The owner of two of the hotels of choice for the Birmingham business community has reported a “slight softening” in room rates because of tighter corporate demand.
Despite the downward pressure on prices, investment group MWB, owner of Hotel du Vin and Malmainson, said occupancy rates were being maintained and that it was on course to open another three new hotels - Newcastle, Edinburgh and Aberdeen - in the next two months.
It costs an average of £114 a night to stay in a Malmaison Hotel and £122 per night at Hotel du Vin. However, special offers have been introduced throughout the franchise, including £99 for the Newcastle Hotel du Vin, which opens later this month, and £109 for a night in a recently opened site at Poole, Dorset.
A £99 ‘Wine and Dine’ deal has also been introduced in six Malmaison hotels Friday and Sunday nights.
The group, which has 23 hotels, said “wider financial concerns” were affecting consumer spending decisions.
“People still come in and order a bottle of wine, but whereas they used to choose whichever one they wanted, now they’ll typically go for a bottle lower down the wine list.” Andrew Blurton, MWB’s finance director said.
Cheaper hotel alternatives have benefited during the downturn, with strong sales figures recently reported by Travelodge and Premier Inn.
MWB also has a 68 per cent stake in the Liberty department store in London.
The Regent Street emporium has defied the consumer downturn with an increase in footfall and revenues over the last three months, helped by a new shoe boutique on the second floor and an expanded ladieswear offer.
Mr Blurton said current trading results were pleasing, given the state of the retail market. “We’re performing better than many, but it’s a tough business at this time for everybody,” he said.
MWB chairman Eric Sanderson added trading was “in line with the board’s expectations”.