Hotel rooms boom led by independents

More hotel rooms were added in the UK over the first six months of the year than in any half-year period since 2012, according to research published this week by HVS, AlixPartners, STR and AM:PM.

The Hotel Bulletin Q2 2017 report says over 7,500 new hotel rooms opened during the first half of the year, up 40% on last year’s figures.

Premier Inn was among the big movers, opening three new properties, but the report notes particularly high activity among independently branded hotels.

“Whilst there will always be a strong demand for branded hotels, we are certainly seeing a growing appetite among hotel guests, primarily those in London, for something a little different,” says HVS London Chairman, Russell Kett.

“Boutique hotels in quirky buildings with a strong stamp of personality and a more unusual proposition are becoming very fashionable among discerning customers.”

Examples include the new 252-room, five-star The Ned, opened by Soho House in May, and the Curtain and Nobu (pictured) hotels in Shoreditch.

In a similar vein, plans have been submitted for a four-star, 214-room Hoxton Hotel in London’s Shepherd’s Bush – the group’s third property in London.

There is also a clutch of luxury hotels in London’s hotel pipeline, including the Armani on Admiralty Arch, Raffles in the Old War Office, Belmond in the redeveloped Cadogan Hotel, and Cheval Blanc in the former US Embassy.

In addition The Peninsula London, on Hyde Park Corner, due to open in 2021, will have the largest rooms of any luxury hotel in the city.

“This activity confirms that London is still a magnet for high-end global hotel brands and demonstrates that the hotel sector is adapting to customer demand and the need to stay ahead of the game by offering something on-trend and edgy,” says Kett