertainment at the heart of the brand with DJ sets, its own hotel radio station and movie nights planned.
Architect firm Unwin Jones Partnership and interior designer Lisa Lipscomb are overseeing the refurbishment; drinks consultant Danilo Tersigni is overseeing the bar and drinks concepts; and consultants Andrea Stewart and Iain Donald are designing the overall food and beverage offering.
Once the first Bliss hotel is established the group intends to target other coastal locations and secondary UK cities, with plans to create a ‘mini chain’ of approximately 10 properties by 2026 both owned and operated.
Bliss Hotels co-founder, and founder of Everyman Cinemas, Daniel Broch, said: “Our shared vision’s about to become a reality fuelled by the enthusiasm and excitement of all those involved – creating anything from scratch is hugely inspiring and challenging; we’re aiming high.”
Jez Marvin from Unwin Jones Partnership added: “The Bliss hotel project and Waterfront regeneration represents a fantastic opportunity for Southport, the North West and for all involved.”
The Trademark Collection by Wyndham has 67 properties in the USA, Canada, Switzerland, Austria and Germany.
Birketts led the legal aspects in acquiring the Waterfront for Bliss hotel two years ago and led in securing the recent financing.