IHG Opens Second UK voco in Solihull

Main Photo: A voco bedroom at what was the St Johns Hotel, Solihull…© callaghan photography

Date: February 2019

Location: Solihull, West Midlands, close to Birmingham and the NEC, UK

Name: The voco St. John’s Solihull

No. of Keys: 180

Seller: Principal Hayley (Starwood Capital) in 2017, handled by Christie & Co.

Buyer: Singapore-based CL Capital’s acquired the The St Johns Hotel, backed by a £10m loan by Allied Irish Bank (GB) in Dec 2017.

A five-year, floating-rate loan was arranged by HFF Real Estate (HFF) and Kew Green Hotels has  managed the business.

The HFF team representing the borrower included managing director Claudio Sgobba and senior director Edward Bradford.

Trish McNicholas, senior relationship manager at Allied Irish Bank (GB), said: “Allied Irish Bank (GB) is delighted to be supporting this transaction.

InterContinental Hotels Group has signed a franchise agreement with CL Capital to debut voco IHG’s new upscale brand, in the West Midlands town of Solihull.

CL Capital Management is an international fund management platform founded in 2015, based out of Singapore, Shanghai and London, with three other UK hotels in Birmingham and Oxford.

Better known as Ctrip.com, with a market capitalisation over US $20 billion, is the Sponsor of CL Capital Management.

Ctrip is China’s largest online travel service provider of accommodation reservation, transportation ticketing, packaged tours, and corporate travel management in China.

The sponsor has experienced substantial growth since its inception in 1999 and has become one of the best-known travel brands in China, with its operational headquarters in Shanghai.

The hotel is managed by Kew Green Hotels and is the second voco property in the UK, following the opening of voco St. David’s, Cardiff.

The voco St. John’s, Solihull has recently opened following a transformative refurbishment to the guest rooms, lobby, and the hotel’s restaurant and bar.

With more than 1,230 sqm of meeting space across 13 different rooms, the hotel will cater to a variety of business and leisure events of all sizes, from small and large conferences, to weddings of up to 700 guests.

The hotel also offers a host of leisure facilities, including a fully equipped health club with an indoor swimming pool, sauna and gym.

Jane Bowler, General Manager at voco St.John’s, Solihull, commented: “This is an incredibly exciting time. voco will be a fantastic addition to Solihull, and we are proud to be the first voco property in the Midlands.

voco inspired by the meaning ‘to invite’ or to ‘come together’ in Latin, combines the informality and charm of an individual hotel, with the quality and reassurance of a global and respected brand.

voco is IHG’s newest brand, launched in June 2018.

It is focussed on conversion opportunities and strengthens IHG’s offer in the $40 billion upscale segment, which is expected to grow by a further $20 billion by 2025.

The new brand from IHG is set for rapid expansion with a view to open more than 200 voco hotels in attractive urban and leisure locations over the next 10 years.

Karan Khanna, Managing Director, UK & Ireland at IHG, commented: “We are excited to open our second voco™ property in the UK.

Since the brand’s launch in June 2018, voco hotels have been signed around the globe, including signings for hotels in Bangkok, Cairo, Dubai as well as Melbourne, Hunter Valley and Yarra Valley in Australia, and the brand debuted with openings in Australia’s Gold Coast as well as in Cardiff (UK).

THPT Comment: This large, but previously rather bland hotel, close to the NEC will benefit muchly from the voco treatment.

First Seen: IHG website

The Hotel Property Team (THPT) is a small group of highly experienced business professionals. Between us, we provide a range of skills and experience which is directly relevant to those involved in the hotel property market.

For more information – Visit www.thpt.co.uk or email info@thpt.co.uk.