The acquisition of the old Employment Exchange site in Manchester city centre and the re-development of the Aston Darlington hotel into a Holiday Inn Open Lobby Concept form part of Dominvs’ plans to expand into key UK cities and re-brand its existing portfolio.
The Manchester site, situated on Aytoun Street adjacent to Piccadilly Station, will be developed into a 308-bedroom, four-star hotel complete with a restaurant and conference facilities.
It is part of the mixed use Piccadilly Regeneration Project – a mixed use development that the City Council hopes will make the area a ‘vibrant gateway’ four travellers and tourists. The train station is itself set to undergo a £50m refurbishment as part of the same scheme.
Preet Ahluwalia, director of Dominvs Hospitality, said: “Our company primarily focusses on residential, commercial and industrial property opportunities, but the appeal to restore and revive life to such a historical and topical site was far too appealing to overlook.
“We as a group moved into the hospitality sector in April of 2012 with the initial acquisition of the Hotelier Group, a collection of three hotels operating in the Sheffield, Darlington and Dumfries areas.”
The acquisition marks is the fifth purchase for Dominvs Hospitality in the 2012 financial year.
Hoilday Inn Open Lobby Concept
Meanwhile, Dominvs has also announced plans to transform its 80-bedroom Aston Darlington hotel into a Holiday Inn Open Lobby Concept – only the third of its kind for InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), and the first outside of London.
Described as a 'revolutionary in-hotel experience for guests', the open lobby combines the front desk, lobby, restaurant, bar, lounge area and business centre into one open space.
IHG introduced the design after a survey revealed that a new breed of business travellers are no longer constrained by traditional office routines, don't necessarily work traditional hours and want one space where they can work, eat and relax instead of having different rooms for different activities.
“The novel concept will offer our clientele a brand new hotel, contemporary restaurant and state of the art conference facilities, allowing our guests to enjoy great food, relaxed atmosphere and great service,” said Ahluwalia.
“The feather in the cap of the new concept is our addition of the Starbucks offering, allowing guests the flexibility to eat in, eat out or enjoy take-away items in their rooms.”
Jason Hiley, Dominvs’ operations director, added: “We are ecstatic to be joining the IHG stable and converting our hotel to an Open Lobby Concept. The sole purpose of the re-branding and refurbishment is to offer our guests a contemporary hotel at a local price.”
Holiday Inn Darlington is due to open on Aycliffe Business Park early next year.
The latest changes and additions to Dominvs’ portfolio takes the firm’s total hotel square footage to 400,000 and the total number of rooms to 693.