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Today’s news in brief – 18/6/24

The Francis Hotel in Bath will undergo a significant £13m refurbishment, aiming to rejuvenate the historic building. As one of Bath’s early Georgian structures, it was once the home of architect John Wood the Elder. The refurbishment, in collaboration with 3DReid interior designers, will modernise the hotel while maintaining its Georgian charm. Plans include revamping all 98 rooms and suites, redesigning the ground floor and lobby, and adding a cosy public snug. A new restaurant, The Townhouse Brasserie, will feature British cuisine with a focus on local produce. The project will also introduce a thermal spa and treatment rooms, enhancing Bath’s wellness offerings. Ahead of the refurbishment, Pro Auction will sell the hotel’s existing furniture and fixtures on 3 July 2024.

Whitbread, owner of Premier Inn, reported a 1% increase in total sales to £739m in Q1 FY24, driven by strong UK trading and progress in Germany. Despite a 2% drop in total RevPAR compared to last year, it remains 38% higher than FY20. The group’s F&B brands saw a slight decline, with sales 1% behind, but breakfast sales were strong. CEO Dominic Paul expressed confidence in the full-year outlook, citing robust accommodation sales and a positive forward booking position. The company’s growth plans include optimising F&B offerings and adding 3,500 rooms in the UK, aiming for long-term profitable growth.

Cameron House on Loch Lomond has appointed Gary Rice as its new director of operations. With over 28 years of hospitality experience, Rice will oversee daily operations, customer service, recruitment, and training. Rice, a Glasgow native, has previously held senior roles at Hilton, Jurys, and Thistle hotels, and was a key leader at Klarent Hospitality. Cameron House, a luxury resort with 208 rooms, a spa, marina, and golf courses, welcomes Rice’s expertise to further its reputation. Resort director Michael Lavizani expressed confidence in Rice’s ability to enhance guest experiences and lead the team to new heights.

Iconic Luxury Hotels has promoted Francisco Macedo, Cliveden House’s general manager, to senior vice president, asset management – international. Macedo, also group operations director, will play a crucial role in the company’s expansion, particularly in Venice and Miami. Iconic Luxury Hotels, part of L+R Hotels, manages over 115 hotels globally. Macedo’s new role underscores the company’s growth ambitions. He will continue overseeing Cliveden House while supporting international developments. Executive director Andrew Stembridge praised Macedo’s skills, highlighting his importance in the company’s strategic growth. Macedo expressed his commitment to maintaining high service standards and supporting the company’s international expansion.

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