Frasers Hospitality intends to expand Malmaison and Hotel du Vin in Europe following its acquisition of the UK brands.

The Singapore-based serviced apartment and hotel operator recently announced it had bought the Malmaison Hotel du Vin group (see news June 2015).

Guus Bakker, Frasers Hospitality’s chief executive EMEA, told Business Traveller: “Malmaison Hotel du Vin was an excellent opportunity with a strong operating platform that allows us to expand both brands very quickly in the UK and further into Europe, and eventually Asia, Australia and elsewhere.”

Bakker said the team had “been looking at quite a number of opportunities in the UK in the past year”. He added that the company would focus on northern Europe in particular – especially Germany – but wouldn’t “exclude any opportunities” elsewhere on the continent.

There are 29 Malmaison and Hotel du Vin properties in the UK, with two more to open in Stratford upon Avon and Aberdeen in 2017-18.

Malmaison Dundee

Bakker said that acquiring the boutique brands “completed the offering” of Frasers Hospitality, which is better known for its apartment properties but also owns and operates a number of hotels worldwide.

“There are a lot of hotel companies entering the serviced apartment market – there’s no reason why a serviced apartment company cannot enter the hotel market,” he said. “It was always the aim of the group.”

The acquisition forms part of Frasers’ overall plan to operate 30,000 rooms by 2019. At the moment, it has 21,000 units across 129 hotels in 77 cities, including properties in its pipeline. Bakker said: “When you see the expansion of the group over the past two to three years it is absolutely realistic to get to that mark.”

Malmaison Oxford

Frasers’ brands range from the “gold-standard” Fraser Suites, Fraser Place and Fraser Residence to the “second-tier” Modena by Fraser and the design-led aparthotel offering Capri by Fraser.

Later this month it will open a Capri property in Frankfurt. Others in the pipeline include the Capri by Fraser Berlin and Fraser Suites Hamburg, both in 2017, and more than 20 properties in Asia over the next few years.

Bakker said: “We are exploring a number of opportunities in the UK in cities such as Manchester and Birmingham. We are opening in Geneva at the end of the year and have just refurbished our Capri by Fraser in Barcelona. In the Middle East we are opening five to six properties over the next two years, plus ones that are being negotiated. And we are going to Africa, to Abuja – our first in Africa. We have talked about properties in Lagos and cities in eastern and central Africa.”

He added: “The group will at some stage also cross the Atlantic and start exploring the Americas.”,,

Michelle Harbi