Edinburgh hotels hope for check-in lift with global deal

Channings is now an Ascend Hotel Collection member
Channings is now an Ascend Hotel Collection member
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The owner of two prestigious hotels in the Scottish capital hopes to increase their occupancy rate and revenue after inking a franchise agreement with global accommodation group Choice Hotels International.

The Edinburgh Collection said the deal means its New Town properties, The Howard and Channings, join Choice’s European portfolio of nearly 500 hotels.

The pair are also the first in the UK to become Ascend Hotel Collection members, Choice’s most upscale hotel offering, comprising “distinctive, independent hotels that are located in prime business or leisure travel destinations,” providing “superior service”.

The two hotels will now be known officially as “The Howard, an Ascend Hotel Collection member”, and “Channings Hotel, an Ascend Hotel Collection member”.

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Ricky Kapoor, commercial director of the Edinburgh Collection, said: “Joining Choice’s Ascend Hotel Collection enables us to maintain autonomy and the hotels’ distinctiveness while leveraging Choice’s industry leading technology, marketing and distribution to optimise demand for the hotels and generate more revenue.

“This will not only benefit our own business, but with increased occupancy rates we will be bringing more business and leisure travellers to spend their money in Edinburgh.”

The Ascend Hotel Collection was launched in 2008, and now has 148 properties in the likes of New York, Miami, Napa Valley, Sydney, Stockholm and Dublin.

Mark Pearce, senior vice-president for Choice Hotels’ international division, said launching the collection in the Scottish capital “is part of our strategy to continue diversifying our portfolio and provide the UK with a new upscale hotel offering”.

He said The Howard and Channings “give us a critical foothold in the UK that will support the accelerated rollout of the Ascend Hotel Collection in the UK and across Europe”.

The Edinburgh Collection is part of hospitality and business services group Palm Holdings, and also owns and operates the three-star Old Waverley Hotel on Princes Street and the four-star Holyrood Aparthotel just off the Royal Mile.

It was established in 2010 and took on The Howard and Channings in December of that year.

Last week accountant and business adviser BDO said that its most up-to-date figures, for 2015 until end-October, show Edinburgh experienced a 2.2 per cent rise in occupancy and a 1.2 per cent rise in revenue. The firm had previously found that the city’s performance in August was “extraordinary” with occupancy exceeding 90 per cent.