Motel One reveals UK expansion plans

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Hotel, Uk

The design-led budget hotel chain will open properties in Edinburgh, London and Manchester over the next three years
The design-led budget hotel chain will open properties in Edinburgh, London and Manchester over the next three years
Motel One, the Germany-based, design-led budget hotel chain, is opening five more properties in the UK over the next three years, with a particular focus on tackling the highly competitive market in London.

Following the recent announcement of a new, 374-bedroom hotel opening in Glasgow in 2015, Motel One has revealed it will be opening a 140-bedroom hotel in Edinburgh’s Princes Street – its second in the Scottish capital - early next year, along with its first site in the capital in the form of a new, 291-bedroom hotel in Tower Hill.

The group will also be opening two new-builds in Manchester in 2015, having secured planning permission for a 330-room hotel in Manchester Piccadilly and a 299-room property in Cross Street

Motel One’s founder and marketing and PR director, Ursula Schelle-Mueller, told BigHospitality: “I think we have a product that will work really well here in the UK. In Germany, we were the first hotel group to incorporate ‘budget’ and ‘design’ into the same properties.

“That’s what people want when they have a city trip – they want a nice product and they don’t want to pay a fortune when they sleep for one night or two.

“We offer complete rate transparency – we don’t offer discounts, we don’t have rewards, we just offer a good product at a great value. But we have to prove that this business model can work in the UK as well as it has in Germany.”

Growing portfolio

The Motel One Group, which was founded in 2000 in Munich, currently has 45 hotels (9,200 rooms) in Germany, Austria and the UK. The first Edinburgh property – a 208-room property within the city’s former council buildings - officially opened in March and has been operating at an average of 70 per cent occupancy so far.

It intends to increase its hotel portfolio across Europe to around 60 hotels by 2014.

The brand was one of the first to adopt the ‘boutique-budget’ hotel offering, with a focus on design throughout the business, from its signature turquoise ‘egg chairs’ through to staff uniforms. It also operates a unique, multi-purpose 'One Lounge' in all of its hotels, which serves as an all-in-one lobby, breakfast room and bar.

Design & quality

Motel One was one of the first hotel groups to adopt the ‘boutique-budget’ offering

The boutique-budget segment is growing rapidly in the UK, with QBic, Bloc Hotels and Premier Inn’s Hub concept all vying for space in the London market.  

“When a particular concept or offering is successful, you’re going to have a growing number of competitors,” added Schelle-Mueller. Design is important to us, but it’s not just about making something look nice, it’s about quality.”

Speaking of future expansion in the UK, Schelle-Mueller explained that Motel One has the financial capabilities to expand further, and that London will be the primary focus for its next set of hotels.

“We would have gone straight into London but it’s just not that easy,” she said. “Edinburgh is the second largest hotel market, and it was faster and easier to break into.

“We now have our own developer who is in charge of finding the right areas for us. Future properties will be in the inner circle of London. If the site is good and the numbers add up then we will go ahead with it, we’re open to everything and hopefully we can secure, two, three or four more properties in the capital.”

Related topics: Business, Hotels, Venues

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