5. Government money will help
The pandemic has made aparthotels seem like a brilliant idea, and developers with an eye on the sector will be putting more effort into aparthotels or hybrid and double-decker buildings containing both standard and aparthotel operators. Marriott’s first UK dual-brand hotel opened in Slough in February, providing Moxy and Residence Inn accommodation.
Developed and owned by Slough Borough Council, specialist hotel management company, Cycas Hospitality, operates both hotels and the development was built via a joint venture between the council and Morgan Sindall Investments Ltd. This development was backed by Slough Council and may not have seen the light of day without them. The government’s £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund could offer more councils the chance to do likewise.
Occupying the lower four floors, the lifestyle driven Moxy Slough offers 152 guest rooms, including 28 twin and eight accessible rooms. With 92 suites, Residence Inn by Marriott Slough, for longer-staying guests, is the first branded extended-stay property in Slough.
6. Survival of the fittest
This is not normally a source of comfort, particularly if you or your clients aren’t particularly fit. But understood properly, this could be a significant spur to new development and refurbishment.
Cushman & Wakefield’s Richard Candey says: ‘Survival of the fittest is not a bad thing. Operators have to sharpen up their offer. If it means that some hotels feel the pinch of competition, that’s good.
‘Over the last year we’ve seen the greater proportion of live hotel projects either enter a holding pattern or find themselves challenged to the extent that the proposal collapses. But then this was also true pre-COVID. In London, for instance, we regularly tracked plans for about 25,000-30,000 hotel beds, yet only around 3,000 a year got built. The pandemic has increased the pressure these schemes feel, and that is not a bad thing because the weaker speculative schemes will not happen, and the strong ones will be a more certain focus of operator and investor interest.’
In other words, a clear out of ‘no-hoper’ hotel schemes may be a disappointment for their promoters, but it saves everyone else a lot of time and trouble.