Part of Derby Riverlights has been sold in a multi-million pound deal that will see one of its hotels expand to include a restaurant and bar.
The Derby Telegraph revealed last month that owners Moorfield was putting the complex up for sale after efforts to lure a big name to help attract other tenants failed to bear fruit.
The 105-bedroomed Holiday Inn was put on the market and has now been snapped up by Starboard Hotels for a figure in the region of £6m.
The operator has also acquired two ground-level commercial units along the building’s Boulevard. Starboard said it will use the additional space to launch a new restaurant and bar.
The hotel currently has a dining area on the top floor.
The entrance to the 105-bedroom hotel
Kerian Barnes, group operations director at Starboard, said: “This is a great hotel for us to take over and utilise all our experiences from our other properties to improve facilities and the overall guest experience.
“We are looking at developing the ground floor, where we will be expanding the hotel, introducing the open lobby concept and improving our restaurant and bar offering, which will create new jobs for the area.
“We are pleased to say that all the current team of 27 employees will be retained and we will be seeking to recruit from the local work force in the future as the hotel develops its offering.”
The acquisition sees the Starboard portfolio rise to 15 hotels across the UK, with four new hotels being added this year alone.
Starboard founder and managing director Paul Callingham said the announcement further strengthened the company’s presence in the UK hotel and hospitality sector.
He said: “It has been a tremendous year of growth for Starboard and we are delighted to have made another important acquisition.
“We welcome the team from the Holiday Inn Derby into the Starboard ‘family’ and we are looking forward to working with the general manager, Carrie-Louise Holleran, and her team.”
Inside the hotel
London-based Moorfield Group bought Derby Riverlights out of administration in 2015 and vowed to turn it into a top leisure and retail destination.
Hotel operator Premier Inn has since taken over space previously occupied by Hampton by Hilton, while a 120-seat Thyme restaurant, serving a mix of traditional and contemporary dishes, opened on the ground floor of the hotel in June last year.
A 12,000 sq ft gym – called Gym City – is being fitted out ahead of its opening, adding to tenants Genting Casino and Holiday Inn.
However, four other neighbouring units have long stood empty, with one used by Bustler Market on a part-time basis.
Starboard’s investment leaves just two units now requiring permanent occupiers.
Heiko Figge, head of hospitality, leisure and operations at Moorfield Group, said: “We are pleased to have sold the popular Derby Riverlights Holiday Inn hotel to such an experienced and expert operator as Starboard.
“We would like to thank the hotel’s general manager and her team for having done such an outstanding job during our ownership of the property.
“The team has continually delivered the highest room occupancy in Derby and I am sure that the hotel will continue to flourish under Starboard’s ownership.”
Coutts & Co. provided a loan for the acquisition, which is now the 14th hotel to be funded by the bank.
WHO ARE THE NEW OWNERS?
Starboard Hotels is an award-winning owner and operator of franchised hotels under the leading brands such as Holiday Inn Express (IHG), Days Inn, Best Western and Ibis.
Founded in 2006, Starboard Hotels says it looks to provide exceptional customer service and guest experience whilst optimising asset performance.
With its Investor In People and ISO 14001/ 9001 certification, Starboard Hotels is a specialist in small and medium size UK based hotels ranging from limited service hotels over to full service properties.
The Buckinghamshire-based operator is an associated business of the Roselodge Group, which has over 25 years’ of experience in property management and development.
Source: Derby Telegraph