Whitbread to launch compact city hotel chain

Kasmira Jefford
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WHITBREAD said yesterday is to launch a cheaper and more compact chain of hotels targeting major city centres as the hotel and leisure giant ramps up its expansion.

The FTSE group said “hub by Premier Inn” will be a cheaper alternative to its Premier Inn hotels, and will target major cities such as London and Edinburgh, appealing to customers who value cost over space.

Rooms will also be around half the size of those at its Premier Inn hotels, measuring 11.4 square metres and with features including a desk that folds into a bed.

It has secured five sites – with a total of 1,000 rooms – to open in the next three years and is aiming to have around 40 hub hotels open or in the pipeline by 2018.

The first hotel is expected to open on St Martin’s Lane in London next summer.

“Hub will work in tandem with Premier Inn, appealing to more price sensitive customers seeking quality accommodation in the heart of a city,” said Patrick Dempsey, managing director of Whitbread’s hotels and restaurants division.

In April the firm unveiled new targets to grow the number of Premier Inn rooms in the UK by 45 per cent to 75,000 by 2018.

It is also aiming to double total sales at its coffee chain Costa to £2bn through growth at home and abroad, with a strong focus on China.