-- Open 14 new hotels - which includes two properties in Spain-- Create 420 new jobs-- Launch a new room concept which has been designed by its customers-- Introduce truckle beds-- Rollout out a GBP 57m refurbishment programme across its estate
Grant Hearn, Travelodge CEO said: "Now that we have a solid financial foundation in place, this year, the Travelodge brand will benefit from a GBP 223 million investment. This capital expenditure will help us to grow our business, strengthen our product offering and make Travelodge the best value hotel chain in the UK.
"As part of this year's investment we have worked with our customers to create a new Travelodge room which offers more comfort, quality and style. The hero of our new room is a luxurious bed that is normally found in high end hotels. This enhanced product offering combined with our new cutting edge revenue management system that offers economy pricing, will ensure we are the smart choice for leisure and business travellers."
Today one of the UK's leading hotel brands, Travelodge has announced it is benefitting from a GBP 223 million investment this year to help further grow its business. This cash investment will help fuel growth, strengthen the Company's brand offering and ensure consumers obtain the best value in the marketplace.
In 2013, Travelodge will open 14 hotels (1,742 rooms) at an investment of GBP 141.5m. Twelve of these openings will be in the UK and two in Spain.
The UK locations include four hotels in London (Bethnal Green, Hounslow, Vauxhall and Walthamstow), hotels in Liverpool, Cambridge, Aylesbury, Southport, Kings Lynn, Sittingbourne, Manchester and Chertsey.
The two Spanish hotel openings will double Travelodge's room stock to 700 and boost the number of hotels in Spain to six which includes three hotels in Madrid, two in Barcelona and one in Valencia. The first hotel is scheduled to open in spring and is located in the fashionable beach area Poblenou in Barcelona. The new Madrid hotel is scheduled to open in the summer and is located in the famous Julian Camarillo commercial district.
Grant Hearn, Travelodge CEO said: "In today's world, Britons are looking for great value when making a hotel booking. The UK at less than 20% remains a growing market for branded budget accommodation, as it is still well behind matured markets such as the USA and France. In response to this growing opportunity, our growth strategy remains in the forefront of our new business plan."
During 2013, Travelodge will also create 420 new jobs with 371 of the new positions being generated via the 14 new hotel openings. The remaining new opportunities will be created via the Company's successful management apprenticeship programme (JuMP) which will create 30 new apprenticeship placements and the remaining 19 roles are head office based.
As part of today's announcement, the hotel chain is also unveiling its new room design which has been created by Travelodge customers. The new room concept has taken 12 months to complete from initial research to implementation and has been overseen by Travelodge's dedicated in-house Interior Designer - Frances Whitley.
Feedback from Travelodge customers stated they wanted an inviting, functional, warm, relaxing environment, with the main focus of the room being an extremely comfortable bed. To ensure Travelodge met this brief, they worked in cooperation with their customers so that they were involved in every decision and that the new room design met with their expectation and delivered on quality and service.
The new Travelodge room includes the following new features:
An upgraded new luxury king size bed which is deemed in the industry as the 'Rolls Royce' of beds and used predominately by luxury hotels worldwide. The bed is produced by royal warrant holders Sleepeeze Ltd who are renowned internationally for their experience and craftsmanship in producing the most luxurious beds that money can buy. The company established 80 years ago uses cutting edge technology to create state-of-the-art pocket spring mattresses that help attain a good quality night's sleep.
The new Travelodge bed boasts an 800 pocket sprung mattress and each individual spring is designed to follow the natural contour of an individual's body in order to provide the correct amount of support and comfort to ensure they receive a good quality night's sleep. The pocket sprung mattress is also very beneficial for couples sharing a bed as it ensures that each individual is much less affected by the movement of their partner.
For further comfort, the bed is dressed with a quilted mattress topper and bounce back duvet and pillows. A new addition to the bedding is a stylish swoosh stripes runner to help create a gift wrap feel to the bed.
The bed also features a unique benefit of housing two space saving comfy truckle beds within its base. When the beds are in use the base can be used for storing luggage, providing extra space in the room. The truckle beds have been designed to replace the traditional sofa bed and provide an enhanced service for families staying in the room.
To help create a warm and cosy ambiance in the new room so that its customers obtain a good quality night's sleep, Travelodge worked with a chromotherapy expert and has introduced a sleep inducing colour palette to the room's decor.
The new Travelodge room feature wall has been painted a tranquil blue, as research shows our body clock is programmed to relate the colour blue to the hours of darkness. So when we look at the colour blue, our metabolism slows down, making us feel relaxed and sleepy.
The colour also has the effect of making a room look larger and more light and airy. The remaining walls have been painted a calming cream colour as this shade embodies the quality of gentle morning sunlight that helps you to wake up feeling refreshed and alert.
To complement the colour scheme swoosh stripes in the colours of red, grey and blue have been incorporated into the room decor via the curtains and bed runner. Vertical stripes have been chosen due to their illusion of making a room look taller and to create a more restful and contemporary atmosphere.
Other additions to the new room include a stylish white contemporary en-suite bathroom with a power shower, stain & water resistant carpet in a dark shade of blue, a larger desk area, new reading lights and a phone charging socket built into the bed frame. The room also includes artwork above the bed. This is an abstract design featuring relaxing sparkles and shades of blue, which customers found very pleasing to the eye and restful.
All new hotels being opened this year will incorporate this new room design. In addition phase one of the GBP 57 million refurbishment programme which starts in spring this year will include a refit project to transform Travelodge's flagship and most popular city centre hotel rooms with the new design. By autumn 2014, over eighty per cent of Travelodge's estate will incorporate the new room design.
To help attract new customers, Travelodge is also investing over GBP 12 million in digital and online marketing this year. As well as over a million pounds in a website refresh later this year.
Frances Whitley, Travelodge In-house Interior Designer said: "It has been great working with our customers to design a purpose built room for them. Interestingly a key learning we learnt were customers now want a high level of coordination between colours, shades, patterns and features. They are no longer happy with everything being the same colour. Tastes are also moving away from dark shades, today hotel users want a clean, fresh and bright colour scheme which they find uplifting and energising upon walking up from a good night's sleep. The number one requirement from our customers was a good quality luxurious bed. Interestingly customers fed back that the addition of a coordinated runner on the bed lent a sense of freshness and suggested that the bed had been carefully prepared and wrapped for them."
Travelodge is also currently working with its customers to redesign its restaurants and public areas.
Notes to editors:
The breakdown of the GBP 223 million is listed below:New openings investment: GBP 141.5mRefurbishment programme: GBP 57mMarketing investment GBP 12mIDeaS(i) & website refresh: GBP 2.5mMaintenance GBP 10mTotal = 223m
(i)IDeaS is a cutting edge revenue management system. The unique optimising software monitors room rates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to ensure customers the best value room rates at all times.
The first budget hotel brand to launch in the UK in 1985, Travelodge now operates over 500 hotels and over 35,400 rooms across the UK, Ireland (11) and Spain (4). Travelodge plans to grow its estate to 1,100 hotels and 100,000 rooms by 2025. Over 13 million people stayed with Travelodge last year and 90% of reservations are currently made online at travelodge.co.uk, where room rates start at GBP 19 per night. The chain employs over 6,000 staff.
Travelodge Press Office