Ireland’s Dalata Hotel Group has underlined its ambitions for further expansion in Edinburgh, while highlighting the strong performance of its two properties in Glasgow.

Chief executive Dermot Crowley told The Herald in an interview yesterday: “We love Edinburgh. We would love more hotels in Edinburgh. We are always actively looking but it is a very hard one to get into.”

Dalata, which has 53 hotels, last year bought a building in St Andrew Square for its first property in Edinburgh.

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Mr Crowley, speaking after Dalata announced its revenues had risen by 18% to 607.7 million euros last year, said: “We are always looking at things in Edinburgh. Most of it doesn’t come to pass. That would be normal. We are looking at acquisitions all the time. The guys who work in acquisitions - they have to be resilient because a lot of what we look at doesn’t come to pass. When something like St Andrew Square comes up, we move quickly.”

Dalata acquired the development site at 28 St Andrew Square for £12.5 million from Aviva Life & Pensions UK Limited.

It expects to create between 60 and 80 jobs with the opening of its planned 153-bedroom Clayton Hotel at this site. Dalata unveiled its plans for this new hotel in early October last year.

Mr Crowley said yesterday that the hotel in St Andrew Square remained on track to open in early 2026, with the planning application for this having been submitted.

He added: “It is a really exciting project for us because of the location, the existing building, and the sustainability [element].”

Dalata opened the 303-bedroom Clayton Hotel Glasgow City in late 2022 in the A-listed former Custom House building on the River Clyde.

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This followed the opening of the 300-bedroom Maldron Hotel Glasgow City, on Renfrew Street, in 2021.

Mr Crowley said yesterday: “We are very pleased, we are really happy, with all the hotels in the UK. That would absolutely include our two hotels in Glasgow.”

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He highlighted results announcements yesterday from Air France as well as IAG, which owns Aer Lingus, British Airways and Iberia.

Mr Crowley said: “They are all predicting strong travel through 2024. For cities like Edinburgh or Glasgow or any of those gateway cities, that is positive.”

He noted a continuing rise in costs, flagging the increase in the living wage and observing that energy is “much more expensive than pre-crisis”.

Mr Crowley said: “We are looking to expand. For the UK, we are really interested in expanding. We are looking selectively around Europe as well.”

Dalata announced yesterday that its adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation had risen by 22% last year to €223.1 million euros.

Mr Crowley said in the results statement: “I am delighted to announce that the group has delivered another excellent set of results, reflecting a year that has been highly successful in many ways.

"After exceeding revenue of 500 million euros in 2022, the group has grown revenues further to over 600 million euros in 2023. Our established hotels continue to drive revenue and convert strongly to the bottom line, underpinned by our decentralised model.”