Travelodge is determined to shake off its image as a chain of roadside budget hotels to become an expanding group offering value-for-money rooms in city centres across the UK.
With a growth strategy for a further 200 hotels between now and 2012, attention has turned to what the properties will look like, in an investment programme worth £3.5 billion.
The first step are the bedrooms, which haven’t seen a complete makeover in the 22 years since the brand’s inception. The firm now plans a design overhaul to be ready for the 2012 Olympics.
The 314-strong budget chain is also planning a new cafe concept for all of its properties – Bar Cafe – to act as a dining, bar and chill-out area.
The Bar Cafe has already been trialled at Travelodge Kew, and it outperformed every other cafe concept in any of the other hotels.
All new builds will get a Bar Cafe and Parsons said the entire portfolio would be fitted with a Bar Cafe by the first quarter of next year.
The hotel firm is also continuing its rapid expansion into city and town centres. It plans 20 new hotels in London with others in Blackpool, Windsor and Edinburgh.
With the huge investment, Travelodge is sure it can continue its strong growth. In 2004, the hotel chain was one of the first low-cost accommodation providers to develop a pricing model similar to the budget airlines so it could give customers the cheapest price at all times, resulting in high occupancy rates.
Parsons said: “One third of the population is staying away from home in hotels and we believe we can expand at the same rate by attracting people that don’t normally stay in hotels. For some, we know it is an economic choice and we will continue to be able to offer a bedroom for £15 a night.”
The redesign would not affect Travelodge’s room pricing, he said.
Travelodge 2012 room
- Red, white and blue colour scheme and mood lighting, plus lighting for shaving, make-up application and reading
- Updated technology will include a digital flat-screen TV and wireless Internet access
- All new hotels will feature the new rooms, starting with the Travelodge Sunbury opening in September
- Existing properties will be updated at a rate of 50 a year
- Bar Cafe concept will be featured in all new properties. Existing hotels will be refitted by the first quarter of next year
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