Right beside the Tower Tube station is a growing little hotel quarter, already home to five hotels with more planned. Mint Hotel is the latest in Pepys Street, on the site of Samuel Pepys house, and I was fortunate to attend the opening party on the 2nd February, although the hotel had a soft opening the 10th January, a few weeks earlier.Opened by Alex Salmond, First Minister of our northern neighbours, this is the latest addition to the Mint Hotel group. You may wrinkle your brow in puzzlement at the name, but this is the new branding being implemented by the previously know City Inns (see our Miniview of City Inn Westminster).
With 583 rooms this large hotel is, as with all the other Mint Hotels, owned as well as operated by the group. Partner David Orr explained that this was because they like to be totally in control of the way their brand operates, a philosophy shared with the UK’s largest domestic hotel operator, Whitbread.
The move from owning to management only has always seemed to me to be a curious way forward for hotels, given the inextricable intertwining of the build, size of rooms, energy conservation and operational philosphy. With teh opening of this hotel and the imminent completion of the property in Amsterdam which will be that cirties largest hotel , Mint now has over 2,400 employees in its 8 properties and continues its growth path.