Spanish hotel group Meliá Hotels International is looking to expand into key cities across the UK over the next two years.
The company, which currently has one UK hotel - the four-AA-star, 581-bedroom Meliá White House in Regent's Park, London - is currently identifying opportunities in prime locations.
"Our research shows that Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Dublin all support our strategy for growth among our business and luxury travel," said Romano Campione, the company's area director of sales and market EMEA.
Next year, Meliá, which operates 350 hotels worldwide under seven brands, will open its second hotel in London under the ME brand.
Situated on the Strand, the 157-bedroom ME London will feature two restaurants - including one to be run by a yet-to-be-announced outside operator, two bars, a 360-degree roof-top bar and a screening room.
The ME brand is described by the group's vice-president of global marketing, Tony Cortizas, as being "personality based hotels".
"Our service culture maintains many of the traditional luxury standards, but it is the employee's ‘shared world view' with the customer that defines it as different and starts to forge this emotional connection," he said. "The physical hotel builds on all of this - great contemporary design, supreme comfort, thoughtful nods to local culture, and restaurants and bars that establish the hotel as a social epicentre within the destination."
ME London is being designed by Foster & Partners and is scheduled to open on 4 June 2012.
By Janet Harmer
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