Despite the Herculean efforts of big hotel chains to appeal to Generation X, lifestyle hotels are booming as their innovation sets new standards.
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers' (PWC) Hospitality Directions Europe Edition study, the lifestyle sector has outperformed general UK hotel trading for the past seven years.
Robert Milburn, PWC's UK hospitality and leisure leader, said: "The lifestyle hotel sector is hot. The number of rooms has grown by 10% since 2003 and the number of hotels is up by 13%. There are plans for a further 5,000 rooms to be developed by 2008."
Robert Cook, chief executive of Malmaison and Hotel du Vin, heads one group leading this charge and plans to add nine properties to the portfolio within the next three years.
Cook said: "We've got the maximum advantage as we are small enough to be different and creative but also have the track record and critical mass behind us to make fundraising for expansion possible."
However, industry consultant Martin Armitstead of RH International, said: "Ultimately, it could get to a situation where there are so many lifestyle hotels that customers get confused and revert back to branded products."
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