The owners of Newcastle’s newest hotel have said they will invest in a second multi-million pound city hotel if their first venture in the region proves successful.
Hotel chain Tune opened a 104-bed facility on Newcastle’s Quayside last weekend having spent in excess of £8m on renovating Proctor House, which had lain empty for more than two years.
Last used as the Kublai Khan restaurant, the leisure business created 18 new jobs when it opened its doors to the public, who snapped up special opening offers of rooms from just £10 a night.
Less than a week in, chief executive Mark Lankester said the firm’s renovation of the Edwardian building is drawing in good volumes of guests, prompting him to already consider a second hotel in the Newcastle area.
The firm’s no-frills concept means prices are kept down across the network, with tariffs starting from £25 a night for a double or twin room. Guests are encouraged to book early online to secure promotional prices and special offers.
The Newcastle hotel has 13 rooms with no windows and TV and Wi-fi access and towels cost extra, though all have en-suite bathrooms, and specialists were enlisted to restore and preserve original mosaic tiling in the corridors and stairwells.
Newcastle City Council were key in attracting Tune to the region, Mr Lankester said.
“We started in the UK in 2010 and the whole strategy was to get into London and then look at the secondary cities, key cities where leisure and travel was hugely important, and Newcastle was an opportunity for us.
“I first came up 18 months ago and you can imagine that the Quayside area was totally different at that time, but I really, really liked it. It’s really about a gut feeling.
“We spoke to the local council to find out their strategy, and found out there was a huge focus on bringing in businesses and regenerating the Quayside, which was fantastic.
“Generally speaking we don’t open massive hotels and we’re a fun and quirky product that allows travellers build up their experience according to their needs, which works very well.
“If I see it is starting well it gives us the signal to say maybe we should have another one.
“So could we open a second one in Newcastle? My gut feeling is telling me if it smells goods and tastes good it probably is good, so that’s a yes.”
The global chain has 48 hotels in nine countries and already has four hotels in London with a fifth one due to open soon, as well as one in Edinburgh, with the Quayside property becoming the second to open outside of the capital as part of expansion plans in key regional cities.
Mr Lankester said improving transport networks mean Tune can create a chain effect to encourage visitors to visit more than one of their locations, while exploring the UK.
“The whole idea is to cross-promote. The fact is London always gets the top bite of the cherry and we can help bring people in, then encourage them to visit our other hotels.
“Now with everything happening with Crossrail and high speed links there is an opportunity for people to see much more of the UK.”