Irish hotel group Dalata intends to increase its portfolio of bedrooms beyond London to 8,000, with Edinburgh top of its hit list.
The group, which has hotels operating under the Clayton and Maldron brands, currently has around 1,721 rooms in the UK outside of London, with more than 2,000 rooms in its regional pipeline over the next three years. Hotels in Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester (two) and Glasgow (two) are due to open by 2022.
According to Dermot Crowley, deputy chief executive – finance and development (pictured, right, with chief executive Pat McCann, centre, and Stephen McNally, deputy chief executive, left), the group hopes to add an average of 1,200 rooms to its portfolio each year.
"Edinburgh is top of our target list at the moment, Liverpool will be on our target list, Oxford and Cambridge absolutely, as would be Milton Keynes, Brighton, and we're building a Clayton in Bristol but we'd love to have a Maldron in Bristol as well," said Crowley, speaking to The Caterer.
"It's those big cities that tend to be more resilient and have a mixture of corporate and leisure."
However, the group also has expansion plans in the capital – Dalata revealed plans earlier today to bring its Maldron brand to London's Shoreditch with the acquisition of a development site for £32m.
Dalata to open Maldron hotel in Shoreditch
Irish hotel group Dalata has revealed plans to bring its Maldron brand to London's Shoreditch with the acquisition of a development site for £32m.
Planning permission is already in place to build a 130-140-bedroom hotel at the site in 49-51 Paul Street. Construction is set to begin in the first quarter of next year and the hotel is expected to open in early 2022.
"In London it is very, very competitive… you'd take as many rooms as you can," said Crowley, who revealed Dalata has been seeking a suitable site for a Maldron-branded hotel in London for "quite a while".
He said Dalata would "love" to open more London hotels, "but the difficulty in London is just finding the sites," he added.
"We wouldn't be looking, certainly for 12 months or so, at developing a hotel ourselves, because we want to keep the balance sheet at the right levels."
He added: "There's a huge demand for new hotel rooms in the City of London. What we've found with the Clayton [Hotel City of London in Aldgate] is we've been able to attract a lot of corporate customers into that hotel relatively quickly… We just see London as a very good hotel market generally – it's one of those resilient markets. World travel increases every year and London's a city on everyone's bucket list."
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