US Graduate Hotels Make Debut Overseas….in Cambridge, UK

Main Photo: The stylish bedroom look of Graduate Hotels

Date: July 2019

Location: In the centre of Cambridge, on the edge of Coe Fen park and the River Cam, Cambridgeshire, UK

Name: Will be The Graduate Cambridge – Summer 2020

No. of Keys: 148

Seller: Graduate acquired the 138-room DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, from Ability Group and is now undertaking extensive renovation work to take the bed count up to 148.

Ability, headed up by Andreass Panayiotou, has a portfolio of some 14 hotels, under brands such as Hilton, IHG, Radisson and Premier Inn. Besides hotels they are also into residential.

Buyer: US brand Graduate Hotels with backer AJ Capital Partners, has bought the DoubleTree Cambridge City Centre, to convert to their brand and debut in the UK.

The 148 room property will launch in summer 2020, following refurbishment. Founded in 2014, Graduate has 15 properties open and a pipeline of 17 more due to open by the end of 2020.

The Graduate Cambridge will be the first overseas hotel opened by the US-based Graduate Hotels group, one of the quirkiest hotel brands in the United States, which operates exclusively in college towns, offering retro-chic spaces where guests can “reminisce in their own memories and rekindle the spirit of their alma mater”.

Interior décor will “take inspiration from hundreds of years of rich university history and tradition”, with whimsical fabrics, dark woods, and allusions to the university’s history and alumni scattered throughout.

Some features of the new hotel have already been confirmed, including a swimming pool, a fitness centre, restaurant, and Graduate Hotels’ signature Poindexter café and bar on the ground floor.

The company is also casting an eye over other British and Irish university cities for potential sites, having so far expressed an interest in Oxford, Edinburgh, St Andrews, Dublin and Manchester.

It’s all part of a highly ambitious programme of expansion by Graduate Hotels, which is one of the fastest-growing hospitality brands in the US.

Since launching in 2014, it has opened 15 hotels close to some of the country’s biggest college towns, including Richmond in Virginia, Seattle in Washington, and Ann Arbor in Michigan.

A further 17 hotels are slated to open by the end of 2020, with two Ivy League towns set to join the portfolio: New Haven in Connecticut, which is home to Yale University, and Palo Alto in California, where Stanford University is situated.

Cambridge has already begun to see a revamp of its hotel scene, with the University Arms opening in 2019.

THPT Comment: Wow some ambitious growth for Graduate Hotels, both at home in the USA and now their first venture overseas and in the UK….Good Luck. Smart idea setting up hotels in University towns.

First Seen: UK’s Daily Telegraph

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