TRAVELODGE MARKS 25 YEARS IN CAMBRIDGE BY OPENING ITS LARGEST HOTEL IN THE CITY
14th Aug 2013
Travelodge is today celebrating 25 years of growth in Cambridge by opening its largest hotel in the city - Cambridge Newmarket Road Travelodge. The 219-room property represents an £18 million investment and has created 30 new jobs in the community.
The five-storey hotel has been built on the site of the former Greene King Brewery and reaffirms Travelodge’s position as the biggest hotel chain in the city with more than 600 (604) rooms. It is the first Travelodge hotel in the city to feature the brand new Travelodge room design, which has been designed by Travelodge customers, and includes the luxury Travelodge Dreamer bed which is deemed in the industry as the ‘Rolls Royce’ of beds and is used predominately by luxury hotels worldwide.
The hotel features a unique 14 metre stained glass window, which overlooks Newmarket Road. Artist, Julian Stocks, was commissioned by the Public Art programme at Cambridge City Council to create the piece, using words and quotes inspired by travel. The window is visible when walking or driving along Newmarket Road and is Travelodge’s second hotel with a stained glass window along with The Regent Hotel in Leamington Spa, which features a stained glass window on its grand staircase.
The opening means that Travelodge has invested nearly £40 million into the area since opening its first hotel in 1988, and now employs more than 150 people. The hotel chain is continuing to invest in Cambridge through a major refurbishment programme in its other hotels.
Travelodge first recognised the need for a good quality, low budget hotel in Cambridge back in 1988 when it opened its first hotel. Cambridge Lolworth Travelodge, located on Huntingdon Road, was one of the budget hotel chain’s very first hotels, which was built less than two years after the budget concept came to the UK.
Cambridge Newmarket Road Travelodge was officially opened today by Member of Parliament for Cambridge, Julian Huppert, who joined Jon Hendry Pickup, Travelodge’s Chief Operating Officer, and special guest, Anne Theaker, to mark the opening.
Anne is Travelodge’s longest serving employee in Cambridge and has worked as a receptionist at Cambridge Lolworth Travelodge for 23 years after starting work in 1990. Anne works part-time for Travelodge, has two children and lives in Bluntisham, a small village 10 miles outside of Cambridge.
To mark the occasion, alongside the arrival of the Prince of Cambridge who will also be 25 days old this week, Travelodge is also offering a free night stay in any of its UK hotels to Britons called George Cambridge. To qualify for a free room, British citizens called George Cambridge just need to register their details at Georgecambridge@travelodge.co.uk and send proof of their name. Upon receipt of this information a complimentary room stay will be booked at any of Travelodge’s UK hotels.
Jon Hendry Pickup, Travelodge Chief Operating Officer said: “We are delighted to be celebrating our 25th year of trading in Cambridge by opening our largest hotel in the city to date. To mark this occasion we also thought it would be fitting to celebrate the Prince of Cambridge’s birth, by offering a free room to all Britons called George Cambridge.
“Cambridge has rapidly grown as a tourist destination over the last 25 years, and the biggest burst of growth has been since the recession as Britons increasingly opt to holiday on British shores. As a result of this growing trend we have experienced a surge in demand not only from leisure travellers, but from business customers too, all looking for good value branded accommodation when visiting the city. By having six hotels located across Cambridge, making us the city’s largest hotelier, we really are the smart choice for visitors.
“Our commitment to invest in Cambridge will continue. To date we have invested £40 million and created 150 jobs, and this year our Cambridge Fourwentways hotel is undergoing a £270,000 brand refurbishment programme so that we can continue to offer the best product at the best price within the city.”
Julian Huppert, Member of Parliament for Cambridge, said: “I am delighted that Travelodge has made such a huge investment in our city and created more than 30 jobs. This is testament to the strength of the Cambridge economy and I hope this new venture will prove a great success.”
The property is owned by the Charities Property Fund having originally acquired the site and funded the development cost throughout the construction period.
Angy Benitz of the Charities Property Fund said: “We are delighted to conclude the successful development of this asset, working in partnership with Travelodge and Merchant Place Developments. A significant proportion of the Fund’s investor base originates from Cambridge University colleges, and this asset fits our investment objectives by securing a freehold interest in a development constrained centre such as Cambridge, secured on a long lease to a quality tenant in a newly developed property which we anticipate will trade well for the occupier. Cambridge is enjoying strong growth due to sustained demand from occupiers and investors and it is this type of profile that we are targeting for future investments.”
The Charities Property Fund was established in 2000 and has grown to £540 million with over 1300 charitable investors. The Fund is a pooled property vehicle open to all charities in the UK.
Cambridge Newmarket Road Travelodge is being managed by Kevin Lewis who has been working with Travelodge for eight years. Kevin joined Travelodge as a Hotel manager at Winchester Sutton Scotney Travelodge, and has held management positions at some of Travelodge’s highest performing hotels, such as Bournemouth Seafront.
The hotel’s new team of 30 staff members have all been recruited via the Job Centre Plus Scheme – with eight of the team having previously been unemployed. As part of their induction training staff members undertook a comprehensive four week training programme at a nearby Travelodge hotel. They also attended a sleep seminar to ensure they are fully equipped to ensure their customers get a good night’s sleep.
Two of the team have also been through the company’s fast track to management programme called GEM (Gaining Entry to Management). Beata Balonka and Teresa Kaszubowska, both Assistant Hotel Managers, joined the programme earlier this year, after going through a rigorous selection process to identify Travelodge future managers.
At the opening today, Travelodge also signalled its intention to continue investing in Cambridge, through a major refurbishment of its five other Cambridge hotels. The programme is set to start in October, beginning with the £270,000 refurbishment of the 71-room Cambridge Fourwentways Travelodge.
The three-week refurbishment will see the hotel refitted with the brand new Travelodge room, as well as a redesign of its public areas, with no disturbance to the day to day operation of the hotel.
The work is part of a company wide brand investment of £223 million this year, to help further grow the business, strengthen the brand offering and make Travelodge the best value hotel chain in the UK. By autumn 2014, almost 85% of Travelodge’s estate will incorporate the new room design, and this includes the company’s four other hotels in Cambridge - Cambridge Lolworth, Cambridge Swavesey, Cambridge Central and Cambridge Orchard Park.
Cambridge Newmarket Road Travelodge offers a range of rooms which include family, double and accessible. All of the rooms have been styled in the company’s contemporary room design which includes a red, white and blue colour scheme and mood lighting.
A Travelodge family room caters for either two adults and two children or three adults. Each room has en-suite facilities with eco-friendly showers, a flat screen TV with 18 free digital channels, free tea and coffee making facilities and Wi-Fi.
Travelodge hotels that have a Bar Café offer an ‘eat as much as you like’ breakfast buffet for £7.65 per guest and for each paying adult - two children under the age of 16 eat for free. You can make a £1 saving on breakfast by ordering online and you can order a two course evening online for just £9.95 per person too – just book at www.travelodge.co.uk
For more information about Travelodge and to book a £25 room visit: www.travelodge.co.uk.