If you want to join a growing sector of the hotel industry, look no further than the two Bs, boutique and budget. A boutique hotel, sometimes known as a lifestyle hotel, is generally a hotel with about 50-60 rooms, and with a particular emphasis on design. A recent report on the sector from PricewaterhouseCoopers found that lifestyle hotel operators in Europe are planning to add nearly 5,000 rooms to their stock by 2008.
Leading players in the UK include Hotel du Vin, which has just opened its sixth hotel in Harrogate, North Yorkshire; Malmaison, which opens in London in November after a long wait; the Eton Group, which has just opened the Glasshouse in Edinburgh; Alias Hotels, which opened the Hotel Seattle in Brighton earlier this year and plans to open in Liverpool in mid-2004; Myhotels, which has properties in London’s Chelsea and Bloomsbury; and Firmdale, a well-respected group based in London.
Even the big chains are getting into this sector now, particularly Starwood, with its W brand. At the other end of the spectrum is the budget sector. Budget hotels are generally new-build hotels with few frills but an attractive price point. In the UK, the market is dominated by three players: Whitbread, with Travel Inn; Travelodge; and Premier Lodge.
Caterer & Hotelkeeper; 10/9/2003,