A new chain of boutique hotels is set to launch in the UK next month, in collaboration with former Bibendum chef Simon Hopkinson.
Chapter Hotels is the new British brand for Honk Kong-based company Swire Hotels, which operates The Upper House in Honk Kong and The Opposite House in Beijing.
The chain will be a group of individually designed and named boutique hotels, designed by architect Ken Shuttleworth, set in historic buildings with a contemporary décor.
The Montpellier Chapter
The first opening, pegged for late November, will be the 62-bedroom Montpellier Chapter in Cheltenham, which will feature a luxury spa, bar and restaurant.
As chef consultant for the group, Hopkinson will create a bespoke range of British-themed menus using local, seasonal produce.
Despite using “geniuses” such as Hopkinson and Shuttleworth in the design of the hotels, Swire’s managing director Brian Williams said the group would not be chasing a star rating, “Michelin or otherwise”.
“We saw there was a niche in the market for good quality, value hotels that really champion what Britain has to offer,” he told BigHospitality.
“We’ll be using local craftsmen for the design of our hotels and local producers and suppliers in our kitchens. We have been fortunate to work with a truly great team who share our passion for Britain, the rich history and culture of its regions and our belief that quality and value are not mutually exclusive. We truly hope that our guests feel the energy and genuine enthusiasm that has gone into the creation of what we believe to be unique hotels.”
Chapter Hotels has also acquired a further two properties, a 62-bedroom hotel in Exeter that is due for launch in Spring 2012, and a site in Bristol that is still in its planning stage.
Although the three acquisitions hint at a fast-paced roll-out plan, Williams insists Chapter Hotels will take its expansion “slowly and carefully”.
“If our first three hotels work then we’ll see where we take it. I’d like to look at opening in other cities that can sustain a seven-day week business from both corporate and tourism custom. Of course we would also be looking for available historic buildings within those areas.”