Best Western has announced a deal with Hallmark Hotels that will bring 26 properties into the brand, representing the largest group deal in its 43-year history.
The deal will increase the independent organisation's room count by more than 2,500 across the mid and upscale brands within its portfolio and represents a significant step for Best Western in the UK. It comes in the wake of a partnership agreement with Corus hotel group and reported increased membership enquiries during Covid-19.
Rob Paterson, chief executive of Best Western, said: "It was tough, competitive tender and we are delighted that they have chosen Best Western as the preferred brand partner for the Hallmark Hotels portfolio.
Paterson said it was an "important step in our business development and our growth plans as an organisation". He said his ambition was for Best Western to be the "natural go-to home for independent hotels and groups in Great Britain", and to be one that represented "superior accommodations, exceptional service and first-rate amenities."
He concluded: "We will weather this Covid crisis together and be stronger as a collective as a result."
Best Western will this month be showcased in a Channel 4 docu-series following chief executive Paterson and his Yorkshire HQ team as he leads the membership organisation through the hotel's period of growth.
Best Western GB is a retained-profit membership organisation that helps its 280 hotels maintain their independence. It was the first group in the UK to offer its empty hotels to support the NHS during the coronavirus outbreak.