Best Western GB Signs Major Deal with Hallmark Hotels

Main Photo: The Welcombe Hotel & Spa, Stratford-upon-Avon, a flagship hotel in the Hallmark portfolio

Date: May 2020

Location: UK – 26 locations, from Bournemouth on the South Coats of England to Aberdeen in Scotland,

Name: Hallmark Hotels

No. of Keys: 2,500

Joinee: Hallmark Hotels, a brand originally started in 2007 and, over a short period of time grew to eight hotels. In late 2013 – early 2014, the former Menzies Hotel group of 12 hotels, for £80m and the original Hallmark Hotels, acquired for £75m, were merged together. In 2015, the group was further strengthened by the acquisition of eight Feathers hotels, for around £65m, all based in the north west of England. This took the group to a collection of 28 hotels across the UK with over 2600 bedrooms and over 170 meeting rooms.

Now with a portfolio of 26 hotels, Hallmark Hotels has recently been acquired by LGH Hotels Management Ltd, backed by an Israeli fund, from Topland, who had the hotels marketed by Bespoke Hotel, who with the acquisition now have 55 hotels…their original hotels branded Holiday Inn or Crowne Plaza under their deal with IHG.

Joined: Best Western has announced a deal with Hallmark Hotels that will bring 26 properties into the brand, representing the largest group deal in it’s 43-year history.

The deal will increase the independent organisation’s room count by more than 2,500 across the mid and upscale brands within its portfolio and represents a significant step for Best Western in the UK. It comes in the wake of a partnership agreement with Corus hotel group and reported increased membership enquiries during Covid-19.

Rob Paterson, chief executive of Best Western, said: “It was tough, competitive tender and we are delighted that they have chosen Best Western as the preferred brand partner for the Hallmark Hotels portfolio.

Paterson said it was an “important step in our business development and our growth plans as an organisation”. He said his ambition was for Best Western to be the “natural go-to home for independent hotels and groups in Great Britain”, and to be one that represented “superior accommodations, exceptional service and first-rate amenities.”

He concluded: “We will weather this Covid crisis together and be stronger as a collective as a result.”

Best Western will this month be showcased in a Channel 4 docu-series following chief executive Paterson and his Yorkshire HQ team as he leads the membership organisation through the hotel’s period of growth.

Best Western GB is a retained-profit membership organisation that helps its 280 hotels maintain their independence. It was the first group in the UK to offer its empty hotels to support the NHS during the coronavirus outbreak.

THPT Comment: What Hallmark are missing, is Central London…they have a few on the outskirts, Chigwell in Essex and Croydon on the way to Gatwick. Great deal for Best Western. Interesting given LGH’s relationship with IHG, that they didn’t go that route.

First Seen: The Caterer

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