Boutique chain planning to open new hotel

Malmaison, Leeds.  (BR1002/16g)  11 February 2014.  Picture Bruce Rollinson
Malmaison, Leeds. (BR1002/16g) 11 February 2014. Picture Bruce Rollinson
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THE new owners of the boutique hotel brands Malmaison and Hotel du Vin plan to create up to 90 jobs by opening a new hotel in Yorkshire.

Paul Roberts, the chief executive of Malmaison Hotel du Vin, said the group was also carrying out multi-million pound refurbishment programmes at its three existing hotels in Yorkshire as part of expansion plans formulated by Frasers Hospitality, the group’s new owners.

Mr Roberts said the group was “very close” to announcing plans to establish another hotel in Yorkshire, which could open in 2017.

Although he couldn’t disclose the hotel’s planned location, Mr Roberts said it would be a significant investment into the Yorkshire market.

It is understood that the hotel would be created by converting an existing building. Malmaison and Hotel du Vin have focused on refurbishing historic buildings in prime city centre locations.

The group’s current portfolio includes Malmaison in Leeds, Hotel du Vin in York and Hotel du Vin in Harrogate.

The group already employs around 250 people in Yorkshire, and if the new hotel goes ahead, it is expected to create between 80 and 90 jobs.

Frasers Hospitality UK Holdings, a subsidiary of Frasers Centrepoint, bought the Malmaison Hotel du Vin group for £363m from an affiliate of KSL Capital Partne rs in June.

Frasers Centrepoint is listed on the Singapore stock exchange. Around 62 per cent of Frasers Centrepoint is owned by a Thai investment group, Mr Roberts said.

The deal marked one of the largest overseas investments by a Singapore-based property firm in recent years. Colorado-based KSL Capital Partners had bought Malmaison and Hotel du Vin for around £180m in 2013.

The Malmaison and Hotel du Vin group has completed a major refurbishment of the Malmaison in Leeds, which now has a renovated bar, brasserie and reception area.

Mr Roberts said the group hopes to benefit from the large amount of regeneration work that is due to be carried out in Leeds city centre, including plans to improve access to the railway station.

Mr Roberts said yesterday: “In the bar and the restaurant, we’ve spent half a million pounds. With Leeds, if you look at Trinity (Leeds, the shopping centre), if you look at the south entrance to the station, if you look at what’s going on in this area now; this is the perfect time for us to invest in Leeds.”

Major investment was also planned at the Hotel du Vin in Harrogate, which was once a row of Georgian houses.
Mr Roberts said: “We’re going to invest about £600,000 in the bedrooms in Harrogate and another £300,000 to £350,000 in the bar and the restaurant there.”

The group also plans to turn the inner courtyard at the Hotel du Vin in York into a bar and social area.

Mr Roberts added: “Right now, we have 29 hotels across the UK. Our platform is set up that we can actually deliver 50 hotels in the UK very easily... the next phase is Europe and beyond.”

Mr Roberts said the investment in Yorkshire would pour millions back into the region’s hospitality and tourism industry.

He added: “We are hugely proud of what we have to offer those coming to Malmaison Leeds and excited about our multi million pound refurbishment programme that will extend throughout our properties in Yorkshire.

“We have always been big fans of the county.”