More new’s from Accor today, as they announce four British hotels are set to open their doors as part of the Mercure portfolio within the next four months, further expanding the growing Mercure hotel collection and increasing the brand’s footprint to 75 hotels in the UK.
Mercure, Accor’s mid-scale hotel brand. will introduce these new hotels in London, Scotland, Milton Keynes and Darlington, with these latest franchise agreements adding some 394 rooms to the Mercure network and creating over 120 jobs across the regions.
Jonathan Sheard, Managing Director of Operations, MGallery and Mercure Hotels UK and Ireland said: “We are delighted to welcome our new partner hotels to the Mercure network in the UK. Each hotel has its own unique story and represents an exciting new destination for business and leisure travellers alike. We’re committed to significantly growing our Mercure hotel portfolio by 2015 and this will largely be driven through our growing franchise development in the UK. We are delighted to welcome these four new hotel partners, all of which are a natural fit for the Mercure brand. By joining with our business, our franchise partners will be able to boost their hotels’ existing exposure through the use of our brand name and benefit from our existing expertise, powerful global distribution networks and committed sales force.”
First to open is the Mercure Darlington Kings Hotel, which launched last week, followed closely by the Mercure London Greenwich Hotel and the Mercure Eddleston Barony Castle Hotel and Spa in Scotland later this month (October). The Mercure Milton Keynes Abbey Hill will launch in January 2013.
Originally built as a coaching inn in the early 1600s and rebuilt in 1893, the King’s Head Hotel underwent a major £8 million refurbishment programme after a blaze caused severe damage to the hotel in 2008. Now complete, the refurbished hotel located in the heart of the historic market town features 83 bedrooms, conference and banqueting suites, à la carte restaurant – Carriages No. One – and cocktail bar, Carriages. The re-opening of the renowned hotel will create approximately 50 jobs in the region.
Following a major conversion of the 1930’s Maurice Drummond House in Greenwich, the Mercure London Greenwich hotel will offer 145 bedrooms over 10 storeys. The hotel conversion project has witnessed an additional two storeys added at roof level and complete internal refurbishment, along with minor landscaping. The original building won RIBA’s London Architectural Medal in 1946 and the independently owned hotel offers exceptional views of London. The opening of the hotel will create up to 70 jobs in the local area.
With a rich history, the 4* Barony Castle Hotel and Spa in Eddleston, 17 miles south of Edinburgh, is set to become the first castle within the Mercure portfolio. Featuring 78 bedrooms, the hotel has undergone a £400,000 refurbishment programme, transforming it from a three start to a four star Mercure hotel, since signing the Accor franchise agreement. The hotel was recently awarded The Great Polish Map of Scotland listed status by Historic Scotland. The Map represents an important part of Barony Castle’s history, which saw Barony Castle and grounds used by Polish military forces based in Scotland during the Second World War.
In addition, the Abbey Hill Hotel in Milton Keynes, which is one of the first purpose-built hotels in Milton Keynes, is undergoing a full transformation prior to its re-launch in January 2013. Once complete, the city-centre hotel will boast 88 bedrooms, state-of-the-art meeting rooms and newly designed and furnished public spaces.
What can we say, congratulations Accor! In such hard times and tough trading conditions for all hoteliers, it’s encouraging to see so many brands expanding. As you may know from my very first Twitter Q&A a few weeks ago, I named Accor as one of my favourite hotel chains so I was particularly pleased to hear this news.