Motel One gears up for UK debut

29 Nov 2012 by BusinessTraveller

German budget hotel group Motel One will open its first UK property before the end of the year, located on Edinburgh’s Market Street next to the city’s mainline Waverley rail station.

Motel One first launched in 2000 with budget properties located close to German motorways, but has since refined its concept to focus on prime city centre locations across Germany, including eight already open in Berlin.

The group also has two hotels in the Austrian cities of Salzburg and Vienna, with a second Salzburg property set to open before the end of the year.

The brand is also gearing up for expansion into the UK, with the 208-room Motel One Edinburgh Royal set to open “before New Year’s Eve”, and a second Edinburgh property under development on Princes Street opposite the city’s luxury Balmoral Hotel and above an Apple retail store.

Further UK hotels have been signed in Manchester, Newcastle and Glasgow, along with two London properties – one in Tower Hill and the other in Whitechapel.

Similar to budget offerings like Premier Inn and Ibis (brands which the group’s marketing spokesperson Ursula Schelle-Muller said Motel One would be competing against in the UK), the concept is simple – a good quality bed (with egyptian cotton sheets), reading lamps, a monsoon shower, a desk, TV, a rail to hang clothes, and, well, that’s about it.

Guests should not expect room service, mini bars or safes, nor will the hotel offer a gym, restaurant or meeting space.

But attention has been taken with design elements, particularly in the One Lounge public area, where the Edinburgh property will feature the group’s signature Arne Jacobsen egg chair – in this case furnished with Motel One’s very own tartan design. A bar will also offer a range of snacks and Scottish whiskies.

Guests can expect fixed rather than dynamic pricing, with a simple £69 one-person room rate for the Edinburgh property (excluding some peak periods), a £15 supplement for a second guest, and £7.50 per person for continental breakfast. Room sizes across the group average around 16 sqm, and free wifi is also included throughout the property.

The Edinburgh hotel is housed within two listed 16th and 18th-century buildings, in a prime location overlooking Prince Street Gardens and close to attractions including Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile.

Motel One currently has 40 properties in operation, and Schelle-Muller said this would rise to around 60 by 2015, with other properties either signed or under construction in cities including Frankfurt, Dresden, Dusseldorf, Brussels, Prague, Warsaw and Amsterdam.

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Report by Mark Caswell

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