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Three more Indigo Hotels in UK pipeline
InterContinental Hotels (IHG) today (January 20) formally opened the first of its boutique brand hotels, Indigo, in Europe.
At the opening of the 64-room hotel in the west London district of Paddington, Andrew Cosslett, IHG's ceo, announced that contracts for three more Indigos in the UK had also been signed.
All will be based in London and are due to open by 2012.
Contracts for a 180-room Indigo in Shanghai had also been signed and this hotel is due to open in 2010.
Mr Cosslett said the new property was the 22nd Indigo to be opened but the first outside North America.
Mr Cosslett said that while IHG would continue to develop its other brands, like Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn, it was part of the chain's strategy to take "younger brands" like Indigo and open them around the world.
He said the key factor about Indigo was that it was flexible and could be fitted into either an old or a new building as each one was different.
The new London Indigo was formerly nine Georgian town houses owned by London Town Hotels which will manage the new property.
"Hotel Indigo combines the feel of a boutique hotel with the benefits of a large hotel group, including our reservation systems and loyalty programme," Mr Cosslett said.
"The brand has been a success in the Americas and we are confident we can grow it around the world."
He said it was "somewhere upscale" but would be defined by the people using it.
"It is adjacent to the Crown Plaza brand in that it is focusing on the business traveller and will be different to the Holiday Inn brand," he said.
Mr Koolesh Shah, managing director of London Town Hotels, said he owned two other hotels in the area, including a 75-room property which backed onto the Indigo.
If the new hotel proved a success, it was possible this hotel would also be added to it to form a 135-room hotel.
He added: "Over the last few years new businesses have put down roots in Paddington and we've seen a surge in the number of people looking for a place to stay. Our hotel will attract a new type of guest who is looking for something a little bit different."
The new hotel which has free WiFi connections throughout the property is aiming to appeal to business travellers as well as tourists to London.
Of the three new Indigos planned for London, two are located in the City and one in Kensington in west London.
The two City properties will be 37- and 43-roomed hotels while the third in Kensington will have 51 rooms.