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UK-based De Vere Hotels is looking for suitable properties in continental Europe to manage, its sales and marketing director John Rogers said.The group last week sold its prestigious Belfry Hotel, a venue for Ryder Cup golf tournaments, to Irish company Quinn Group for what Mr Rogers said was an “unbelievable” £186m but has signed a 25-year deal to manage the property in Warwickshire, West Midlands.
The bulk of the money from the sale of the property, which was valued by De Vere at £127m, will go to shareholders.
“We have taken the opportunity to sell The Belfry for a premium price and as part of our four point strategy, we are looking for more management contracts.
“We will not rule Europe out and we have had discussions about managing overseas properties although our focus will remain on the UK which is our heartland,” he said.
Mr Rogers said the group was also aiming to expand its “Village” brand but said they would still be interested in getting into the budget end of the hotel market “if the price is right.”
De Vere had previously shown an interest in the Premier Lodge budget chain but Mr Rogers said the “the price was not right for us.”
Thistle launches upmarket brand
Thistle Hotels, a British chain aimed largely at the business traveller, has launched a global luxury brand called Guoman Hotels.
The first in the chain is the company's newly re-furbished Cumberland Hotel in London. No other hotels have yet been named or identified for the new brand which is aimed at the upmarket business and leisure guests. It will also focus on the meetings and conference market.