Hotel sector lucrative for Dakota

Leading design consultancy Dakota House of Design (Dakota), is ending the year on a high note, announcing that it has secured new work in the hotel sector on major schemes in Newcastle and Manchester city centres.

This latest announcement completes a year which has included a number of highlights starting with projects for Hilton Hotels and the transformation of No.1 Cornwall Terrace - a Grade 1 Listed private residence in London which is now Europe’s most expensive terraced house having subsequently gone on the market for a £100million – and ending with projects for Best Western Hotels and Jurys Inn’s, as well as developing the aforementioned sites.

In the North East, Dakota has been appointed by developer Trafalgar Leisure to transform the Blundell Building on Newcastle’s Clayton Street, converting it from a disused department store which has stood empty for the past 25 years, into a 70+ bedroom hotel.

In the North West, Dakota is working on a sensitive site in central Manchester for an undisclosed operator. Giving little away, early plans include a new-build element with a very modern finish juxtaposed against a retained heavily-listed structure to create a more luxurious design-led concept.

In addition, working on behalf of Yew Lodge Business Solutions, the design consultancy has been appointed to develop a concept for a number of Best Western Hotel operators aimed at a value-conscious demographic, but with a sophisticated aesthetic that recognises that even at the ‘limited service’ end of the spectrum guests have equally discerning tastes.

Yew Lodge Business Solutions tasked Dakota to provide a concept to meet the aspirations of this clientele in order to create an exciting and competitive positioning in the marketplace.

The first Best Western site to benefit from Dakota’s design work is the 60 bedroom Maypole Hotel, Birmingham. Dakota’s highly experienced designers have drawn on their expertise to redesign the public areas and bedrooms to create a design and styling template that can be rolled out at other sites across the UK.

No strangers to creating brand-leading concepts, earlier this year the Dakota team was responsible for creating Tuk Cho, a new South East Asian street dining concept for Mitchells and Butlers, the UK’s leading pub and restaurant operators.

In addition to providing creative design services, Dakota has also been appointed to provide planning and project management services on a number of projects, and they are currently engaged in a design-and-build capacity on the refurbishment of the reception, restaurant and bar areas of the Jury’s Inn, Newcastle which is due for completion before Christmas.

This contract was secured after Dakota successfully completed an earlier project to refurbish the hotel’s bedrooms. As a result, the consultancy is also optimistic that it can build on this relationship in the New Year and secure future projects as Jurys Inn revisits its estate.

Speaking about this new work, a delighted managing director, Peter Hodgson said:

“This is a great way to end the year. We have developed an enviable reputation for our ability to work for a diverse range of clients from leading multi-site operators to single venue owners, as well as private individuals in the residential sector with open ended budgets.

“We have created an exciting solution for a ‘limited service’ style of Best Western Hotel operator and fully recognise that whilst accommodation often serves a very necessary function – for example, if you were going to a concert and simply needed a place to rest your head – it is vital to give guests a compelling reason to choose one of our designed hotels ahead of the competition. Hotel operators, especially those who operate in the ‘limited service’ sector are fully aware of the need to respond to their customers’ expectations of higher quality accommodation. I strongly believe that ‘metro’ style hotel interiors needn’t be bland; in fact the opposite is true – with the clever use of styling and attention to detail, they can be aesthetically pleasing even with a limited budget, and this is where we feel that Dakota’s experience can be of great benefit to operators.

“Both the Blundell Building and the Manchester site will be challenging projects. As part of our brief, in addition to delivering stylish interior design ideas, we will also be working closely with the preferred operators and the local authority planning teams in each area to produce sensitive and carefully considered schemes that are mutually acceptable and beneficial to both the operator and the adjacent surrounding area.

“We are really fortunate to end the year on such a high, and are excited about the opportunities and challenges that lie-ahead of us in 2013.”

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