Travelodge launches smaller hotel design concept

THAME, ENGLAND Travelodge Hotels Ltd. is launching a new budget hotel concept, Metro, that will include properties of less than 40 guestrooms and will target adaptive reuse conversions in highly sought-after urban locations.

The company is aiming for 100 Metro-style properties by 2020. The new smaller design concept will allow Travelodge to open properties where larger development sites are either unavailable or overpriced. Additionally, Metro will enable the launch of more suburban locations where larger sites may not be deemed desirable by local authorities and development land is at a premium.

Metro properties could open as conversions of office buildings, business parks, pubs, theaters, billiards halls or retail outlets.

The company’s desire to build smaller hotels is inspired by two successful development ventures during 2010. The first is a Metro prototype in one of Edinburgh’s busiest tourist areas—Rose Street just off Princes Street. Travelodge built a hotel in a Georgian listed building that also houses two bars and a restaurant. The 43-key hotel sits above the three properties and has a small entrance sandwiched between the bar and restaurant. The hotel has become one of the company’s top performing hotels due to its key location.

The second venture is the successful conversion of 52 Innkeeper’s Lodges into the Travelodge estate following their purchase from Mitchells & Butlers in July. Most of these properties have fewer than 40 rooms and have proven to be highly profitable additions for Travelodge.

“Following the success of our Edinburgh Metro prototype hotel and the conversion of 52 Innkeeper’s Lodges to the Travelodge brand, we have discovered just how profitable smaller hotels can be for us,” says Travelodge CEO Guy Parsons. “Therefore, to accelerate our growth strategy, we are going to start building Metro-style hotels across the UK. This concept will allow us to open hotels where other hoteliers can’t develop. We are looking to open 100 Metro Travelodges in prime spots where are customers need us, by 2020. Our desired locations will include: office buildings, business parks, major cities, popular holiday destinations and within London’s affluent Boroughs.

“The Metro model will also allow us to expand in our top-performing locations where there are few 60-plus room sites available. Downsizing our hotel building requirements will open hundreds of development opportunities for us. This will enable us to expand quickly and meet the growing demands from consumers who want low cost and good quality accommodation in prime locations.”