Travelodge acquired the 257-room hotel in conjunction with the investment firm Prupim, for an investment of £40 on a 35-year lease.
The company plans to convert a large area of former four-star amenities – such as a swimming pool and meeting rooms – into additional bedrooms, and has set aside a further £15m for refurbishment.
Refurbishment and expansion of the premises have already started, although the hotel will continue to trade throughout the work. All furniture and features will ultimately be replaced to meet Travelodge’s signature style.
Subject to planning permission, Travelodge hopes to increase the hotel’s rooms to 400, converting 11 meeting rooms, three restaurants, a swimming pool and gym into an additional 146 rooms.
The new hotel, which will be called Gatwick Airport Central Travelodge, is located at Povey Cross Road and will offer a shuttle bus to the airport’s terminals throughout the day. Rooms will be available from £19.
Travelodge expansion at Gatwick
CEO Guy Parsons said the group has long been looking to expand its presence at Gatwick Airport, and will continue to look for additional sites.
“We have been looking for some time to increase the number of rooms we have at Gatwick, to match our offering at Heathrow airport,” he said.
“Finding the perfect site close to the airport with adequate rooms has been a tough challenge but I am delighted that we are able to add this fantastic hotel to our brand. With this deal we have tripled our room stock at the airport but there is still a huge potential to grow further at the UK’s second largest airport and we are looking for more new sites.
“With competitive property prices, we expect to continue to grow by acquiring midmarket hotels, convert office blocks and invest in co-partnerships with pub companies.”
Travelodge currently runs 18 hotels at major airports across the UK, including Heathrow, Gatwick, London City, Luton, Stansted, Manchester, Leeds Bradford, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Newcastle and East Midlands.
The new Mercure acquisition is the group’s 85th going concern deal and will boost its portfolio to 470 hotels and 33,204 rooms.