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Malmaison looks east for international expansion

06 November 2008 by

Marylebone Warwick Balfour (MWB) is stepping up its efforts to take boutique hotel chain Malmaison international, while it continues to roll out its Hotel du Vin brand across the UK.

Robert Cook, chief executive of Malmaison, admitted that the move abroad was "long overdue" and revealed that the group was in talks over launching in India.

"We're looking at obtaining management contracts and leaseholds in India, the Middle East and the Baltics - not ‘fashion cities' such as Paris, Milan or Rome," he told Caterer. "We're looking at new builds in foreign locations, which is different from our normal ethos, but Liverpool and Aberdeen properties have both been rebuilds and they've worked well. We're also looking at putting serviced apartments above the hotels and taking it to the next level."

Richard Balfour-Lynn, chief executive of MWB, said the Hotel du Vin brand could expand to another 20 locations in the UK, including Durham, St Andrew's, Exeter, Canterbury and Portsmouth. The company is currently negotiating on a property in Esher, Surrey.

However, the company is unlikely to roll out the new Pub du Vin concept, which debuts in Brighton tomorrow, Balfour-Lynn added.

"We're currently in debate as to whether or not to roll out Pub du Vin, but my instinct would be to stick with the hotel concept instead," he told Caterer.

Hoteliers set up for East London hotel group >>

Malmaison owner affected by credit crunch >>

Malmaison and Hotel du Vin losses increase >>

Malmaison and Hotel du Vin up for sale for third time >>

Malmaison eyes foreign markets for expansion >>

By Gemma Sharkey

E-mail your comments to Gemma Sharkey here.

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