Travelodge Unveils Unique ‘Metro’ Hotel Model to Accelerate Growth

    150 150 Daniel Fountain
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    Travelodge has announced that it will be seeking to develop ‘Metro’ (small) style hotels, in prestigious locations and in office blocks across the UK; in a bid to meet the growing demands of its customers. These properties which will be between 20 to 40 rooms in size, will allow Travelodge to build small hotels in highly priced, much sought after locations and occupied office buildings across the UK. The desired locations will include:

    • The City of London
    • London Boroughs such as: Kensington & Chelsea, Westminster, Fulham and Richmond
    • Major UK cities such as: Oxford, Cambridge, Bath, Cardiff, York, Bristol, Chester, St Albans and Edinburgh
    • The coastline of the UK
    • Popular holiday hotspots such as: Cornwall, Devon, the Lake District, the Scottish Highlands and near to theme parks

    The ‘Metro’ hotel model will allow the hotel chain to open properties near to existing popular Travelodge’s in locations where larger development sites are either not available or have unrealistic price expectations. In addition to enabling the budget hotelier to open in suburban locations where larger sites may not be deemed desirable by local authorities and development land is at a premium.

    Properties that will be considered under this new scheme include: floors in office buildings, business parks, pubs, old cinemas / theaters, snooker halls, listed buildings, retail outlets and derelict buildings.

    The desire to build smaller Travelodge hotels has been inspired by two successful development ventures the company invested in during 2010. The first initiative was opening a ‘Metro’ style prototype hotel in one of Edinburgh’s busiest tourist areas (Rose Street which is just off Princes Street). Travelodge built a hotel in a Georgian listed building which also houses two bars and a restaurant. The 43-room hotel sits above the three properties and has a small entrance sandwiched between the bar and restaurant. The hotel has become one of the company’s top performing hotels due to its key location..

    The second venture to support the ‘Metro’ style Travelodge concept is the successful conversion of 52 Innkeeper’s Lodge’s into the Travelodge estate following their purchase from Mitchells & Butlers in July 2010. The majority of these acquired hotels are under 40 rooms and have proven to be highly profitable additions for Travelodge. A prime example is the 18-room Southgate Travelodge, in the London borough of Enfield, which has been full nearly every night since acquiring it. There is little competition nearby and there are no development opportunities within the local vicinity, despite the clear demand for hotel rooms.

    This new building approach will run alongside Travelodge’s existing growth strategy to expand to 1,100 hotels and 100,000 rooms by 2025. The ‘Metro’ style properties will still be called Travelodge hotels and the room size will be based on a standard double Travelodge room (15sqft)

    The ‘Metro’ Travelodge’s will be run by existing managers of nearby larger Travelodge hotels and will provide the perfect training ground for trainee managers, recruited via Travelodge’s new Apprenticeship programme – JuMP (Junior Management Programme).

    This announcement also ensures that Travelodge will continue to be the most active developer in the hotel market. Since the collapse of Lehman brothers, the company has opened or exchanged on over 14,000 rooms/4.5m sq ft, more than any other leisure company in Britain. Travelodge has also become the largest hotel brand in: London, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Cambridge.

    Over the last five years Travelodge has heavily focused on city centre growth to rebalance its portfolio – away from roadside locations. Today these motorway and trunk route sites represent just 25% of the company’s hotel stock with the remaining quarter in suburban, seaside and tourist locations.

    Travelodge currently has 472 hotels (over 32,000 rooms) across the UK and is currently building 40 hotels this year.

    Daniel Fountain / 01.08.2011

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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