The 174-bedroom hotel will comprise a restaurant, bar, street café and conference room as the new Group plans to open five properties around the UK over the next five years.
“There’s not been a lot of investment in new hotels so people are looking for something new right now,” Jane Schofield, Hotel LA Tour’s managing director, told BigHospitality. “Initially, people will want to come and see Hotel La Tour Birmingham because it’s new, but we need to keep that sustainability - it’s all about the quality and the efficiency of the hotel and particularly the customer service.”
“So far, the response we’ve had from people is great. We’ve already secured about half- a-million-pounds worth of conference bookings - so the signs are good.”
The hotel’s brasserie-style restaurant, named Aalto, will provide 80 covers and offer British food with a modern twist. The Alvar Bar will serve bar snacks, catering for an additional 60 guests. The hotel will also feature the Café Erza coffee shop and The Auden Rooms for conferences.
“We’ve got about 110 jobs in the hotel but so far we’ve had about 1600 applicants,” added Schofield. “It’s been really hard whittling it down. It really shocked us in terms of how much interest there was. There were a lot of good applicants, but when we recruit, we look for talent before we look for skills.”
“I think we will get some offers in from the Olympics. Business has still got to on during the Games and I think it will actually push business that will normally be in London out to the regions so people can still carry on with things.
“I think it’s an exciting time for the whole of the UK I think it will do the hotel industry a lot of good.”
“It would be very naïve now not to use social media because it’s the way that customers will communicate with us and hopefully with us. We’ve got Twitter and Facebook and they are both really important ways for us to communicate with our customers. There will be things that go out on social media that wouldn’t be offered anywhere else and it will all be about added value for us.
“But we’re not going to be the ‘offers’ hotel. We see ourselves as just being value for what we’re offering.”
“We’d like to get five in the next five years. Ideally we would like it to be one a year. We’ve got a few sites that we’re looking at. One in the North, in Manchester, and one in the South, on the outskirts of London.”
Hotel La Tour Birmingham’s presence is aided by Leeds-based sign consultants Signlex, which has installed bespoke illuminated signage. The hotel is set to open in the last week of March.