Best Western GB has revealed that over two-thirds of its hoteliers are planning to make significant investment to their properties over the next 12 months, despite the ongoing uncertainties around Brexit.
The group, which represents around 260 independent hotels throughout the UK, reports that £65m has been invested across its portfolio throughout the last year. It has also confirmed that 72% of its hotels are undeterred by the prolonged Brexit negotiations and continuing with their existing investment strategies.
With a marketplace dominated by online competitors and the expectations of guests ever increasing, hotel investment is seen as key in a bid to stay competitive and respond to UK holidaymakers seeking staycations in the wake of Brexit and the devaluation of the pound – as well as Britain’s recent warm summers encouraging families to stay closer to home.
A number of high-profile Best Western GB hotels have invested significantly in the past year, including the Grade II-listed Best Western Plus Dover Marina Hotel & Spa, which has received a £2.3m renovation. With its stunning seafront location, beautiful Victor
ian building, sophisticated and boutique interiors, the property now features two Marco Pierre White restaurants and a brand-new gym and spa facility for guests. The refurbishment is ongoing, with new bathrooms and state-of-the-art technology set to be installed throughout the hotel.
Other significant investments include the Best Western Lothersdale Hotel, which is undergoing a £1.1m renovation to extend the property and create two new luxury spa suites; Best Western Premier Doncaster Mount Pleasant Hotel, which has recently carried out a £480,000 extension and refurbishment of its restaurant; and The Lincoln Hotel Sure Hotel Collection by Best Western, which is in the process of a complete overhaul to create more space for a new bar and restaurant concept to overlook Lincoln Cathedral.
The figures are revealed in the Best Western Investment Survey, part of the group’s Membership Survey, which measures and records the investment intentions of the group’s independent hoteliers. The findings reflect a continued confidence in the hotel market and the devaluation of sterling, which is boosting inbound tourism whilst strengthening the domestic leisure market.
Andrew Denton, Head of Member Services for Best Western GB, said: “Despite the uncertainties around Brexit, 2019 is proving to be a year of opportunity for independent hoteliers in the UK. Our survey findings reveal that property owners are increasingly investing in extra services and infrastructure – such as wider dining options, spa and leisure facilities and bespoke weekend packages – to provide guests with experiences that stand out from their competitor-set, meaning they avoid being drawn into a competition purely on price.”
Paul Bury, Director of Best Western Lothersdale Hotel in Morecambe, said: “The Lothersdale has undergone continual investment over the past 66 years and the latest investment builds on our commitment and belief in the town. Despite Brexit bringing an unprecedented level of uncertainty and economic downturn, opportunities for domestic tourism are one of the very few potential growth areas throughout this period. With the Eden North project set to open beside our property, it makes sense for us to continue investing to secure the long-term future of our hotel.”
This survey results reflect a robust and resilient year-to-date performance for Best Western GB, with the group announcing its strongest six-month hotel recruitment performance in recent history. Its portfolio of hotels in Britain has expanded by 13 this year to-date, marked by the recent arrival of the Sure Hotel in Reading to its collection. This sees a continuation of a record-breaking period for the business, with 2018 representing the highest number of annual activations and a second consecutive year of growth of hotel numbers.
Best Western GB has also expanded and diversified its offering to customers this year, with the launch of two boutique brands, Aiden and Sadie. The new propositions offer developers and investors the opportunity to reposition and re-badge existing properties or to transform other buildings to create unique hotels in the upper midscale and upscale segments, respectively.