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Today’s news in brief – 29/11/23

Travelodge has reported robust financial results for the nine months ending September 30th. The hotel chain experienced a 16.7% increase in total underlying revenue, reaching £782m, and a 22.4% rise in adjusted profits, reaching £201.2m. The positive performance is attributed to strong demand from both business and leisure customers, with notable contributions from leisure and sporting event bookings, such as the Edinburgh Festival and Wimbledon Championships. Travelodge plans to accelerate its hotel refit program, aiming to upgrade 50% of its room estate to a new design by the end of 2024.

Shrewsbury Prison, a historic landmark with 200 years of history, is set to be transformed into a boutique hotel by Cove Group. The redevelopment includes a 20-bedroom hotel, a state-of-the-art conference facility, an on-site restaurant catering for 120 covers, and a 72-space car park with provisions for electric vehicle charging. The project aims to provide guests with a unique blend of history and contemporary comfort, incorporating sustainability measures like solar panels to achieve a net-zero carbon footprint. The CEO, Joel Campbell, expressed excitement about preserving history while redefining the visitor experience.

London hotels navigated a shift in revenue sources in October, relying on food and beverage services to boost overall revenue as room rates reached their peak. Occupancy slightly decreased from September, but London exceeded last year’s figures. Average daily rates and revenue per available room saw declines. However, London hotels saw a slight increase in food and beverage revenues, helping offset the decrease in gross operating profits. Chris Tate, head of hotels and accommodation at RSM UK, noted that hoteliers are leveraging other services to compensate for cost increases and maintain profits.

Nuthurst Grange Country House Hotel is set to triple its guest capacity following a £700k investment from Lloyds Bank. The hotel, currently with 22 rooms, plans to add 46 additional guest rooms, a bridal preparation space, and eight log cabins with private hot tubs. The expansion aims to boost profits by £500k next year, with ongoing considerations for planning permission to further extend the hotel’s facilities. The investment is seen as a significant upgrade, allowing the hotel to meet high demand and maximise growth opportunities in the hospitality sector.

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