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Motel One plots 1,400-room UK pipeline

German hotel chain Motel One has outlined plans to build more than 1,400 hotel rooms in the UK over the next two years.

Motel One, which currently has a network of 45 hotels in Germany, Austria and Belgium, opened its first UK hotel in Edinburgh last December.

It has a confirmed pipeline of five further hotels in the UK – a second Edinburgh development, one in Glasgow, one in London and two in Manchester – totalling 1,434 rooms by 2015/16 (see box).

However, it plans to build more hotels in central London and is focused on acquiring additional sites in the capital to develop over the next three to four years.

The hotel chain has eight hotels in Berlin and is planning to build a similar number in London.

The hotel chain operates a contractor framework in Germany and told Construction News it would consider doing the same in the UK as its pipeline grows.

“We prefer to have the same partners because they know what we want and how we work, and we know they will provide the same high quality,” Motel One’s marketing director Ursula Schelle-Mueller said.

She added that Motel One would always use UK contractors rather than those it employs in Germany to take advantage of knowledge of the local market.

To date, the firm has partnered with developers to build hotels in its UK pipeline and contractors have been appointed by the developers rather than the hotel chain directly.

Ogilvie Construction is delivering the Edinburgh Princes Street hotel, which is nearing completion and due to open in early 2014.

McAleer & Rushe is on site at Motel One’s London Tower Hill hotel, and Russells Construction is building the first Manchester Hotel near Piccadilly Station, worth £25m.

Earlier this month Kier was appointed to build the Glasgow hotel with construction due to begin next year. A contractor has not yet been appointed for the Manchester Cross Street scheme, which is still awaiting planning permission.

When seeking contractors to appoint to a framework, Motel One would look for contractors who could demonstrate that they operate clean sites and deliver high quality construction.

“Work must be done once and done right,” Ms Schelle-Mueller added.

Motel One’s first two UK projects in Edinburgh were conversions of existing buildings, but the remaining hotels in its pipeline are new build projects.

It is targeting city centre sites near tourist attractions and with good transport links. Provided the location is attractive, Ms Schelle-Mueller said Motel One would deliver a mixture of conversion and new build projects both in joint ventures with developers and independently on freehold sites.

Despite competition from UK chains such as Premier Inn, which is also focused on city centre locations and launching its first compact format Hub by Premier Inn hotel in London next year, Motel One insisted the UK is an attractive market to expand into.

However, Ms Schelle-Mueller admitted the property market in London was more competitive than in German cities and securing the right sites in the capital would be a challenge.

Motel One’s UK pipeline

Edinburgh Princes Street, 140 rooms

  • Contractor: Ogilvie Construction
  • Opening early 2014

London Tower Hill, 291 rooms

  • Contractor: McAleer & Rushe
  • Opening autumn 2014

Manchester Piccadilly, 330 rooms

  • Contractor: Russells Construction
  • Opening 2015

Manchester Cross Street, 299 rooms

  • Contractor: To be appointed
  • Opening 2015

Glasgow, 374 rooms

  • Contractor: Kier
  • Opening 2015/16

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