• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Hotel group plans £4m investment in Scotland

THE chief executive of Malmaison and Hotel du Vin is planning more than £4 million of investment in Scotland which is likely to create up to 50 jobs.

FRONT OF HOUSE: Hotel group boss Gary Davis said the company is continuing to invest in its Malmaison and Hotel du Vin brands in several cities.
FRONT OF HOUSE: Hotel group boss Gary Davis said the company is continuing to invest in its Malmaison and Hotel du Vin brands in several cities.

Gary Davis confirmed to The Herald the recent administration of parent company MWB Holdings has no material effect on the hotel trading business.

He said: "MWB is a shareholder to our business. There is no direct funding link and we are an independent trading company."

The £20m development of a new Malmaison in Dundee, due to open in September next year, is now being expanded with the addition of a spa following the purchase of an adjacent building.

Mr Davis said: "Dundee goes full steam ahead. It is scheduled to hand over construction on July 1 then we are training and doing dummy runs. We should be ready to take proper customers by September 1.

"Once it is fully open we will be up to 150 people and we are now adding a spa as we have acquired the property next door.

"The spa is a minimum of £750,000 on top of about £20m of work across the development."

Meanwhile conversion of the St Andrews Golf Hotel into a Hotel du Vin with double the number of bedrooms is scheduled to begin in February next year.

That will see the existing 22-bed site becoming a 45-bed property with new eating and drinking facilities by the end of March.

Mr Davis continued: "We bought it a few years ago but did not have the money to convert it at the time.

"It is 22-bed and we plan to extend it to 45-bed with a brand new bar and brasserie.

"It is another exciting development in Scotland and we are spending about £3.5m.

"We have 20 staff there just now and that will go up to about 70."

In addition Mr Davis is keen to find a Hotel du Vin site in Aberdeen to complement the existing Malmaison in the city.

He said: "The market is a bit flat in Scotland but the brand has very loyal customers here. That is borne out by our trading.

"We are looking for a Hotel du Vin in Aberdeen as we think it is a great market which Malmaison already does well in.

"With Dundee and St Andrews we have the key markets for the locals but the tourist market as well. It is quite a strong offering for Scotland."

Mr Davis said the hotel company, MWB Malmaison Holdings, is around £400,000 ahead in sales during the first quarter of its financial year which started on July 1.

However profit is running £1.6m up after a restructuring of back office systems, central costs and online booking engines. Occupancy has risen by around 3.5%.

Mr Davis, who joined the business in January this year, said: "We are working much more efficiently and converting to profit in a better way.

"The changes have helped us drive more revenue through the hotels.

"Our rate is pretty static but occupancy is up so we are getting busier.

"We are also being a little bit more commercial in terms of getting people through the doors for food and beverage."

The business is focusing on marketing to its own customer database, which has grown by 400,000 people this year, rather than trying to do offers through daily deal sites.

Mr Davis added: "For an established business if you can do the same sort of thing without using third parties then it is a much better way of getting out to the market.

"Once you have a customer which likes you as a brand then you want to have a direct contact with them."

Contextual targeting label: 
Business

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

126679