Motel One seeks new sites to join city giant

A German-based 'design budget' hotel chain is eyeing further growth in Edinburgh and Glasgow after officially opening the doors to the largest hotel in Scotland.

Motel One is seeking out more sites in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

On Thursday Motel One officially launched its 374-room site next to Central Station in Glasgow. It is the third branch of the chain in Scotland, adding to properties in Edinburgh on Market Street and Princes Street which opened in 2012 and 2014 respectively.

Hotel manager Celia Hague told Scotland on Sunday that the new branch is well-poised to capitalise on Glasgow’s growing popularity as a destination for both leisure and business travel.

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Its opening also comes as research shows demand for large hotels that can accommodate conference delegates is also expanding.

Hague added that Motel One aims to bolster the city and stand apart from its other hotels, with luxury at a budget price.

The Munich-headquartered company is proud of its transparent pricing policy, offering flat rates rather than adjusting prices according to demand.

Last month PwC found that the hotel sector in Glasgow is growing faster than in any other city in the UK, with the average cost for an overnight stay climbing 7.5 per cent in the first half of 2018 and occupancy rates increasing to 79.1 per cent.

Revenue per available room was up 8.2 per cent to £58.08 – eight times the pace of growth in the UK overall. In contrast, both the occupancy rate and revenue generated per available room in Edinburgh fell, though the Scottish capital remained the most expensive city outside London.

The chain has hotels in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland, as well as in its native Germany. In the UK, its second largest market, it also has sites in London, Manchester and Newcastle.

Motel One Group has about 110 staff in Scotland. When asked whether more sites were planned north of the border, co-chief executive Daniel Müller ruled out moving into Aberdeen as it is so dependent on the oil and gas industry for custom. “For us it’s a bit too risky,” he said. PwC said occupancy rates in the Granite City remain “low” at just 63.5 per cent.

“At the moment we are focusing on Glasgow and Edinburgh,” said Müller, adding that the Motel One were ready to seek out more sites in both cities.

Hague noted that a third location would open in Manchester in 2020, and more sites in London were being sought.

“We see the UK market as somewhere we want to expand – and certainly Edinburgh and Glasgow,” said Müller, adding that Birmingham, Liverpool and York were also prospects.

“We really want to roll out our brand in the UK.”