The firm, which operates two sites in Glasgow and one in Edinburgh, is targeting locations including Birmingham, Bristol, Oxford and Cambridge.
It marks a major expansion push for the group, which launched its luxury Dakota Deluxe brand in Glasgow earlier this year and will open a second Deluxe venue in Leeds in April 2017.
Dakota owner Evans Property Group said today it has also secured a new site in Manchester’s Piccadilly Basin development where it is aiming to build a third 137-room Dakota Deluxe hotel.
Plans for the ‘design-led’ property have been submitted to Manchester City Council, with the hotel scheduled to open in 2019 if approved.
Alan Syers, portfolio director at Evans Property Group, said: “Manchester is one of the strongest leisure and business destinations in the North of England and one of the most successful in the UK outside of London, so we are confident we have found the perfect site.
“The Leeds hotel is close to delivery and we are now actively seeking suitable sites or buildings in target cities including Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge and Oxford for additional Dakota hotels of circa 70,000 sq ft with around 100 bedrooms.”
Veteran hotelier McCulloch launched the One Devonshire Gardens hotel in Glasgow in 1986 before creating the Malmaison brand in 1994.
He went on to open five Malmaison hotels before selling the company to US firm Patriot America in 1998.
McCulloch launched the first Dakota hotel in Nottingham in 2004 in partnership with former Formula One racing driver David Coulthard, but the site closed shortly after following a disagreement.